Strabo 63 BC - 24 AD 39:
Geography
 
1 About Me 8
2 Education
3 Philosophy
4 Politics
5 News
6 Travel
7 Sports
8 Funding
3 Iberia 5 115 1:38
9 Greece. 5 103 1:25
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Page Data
Menu 1: .55 Time :28
Menu 2: 1.74 Time 1:27
Total: 425,792 1,704 23:40
Menu-Body 30%, 4% 1/3, 1/980
Chapters 96
Pages per chapter 17.75 14:48
11 West Asia 1 11 83 1:10
 
14 Islands. 6 101 1:23
16 Syria. 4 114 1:35
17 Africa. 3 110 1:32
1 Preface, on scope & usefulness of geography 26
2 Introduction 69
3 Eratosthenes is wrong 1 33
4 Eratosthenes is wrong 2 10
1 Eratosthenes often wrong P3 55
2 What Poseidonius has to say 3.5
3 Polybius makes six zones 17.6
4 Polybius vs Dicaearchus & Eratosthenes 11.3
5 Account of countries of earth 55.8
3 Iberia.
5 115 1:38
1 Introduction 9.1
2 Boundaries 21.8
3 Polybius makes six zones 17.5
4 Continued 11.3
5 Islands of Iberia: Baleares, Cassiterides, Gades 55.8
1  Transalpine Gaul: Narbonensis 27.9
2 Transalpine Gaul: Aquitania 4.4
3 Transalpine Gaul: Lugdunensis 6.9
4 Transalpine Gaul: W Lugdunensis and Belgica  9.9
5 Britain, Ireland, & Thule 5.1
6 Cisalpine Gaul (Northern Italy)  16.1
5 North Italy.
4 89 1:15
1 Northern Italy proper (roughly Emilia-Romagna)  18.5
2 Tyrrhenia & Umbria (Tuscany, Umbria, & N Marche) 20.2
3 Sabine lands and Latium 26.4
4 Picenum (S Marche) & Campania 23.1
1 Leucania 26.8
2 Sicily 23.3
3 Iapygia 17
4 Summary remarks on Italy & expansion of Rome 6.5
1 Germany. 7.6
2 Germans & Cimbri or Cimmerians. 4.6
3 Mysia, Dacia, & Danube (SE Europe). 26.9
4 Tauric Chersonese (Crimea) . 9.7
5 Illyria & Pannonia. 12.5
6 Eastern Dacia & north shore of Propontis. 4.3
7 Epirus. 17.1
8 Fragments. 30.5
1 Greece, generalities. 5.4
2 Peloponnesus. 2.9
3 Elea. 44.6
4 Messenia. 7.4
5 Laconia. 10.4
6 Argolis. 27.9
7 Ionia. 9.6
8 Arcadia. 3.7
1 Attica. 18.4
2 Boeotia. 30
3 Phocis. 16.8
4 Locris. 8.9
5 Thessaly. 28.7
1 Euboea. 10.2
2 Acarnania. 24
3 Aetolia. 22.2
4 Crete. 19.5
5 Greek islands (Sporades & Cyclades). 9.7
1 Cappadocia. 2.9
2 Cataonia & Melitene. 11.1
3 Pontus, Paphlagonia, Lesser Armenia. 43.7
4 Bithynia. 6.8
5 Galatia 3.1.
6 Lycaonia 3.
7 Pisidia 3.1.
8 Arcadia 18.2.
1 Troad and Ilium 43.
2 Lesbos and its minor islands 4.8.
3 Aeolian cities 7.5.
4 Pergamum, Sardis, Catacecaumene, Hierapolis 15.4.
14 Islands.
6 101 1:23
1 Ionia 35.9.
2 Caria 25.3.
3 Lycia 6.3.
4 Pamphylia 1.5.
5 Cilicia 25.1.
6 Cyprus 6.9.
15 East Asia.
3 90 1:19
1 India, basic geography, India, animals, people 55.5.
2 Ariana, Gedrosia, & Carmania 14.8.
3 Persia proper 18.9.
16 Syria. 4 114 1:35
1 Leucania 24.8.
2  Syria — Commagene, Syria proper, Seleucia, Coelesyria (Palestine), Phoenicia 31.7.
3 Continued 4.3.
4 Contintued 52.6.
17 Africa. 3 110 1:32
1 Egypt & Ethiopia 70.2.
2 Ethiopia & Egypt, conclusion 6.6.
3 Libya (North Africa) 32.3.
 
 
1 Eratosthenes wrong. 4 137 1:50
1 - 1 Preface, on the scope and usefulness of geography 26

The science of Geography, which I now propose to investigate, is, I think, quite as much as any other science, a concern of the philosopher; and the correctness of my view is clear for many reasons. In the first place, those who in earliest times ventured to treat the subject were, in their way, philosophers — Homer, Anaximander of Miletus, and Anaximander's fellow-citizen Hecataeus — just as Eratosthenes has already said; philosophers, too, were Democritus, Eudoxus, Dicaearchus, Ephorus, with several others of their times; and further, their successors — Eratosthenes, Polybius, and Poseidonius — were philosophers. In the second place, wide learning, which alone makes it possible to undertake a work on geography, is possessed solely by the man who has investigated things both human and divine — knowledge of which, they say, constitutes philosophy. And so, too, the utility of geography — and its utility is manifold, not only as regards the activities of statesmen and commanders but also as regards knowledge both of the heavens and of things on land and sea, animals, plants, fruits, and everything else to be seen in various regions — the utility of geography, I say, presupposes in the geographer the same philosopher, the man who busies himself with the investigation of the art of life, that is, of happiness.

2 But I must go back and consider each one of these points in greater detail; and, first, I say that both I and my predecessors, one of whom was Hipparchus himself, are right in regarding Homer as the founder of the science of geography; for Homer has surpassed all men, both of ancient and modern times, not only in the excellence of his poetry, but also, I might say, in his acquaintance with all that pertains to public life. And this acquaintance made him busy himself not only about public activities, to the end that he might learn of as many of them as possible and also give an account of them to posterity, but also about the geography both of the individual countries and of the inhabited world at large, both land and sea; for otherwise he would not have gone to the uttermost bounds of the inhabited world, encompassing the whole of it in his description.

3 In the first place, Homer declares that the inhabited world is washed on all sides by Oceanus, and this is true; and then he mentions some of the countries by name, while he leaves us to infer the other countries from hints; for instance, he expressly mentions Libya,1 Ethiopia, Sidonians, and Erembians — by Erembians he probably means Arabian Troglodytes2 — whereas he only indicates in general terms the people who live in the far east and the far west by saying that their countries are washed by Oceanus. For he makes the sun to p7rise out of Oceanus and to set in Oceanus; and he refers in the same way to the constellations: "Now the sun was just beating on the fields as he climbed heaven from the deep stream of gently-flowing Oceanus." "And the sun's bright light dropped into Oceanus drawing black night across the earth." And he declares that the stars also rise from Oceanus "after having bathed in Oceanus."

4 As for the people of the west, Homer makes plain that they were prosperous and that they lived in a temperate climate — doubtless having heard of the wealth of Iberia,3 and how, in quest of that wealth, Heracles invaded the country, and after him the Phoenicians also, the people who in earliest times became masters of most of the country (it was at a later date that the Romans occupied it). For in the west the breezes of Zephyrus blow; 3and there it is that Homer places the Elysian Plain itself, to which he declares Menelaus will be sent by the gods: "But the deathless gods will convey thee to the Elysian Plain and the ends of the earth, where is Rhadamanthys of the fair hair, where life is easiest. No snow is there, nor yet great storm; but always Oceanus sendeth forth the breezes of the clear-blowing4 Zephyrus."

5 And, too, the Islands of the Blest5 lie to the westward of most western Maurusia,6 that is, west p9of the region where the end of Maurusia runs close to that of Iberia. And their name shows that because those islands were near to blessed countries they too were thought to be blessed abodes.

6 Furthermore, Homer assuredly makes it plain that the Ethiopians live at the ends of the earth, on the banks of Oceanus: that they live at the end of the earth, when he speaks of "the Ethiopians that are sundered in twain, the farthermost of men" (and indeed the words "are sundered in twain" are not carelessly used, as will be shown later on); and that they live on the banks of Oceanus, when he says "for Zeus went yesterday to Oceanus, unto the noble Ethiopians for a feast." And he has left us to infer that the farthest land in the north is also bounded by Oceanus when he says of the Bear that "She alone hath no part in the baths of Oceanus." That is, by the terms "Bear" and "Wain" he means the "arctic circle";7 for otherwise he would not have said of the Bear that "She alone hath no part in the baths of Oceanus," since so many stars complete their diurnal revolutions in that same quarter of the heavens which was always visible to him. So it is not well for us to accuse him of ignorance on the ground that he knew of but one Bear instead of two; for it is likely that in the time of Homer the other Bear had not yet been marked out as a constellation, and that the star-group did not become known as such to the Greeks until the Phoenicians so designated it and used it for purposes of navigation; the same is true of Berenice's Hair and of Canopus, for we know that these two constellations have received p11their names quite recently, and that there are many constellations still unnamed, just as Aratus says. Therefore Crates is not correct, either, when in seeking to avoid what needs no avoidance, he alters the text of Homer so as to make it read, "And the arctic circle8 alone hath no part in the baths of Oceanus." Better and more Homeric is Heracleitus, who likewise employs "the Bear" for "the arctic circle": "The Bear forms limits of morning and evening, and over against the Bear fair breezes blow from fair skies";9 for the arctic circle, and not the Bear, forms a boundary beyond which the stars neither rise nor set. 4Accordingly, by "the Bear," which he also calls "the Wain" and describes as keeping watch upon Orion, Homer means the "arctic circle," and by Oceanus he means the horizon into which he makes the stars to set and from which he makes them to rise. And when he says that the Bear makes its revolution in that region without having a part in Oceanus, he knows that the arctic circle touches the most northerly point of the horizon. If we construe the poet's verse in this way, then we should interpret the terrestrial horizon as closely corresponding to Oceanus, and the arctic circle as touching the earth — if we may believe the evidence of our sense — at its most northerly inhabited point. And so, in the opinion of Homer, this part of the earth also is p13washed by Oceanus. Furthermore, Homer knows of the men who live farthest north; and while he does not mention them by name — and even to the present day there is no common term that will embrace them all — he characterises them by their mode of life, describing them as "nomads," and as "proud mare-milkers, curd-eaters, and a resourceless folk."

7 In other ways, too, Homer indicates that Oceanus surrounds the earth, as when Hera says as follows: "For I am going to visit the limits of the bountiful earth, and Oceanus, father of the gods." By these words he means that Oceanus touches all the extremities of the earth; and these extremities form a circle round the earth. Again, in the story of the making of the arms of Achilles, Homer places Oceanus in a circle round the outer edge of the shield of Achilles. It is another proof of the same eagerness for knowledge that Homer was not ignorant about the ebb and flow of the tide of Oceanus; for he speaks of "Oceanus that floweth ever back upon himself," and also says: "For thrice a day she10 spouts it forth, and thrice a day she sucks it down." For even if it be "twice" and not "thrice" — it may be that Homer really strayed from the fact on this point, or else that there is a corruption in the text11 — the principle of his assertion remains the same. And even the phrase "gently-flowing" contains a reference to the flood-tide, which comes with a gentle p15swell, and not with a violent current. Poseidonius conjectures both from Homer's reference to the headlands as sometimes covered with the waves and sometimes bare, and from his calling Oceanus a river, that by the current of Oceanus Homer is indicating the flow of the tides. The first conjecture of Poseidonius is correct, but the second is unreasonable. For the swell of the tide is not like a stream of a river, and still less so is the ebb. The explanation given by Crates is more plausible. Homer speaks of the whole of Oceanus as "deep-flowing" and "back-flowing," and, likewise, as being a river; 5he also speaks of a part of Oceanus as a river, or as a "river-stream"; and he is speaking of a part of Oceanus, and not of the whole, when he says: "Now after the ship had left the river-stream of Oceanus, and was come to the wave of the wide sea." Not the whole, I say, but the stream of the river, which stream is in Oceanus, being therefore a part of it and this stream, Crates says, is a sort of estuary or gulf, which stretches from the winter tropic12 in the direction of the south pole. Indeed, one might leave this estuary and still be in Oceanus; but it is not possible for a man to leave the whole and still be in the whole. At any rate Homer says: "The ship had left the river-stream, and was come to the wave of the sea," where "the sea" is surely nothing other than Oceanus; if you interpret it otherwise, the assertion becomes: "After Odysseus had gone out of Oceanus, he came into Oceanus." But that is a matter to be discussed at greater length.

p178 We may learn both from the evidence of our senses and from experience that the inhabited world is an island; for wherever it has been possible for man to reach the limits of the earth, sea has been found, and this sea we call "Oceanus." And wherever we have not been able to learn by the evidence of our sense, there reason points the way. For example, as to the eastern (Indian) side of the inhabited earth, and the western (Iberian and Maurusian) side, one may sail wholly around them and continue the voyage for a considerable distance along the northern and southern regions; and as for the rest of the distance around the inhabited earth which has not been visited by us up to the present time (because of the fact that the navigators who sailed in opposite directions towards each other never met), it is not of very great extent, if we reckon from the parallel distances that have been traversed by us. It is unlikely that the Atlantic Ocean is divided into two seas, thus being separated by isthmuses so narrow and that prevent the circumnavigation; it is more likely that it is one confluent and continuous sea. For those who undertook circumnavigation, and turned back without having achieved their purpose, say that they were made to turn back, not because of any continent that stood in their way and hindered their further advance, inasmuch as the sea still continued open as before, but because of their destitution and loneliness. This theory accords better, too, with the behaviour of the ocean, that, in respect of the ebb and flow of the tides; everywhere, at all events, the same principle, or else one that does not vary much, accounts for the changes both of high tide and low p19tide,13 as would be the case if their movements were produced by one sea and were the result of one cause.

9 Hipparchus is not convincing when he contradicts this view on the ground, first, that the ocean does not behave uniformly throughout, and, secondly, that, even if this be granted, it does not follow that the Atlantic Ocean runs round the earth in one unbroken circle. In support of his opinion that the ocean does not behave uniformly he appeals to the authority of Seleucus of Babylon. But for a further discussion of the ocean and its tides I refer the reader to Poseidonius and Athenodorus, who have examined the argument on this subject with thoroughness. For my present purpose I merely add that it is better to accept this view of the uniform behaviour of the ocean; and that the farther the mass of water may extend around the earth, the better the heavenly bodies will be held together by the vapours that arise therefrom.

10 Homer, then, knows and clearly describes the remote ends of the inhabited earth and what surrounds it; and he is just as familiar with the regions of the Mediterranean Sea. For if you begin at the Pillars of Heracles, you will find that the Mediterranean Sea is bounded by Libya, Egypt, and Phoenicia, and further on by the part of the continent lying over against Cyprus; then by the territory of the Solymi, by Lycia, and by Caria, and next by the seaboard between Mycale and the Troad, together with the islands adjacent thereto; and all these lands are p21mentioned by Homer, as well as those farther on, about the Propontis and the Euxine Sea as far as Colchis and the limits of Jason's expedition; more than that, he knows the Cimmerian Bosporus, because he knows the Cimmerians — for surely, if he knows the name of the Cimmerians, he is not ignorant of the people themselves — the Cimmerians who, in Homer's own time or shortly before his time, overran the whole country from the Bosporus to Ionia. At least he intimates that the very climate of their country is gloomy, and the Cimmerians, as he says, are "shrouded in mist and in cloud, and never does the shining sun look upon them, but deadly night is spread o'er them." Homer also knows of the River Ister,16 since he mentions Mysians, a Thracian tribe that lives on the Ister. More than that, he knows the sea-board next to the Ister, on the Thracian side, as far as the Peneus17 River; for he speaks of Paeonians, of Athos and Axius, and of their neighbouring islands. And next comes the sea-board of Greece, as far as Thesprotia, which he mentions in its entirety. And yet more, he knows the promontories of Italy also, for he speaks of Temesa and of Sicily; he also knows about the headland capes of Iberia, and of the wealth of Iberia, as I have stated above. If between these countries there are some countries which he leaves out, one might pardon him; for the professed geographer himself omits many details. And we might pardon the poet even if he has inserted things p23of a mythical nature in his historical and didactic narrative. That deserves no censure; for Eratosthenes is wrong in his contention that the aim of every poet is to entertain, not to instruct; indeed the wisest of the writers on poetry say, on the contrary, that poetry is a kind of elementary philosophy.19 But later on I shall refute Eratosthenes at greater length, when I come to speak of Homer again.

11 For the moment what I have already said is sufficient, I hope, to show that Homer was the first geographer. And, as every one knows, the successors of Homer in geography were also notable men and familiar with philosophy. Eratosthenes declares that the first two successors of Homer were Anaximander, a pupil and fellow-citizen of Thales, and Hecataeus of Miletus; that Anaximander was the first to publish a geographical map, and that Hecataeus left behind him a work on geography, a work believed to be his by reason of its similarity to his other writings.

12 Assuredly, however, there is need of encyclopaedic learning for the study of geography, as many men have already stated; and Hipparchus, too, in his treatise Against Eratosthenes, correctly shows that it is impossible for any man, whether layman or scholar, to attain to the requisite knowledge of geography without the determination of the heavenly bodies and of the eclipses which have been observed; for instance, it is impossible to determine whether Alexandria in Egypt is north or south of Babylon, or how much north or south of Babylon it is, without investigation through the means of the "climata." In like manner, we cannot accurately fix points that lie at varying distances from us, whether to the east or the west, except by a comparison of the eclipses of the sun and the moon. That, then, is what Hipparchus says on the subject.

13 All those who undertake to describe the distinguishing features of countries devote special attention to astronomy and geometry, in explaining matters of shape, of size, of distances between points, and of "climata," as well as matters of heat and cold, and, in general, the peculiarities of the atmosphere. Indeed, an architect in constructing a house, or an engineer in founding a city, would make provision for all these conditions; and all the more would they be considered by the man whose purview embraced the whole inhabited world; for they concern him more than anyone else. Within the area of small countries it involves no very great discrepancy if a given place be situated more towards the north, or more towards the south; but when the area is that of the whole round of the inhabited world, the north extends to the remote confines of Scythia and Celtica, and the south to the remote confines of Ethiopia, and the difference between these two extremes is very great. The same thing holds true also as regards a man's living in India or Iberia; the one country is in the far east, and the other is in the far west; indeed, they are, in a sense, the antipodes of each other, as we know.

14 Everything of this kind, since it is caused by the movement of the sun and the other stars as well as by their tendency towards the centre, compels us to look to the vault of heaven, and to observe the phenomena of the heavenly bodies peculiar to our individual positions; and in these phenomena we see very great variations in the positions of inhabited place. So, if one is about to treat of the differences between countries, how can he discuss his subject correctly and adequately if he has paid no attention, even superficially, to any of these matters? For even if it be impossible in a treatise of this nature, because of its having a greater bearing on affairs of state, to make everything scientifically accurate, it will naturally be appropriate to do so, at least in so far as the man in public life is able to follow the thought.

15 Moreover, the man who has once thus lifted his thoughts to the heavens will surely not hold aloof from the earth as a whole; for it is obviously absurd, if a man who desired to give a clear exposition of the inhabited world had ventured to lay hold of the celestial bodies and to use them for the purposes of instruction, and yet had paid no attention to the earth as a whole, of which the inhabited world is just a part — neither as to its size, nor its character, nor its position in the universe, nor even whether the world is inhabited only in the one part in which we live, or in a number of parts, and if so, how many such parts there are; and likewise how large the uninhabited part is, what its nature is, and why it is uninhabited. It seems, then, that the special branch of geography represents a union of meteorology and geometry, since it unites terrestrial and celestial phenomena as being very closely related, and in no sense separated from each other "as heaven is high above the earth."

16 Well, then, to this encyclopaedic knowledge let us add terrestrial history — that is, the history of animals and plants and everything useful or harmful that is produced by land or sea (this definition will, I think, make clear what I mean by "terrestrial history"). In fact all such studies are important as preliminary helps toward complete understanding. And to this knowledge of the nature of the land, and of the species of animals and plants, we must add a knowledge of all that pertain to the sea; for in a sense we are amphibious, and belong no more to the land than to the sea. That the benefit is great to anyone who has become possessed of information of this character, is evident both from ancient traditions and from reason. At any rate, the poets declare that the wisest heroes were those who visited many places and roamed over the world; for the poets regard it as a great achievement to have "seen the cities and known the minds of many men." Nestor boasts of having lived among the Lapithae, to whom he had gone as an invited guest, "from a distant land afar — for of themselves they summoned me." Menelaus, too, makes a similar boast, when he says: "I roamed over Cyprus and Phoenicia and Egypt, and came to Ethiopians and Sidonians and Erembians and Libya" and at this point he added the distinctive peculiarity of the country — "where lambs are horned from the birth; for there the ewes yean thrice within the full circle of the year." 9And in speaking of Thebes in Egypt, he says that Egypt is the country "where earth the grain-giver yields herbs in plenty"; and again he says: "Thebes of the hundred gates, whence sally forth two hundred warriors though each, with horses and chariots." And doubtless it was because of Heracles' wide experience and information that Homer speaks of him as the man who "had knowledge of great adventures." And my contention, made at the outset, is supported by reason as well as by ancient tradition. And that other argument, it seems to me, is adduced with especial force in reference to present-day conditions, namely, that the greater part of geography subserves the needs of states; for the scene of the activities of states is land and sea, the dwelling-place of man. The scene is small when the activities are of small importance, and large when they are of large importance; and the largest is the scene that embraces all the rest (which we call by the special name of "the inhabited world") and this, therefore, would be the scene of activities of the largest importance. Moreover, the greatest generals are without exception men who are able to hold sway over land and sea, and to unite nations and cities under one government and political administration. It is therefore plain that geography as a whole has a direct bearing upon the activities of commanders; for it describes continents and seas — not only the sea inside the limits of the whole inhabited world, but also those outside these limits. And the description which geography gives is of importance to these men who are concerned as to whether this or that is so or otherwise, and whether known or unknown. For thus they can manage their various affairs in a more satisfactory manner, if they know how large a country is, how it lies, and what are its peculiarities either of sky or soil. But because different kings rule in different quarters of the world, and carry on their activities from different centres and starting-points, and keep extending the borders of their empires, it is impossible either for them or for geographers to be equally familiar with all parts of the world; nay, the phrase "more or less" is a fault much in evidence in kings and geographers. For even if the whole inhabited world formed one empire or state, it would hardly follow that all parts of that empire would be equally well known; nay, it would not be true even in that case, but the nearer regions would be better known. And it would be quite proper to describe these regions in greater detail, in order to make them known, for they are also nearer to the needs of the state. Therefore it would not be remarkable even if one person were a proper chorographer for the Indians, another for the Ethiopians, and still another for the Greeks and Romans. 10For example, wherein would it be proper for the Indian geographer to add details about Boeotia such as Homer gives: "These were they that dwelt in Hyria and rocky Aulis and Schoenus and Scolus"? For me these details are proper; but when I come to treat India it is no longer proper to add such details; and, in fact, utility does p35not urge it — and utility above all things is our standard in empirical matters of this kind.

17 The utility of geography in matters of small concern, also, is quite evident; for instance, in hunting. A hunter will be more successful in the chase if he knows the character and extent of the forest; and after, only one who knows a region can advantageously pitch camp there, or set an ambush, or direct a march. The utility of geography is more conspicuous, however, in great undertakings, in proportion as the prizes of knowledge and the disasters that result from ignorance are greater. Thus Agamemnon and his fleet ravaged Mysia in the belief that it was Troy-land, and came back home in disgrace. And, too, the Persians and the Libyans, surmising that the straits were blind alleys, not only came near great perils, but they left behind them memorials of their folly, for the Persians raised the tomb on the Euripus near Chalcis in honour of Salganeus, whom they executed in the belief that he had treacherously conducted their fleet from the Gulf of Malis to the Euripus, and the Libyans erected the monument in honour of Pelorus, whom they put to death for a similar reason; and Greece was covered with wrecks of vessels on the occasion of the expedition of Xerxes; and again, the colonies sent out by the Aetolians and by the Ionians have furnished many examples of similar blunders. There have also been cases of success, in which success was due to acquaintance with the regions involved; for instance, at the pass of Thermopylae it is said that Ephialtes, by showing the Persians the pathway across the mountains, put Leonidas and his troops at their mercy, and brought the Persians south of Thermopylae. But leaving antiquity, I believe that modern campaign of the Romans against the Parthians is a sufficient proof of what I say, and likewise that against the Germans and the Celts, for in the latter case the barbarians carried on a guerilla warfare in swamps, in pathless forests, and in deserts; and they made the ignorant Romans believe to be far away with was really near at hand, and kept them in ignorance of the roads and of the facilities for procuring provisions and other necessities.

18 Now just as the greater part of geography, as I have said, has a bearing on the life and the needs of rulers, so also does the greater part of the theory of ethics and the theory of politics have a bearing on the life of rulers. And the proof of this is the fact that we distinguish the differences between the constitutions of states by the sovereignties in those states, in that we call one sovereignty the monarchy or kingship, another the aristocracy, and still another the democracy. And we have a corresponding number of constitutions of states, which we designate by the names of the sovereignties, because it is from these that they derive the fundamental principle of their specific nature; for in one country the will of the king is law, in another the will of those of highest rank, and in another the will of the people. It is the law that gives the type and the form of the constitution. And for that reason some have defined "justice" as "the interest of the more powerful." If, then, political philosophy deals chiefly with the rulers, and if geography supplies the needs of those rulers, then geography would seem to have some advantage over political science. This advantage, however, has to do with practice.

19 And yet, a work of geography also involves theory of no mean value, the theory of the arts, of mathematics, and of natural science, as well as the theory which lies in the fields of history and myths — though myths have nothing to do with practice; for instance, if a man should tell the story of the wanderings of Odysseus or Menelaus or Jason, it would not be thought that he was making any contribution to the practical wisdom of his hearers — and that is what the man of affairs demands — unless he should insert the useful lessons to be drawn from the hardships those heroes underwent; still, he would be providing no mean entertainment for the hearer who takes an interest in the regions which furnished the scenes of the myths. Men of affairs are fond of just such entertainment, because the localities are famous and the myths are charming; but they care for no great amount of it, since they are more interested in what is useful, and it is quite natural that they should be. For that reason the geographer, also, should direct his attention to the useful rather than to what is famous and charming. The same principle holds good in regard to history and the mathematical sciences; for in these branches, also, that which is useful and more trustworthy should always be given precedence.

Most of all, it seems to me, we need, as I have said, geometry and astronomy for a subject like geography; and the need of them is real indeed; for without such methods as they offer it is not possible accurately to determine our geometrical figures, "climata," dimensions, and the other cognate things; but just as these sciences prove for us in other treatises all that has to do with the measurement of the earth as a whole and as I must in this treatise take for granted that the universe is sphere-shaped, and also that the earth's surface is sphere-shaped, and, what is more, I must take for granted the law that is prior to these two principles, namely that the bodies tend toward the centre; and I need only indicate, in a brief and summary way, whether a proposition comes — if it really does — within the range of sense-perception or of intuitive knowledge. Take, for example, the proposition that the earth is sphere-shaped: whereas the suggestion of this proposition comes to us mediately from the law that bodies tend toward the centre and that each body inclines toward its own centre of gravity, the suggestion comes immediately from the phenomena observed at sea and in the heavens; 12for our sense-perception and also our intuition can bear testimony in the latter case. For instance, it is obviously the curvature of the sea that prevents sailors from seeing distant lights at an elevation equal to that of the eye; however, if they are at a higher elevation than that of the eye, they become visible, even though they be at a greater distance from the eyes; and similarly if the eyes themselves are elevated, they see what was before invisible. This fact is noted by Homer, also, for such is the meaning of the words: "With a quick glance ahead, being upborne on a great wave, he saw the land very near." So, also, when sailors are approaching land, the different parts of the shore become revealed progressively, more and more, and what at first appeared to be low-lying land grows gradually higher and higher. Again, the revolution of the heavenly bodies is evident on many grounds, but it is particularly evident from the phenomena of the sun-dial; and from these phenomena our intuitive judgment itself suggests that no such revolution could take place if the earth were rooted to an infinite depth. As regards the "climata," they are treated in our discussion of the Inhabited Districts.

21 But at this point we must assume off-hand a knowledge of some matters, and particularly of all that is useful for the statesman and the general to know. For one should not, on the one hand, be so ignorant of the heavens and the position of the earth as to be alarmed when he comes to countries in which some of the celestial phenomena that are familiar to everybody have changed, and to exclaim: "My friends, lo, now we know not where is the place of darkness, nor of dawning, nor where the sun, that gives light to men, goes beneath the earth, nor where he rises"; nor, on the other hand, need one have such scientifically accurate knowledge as to know what constellations rise and set and pass the p45meridian at the same time everywhere; or as to know the elevations of the poles, the constellations that are in the zenith, and all other such changing phenomena as meet one according as he changes his horizons and arctic circles, whether those changes be merely visual, or actual as well. Nay, he should pay no attention at all to some of these things, unless it be in order to view them as a philosopher. But he should take some other things on faith, even if he does not see a reason for them; for the question of causes belongs to the student of philosophy alone, whereas the statesman does not have adequate leisure for research, or at least not always. However, the reader of this book should not be so simple-minded or indifferent as not to have observed a globe, 13or the circles drawn upon it, some of which are parallel, others drawn at right angles to the parallels, and still others oblique to them; or, again, so simple as not to have observed the position of tropics, equator, and zodiac — the region through which the sun is borne in his course and by his turning determines the different zones and winds. For if one have learned, even in a superficial way, about these matters, and about the horizons and the arctic circles and all the other matters taught in the elementary courses of mathematics, he will be able to follow what is said in this book. If, however, a man does not know even what a straight line is, or a curve, or a circle, nor the difference between a spherical and a plane surface, and if, in the heavens, he have not learned even the seven stars of the Great Bear, or anything else of that kind, either he will have no use for this book, or else not at present — in fact, not until he has studied those topics without which he cannot be familiar with geography. And so those who have written the treatises entitled Harbours and Coasting Voyages leave their investigations incomplete, if they have failed to add all at mathematical and astronomical information which properly belonged in their books.

22 In short, this book of mine should be generally useful — useful alike to the statesman and to the public at large — as was my work on History. In this work, as in that, I mean by "statesman," not the man who is wholly uneducated, but the man who has taken the round of courses usual in the case of freemen or of students of philosophy. For the man who has given no thought to virtue and to practical wisdom, and to what has been written about them, would not be able even to form a valid opinion either in censure or in praise; nor yet to pass judgment upon the matters of historical fact that are worthy of being recorded in this treatise.

23 And so, after I had written my Historical Sketches, which have been useful, I suppose, for moral and political philosophy, I determined to write the present treatise also; for this work itself is based on the same plan, and is addressed to the same class of readers, and particularly to men of exalted stations in life. Furthermore, just as in my Historical Sketches only the incidents in the lives of distinguished men are recorded, while deeds that are petty and ignoble are omitted, so in this work also I must leave untouched what is petty and inconspicuous, and devote my attention to what is noble and great, and to what contains the practically useful, or memorable, or entertaining. Now just as in judging of the merits of colossal statues we do not examine each individual part with minute care, but rather consider the general effect and endeavour to see if the statue as a whole is pleasing, so should this book of mine be judged. For it, too, is a colossal work, in that it deals with the facts about large things only, and wholes, except as some petty thing may stir the interest of the studious or the practical man. I have said thus much to show that the present work is a serious one, and one worthy of a philosopher.

 
Neapolis 1.2
Sirenussae 1.2
1 - 2 Introduction 69

1 Beginning If I, too, undertake to write upon a subject that has been treated by many others before me, I should not be blamed therefor, unless I prove to have discussed the subject in every respect as have my predecessors. Although various predecessors have done excellent work in various fields of geography, yet I assume that a large portion of the work still remains to be done; and if I shall be able to make even small additions to what they have said, that must be regarded as a sufficient excuse for my undertaking. Indeed, the spread of the empires of the Romans and of the Parthians has presented to geographers of to‑day a considerable addition to our empirical knowledge of geography, just as did the campaign of Alexander to geographers of earlier times, as Eratosthenes points out. For Alexander opened up for us geographers a great part of Asia and all the northern part of Europe as far as the Ister River; the Romans have made known all the western part of Europe as far as the River Albis (which divides Germany into two parts), and that regions beyond the Ister as far as the Tyras River; and Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, and his generals have made known the regions beyond the Tyras as far as Lake Maeotis and the line of coast that ends at Colchis; and, again, the Parthians have increased our knowledge in regard to Hyrcania and Bactriana, and in regard to the Scythians who live north of Hyrcania and Bactriana, all of which countries were but imperfectly known to the earlier geographers. I therefore may have something more to say than my predecessors. This will become particularly apparent in what I shall have to say in criticism of my predecessors, but my criticism has less to do with the earliest geographers than with the successors of Eratosthenes and Eratosthenes himself. For it stands to reason that because Eratosthenes and his successors have had wider knowledge than most geographers, it will be correspondingly more difficult for a later geographer to expose their errors if they say anything amiss. And if I shall, on occasion, be compelled to contradict the very men whom in all other respects I follow most closely, I beg to be pardoned; for it is not my purpose to contradict every individual geographer, but rather to leave the most of them out of consideration — men whose arguments it is unseemly even to follow — and to pass upon the opinion of those men whom we recognize to have been correct in most cases. Indeed, to engage in philosophical discussion with everybody is unseemly, but it is honourable to do so with Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, Poseidonius, Polybius, and others of their type.

2 First, I must consider Eratosthenes, at the same time setting forth the objections which Hipparchus urges against the statements of Eratosthenes. Now Eratosthenes is not so open to attack as to warrant my saying that he never saw even Athens, as Polemon undertakes to prove; nor, on the other hand, is he so trustworthy as some have been taught to believe that he is — notwithstanding the fact that he had been associated with many eminent men, as he himself tells us. "For," says he, "philosophers gathered together at this particular time, as never before within one wall or one city; I refer to those who flourished in the time of Ariston and Arcesilaus." But I do not think that sufficient; what we need is a clear-cut judgment as to what teachers we should choose to follow. But he places Arcesilaus and Ariston at the head of the scholars who flourished in his day and generation; and Apelles is much in evidence with him, and so is Bion, of whom he says: "Bion was the first to drape philosophy in embroidered finery"; and yet he states that people frequently applied to Bion the words: "Such a thigh as Bion shews from out his rags."43 Indeed, in these very statements Eratosthenes reveals a serious infirmity in his own judgment; and because of this infirmity, although he himself studied in Athens under Zeno of Citium, he makes p55no mention of any of Zeno's successors, but speaks of those men who dissented from the teachings of Zeno and who failed to establish a school that lived after them as "flourishing" at that particular time. His treatise entitled On the Good, also, and his Studies in Declamation, and whatever else he wrote of this nature, go to show his tendency, namely, that of the man who is constantly vacillating between his desire to be a philosopher and his reluctance to devote himself entirely to this profession, and who therefore succeeds in advancing only far enough to have the appearance of being a philosopher; or of the man who has provided himself with this as a diversion from his regular work, either for his pastime or even amusement; and in a sense Eratosthenes displays this tendency in his other writings, too. But let this pass; for my present purpose I must correct Eratosthenes' geography as far as possible; and first, on the point which I deferred a while ago.

3 As I was saying, Eratosthenes contends that the aim of every poet is to entertain, not to instruct. The ancients assert, on the contrary, that poetry is a kind of elementary philosophy, which, taking us in our very boyhood, introduces us to the art of life and instructs us, with pleasure to ourselves, in character, emotions, and actions. And our School goes still further and contends that the wise man alone is a poet. That is the reason why in Greece the various states educate the young, at the very beginning of their education, by means of poetry; not for the mere sake of entertainment, of course, but for the sake of moral discipline. Why, even the musicians, when they give instruction in singing, in lyre-playing, origin flute-playing, lay claim to this virtue, for they maintain that these studies tend to discipline and correct the character. You may hear this contention made not merely by the Pythagoreans, but Aristoxenus also declares the same thing. And Homer, too, has spoken of the bards as disciplinarians in morality, as when he says of the guard of Clytaemnestra: "Whom the son of Atreus as he went to Troy strictly charged to keep watch over his wife"; and he adds that Aegisthus was unable to prevail over Clytaemnestra until "he carried the bard to a lonely isle and left him there — while as for her, he led her to his house, a willing lady with a willing lover." But, even apart from this, Eratosthenes contradicts himself; for shortly before the pronouncement above-mentioned, and at the very beginning of his treatise on geography, he says that from the earliest times all the poets have been eager to display their knowledge of geography; that Homer, for instance, made a place in his poems for everything that he had learned about the Ethiopians and the inhabitants of Egypt and Libya, and that he has gone into superfluous detail in regard to Greece and the neighbouring countries, speaking of Thisbe as the "haunt of doves," Haliartus as "grassy," Anthedon as "on the uttermost borders," Lilaea as "by the springs of Cephisus"; and he adds that Homer never lets fall an inappropriate epithet. Well then, I ask, is the poet who makes use of these epithets like a person engaged in entertaining, or in instructing? "The latter, of course," you reply; "but while these epithets have been used by him for purposes of instruction, everything beyond the range of observation has been filled, not only by Homer but by others also, with mythical marvels." Eratosthenes, then, should have said that "every poet writes partly for purposes of mere entertainment and partly for instruction"; but his words were "mere entertainment and not instruction." And Eratosthenes gives himself quite unnecessary pains when he asks how it contributes to the excellence of the poet for him to be an expert in geography, or in generalship, or in agriculture, or in rhetoric, or in any kind of special knowledge with which some people have wished to "invest" him. Now the desire to "invest" Homer with all knowledge might be regarded as characteristic of a man whose zeal exceeds the proper limit, just as would be the case if a man — to use a comparison of Hipparchus — should hang apples and pears, or anything else that it cannot bear, on an Attic "eiresione"; so absurd it would be to "invest" Homer with all knowledge and with every art. You may be right, Eratosthenes, on that point, but you are wrong when you deny to Homer the possession of vast learning, and go on to declare that poetry is a fable-prating old wife, who has been permitted to "invent" (as you call it) whatever she deems suitable for purposes of entertainment. What, then? Is no contribution made, either, to the excellence of him who hears the poets recited? I again refer to the poet's being an expert in geography, or generalship, or agriculture, or rhetoric, the subjects in which the poet naturally "invests" the hearer with special knowledge.

Assuredly Homer has attributed all knowledge of this kind, at least, to Odysseus, whom he adorns beyond his fellows with every kind of excellence; for his Odysseus "of many men the towns did see and minds did learn," and he is the man who "is skilled in all the ways of wile and cunning device." Odysseus is continually spoken of as "the sacker of cities" and as the capturer of Troy "by means of his counsels and his persuasiveness and his deceitful arts"; and Diomedes says of him: "But while he cometh with me, even out of burning fire might we both return." More than that, Odysseus prides himself on being a farmer. For instance, with round to reaping he says: "In the deep grass might the match be, and might I have a crooked scythe, and thou another like it"; and with regard to ploughing: "Then shouldst thou see me, whether or no I would cut a clean furrow unbroken before me." And not only does Homer thus possess wisdom about these matters, but all enlightened men cite the poet as a witness whose words are true, to prove that practical experience of this kind contributes in the highest degree to wisdom.

5 Rhetoric is, to be sure, wisdom applied to discourse; and Odysseus displays this gift throughout the entire Iliad, in the Trial, in the Prayers, and in the Embassy, where Homer says: "But when p63he uttered his great voice from his chest, and words like unto the snowflakes of winter, then could no mortal man contend with Odysseus." Who, then, can assume that the poet who is capable of introducing other men in the rôle of orators, or of generals, or in other rôles that exhibit the accomplishments of excellence, is himself but one of the buffoons or jugglers, capable only of bewitching and flattering his hearer but not of helping him? Nor can we assume that any excellence of a poet whatever is superior to that which enables him to imitate life through the means of speech. How, then, can a man imitate life if he has no experience of life and is a dolt? Of course we do not speak of the excellence of a poet in the same sense as we speak of that of a carpenter or a blacksmith; for their excellence depends upon no inherent nobility and dignity, whereas the excellence of a poet is inseparably associated with the excellence of the man himself, and it is impossible for one to become a good poet unless he has previously become a good man.

6 So, then, to deny the art of rhetoric to Homer is to disregard my position entirely. For what is so much a part of rhetoric as style? And what is so much a part of poetry? And who has surpassed Homer in style? "Assuredly," you answer, "but the style of poetry is different from that of rhetoric." In species, yes; just as in poetry itself the style of tragedy differs from that of comedy, and in prose the style of history differs from that of forensic speech. Well then, would you assert that discourse is not a generic term, either, whose species are metrical discourse and prose discourse? Or, rather, is discourse, in its broadest sense, generic, while rhetorical discourse is not generic, and style andº excellence of discourse are not? — But prose and discourse — I mean artistic prose — is, I may say, an imitation of poetic discourse; for poetry, as an art, first came upon the scene and was first to win approval. Then came Cadmus, Pherecydes, Hecataeus, and their followers, with prose writings in which they imitated the poetic art, abandoning the use of metre but in other respects passing the qualities of poetry. Then subsequent writers took away, each in his turn, something of these qualities, and brought prose down to its present form, as from a sublime height. In the same way one might say that comedy took its structure from tragedy, but that it also has been degraded — from the sublime height of tragedy to its present "prose-like" style, as it is called. And further, the fact that the ancients used the verb "sing" instead of the verb "tell" bears witness to this very thing, namely, that poetry was the source and origin of style, I mean ornate, or rhetorical, style. For when poetry was recited, it employed the assistance of song; this combination formed melodic discourse, or "ode"; and from "ode" they began to use the terms rhapsody, tragedy, and comedy. Therefore, since "tell" was first used in reference to poetic "style" and since among the ancients this poetic style was accompanied by song, the term "sing" was to them equivalent to the term "tell"; and then after they had misused the former of these two terms by applying it to prose p67discourse, the misuse passed over to the latter term also. And, furthermore, the very fact that non-metrical discourse was termed "pedestrian" indicates its descent from a height, or from a chariot, to the ground.

7 Nor, indeed, is the statement of Eratosthenes true that Homer speaks only of places that are near by and in Greece; on the contrary, he speaks also of many places that are distant; and when Homer indulges in myths he is at least more accurate than the later writers, since he does not deal wholly in marvels, but for our instruction he also uses allegory, or revises myths, or curries popular favour, and particularly in his story of the wanderings of Odysseus; and Eratosthenes makes many mistakes when he speaks of these wanderings and declares that not only the commentators on Homer but also Homer himself are dealers in nonsense. But it is worth my while to examine these points more in detail.

8 In the first place, I remark that the poets were not alone in sanctioning myths, for long before the poets the states and the lawgivers had sanctioned them as a useful expedient, since they had an insight into the natural affections of the reasoning animal; for man is eager to learn, and his fondness for tales is a prelude to this quality. It is fondness for tales, then, that induces children to give their attention to narratives and more and more to take part in them. The reason for this is that myth is a new language to them — a language that tells them, not of things as they are, but of a different set of things. And what is new is pleasing, and so is what one did not know before; and it is just this that makes men eager to p69learn. But if you add thereto the marvellous and the portentous, you thereby increase the pleasure, and pleasure acts as a charm to incite to learning. At the beginning we must needs make use of such bait for children, but as the child advances in years we must guide him to the knowledge of facts, when once his intelligence has become strong and no longer needs to be coaxed. Now every illiterate and uneducated man is, in a sense, a child, and, like a child, he is fond of stories; and for that matter, so is the half-educated man, for his reasoning faculty has not been fully developed, and, besides, the mental habits of his childhood persist in him. Now since the portentous is not only pleasing, but fear-inspiring as well, we can employ both kinds of myth for children, and for grown-up people too. In the case of children we employ the pleasing myths to spur them on, and the fear-inspiring myths to deter them; for instance, Lamia is a myth, and so are the Gorgon, and Ephialtes, and Mormolyce. Most of those who live in the cities are incited to emulation by the myths that are pleasing, when they hear the poets narrate mythical deeds of heroism, such as the Labours of Heracles of Theseus, or hear of honours bestowed by gods, or, indeed, when they see paintings or primitive images or works of sculpture which suggest any similar happy issue of fortune in mythology; but they are deterred from evil courses when, either through descriptions or through typical representations of objects unseen, they learn of divine punishments, terrors, and threats — or even when they merely believe that men have met with such experiences. For in dealing with a crowd of women, at least, or with any promiscuous mob, a philosopher cannot influence them by reason or exhort them to reverence, piety and faith; nay, there is need of religious fear also, and this cannot be aroused without myths and marvels. For thunderbolt, aegis, trident, torches, snakes, thyrsus-lances, — arms of the gods — are myths, and so is the entire ancient theology. But the founders of states gave their sanction to these things as bugbears wherewith to scare the simple-minded. Now since this is the nature of mythology, and since it has come to have its place in the social and civil scheme of life as well as in the history of actual facts, the ancients clung to their system of education for children and applied it up to the age of maturity; and by means of poetry they believed that they could satisfactorily discipline every period of life. But now, after a long time, the writing of history and the present-day philosophy have come to the front. Philosophy, however, is for the few, whereas poetry is more useful to the people at large and can draw full houses — and this is exceptionally true of the poetry of Homer. And the early historians and physicists were also writers of myths.

9 Now inasmuch as Homer referred his myths to the province of education, he was wont to pay considerable attention to the truth. "And he mingled therein" a false element also, giving his sanction to the truth, but using the false to win the favour of the populace and to out-general the masses. "And as when some skilful man overlays gold upon silver," just so was Homer wont to add a mythical element to actual occurrences, thus giving flavour and adornment to his style; but he has the same end in view as the historian or the person who narrates facts. So, for instance, he took the Trojan war, an historical fact, and decked it out with his myths; and he did the same in the case of the wanderings of Odysseus; but to hang an empty story of marvels on something wholly untrue is not Homer's way of doing things. For it occurs to us at once, doubtless, that a man will lie more plausibly if he will mix in some actual truth, just as Polybius says, when he is discussing the wanderings of Odysseus. This is what Homer himself means when he says of Odysseus: "So he told many lies in the likeness of truth;" for Homer does not say "all" but "many" lies; since otherwise they would not have been "in the likeness of truth." Accordingly, he took the foundations of his stories from history. For instance, history says that Aeolus was once king over the islands about Lipara, and that the Cyclopes and the Laestrygonians, inhospitable peoples, were lords over the region about Aetna and Leontine; and that for this reason the region about the Strait might not be visited by men of that time, and that Charybdis and the Rock of Scylla were infested by brigands. And from history we learn that the rest of the peoples mentioned by Homer lived in other parts of the world. And, too, it was on the basis of Homer's actual knowledge that the Cimmerians lived p75about the Cimmerian Bosporus, a gloomy country in the north, that he transferred them, quite appropriately, to a certain gloomy region in the neighbourhood of Hades — a region that suited the purpose of his mythology in telling of the wanderings of Odysseus. The writers of chronicles make it plain that Homer knew the Cimmerians, in that they fix the date of the invasion of the Cimmerians either a short time before Homer, or else in Homer's own time.

10 And likewise it was on the basis of Homer's actual knowledge of the Colchians, of Jason's expedition to Aea, and of the stories of fact and fiction told about Circe and Medea regarding their use of magic potions and their general similarity of character, that he invented a blood-relationship between the two, although they lived so very far apart, the one in the remote recess of the Pontus, and the other in Italy, and also invented a residence for both of them out by Oceanus, though it may be that Jason wandered as far as Italy; for there are some indications that point to the wanderings of the Argonauts in the region of the Ceraunian Mountains, about the Adriatic Sea, in the Gulf of Poseidonia, and in the islands that lie off Tyrrhenia. And the Cyaneae also, which some call the Symplegades, furnished the poet an additional matter of fact, in that they made the passage through the mouth of the strait at Byzantium very difficult; so that when we compare the Aeaea of Circe with the Aea of Medea, and Homer's Planctae with the Symplegades, Jason's voyage through the Planctae was clearly plausible also; and so was Odysseus' passage between the Rocks, when we think of Scylla and Charybdis. Again, the men of Homer's day, in general, regarded the Pontic Sea as a kind of second Oceanus, and they thought that those who voyaged thither got beyond the limits of the inhabited world just as much as those who voyaged far beyond the pillars of Heracles; the Pontic Sea was thought to be the largest of the seas in our part of the world, and for that reason they applied to this particular sea the term "The Pontus," just as they spoke of Homer as "The Poet." Perhaps it was for that very reason that Homer transferred to Oceanus things that were true of the Pontus, in the belief that such a change would prove acceptable because of the prevailing notions in regard to the Pontus. And I think that since the Solymi occupied the loftiest peaks of the Taurus Range, I mean the peaks about Lycia as far as Pisidia, and since their country presented to people who lived north of the Taurus Range, and particularly to those who lived about the Pontus, the most conspicuous altitudes on the south — for this reason, on the strength of a certain similarity of position, these people too were transferred to the position out by Oceanus; for in speaking of Odysseus sailing on his raft he says: "Now the lord, the shaker of the earth, on his way from the Ethiopians espied Odysseus from afar, from the mountains of the Solymi." Perhaps Homer also borrowed his idea of the one-eyed Cyclopes from the history of Scythia; for it is reported that the Arimaspians are a one-eyed people — a people whom Aristeas of Proconnesus has made known in his Arimaspian Epic.

11 Having made these preliminary remarks, I must ask what people mean when they affirm that Homer places the wanderings of Odysseus in the region of Sicily and Italy? It is possible to accept this view in two senses, one better and the other worse. The better is to assume that Homer was convinced that those regions were the scene of the wanderings of Odysseus, and that, taking his hypothesis as fact, he elaborated the story in poetic fashion. So much may be said with propriety about Homer; at any rate one may find traces of the wanderings of Odysseus, and of several others, not only in the region of Italy, but also as far as the extreme frontiers of Iberia. But the worse is to accept Homer's elaboration of the story as history also, because the poet is obviously indulging in marvels when he tells of Oceanus, Hades, cattle of Helius, entertainment by goddesses, metamorphoses, huge Cyclopes and huge Laestrygonians, Scylla's shape, distances traversed on the voyage, and many other things of a similar nature. But, on the one hand, it is not worth while to refute one who so obviously misinterprets the poet — any more than it would be if one should contend that the return of Odysseus to Ithaca, the massacre of the suitors, and the fight which took place out in the country between the Ithacans and Odysseus, all happened precisely as described by the poet; nor, on the other hand, is it right to quarrel with the man who interprets Homer in a proper fashion.

Eratosthenes, however, has taken issue with both these answers to my question, and in so doing he is wrong; he is wrong as regards the second answer, in that he attempts to misrepresent things that are obviously fictitious and that do not deserve protracted discussion; and he is wrong as regards the first, because he declares that all poets are dealers in absurdities and thinks their knowledge either of places or of arts does not conduce to virtue. Again, because Homer lays the scenes of his myths not only in non-fictitious places, such as Ilion, Mt. Ida, and Mt. Pelion, but also in fictitious places, such as those in which the Gorgons and Geryon dwell, Eratosthenes says that the places mentioned in the story of the wanderings of Odysseus, also, belong to the category of fiction, and that the persons who contend that they are not fictitious but have a foundation in fact, stand convicted of error by the very fact that they do not agree among themselves; at any rate, that some of them put the Sirens on Cape Pelorias, while others put them more than two thousand stadia distant on the Sirenussae, which is the name given to a three-peaked rock that separates the Gulf of Cumae from the Gulf of Poseidonia. But neither does this rock have three peaks, nor does it run up into a peak at all; instead it is a sort of elbow that juts out, long and narrow, from the territory of Surrentum to the Strait of Capreae, with the sanctuary of the Sirens on one side of the hilly headland, while on the other side, looking towards the Gulf of Poseidonia, lie three uninhabited rocky little islands, called the Sirens, and on the Strait of Capreae itself is situated the sanctuary of Athene, from which the elbow takes its name.

13 However, even if those who hand down to us our knowledge of the regions under consideration do not agree among themselves, we should not on that account set aside the entire body of that knowledge; indeed there are times when the account as a whole is all the more to be accepted for this reason. For example, suppose the question is raised whether the wanderings took place in the regions of Sicily and Italy, and whether the Siren Rocks are anywhere thereabouts: the man who places the Siren Rocks on Cape Pelorias is in disagreement with the man who places them on the Sirenussae, but neither disagrees with the man who says that the Siren Rocks are placed in the neighbourhood of Sicily and Italy; nay, they even add to the credibility of the third witness, because, though they do not name the self-same spot for the Rocks, yet, at all events, they have not gone beyond the regions of Italy and Sicily for them. Then, if some one adds that a monument of Parthenope, one of the Sirens, is shown in Neapolis, we have still further proof, although a third site has been introduced into the discussion. Furthermore, the fact that Neapolis also lies on this gulf (called by Eratosthenes the gulf of Cumae), which is formed by the Sirenussae, induces us to believe all the more firmly that the Sirens were in the neighbourhood of these places; for we do not demand of the poet that he should have inquired accurately into every detail, nor do we in our School demand scientific accuracy in his statements; yet, even so, we surely are not entitled to assume that Homer composed the story of the wanderings without any inquiry at all, either as to where or as to how they occurred.

14 But Eratosthenes conjectures that Hesiod learned by inquiry that the scene of the wanderings of Odysseus lay in the region of Sicily and Italy, and, adopting this belief, mentioned not only the places spoken of by Homer, but also Aetna, Ortygia (the little island next to Syracuse), and Tyrrhenia; and yet he contends that Homer knew nothing about these places and had no intention of placing the wanderings in any known regions. Now were Aetna and Tyrrhenia well-known places, but Scyllaeum, Charybdis, Circaeum, and the Sirenussae wholly unknown? Or was it the proper thing for Hesiod not to talk nonsense and to follow prevailing opinions, but the proper thing for Homer to "give utterance to every thought that comes to his inopportune tongue"? For apart from what I have said concerning the type of myth which it was proper for Homer to employ, most of the writers who discuss the same topics that Homer discusses, and also most of the various local traditions, can teach us that these matters are not fictions of poets nor yet of prose writers, but are traces of real persons and events.

15 Polybius also entertains correct views in regard to the wanderings of Odysseus, for he says that Aeolus, the man who taught navigators how to steer a course in the regions of the Strait of Messina, whose waters are subject to a constant ebb and flow and are difficult to navigate on account of the reverse currents, has been called lord of the winds and regarded as their king; and just as Danaüs, because he discovered the subterranean reservoirs of water in Argos, and Atreus, because he discovered that the sun revolves in a direction opposite to the movement of the heavens, were appointed kings; 24and just as the priests of the Egyptians, the Chaldaeans, and the Magi, because they excelled their fellows in knowledge of some kind or other, attained to leadership and honour among the peoples before our times; so, says Polybius, each one of the gods came to honour because he discovered something useful to man. Having said this much by way of preamble, Polybius insists that we shall not interpret Aeolus as a myth, nor yet the wanderings of Odysseus, as a whole; but that insignificant elements of myth have been added by the poet, just as had already been done in the case of the Trojan War, and that the scene of the whole story has been laid in the neighbourhood of Sicily by Homer as well as all the other writers who deal with local matters pertaining to Italy and Sicily. Neither does Polybius approve of this sort of declaration from Eratosthenes: "You will find the scene of the wanderings of Odysseus when you find the cobbler who sewed up the bag of the winds." And the description of Scylla by the poet, says Polybius, is in agreement with what takes place off the Scyllaean Rock and in the hunting of the "galeotae": "And there she fishes, swooping round the rock, for dolphins or for dog-fish, or whatso greater beast she may anywhere take." For when the tunny-fish, Polybius goes on to say, as they swim along in schools by the coast of Italy, meet with the current from the strait and are prevented from reaching Sicily, they fall a prey to the larger sea-animals, such as dolphins, dog-fish and cetaceans in general; and the "galeotae" (which are called both sword-fish and dog-fish) grow fat from the chase of the tunny-fish. Indeed, the same thing occurs here, and at the rise of the Nile and other rivers, as happens when there is a conflagration or a forest fire, namely, the assembled animals attempt to escape the fire or the flood and become prey of animals more powerful than themselves.

16 After making this statement Polybius goes on to describe the hunting of the "galeotae," which takes place off the Scyllaean Rock: one man on the look-out acts for all the fishermen, who lie in wait in many two-oared skiffs, two men in each skiff, one rowing and the other standing in the bow with his spear poised in hand. And when the man on the look-out signals the appearance of the "galeotes" (the creature swims along with a third of its body out of the water), and when the skiff draws near it, the man in the bow strikes the fish at close range, and then withdraws the spear-shaft, leaving the spear-head in the body of the fish; for the spear-head is barbed and loosely attached to the spear-shaft on purpose, and has a long line fastened to it. They pay out this line to the wounded fish until he becomes tired out by his struggles and his attempts at escape; then they tow him to the shore, or take him aboard the skiff — unless he be of enormous size. If the spear-shaft fall into the water, it is not lost; for it is made of both oak and pine wood, so that although the oaken end sinks because of its weight, the rest stays afloat and is easily recovered. It sometimes happens, says Polybius, that the man who rows the skiff is wounded through the bottom of the boat because of the great size of the sword of the "galeotae" and because the edge of the sword is sharp and biting like the wild boar's tusk. So, from such facts as these, Polybius concludes, one may conjecture that the wanderings of Odysseus took place in the neighbourhood of Sicily according to Homer, inasmuch as Homer attributed to Scylla that sort of fish-hunting which is most characteristic of Scyllaeum; and also from Homer's statements in regard to Charybdis, which correspond to the behaviour of the waters of the Strait. But the use of the word "thrice" instead of "twice" in the statement "for thrice a day she spouts it forth" is either an error of a copyist or an error of fact.

17 Furthermore, the facts about Meninx, continues Polybius, agree with what Homer says about the Lotus-Eaters. But if there be some discrepancy we must ascribe it to the changes wrought by time, or to ignorance, or to poetic license — which is compounded of history, rhetorical composition, and myth. Now the aim of history is truth, as when in the Catalogue of Ships the poet mentions the topographical peculiarities of each place, saying of one city that it is "rocky," of another that it is "on the uttermost border," of another that it is the "haunt of doves," and of still another that it is "by the sea"; the aim of most rhetorical composition is vividness, as when Homer introduces men fighting; the aim of myth is to please and to excite amazement. But to invent a story outright is neither plausible nor like Homer; for everybody agrees that the poetry of Homer is a philosophic production — contrary to the opinion of Eratosthenes, who bids us not to judge the poems with reference to their thought, nor yet to seek history in them. And Polybius says it is more plausible to interpret the poet's words, "Thence for nine days was I borne by baneful winds," as applying to a restricted area (for baneful winds do not maintain a straight course), than to place the incident out on Oceanus, as though the phrase had been "fair winds continually blowing." Now, if we reckon the distance from Cape Malea to the Pillars of Heracles at twenty-two thousand five hundred stadia, and if, says Polybius, we suppose that this distance was traversed at an even speed for those nine days, the distance covered each day would be two thousand five hundred stadia. But where do we find it recorded that anyone ever arrived at Alexandria from Lycia or Rhodes on the second day, though the distance is only four thousand stadia? And to those who ask the further question how it came about, if Odysseus touched Sicily three times, that he never once sailed through the Strait, Polybius replies that it was for the same reason that all later navigators have avoided that passage.

18 Such are the words of Polybius, and what he says is in the main correct. But when he demolishes the argument that places the wanderings of Odysseus on Oceanus, and when he reduces the nine days' voyage and the distances covered thereon to exact measurements, he reaches the height of inconsistency. For at one moment he quotes the words of the poet: "Thence for nine whole days was I borne by baneful winds"; and at another moment he suppresses statements. For Homer says also: "Now after the ship had left the river-stream of Oceanus"; and "In the island of Ogygia, where is the navel of the sea," going on to say that the daughter of Atlas lives there; and again, regarding the Phaeacians, "Far apart we live in the wash of the waves, the farthermost of men, and no other mortals are conversant with us." Now all these incidents are clearly indicated as being placed in fancy in the Atlantic Ocean; but Polybius by suppressing them destroys what the poet states in express terms. In so doing he is wrong; but he is right in placing the wanderings in the neighbourhood of Sicily and Italy; and the words of the poet are confirmed by the geographical terms of those regions. For what poet or prose writer ever persuaded the Neapolitans to name a monument after Parthenope the Siren, or the people of Cumae, of Dicaearchia, and of Vesuvius, to perpetuate the names of Pyriphlegethon, of the Acherusian Marsh, of the oracle of the dead at Lake Avernus, and of Baius and Misenus, two of the companions of Odysseus? The same question may be asked regarding Homer's stories of the Sirenussae, the Strait, Scylla, Charybdis, and Aeolus — stories which we should neither scrutinize rigorously, nor set aside as baseless and as without logical setting, having no claim to truthfulness or to utility as history.

19 Eratosthenes himself had a suspicion of this, for he says one may suppose that the poet wished to place the wanderings of Odysseus in the far west, but abandoned his purpose, partly because of his lack of accurate information, and partly because he had even preferred not to be accurate but rather to develop each incident in the direction of the more awe-inspiring and the more marvellous. Now Eratosthenes interprets rightly what Homer actually did, but wrongly his motive for doing it; for Homer's object was not to indulge in empty talk, but to do useful service. It is therefore right that Eratosthenes should submit to examination both on this point and on his assertion that far distant places are made the scenes of Homer's marvellous stories because of the fact that it is safer to fabricate about them. For his stories of marvels whose scenes are laid in distant places are very few in number in comparison with those laid in Greece or in countries near Greece; as such I may mention the stories about the labours of Heracles and Theseus, and the myths whose scenes are laid in Crete and Sicily and in the other islands, and on Cithaeron, Helicon, Parnassus, Pelion, and in various places in Attica or in the Peloponnesus. No one accuses the myth-makers of ignorance because of the myths they create; furthermore, since the poets, and Homer in particular, do not narrate pure myths simply but more often use mythical elements as additions to fact, the man who investigates what mythical additions the ancients make does not seek to discover whether the additions were once true or are true to‑day, but rather seeks to discover the truth in regard to the places to which, or the persons to whom, these mythical elements are added; for instance, in regard to the wanderings of Odysseus, whether they took place and, if so, where.

20 Generally speaking, it is wrong to place the poetry of Homer on the same level with that of other poets, and to decline to rank him above them in any respect, and particularly in the subject that now occupies our attention, namely, geography. For if you did no more than go over the Triptolemus of Sophocles or the prologue to the Bacchae of Euripides, and then compare Homer's care with respect to geographical matters, it would be easy for you to perceive this difference, which lies on the surface. Indeed, wherever there is need of an orderly sequence in the places he mentions, Homer is careful to preserve that order, not only in regard to places in Greece, but equally in regard to those beyond the limits of Greece: "They strove to pile Ossa on Olympus, and on Ossa Pelion with the trembling forest leaves"; "And Hera, rushing down, left the peak of Olympus, and touched on Pieria and pleasant Emathia, and sped over the snowy hills of the Thracian horsemen; and she went from Athos across the sea." In the Catalogue of Ships he does not, indeed, mention the cities in their order, for that was not necessary, but he does mention the peoples in their order. And so in case of the peoples remote from Greece: "I roamed over Cyprus and Phoenicia and Egypt, and reached the Ethiopians and Sidonians and Erembians and Libya"; Hipparchus also noted this fact. But Sophocles and Euripides, even where there is need of orderly sequence — the latter when he describes the visits of Dionysus to the various peoples, and the former when he tells Triptolemus visiting the earth that is being sown with seed — both poets, I say, bring near together regions that are very widely separated, and separate those that are contiguous: "I have left behind me," says Dionysus, "the gold-bearing glades of Lydia and of Phrygia, and I have visited the sun-stricken plains of Persia, the walled towns of Bactria, the wintry lands of the Medes, and Arabia the Blest." And Triptolemus does the same sort of thing. Again, in the case of the "climata"68 and of the winds, Homer displays the breadth of his geographical knowledge; for in marking the sites of places he often touches upon both these points too: "Now Ithaca lies low, uppermost on the sea-line towards the darkness, but those others face the dawning and the sun"; "Two gates there are, the one set toward the north wind, but the other toward the south"; "Whether they fare to the right, to the dawn and to the sun, or to the left, to darkness." In point of fact, Homer p103regards ignorance of these matters as tantamount to utter confusion in all particulars: "My friends, lo, we know not where is the place of darkness or of dawning, nor where the sun." In still another passage Homer is accurate when he speaks of "the north wind and the west wind that blow from Thrace" but Eratosthenes puts a false interpretation upon these words and falsely accuses the poet, as though he were making the universal statement that the west wind blows from Thrace; whereas Homer is not speaking in a universal sense, but refers to the time when these two winds meet in the Gulf of Melas upon the Thracian Sea, which is a part of the Aegean itself. For Thrace, running out into a promontory at the point where Thrace borders on Macedonia, takes a turn towards the west, and, thus projecting into the sea, gives the impression to the people in Thasos, Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace, and on the sea that lies round about those islands, that the west winds actually blow from Thrace; precisely as, for Attica, they seem to come from the Scironian Rocks; and it is from these that the west winds, and particularly the north-west winds, get their name "Scirones." But Eratosthenes did not perceive this, though he suspected it; at any rate he himself describes the turn of the coast which I have mentioned. In any case, he interprets Homer's verse as a universal statement, and then charges the poet with ignorance, on the ground that, while the west wind blows from the west and from Iberia, Thrace does not extend so far west. Now is Homer really unaware that the west wind blows from the west? But Homer keeps it in its own proper place when he says: "The east wind and the south wind clashed, and the stormy west and the north." Or is he unaware that Thrace does not extend westward beyond the mountains of Paeonia and Thessaly? But he knows and correctly names the Thracian country as well as the country contiguous to it, both the sea-coast and the interior; and while he lists Magnesians, Malians, and the Hellenes next after them as far as the Thesprotians, and likewise the Dolopians and Sellans about Dodona, next neighbours to the Paeonians, as far as Acheloüs, yet he mentions no Thracians further west. And besides, Homer has a special fondness for the sea that lies nearest his home and is best-known to him, as is shown when he says: "And the assembly swayed like high waves of the Icarian deep."

21 There are some writers who say that there are only two principal winds, Boreas and Notus; and that the rest of the winds differ from these only by a slight variation of direction — Eurus blowing from the direction of summer sunrise, Apeliotes from the direction of winter sunrise, Zephyrus from the direction of summer sunset, Argestes from the direction of winter sunset. And to prove that there are only two winds they adduce the testimony of Thrasyalces and of Homer himself, on the ground that Homer assigns Argestes to Notus in the phrase "of Argestes Notus," and Zephyrus to p107Boreas in the verse: "Boreas and Zephyrus that blow from Thrace." But Poseidonius says that none of the recognised authorities on these matters, such as Aristotle, Timosthenes, and Bion the astrologer, have taught any such doctrine about the winds; rather do they maintain that Caecias is the name of the wind that blows from the direction of summer sunrise, while Lips is the name of the wind that blows diametrically opposite to Caecias from the direction of winter sunset; and again, that Eurus is the name of the wind that blows from the direction of winter sunrise, while Argestes is its opposite; and that the winds that lie between these are Apeliotes and Zephyrus. He says further that when Homer speaks of "the boisterous Zephyrus" he means what we call Argestes; that Homer's "clear-blowing Zephyrus" is what we call Zephyrus, and that Homer's "Argestes Notus" is our Leuconotus; for Leuconotus causes very few clouds, while Notus proper is somewhat cloudy: "Even as when Zephyrus divideth the clouds of Argestes Notus, smiting with deep storm." Homer here means "the boisterous Zephyrus," which usually scatters the thin clouds assembled by Leuconotus; for in this passage "Argestes" is applied to "Notus" as an epithet. Such, then, are the corrections that must be made to the remarks of Eratosthenes at the beginning of the first chapter of his Geography.

22 But, persisting in his false assumptions, Eratosthenes says that Homer does not even know that there are several mouths of the Nile, nor yet does he know the real name of the river, though Hesiod knows, for he mentions it. Now, as to the name, it is likely that in Homer's time it was not yet in use; but as to the mouths, if the fact that there were several, and not one only, was unnoticed or known to only a few, one might grant that Homer had not heard of it. But if the river was then, as it still is, the best-known and most marvellous thing in Egypt and decidedly the most worthy of mention and of historical record — and the same applies to its inundations and its mouths — who could ever assume either that those who brought to Homer the story of the River "Aegyptus" and the country "Aegyptus," 30and Egyptian Thebes, and Pharos, did not know about these mouths, or that if they knew, did not tell about them — except for the reason that they were already well known? But it is more incredible still that he mentioned Ethiopia, Sidonians, Erembians, the sea beyond, and the fact that the Ethiopians are "sundered in twain," and yet did not know about what was near at hand and well known. The fact that he did not mention them is no sign that he did not know about them — he does not mention his own native country, either, nor many other things — but rather would one say that Homer thought the best-known facts were not worth mentioning to those who already knew them.

23 Equally unjust is the reproach they cast upon Homer in the matter of the island of Pharos, because he says that it is "in the open sea" — as though he said this in ignorance. On the contrary, one might use that statement as bearing witness to the fact that not one of the things which we have just been talking about regarding Egypt was unknown to the poet. You might convince yourself of it in the following way: Everybody who tells the story of his own travels is a braggart; to this class belonged Menelaus, who had ascended the Nile as far as Ethiopia, and had heard about the inundations of the Nile and the quantity of alluvial soil which the river deposits upon the country, and about the large extent of territory off its mouths which the river had already added to the continent by silting — so that Herodotus was quite right in saying that the whole of Egypt is "a gift of the River Nile"; and even if this is not true of the whole of Egypt, it certainly is true of the part embraced by the Delta, which is called Lower Egypt; and Menelaus was told that the island of Pharos had been "in the open sea" in ancient times; so he falsely added that it was still "in the open sea," although it was no longer "in the open sea." However, it was the poet who elaborated this story, and therefore from it we may conjecture that Homer knew about the inundations of the Nile and about its mouths as well.

(30) The same mistake is made by those who say that Homer is not acquainted with the isthmus that lies between the Egyptian Sea and the Arabian Gulf, and that he is in error when he speaks of "the Ethiopians that are sundered in twain, the farthermost of men." Men of later times are wrong when they censure Homer for saying that, for it is correct. Indeed, the reproach that Homer is ignorant of this isthmus is so far from being true, that I affirm not only that he knows about it, but that he describes it in express terms, and that the grammarians beginning with Aristarchus and Crates, the leading lights in the science of criticism, even though Homer speaks of it, do not perceive that he does. The poet says: "the Ethiopians that are sundered in twain, the farthermost of men." About the next verse there is a difference of opinion, Aristarchus writing: "Abiding some where Hyperion sets, and some where he rises"; but Crates: "abiding both where Hyperion sets and where he rises." Yet so far as the question at issue is concerned, it makes no difference whether you write the verse one way or the other. For Crates, following the mere form of mathematical demonstration, says that the torrid zone is "occupied" by Oceanus and that on both sides of this zone are the temperate zones, the one being on our side, while the other is on the other side of it. Now, just as these Ethiopians on our side of Oceanus, who face the south throughout the whole length of the inhabited land, are called the most remote of the one group of peoples, since they dwell on the shores of Oceanus, so too, Crates thinks, we must conceive that on the other side of Oceanus also there are certain Ethiopians, the most remote of the other group of peoples in the temperate zone, since they dwell on the shores of this same Oceanus; and that they are in two groups and are "sundered in twain" by Oceanus. Homer adds the words, "abiding both where Hyperion sets and where he rises," because, inasmuch as the celestial zodiac always lies in the zenith above its corresponding terrestrial zodiac and inasmuch as the latter does not by reason of its obliquity extend outside the territory of the two Ethiopias, we must conceive that the entire revolution of the sun takes place within the width of this celestial zone, and that his risings and his settings take place herein, appearing differently to different peoples, and now in this sign and now in that. Such, then, is the explanation of Crates, who conceives of the matter rather as an astronomer; but he might have put it more simply — still saving his point that this was the sense in which the Ethiopians are "sundered in twain," as Homer has stated — namely, by declaring that the Ethiopians stretch along both shores of Oceanus from the rising to the setting of the sun. What difference, I say, does it make with respect to this thought whether we read the verse as Crates writes it, or as Aristarchus does — "abiding some where Hyperion sets and some where he rises"? For this, too, means that Ethiopians live on both sides of Oceanus, both towards the west and towards the east. But Aristarchus rejects this hypothesis of Crates, and thinks that the people referred to as divided "in twain" are the Ethiopians in our part of the world, namely, those that to the Greeks are most remote on the south; but he thinks these are not so divided "in twain" that there are two Ethiopias, the one lying towards the east and the other towards the west, but that there is just one, the one that lies south of the Greeks and is situated along Egypt; and he thinks that the poet, ignorant of this fact, just as he was ignorant of those other matters which Apollodorus has mentioned in the second book of his work entitled "On the Catalogue of Ships," told what was not true about the regions in question.

25 To reply to Crates would require a long discourse, which would perhaps be irrelevant to my present purpose. As for Aristarchus, I approve of him in this, that he rejects the hypothesis of Crates, which is open to many objections, and inclines to the view that the words of Homer have reference to our Ethiopia. But let us examine Aristarchus on the other points; and, in the first place, take the fact that he too indulges in a petty and fruitless discussion of the text. For if the verse be written in either of the two ways, it can fit his thought on the subject. For what difference does it make whether we say: "On our side of Oceanus there are two groups of Ethiopians, some in the east and some in the west," or, "both in the east and in the west"? In the second place, take the fact that Aristarchus champions a false doctrine. Well, let us suppose that the poet is ignorant of the existence of the isthmus, but is referring to Ethiopia on the confines of Egypt when he speaks of "Ethiopians that are sundered in twain." What then? Are they not thus "sundered in twain"? And does the poet make that statement in ignorance? Is not Egypt also, are not the Egyptians also, from the Delta up to Syene, "sundered in twain" by the Nile, "some where Hyperion sets and some where he rises"? What is Egypt but a river valley, which the water floods? And this valley lies on both sides of the river, toward the east and toward the west. But Ethiopia lies directly beyond Egypt and it is analogous to Egypt in its relation both to the Nile and the other physical characteristics of the regions in question. For it, too, is narrow, long, and subject to inundations; and its parts that lie beyond the territory subject to inundations are desert, without water, and habitable only in spots, both on the east and on the west. Of course, then, Ethiopia also is "sundered in twain." Or, again, did the Nile seem important enough for those who were drawing a boundary-line between Asia and Libya to serve as that boundary-line (since in length it stretches toward the south for more than ten thousand stadia, and is of such width that it contains islands with many thousands of inhabitants, the largest of which is Meroë, the residence of the King and the metropolis of the Ethiopians) and yet was not important enough to "sunder" Ethiopia itself "in twain"? And furthermore, the critics of the men who make the River Nile the boundary-line between the continents bring this against them as their most serious charge, that they dismember Egypt and Ethiopia, and that they reckon one part of each country to Libya and one part to Asia; or that, if they do not wish such dismemberment, then either they do not divide the continents at all, or else do not make the river the boundary-line.

26 But Ethiopia may be divided in still another way, quite apart from this. For all those who have made coasting-voyages on the ocean along the shores of Libya, whether they started from the Red Sea or from the Pillars of Heracles, always turned back, after they had advanced a certain distance, because they were hindered by many perplexing circumstances, and consequently they left in the minds of most people the conviction that the intervening space was blocked by an isthmus; and yet the whole Atlantic Ocean is one unbroken body of water, and this is particularly true of the Southern Atlantic. All those voyagers have spoken of the last districts to which they came in their voyagings as Ethiopic territory and have so reported them. Wherein, then, lies the absurdity, if Homer, too, was misled by a report of this character and divided the Ethiopians into two groups, placing the one group in the east and the other in the west, since it was not known whether the intervening people really existed or not? Furthermore, Ephorus mentions still another ancient tradition, and it is not unreasonable to believe that Homer also had heard it. Ephorus says the Tartessians report that Ethiopians overran Libya as far as Dyris, and that some of them stayed in Dyris, while others occupied a great part of the sea-board; and he conjectures it was from this circumstance that Homer spoke as he did: "Ethiopians that are sundered in twain, the farthermost of men."

27 These arguments one might urge in reply to Aristarchus and his followers, and also others still more convincing, and thus set the poet free from the charge of gross ignorance. I maintain, for example, that in accordance with the opinion of the ancient Greeks — just as they embraced the inhabitants of the known countries of the north under the single designation "Scythians" ("or "Nomads," to use Homer's term) and just as later, when the inhabitants of the west also were discovered, they were called "Celts" and "Iberians," or by the compound words "Celtiberians" and "Celtiscythians," the several peoples being classed under one name through ignorance of the facts — I maintain, I say, that just so, in accordance with the opinion of the ancient Greeks, all the countries in the south which lie on Oceanus were called "Ethiopia." And there is the following testimony to this statement. Aeschylus, in his Prometheus Unbound, speaks thus: "The sacred flood of the Red Sea with its bed of scarlet sands, and the mere on the shore of Oceanus that dazzles with its gleam of brass and furnishes all nourishment to Ethiopians, where the Sun, who sees all things, gives rest to his tired steeds and refreshes his immortal body in warm outpourings of soft water." For since Oceanus renders this service and maintains this relation to the sun along the whole southern belt, Aeschylus obviously places the Ethiopians also along this whole belt. And Euripides, in his Phaëthon, says that Clymene was given "to Merops, the king of this country which is the first country that the Sun, as he rises in his chariot and four, strikes with his golden flame. And the swarthy men who dwell upon the confines of that country call it the bright stables of Dawn and Sun." In this passage Euripides assigns the stables jointly to Dawn and Sun, but in what immediately follows he says that these stables are near to the dwelling of Merops, and indeed this is woven into the whole structure of the play, not, I am sure, because it is a peculiarity of the Ethiopia which lies next to Egypt, but rather because it is a peculiarity of the sea-board that stretches along the entire southern belt.

28 Ephorus, too, discloses the ancient belief in regard to Ethiopia, for in his treatise On Europe he says that if we divide the regions of the heavens and of the earth into four parts, the Indians will occupy that part from which Apeliotes blows, the Ethiopians the part from which Notus blows, the Celts the part on the west, and the Scythians the part from which the north wind blows.81 And he adds that Ethiopia and Scythia are the larger regions; for it is thought, he says, that the nation of the Ethiopians stretches from the winter sunrise to sunset, and that Scythia lies directly opposite in the north. That Homer is in agreement with this view is also clear from his assertion that Ithaca lies "toward the darkness" — that is, of course, toward the north — "but those others face the dawning and the sun"; by which he means the whole country on the southern side. And again this is clear when he says: "Whether they fare to the right, to the dawn and to the sun, or to the left, to mist and darkness"; and from this passage too: "My friends, lo, now we know not where is the place of darkness or of dawning, nor where the sun that gives light to men goes beneath the earth, nor where he rises." But about all these passages I shall speak more fully in my account of Ithaca. And so, when Homer says, "For Zeus went yesterday to Oceanus, unto the noble Ethiopians," we must understand both words in a more general sense, "Oceanus" meaning the body of water that extends along the entire southern belt, and the "Ethiopians" meaning the people along this same extent; for upon whatever point of this belt you fix your attention, you will be both on Oceanus and in Ethiopia. And this is the meaning also of the words: "On his way from the Ethiopians he espied Odysseus from afar, from the mountains of the Solymi" — which is equivalent to saying "from the regions of the south"; for he does not mean the Solymi in Pisidia, but, as I said before, he invents a people of the same name whom he depicts as occupying the same position relatively to the sailor on his raft and the people to the south of him (who would be the Ethiopians) as the Pisidians occupy relatively to the Pontus and to the Ethiopians that lie beyond Egypt. And in like manner Homer puts his assertion about the cranes in general terms: "When they flee from the coming of winter and sudden rain, and fly with clamour toward the streams of Oceanus, bearing slaughter and doom to the Pygmy men." For it is not the case that the crane is seen migrating toward the south only in Greek lands, and never in Italy or Iberia, or in the regions of the Caspian Sea and Bactriana. Since, then, Oceanus stretches along the entire southern sea-board, and since the cranes migrate in winter to this entire sea-board, we must admit that the Pygmies also are placed by mythology along the entire extent of that sea-board. And if men of later generations restricted the story about the Pygmies to the Ethiopians next to Egypt alone, that would have no bearing on the facts in ancient times. For nowadays we do not use the terms "Achaeans" and "Argives" of all who took part in the expedition against Troy, though Homer so uses them. Now what I contend in the case of the Ethiopians that are "sundered in twain" is similar to this, namely, that we must interpret "Ethiopians" as meaning that the Ethiopians extend along the whole sea-board of Oceanus from the rising to the setting sun. For the Ethiopians that are spoken of in this sense are "sundered in twain" naturally by the Arabian Gulf (and this would constitute a considerable part of a meridian circle) as by a river, being in length almost fifteen thousand stadia, and in width not much more than one thousand stadia, I mean at its greatest width; and to the length we must add the distance by which the head of this gulf is separated from the sea at Pelusium, a journey of three or four days — the space occupied by the isthmus. Now, just as the abler of the geographers who separate Asia from Libya regard this gulf as a more natural boundary-line between the two continents than the Nile (for he says the gulf lacks but very little of stretching from sea to sea, whereas the Nile is separated from Oceanus by many times that distance, so that it does not separate Asia as a whole from Libya), in the same way I also assume that the poet considered that the southern regions as a whole throughout the inhabited world were "sundered in twain" by this gulf. How, then, can the poet have been ignorant of the isthmus which the gulf forms with the Egyptian Sea?

And indeed it is in the highest degree unreasonable that the poet had accurate knowledge about Thebes in Egypt, which is distant from the Mediterranean Sea but a trifle less than four thousand stadia, and yet had no knowledge about the head of the Arabian Gulf, or about the adjoining isthmus, whose width is not more than one thousand stadia; but it would seem to be much more unreasonable that he knew the Nile bore the same name as the vast country Aegyptus and yet did not see the reason therefor; for the thought which has been expressed by Herodotus would occur to one at once, namely, that the country was "a gift of the river" and laid claim for this reason to the same name as the river. Moreover, those peculiarities of each several country which are in some way marvellous are most widely known, and manifest to everybody; such is the case with the rising of the Nile as also the silting up of the sea. And just as those who visit Egypt learn no fact concerning the country before they learn the nature of the Nile, because the natives cannot tell foreigners anything more novel or more remarkable about their country than these particulars (for the nature of the entire country becomes quite clear to one who has learned about the river), so also those who hear about the country at a distance learn this fact before anything else. To all this we must add the poet's fondness for knowledge and for travel, to which all who have written on his life bear witness; and one may find many illustrations of such a predilection in the poems themselves. And so it is proved, on many grounds, that Homer both knows and expressly says what is to be said, and that he keeps silent about what is too obvious to mention, or else alludes to it by an epithet.

30 But I must express my amazement at the Egyptians and Syrians, against whom I am directing this argument, that they do not understand Homer even when he tells them about matters in their own countries, and yet actually accuse him of ignorance — a charge to which my argument shows that they themselves are subject. In general, silence is no sign of ignorance; for neither does Homer mention the refluent currents of the Euripus, nor Thermopylae, nor yet other things in Greece that are well-known, though assuredly he was not ignorant of them. However, Homer also speaks of things well-known, though those who are wilfully deaf do not think so; and therefore the fault of ignorance is theirs. Now the poet calls the rivers "heaven-fed" — not merely the winter torrents, but all rivers alike — because they are all replenished by the rains. But the general epithet becomes particular when applied to things in relation to their pre-eminence. For one would interpret "heaven-fed" in one way of the winter torrent and in quite another way of the ever-flowing stream; and in the latter case the pre-eminence is, one may say, twofold. And just as there are cases of hyperbole on hyperbole — for example, "lighter than the shadow of a cork," "more timid than a Phrygian hare," "to own a farm smaller than a Laconian letter" — just so there is a parallel case of pre-eminence on pre-eminence when the Nile is spoken of as being "heaven-fed." For while the winter torrent surpasses the other rivers in respect of being "heaven-fed," the Nile, when at its flood, surpasses even the winter torrents to just that extent, not only in the amount of its flood but also in the duration thereof. And so, since the behaviour of the river was known to the poet, as I have urged in my argument, and since he has applied this epithet to it, we cannot interpret it in any other way than that which I have pointed out. But the fact that the Nile empties its waters through several mouths is a peculiarity it shares with several other rivers, and therefore Homer did not think it worthy of mention, particularly in addressing people who knew the fact; just as Alcaeus does not mention those mouths, either, although he affirms that he too visited Egypt. But the matter of the silting may be inferred not only from the risings of the river but also from what Homer says about Pharos. For the man who told Homer about Pharos — or rather, I should say, the common report that it was so and so far from the mainland — this report, I say, would not have got abroad falsified to such an extent as the distance which Homer gives, namely, a day's run for a ship; but as for the rising and silting, it is reasonable to suppose that the poet learned as a matter of common knowledge that they were such and such; and concluding from these facts that at the time of the visit of Menelaus the island was more distant from the mainland than it was in his own times, he added a distance many times as great on his own responsibility for the sake of the fabulous element. Moreover, the fabulous creations are not, I take it, a sign of ignorance — not even those stories about Proteus and the Pygmies, nor the potent effects of magic potions, nor any other such inventions of the poets; for these stories are told, not in ignorance of geography, but in order to give pleasure and enjoyment. How does it come, then, that Homer says that Pharos has water, when it is without water: "And therein is a good haven, whence men launch the well-proportioned ships into the deep when they have drawn a store of black water"? Now, in the first place, it is not impossible that the source of the water has dried up; and, in the second place, Homer does not say that the water came from the island, but merely that the launching of the ships took place thence — on account of the excellence of the harbour; but the water itself may have been drawn from the opposite mainland, since, in a way, the poet by implication confesses that, when he applied the term "in the open sea" to Pharos, he did not use it in a literal sense, but as an hyperbolical or mythical statement.

31 Now, since it is thought that Homer's account of the wanderings of Menelaus, also, argues for ignorance of those countries on his part, it is perhaps better to make a preliminary statement of the questions called forth by those poems, and then at once to separate these questions and thus speak more clearly in defence of the poet. Menelaus says, then, to Telemachus, who has marvelled at the decorations of the palace: "Yea, after many a woe and wanderings manifold, I brought my wealth home in ships, and in the eighth year came hither. I roamed over Cyprus and Phoenicia and Egypt, and came to Ethiopians, Sidonians, Erembians, and to Libya." Now they ask to what Ethiopians he came in thus sailing from Egypt (for no Ethiopians live in the Mediterranean Sea, nor was it possible for ships to pass the cataracts of the Nile); and who the Sidonians are (for they are certainly not those that live in Phoenicia, since he would not have put the genus first and then brought in the species); and who the Erembians are (for that is a new name). Now Aristonicus, the grammarian of our own generation, in his book On the Wanderings of Menelaus, has recorded opinions of many men on each one of the points set forth; but for me it will be sufficient to speak briefly on these questions. Of those who say that Menelaus "sailed" to Ethiopia, some propose a coasting-voyage by Gades as far as India, making his wanderings correspond exactly to the time which Homer gives: "In the eighth year I came back"; but others propose that he sailed across the isthmus that lies at the head of the Arabian Gulf, while still others propose that he sailed through one of the canals of the Nile. But, in the first place, Crates' theory of a coasting-voyage is unnecessary — not that such a voyage would be impossible (for the wanderings of Odysseus would have been impossible), but because it serves no purpose either as regards Crates' mathematical hypotheses or as regards the time consumed in the wanderings. For Menelaus was detained against his will because of the difficulties of sailing (he himself says that out of sixty ships only five were left to him), he also made intentional stops for the sake of trafficking. For Nestor says: "Thus Menelaus, gathering much substance and gold, was wandering there with his ships"; to which Menelaus adds: "having roamed over Cyprus and Phoenicia and Egypt." Again, the voyage through the isthmus or one of the canals would, if Homer mentioned such a city, be interpreted as a kind of fiction; but since he does not mention such a voyage it would be gratuitous and absurd for one to propose it. It would be absurd, I repeat, since before the Trojan War there was no canal; and the person who undertook to build one — I mean Sesostris92 — is said to have abandoned the undertaking because he supposed the level of the Mediterranean Sea was too high. Furthermore, the isthmus was not navigable either, and Eratosthenes' conjecture is wrong. For he thinks that the breaking of the channel at the Pillars of Heracles had not yet taken place and that in consequence the Mediterranean Sea, since it was of a higher level, joined the exterior sea at the isthmus and covered it, but after the breaking of the channel took place at the Pillars, the Mediterranean Sea was lowered and thus exposed the land about Casium and Pelusium, as far as the Red Sea. Now what historical information have we regarding this break at the Pillars to the effect that it did not yet exist before the Trojan War? But perhaps — you will say — the poet has represented Odysseus as sailing through the strait at the Pillars into the ocean (as though a channel were already in existence) at the same time that he conveys Menelaus by ship from Egypt into the Red Sea (as though a channel were not yet in existence)! Furthermore, Homer brings in Proteus as saying to Menelaus: "Nay, the deathless gods will convey thee to the Elysian Plain and to the end of the earth." What end of the earth, pray? Why, the citing of "Zephyrus" shows that he means by this remote region a place somewhere in the west: "But always Oceanus sendeth forth the breezes of the clear-blowing Zephyrus." Really, these matters are full of puzzling questions.

32 If, however, the poet had heard that this isthmus was once submerged, should we not have all the greater reason for believing that the Ethiopians, since they were separated by so great a strait, were really "sundered in twain"? And how could Menelaus have gotten treasures from the remote Ethiopians who lived along Oceanus? For at the moment when they marvelled at the ornaments themselves in the palace of Menelaus, Telemachus and his companions marvelled at the great quantity of them — "of gold and of amber and of silver and of ivory"; but with the exception of ivory, there is no great store of any of these things among those people, most of whom are the poorest of all peoples and are wandering shepherds. "Very true," you say; "but Arabia and the regions as far as India belonged to them; and though Arabia alone of all these countries has the name 'Blest,' India is supposed and reported to be in the highest degree 'blest,' even though people do not so call it by name." Now as to India, Homer did not know of it (for had he known of it, he would have mentioned it); but he did know the Arabia which is to‑day called "Blest." In his time, however, it was not rich, and not only was the country itself without resources but most of it was occupied by dwellers in tents. The part of Arabia that produces the spices is small; and it is from this small territory that the country got the name of "Blest," because such merchandise is rare in our part of the world and costly. To‑day, to be sure, the Arabs are well to do and even rich, because their trade is extensive and abundant, but it is not likely to have been so in Homer's time. So far as the mere spices are concerned, a merchant or camel-driver might attain to some sort of wealth by trafficking in them, whereas Menelaus needed booty or presents from kings or dynasts who had not only the means to give, but also the good-will to make him presents because of his distinction and fame. The Egyptians, however, and the neighbouring Ethiopians and Arabs, were not wholly destitute of the means of livelihood, as were the other Ethiopians, nor wholly ignorant of the fame of the sons of Atreus, particularly in view of the successful issue of the Trojan War, and hence Menelaus might hope for profit from them. Compare what Homer says of the breastplate of Agamemnon: "The breastplate that in time past Cinyrasa gave him for a guest-gift; for afar in Cyprus did Cinyras hear the mighty tale." Furthermore, we must assert that Menelaus' time in his wanderings was spent mostly in the regions about Phoenicia, Syria, Egypt, and Libya, and in the countries round Cyprus, and, generally speaking, along the Mediterranean sea-board and among the islands. For Menelaus might procure guest-gifts among these peoples and also enrich himself from them by violence and robbery, and more particularly from those who had been allies of the Trojans. But the barbarians that lived outside these regions or at a distance could prompt in him no such expectations. Now Homer says that Menelaus "came to" Ethiopia, not meaning that he really came into Ethiopia, but that he reached its frontier next to Egypt. For perhaps at that time the frontier was still nearer Thebes (though to‑day it is quite near) — I mean the frontier that runs by Syene and Philae. Of these towns the former belongs to Egypt, but Philae is inhabited alike by Ethiopians and Egyptians. Accordingly, when Menelaus came to Thebes, it need not cause surprise if he also came as far as the frontier of the Ethiopians or even farther, especially since he was enjoying the hospitality of the king of Thebes. And it is in the same sense that Odysseus says he "came to" the country of the Cyclopes, although he did not get any further away from the sea than the cavalry; for he says that the cavalry lay "on the edge" of the country, I believe; and again, in referring to the country of Aeolus, to the Laestrygonians and the rest — wherever, I say, he so much as came to anchor, he says he "came to" the country. It is in this sense, therefore, that Menelaus "came to" Ethiopia and in this sense to Libya, too, namely, that he "touched at" certain points; and it is from his having touched there that the harbour at Ardanis above Paraetonium is called "Menelaus."

33 Now if Homer, in speaking of the Phoenicians, mentions Sidonians also, who occupy the Phoenician metropolis, he is but employing a familiar figure of speech, as when he says: "Now Zeus, when he had brought the Trojans and Hector to the ships"; and, "For the sons of great-hearted Oeneus were no more, neither did he still live, and the golden-haired Meleager was dead"; and, "So fared he to Ida" and "to Gargaros"; and, "But they possessed Euboea" and "Chalcis and Eretria"; and likewise Sappho, in the verse: "Either Cyprus or Paphos of the spacious harbour holds thee." And yet there was another reason which induced Homer, although he had already mentioned Phoenicia, to repeat Phoenicia in a special way — that is, to add Sidon to the list. For merely to list the peoples in their proper order it was quite enough to say: "I roamed over Cyprus and Phoenicia and Egypt, and came to Ethiopia." But in order to suggest also the sojourn of Menelaus among the Sidonians, it was proper for Homer to repeat as he did, or even add still more than that; and he suggests that this sojourn was of long duration by his praise of their skill in the arts and of the hospitality formerly extended to Helen and Paris by these same people. That is why he speaks of many Sidonian works of art stored up in the house of Paris — "where were her embroidered robes, the work of Sidonian women, whom godlike Alexandros himself brought from Sidon, that journey wherein he brought back Helen to his home"; and in the house of Menelaus too, for Menelaus says to Telemachus: "I will give thee a mixing-bowl beautifully wrought; it is all of silver, and the lips thereof are finished with gold, the work of Hephaestus; and the hero Phaedimus, the king of the Sidonians, gave it me, when his house sheltered me on my coming thither." But the expedition "the work of Hephaestus" must be regarded as a case of hyperbole, just as beautiful things are spoken of as "works of Athene," or of the Graces, or of the Muses. For Homer makes it clear that the Sidonians were makers of beautiful works of art, by the praise he bestows on the bowl which Euneos gave as a ransom for Lycaon; his words are: "In beauty it was far the best in all the earth, for artificers of Sidon wrought it cunningly, and men of the Phoenicians brought it."

34 Much has been said about the Erembians; but those men are most likely to be correct who believe that Homer meant the Arabians. Our Zeno even writes the text accordingly: "And I came to the Ethiopians and Sidonians and Arabians." However, it is not necessary to change the reading, for it is old. It is better to lay the confusion to the change of their name, for such change is frequent and noticeable among all nations, than to change the reading — as in fact some do when they emend by changing certain letters. But it would seem that the view of Poseidonius is best, for here he derives an etymology of the words from the kinship of the peoples and their common characteristics. For the nation of the Armenians and that of the Syrians and Arabians betray a close affinity, not only in their language, but in their mode of life and in their bodily build, and particularly wherever they live as close neighbours. Mesopotamia, which is inhabited by these three nations, gives proof of this, for in the case of these nations the similarity is particularly noticeable. And if, comparing the differences of latitude, there does exist a greater difference between the northern and the southern people of Mesopotamia than between these two peoples and the Syrians in the centre, still the common characteristics prevail. And, too, the Assyrians, the Arians, and the Aramaeans display a certain likeness both to those just mentioned and to each other. Indeed, Poseidonius conjectures that the names of these nations also are akin; for, says he, the people whom we call Syrians are by the Syrians themselves called Arimaeans and Arammaeans; and there is a resemblance between this name and those of the Armenians, the Arabians and the Erembians, since perhaps the ancient Greeks gave the name of Erembians to the Arabians, and since the very etymology of the word "Erembian" contributes to this result. Most scholars, indeed, derive the name "Erembian" from eran embainein, a name which later peoples changed to "Troglodytes" for the sake of greater clearness. Now these Troglodytes are that tribe of Arabians who live on the side of the Arabian Gulf next to Egypt and Ethiopia. It was natural for the poet to mention these Erembians and to say that Menelaus "came to" them, in the same sense in which he says that Menelaus "came to" the Ethiopians (for they too are near the territory of Thebes); however, they were mentioned not on account of their handicraft nor yet on account of the profit Menelaus made among them (for that could not amount to much), but on account of the length of his sojourn among them and the fame of having visited them; for it was a famous thing to have travelled so far abroad. This is the meaning of: "Many were the men whose towns he saw whose mind he learnt"; and of: "Yea, and after many woes and wanderings manifold, I brought my wealth home in ships." Hesiod in his Catalogus speaks of "the daughter of Arabus, the son of guileless Hermaon and of Thronia the daughter of king Belus." And Stesichorus says the same thing. Therefore, we may conjecture that at the time of Hesiod and Stesichorus the country was already called Arabia from this "Arabus," although it may be that it was not yet so called in the times of the heroes.

35 Those scholars who invent the explanation that the Erembians are some particular Ethiopian tribe, or, again, a tribe of Cephenians, or thirdly, a tribe of Pygmies — or a host of other tribes — are less deserving of credence, since in addition to the incredibility of their theories they betray a tendency to confound myth and history. Like them are the writers who tell of Sidonians on the Persian Gulf, or somewhere else on Oceanus, and who place the wanderings of Menelaus, and likewise place the Phoenicians, out in Oceanus. And not the least reason for not believing them is the fact that they contradict one another. For some of them say that even the Sidonians who are our neighbours are colonists from the Sidonians on Oceanus, and they actually add the reason why our Sidonians are called Phoenicians,106 namely, because the colour of the Persian Gulf is "red"; and the others hold that the Sidonians on Oceanus are colonists from our Phoenicia. And there are some who transfer Ethiopia also to our Phoenicia, and who say that the adventure of Andromeda took place in Joppa, though the story is surely not told in ignorance of its local setting but rather in the guise of myth; and the same is true of the stories that Apollodorus cites from Hesiod and the other poets without even realising in what way he is comparing them with the stories in Homer. For he compares what Homer says about the Pontus and Egypt and charges him with ignorance, on the ground that, though he wanted to tell the truth, he did not do so, but in his ignorance stated as true what was not true. Yet no one could charge Hesiod with ignorance when he speaks of "men who are half-dog," of "long-headed men" and of "Pygmies"; no more should one charge Homer with ignorance when he tells these mythical stories of his, one of which is that of these very Pygmies; nor Alcman when he tells about "web-footed men"; nor Aeschylus when he speaks of "dog-headed men," or of "men with eyes in their breasts," or of "one-eyed men"; since, at all events, we do not pay much attention to prose writers, either, when they compose stories on many subjects in the guise of history, even if they do not expressly acknowledge that they are dealing in myths. For it is self-evident that they are weaving in myths intentionally, not through ignorance of the facts, but through an intentional invention of the impossible, to gratify the taste for the marvellous and the entertaining. But they give the impression of doing this through ignorance, because by preference and with an air of plausibility they tell such tales about the unfamiliar and the unknown. Theopompus expressly acknowledges the practice when he says that he intends to narrate myths too in his History — a better way than that of Herodotus, Ctesias, Hellanicus, and the authors of the Histories of India.

36 What Homer says about the behaviour of Oceanus is set forth in the guise of a myth (this too is a thing the poet must aim at); for he borrowed the myth of Charybdis from the ebb and flow of the tides; though even Charybdis herself is not wholly an invention of Homer, for she was dressed up by him in accordance with what had been told him about the Strait of Sicily. And suppose that by the words, "For thrice a day she spouts it forth, and thrice a day she sucks it down," Homer does affirm that the refluent tide comes in three times within the course of each day and night (although it comes in but twice), he might be permitted to express it in this way; for we must not suppose that he used these words in ignorance of the facts, but for the sake of the tragic effect and of the emotion of fear upon which Circe plays largely in what she says to Odysseus in order to terrify him; and for that reason she mingled the false with the true. At any rate, in these very lines Circe has said: "For thrice a day she spouts it forth and thrice a day she sucks it down — a terrible sight! Never mayest thou be there when she sucks the water, for none might save thee from thy bane, not even the Earth-Shaker." Yet Odysseus later on was present when she "sucked it down," and he did not perish; as he himself says: "Now she had sucked down the salt sea-water, but I was swung up on high to a tall fig-tree, whereto I clung like a bat." Then waiting for the pieces of wreckage and laying hold of them again, he saved himself on them; and so Circe lied. And as she lied in this statement, so she lied in that other statement, "for thrice a day she spouts it forth," instead of "twice a day," although it is true, at the same time, that this kind of hyperbole is familiar to everybody — as, for instance, when we say "thrice-blessed" and "thrice-wretched." The poet himself says: "Thrice-blessed those Danaäns"; and again: "Welcome, thrice-prayed for"; and yet again: "Into three, yea, into four pieces." Perhaps one might infer also from the time involved that Homer is, in a way, hinting at the truth; for the fact that the pieces of wreckage remained so long engulfed and were only tardily cast up for Odysseus, who was longing for them and constantly clinging to the limbs of the tree, better suits the assumption that the refluent tide came in twice, rather than thrice, during the twofold period, consisting of a day and a night: "Steadfastly I clung," he says, "till she should vomit forth mast and keel again; and late they came to my desire. At the hour when a man rises up from the assembly and goes to supper, p163the arbiter of many quarrels of the young men that plead their cases, at that hour the timbers came forth to view from out Charybdis." All this gives the impression of a considerable lapse of time, and particularly the fact that the poet prolongs time to the evening, for he does not merely say in general terms, "at the hour when the judge rises up," but he adds "arbiter of many quarrels"; hence he had been detained somewhat longer than usual. And another consideration: the means of escape which the poet offers the shipwrecked Odysseus would not be plausible, if each time, before he was carried far away by the tide, he was immediately thrown back by the refluent tide.

37 Apollodorus, agreeing with Eratosthenes and his school, censures Callimachus, because, though a scholar, Callimachus names Gaudos and Corcyra as scenes of the wanderings of Odysseus, in defiance of Homer's fundamental plan, which is to transfer to Oceanus the regions in which he describes the wanderings as taking place. But if the wanderings never took place anywhere, and if this is wholly a fiction of Homer's, then Apollodorus' censure is just. Or if the wanderings did take place, but in other regions, then Apollodorus should have said so at the outset and should have told in what regions they took place, thus at once correcting the ignorant view of Callimachus. But since the story cannot with plausibility be called wholly a fiction, as I have shown above, and since no other places are pointed out that have a greater claim to our credence, Callimachus might be absolved from censure.

Nor is Demetrius of Scepsis right; on the contrary, he is the cause of some of the mistakes of Apollodorus. For in his excessive eagerness to refute the statement of Neanthes of Cyzicus that the Argonauts erected the sanctuary of the Idaean Mother113 in the neighbourhood of Cyzicus when they were sailing to Phasis114 on the voyage which is admitted by Homer and other writers, Demetrius says that Homer knew absolutely nothing about the voyage of Jason to Phasis. Now this is opposed not only to Homer's statements but to the statements made by Demetrius himself. For Demetrius says that Achilles sacked Lesbos and other places, but spared Lemnos and the islands adjacent thereto on account of his kinship with Jason and with Jason's son Euneos who at that time possessed the island of Lemnos. Now how comes it that the poet knew this, namely, that Achilles and Jason were kinsmen or fellow-countrymen, or neighbours, or friends in some way or other (a relationship that could not be due to any other fact than that both men were Thessalians, and that one was born in Iolcus and the other in Achaean Phthiotis), and yet did not know what had put it into the head of Jason, a Thessalian and an Iolcan, to leave no successor on the throne of his native country, but to establish his son as lord of Lemnos? And did he know about Pelias and the daughters of Pelias, and about Alcestis, the noblest of them, and about her son "Eumelus, whom Alcestis, fair among women, bare to Admetus, Alcestis that was most beauteous to look upon of the daughters of Pelias," and yet, as regards the adventures of Jason and the Argo and the Argonauts, had never heard of the things that are agreed upon by everybody, but invented the voyage away from Aeëtes' country and placed it on Oceanus, without any foundation for his story in history?

39 For, as all admit, the original voyage to Phasis ordered by Pelias, the return voyage, and the occupation, however considerable, of islands on the coasting-voyage thither, contain an element of plausibility, as do also, I am sure, the wanderings which carried Jason still further — just as there is an element of plausibility in the wanderings of both Odysseus and Menelaus — as evidenced by things still to this day pointed out and believed in, and by the words of Homer as well. For example, the city of Aea is still shown on the Phasis, and Aeëtes is believed to have ruled over Colchis, and the name Aeëtes is still locally current among the people of that region. Again, Medea the sorceress is a historical person; and the wealth of the regions about Colchis, which is derived from the mines of gold, silver, iron, and copper, suggests a reasonable motive for the expedition, a motive which induced Phrixus also to undertake this voyage at an earlier date. Moreover, memorials of both expeditions still exist: the sanctuary of Phrixus, situated on the confines of Colchis and Iberia, and the sanctuaries of Jason, which are pointed out in many places in Armenia and Media and in the countries adjacent thereto. More than that, it is said that there are many evidences of the expeditions of Jason and of Phrixus in the neighbourhood of Sinope and the adjacent sea-board and also about the Propontis and the Hellespont as far as the regions about Lemnos. And there are traces of the expedition of Jason, and of the Colchians who pursued him, as far as Crete and Italy and the Adriatic Sea, woman of which Callimachus notes when he says, "Aegletes and Anaphe hard by Laconian Thera," in an elegy whose opening words are, "At the outset I shall sing how the heroes sailed back from the kingdom of Aeëtes of Cytaea to ancient Haemonia." In another place Callimachus speaks about the Colchians, who "stayed their oars in the Sea of Illyria beside the tomb-stone of blonde Harmonia, and there built a little city, which a Greek would call 'the city of the exiles,' but which their language has named Polae." Some say that Jason and his companions even sailed up the Ister a considerable distance, while others say that he ascended as far as the Adriatic Sea; the former make their statement in ignorance of these regions, whereas the latter make the assertion that a river Ister branches off from the great Ister and empties into the Adriatic Sea; but apart from this, what they say is neither improbable nor incredible.

40 Accordingly, it is by availing himself of some such basis of fact that Homer tells his story, agreeing in some respects with matters of history, but adding to them an element of myth, thus adhering to a custom that is not only his own but one common to poets. He agrees with history when he uses the name of "Aeëtes," when he tells of Jason and the Argo, when, with "Aea" in mind, he invents "Aeaea," when he established Euneos in Lemnos, when he makes the island of Lemnos beloved of Achilles, and when, with Medea in mind, he makes the sorceress Circe "own sister to the baleful Aeëtes." But he adds an element of myth when he transfers to Oceanus the wanderings that follow the voyage to Aeëtes' country. For if the facts above-mentioned be assumed, then the words, "the Argo that is in all men's minds," are also properly used, inasmuch as the expedition is supposed to have taken place in well-known and populous regions. But if the facts were as Demetrius of Scepsis maintains, on the authority of Mimnermus (Mimnermus places the home of Aeëtes in Oceanus, outside the inhabited world in the east, and affirms that Jason was sent thither by Pelias and brought back the fleece), then, in the first place, the expedition thither in quest of the fleece would not sound plausible (since it was directed to unknown and obscure countries), and in the second place, the voyage through regions desolate and uninhabited and so out‑of-the‑way from our part of the world would be neither famous nor "in all men's minds." Mimnermus says: "Never would Jason himself have brought back the great fleece from Aea, accomplishing his mind-racking journey and fulfilling the difficult task for insolent Pelias, nor would they have come even to the fair stream of Oceanus"; and further on he says: "To the city of Aeëtes, where the rays of the swift Sun lie in a chamber of gold beside the lips of Oceanus, whither glorious Jason went."

 
1 - 3 Eratosthenes is wrong 33

1 Eratosthenes is wrong on this point too, that he makes mention at too great length of men who do not deserve mention, censuring them in some things, while in other things he believes them and uses them as authorities — for instance, Damastes and others of his type. For even if there is an element of truth in what they say, we should not on that account use them as authorities, or believe them, either; on the contrary, we should use in such a way only men of repute — men who have been right on many points, and who, though they have omitted many things, or treated them inadequately, have said nothing with false intent. But to use Damastes as an authority is no whit better than to cite as authorities the "Bergaean" — or rather the Messenian — Euhemerus and the other writers whom Eratosthenes himself cites, in order to ridicule their absurdities. Eratosthenes himself tells us one of the absurd stories of Damastes, who assumes that the Arabian Gulf is a lake, and that Diotimus, the son of Strombichus, sailed, at the head of an embassy of the Athenians, from Cilicia up the Cydnus River to the Choaspes River, which flows by Susa, and reached Susa on the fortieth day; and Eratosthenes says that Damastes was told all this by Diotimus himself. And then, Eratosthenes adds, Damastes wonders whether it was really possible for the Cydnus River to cut across the Euphrates and the Tigris and to empty into the Choaspes.

2 Not only might one disapprove of Eratosthenes for telling such a story, but also for this reason: after admitting that the exact details about the seas were not yet known even in his own time, and although he bids us not to be too ready to accept the authority of people at haphazard, and although he gives at length the reasons why we should believe no one who writes mythical tales about the regions along the Euxine and the Adriatic, yet he himself accepted the authority of people at haphazard. So, for example, he believed that the Gulf of Issus is the most easterly point of the Mediterranean; whereas the point at Dioscurias in the extreme corner of the Euxine Sea is farther east by almost three thousand stadia, even according to Eratosthenes himself, if we follow the reckoning by stadia which he gives. And when he describes the northernmost and extreme parts of the Adriatic Sea there is nothing fabulous about them from which he holds aloof. And he has also given credence to many fables about the regions beyond the Pillars of Heracles, mentioning an island named Cerne and other countries which are nowhere pointed out to‑day — matters about which I shall speak later on. And although Eratosthenes has said that the earliest Greeks made voyages for the sake of piracy or of commerce, not, indeed, in the open sea, but along the coast — as did Jason, who actually abandoned his ships and, starting from the Colchians, penetrated as far as Armenia and Media — he says later on that in ancient times no one had the courage to sail on the Euxine Sea, or along Libya, Syria, or Cilicia. Now if by "the ancients" he means those who lived in the times of which we of to‑day have no records, then I am in no wise concerned to speak about them, as to whether they made voyages or not. But if he means men who are mentioned in history, then one would not hesitate to affirm that the ancients will be shown to have made longer journeys, both by land and by sea, than have men of a later time, if we are to heed what tradition tells us: for instance, Dionysus, and Heracles, and Jason himself; and, again, Odysseus and Menelaus, whose stories are narrated by the poet. And again, it is doubtless because Theseus and Pirithous had the hardihood to make such long journeys as they made that they left behind them the reputation of having gone down to Hades, and that the Dioscuri were called "guardians of the sea" and "saviours of sailors." Again, the maritime supremacy of Minos is far-famed, and so are the voyages of the Phoenicians, who, a short time after the Trojan War, explored the regions beyond the Pillars of Heracles and founded cities both there and in the central parts of the Libyan sea-board. As to Aeneas, Antenor, and the Enetians, and, in a word, p179the survivors of the Trojan War that wandered forth into the whole inhabited world — is it proper not to reckon them among the men of ancient times? For it came about that, on account of the length of the campaign, the Greeks of that time, and the barbarians as well, lost both what they had at home and what they had acquired by the campaign; and so, after the destruction of Troy, not only did the victors turn to piracy because of their poverty, the still more the vanquished who survived the war. And, indeed, it is said that a great many cities were founded by them along the whole sea-coast outside of Greece, and in some places in the interior too.

3 Now after Eratosthenes has himself told what great advances in the knowledge of the inhabited world had been made not only by those who came after Alexander but by those of Alexander's own times, he passes to his discussion of the shape of the world, not indeed of the inhabited world — which would have been more appropriate to his discussion of that subject — but of the earth as a whole; of course, one must discuss that point too, but not out of its proper place. And so, after he has stated that the earth as a whole is spheroidal — not spheroidal indeed as though turned by a sphere-lathe, but that it has certain irregularities of surface — he proceeds to enumerate the large number of its successive changes in shape — changes which take place as the result of the action of water, fire, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other similar agencies; and here too he does not preserve the proper order. For the spheroidal shape that characterises the earth as a whole results from the constitution of the universe, but such changes as Eratosthenes mentions do not in any particular alter the earth as a whole (changes so insignificant are lost in great bodies), though they do produce conditions in the inhabited world that are different at one time from what they are at another, and the immediate causes which produce them are different at different times.

4 Eratosthenes says further that this question in particular has presented a problem: how does it come about that large quantities of mussel-shells, oyster-shells, scallop-shells and also salt-marshes are found in many places in the interior at a distance of two thousand or three thousand stadia from the sea — for instance (to quote Eratosthenes) in the neighbourhood of the temple of Ammon and along the road, three thousand stadia in length, that leads to it? At that place, he says, there is a large deposit of oyster-shells, and many beds of salt are still to be found there, and jets of salt-water rise to some height; besides that, they show pieces of wreckage from seafaring ships which the natives said had been cast up through a certain chasm, and on small columns dolphins are dedicated that bear the inscription: "Of Sacred Ambassadors of Cyrene." Then he goes on to praise the opinion of Strato, the physicist, and also that of Xanthus of Lydia. In the first place he praises the opinion of Xanthus, who says that in the reign of Artaxerxes there was so great a drought that the rivers, lakes, and wells dried up; that far from the sea, in Armenia, Matiene, and Lower Phrygia, he himself had often seen, in many places, stones in the shape of a bivalve, shells of the pecten order, impressions of scallop-shells, and a salt-marsh, and therefore was persuaded that these plains were once sea. Then Eratosthenes praises the opinion of Strato, who goes still further into the question of causes, because Strato says he believes the Euxine Sea formerly did not have its outlet at Byzantium, but the rivers which empty into the Euxine forced and opened a passage, and then the water was discharged into the Propontis and the Hellespont. The same thing, Strato says, happened in the Mediterranean basin also; for in this case the passage at the Pillars was broken through when the sea had been filled by the rivers, and at the time of the outrush of the water the places that had hitherto been covered with shoal-waters were left dry. Strato proposes as a cause of this, first, that the beds of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean are on different levels, and, secondly, that at the Pillars even at the present day a submarine ridge stretches across from Europe to Libya, indicating that the Mediterranean and the Atlantic could not have been one and the same formerly. The seas of the Pontus region, Strato continues, are very shallow, whereas the Cretan, the Sicilian, and the Sardinian Seas are very deep; for since the rivers that flow from the north and east are very numerous and very large, the seas there are being filled with mud, while the others remain deep; and herein also is the reason why the Pontus is sweetest, and why its outflow takes place in the direction of the inclination of its bed. Strato further says it is his point that the whole Euxine Sea will be silted up at some future period, if such inpourings continue; for even now the regions on the left side of the Pontus are already covered with shoal waters; for instance, Salmydessus, and the land at the mouth of the Ister, which sailors call "the Breasts," and the desert of Scythia; perhaps too the temple of Ammon was formerly on the sea, but is now situated in the interior because there has been an outpouring of the sea. Strato conjectures that the oracle of Ammon with good reason became so distinguished and so well-known as it is if it was situated on the sea, and that its present position so very far from the sea gives no reasonable explanation of its present distinction and fame; and that in ancient times Egypt was covered by the sea as far as the bogs about Pelusium, Mt. Casius, and Lake Sirbonis; at all events, even to‑day, when the salt-lands in Egypt are dug up, the excavations are found to contain sand and fossil-shells, as though the country had been submerged beneath the sea and the whole region round Mt. Casius and the so‑called Gerrha had once been covered with shoal water so that it connected with the Gulf of the Red Sea; and when the sea retired, these regions were left bare, except that the Lake Sirbonis remained; then the lake also broke through to the sea, and thus became a bog. In the same way, Strato adds, the beaches of the so‑called Lake Moeris more nearly resemble sea-beaches than river-banks. Now one may admit that a great part of the continents was once covered by water for certain periods and was then left bare again; and in the same way one may admit also that the whole surface of the earth now submerged is uneven, at the bottom of the sea, just as we might admit, of course, that the part of the earth above water, on which we live, is subject to all the changes mentioned by Eratosthenes himself; and therefore, so far as the argument of Xanthes is concerned, one cannot bring against it any charge of absurdity.

5 Against Strato, however, one might urge that, although there are many real causes of these changes, he overlooks them and suggests causes that do not exist; for he says their primary cause is that the beds of the Mediterranean Sea and of the Atlantic Ocean are not on the same level, and that their depth is not the same. But I reply that the cause of the rising and the falling of the sea, of its inundation of certain tracts of country, and of its subsequent retirement from them, is not to be sought for in the varying levels of the beds of the sea, in that some are lower and others higher, but in the fact that the beds of the sea themselves sometimes rise, and, on the other hand, sometimes sink, and in the fact that the sea rises or recedes along with its beds; for when the sea is lifted up, it will overflow, and when it is lowered, it will subside to its former level. Indeed, if what Strato says is true, then the overflow will necessarily follow every sudden increase in the volume of the sea; for instance, at every high tide of the sea or whenever the rivers are at their flood — in the one case the water having been brought in from other parts of the sea, in the other case the volume of water having been increased. But neither do the increases from the rivers thus cause a swelling of the sea, nor do the tides persist long enough to do so (they are not irregular, either), nor do they cause inundations either on the Mediterranean Sea or anywhere else. Therefore, it remains for us to find the cause in the floor of the sea, either that which underlies the sea or that which is temporarily flooded, but preferably the submarine floor. For the floor that is saturated with water is far more easily moved and is liable to undergo more sudden changes; for the air-element, which is the ultimate cause of all such occurrences, is greater there. But, as I have said, the immediate cause of such occurrences is that the beds of the sea themselves are sometimes elevated and sometimes undergo a settling process, and not that some of the beds are high, while others are less so. Strato, however, assumes this, believing that what happens in the case of rivers occurs also in the case of the sea, namely, that the flow is away from the high places; otherwise, he would not have suggested that the bed is the cause of the current at Byzantium, saying that the bed of the Euxine is higher than that of the Propontis and the sea next after the Propontis, and at the same time adding the reason, namely, that the deeps of the Euxine are being filled up by the mud which is carried down from the rivers, and are becoming shallow, and that, on this account, the current is outward. He applies the same reasoning to the Mediterranean Sea as a whole compared with the Atlantic Ocean, since, in his opinion, the Mediterranean Sea is making its bed higher than that which lies beneath the Atlantic Ocean; for the Mediterranean Sea, too, is being filled up with silt from many rivers, and is receiving a deposit of mud similar to that of the Euxine Sea. It should also be true, then, that the inflow at the Pillars and Calpe is similar to the inflow at Byzantium. But I pass this point by, for people will say that the same thing does occur here, but that the inflow is lost in the ebb and flow of the tides and thus escapes observation.

6 But what I wish to learn is this: supposing the bed of the Euxine Sea was lower than that of the Propontis and of the sea next after the Propontis before the opening of the outlet at Byzantium, what was there to prevent the Euxine from being filled up by the rivers, whether it was previously a sea or merely a lake greater than Lake Maeotis? If this point be conceded, then I shall go on to ask this question too: Is it not true that the water-levels of the Euxine and the Propontis were such that, so long as they remained the same, there could be no straining for an outflow, for the reason that resistance and pressure were equal, but that, as soon as the inner sea reached a higher level, it set up a strain and discharged its excess water? And is not this the reason why the outer sea became confluent with the inner sea and why it assumed the same level as the inner sea — regardless of whether the latter was originally a sea or once a lake and later a sea — simply because of its mingling with the inner sea and prevailing over it? For if this point be granted as well as the first, the outflow that now takes place would go on just the same, but it would not be away from a higher sea-bed, or from a sloping one, as Strato contended.

7 Now we must apply these principles to the whole of the Mediterranean Sea and to the Atlantic Ocean, finding the cause of the outflow not in their beds, nor in the sloping of their beds, but in the rivers. For according to Strato and Eratosthenes, it is not improbable that our whole Mediterranean Sea (even granting that in former times it was a lake) became flooded by the rivers, overflowed, and poured its waters out through the narrows at the Pillars as over a waterfall; and that the Atlantic Ocean, swollen ever more and more, was finally made confluent by it, and united with it on one sea-level; and that thus the Mediterranean basin was turned into a sea because the Atlantic prevailed over it. It is wholly contrary to physical science, however, to liken the sea to rivers; for the rivers are carried down a sloping course, whereas the sea has no slope. But the current through the straits is accounted for by another principle, and is not due to the fact that the mud carried down by the rivers silts up the deeps of the sea. For this silting up occurs only at the very mouths of the rivers, as for example the so‑called "Breasts" at the mouth of the Ister, the Scythian desert, and Salmydessus — where other violent streams also contribute to the result; and, at the mouths of the Phasis, the Colchian seaboard, which is sandy, low-lying and soft; and, at the mouths of the Thermodon and the Iris, the whole of Themiscyra, that plain of the Amazons, and the most of Sidene. The same is true of the other rivers also; for they all imitate the Nile in that they keep converting the channel just in front of them into land, some to a greater and others to a less extent; to a less extent those that do not bring down much mud, but to a greater extent those that flow for a great distance through a country with a soft soil and have many torrents as tributaries. To the latter class belongs the Pyramus, which has added much land to Cilicia, and it is to this fact that the following oracle refers: "Men that are yet to be will experience this at the time when the Pyramus of the silvery eddies shall silt up its sacred sea-beach and come to Cyprus." The Pyramus, making its course as a navigable stream from the midst of the plains of Cataonia, and then breaking a passage for itself into Cilicia through the gorges of the Taurus Mountains, empties into the strait that lies between Cilicia and Cyprus.

8 Now the reason why the alluvium brought down by the rivers does not reach the open sea in its forward course is that the sea, which is naturally refluent, drives it back again; for the sea is like animated beings, and, just as they inhale and exhale their breath unremittingly, so in like manner the sea too is subject to a certain recurrent motion that proceeds from itself and returns to itself unremittingly. This is apparent to any one who stands on the beach at the time when the waves break; for no sooner are one's feet washed than they are left bare by the waves, and then again they are washed, and this goes on unremittingly. And close upon the wash comes a wave also, which, however gentle it may be, possesses a certain increase of power as it rushes in, and casts all foreign matter out upon the land — "and casteth much tangle out along the sea." Now while this takes place to a greater extent when there is wind, yet it occurs both when there is a calm and when the winds blow from the land; for the wave is carried to the land none the less even against the wind, as though it were subject, along with the sea itself, to the sea's own motion. This is what Homer means when he says: "And goeth with arching crest about the promontories, and speweth the foaming brine afar," and "The shores cry aloud as the salt sea belches forth."

9 Accordingly, the onset of the wave has a power sufficient to expel foreign matter. They call this, in fact, a "purging" of the sea — a process by which dead bodies and bits of wreckage are cast out upon the land by the waves. But the ebb has not power sufficient to draw back into the deep sea a corpse, or a stick of wood, or even that lightest of substances, a cork (when once they have been cast by the wave upon the land) from the places on the shore that are near the sea, where they have been stranded by the waves. And so it comes about that both the silt and the water fouled by it are cast out by the waves, the weight of the silt coöperating with the wave, so that the silt is precipitated to the bottom near the land before it can be carried forward into the deep sea; in fact, even the force of the river ceases just a short distance beyond the mouth. So, then, it is possible for the sea, beginning at its beaches, to be entirely silted up, if it receives the inflow from the rivers uninterruptedly. And this would be the result even if we assume that the Euxine Sea is deeper than the Sea of Sardinia, which is said to be the deepest of all the seas that have been sounded — about one thousand fathoms, as Poseidonius states.

10 However, one might be rather disinclined to accept such an explanation, and so it is necessary for me to bring my discussion into closer connection with things that are more apparent to the senses and that, so to speak, are seen every day. Now deluges as we have seen, are caused by upheavals of the bed of the sea; and earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and upheavals of the submarine ground raise the sea, whereas the settling of the bed of the sea lowers the sea. For it cannot be that burning masses may be raised aloft, and small islands, but not large islands; nor yet that islands may thus appear, but not continents. And in a similar way settlings in the bed of the sea, both great ones and small, may also occur, if it be true, as people say, that yawning abysses and engulfments of districts and villages have been caused by earthquakes — as happened in the case of Bura and Bizone and several other places; and as for Sicily, one might conjecture that it is not so much a piece broken away from Italy as that it was cast up from the deeps by the fire of Aetna and remained there; and the same is true both of the Lipari Islands and the Pithecussae.

But Eratosthenes is so simple that, although he is a mathematician, he will not even confirm the doctrine of Archimedes, who, in his treatise On Floating Bodies says that the surface of every liquid body at rest and in equilibrium is spherical, the sphere having the same centre as the earth — a doctrine that is accepted by every one who has studied mathematics at all. And so, although Eratosthenes himself admits that the Mediterranean Sea is one continuous sea, yet he does not believe that it has been brought under a law of one continuous surface, even in places that lie close together. And as authorities for such an ignorant opinion as this he summons engineers, although the mathematicians have declared that engineering is a branch of mathematics. For he says that Demetrius, too, attempted to cut through the Isthmus of Corinth in order to provide a passage for his fleets, but was prevented by the engineers, after they had taken measurements and reported to him that the sea in the Corinthian Gulf was higher than at Cenchreae, so that, if he should cut through the intervening land, the whole strait about Aegina, Aegina itself, and the neighbouring islands would be submerged, and the canal would not be useful, either. And Eratosthenes says that this is the reason why the narrow straits have strong currents, and in particular the strait of Sicily, which, he declares, behaves in a manner similar to the flow and the ebb of the ocean; for the current changes twice within the course of every day and night, and like the ocean, it floods twice a day and falls twice a day. Now corresponding to the flood-tide, he continues, is the current that runs down from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Sicilian Sea as though from a higher water-level — and indeed this is called the "descending" current — and this current corresponds to the flood-tides in that it begins at the time of the rising and the setting of the moon, and it stops when the moon attains either meridian, namely, the meridian above the earth or that below the earth; on the other hand, corresponding to the ebb-tide is the return-current — and this is called the "ascending" current — which begins when the moon attains either meridian, just as the ebbs do, and stops when the moon attains the points of her rising and setting.

12 Now Poseidonius and Athenodorus have satisfactorily treated the question of the flow and ebb of the tides; but concerning the refluent currents of straits, which also involve a discussion that goes deeper into natural science than comports with the purpose of the present work, it is sufficient to say that neither does one principle account for the straits' having currents, the principle by which they are classified as straits (for if that were the case, the Strait of Sicily would not be changing its current twice a day, as Eratosthenes says it does, but the strait of Chalcis seven times a day, while the strait at Byzantium makes no change at all but continues to have its outflow only from the Pontus into the Propontis, and, as Hipparchus reports, even stands still sometimes), nor, if one principle should account for the currents, would the cause be what Eratosthenes alleges it to be, namely, that the two seas on the sides of a strait have different levels. Indeed this would not be the case with the rivers either, except when they have cataracts; but since they have cataracts, they are not refluent, but run continuously toward the lower level. And this, too, results on account of the fact that the stream and its surface are inclined. But who would say that a sea-surface is inclined? And particularly in view of the hypotheses by which the four bodies (which, of course, we also call "elements") are made spheres. And so not only is a strait not refluent, but it is also not subject to standing still without any current at all, since, although there is confluence therein of two seas, yet there is not merely one level, but two of them, one higher, the other lower. The case of the water, indeed, is not the same as that of the earth, which, being solid in character, has than shape accordingly; and therefore it has hollows that keep their shape, and elevations as well; but the water, through the mere p207influence of gravity, rides upon the earth and assumes the sort of surface which Archimedes says it does.

13 Eratosthenes adds to what he has said about Ammon and Egypt his opinion that Mt. Casius was once washed by the sea, and also that all the region where the so‑called Gerrha now is, was in every part covered with shoal-water since it was connected with the gulf of the Red Sea, and that it became uncovered when the seas came together. Now it is ambiguous to say that the region mentioned was covered with shoal-water since it was connected with gulf of the Red Sea, for "to be connected with" means either "to come near to" or "to touch"; so that, if we were referring to bodies of water, that phrase would mean, in the latter sense, that one body of water is confluent with another. My interpretation, however, is that the shoal-waters "came near to" the Red Sea as long as the narrows at the Pillars of Heracles were still closed, and that after the narrows had been broken through, the retirement of the shoal-water took place because the level of the Mediterranean Sea had been lowered by the outflow at the Pillars. But Hipparchus, interpreting the phrase "to be connected with" to be the same thing as "to be confluent with," that is, that our Mediterranean Sea "became confluent with" the Red Sea because of its being filled up with water, finds fault by asking why in the world it is that, at the time when our Mediterranean Sea, because of the outflow of its waters at the Pillars, underwent its change in that direction, it did not also cause the Red Sea, which had become confluent with it, to make the same change, and why in the world the Red Sea continued at the same level into being lowered with the Mediterranean? For, says he, even according to Eratosthenes himself the whole exterior sea is confluent, and consequently the western sea and the Red Sea form one sea. After saying this, Hipparchus adds his corollary: that the Sea outside the Pillars, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, too, which has become confluent with the Red Sea, all have the same level.

14 But Eratosthenes replies to this that he has not said that the confluence with the Red Sea took place at the time the Mediterranean Sea had become filled, but merely that the Mediterranean Sea had come near to it; and, besides, that it does not follow from the notion of one continuous sea that it has the same height and the same level — just as the Mediterranean has not, and as most assuredly its waters at Lechaeum and those about Cenchreae have not. This very point Hipparchus himself makes in his book against Eratosthenes; since, then, he knows that such is the opinion of Eratosthenes, let him give some argument of his own against Eratosthenes, and let him not assume off-hand that, forsooth, if a man says the exterior sea is one, he at the same time affirms also that its level is everywhere the same.

15 Again, when Hipparchus says that the inscription on the dolphins, made by sacred ambassadors of Cyrene, is false, he gives an unconvincing reason when he says that although the founding of Cyrene falls within historical times, yet no historian has recorded that the oracle was ever situated on a sea. Well, what if no historian does record the fact, and yet, according to the evidence on which we base the conjecture that the region was once coast-land, the dolphins were in fact dedicated and the inscription was engraved by sacred ambassadors of Cyrene? Again, although Hipparchus has admitted that, along with the elevation of the bed of the sea, the sea itself was elevated, and that it inundated the country as far as the oracle, a distance of somewhat more than three thousand stadia from the sea, he does not admit the elevation of the sea to such a point that both the whole island of Pharos and the greater part of Egypt were covered — just as though so high an elevation of the sea were not sufficient to inundate these districts too! And again, after saying that if, he says the outbreak of the waters at the Pillars took place, the Mediterranean Sea was really filled to such an extent as Eratosthenes has stated, the whole of Libya and the greater part of Europe and Asia must first have been covered, he adds thereto that the Pontus would then have been confluent with the Adriatic in some places, for the reason that the Ister, as he supposes, branches off from the Pontus regions and thus flows into both seas, on account of the lie of the land. But neither does the Ister rise in the Pontus regions (on the contrary, it rises in the mountains above the Adriatic), nor does it flow into both seas, but into the Pontus alone, and it branches off near its mouths only. However, this mistake of Hipparchus is shared with him by some of his predecessors, who supposed that there was a river of the same name as the Ister, which branched off from it and emptied into the Adriatic, and that the tribe of Istrians, through whose territory this Ister flows, got their appellation from it, and that it was by this route that Jason made his return voyage from the land of the Colchians.

16 Now, in order to promote the virtue of not marvelling at such changes as I have declared to be responsible for deluges and for such operations of nature as I have spoken of in the case of Sicily, the islands of Aeolus, and the Pithecussae, it is worth while to set forth still other instances of things similar thereto that exist, or else have taken place, in other regions. For if a large number of such instances are placed in view, they will put a stop to one's amazement. But, as it is, the unfamiliar thing disturbs the senses and shews one's ignorance of natural occurrences and of the conditions of life generally; for instance, suppose one should tell the story of Thera and Therasia (islands situated in the roadstead between Crete and Cyrenaea, the first of which, Thera, is the mother-city of Cyrene), and of Egypt, and of many such places in Greece. For midway between Thera and Therasia fires broke forth from the sea and continued for four days, so that the whole sea boiled and blazed, and the fires cast up an island which was gradually elevated as though by levers and consisted of burning masses — an island with a stretch of twelve stadia in circumference. After the cessation of the eruption, the Rhodians, at the time of their maritime supremacy, were first to venture upon the scene and to erect on the island a temple in honour of Poseidon Asphalios. And in Phoenicia, says Poseidonius, on the occasion of an earthquake, a city situated above Sidon was swallowed up, and nearly two-thirds of Sidon itself was engulfed too, but not all at once, so that no considerable destruction of human life took place. The same operation of nature extended also over the whole of Syria, but with rather moderate force; and it also passed over to certain islands, both the Cyclades and Euboea, with the result that the fountains of Arethusa (a spring in Chalcis) were stopped up, though after many days they gushed up at another mouth, and the island did not cease from being shaken in some part or other until a chasm in the earth opened in the Lelantine Plain and vomited forth a river of fiery lava.

17 Though many writers have made collections of such instances, those collected by Demetrius of Scepsis will suffice since they are appropriately cited. For example, he mentions these verses of Homer: "And they came to the two fair-flowing springs, where two fountains rise of deep-eddying Scamander; the one floweth with warm water, while the other in summer floweth forth like hail"; and then he does not allow us to marvel if at the present time the spring of cold water is still there, whereas the one of hot water is no longer visible.a For, says he, we must lay the cause to the shutting off of the hot water. And he recalls on this point the words of Democles, who records certain great earthquakes, some of which long ago took place about Lydia and Ionia as far north as the Troad, and by their action not only were villages swallowed up, but Mt. Sipylus was shattered — in the reign of Tantalus. And lakes arose from swamps, and a tidal wave submerged the Troad. Again, the Egyptian Pharos was once an island of the sea, but now it has become, in a sense, a peninsula; and the same is true of Tyre and Clazomenae. And when I was residing in Alexandria, in Egypt, the sea about Pelusium and Mt. Casius rose and flooded the country and made an island of the mountain, so that the road by Mt. Casius into Phoenicia became navigable. Hence it is nothing to marvel at even if, at some time, the isthmus should be parted asunder or else undergo a settling process — I mean the isthmus that separates the Egyptian Sea from the Red Sea — and thus disclose a strait and make the outer sea confluent with the inner, just as happened in the case of the strait at the Pillars of Heracles. I have already said something about such things at the beginning of this treatise; and all these instances must needs contribute to one result, namely, to fix strong our belief in the works of nature and also in the changes that are being brought to pass by other agencies.

18 And as for the Peiraeus, it was because the Peiraeus was formerly an island and lay "over against" the mainland, they say,b that it got the name it has; but contrariwise Leucas, since the Corinthians cut a canal through the isthmus, has become an island, although it was formerly a headland. Indeed, it is with reference to Leucas, they say, that Laertes remarks: "As I was when I took Nericus, the well-built castle on the headland of the continent." Here, then, a partition cut by hand has been made; in other places man has built moles or bridges — just as, in the case of the island next to Syracuse, there is at the present time a bridge which connects it with the mainland, whereas formerly there was a mole, as Ibycus says, built of selected stones, which he calls stones "picked out." Then there are Bura and Helice; Bura disappeared in a chasm of the earth, and Helice was wiped out by a wave from the sea. And about Methone in the Hermionic Gulf a mountain seven stadia in height was cast up in consequence of a fiery eruption, and this mountain was unapproachable by day on account of the heat and the smell of sulphur, while at night it shone to a great distance and was so hot that the sea boiled for five stadia and was turbid even for twenty stadia, and was heaped up with massive broken-off rocks no smaller than towers. And again, by Lake Copaïs both Arne and Mideia were swallowed up, places which have been named by Homer in the Catalogue of Ships: "And they that possess Arne rich in vineyards, and they that possess Mideia." And by Lake Bistonis and by the lake which they now call Aphnitis certain cities of Thracians appear to have been overwhelmed; and some say cities of Trerans also, thinking they were neighbours of the Thracians. And, too, one of the Echinades Islands, which used to be called Artemita, has become part of the continent; and they say that still others of the little islands about the mouth of the Acheloüs have suffered the same change from the silting up of the sea by the river; and the rest of them too, as Herodotus says, are in process of fusion with the continent. Again, there are certain Aetolian promontories which were formerly islands; and Asteria has been changed, which the poet calls Asteris: "Now there is a rocky isle in the mid-sea, Asteris, a little isle; and there is a harbour therein with a double entrance, where ships may lie at anchor." But at the present time it has not even a good anchorage. Further, in Ithaca there is no cave, neither grotto of the Nymphs, such as Homer describes; but it is better to ascribe the cause to physical change rather than to Homer's ignorance or to a false account of the places to suit the fabulous element in his poetry. Since this matter, however, is uncertain, I leave it to the public to investigate.

Antissa was formerly an island, as Myrsilus says; and since Lesbos was formerly called Issa, it came about that this island was called Antissa; but now Antissa is a city of Lesbos. And some believe that Lesbos itself is a fragment broken off from Mt. Ida, just as Prochyta and Pithecussa from Misenum, Capri from the Promontory of Athene, Sicily from the district of Rhegium, and Ossa from Olympus. And it is a fact that changes of this sort have also occurred in the neighbourhood of these places. And, again, the River Ladon in Arcadia once ceased to flow. Duris says that Rhagae in Media has received its name because the earth about the Caspian Gates had been "rent" by earthquakes to such an extent that numerous cities and villages were destroyed, and the rivers underwent changes of various kinds. Ion says of Euboea in his satyr-drama Omphale: "The slender wave of Euripus hath separated the land of Euboea from Boeotia, in that by means of a strait it hath cut a projecting headland away."

20 Demetrius of Calatis, in his account of all the earthquakes that have ever occurred throughout all Greece, says that the greater part of the Lichades Islands and of Cenaeum was engulfed; the hot springs at Aedepsus and Thermopylae, after having ceased to flow for three days, began to flow afresh, and those at Aedepsus broke forth also at another source; at Oreus the wall next to the sea and about seven hundred of the houses collapsed; and as for Echinus and Phalara and Heracleia in Trachis, not only was a considerable portion of them thrown down, but the settlement of Phalara was overturned, ground and all. And, says he, something quite similar happened to the people of Lamia and of Larissa; and Scarphia, also, was flung up, foundations and all, and no fewer than seventeen hundred human beings were engulfed, and over half as many Thronians; again, a triple-headed wave rose up, one part of which was carried in the direction of Tarphe and Thronium, another part to Thermopylae, and the rest into the plain as far as Daphnus in Phocis; fountains of rivers were dried up for a number of days, and the Spercheiusº changed its course and made the roadways navigable, and the Boagrius was carried down a different ravine, and also many sections of Alope, Cynus, and Opus were seriously damaged, and Oeum, the castle above Opus, was laid in utter ruin, and a part of the wall of Elateia was broken down, and at Alponus, during the celebration of the Thesmophoria, twenty-five girls ran up into one of the towers at the harbour to get a view, the tower fell, and they themselves fell with it into the sea. And they say, also, of the Atalanta near Euboea that its middle portions, because they had been rent asunder, got a ship-canal through the rent, and that some of the plains were overflowed even as far as twenty stadia, and that a trireme was lifted out of the docks and cast over the wall.

21 Writers also add the changes resulting from the migrations of peoples, wishing to develop in us, to a still greater extent, that virtue of not marvelling at things (a virtue which is lauded by Democritus and all the other philosophers; for they put it in a class with freedom from dread and from perturbability and from terror). For instance: the migration of Western Iberians170 to the regions beyond the Pontus and Colchis (regions which are separated from Armenia by the Araxes according to Apollodorus, but rather by the River Cyrus and the Moschican Mountains); and the migration of Egyptians to Ethiopia and Colchis; and that of Enetians from Paphlagonia to the Adriatic. This is what took place in the case of the Greek tribes also — Ionians, Dorians, Achaeans, and Aeolians; and the Aenianians that are now neighbours of the Aetolians used to live about Dotium and Mt. Ossa among the Perrhaebians; and, too, the Perrhaebians themselves are emigrants. And the present treatise is full of such instances. A number of them, to be sure, are matters even of ready knowledge to most people, but the emigrations of the Carians, Trerans, Teucrians, and Galatians, and likewise also the expeditions of the princes to lands far remote (I refer to Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus the Treran, Sesostris and Psammitichus the Egyptians, and to Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes) are not likewise matters of off-hand knowledge to everybody. And those Cimmerians whom they also call Trerans (or some tribe or other of the Cimmerians) often overran the countries on the right of the Pontus and those adjacent to them, at one time having invaded Paphlagonia, and at another time Phrygia even, at which time Midas drank bull's blood, they say, and thus went to his doom. Lygdamis, however, at the head of his own soldiers, marched as far as Lydia and Ionia and captured Sardes, but lost his life in Cilicia. Oftentimes both Cimmerians and Trerans made such invasions as these; but they say that the Trerans and Cobus were finally driven out by Madys, the king of the Scythians. Let these illustrations be given here, inasmuch as they involve matters of fact which have a bearing upon the entire compass of the world in general.

22 I now return to the points next in order, whence I digressed. First, as for the statement of Herodotus that there are no Hyperboreans because there are also no Hypernotians. Eratosthenes says the argument presented is absurd and like the following quibble: suppose some one should say "There are none who rejoice over the ills of others because there are also none who rejoice over the blessings of others." And, adds Eratosthenes, it so happens that there are also Hypernotians — at all events, Notus does not blow in Ethiopia, but farther north. But it is a marvellous thing if, although winds blow in every latitude, and although the wind that blows from the south is everywhere called Notus, there is any inhabited place where this is not the case. For, on the contrary, not only might Ethiopia have the same Notus as we have, but even the whole country further south as far as the equator might have it. However that may be, this charge should be laid against Herodotus, that he assumed that by "Hyperboreans" those peoples were meant in whose countries Boreas does not blow. For even if the poets do speak thus, rather mythically, those, at least, who expound the poets should give ear to sound doctrine, namely, that by "Hyperboreans" were meant merely the most northerly peoples. And as for limits, that of the northerly peoples is the north pole, while that of the southerly peoples is the equator; and the winds too have the same limits.

23 Next in order, Eratosthenes proceeds to reply to those whose stories are plainly fictitious and impossible, some of which are in the form of myths, and others in the form of history — persons whom it is not worth while to mention; neither should he, when treating a subject of this kind, have paid heed to persons who talk nonsense. Such, then, is Eratosthenes' course of argument in the First Book of his Commentaries.

 
1 - 4 Eratosthenes is wrong P2 33

(6 In his Second Book Eratosthenes undertakes a revision of the principles of geography; and he declares his own assumptions, to which, in turn, if there is any further revision to be made, I must undertake to supply it. Now his introduction of the principles of mathematics and physics into the subject is a commendable thing; also his remark that if the earth is sphere-shaped, just as the universe is, it is inhabited all the way round; and his other remarks of this nature. But as to the question whether the earth is as large as he has said, later writers do not agree with him; neither do they approve his measurement of the earth. Still, when Hipparchus plots the celestial phenomena for the several inhabited places, he uses, in addition, those intervals measured by Eratosthenes on the meridian through Meroë and Alexandria and the Borysthenes, after saying that they deviate but slightly from the truth. And, too, in Eratosthenes' subsequent discussion about the shape of the earth, when he demonstrates at greater length that not only the earth with its liquid constituent is sphere-shaped but the heavens also, he would seem to be talking about things that are foreign to his subject; for a brief statement is sufficient.

2 Next, in determining the breadth of the inhabited world, Eratosthenes says that, beginning at Meroë and measuring on the meridian that runs through Meroë, it is ten thousand stadia to Alexandria; and thence to the Hellespont about eight thousand one hundred; then to the Borysthenes five thousand; then to the parallel circle that runs through Thule (which Pytheas says is a six days' sail north of Britain, and is near the frozen sea) about eleven thousand five hundred more. Accordingly, if we add three thousand four hundred stadia more to the south of Meroë, in order to embrace the Island of the Egyptians, the Cinnamon-producing country, and Taprobane, we shall have thirty-eight thousand stadia.

3 However, with one exception, let all the distances of Eratosthenes be granted him — for they are sufficiently agreed upon; but what man of sense could grant his distance from the Borysthenes to the parallel of Thule? For not only has the man who tells about Thule, Pytheas, been found, upon scrutiny, to be an arch-falsifier, but the men who have seen Britain and Ierne do not mention Thule, though they speak of other islands, small ones, about Britain; and Britain itself stretches alongside of Celtica with a length about equal thereto, being not greater in length than five thousand stadia, and its limits are defined by the extremities of Celtica which lie opposite its own. For the eastern extremity of the one country lies opposite the eastern extremity of the other, and the western extremity of the one opposite the western of the other; and their eastern extremities, at all events, are near enough to each other for a person to see across from one to the other — I mean Cantium186 and the mouths of the Rhine. But Pytheas declares that the length of Britain is more than twenty thousand stadia, and that Cantium is several days' sail from Celtica; and in his account both of the Ostimians and of what is beyond the Rhine as far as Scythia he has in every case falsified the regions. However, any man who has told such great falsehoods about the known regions would hardly, I imagine, be able to tell the truth about places that are not known to anybody.

4 The parallel through the mouth of the Borysthenes is conjectured by Hipparchus and others to be the same as that through Britain, from the fact that the parallel through Byzantium is the same as that through Massilia; for as to the relation of the dial-index to the shadow, which Pytheas has given for Massilia, this same relation Hipparchus says he observed at Byzantium, at the same time of the year as that mentioned by Pytheas. But it is not more than five thousand stadia from Massilia to the centre of Britain. Furthermore, if you were to proceed not more than four thousand stadia north from the centre of Britain you would find a region that is inhabitable only after a fashion (which region would be in the neighbourhood of Ierne); and so, as for the regions farther on, far out where Eratosthenes places Thule, you would find places no longer habitable. But by what guesswork Eratosthenes could say that the distance from the parallel through Thule to that through the mouth of the Borysthenes is eleven thousand five hundred stadia, I do not see.a

5 And since he entirely missed the breadth of the inhabited world, he has necessarily failed to guess its length also. For, in the first place, that the known length is more than double the known breadth is agreed to by the later writers as well as by the most accomplished of the early writers (I mean the distance from the extremities of India to the extremities of Iberia, double that from Ethiopia up to the parallel that runs by Ierne). Again, after Eratosthenes has determined the said breadth, namely, that from extreme Ethiopia up to the parallel of Thule, he extends the length beyond the due measure, in order to make the length more than double the aforesaid breadth. At all events he says that the narrowest part of India up to the river Indus measures sixteen thousand stadia (for the part of India that extends to its capes will increase this length by three thousand stadia); and the distance hence to the Caspian Gates, fourteen thousand; then, to the Euphrates, ten thousand, and from the Euphrates to the Nile five thousand, and on to its Canobic mouth thirteen hundred more; then, to Carthage, thirteen thousand five hundred; then, to the Pillars, at least eight thousand; there is, accordingly, he says, an excess of eight hundred stadia over seventy thousand stadia. We must still add, he says, the bulge of Europe outside the Pillars, which lies over against Iberia and leans westward, reaching not less than three thousand stadia; we must also add all the capes, but in particular that of the Ostimians, called Cabaeum, and the islands about it — the outermost of which, Uxisame,189 Pytheas says, is a three days' sail distant. And after mentioning these last places, though all of them in their stretch add nothing to the length of the inhabited world, he has added the regions in the neighbourhood of the capes, of the Ostimians, of Uxisame, and of all the islands he names. (In fact, these places all lie towards the north and belong to Celtica, not to Iberia — or rather they are inventions of Pytheas.) And he adds to the aforesaid length-distances still other stadia, namely, two thousand on the west, and two thousand on the east, in order to keep the breadth from being more than half the length.

6 Again, attempting still further to appease us by saying that it is "in accordance with nature" to call the distance from east to west greater, he says it is "in accordance with nature" that from the east to the west the inhabited world is longer, and, "just as I have already stated in the manner of the mathematicians," he says, "it forms a complete circle, itself meeting itself; so that, if the immensity of the Atlantic Sea did not prevent, we could sail from Iberia to India along one and the same parallel over the remainder of the circle, that is, the remainder when you have subtracted the aforesaid distance, which is more than a third of the whole circle — if it be true that the circle that runs through Athens, along which I have made the said reckoning of stadia from India to Iberia, is less than two hundred thousand stadia in circuit." However, Eratosthenes is not happy in this statement, either; for although this argument might be used in the treatment of the temperate zone (that is, our zone) from the point of view of mathematics (since the inhabited world is a fraction of the temperate zone) yet in the treatment of the inhabited world — why we call "inhabited" the world which we inhabit and know; though it may be that in this same temperate zone there are actually two inhabited worlds, or even more, and particularly in the proximity of the parallel through Athens that is drawn across the Atlantic Sea. And again, by dwelling on his demonstration of the spheroidal shape of the earth he might meet with the same criticism as before. And in the same way also he does not cease to quarrel with Homer about the very same things.

7 Next, after saying that there has been much discussion about the continents, and that some divide them by the rivers (the Nile and the Tanaïs), declaring them to be islands, while others divide them by the isthmuses (the isthmus between the Caspian and the Pontic Seas, and the isthmus between the Red Sea and the Ecregma), and that the latter call the continents peninsulas, Eratosthenes then says that he does not see how this investigation can end in any practical result, but that it belongs only to persons who choose to live on a diet of disputation, after the manner of Democritus; for if there be no accurate boundaries — take the case of Colyttus and Melite — of stone posts, for example, or enclosures, we can say only this, "This is Colyttus," and "That is Melite," but we should not be able to point out the boundaries; and this is the reason also why disputes often arise concerning districts, such as the dispute between the Argives and the Lacedaemonians about Thyrea, and between the Athenians and the Boeotians about Oropus; and the Greeks named the three continents wrongly, because they did not look out upon the whole inhabited world, but merely upon their own country and that which lay directly opposite, namely, Caria, where Ionians and their immediate neighbours now live; but in time, ever advancing still further and becoming acquainted with more and more countries, they have finally brought their division of the continents to what it now is. The question, then, is whether the "first men" who divided the three continents by boundaries (to begin with Eratosthenes' last points, dieting upon disputation, not after the manner of Democritus, but after that of Eratosthenes) were those "first men" who sought to divide by boundaries their own country from that of the Carians, which lay opposite; or, did the latter have a notion merely of Greece, and of Caria and a bit of territory that is contiguous thereto, without having, in like manner, a notion of Europe or Asia, or of Libya, whereas the men of subsequent times, travelling over what was enough of the earth to suggest the notion of the inhabited world — are these the men, I say, who made the division into three parts? How, pray, could they have failed to make a division? And who, when speaking of three parts and calling each of the parts a continent, does not at the same time have a notion of the integer of which he makes his division into parts? But suppose he does not have a notion of the inhabited world, but should make his division of some part of it — of what part of the inhabited world, I ask, would anyone have said Asia was a part, or Europe, or a continent in general? Indeed these points of his have been crudely stated.

8 Still cruder is it, after he has said that he does not see what practical result there can be of the investigation of the boundaries, to cite Colyttus and Melite, and then turn round to the opposite side of the question. For if the wars about Thyrea and Oropus resulted through ignorance of the boundaries, then the separation of countries by boundaries is a thing that results in something practical. Or does Eratosthenes mean this, that in the case of the districts and, of course, of the several nations it is practical at once divide them by accurate boundaries, whereas in case of the continents it is superfluous? And yet, I answer, not even here is it any the less practical; for there might arise also in case of the continents a controversy between great rulers, for example, one ruler who held Asia and another who held Libya, as to which one of them really owned Egypt, that is to say, the so‑called "Lower" country of Egypt. Moreover, if anyone dismisses this example on account of its rarity, at all events it must be said that the continents are divided according to a process of grand division which also has relation to the whole inhabited world. In following that principle of division we must not worry about this point, either, namely, that those who have made the rivers the dividing lines leave certain districts without dividing lines, because the rivers do not reach all the way to the ocean and so do not really leave the continents as islands.

9 Now, towards the end of his treatise — after withholding praise from those who divide the whole multitude of mankind into two groups, namely, Greeks and Barbarians, and also from those who advised Alexander to treat the Greeks as friends but the Barbarians as enemies — Eratosthenes goes on to say that it would be better to make such divisions according to good qualities and bad qualities; for not only are many of the Greeks bad, but many of the Barbarians are refined — Indians and Arians, for example, and, further, Romans and Carthaginians, who carry on their governments so admirably. And this, he says, is the reason why Alexander, disregarding his advisers, welcomed as many as he could of the men of fair repute and did them favours — just as if those who have made such a division, placing some people in the category of censure, others in that of praise, did so for any other reason than that in some people there prevail the law-abiding and the political instinct, and the qualities associated with education and powers of speech, whereas in other people the opposite characteristics prevail! And so Alexander, not disregarding his advisers, but rather accepting their opinion, did what was consistent with, not contrary to, their advice; for he had regard to the real intent of those who gave him counsel.

 
2 Countries of Earth. 5 143 1:50
2 - 1 Eratosthenes is often wrong P3

(67) In the Third Book of his Geography Eratosthenes, in establishing the map of the inhabited world, divides it into two parts by a line drawn from west to east, parallel to the equatorial line; and as ends of this line he takes, on the west, the Pillars of Heracles, on the east, the capes and most remote peaks of the mountain-chain that forms the northern boundary of India. He draws the line from the Pillars through the Strait of Sicily and also through the southern capes both of the Peloponnesus and of Attica, and as far as Rhodes and the Gulf of Issus. Up to this point, then, he says, the said line runs through the sea and the adjacent continents (and indeed our whole Mediterranean Sea itself extends, lengthwise, along this line as far as Cilicia); then the line is produced in an approximately straight course along the whole Taurus Range as far as India, for the Taurus stretches in a straight course with the sea that begins at the Pillars, and divides all Asia lengthwise into two parts, thus making one part of it northern, the other southern; so that in like manner both the Taurus and the Sea from the Pillars up to the Taurus lie on the parallel of Athens.

After Eratosthenes has said that, he thinks he must needs make a complete revision of the early geographical map; for, according to it, he says, the eastern portions of the mountains deviate considerably towards the north, and India itself is drawn up along with it, and comes to occupy a more northerly position than it should. As proof of this he offers, first, an argument to this effect: the most southerly capes of India rise opposite to1 the regions about Meroë, as many writers agree, who judge both from the climatic conditions and from the celestial phenomena; and from the capes on to the most northerly regions of India at the Caucasus Mountains, Patrocles (the man who has particular right to our confidence, both on account of his worthiness of character and on account of his being no layman in geographical matters) says the distance is fifteen thousand stadia; but, to be sure, the distance from Meroë to the parallel of Athens is about that distance; and therefore the northerly parts of India, since they join the Caucasus Mountains, come to an end in this parallel.

3 Another proof which he offers is to this effect: the distance from the Gulf of Issus to the Pontic Sea is about three thousand stadia, if you go towards the north and the regions round about Amisus and Sinope, a distance as great as that which is also assigned to the breadth of the mountains; and from Amisus, if you bear towards the equinoctial sunrise, you come first to Colchis; and then you come to the passage which takes you over to the Hyrcanian Sea, and to the road next in order that leads to Bactra and to the Scythians on beyond, keeping the mountains on your right; and this line, if produced through Amisus westwards, runs through the Propontis and the Hellespont; and from Meroë to the Hellespont is not more than eighteen thousand stadia, a distance as great as that from the southern side of India to the parts round about the Bactrians, if we added three thousand stadia to the fifteen thousand, some of which belonged to the breadth of the mountains, the others to that of India.

4 As for this declaration of Eratosthenes, Hipparchus contradicts it by throwing discredit on the proofs. In the first place, says he, Patrocles is not trustworthy, since two men bear testimony against him, both Deïmachus and Megasthenes, who say that in some places the distance from the southern sea is twenty thousand stadia and in other places even thirty thousand; so these two men, at least, make such a statement, and the early maps agree with them. It is an incredible thing, of course, he thinks, that we have to trust Patrocles alone, in disregard of those whose testimony is so strong against him, and to correct the early maps throughout as regards the very point at issue, instead of leaving them as they are until we have more trustworthy information about them.

5 Now I think this reasoning of Hipparchus is open to censure on many grounds. In the first place, although Eratosthenes used many testimonies, he says that Eratosthenes uses only one — that of Patrocles. Who, pray, were the men that affirmed that the southern capes of India rose opposite to the regions of Meroë? And who the men that said the distance from Meroë up to the parallel of Athens was such a distance? And who, again, the men that gave the breadth of the Taurus Mountains, of the men that called the distance from Cilicia to the Amisus the same as that of this breadth? And who said as regards the distance from Amisus, through Colchis and Hyrcania up to Bactria and through the regions beyond Bactria which reach down to the eastern sea, that it was in a straight line and toward the equinoctial east and that it was alongside the mountains which you keep on your right hand? Or, again, as regards the distance towards the west in a straight course with this line, that it was towards the Propontis and the Hellespont? Why, Eratosthenes takes all these as matters actually established by the testimony of the men who had been in the regions, for he has read many historical treatises — with which he was well supplied if he had a library as large as Hipparchus says it was.

6 Further, the trustworthiness of Patrocles, itself, rests upon many testimonies; I refer to the Kings who had entrusted to him such an important office; to the men who followed him, to the men who oppose him, whom Hipparchus himself names; for the tests to which those men are subjected are but proofs of the statements of Patrocles. Neither does this statement of Patrocles lack plausibility, namely, that those who made the expedition with Alexander acquired only cursory information about everything, but Alexander himself made accurate investigations, since the men best acquainted with the country had described the whole of it for him; and this description was later presented to p261Patrocles (so Patrocles says) by Xenocles, Alexander's treasurer.

7 Hipparchus further says, in his Second Book, that Eratosthenes himself throws discredit on the trustworthiness of Patrocles, in consequence of Patrocles' disagreement with Megasthenes about the length of India on its northern side, which Megasthenes calls sixteen thousand stadia, whereas Patrocles affirms that it is a thousand short of that; for, having started from a certain "Itinerary" as basis, Eratosthenes distrusts both of them on account of their disagreement and holds to the "Itinerary." If, then, says Hipparchus, Patrocles is untrustworthy on account of the disagreement at that point, although the discrepancy is only a matter of a thousand stadia, how much more should we distrust him where the discrepancy is a matter of eight thousand stadia, as against two men, and that, too, men who agree with one another; for both of them call the breadth of India twenty thousand stadia, whereas Patrocles calls it twelve thousand?

8 My answer will be that it was not the bare disagreement with Megasthenes that Eratosthenes found fault with, but he found fault when he compared their disagreement with the harmony and trustworthiness of the "Itinerary." Yet we should not be surprised if one thing proves to be more trustworthy than another trustworthy thing, and if we trust the same man in some things, but distrust him in others, whenever greater certainty has been established from some other source. Again, it is ridiculous to think that the amount by which the authorities disagree makes the parties to the disagreement less trustworthy. Why, on the contrary, this is more likely to be the case where the matter of disagreement is slight; for if the matter of disagreement is but slight, error is more likely to result, not merely among ordinary writers, but even among writers who are somewhat superior to the other class; but where the matters of disagreement are considerable, though the ordinary man would go astray, the more scientific man would be less likely to do so, and for that reason he is more quickly trusted.

9 However, all who have written about India have proved themselves, for the most part, fabricators, but preëminently so Deïmachus; the next in order is Megasthenes; and then, Onesicritus, and Nearchus, and other such writers, who begin to speak the truth, though with faltering voice. I, too, had the privilege of noting this fact extensively when I was writing the "Deeds of Alexander." But especially do Deïmachus and Megasthenes deserve to be distrusted. For they are the persons who tell us about the "men that sleep in their ears," and the "men without mouths," and "men without noses"; and about "men with one eye," "men with long legs," "men with fingers turned backward"; and they revived, also, the Homeric story of the battle between the cranes and the "pygmies," who, they say, were three spans tall. These men also tell about the ants that mine gold and Pans with wedge-shaped heads; and about snakes that swallow oxen and stags, horns and all; and in these matters the one refutes the other, as is stated by Eratosthenes also. For although they were sent on an ambassadorial mission to Palimbothra (Megasthenes to Sandrocottus, Deïmachus to Allitrochades the son of Sandrocottus), still, as memoirs of their stay abroad, they have left behind such writings as these, being prompted to do so by — I know not what cause! Patrocles, however, is by no means that sort of man. And also the other witnesses whom Eratosthenes has used are not lacking in credibility.

107 For instance, if the meridian through Rhodes and Byzantium has been correctly drawn, then that through Cilicia and Amisus will have been correctly drawn too; for from many observations the parallel relation of lines is obvious whenever it is proved by test that there is no meeting in either direction.

11 Again, that the voyage from Amisus to Colchis lies in the direction of the equinoctial east is proved by the winds, by the seasons, by the crops, and by the risings of the sun themselves; and thus, in the same way, both the pass that leads over to the Caspian Sea and the road from there on to Bactra. For in many cases the way things appear to the sight and the agreement of all the testimony are more trustworthy than an instrument. Indeed, even the same Hipparchus, in taking the line from the Pillars on to Cilicia to be in a straight course and to be in the direction of the equinoctial east, did not depend wholly on instruments and geometrical calculations, but for the whole line from the Pillars on to the Strait he trusted the sailors. So that this statement of his is not good, either, where he says: "Since we cannot tell either the relation of the longest to the shortest, or of gnomon to shadow, along the mountain-side that runs from Cilicia on to India, neither can we say whether the slant of the mountains lies in a parallel line, but we must leave the line uncorrected, keep it aslant as the early maps give it." For, in the first place, "cannot tell" is the same thing as to withhold opinion, and the man who withholds opinion also inclines to neither side; but when Hipparchus bids us leave the line as the ancients give it, he inclines to that side. Rather would he be "keeping" the consistent course, if he also advised us not to treat geography at all; for we "cannot tell" in that way the positions of the other mountains, either — for instance, the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the Thracian, the Illyrian, and the German Mountains. But who would think the early geographers more trustworthy than those of later times, since in their map-drawing the ancients made all those blunders that Eratosthenes has rightly accused them of and not one of these blunders has been objected to by Hipparchus?

12 Again, the next remarks of Hipparchus are full of great difficulties. For example, see how many absurdities would arise if one should not disallow the statement that the southern capes of India rise opposite to the regions of Meroë, or the statement that the distance from Meroë to the mouth of the strait at Byzantium is about eighteen thousand stadia, but yet should make the distance from Southern India of the mountains thirty thousand stadia. Why, in the first place, if it be true that the parallel which runs through Byzantium is the same as that which runs through Massilia (as Hipparchus has stated, on the authority of Pytheas), and that the meridian which runs through Byzantium is the same as that through the Borysthenes (which very thing, also, Hipparchus approves), and if he also approves the statement that the distance from Byzantium to the Borysthenes is three thousand seven hundred stadia, then this last number would be the number of stadia from Massilia to the parallel that runs through the Borysthenes; which parallel, of course, would run through the sea-coast of Celtica, for on going about this number of stadia through Celtica you reach the ocean.

13 Again, since the Cinnamon-producing Country is the most remote inhabited country towards the south, as we know, and since, according to Hipparchus himself, the parallel that runs through it is the beginning of the temperate zone and of the inhabited world, and is distant from the equator about eight thousand eight hundred stadia; and further, since, as Hipparchus says, the parallel through the Borysthenes is thirty-four thousand stadia distant from the equator, there would remain twenty-five thousand two hundred stadia for the distance from the parallel that divides the torrid from the temperate zone to the parallel that runs through the Borysthenes and the sea-coast of Celtica. And yet the voyage from Celtica to the north is nowadays called the remotest voyage to the north; I mean the voyage to Ierne, which island not only lies beyond Britain but is such a wretched place to live in on account of the cold that the regions on beyond are regarded as uninhabitable. And Ierne is not farther from Celtica, he says, than five thousand stadia; so that about thirty thousand stadia all told, or perhaps a few more, would represent the breadth of the inhabited world.

14 Well, then, let us pass on to the country that rises opposite to the Cinnamon-producing Country and lies toward the East on the same parallel. This is the region about Taprobane.18 We have strong assurance that Taprobane is a large island in the open, which lies off India to the south. It stretches lengthwise in the direction of Ethiopia for more than five thousand stadia, as they say; and from it, they say, much ivory is brought to the markets of India, and also tortoise-shell and other merchandise. Now if we assign to this island a breadth that is proportional to its length, and if we add thereto the expanse of the sea between it and India, the sum would be a distance of not less than three thousand stadia — as much as the distance from the border of the inhabited world to Meroë — that is, if the capes of India are to rise opposite to Meroë; but it is more plausible to set down still more than three thousand stadia. So if you should add these three thousand stadia to the thirty thousand stadia which Deïmachus gives as the distance to the pass that leads over Bactriana and Sogdiana, then all these people would fall outside the inhabited world and the temperate zone. Who, pray, would venture to maintain this, when he hears of men of both ancient and modern times telling about the mild climate and the fertility, first of Northern India, and then of Hyrcania and Aria, and, next in order, of Margiana and Bactriana? For, although all these countries lies next to the northern side of the Taurus Range, and although Bactriana, at least, lies close to the pass that leads over to India, still they enjoy such a happy lot that they must be a very long way off from the uninhabitable part of the earth. In Hyrcania, at any rate, they say that the vine produces one metretes of wine, the fig-tree sixty medimni of figs, the wheat grows again from the waste seed of the stubble-field, bees have their hives in the trees, and honey drips from the leaves; and this is also true of Matiana, a province of Media, and of Sacasene and of Araxene, districts of Armenia. But in the case of the latter districts this is not equally amazing, if it be true that they lie further south than Hyrcania, and are superior to the rest of the country in mildness of climate; but in the case of Hyrcania it is more amazing. And in Margiana, they say, it is oftentimes found that the trunk of the grape-vine can be encircled only by the outstretched arms of two men, and that the cluster of grapes is two cubits long.a And they say that Aria also is similar, but that it even excels in good vintage, since there, at all events, the wine actually keeps for three generations in unpitched casks; and that Bactriana, too, which lies on the border of Aria, produces everything except olive-oil.

15 But if all the parts of these regions that are high and mountainous are also cold, we should not be amazed; for even in the southern latitudes the mountains are cold, and in general all high-lying lands, even if they be plateaux, are cold. At any rate, in Cappadocia the regions next to the Euxine are much farther north than those next to the Taurus; but Bagadaonia, an enormous plain which falls between the Argaeus Mountain and the Taurus Range, only scantily (if anywhere) produces fruit-trees, although it is three thousand stadia farther south than the Pontic Sea, whereas the suburbs of Sinope and Amisus and the greater part of Phanaroea are planted with olive-trees. And further, the River Oxus, which divides Bactriana from Sogdiana, is so easily navigable, they say, that the Indian merchandise packed over the mountains to it is easily brought down to the Hyrcanian Sea, and thence, on the rivers, to the successive regions beyond as far as the Pontus.

16 Now what comparable blessings of nature can you find round about the Borysthenes or in the part of Celtica that lies on the ocean, where the grape either does not grow at all, or else does not bear fruit? In the more southern districts of these countries, both on the Mediterranean Sea and in the regions about the Bosporus, the vine does bear fruit, but the grapes are small, and the vines are buried during the winter. The frosts are so severe at the mouth of Lake Maeotis that, at a certain spot where, in winter time, Mithridates' general conquered the barbarians in a cavalry engagement fought on the ice, he afterwards, in summer time, when the ice had melted, defeated the same barbarians in a naval engagement. And Eratosthenes brings forward, also, the following epigram from the temple of Asclepius at Panticapaeum, which was inscribed on the bronze water-jar that had been burst by freezing: "If any man is incredulous in regard to what happens in our country, let him look at this water-jar and know the truth; which, not as a fair offering unto God but as an illustration of our severe winters, has been dedicated by Stratius the priest." Since, therefore, the climatic conditions in the Asiatic regions that I have enumerated are not to be compared even with those at the Bosporus, nay, not even with those at Amisus and Sinope (which places one would call milder in climate than the regions at the Bosporus), those Asiatic regions could hardly be thrown on the same parallel with those about Borysthenes and with the country of the northernmost Celts. In fact, the Asiatic regions could hardly be in the same latitude as the regions about Amisus, Sinope, Byzantium, and Massilia, which are conceded to be thirty-seven hundred stadia farther south than the Borysthenes and the Celts.

Now if Deïmachus and his followers add to the thirty thousand stadia the distance to Taprobane and to the boundary of the torrid zone, which must be put at not less than four thousand stadia, they will thus be placing both Bactra and Aria outside the inhabited world in the regions that are thirty-four thousand stadia from the torrid zone — the number of stadia Hipparchus gives as the distance from the equator to the Borysthenes. And so Bactria and Aria will be thrown outside into the regions that are eight thousand eight hundred stadia farther north than the Borysthenes and Celtica — the number of stadia by which the equator is south of the circle that divides the torrid zone from the temperate; and this circle we say is drawn, in a general way, through the Cinnamon-producing Country. Now I myself was pointing out that the regions beyond Celtica as far as Ierne were scarcely habitable, and that this distance is not more than five thousand stadia; but this argument of Deïmachus declares that there is a habitable parallel of latitude three thousand eight hundred stadia still farther north than Ierne! Thus Bactra will be a very considerable distance farther north than even the mouth of the Caspian (or Hyrcanian) Sea; and this mouth is about six thousand stadia distant from the inmost part of the Caspian Sea and from the Armenian and Median mountains (and it seems to be a more northerly point than the coast-line itself that runs thence to India; and to offer a practicable route of circumnavigation from India, according to Patrocles, who was once governor of these regions). Accordingly, Bactriana stretches out still farther for a thousand stadia toward the north. But the Scythian tribes inhabit a much larger country than Bactriana, on beyond it, and they end at the northern sea; who, though it be as nomads, still manage to live. How, then, if even Bactra itself is thrown outside of the inhabited world, could this distance from the Caucasus up to the northern sea, measured on the meridian line through Bactra, be slightly more than four thousand stadia? If these stadia, then, be added to the stadia-reckoning from Ierne to the northern regions, they make the total distance through the uninhabitable region, on the stadia-reckoning made through Ierne, seven thousand eight hundred stadia. But if one should leave out the four thousand stadia, at least the very parts of Bactriana that are next to the Caucasus will be farther north than Ierne by three thousand eight hundred stadia, and farther north than Celtica and the Borysthenes by eight thousand eight hundred stadia.

Hipparchus says, at all events, that at the Borysthenes and Celtica, throughout the nights in summer-time, the light of the sun shines dimly, moving round from the west to the east, and at the winter solstice the sun ascends at most only nine cubits; but that among the people who are six thousand three hundred stadia distant from Massilia (people who live two thousand five hundred stadia north of Celtica, whom Hipparchus assumes still to be Celts, though I think they are Britons) this phenomenon is much more marked; and on the winter days there the sun ascends only six cubits, and only four cubits among the people who are distant from Massilia nine thousand one hundred stadia; and less than three cubits among the people who live on beyond (who, according to my argument, would be much farther north than Ierne). But Hipparchus, trusting Pytheas, puts this inhabited country in the regions that are farther south than Britain, and says that the longest day there has nineteen equinoctial hours, but that the longest day has eighteen hours where the sun ascends only four cubits; and these people, he says, are distant from Massilia nine thousand and one hundred stadia; and hence the most southerly of the Britons are more northerly than these people. Accordingly, they are either on the same parallel as the Bactrians that live near the Caucasus or on some parallel close to it; for, as I have stated, according to Deïmachus and his followers our result will be that the Bactrians that live near the Caucasus are more northerly than Ierne by three thousand eight hundred stadia; and if these stadia be added to those from Massilia to Ierne, we get twelve thousand five hundred stadia. Now who has ever reported in these regions (I mean the regions about Bactra) such a length of the longest days, or such a meridian height of the sun at the winter solstice? Why, all such phenomena are obvious to the eye even of a layman and do not require mathematical notation; so that many men, both of the early writers of Persian history and of their successors down to our own times, could have compiled them. Again, how could the above-mentioned happy lot of these regions be conceded to those regions that have such celestial phenomena? And so from what I have said it is clear how very cleverly Hipparchus contradicts the demonstration of Eratosthenes on the ground that the latter (although their objects of inquiry are in effect equivalent) were taking the object of inquiry for granted as an aid to his demonstration thereof!

19 And so, again, where Eratosthenes wishes to show that Deïmachus is a layman and inexperienced in such matters. For he says Deïmachus thinks that India lies between the autumnal equinox and the winter tropic, and contradicts the statement of Megasthenes that, in the southern parts of India, the Bears set and the shadows fall in the opposite directions, asserting that neither phenomenon takes place anywhere in India; and so, says Eratosthenes, when Deïmachus asserts this, he speaks ignorantly, since it is mere ignorance to think that the autumnal equinox differs from the vernal equinox in distance from the tropic, because both the circle and the rising of the sun are the same at the equinoxes; and, since the distance between the terrestrial tropic and the equator, between which Deïmachus places India, has been shown in the measurement of the earth to be much less than twenty thousand stadia, the result would be, even according to Deïmachus himself, precisely what Eratosthenes thinks, and not what Deïmachus thinks; for if India be twenty, or as much as thirty, thousand stadia in breadth it could not even fall within such a space. But if India has the breadth which Eratosthenes himself has given it, then it would fall therein; and that it is also a mark of the same ignorance for Deïmachus to assert that in no part of India do the Bears set or the shadows fall in the opposite directions, since, at any rate, if you proceed only five thousand stadia south from Alexandria the phenomena begin at once to take place. So Hipparchus is again not right in correcting Eratosthenes on that statement, because, in the first place, he interprets Deïmachus as saying "the summer tropic" instead of "the winter tropic," and because, in the second place, he thinks we should not use as a source of evidence on mathematics a man who is unversed in astronomy — just as if Eratosthenes were reckoning in the evidence of Deïmachus above that of other men and not merely following a common custom used in replying to men that talk foolishness. For one way of refuting men who contradict foolishly is to shew that the very declaration they make, whatever it may be, pleads our case.

20 Up to this point, then, having taken as hypothesis that the most southerly regions of India rise opposite the regions about Meroë — which many have stated and believed — I have pointed out the absurdities that result from this hypothesis. But since Hipparchus up to this point offers no objection to this hypothesis, and yet later on, in his Second Book, will not concede it, I must consider his argument on this matter, too. Well, then, he says: If only the regions that lie on the same parallel rise opposite each other, then, whenever the intervening distance is great, we cannot know this very thing, namely, that the regions in question are on the same parallel, without the comparison of the "climata" as observed at the other of the two places; now as for the "clima" at Meroë Philo, who wrote an account of his voyage to Ethiopia, reports that the sun is in the zenith forty-five days before the summer solstice and tells also the relations of the gnomon to the shadows both in the solstices and the equinoxes, and Eratosthenes agrees very closely with Philo; whereas nobody reports the "clima" in India, not even Eratosthenes himself; however, if it is really true that in India the Bears set (both of them, as they think, relying on Nearchus and his followers), then it is impossible that Meroë and the capes of India lie on the same parallel. Now if Eratosthenes joins those who have already so stated in reporting that both Bears do set, how can it be that nobody reports about the "clima" in India, not even Eratosthenes himself? For this statement concerns the "clima." But if Eratosthenes does not join them in the report, let him be free from the accusation. No, he does not join them in the report; nay, because Deïmachus said that the Bears do not set and the shadows do not fall in the opposite direction anywhere in India (as Megasthenes assumed), Eratosthenes convicts him of inexperience, regarding as falsehood the combined statement, wherein by the acknowledgement of Hipparchus himself the false statement that the shadows do not fall in the opposite direction is combined with that about the Bears. For even if the southern capes of India do not rise opposite to Meroë, Hipparchus clearly concedes that they are at least farther south than Syene.

21 In what follows, also, Hipparchus, in attempting proofs on the same questions, either states again the same things that I have already disproved, or employs additional false assumptions, or appends conclusions that do not follow. In the first place, take the statement p293of Eratosthenes that the distance from Babylon to Thapsacus is four thousand eight hundred stadia, and thence northwards to the Armenian Mountains two thousand one hundred: it does not follow from this that the distance from Babylon measured on the meridian through it to the northern mountains is more than six thousand stadia. Secondly, Eratosthenes does not say that the distance from Thapsacus to the mountains is two thousand one hundred stadia, 78but that there is a remainder of that distance which has not been measured; and hence the ensuing attack, made from an assumption not granted, could not result in a valid conclusion. And, thirdly, Eratosthenes has nowhere declared that Thapsacus lies north of Babylon more than four thousand five hundred stadia.

22 Next, still pleading for the early maps, Hipparchus does not produce the words of Eratosthenes in regard to the Third Section, but for his own gratification invented his statement, making it easy to overthrow. For Eratosthenes, pursuing his aforementioned thesis about the Taurus and the Mediterranean Sea, beginning at the Pillars, divides the inhabited world by means of this line into two divisions, and calls them respectively the Northern Division and the Southern Division, and then attempts to cut each of these divisions again into such sections as are possible; and he calls these sections "Sphragides." And so, after calling India Section First of the Southern Division, and Ariana Section Second, since they had contours easy to sketch, he was able to represent not only length and breadth of both sections, but, after a fashion, shape also, as would a geometrician. In the first place, India, he says, is rhomboidal, because, of its four sides, two are washed by seas (the southern and the eastern seas) which form shores without very deep gulfs; and because the remaining sides are marked, one by the mountain and the other by the river, and because on these two sides, also, the rectilinear figure is fairly well preserved. Secondly, Ariana. Although he sees that it has at least three sides well-suited to the formation of the figure of a parallelogram, and although he cannot mark off the western side by mathematical points, on account of the fact that the tribes there alternate with one another, yet he represents that side by a sort of line that begins at the Caspian Gates and ends at the capes of Carmania that are next to the Persian Gulf. Accordingly, he calls this side "western" and the side along the Indus "eastern," but he does not call them parallel; neither does he call the other two sides parallel, namely, the one marked by the mountain, and the one marked by the sea, but he merely calls them "the northern" and "the southern" sides.

23 And so, though he represents the Second Section merely by a rough outline, he represents the Third Section much more roughly than the Second — and for several reasons. First is the reason already mentioned, namely, because the side beginning at the Caspian Gates and running to Carmania (the side common to the Second and Third Sections) has not been determined distinctly; secondly, because the Persian Gulf breaks into the southern side, as Eratosthenes himself says, and therefore he has been forced to take the line beginning at Babylon as though it were a straight line running through Susa and Persepolis to the frontiers of Carmania and Persis, on which he was able to find a measured highway, which was slightly more than nine thousand stadia, all told. This side Eratosthenes calls "southern," but he does not call it parallel to the northern side. Again, it is clear that the Euphrates, by which he marks off the western side, is nowhere near a straight line; but after flowing from the mountains towards the south, it then turns eastward, and then southward again to the point where it empties into the sea. And Eratosthenes makes clear the river's lack of straightness when he indicates the shape of Mesopotamia, which results from the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates — "like a galley" as he says. And besides, as regards the stretch from Thapsacus to Armenia — Eratosthenes does not even know, as a distance that has been wholly measured, the western side that is marked off by the Euphrates; nay, he says he does not know how great is the stretch next to Armenia and the northern mountains, from the fact that it is unmeasured. For all these reasons, therefore, he says he represents the Third Section only in rough outline; indeed, he says that he collected even the distances from many writers who had worked out the itineraries — some of which he speaks of as actually without titles. So, then, Hipparchus would seem to be acting unfairly when he contradicts with geometrical accuracy a mere rough outline of this nature, instead of being grateful, as we should be, to all those who have reported to us in any way at all the physiography of the regions. But when Hipparchus does not even take his geometrical hypotheses from what Eratosthenes says, but fabricates on his own account, he betrays his spirit of jealousy still more obviously.

24 Now Eratosthenes says that it is only thus, "in a rough-outline way," that he has represented the Third Section, with its length of ten thousand stadia from the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates. And then, in making subdivisions of this length, he sets down the measurements just as he found them already assigned by others, after beginning in the inverse order at the Euphrates and its passage at Thapsacus. Accordingly, for the distance from the Euphrates to the Tigris, at the point where Alexander crossed it, he lays off two thousand four hundred stadia; thence to the several places in succession, through Gaugamela, the Lycus, Arbela, and Ecbatana (the route by which Darius fled from Gaugamela to the Caspian Gates) he fills out the ten thousand stadia, and has a surplus of only three hundred stadia. This, then, is the way he measures the northern side, not having first put it parallel with the mountains, or with the line that runs through the Pillars, Athens, and Rhodes. For Thapsacus lies at a considerable distance from the mountains, and the mountain-range and the highway from Thapsacus meet at the Caspian Gates. — And these are the northern portions of the boundary of the Third Section.

After having thus represented the northern side, Eratosthenes says it is not possible to take the southern side as along the sea, because the Persian Gulf breaks into it; but, says he, from Babylon to Susa and Persepolis to the frontiers of Persis and Carmania, it is nine thousand two hundred stadia — and this he calls "southern side," but he does not call the southern side parallel to the northern. As to the difference in the lengths of the estimated northern and southern sides, he says it results from the fact that the Euphrates, after having flowed southwards to a certain point, makes a considerable bend towards the east.

26 Of the two transverse sides Eratosthenes speaks of the western first; and what the nature of this side is, whether it is one line or two, is a matter open to consideration. For from the passage at Thapsacus, he says, along the Euphrates to Babylon, it is four thousand eight hundred stadia, and thence to the outlet of the Euphrates and the city of Teredon, three thousand; but as regards the distances from Thapsacus northward, the stadia have been measured up to the Armenian Gates and amount to about one thousand one hundred; whereas the stadia through Gordyene and Armenia are still unmeasured, and so for this reason he leaves them out of consideration. But of the side on the east, that part which runs through Persis lengthwise from the Red Sea, approximately toward Media and the north, is, he thinks, no less than eight thousand stadia (though, if reckoned from certain promontories, even above nine thousand stadia); and the remaining part, through Paraetacene60 and Media to the Caspian p305Gates, about three thousand stadia. The Tigris and the Euphrates, he says, flow from Armenia southwards; and then, as soon as they pass the mountains of Gordyene, they describe a great circle and enclose a considerable territory, Mesopotamia; and then they turn toward the winter rising of the sun61 and the south, but more so the Euphrates; and the Euphrates, after becoming ever nearer to the Tigris in the neighbourhood of the Wall of Semiramis and a village called Opis (from which village the Euphrates was distant only about two hundred stadia), and, after flowing through Babylon, empties into the Persian Gulf. "So it comes to pass," he says, "that the shape of Mesopotamia and Babylonia is like that of a galley." Such, then, are the statements which Eratosthenes has made.

27 Now, as regards the Third Section, although there are certain other errors which Eratosthenes makes — and I shall discuss these — still he does not err at all in the matters for which Hipparchus reproaches him. Let us see what Hipparchus says. In his desire to establish his initial statement, namely, that we must not shift India farther to the south, as Eratosthenes requires, he says it will be particularly obvious from Eratosthenes' own utterances that we must not do so; for after first saying that the Third Section is marked off on its northern side by the line drawn from the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates, a distance of ten thousand stadia, Eratosthenes adds, later on, that the southern side, which runs from Babylon to the frontiers of Carmania, is slightly more than nine thousand stadia in length, and the side on the west from Thapsacus along the Euphrates to Babylon is four thousand eight hundred stadia, and, next, from Babylon to the outlet of the Euphrates is three thousand stadia, and as for the distances north of Thapsacus, one of them has been measured off as far as one thousand one hundred stadia, while the remainder is still unmeasured. Then, says Hipparchus, since the northern side of the Third Section is about ten thousand stadia, and since the line parallel thereto, straight from Babylon to the eastern side, was reckoned by Eratosthenes at slightly more than nine thousand stadia, it is clear that Babylon is not much more than a thousand stadia farther east than the passage at Thapsacus.

28 My reply will be: If, with geometrical precision, we took the Caspian Gates and the frontiers of Carmania and Persis as upon the same straight meridian, and if we drew the line to Thapsacus and the line to Babylon at right angles with the said straight meridian, then that conclusion of Hipparchus would be valid. Indeed, the line through Babylon, if further produced as far as the straight meridian through Thapsacus, would, to the eye, be equal — or at all events approximately equal — to the line from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus; and hence Babylon would come to be farther east than Thapsacus by as much as the line from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus exceeds the line from the Carmanian frontiers to Babylon! But, in the first place, Eratosthenes has not spoken of the line that bounds a western side of Ariana as lying on a meridian; nor yet of the line from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus as at right angles with the meridian line through the Caspian Gates, but rather of the line marked by the mountain-range, with which line the line to Thapsacus forms an acute angle, since the latter has been drawn down from the same point as that from which the mountain-line has been drawn. In the second place, Eratosthenes has not called the line drawn to Babylon from Carmania parallel to the line drawn to Thapsacus; and even if it were parallel, but not at right angles with the meridian line through the Caspian Gates, no advantage would accrue to the argument of Hipparchus.

29 But after making these assumptions off-hand, and after showing, as he thinks, that Babylon, according to Eratosthenes, is farther east than Thapsacus by slightly more than a thousand stadia, Hipparchus again idly fabricates an assumption for use in his subsequent argument; and, he says, if we conceive a straight line drawn from Thapsacus towards the south and a line perpendicular to it from Babylon, we will have a right-angled triangle, composed of the side that extends from Thapsacus to Babylon, of the perpendicular drawn from Babylon to the meridian line through Thapsacus, and of the meridian itself through Thapsacus. Of this triangle he makes the line from Thapsacus to Babylon the hypotenuse, which he says is four thousand eight hundred stadia; and the perpendicular from Babylon to the meridian line through Thapsacus, slightly more than a thousand stadia — the amount by which the line to Thapsacus exceeded the line up to Babylon;66 and then from these sums he figures the other of the two lines which form the right angle to be many times longer than the said perpendicular. And he adds to that line the line produced northwards from Thapsacus up to the Armenian mountains, one part of which Eratosthenes said had been measured and was one thousand one hundred stadia, but the other part he leaves out of consideration as unmeasured. Hipparchus assumes for the latter part a thousand stadia at the least, so that the sum of the two parts amounts to two thousand one hundred stadia; and adding this sum to his straight-line side of the triangle, which is drawn to meet its perpendicular from Babylon, Hipparchus computes a distance of several thousand stadia, namely, that from the Armenian Mountains, or the parallel that runs through Athens, to the perpendicular from Babylon — which perpendicular he lays on the parallel that runs through Babylon. At any rate, he points out that the distance from the parallel through Athens to that through Babylon is not more than two thousand four hundred stadia, if it be assumed that the whole meridian is the number of stadia in length that Eratosthenes says; and if this is so, then the mountains of Armenia and those of the Taurus could not lie on the parallel that runs through Athens, as Eratosthenes says they do, but many thousand stadia farther north, according to Eratosthenes' own statements. At this point, then, in addition to making further use of his now demolished assumptions for the construction of his right-angled triangle, he also assumes this point that is not granted, namely, that the hypotenuse — the straight line from Thapsacus to Babylon — is within four thousand eight hundred stadia. For Eratosthenes not only says that this route is along the Euphrates, but when he tells us that Mesopotamia, including Babylonia, is circumscribed by a great circle, by the Euphrates and the Tigris, he asserts that the greater part of the circumference is described by the Euphrates: consequently, the straight line from Thapsacus to Babylon 83could neither follow the course of the Euphrates, nor be, even approximately, so many stadia in length. So his argument is overthrown. And besides, I have already stated that, if we grant that two lines are drawn from the Caspian Gates, one to Thapsacus, the other to that part of the Armenian Mountains that corresponds in position to Thapsacus (which, according to Hipparchus himself, is distant from Thapsacus at the least two thousand one hundred stadia), it is impossible for both these lines to be parallel either to each other or to the line through Babylon, which Eratosthenes called "southern side." Now because Eratosthenes could not speak of the route along the mountain-range as measured, he spoke of only the route from Thapsacus to the Caspian Gates as measured, and he added the words "roughly speaking"; moreover, since he only wished to tell the length of the country between Ariana and the Euphrates, it did not make much difference whether he measured one route or the other. But Hipparchus, when he tacitly assumes that the lines are spoken of by Eratosthenes as parallel, would seem to charge the man with utterly childish ignorance. Therefore, I must dismiss these arguments of his as childish.

30 But the charges which one might bring against Eratosthenes are such as follow. Just as, in surgery, amputation at the joints differs from unnatural piecemeal amputation (because the former takes off only the parts that have a natural configuration, following some articulation of joints or a significant outline — the meaning in which Homer says, "and having cut him up limb by limb" — whereas the latter follows no such course), and just as it is proper for us to use each kind of operation if we have regard to the proper time and the proper use of each, just so, in the case of geography, we must indeed make sections of the parts when we go over them in detail, but we must imitate the limb-by‑limb amputations rather than the haphazard amputations. For only thus it is possible to take off the member that is significant and well-defined, the only kind of member that the geographer has any use for. Now a country is well-defined when it is possible to define it by rivers or mountains or sea; and also by a tribe or tribes, by a size of such and such proportions, and by shape where this is possible. But in every case, in lieu of a geometrical definition, a simple and roughly outlined definition is sufficient. So, as regards a country's size, it is sufficient if you state its greatest length and breadth (of the inhabited world, for example, a length of perhaps seventy thousand stadia, a breadth slightly less than half the length); and as regards shape, if you liken a country to one of the geometrical figures (Sicily, for example, to a triangle), or to one of the other well-known figures (for instance, Iberia to an oxhide, the Peloponnesus to a leaf of a plane-tree). And the greater the territory you cut into sections, the more rough may be the sections you make.

31 Now the inhabited world has been happily divided by Eratosthenes into two parts by means of the Taurus Range and the sea that stretched to the Pillars. And in the Southern Division: India, indeed, has been well-defined in many ways, by a mountain, a river, a sea, and by a single term, as of a single ethnical group — so that Eratosthenes rightly calls it four-sided and rhomboidal. Ariana, however, has a contour that is less easy to trace because its western side is confused, but still it is defined by the three sides, which are approximately straight lines, and also by the term Ariana, as of a single ethnical group. But the Third Section is wholly untraceable, at all events as defined by Eratosthenes. For, in the first place, the side common to it and Ariana is confused, as I have previously stated. And the southern side has been taken very inaccurately; for neither does it trace a boundary of this section, since it runs through its very centre and leaves out many districts in the south, nor does it represent the section's greatest length (for the northern side is longer), nor does the Euphrates form its western side (it would not do so even if its course lay in a straight line), since its extremities do not lie on the same meridian. In fact, how can this side be called western rather than southern? And, quite apart from these objections, since the distance that remains between this line and the Cilician and Syrian Sea is slight, there is no convincing reason why the section should not be extended thereto, both because Semiramis and Ninus are called Syrians (Babylon was founded and made the royal residence by Semiramis, and Nineveh by Ninus, this showing that Nineveh was the capital of Syria) and because up to the present moment even the language of the people on both sides of the Euphrates is the same. However, to rend asunder so famous a nation by such a line of cleavage in this region, and to join the parts thus dissevered to the parts that belong to other tribes, would be wholly improper. Neither, indeed, could Eratosthenes allege that he was forced to do this by considerations of size; for the addition of the territory that extends up to the sea would still not make the size of the section equal to that of India, nor, for that matter, to that of Ariana, not even if it were increased by the territory that extends up to the confines of Arabia Felix and Egypt. Therefore it would have been much better to extend the Third Section to these limits, and thus, by adding so small a territory that extends to the Syrian Sea, to define the southern side of the Third Section as running, not as Eratosthenes defined it, nor yet as in a straight line, but as following the coast-line that is on your right hand as you sail from Carmania into and along the Persian Gulf up to the mouth of the Euphrates, and then as following the frontiers of Mesene and Babylonia, which form the beginning of the Isthmus that separates Arabia Felix from the rest of the continent; then, next, as crossing this Isthmus itself, and as reaching to the recess of the Arabian Gulf and to Pelusium and even beyond to the Canobic mouth of the Nile. So much for the southern side; the remaining, or western, side would be the coast-line from the Canobic mouth of the Nile up to Cilicia.

32 The Fourth Section would be the one composed of Arabia Felix, the Arabian Gulf, all Egypt, and Ethiopia. Of this section, the length will be the space bounded by two meridian lines, of which lines the one is drawn through the most western point on the section and the other through the most eastern point. Its breadth will be the space between two parallels of latitude, of which the one is drawn through the most northern point, and the other through the most southern point; for in the case of irregular figures whose length and breadth it is impossible to determine by sides, we must in this way determine their size. And, in general, we must assume that "length" and "breadth" are not employed in the same sense of a whole as of a part. On the contrary, in case of a whole the greater distance is called "length," and the lesser, "breadth" but, in case of a part, we call "length" any section of a part that is parallel to the length of the whole — no matter which of the two dimensions is the greater, and no matter if the distance taken in the breadth be greater than the distance taken in the length. Therefore, since the inhabited world stretches lengthwise from east to west and breadthwise from north to south, and since its length is drawn on a line parallel to the equator and its breadth on a meridian line, we must also, in case of the parts, take as "lengths" all the sections that are parallel to the length of the inhabited world, and as "breadths" all the sections that are parallel to its breadth. For by this method we can better indicate, firstly, the size of the inhabited world as a whole, and, secondly, the position and the shape of its parts; because, by such comparison, it will be clear in what respects the parts are deficient and in what respects they are excessive in size.

33 Now Eratosthenes takes the length of the inhabited world on the line that runs through the Pillars, the Caspian Gates, and the Caucasus, as though on a straight line; and the length of his Third Section on the line that runs through the Caspian Gates and Thapsacus; and the length of his Fourth Section on the line that runs through Thapsacus and Heroönpolis to the region between the mouths of the Nile — a line which must needs come to an end in the regions near Canobus and Alexandria; for the last mouth of the Nile, called the Canobic or Heracleotic mouth, is situated at that point. Now whether he places these two lengths on a straight line with each other, or as though they formed an angle at Thapsacus, it is at any rate clear from his own words that he does not make either line parallel to the length of the inhabited world. For he draws the length of the inhabited world through the Taurus Range and the Mediterranean Sea straight to the Pillars on a line that passes through the Caucasus, Rhodes, and Athens; and he says that the distance from Rhodes to Alexandria on the meridian that passes through those places is not much less than four thousand stadia; so that also the parallels of latitude of Rhodes and Alexandria would be just this distance apart. But the parallel of latitude of Heroönpolis is approximately the same as that of Alexandria, or, at any rate, more to the south than the latter; and hence the line that intersects both the parallel of latitude of Heroönpolis and that of Rhodes and the Caspian Gates, whether it be a straight line or a broken line, cannot be parallel to either. Accordingly, the lengths are not well taken by Eratosthenes. And, for that matter, the sections that stretch through the north are not well taken by him.

34 But let us first return to Hipparchus and see what he says next. Again fabricating assumptions on his own account he proceeds with geometrical precision to demolish what are merely the rough estimates of Eratosthenes. He says that Eratosthenes calls the distance from Babylon to the Caspian Gates six thousand seven hundred stadia, and to the frontiers of Carmania and Persis more than nine thousand stadia on a line drawn straight to the equinoctial east, and that this line comes to be perpendicular to the side that is common to the Second and the Third Sections, and that, therefore, according to Eratosthenes, a right-angled triangle is formed whose right angle lies on the frontiers of Carmania and whose hypotenuse is shorter than one of the sides that enclose the right angle; accordingly, adds Hipparchus, Eratosthenes has to make Persis a part of his Second Section! Now I have already stated in reply to this that Eratosthenes neither takes the distance from Babylon to Carmania on a parallel, nor has he spoken of the straight line that separates the two sections as a meridian line; and so in this argument Hipparchus has made no point against Eratosthenes. Neither is his subsequent conclusion correct. For, because Eratosthenes had given the distance from the Caspian Gates to Babylon as the said six thousand nine hundred stadia, and the distance from Babylon to Susa as three thousand four hundred stadia, Hipparchus, again starting from the same hypotheses, says that an obtuse-angled triangle is formed, with its vertices at the Caspian Gates, Susa and Babylon, having its obtuse angle at Susa, and having as the lengths of it sides the distances set forth by Eratosthenes. Then he draws his conclusion, namely, that it will follow according to these hypotheses that the meridian line that runs through the Caspian Gates will intersect the parallel that runs through Babylon and Susa at a point further west than the intersection of the same parallel with the straight line that runs from the Caspian Gates to the frontiers of Carmania and Persis by more than four thousand four hundred stadia; and so the line that runs through the Caspian Gates and will lean in a direction midway between the south and the equinoctial east; and that the Indus River will be parallel to this line, and that consequently this river, also, does not flow south from the mountains as Eratosthenes says it does, but between the south and the equinoctial east, precisely as it is laid down on the early maps. Who, pray, will concede that the triangle now formed by Hipparchus is obtuse-angled without also conceding that the triangle that comprehends it is right-angled? And who will concede that one of the sides which enclose the obtuse angle (the line from Babylon to Susa) lies on a parallel of latitude, without also conceding that the whole line on to Carmania does? And who will concede that the line drawn from the Caspian Gates to the frontiers of Carmania is parallel to the Indus? Yet without these concessions the argument of Hipparchus would be void. And it is without these concessions that Eratosthenes has made his statement that the shape of India is rhomboidal; and just as its eastern side has been stretched considerably eastwards (particularly at its extreme cape, which, as compared with the rest of the sea-board, is also thrown farther southwards, so, too, the side along the Indus has been stretched considerably eastwards.

35 In all these arguments Hipparchus speaks as a geometrician, though his test of Eratosthenes is not convincing. And though he prescribed the principles of geometry for himself, he absolves himself from them by saying that if the test showed errors amounting to only small distances, he could overlook them; but since Eratosthenes' errors clearly amount to thousands of stadia, they cannot be overlooked; and yet, continues Hipparchus, Eratosthenes himself declares that the differences of latitude are observable even within an extent of four hundred stadia; for example, between the parallels of Athens and Rhodes. Now the practice of observing differences of latitude is not confined to a single method, but one method is used where the difference is greater, another where it is lesser; where it is greater, if we rely on the evidence of the eye itself, or of the crops, or of the temperature of the atmosphere, in our judgment of the "climata"; but where it is lesser, we observe the difference by the aid of sun-dials and dioptrical instruments. Accordingly, the taking of the parallel of Athens and that of Rhodes and Caria with the sun-dial showed perceptibly (as is natural when the distance is so many stadia) the difference in latitude. But when the geographer, in dealing with a breadth of three thousand stadia and with a length of forty thousand stadia of mountain plus thirty thousand stadia of sea, takes his line from west to equinoctial east, and names the two divisions thus made the Southern Division and the Northern Division, and calls their parts "plinthia" or "sphragides," we should bear in mind what he means by these terms, and also by the terms "sides that are northern" and "that are southern," and again, "sides that are western" and "that are eastern." And if he fails to notice that which amounts to a very great error, let him be called to account therefor (for that is just); but as regards that which amounts only to a slight error, even if he has failed to notice it, he is not to be condemned. Here, however, no case is made out against Eratosthenes on either ground. For no geometrical proof would be possible where the cases involve so great a breadth of latitude; nor does Hipparchus, even where he attempts geometrical proof, use admitted assumptions, but rather fabrications which he has made for his own use.

36 Hipparchus discusses Eratosthenes' Fourth Section better; though here, too, he displays his propensity for fault-finding and his persistent adherence to the same, or nearly the same, assumptions. He is correct in censuring Eratosthenes for this, namely, for calling the line from Thapsacus to Egypt the length of this section — which is as if one should call the diagonal of a parallelogram its length. For Thapsacus and the coast-line of Egypt do not lie on the same parallel of latitude, but on parallels that are far part from each other; and between these two parallels the line from Thapsacus to Egypt is drawn somewhat diagonally and obliquely. But when he expresses surprise that Eratosthenes had the boldness to estimate the distance from Pelusium to Thapsacus at six thousand stadia, whereas the distance is more than eight thousand, he is incorrect. For having taken it as demonstrated that the parallel that runs through Pelusium is more than two hundred five hundred stadia farther south than the parallel that runs through Babylon, and then saying — on the authority of Eratosthenes, as he thinks — that the parallel through Thapsacus is four thousand eight hundred stadia farther north than the parallel through Babylon, he says that the distance between Pelusium and Thapsacus amounts to more than eight thousand stadia. I ask, then, how is it shown on the authority of Eratosthenes that the distance of the parallel through Babylon through the parallel through Thapsacus is as great as that? Eratosthenes has stated, indeed, that the distance from Thapsacus to Babylon is four thousand eight hundred stadia; but he has not further stated that this distance is measured from the parallel through the one place to the parallel through the other; neither indeed has he stated that Thapsacus and Babylon are on the same meridian. On the contrary, Hipparchus himself pointed out that, according to Eratosthenes, Babylon is more than two thousand stadia farther east than Thapsacus. And I have just cited the statements of Eratosthenes wherein he says that the Tigris and the Euphrates encircle Mesopotamia and Babylonia, and that the Euphrates does the greater part of the encircling, in that, 89after flowing from the north towards the south, it turns towards the east, and finally empties southwards. Now its southward course from the north lies approximately on some meridian, but its bend to the east and to Babylon is not only a deviation from the meridian but it is also not on a straight line, owing to the said encircling. It is true that Eratosthenes has stated the route to Babylon from Thapsacus to be four thousand eight hundred stadia long, though he added, as on purpose, "following the course of the Euphrates," in order that no one might interpret it as a straight line or as a measure of the distance between two parallels. If this assumption of Hipparchus be not granted, futile also is his subsequent proposition which has only the appearance of being proven, namely, that if a right-angled triangle be constructed with vertices at Pelusium, Thapsacus, and the point of intersection of the parallel of Thapsacus with the meridian of Pelusium, then one of the sides of the right angle, namely, that on the meridian, is greater than the hypotenuse, that is, the line from Thapsacus to Pelusium. Futile also is the proposition that he links with this proposition, because it is fabricated from something that is not conceded. For surely Eratosthenes has not granted the assumption that the distance from Babylon to the meridian that runs through the Caspian Gates is a matter of four thousand eight hundred stadia. I have proved that Hipparchus has fabricated this assumption from data that are not conceded by Eratosthenes; but in order to invalidate what Eratosthenes does grant, Hipparchus took as granted that the distance from Babylon to the line drawn from the Caspian Gates to the confines of Carmania just as Eratosthenes has proposed to draw it is more than nine thousand stadia, and then proceeded to show the same thing.

37 That, therefore, is not the criticism that should be made against Eratosthenes, but rather the criticism that his roughly-sketched magnitudes and figures require some standard of measure, and that more concession has to be made in one case, less in another. For example, if the breadth of the mountain-range that stretches toward the equinoctial east, and likewise the breadth of the sea that stretches up to the Pillars, be taken as three thousand stadia, one would more readily agree to regard as lying on a single line the parallels of that line drawn within the same breadth than he would the lines that intersect therein; and, of the intersecting lines, those that intersect within that said breadth than those that intersect without. Likewise, also, one would more readily agree to regard as lying on a single line those lines that extend within the limits of said breadth and do not reach beyond than those that reach beyond; and those lines that extend within greater lengths than those in lesser. For in such cases the inequality of the lengths and the dissimilarity of the figures would be more likely to escape notice; for instance, in the case of the breadth of the entire Taurus Range, and of the Sea up to the Pillars, if three thousand stadia be taken as hypothesis for the breadth, we can assume one single parallelogram which traces the boundary both of the entire Range and of the said Sea. Now if you divide a parallelogram lengthwise into several small parallelograms, and take the diagonal both of this whole and of its parts, then the diagonal of the whole might more easily be counted the same as (that is, both parallel and equal to) the long side than could the diagonal of any one of the small parallelograms as compared with the corresponding long side; and the smaller the parallelogram taken as a part, the more would this be true. For both the obliquity of the diagonal and the inequality of its length as compared with the long side are less easily detected in large parallelograms; so that you might not even hesitate in their case to call the diagonal the length of the figure. If, however, you make the diagonal more oblique, so that it falls exterior to both of the sides, or at least to one of them, this would no longer, in like manner, be the case. This is substantially what I mean by a standard of measurement for roughly-sketched magnitudes. But when Eratosthenes, beginning at the Caspian Gates, takes not only the line which runs through the mountains themselves, but also the line which at once diverges considerably from the mountains into Thapsacus, as though both were drawn to the Pillars on the same parallel, and when, again, he still further produces his line, on from Thapsacus to Egypt, thus taking in all this additional breadth, and then measures the length of his figure by the length of this line, he would seem to be measuring the length of his rectangle by a diagonal of a rectangle. And whenever his line is not even a diagonal but a broken line, much more he would seem to err. In fact, it is a broken line that is drawn from the Caspian Gates through Thapsacus to the Nile. So much may be said against Eratosthenes.

But against Hipparchus this too may be argued, that, as he criticised the statements of Eratosthenes, so also he should have made some sort of correction of Eratosthenes' errors — the thing that I am doing. But Hipparchus — if he has really ever taken thought of this matter — bids us to give heed to the old maps although they need much more correction than the map of Eratosthenes still needs. And his subsequent effort suffers from the same flaw. For, as I have shown by test, he takes as an admitted assumption what he has fabricated from data not granted by Eratosthenes, namely, that Babylon is not more than one thousand stadia farther east than Thapsacus; hence, if even a perfect inference is drawn by Hipparchus to the effect that Babylon is not more than two thousand four hundred stadia farther east than Thapsacus, from Eratosthenes' statement that there is a short route of two thousand four hundred stadia from Thapsacus to the Tigris River where Alexander crossed — yet if Eratosthenes also states that the Tigris and the Euphrates, after encircling Mesopotamia for a time, flow east, then turn toward the south, and finally draw near to each other and to Babylon, he has proved no absurdity in Eratosthenes' statement.

39 Hipparchus is also wrong in his next effort, in which he wishes to draw the inference that Eratosthenes gives the highway from Thapsacus to the Caspian Gates — a highway the length of which Eratosthenes has estimated at ten thousand stadia — as measured in a straight line, although it was not so measured, the straight line being much shorter. The attack he makes against Eratosthenes is to this effect: According to Eratosthenes himself the meridian through the Canobic mouth of the Nile and that through the Cyanean Rocks are one and the same, and this meridian is six thousand three hundred stadia distant from the meridian through Thapsacus; and the Cyanean rocks are six thousand six hundred stadia distant from Mt. Caspius, which lies at the mountain-pass that leads over from Colchis to the Caspian Sea; and hence the distance from the meridian through the Cyanean Rocks to Thapsacus is within three hundred stadia of being equal to the distance thence to Mt. Caspius; so then, practically speaking, both Thapsacus and Mt. Caspius lie on the same meridian. From this it follows, says Hipparchus, that the Caspian Gates are equidistant from Thapsacus and from Mt. Caspius; but the Caspian Gates are at a much less distance from Mt. Caspius than the ten thousand stadia which Eratosthenes says is the distance between the Caspian Gates and Thapsacus; therefore the Caspian Gates are at a much less distance from Thapsacus than the ten thousand stadia that are measured on a straight line; and therefore it is a roundabout way that measures the ten thousand stadia which Eratosthenes reckons on a straight line from the Caspian Gates to Thapsacus.88 Now my reply to Hipparchus will be that, although Eratosthenes takes his straight lines only roughly, as is proper to do in geography, and roughly, out of, his meridians and his lines to the equinoctial east, Hipparchus puts him to a geometrical test — just as if every one of these lines had been taken with the aid of instruments. Neither does Hipparchus himself take everything by the aid of instruments, but it is rather by conjecture that he takes the relations of both "perpendicular" and "parallel." This, then, is one of Hipparchus' mistakes. Another mistake is this, that he does not even put down the distances that are found in Eratosthenes or apply his test to them, but to those that are fabricated by himself. So, for instance, though Eratosthenes first estimated the distance from the outlet to Phasis at eight thousand stadia and added to this the six hundred stadia thence to Dioscurias, and then estimated at a five days' journey the pass that leads over to Mt. Caspius (which, according to Hipparchus himself, is conjectured to mean about one thousand stadia), so that the total distance, according to Eratosthenes, amounts to nine thousand six hundred stadia, Hipparchus has made a short cut to his result, and says that from the Cyanean Rocks to Phasis the distance is five thousand six hundred stadia, and thence to Mt. Caspius, another thousand stadia. Therefore the statement that Mt. Caspius and Thapsacus are virtually situated on the same meridian could not be based on the authority of Eratosthenes, but on that of Hipparchus himself. Well, suppose it were on the authority of Eratosthenes. How, pray, can it follow therefrom that the line from Mt. Caspius to the Caspian Gates is equal in length to the line from Thapsacus to the same point?

40 In his Second Book, Hipparchus again takes up the same question of Eratosthenes' division of the inhabited world along the line of the Taurus Range, about which I have already said enough; then he passes to a discussion of the Northern Division; and then he sets forth what Eratosthenes said about the countries that lie next after the Pontus, namely, that three promontories jut down from the north; one promontory, on which is the Peloponnesus; a second, the Italian; and a third the Ligurian; and that these three promontories enclose both the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian Gulfs. After setting forth these statements of Eratosthenes in a general way, Hipparchus undertakes to test each several statement about the promontories, yet on the principles of geometry rather than those of geography. But so great is the multitude of mistakes made in case of these promontories by Eratosthenes, and by Timosthenes who wrote on The Harbours (whom Eratosthenes praises beyond all the rest, though we find him disagreeing with Timosthenes on most points), that I consider it unfitting to pass judgment either upon those men, since they both stray so very far from the facts, or upon Hipparchus. For even Hipparchus passes by some of their mistakes in silence, while yet others he does not correct, but merely shows by test that they were made falsely or captiously. We might perhaps find fault with Eratosthenes on this point too, namely, because he says "three promontories" of Europe, putting down as "one promontory" that on which is the Peloponnesus; for it is split, so to speak, into a number of promontories; for example, Sunium is a promontory just as much as is Laconia, since it reaches almost as far south as Maleae and embraces a gulf of considerable size. And the Thracian Cherronese and the promontory of Sunium cut off, between them, not only the gulf of Melas92 but also all the Macedonian Gulfs that come after Melas. However, if we should pass over this objection, still, the most of the distances, which are obviously wrong, prove that Eratosthenes' ignorance of these regions is surpassing and that his ignorance requires no geometrical proofs, but only such proofs as are obvious and can be attested forthwith; for instance, that pass from Epidamnus that leads over to the Thermaic Gulf is more than two thousand stadia, though Eratosthenes says it is nine hundred; 93and that the distance from Alexandria to Carthage is more than thirteen thousand stadia, though it is not more than nine thousand — if Caria and Rhodes lies, as Eratosthenes says, on the same meridian as Alexandria, and the Strait of Sicily on the same meridian as Carthage. In fact, all agree that the voyage from Caria to the Strait of Sicily is not more than nine thousand stadia; and though, when there is some considerable distance between two places, the meridian taken for the more easterly place might be granted to be the same as the meridian which is no farther west therefrom than Carthage is west of the Strait of Sicily, yet when we are concerned with a matter of four thousand stadia the error is self-evident. And when Eratosthenes actually places Rome — which is so much farther west of the Strait of Sicily than even Carthage is — on the same meridian with Carthage, his ignorance both of these regions and of the successive regions toward the west as far as the Pillars can reach no higher extreme.

41 Now it would have been proper for Hipparchus, if he were not writing a work on geography but merely a review of what Eratosthenes had said in his Geography, to go further than he did in setting right in detail the mistakes of Eratosthenes; but as for me, I have thought it right to introduce in detail the appropriate discussion both in regard to the points in which Eratosthenes is right and, still more so, in regard to those in which he is wrong; and I have not merely corrected his mistakes, but where I have acquitted him of the charges brought by Hipparchus, I have also criticised Hipparchus himself, whenever he has said anything in a censorious spirit. But since in these instances I see at a glance that Eratosthenes goes entirely astray and that Hipparchus accuses him justly, I assume that it is sufficient if I correct Eratosthenes by merely stating the facts in the course of my Geography itself. Indeed, where the errors are continuous and lie on the surface, it is better not to mention them at all, except rarely and in a general way; and this is what I shall try to do in my detailed account. However, let it be said at this moment that Timosthenes and Eratosthenes and the still earlier geographers were completely ignorant of Iberia and Celtica; and vastly more ignorant of Germany and Britain, and likewise of the countries of the Getans and the Bastarnians; and they were to a considerable extent ignorant of Italy, the Adriatic Sea, the Pontus, and the regions beyond them on the north; though perhaps such statements are censorious. For, since Eratosthenes asserts that where it is a question of very remote regions he will give merely the traditional distances without vouching for them, and admits that he got them by tradition, — though at times he adds the words "in a line more or less straight" — it is not fair to apply the rigorous test to those distances which do not agree with each other. That is precisely what Hipparchus tries to do, not only in the cases mentioned above but also where he sets forth the distances round about Hyrcania up to Bactria and to the tribes on beyond, and, besides, the distances from Colchis to the Hyrcanian Sea. Indeed, in the case of the geography of the remote countries, we should not scrutinize him in the same way as we do in that of the continental sea-board and of the other regions that are as well known; nay, not even in case of the nearer regions ought we to apply the geometrical test, as I was saying, but rather the geographical. Now toward the end of his Second Book, which he has written in refutation of the Geography of Eratosthenes, Hipparchus finds fault with some of the statements of Eratosthenes about Ethiopia, and then says that in his Third Book the greater part of his speculation will be mathematical, but "to some extent" geographical also. It seems to me, however, that he did not make his theory geographical even "to some extent," but wholly mathematical — though Eratosthenes himself gives Hipparchus a good excuse for so doing. For frequently Eratosthenes digresses into discussions too scientific for the subject he is dealing with, but, after he digresses, the declarations he makes are not rigorously accurate but only vague, since, so to speak, he is a mathematician among geographers, and yet a geographer among mathematicians; and consequently on both sides he offers his opponents occasions for contradiction; and the occasions which both he and Timosthenes offer Hipparchus in this Third Book are so just that it remains for me not even to join my observations to those of Hipparchus, but merely to content myself with what Hipparchus has said about them.

 
2 - 2 What Poseidonius has to say

Now let us see what Poseidonius has to say in his treatise on Oceanus. For in it he seems to deal mainly with geography, treating it partly from the point of view of geography properly so called, and partly from a more mathematical point of view. And so it will not be out of place for me to pass judgment upon a few of Poseidonius' statements, some of them now, and others in my discussion of the individual countries, as occasion offers, always observing a kind of standard.94 Now it is one of the things proper to geography to take as an hypothesis that the earth as a whole is sphere-shaped,95 — just as we do in the case of the universe — and accept all the conclusions that follow this hypothesis, one of which is that the earth has five zones.

2 Poseidonius, then, says that Parmenides was the originator of the division into five zones, but that Parmenides represents the torrid zone as almost double its real breadth, inasmuch as it falls beyond p363both the tropics and extends into the two temperate zones, while Aristotle calls "torrid" the region between the tropics, and "temperate" the regions between the tropics and the "arctic circles." But Poseidonius censures both systems, and with justice, for by "torrid," he says, is meant only the region that is uninhabitable on account of heat; and, of the zone between the tropics, more than half is uninhabitable if we may base a conjecture upon the Ethiopians who live south of Egypt — if it be true, first, that each division of the torrid zone made by the equator is half the whole breadth of that zone and, secondly, that, of this half, the part that reaches to Meroë from Syene (which is a point on the boundary line of the summer tropic is five thousand stadia in breadth, and the part from Meroë to the parallel of the Cinnamon-producing Country, on which parallel the torrid zone begins, is three thousand stadia in breadth. Now the whole of these two parts can be measured, for they are traversed both by water and by land; but the rest of the distance, up to the equator, is shown by calculation based upon the measurement which Eratosthenes made of the earth to be eight thousand eight hundred stadia. Accordingly, as is the ratio of the sixteen thousand eight hundred stadia to the eight thousand eight hundred stadia, so would be the ratio of the distance between the two tropics to the breadth of the torrid zone. And if, of the more recent measurements of the earth, the one which makes the earth smallest in circumference be introduced — I mean that of Poseidonius, who estimates its circumference at about one hundred and eighty thousand stadia — this measurement, I say, renders the breadth of the torrid zone somewhere about half the space between the tropics, or slightly more than half, but in no wise equal to, or the same as, that space. And again, Poseidonius asks how one could determine the limits of the temperate zones, which are non-variable, by means of the "arctic circles," which are neither visible among all men nor the same everywhere. Now the fact that the "arctic circles" are not visible to all could be of no aid to his refutation of Aristotle, because the "arctic circles" must be visible to all who live in the temperate zone, with reference to whom alone the term "temperate" is in fact used. But his point that the "arctic circles" are not everywhere visible in the same way, but are subject to variations, has been well taken.

3 When Poseidonius himself divides the earth into the zones, he says that five of them are useful with reference to the celestial phenomena; of these five, two — those that lie beneath the poles and extend to the regions that have the tropics as arctic circles — are "periscian"; and the two that come next and extend to the people who live beneath the tropics are "heteroscian"; and the zone between the tropics, "amphiscian". But for purposes of human interest there are, in addition to these five zones, two other narrow ones that lie beneath the tropics and are divided into two parts by the tropics; these have the sun directly overhead for above half a month each year. These two zones, he says, have a certain peculiarity, in that they are parched in the literal sense of the word, are sandy, and produce nothing except silphium and some pungent fruits that are withered by the heat; for those regions have in their neighbourhood no mountains against which the clouds may break and produce rain, nor indeed are they coursed by rivers; 96and for this reason they produce creatures with woolly hair, crumpled horns, protruding lips, and flat noses (for their extremities are contorted by the heat); and the "fish-eaters" also live in these zones. Poseidonius says it is clear that these things are peculiar to those zones from the fact that the people who live farther south than they do have a more temperate atmosphere, and also a more fruitful, and a better-watered, country.

 
2 - 3 Polybius makes six zones

(96) Polybius makes six zones: two that fall beneath the arctic circles, two between the arctic circles and the tropics, and two between the tropics and the equator. However, the division into five zones seems to me to be in harmony with physics as well as geography; with physics, in relation both to the celestial phenomena and to the temperature of the atmosphere; in relation to the celestial phenomena, because, by means of the "periscian" and the "heteroscian" and the "amphiscian" regions (the best way to determine the zone), the appearance of the constellations to our sight is at the same time determined; for thus, by a kind of rough-outline division, the constellations receive their proper variations; and in relation to the temperature of the atmosphere, because the temperature of the atmosphere, being judged with reference to the sun, is subject to three very broad differences — namely, excess of heat, lack of heat, and moderate heat, which have a strong bearing on the organisations of animals and plants, and the semi-organisations of everything else beneath the air or in the air itself. And the temperature of the atmosphere receives its proper determination by this division of the earth into five zones: for the two frigid zones imply the absence of heat, agreeing in the possession of one characteristic temperature; and in like manner the two temperate zones agree in one temperature, that of moderate heat; while the one remaining is consistent in having the remaining characteristic, in that it is one and torrid in temperature. And it is clear that this division is in harmony with geography. For geography seeks to define by boundaries that section of the earth which we inhabit by means of the one of the two temperate zones. Now on the west and on the east it is the sea that fixes its limits, but on the south and the north the nature of the air; for the air that is between these limits is well-tempered both for plants and for animals, while the air on both sides of these limits is harsh-tempered, because of excess of heat or lack of heat. It was necessary to divide the earth into five zones corresponding to these three differences of temperature; indeed, the cutting of the sphere of the earth by the equator into two hemispheres, the northern hemisphere in which we live, and the southern hemisphere, suggested the three differences of temperature. For the regions on the equator and in the torrid zone are uninhabitable because of the heat, and those near the pole are uninhabitable because of the cold; but it is the intermediate regions that are well-tempered and inhabitable. But when he adds the two zones beneath the tropics, Poseidonius does not follow the analogy of the five zones, nor yet does he employ a like criterion; but he was apparently representing zones by the ethnical criteria also, for he calls one of them the "Ethiopic zone," another the "Scythico-Celtic zone," and a third the "intermediate zone."

2 Polybius is not right in this, namely, in that he defines some of his zones by means of the arctic circles: two that fall under the arctic circles themselves, and two between the arctic circles and the tropics; for, as I have already said, non-variables must not be defined by points that are variable. And we must also not employ the tropics as boundaries of the torrid zone; this, too, I have already said. However, when he divides the torrid zone into two parts, it is clearly no foolish notion that has moved him to do so; it is by this notion that we very suitably use the equator to divide the whole earth into two parts, namely, the northern and the southern hemispheres. For it is clear that, if the torrid zone as well is divided according to this method of partition, Polybius reaches a convenient result; that is, each of the two hemispheres is composed of three whole zones, each of which is like in form to its corresponding zone in the other hemisphere. Now a partition of this kind admits of the division into six zones; but the other partition does not altogether admit of it. At all events, if you should cut the earth into two parts by means of the circle that runs through the poles, you could not reasonably divide each of the two hemispheres, the western and the eastern, into six zones, but the division into five zones would be sufficient; for the homogeneousness of the two sections of the torrid zone that are made by the equator, and the fact that they are contiguous to each other, render their partition useless and superfluous, indeed, alike in form respectively, though they are not contiguous. So, therefore, if you conceive of the whole earth as composed of hemispheres of this kind it will be sufficient to divide it into five zones. But if the country that lies under the equator is temperate, as Eratosthenes says it is (an opinion with which Polybius agrees, though he adds this, that it is the highest part of the earth, and for that reason is subject to rains, because at the season of the Etesian Winds the clouds from the north strike in great numbers against the mountain peaks in that region), it would be much better to regard it as a third temperate zone, although a narrow one, than to introduce the two zones beneath the tropics. And in accord with these circumstances are the following (which Poseidonius has already mentioned), namely, that in those regions the oblique motion of the sun is more rapid, and in the same way its daily motion from east to west; for when revolutions are accomplished within the same period of time, those on the greatest circles are the more rapid.

3 But Poseidonius objects to the statement of Polybius that the inhabited region under the equator is the highest. For, says Poseidonius, there can be no high point on a spherical surface, because the surface of a sphere is uniform all round; and indeed the country under the equator is not mountainous, but rather it is a plain that is approximately on a level with the surface of the sea; and the rains that flood the Nile come together from the mountains of Ethiopia. But although Poseidonius thus expresses himself in this passage, he concedes the view of Polybius in other passages, saying he suspects that there are mountains beneath the equator and that the clouds from the two temperate zones strike against those mountains on both sides and cause the rains. Now here the lack of consistency is obvious; but even if it be admitted that the country beneath the equator is mountainous, another inconsistency, as it seems, would arise; for these same men assert that the ocean is one continuous stream round the earth. How, pray, can they place mountains in the centre of the ocean — unless by "mountains" they refer to certain islands? But however this may be, it falls outside the province of geography; and perhaps we should give over these matters for examination to some one who proposes to write a treatise on the ocean.

4 In giving the names of those who are said to have circumnavigated Libya Poseidonius says that Herodotus believes that certain men commissioned by Neco accomplished the circumnavigation of Libya; and adds that Heracleides of Pontus in one of his Dialogues makes a certain Magus who had come to the court of Gelo assert that he had circumnavigated Libya. And, after stating that these reports are unsupported by testimony, he tells the story of a certain Eudoxus of Cyzicus, a sacred ambassador and peace herald at the festival of Persephone. Eudoxus, the story goes, came to Egypt in the reign of Euergetes the Second;116 and he became associated with the king and the king's ministers, and particularly in connection with the voyages up the Nile; for he was a man inclined to admire the peculiarities of regions and was also not uninformed about them. Now it so happened, the story continues, that a certain Indian was brought to the king by the coast-guards of the recess of the Arabian Gulf, who said that they had found him half-dead and alone on a stranded ship, but that they did not know who he was or where he came from, since they did not understand his language; and the king gave the Indian into the charge of men who would teach him Greek; and when the Indian had learned Greek, he related that on his voyage from India he by a strange mischance mistook his course and reached Egypt in safety, but only after having lost all his companions by starvation; and when his story was doubted, he promised to act as guide on the trip to India for the men who had been previously selected by the King; and of this party Eudoxus, also, became a member.

So Eudoxus sailed away with presents; and he returned with a cargo of perfumes and precious stones (some of which the rivers bring down with the sands, while others are fortified by digging, being solidified from a liquid state, just as our crystals are). But Eudoxus was wholly deceived in his expectations, for Euergetes took from him his entire cargo. And after the death of Euergetes, his wife, Cleopatra, succeeded him on the throne; and so Eudoxus was again sent out, by her also, and this time with a larger outfit. But on his return voyage he was driven out of his course by the winds to the south of Ethiopia, and being driven to certain places he conciliated the people by sharing with them bread, wine, and dried figs (for they had no share of such things), and in return therefor he received a supply of fresh water and the guidance of pilots, and he also made a list of some of their words. And he found an end of a wooden prow that had come from a wrecked ship and had a horse carved on it; and when he learned that this piece of wreckage belonged to some voyagers who had been sailing from the west, he took it with him when he turned back upon his homeward voyage. And when he arrived safely in Egypt, inasmuch as Cleopatra no longer reigned but her son in her stead, he was again deprived of everything, for it was discovered that he had stolen much property. But he brought the figure-head to the market-place and showed it to the shipmasters, and learned from them that it was a figure-head from Gades; for he was told that whereas the merchants of Gades fit out large ships, the poor men fit out small ships which they call "horses" from the devices on the prows of their ships, and that they sail with these small ships on fishing voyages around the coast of Maurusia as far as the river Lixus; but some of the shipmasters, indeed, recognized the figure-head as having belonged to one of the ships that had sailed rather too far beyond the Lixus River and had not returned home safely.

And from the above-mentioned fact Eudoxus conjectured that the circumnavigation of Libya was possible, went home, placed all his property on a ship, and put out to sea. First he put in at Dicaearchia, then at Massilia, and then at the successive points along the coast until he came to Gades; and everywhere noisily proclaiming his scheme and making money by trafficking, he built a great ship and also two tow-boats like those used by pirates; and he put music-girls on board, and physicians, and other artisans, and finally set sail on the high sea on the way to India, favoured by constant western breezes. But since his companions became tired of the voyage, he sailed with a fair wind towards the land; though he did it against his will, for he feared the ebb and flow of the tides. And, indeed, what he feared actually came to pass: the p383ship ran aground, — though so gently that it was not broken up all at once, and they succeeded in bringing safely to land the cargo and also most of the ship's timbers' and from these timbers he constructed a third boat about as large as a ship of fifty oars; and he continued his voyage, until he came to people who spoke the same words that he had made a list of on the former occasion; 100and forthwith he learnt this, at least, that the men in that region belonged to the same nation as those other Ethiopians, and also that they were neighbours to the kingdom of Bogus.

Accordingly, he abandoned the voyage to India and turned back; and on the voyage along the coast, he espied and made note of an island that was well-watered and well-wooded but uninhabited. And when he reached Maurusia safely he disposed of his boats, travelled on foot to the court of Bogus, and advised him to take up this expedition on his own account; but the friends of Bogus prevailed to the contrary, inspiring in him the fear that Maurusia might in consequence be easily exposed to hostile intrigue if the way thither had once been pointed out to outsiders who wished to attack it. And when Eudoxus heard that he was being sent out, ostensibly, on the expedition as proposed by him, but in reality was going to be placed out on some desert island, he fled to the territory that was under Roman dominion, and thence crossed over to Iberia. And again he built a round ship and a long ship of fifty oars, his purpose being to keep to the open sea with his long ship and to explore the coast with the round ship. He put on board agricultural implements, seeds, and carpenters, and again set out with a view to the same circumnavigation; his intention being, in case the voyage should be delayed, to spend the winter on the island he had previously observed, to sow the seed, reap the harvest therefrom, and then finish the voyage which he had decided upon at the outset.

5 "Now I," says Poseidonius, "have traced the story of Eudoxus to this point, but what happened afterwards probably the people of Gades and Iberia know." So from all these indications he says it is shown that the ocean flows in a circle round the inhabited world: "For him no fetters of continent encompass; but he pours forth his waters boundlessly, and nothing ever sullies their purity." Now Poseidonius is a wonderful fellow in all this; for although he considers as unsupported by testimony the story of the voyage of the Magus, which Heracleides told, and of the voyage even of the emissaries of Neco, of which Herodotus gives an account, he puts down as real evidence this Bergaean story, though he either invented it himself or accepted it from others who were its inventors. For, in the first place, what plausibility is there in the "strange mischance" which the Indian tells about? Why, the Arabian Gulf is like a river in its narrowness, and it is about fifteen thousand stadia long up to its mouth, which, in its turn, is narrow throughout its entire length; and so it is not likely that the Indians who were voyaging outside this gulf were pushed out of their course into it by mistake (for its narrowness at its mouth would have shown their mistake), nor, if they sailed into the gulf on purpose, did they any longer have the excuse that they mistook their course or encountered inconstant winds. And how can it be that they permitted all their number to die of starvation with the exception of one man? And if he survived, how could he single-handed have guided the ship, which was not a small one, since at all events it could sail over open seas of so great extent? And how strange his speedy mastery of the Greek language, which enabled him to convince the king that he was competent to act as pilot of the expedition? And how strange Euergetes' scarcity of competent pilots, since the sea in that region was already known to many men? And as for that peace herald and sacred ambassador of the people of Cyzicus, how came he to abandon his native city and go sailing to India? And how did he come to be entrusted with so great an office? And although on his return everything was taken away from him, contrary to his expectation, and he was in disgrace, how did he come to be entrusted with a still greater equipment of presents? And when he returned from this second voyage and was driven out of his course to Ethiopia, why did he write down those lists of words, and why did he enquire from what source the beak of that fishing-smack had been cast ashore? For the discovery that this bit of wreckage had belonged to men who sailed from the west could have signified nothing, since he himself was to sail from the west on his homeward voyage. And so, again, upon his return to Alexandria, when it was discovered that he had stolen much property, how is it that he was not punished, and that he even went about interviewing shipmasters, at the same time showing them the figure-head of the ship? And wasn't the man that recognized the figure-head a wonderful fellow? And wasn't the man that believed him a still more wonderful fellow — the man who on the strength of a hope of that sort returned to his home land, and then changed his home to the regions beyond the Pillars? But it would not even have been permitted him to put to sea from Alexandria without a passport, least of all after he had stolen property belonging to the king. Neither could he have sailed out of the harbour secretly, since not only the harbour, but also all the other ways of issue from the city had always been kept closed under just as strong guard as I know is still kept up to this day (for I have lived a long time in Alexandria) — though at the present time, under Roman control, the watch is considerably relaxed: but under the kings, the guards were much more strict. And, again, when Eudoxus had sailed away to Gades, and in royal style had built himself ships and continued on his voyage, after his vessel had been wrecked, how could he have built a third boat in the desert? And how is it, when once more he put out to sea and found that those western Ethiopians spoke the same language as the eastern Ethiopians, that he was not eager to accomplish the rest of his voyage (inasmuch as he was so foolish in his eagerness for travels abroad, and since he had a good hope that the unexplored remainder of his voyage was but small) — but instead gave up all this and conceived a longing for the expedition that was to be carried out through the aid of Bogus? And how did he come to learn about the plot that was secretly framed against him? 102And what advantage could this have been to Bogus — I mean his causing the disappearance of the man when he might have dismissed him in other ways? But even if the man learned about the plot, p391how could he have made his escape to places of safety? For, although there is nothing impossible in any escapes of that sort, yet every one of them is difficult and rarely made even with a streak of good luck; but Eudoxus is always attended by good luck, although he is placed in jeopardies one after another. And, again, after he had escaped from Bogus, why was he not afraid to sail once more along the coast of Libya when he had an outfit large enough to colonise an island?

Now, really, all this does not fall short of the fabrications of Pytheas, Euhemerus and Antiphanes. Those men, however, we can pardon for their fabrications — since they follow precisely this as their business — just as we pardon jugglers; but who could pardon Poseidonius, master of demonstration and philosopher, whom we may almost call the claimant for first honours. So much, at least, is not well done by Poseidonius.

6 On the other hand, he correctly sets down in his work the fact that the earth sometimes rises and undergoes settling processes, and undergoes changes that result from earthquakes and the other similar agencies, all of which I too have enumerated above. And on this point he does well to cite the statement of Plato that it is possible that the story about the island of Atlantis is not a fiction. Concerning Atlantis Plato relates that Solon, after having made inquiry of the Egyptian priests, reported that Atlantis did once exist, but disappeared — an island no smaller in size than a continent; and Poseidonius thinks that it is better to put the matter in that way than to say of Atlantis: "Its inventor caused it to disappear, just as did the Poet the wall of the Achaeans." And Poseidonius also conjectures that migration of the Cimbrians and their kinsfolk from their native country occurred as the result of an inundation of the sea that came on all of a sudden. And he suspects that the length of the inhabited world, being about seventy thousand stadia, is half of the entire circle on which it has been taken, so that, says he, if you sail from the west in a straight course you will reach India within the seventy thousand stadia.

7 Then, after an attempt to find fault with those who divided the inhabited world into continents in the way they did, instead of by certain circles parallel to the equator (through means of which they could have indicated variations in animals, plants, and climates, because some of these belong peculiarly to the frigid zone and others to the torrid zone), so that the continents would be practically zones, Poseidonius again revises his own plea and withdraws his indictment, in that he again approves of the prevailing division into three continents, and thus he makes the question a mere matter of argument with no useful end in view. For such a distribution of animals, plants, and climates as exists is not the result of design — just as the differences of race, or of language, are not, either — but rather of accident and chance. And again, as regards the various arts and faculties and institutions of mankind, most of them, p395when once men have made a beginning, flourish in any latitude whatsoever and in certain instances even in spite of the latitude; so that some local characteristics of a people come by nature, others by training and habit. For instance, it was not by nature that the Athenians were fond of letters, whereas the Lacedaemonians, and also the Thebans, who are still closer to the Athenians, were not so; but rather by habit. So, also, the Babylonians and the Egyptians are philosophers, not by nature, but by training and habit. And further, the excellent qualities of horses, cattle, and other animals, are the result, not merely of locality, but of training also. But Poseidonius confounds all this. And when he approves of such a division into three continents as is now accepted, he uses as an illustration the fact that the Indians differ from the Ethiopians of Libya, for the Indians are better developed physically and less parched by the dryness of the atmosphere. And, says he, that is the reason why Homer, in speaking of the Ethiopians as a whole, divides them into two groups, "some where Hyperion sets and some where he rises." But, says Poseidonius, Crates, in introducing into the discussion the question of a second inhabited world, about which Homer knows nothing, is a slave to hypothesis, and, says Poseidonius, the passage in Homer should have been emended to read: "both where Hyperion departs," meaning where he declines from the meridian.

8 Now, in the first place, the Ethiopians that border on Egypt are themselves, also, divided into two groups; for some of them live in Asia, others in Libya, though they differ in no respect from each other. And, in the second place, Homer divides the Ethiopians into two groups, not for this reason, namely, because he knew that the Indians were physically similar to the Ethiopians (for Homer probably did not know of the Indians at all, in view of the fact that even Euergetes himself, according to that story of Eudoxus, knew nothing about India, nor the voyage that leads thither), but rather on the basis of the division of which I have spoken above. And in speaking on that subject I also expressed my opinion in regard to the reading proposed by Crates, namely, that it makes no difference whether we read the passage one way or the other; but Poseidonius says it does make a difference, and that it is better to emend the passage to read "both where Hyperion departs." Now wherein does this differ from "both where Hyperion sets"? For the whole segment of the circle from the meridian to the setting is called "the setting," just as the semi-circle of the horizon is so called. This is what Aratus means when he says: "There where the extremities of the west and of the east join with each other." And if the passage is better as Crates reads it, then one may say that it must also be better as Aristarchus reads it.

So much for Poseidonius. For in my detailed discussions many of his views will meet with fitting criticism, so far as they relate to geography; but so far as they relate to physics, I must inspect them elsewhere or else not consider them at all. For in Poseidonius there is much inquiry into causes and much imitating of Aristotle — precisely what our school avoids, on account of the obscurity of the causes.

 
2 - 4 Polybius vs Dicaearchus & Eratosthenes

1 Polybius, in his account of the geography of Europe, says he passes over the ancient geographers but examines the men who criticise them, namely, Dicaearchus, and Eratosthenes, who has written the most recent treatise on Geography; and Pytheas, by whom many have been misled; for after asserting that he travelled over the whole of Britain that was accessible Pytheas reported that the coast-line of the island was more than forty thousand stadia, and added his story about Thule and about those regions in which there was no longer either land properly so‑called, or sea, or air, but a kind of substance concreted from all these elements, resembling a sea-lungs — a thing in which, he says, the earth, the sea, and all the elements are held in suspension; and this is a sort of bond to hold all together, which you can neither walk nor sail upon. Now, as for this thing that resembles the sea-lungs, he says that he saw it himself, but that all the rest he tells from hearsay. That, then, is the narrative of Pytheas, and to it he adds that on his return from those regions he visited the whole coast-line of Europe from Gades to the Tanaïs.

2 Now Polybius says that, in the first place, it is incredible that a private individual — and a poor man too — could have travelled such distances by sea and by land; and that, though Eratosthenes was wholly at a loss whether he should believe these stories, nevertheless he has believed Pytheas' account of Britain, and the regions about Gades, and of Iberia; but he says it is far better to believe Euhemerus, the Messenian, than Pytheas. Euhemerus, at all events, asserts that he sailed only to one country, Panchaea, whereas Pytheas asserts that he explored in person the whole northern region of Europe as far as the ends of the world — an assertion which no man would believe, not even if Hermes made it. And as for Eratosthenes — adds Poseidonius — though he calls Euhemerus a Bergaean, he believes Pytheas, and that, too, though not even Dicaearchus believed him. Now that last remark, "though not even Dicaearchus believed him," is ridiculous; as if it were fitting for Eratosthenes to use as a standard the man against whom he himself directs so many criticisms. And I have already stated that Eratosthenes was ignorant concerning the western and northern parts of Europe. But while we must pardon Eratosthenes and Dicaearchus, because they had not seen those regions with their own eyes, yet who could pardon Polybius and Poseidonius? Nay, it is precisely Polybius who characterises as "popular notions" the statements made by Eratosthenes and Dicaearchus in regard to the distances in those regions and many other regions, though he does not keep himself free from the error even where he criticises them. At any rate, when Dicaearchus estimates the distance from the Peloponnesus to the Pillars at ten thousand stadia, and from the Peloponnesus to the recess of the Adriatic Sea at more than this, and when, of the distance to the Pillars, he reckons the part up to the Strait of Sicily at three thousand stadia, so that the remaining distance — the part from the Strait to the Pillars — becomes seven thousand stadia, Polybius says that he will let pass the question whether the estimate of three thousand is correctly taken or not, but, as for the seven thousand stadia, he cannot let the estimate pass from either of two points of view, namely, whether you take the measure of the coast-line or of the line drawn through the middle of the open sea. For, says he, the coast-line is very nearly like an obtuse angle, whose sides run respectively to the Strait and to the Pillars, and with Narbo as vertex; hence a triangle is formed with a base that runs straight through the open sea and with sides that form the said angle, of which sides the one from the Strait to Narbo measures more than eleven thousand two hundred stadia, the other a little less than eight thousand stadia; and, besides, it is agreed that the maximum distance from Europe to Libya across the Tyrrhenian Sea is not more than three thousand stadia, whereas the distance is reduced if measured across the Sardinian Sea. However, let it be granted, says Polybius, that the latter distance is also three thousand stadia, but let it be further assumed as a prior condition that the depth of the gulf opposite Narbo is two thousand stadia, the depth being, as it were, a perpendicular let fall from the vertex upon the base of the obtuse-angled triangle; then, says p405Polybius, it is clear from the principles of elementary geometry that the total length of the coast-line from the Strait to the Pillars exceeds the length of the straight line through the open sea by very nearly five hundred stadia. And if to this we added the three thousand stadia from the Peloponnesus to the Strait, the sum total of the stadia, merely those measured on a straight line, will be more than double the estimate given by Dicaearchus. And, according to Dicaearchus, says Polybius, it will be necessary to put the distance from the Peloponnesus to the recess of the Adriatic at more than this sum.

3 But, my dear Polybius, one might reply, just as the test based upon your own words makes evident the error of these false reckonings, namely, "from the Peloponnesus to Leucas, seven hundred stadia; from Leucas to Corcyra the same; and, again, from Corcyra to the Ceraunian Mountains the same; and the Illyrian coast-line to Iapydia on your right hand side, if you measure from the Ceraunian Mountains, six thousand one hundred and fifty stadia," so also those other reckonings are both false — both that made by Dicaearchus when he makes the distance from Strait of Sicily to the Pillars seven thousand stadia, and that which you think you have demonstrated; for most men agree in saying that the distance measured straight across the Sea is twelve thousand stadia, and this estimate agrees with the opinion rendered in regard to the length of the inhabited world. For they say that this length is about seventy thousand stadia, and that the western section thereof, that is, from the Gulf of Issus to the capes of Iberia, which are the most westerly points, is a little less than thirty thousand stadia. They arrive at this result in the following way: From the Gulf of Issus to Rhodes the distance is five thousand stadia; thence to Salmonium, which is the eastern Cape of Crete, one thousand stadia; and the length of Crete itself, from Salmonium to Criumetopon, more than two thousand stadia; thence, from Criumetopon to Pachynum in Sicily, four thousand five hundred stadia; and from Pachynum to the Strait of Sicily, more than one thousand stadia; then, the sea-passage from the Strait of Sicily to the Pillars, twelve thousand stadia; and from the Pillars to the extreme end of the Sacred Cape140 of Iberia, about three thousand stadia. And Polybius has not taken even his perpendicular properly, if it be true that Narbo is situated approximately on the same parallel as that which runs through Massilia and (as Hipparchus also believes) Massilia on the same as that through Byzantium, and that the line which runs through the open Sea is on the same parallel as that through the Strait and Rhodes, and that the distance from Rhodes to Byzantium has been estimated at about five thousand stadia on the assumption that both places lies on the same meridian; for the perpendicular in question would also be five thousand stadia in length. But when they say that the longest passage across this sea from Europe to Libya, reckoned from the head of the Galatic Gulf, is approximately five thousand stadia, it seems to me that they make an erroneous statement, or else that in that region Libya projects far to the north and reaches the parallel that runs through the Pillars. And Polybius is again not right when he says that the perpendicular in question ends near Sardinia; for the line of this sea-passage is nowhere near Sardinia, but much farther west, leaving between it and Sardinia not only the Sardinian Sea, but almost the whole of the Ligurian Sea as well. And Polybius has exaggerated the length of the seaboard also, only in a lesser degree.

4 Next in order, Polybius proceeds to correct the errors of Eratosthenes; sometimes rightly, but sometimes he is even more in error than Eratosthenes. For instance, when Eratosthenes estimates the distance from Ithaca to Corcyra at three hundred stadia, Polybius says it is more than nine hundred; when Eratosthenes gives the distance from Epidamnus to Thessalonica as nine hundred stadia, Polybius says more than two thousand; and in these cases Polybius is right. But when Eratosthenes says the distance from Massilia to the Pillars is seven thousand stadia and from the Pyrenees to the Pillars six thousand stadia, Polybius himself makes a greater error in giving the distance from Massilia as more than nine thousand stadia and that from the Pyrenees a little less than eight thousand stadia; for Eratosthenes' estimates are nearer the truth. Indeed, modern authorities agree that if one cut off an allowance for the irregular windings of the roads, the whole of Iberia is not more than six thousand stadia in length from the Pyrenees to its western side. But Polybius reckons the river Tagus alone at eight thousand stadia in length from its source to its mouth — without reckoning in the windings of the river, of course (for this is a thing geography does not do) — but estimating the distance on a straight line. And yet from the Pyrenees the sources of the Tagus are more than one thousand stadia distant. On the other hand, Polybius is right when he asserts that Eratosthenes is ignorant of the geography of Iberia, that is, for the reason that he sometimes makes conflicting statements; at any rate, after he has said that the exterior coast of Iberia as far as Gades is inhabited by Gauls — if they really hold the western regions of Europe as far as Gades — he forgets that statement and nowhere mentions the Gauls in his description of Iberia.

5 Again, when Polybius sets forth that the length of Europe is less than the combined length of Libya and Asia, he does not make his comparison correctly. The outlet at the Pillars, he says, is in the equinoctial west, whereas the Tanaïs flows from the summer rising of the sun, and therefore Europe is less in length than the combined length of Libya and Asia by the space between the summer sunrise and the equinoctial sunrise; for Asia has a prior claim to this space of the northern semicircle that lies toward the equinoctial sunrise. Indeed, apart from the abstruseness which characterises Polybius when he is discussing matters that are easy of explanation, his statement that the Tanaïs flows from the summer rising of the sun is also false; for all who are acquainted with those regions say that the Tanaïs flows from the north into Lake Maeotis, and in such wise that the mouth of the river, the mouth of Lake Maeotis, and the course of the Tanaïs itself, so far as it has been explored, all lie on the same meridian.

6 Unworthy of mention are those writers who have stated that the Tanaïs rises in the regions on the Ister and flows from the west, because they have not reflected that the Tyras, the Borysthenes, and the Hypanis, all large rivers, flow between those two rivers into the Pontus, one of them parallel to the Ister and the others parallel to the Tanaïs. And since neither the sources of the Tyras, nor of the Borysthenes, nor of the Hypanis, have been explored, the regions that are farther north than they would be far less known; and therefore the argument that conducts the Tanaïs through those regions and then makes it turn from them to the Maeotis Lake (for the mouths of the Tanaïs are obviously to be seen in the most northerly parts of the Lake, which are also the most easterly parts) — such an argument, I say, would be false and inconclusive. Equally inconclusive is the argument that the Tanaïs flows through the Caucasus towards the north and then turns and flows into Lake Maeotis; for this statement has also been made. However, no one has stated that the Tanaïs flows from the east; for if it flowed from the east the more accomplished geographers would not be asserting that it flows in a direction contrary to, and in a sense diametrically opposed to, that of the Nile — meaning that the courses of the two rivers are on the same meridian or else on meridians that lie close to each other.

7 The measurement of the length of the inhabited world is made along a line parallel to the equator, because the inhabited world, in its length, stretches in the same way the equator does; and in the same way, therefore, we must take as the length of each of the continents the space that lies between two meridians. Again, the measure employed for these lengths is that by stadia; and we seek to discover the number of the stadia either by travelling through the continents themselves, or else along the roads or waterways parallel to them. But Polybius abandons this method and introduces something new, namely, a certain segment of the northern semicircle, which lies between the summer sunrise and the equinoctial sunrise. But no one employs rules and measures that are variable for things that are non-variable, nor reckonings that are made relative to one position or another for things that are absolute and unchanging. Now while the term "length" is non-variable and absolute, "equinoctial rising" and "setting" and, in the same way, "summer sunrise" and "winter sunrise," are not absolute, but relative to our individual positions; and if we shift our position to different points, the positions of sunset and sunrise, whether equinoctial or solstitial, are different, but the length of the continent remains the same. Therefore, while it is not out of place to make the Tanaïs and the Nile limits of continents, it is something new to use the summer, or the equinoctial, sunrise for this purpose.

8 Since Europe runs out into several promontories, Polybius' account of them is better than that of Eratosthenes, but it is still inadequate. For Eratosthenes spoke of only three promontories: first, the promontory that juts down to the Pillars, on which is Iberia; secondly, that to the Strait of Sicily, on which is Italy; and, thirdly, that which ends at Cape Malea, on which are all the nations that dwell between the Adriatic, the Euxine, and the Tanaïs. But Polybius explains the first two promontories in the same way and then makes a third of the promontory which ends at Cape Malea and Sunium, on which are all Greece, and Illyria, and certain parts of Thrace, and a fourth of the Thracian Chersonese, where the strait between Sestus and Abydus is, inhabited by Thracians; and still a fifth of the promontory in the region of the Cimmerian Bosporus and of the mouth of Lake Maeotis. Now we must grant the first two, because they are encompassed by simple gulfs: one of them, by the gulf that lies between Calpe and the Sacred Cape (the gulf on which Gades is situated) and also by that portion of the sea that lies between the Pillars and Sicily; the other, by the last-mentioned sea and the Adriatic — although, of course, the promontory of Iapygia, since it thrusts itself forward on the side 109and thus makes Italy have two crests, presents a sort of contradiction to my statement; but the remaining three promontories, which still more clearly are complex and composed of many members, require further division. Likewise, also, the division of Europe into six parts is open to similar objection, since it has been made in accordance with the promontories. However, in my detailed account I shall make the suitable corrections, not only of these mistakes, but also of all the other serious mistakes that Polybius has made, both in the matter of Europe and in his circuit of Libya. Brief, for the present, I shall rest satisfied with what I have here said in criticism of my predecessors — that is, of so many of them as I have thought would, if cited, make enough witnesses to prove that I too am justified in having undertaken to treat this same subject, since it stands in need of so much correction and addition.

 
2 - 5 Account of the countries of the earth

1 Since the taking in hand of my proposed task naturally follows the criticisms of my predecessors, let me make a second beginning by saying that the person who attempts to write an account of the countries of the earth must take many of the physical and mathematical principles as hypotheses and elaborate his whole treatise with reference to their intent and authority. For, as I have already said, no architect or engineer would be competent even to fix the site of a house or a city properly if he had no conception beforehand of "climata" and of the celestial phenomena, and of geometrical figures and magnitudes and heat and cold and other such things — much less a person who would fix positions for the whole of the inhabited world. For the mere drawing on one and the same plane surface of Iberia and India and the countries that lie between them and, in spite of its being a plane surface, the plotting the sun's position at its settings, risings, and in meridian, as though these positions were fixed for all the people of the world — merely this exercise gives to the man who has previously conceived of the arrangement and movement of the celestial bodies and grasped the fact that it is depicted for the moment as a plane surface for the convenience of the eye — merely this exercise, I say, gives to that man instruction that is truly geographical, but to the man not thus qualified it does not. Indeed, the case is not the same with us when we are dealing with geography as it is when we are travelling great plains (those of Babylonia, for example) or over the sea: then all that is in front of us and behind us and on either side of us is presented to our minds as a plane surface and offers no varying aspects with reference to the celestial bodies or the movements or the positions of the sun and the other stars relatively to us; but when we are dealing with geography the like parts must never present themselves to our minds in that way. The sailor on the open sea, or the man who travels through a level country, is guided by certain popular notions (and these notions impel not only the uneducated man but the man of affairs as well to act in the self-same way), because he is unfamiliar with the heavenly bodies and ignorant of the varying aspects of things with reference to them. For he sees the sun rise, pass the meridian, and set, but how it comes about he does not consider; for, indeed, such knowledge is not useful to him with reference to the task before him, any more than it is useful for him to know whether or not his body stands parallel to that of his neighbour. But perhaps he does consider these matters, and yet holds opinions opposed to the principles of mathematics — just as the natives of any given place do; for a man's place occasions such blunders. But the geographer does not write for the native of any particular place, nor yet does he write for the man of affairs of the kind who has paid no attention to the mathematical sciences properly so‑called; nor, to be sure, does he write for the harvest-hand or the ditch-digger, but for the man who can be persuaded that the earth as a whole is such as the mathematicians represent it to be, and also all that relates to such an hypothesis. And the geographer urges upon his students that they first master those principles and then consider the subsequent problems; for, he declares, he will speak only of the results which follow from those principles; and hence his students will the more unerringly make the application of his teachings if they listen as mathematicians; but he refuses to teach geography to persons not thus qualified.

2 Now as for the matters which he regards as fundamental principles of his science, the geographer must rely upon the geometricians who have measured the earth as a whole; and in their turn the geometricians must rely upon the astronomers; and again the astronomers upon the physicists. Physics is a kind of Arete; by Aretai they mean those sciences that postulate nothing but depend upon themselves, and contain within themselves their own principles as well as the proofs thereof. Now what we are taught by the physicists is as follows: The universe and the heavens are sphere-shaped. The tendency of the bodies that have weight is towards the centre. And, having taken its position about this centre in the form of a sphere, the earth remains homocentric with the heavens, as does also the axis through it, which axis extends also through the centre of the heavens. The heavens revolve round both the earth and its axis from east to west; and along with the heavens revolve the fixed stars, with the same rapidity as the vault of the heavens. Now the fixed stars move along parallel circles, and the best known parallel circles are the equator, the two tropics, and the arctic circles; whereas the planets and the sun and the moon move along certain oblique circles whose positions lie in the zodiac. Now the astronomers first accept these principles, either in whole or in part, and then work out the subsequent problems, namely, the movements of the heavenly bodies, their revolutions, their eclipses, their sizes, their respective distances, and a host of other things. And, in the same way, the geometricians, in measuring the earth as a whole, adhere to the doctrines of the physicists and the astronomers, and, in their turn, the geographers adhere to those of the geometricians.

3 Thus we must take as an hypothesis that the heavens have five zones, and that the earth also has five zones, and that the terrestrial zones have the same names as the celestial zones (I have already stated the reasons for this division into zones). The limits of the zones can be defined by circles drawn on both sides of the equator and parallel to it, namely, by two circles which enclose the torrid zone, and by two others, following upon these, which form the two temperate zones next to the torrid zone and the two frigid zones next to the temperate zones. Beneath each of the celestial circles falls the corresponding terrestrial circle which bears the same name: and, in like manner, beneath the celestial zone, the terrestrial zone. Now they call "temperate" the zones that can be inhabited; the others they call uninhabitable, the one on account of the heat, and the other on account of the cold. They proceed in the same manner with reference to the tropic and the arctic circles (that is, in countries that admit of arctic circles): they define their limits by giving the terrestrial circles the same names as the celestial — and thus they define all the terrestrial circles that fall beneath the several celestial circles. Since the celestial equator cuts the whole heavens in two, the earth also must of necessity be cut in two by the terrestrial equator. Of the two hemispheres — I refer to the two celestial as well as the two terrestrial hemispheres — one is called "the northern hemisphere" and the other "the southern hemisphere"; so also, since the torrid zone is cut in two by the same circle, the one part of it will be the northern and the other the southern. It is clear that, of the temperate zones also, the one will be northern and the other southern, each bearing the name of the hemisphere in which it lies. That hemisphere is called "northern hemisphere" which contains that temperate zone in which, as you look from the east to the west, the pole is on your right hand and the equator on your left, or in which, as you look towards the south, the west is on your right hand and the east on your left; and that hemisphere is called "southern hemisphere," in which the opposite is true; and hence it is clear that we are in one of the two hemispheres (that is, of course, in the north), and that it is impossible for us to be in both. "Between them are great rivers; first, Oceanus", and then the torrid zone. But neither is there an Oceanus in the centre of our whole inhabited world, cleaving the whole of it, nor, to be sure, is there a torrid spot in it; nor yet, indeed, is there a portion of it to be found whose "climata" are opposite to the "climata" which I have given for the northern temperate zone.

4 By accepting these principles, then, and also by making use of the sun-dial and the other helps given him by the astronomer — by means of which are found, for the several inhabited localities, both the circles that are parallel to the equator and the circles that cut the former at right angles, the latter being drawn through the poles — the geometrician can measure the inhabited portion of the earth by visiting it and the rest of the earth by his calculation of the intervals. In the same way he can find the distance from the equator to the pole, which is a fourth part of the earth's largest circle; and when he has this distance, he multiplies it by four; and this is the circumference of the earth. Accordingly, just as the man who measures the earth gets his principles from the astronomer and the astronomer his from the physicist, so, too, the geographer must in the same way first take his point of departure from the man who has measured the earth as a whole, having confidence in him and in those in whom he, in his turn, had confidence, and then explain, in the first instance, our inhabited world — its size, shape, and character, and its relations to the earth as a whole; for this is the peculiar task of the geographer. Then, secondly, he must discuss in a fitting manner the several parts of the inhabited world, both land and sea, noting in passing wherein the subject has been treated inadequately by those of our predecessors whom we have believed to be the best authorities on these matters.

5 Now let us take as hypothesis that the earth together with the sea is sphere-shaped and that the surface of the earth is one and the same with that of the high seas; for the elevations on the earth's surface would disappear from consideration, because they are small in comparison with the great size of the earth and admit of being overlooked; and so we use "sphere-shaped" for figures of this kind, not as though they were turned on a lathe, nor yet as the geometrician uses the sphere for demonstration, but as an aid to our conception of the earth — and that, too, a rather rough conception. Now let us conceive of a sphere with five zones, and let the equator be drawn as a circle upon that sphere, and let a third circle be drawn parallel thereto, bounding the frigid zone in the northern hemisphere, and let a third circle be drawn through the poles, cutting the other two circles at right angles. Then, since the northern hemisphere contains two-fourths of the earth, which are formed by the equator with the circle that passes through the poles, a quadrilateral area is cut off in each of the two fourths. The northern side of the quadrilateral is half of the parallel next to the pole; the southern side is half of the equator; and the two remaining sides are segments of the circle that runs through the poles, these segments lying opposite to each other and being equal in length. Now in one of these two quadrilaterals (it would seem to make no difference in which one) we say that our inhabited world lies, washed on all sides by the sea and like an island; for, as I have already said above, the evidence of our senses and of reason prove this. But if anyone disbelieves the evidence of reason, it would make no difference, from the point of view of the geographer, whether we make the inhabited world an island, or merely admit what experience has taught us, namely, that it is possible to sail round the inhabited world on both sides, from the east as well as from the west, with the exception of a few intermediate stretches. And, as to these stretches, it makes no difference whether they are bounded by sea or by uninhabited land; for the geographer undertakes to describe the known parts of the inhabited world, but he leaves out of consideration the unknown parts of it — just as he does what is outside of it. And it will suffice to fill out and complete the outline of what we term "the island" by joining with a straight line the extreme points reached on the coasting-voyages made on both sides of the inhabited world.

6 So let us presuppose that the island lies in the aforesaid quadrilateral. We must then take as its size the figure that is obvious to our sense, which is obtained by abstracting from the entire size of the earth our hemisphere, then from this area its half, and in turn from this half the quadrilateral in which we say the inhabited world lies and it is by an analogous process that we must form our conception of the shape of the island, accommodating the obvious shape to our hypotheses. But since the segment of the northern hemisphere that lies between the equator and the circle drawn parallel to it next to the pole is a spinning-whorl in shape, and since the circle that passes through the pole, by cutting the northern hemisphere in two, also cuts the spinning-whorl in two and thus forms the quadrilateral, it will be clear that the quadrilateral in which the Atlantic Sea lies is half of a spinning-whorl's surface; and that the inhabited world is a chlamys-shaped island in this quadrilateral, since it is less in size than half of the quadrilateral. This latter fact is clear from geometry, and also from the great extent of the enveloping sea which covers the extremities of the continents both in the east and west and contracts them to a tapering shape; and, in the third place, it is clear from the maximum length and breadth. Now the length of the inhabited world is seventy thousand stadia, being for the most part limited by a sea which still cannot be navigated because of its vastness and desolation; the breadth is less than thirty thousand stadia, being bounded by the regions that are uninhabitable on account either of heat or cold. For merely the part of the quadrilateral that is uninhabitable on account of the heat — since it has a breadth of eight thousand eight hundred stadia and a maximum length of one hundred and twenty six thousand stadia, that is, half the length of the equator — is more than half the inhabited world, and the remainder of the quadrilateral would be still more than that.

7 In essential accord with all this are the views of Hipparchus. He says that, having taken as hypothesis the measurement of the earth as stated by Eratosthenes, he must then abstract the inhabited world from the earth in his discussion; for it will not make much difference with respect to the celestial phenomena for the several inhabited places whether the measurement followed is that of Eratosthenes or that given by the later geographers. Since, then, according to Eratosthenes, the equator measures two hundred and fifty two thousand stadia, the fourth part of it would be sixty three thousand stadia; and this is the distance from the equator to the pole, namely, fifteen sixtieths of the sixty intervals into which the equator is divided. And the distance from the equator to the summer tropic is four sixtieths; and the summer tropic is the parallel drawn through Syene. Now the several distances are computed from the standard measures that are obvious to our senses. The summer tropic, for instance, must pass through Syene, because there, at the time of the summer solstice, the index of the sun-dial does not cast a shadow at noon. And the meridian through Syene is drawn approximately along the course of the Nile from Meroë to Alexandria, and this distance is about ten thousand stadia; and Syene must lie in the centre of that distance; so that the distance from Syene to Meroë is five thousand stadia. And when you have proceeded about three thousand stadia in a straight line south of Meroë, the country is no longer inhabitable on account of the heat, and therefore the parallel though these regions, being the same as that through the Cinnamon-producing Country, must be put down as the limit and the beginning of our inhabited world on the South. Since, then, the distance from Syene to Meroë is five thousand stadia, to which we have added the other three thousand stadia, the total distance from Syene to the confines of the inhabited world would be eight thousand stadia. But the distance from Syene to the equator is sixteen thousand eight hundred stadia (for that is what the four sixtieths amounts to, since each sixtieth is estimated at four thousand two hundred stadia), and therefore we should have eight thousand eight hundred stadia left as the distance from the confines of the inhabited world to the equator, and from Alexandria twenty-one thousand eight hundred. Again, all agree that the route by sea from Alexandria to Rhodes is in a straight line with the course of the Nile, as also the route thence along the coast of Caria and Ionia to the Troad, Byzantium, and the Borysthenes. Taking, therefore, the distances that are already known and sailed over, geographers inquire as to the regions beyond the Borysthenes that lie in a straight course with this line — as to how far they are inhabitable, and how far the northern parts of the inhabited world have their boundaries. Now the Roxolanians, the most remote of the known Scythians, live beyond the Borysthenes, though they are farther south than the most remote peoples of whom we have knowledge north of Britain; and the regions beyond the Roxolanians become at once uninhabitable because of the cold; and farther south than the Roxolanians are the Sarmatians who dwell beyond Lake Maeotis, and also the Scythians as far as the Eastern Scythians.

8 Now Pytheas of Massilia tells us that Thule, the most northerly of the Britannic Islands, is farthest north, and that there the circle of the summer tropic is the same as the arctic circle. But from the other writers I learn nothing on the subject — neither that there exists a certain island by the name of Thule, nor whether the northern regions are inhabitable up to the point where the summer tropic becomes the arctic circle. But in my opinion the northern limit of the inhabited world is much farther to the south than where the summer tropic becomes the arctic circle. For modern scientific writers are not able to speak of any country north of Ierne, which lies to the north of Britain and near thereto, and is the home of men who are complete savages and lead a miserable existence because of the cold; and therefore, in my opinion, the northern limit of our inhabited world is to be placed there. But if the parallel though Byzantium passes approximately through Massilia, as Hipparchus says on the testimony of Pytheas (Hipparchus says, namely, that in Byzantium the relation of the index to the shadow is the same as that which Pytheas gave for Massilia), and if the parallel through the mouth of the Borysthenes is about three thousand eight hundred stadia distant from that parallel, then, in view of the distance from Massilia to Britain, the circle drawn through the mouth of the Borysthenes would fall somewhere in Britain. But Pytheas, who misleads people everywhere else, is, I think, wholly in error here too; for it has been admitted by many writers that all the line drawn from the Pillars to the regions of Strait of Sicily and of Athens, and of Rhodes, lies on the same parallel; and it is admitted that the part of that line from the Pillars to the strait runs approximately through the middle of the sea. And further, sailors say that the longest passage from Celtica to Libya, namely, that from the Galatic Gulf, is five thousand stadia, and that this is also the greatest width of the Mediterranean sea, and therefore the distance from the line in question to the head of the gulf would be two thousand five hundred stadia and less than that to Massilia; for Massilia is farther south than the head of the gulf. But the distance from Rhodes to Byzantium is about four thousand nine hundred stadia, and therefore the parallel through Byzantium would be much farther north than that through Massilia. And the distance from Massilia to Britain may possibly correspond to that from Byzantium to the mouth of the Borysthenes; but the distance that should be set down for the stretch from Britain to Ierne is no longer a known quantity, nor is it known whether there are still inhabitable regions farther on, nor need we concern ourselves about the question if we give heed to what Hesiod said above. For, so far as science is concerned, it is sufficient to assume that, just as it was appropriate in the case of the southern regions to fix a limit of the habitable world by proceeding three thousand stadia south of Meroë (not indeed as though this were a very accurate limit, but as one that at least approximates accuracy), so in this case too we must reckon not more than three thousand stadia north of Britain, or only a little more, say, four thousand stadia. And for governmental purposesa there would be no advantage in knowing such countries and their inhabitants, and particularly if the people live in islands which are of such a nature that they can neither injure nor benefit us in any way because of their isolation. For although they could have held even Britain, the Romans scorned to do so, because they saw that there was nothing at all to fear from the Britons (for they are not strong enough to cross over and attack us), and that no corresponding advantage was to be gained by taking and holding their country. For it seems that at present more revenue is derived from the duty on their commerce than the tribute could bring in, if we deduct the expense involved in the maintenance of an army for the purpose of guarding the island and collecting the tribute; and the unprofitableness of an occupation would be still greater in the case of the other islands about Britain.

9 Now if to the distance from Rhodes to the mouth of the Borysthenes we add the distance of four thousand stadia from the mouth of the Borysthenes to the northern regions, the sum total amounts to twelve thousand seven hundred stadia, but the distance from Rhodes to the southern limit of the inhabited world is sixteen thousand six hundred stadia, and therefore the total breadth of the inhabited world would be less than thirty thousand stadia from south to north. Its length, however, is estimated at about seventy thousand stadia; and this is, from west to east, the distance from the capes of Iberia to the capes of India, measured partly by land journeys and partly by sea voyages. And that this length falls within the quadrilateral mentioned above is clear from the relation of the parallels to the equator; hence the length of the inhabited world is more than double its breadth. Its shape is described as about like that of a chlamys; for when we visit the several regions of the inhabited world, we discover a considerable contraction in its width at its extremities, and particularly at its western extremities.

10 We have now traced on a spherical surface the area in which we say the inhabited world is situated; and the man who would most closely approximate the truth by constructed figures must needs take for the earth a globe like that of Crates, and lay off on it the quadrilateral, and within the quadrilateral put down the map of the inhabited world. But since the need of a large globe, so that the section in question (being a small fraction of the globe) may be large enough to receive distinctly the appropriate parts of the inhabited world and to present the proper appearance to observers, it is better for him to construct a globe of adequate size, if he can do so; and let it be no less than ten feet in diameter. But if he cannot construct a globe of adequate size or not much smaller, he should sketch his map on a plane surface of at least seven feet. For it will make only a slight difference if we draw straight lines to represent the circles, that is, the parallels and meridians, by means of which we clearly indicate the "climata," the winds and the other differences, and also the positions of the parts of the earth with reference both to each other and to the heavenly bodies — drawing parallel lines for the parallels and perpendicular lines for the circles perpendicular to the parallels, for our imagination can easily transfer to the globular and spherical surface the figure or magnitude seen by the eye on a plane surface. And the same applies also, we say, to the oblique circles and their corresponding straight lines. Although the several meridians drawn through the pole all converge on the sphere toward one point, yet on our plane-surface chart it will not be a matter of importance merely to make the straight meridian lines converge slightly; for there is no necessity for this in many cases, nor are the converging straight lines, when the lines of the sphere are transferred to the plane chart and drawn as straight lines, as easily understood as are the curved lines on the sphere.

11 And so in what I have to say hereafter I shall assume that our drawing has been made on a plane chart. Now I shall tell what part of the land and sea I have myself visited and concerning what part I have trusted to accounts given by others by word of mouth or in writing. I have travelled westward from Armenia as far as the regions of Tyrrhenia opposite Sardinia, and southward from the Euxine Sea as far as the frontiers of Ethiopia. And you could not find another person among the writers on geography who has travelled over much more of the distances just mentioned than I; indeed, those who have travelled more than I in the western regions have not covered as much ground in the east, and those who have travelled more in the eastern countries are behind me in the western; and the same holds true in regard to the regions towards the south and north. However, the greater part of our material both they and I receive by hearsay and then form our ideas of shape and size and also other characteristics, qualitative and quantitative, precisely as the mind forms its ideas from sense impressions — for our senses report the shape, colour, and size of an apple, and also its smell, feel, and flavour; and from all this the mind forms the concept of apple. So, too, even in the case of large figures, while the senses perceive only the parts, the mind forms a concept of the whole from what the senses have perceived. And men who are eager to learn proceed in just that way: they trust as organs of sense those who have seen or wandered over any region, no matter what, some in this and some in that part of the earth, and they form in one diagram their mental image of the whole inhabited world. Why, generals, too, though they do everything themselves, are not present everywhere, but they carry out successfully most of their measures through others, trusting the reports of messengers and sending their orders around in conformity with the reports they hear. And he who claims that only those have knowledge who have actually seen abolishes the criterion of the sense of hearing, though this sense is much more important than sight for the purposes of science.

12 In particular the writers of the present time can give a better account of the Britons, the Germans, the peoples both north and south of the Ister, the Getans, the Tyregetans, the Bastarnians, and, furthermore, the peoples in the regions of the Caucasus, such as the Albanians and the Iberians. Information has been given us also concerning Hyrcania and Bactriana by the writers of Parthian histories (Apollodorus of Artemita and his school), in which they marked off those countries more definitely than many other writers. Again, since the Romans have recently invaded Arabia Felix with an army, of which Aelius Gallus, my friend and companion, was the commander, and since the merchants of Alexandria are already sailing with fleets by way of the Nile and of the Arabian Gulf as far as India, these regions also have become far better known to us of to‑day than to our predecessors. At any rate, when Gallus was prefect of Egypt, I accompanied him and ascended the Nile as far as Syene and the frontiers of Ethiopia, and I learned that as many as one hundred and twenty vessels were sailing from Myos Hormos to India, whereas formerly, under the Ptolemies, only a very few ventured to undertake the voyage and to carry on traffic in Indian merchandise.

13 Now my first and most important concern, both for the purposes of science and for the needs of the state, is this — to try to give, in the simplest possible way, the shape and size of that part of the earth which falls within our map, indicating at the same time what the nature of that part is and what portion it is of the whole earth; for this is the task proper of the geographer. But to give an accurate account of the whole earth and of the whole "spinning-whorl" of the zone of which I was speaking is the function of another science — for instance, take the question whether the "spinning-whorl" is inhabited in its other fourth also. And, indeed, if it is inhabited, it is not inhabited by men such as exist in our fourth, and we should have to regard it as another inhabited world — which is a plausible theory. It is mine, however, to describe what is in this our own inhabited world.

14 As I have said, the shape of the inhabited world is somewhat like a chlamys, whose greatest breadth is represented by the line that runs through the Nile, a line that begins at the parallel that runs through the Cinnamon-producing Country and the island of the fugitive Egyptians, and ends at the parallel through Ierne; its length is represented by that line drawn perpendicular thereto which runs from the west through the Pillars and the Strait of Sicily to Rhodes and the Gulf of Issus, passes along the Taurus Range, which girdles Asia, and ends at the Eastern Sea between India and the country of those Scythians who live beyond Bactriana. Accordingly, we must conceive of a parallelogram in which the chlamys-shaped figure is inscribed in such a way that the greatest length of the chlamys coincides with, and is equal to, the greatest length of the parallelogram, and likewise its greatest breadth and the breadth of the parallelogram. Now this chlamys-shaped figure is the inhabited world; and, as I said, its breadth is fixed by the parallelogram's outermost lines, which separate its inhabited and its uninhabited territory in both directions. And these sides were: in the north, the parallel through Ierne; in the torrid region, the parallel through the Cinnamon-producing Country; hence these lines, if produced both east and west as far as those parts of the inhabited world that rise opposite to them, will form a parallelogram with the meridian-lines that unite them at their extremities. Now, that the inhabited world is situated in this parallelogram is clear from this fact that neither its greatest breadth nor its greatest length fall outside thereof; and that its shape is like a chlamys is apparent from the fact that the extremities of its length, being washed away by the sea, taper off on both sides and thus diminish its width there; and this is apparent from the reports of those who have sailed around the eastern and western parts in both directions. For these navigators declare that the island called Taprobane is considerably south of India, inhabited nevertheless, and that it "rises opposite to" the Island of the Egyptians and the Cinnamon-nearing Country; and that, indeed, the temperature of the atmosphere is much the same as that of these latter places; and the region about the outlet of the Hyrcanian Sea are farther north than outermost Scythia beyond India, and the regions about Ierne are farther north still. A similar report is also made concerning the country outside the Pillars, namely, the promontory of Iberia which they call the Sacred Cape is the most westerly point of the inhabited world; and this cape lies approximately on the line that passes through Gades, the Pillars, the Strait of Sicily, and Rhodes. At all these points, they say, the shadows cast by the sun-dial agree, and the winds that blow in either direction come from the same direction, and the lengths of the longest days and nights are the same; for the longest day and the longest night have fourteen and a half equinoctial hours. Again, the constellation of the Cabeiri is sometimes seen along the coast near Gades. And Poseidonius says that from a tall house in a city about four hundred stadia distant from these regions he saw a star which he judged to be Canopus itself, so judging from the fact that those who had proceeded but a short distance south of Iberia were in agreement that they saw Canopus, and also from scientific observations made at Cnidus; for, says he, the observatory of Eudoxus at Cnidus is not much higher than the dwelling-houses, and from there, it is said, Eudoxus saw the star Canopus; and, adds Poseidonius, Cnidus lies on the parallel of Rhodes, on which lie both Gades and the coastline thereabouts.

15 Now as you sail to the regions of the south you come to Libya; of this country the westernmost coast extends only slightly beyond Gades; then this coast, forming a narrow promontory, recedes towards the southeast and gradually broadens out to the point where it reaches the land of the Western Ethiopians. They are the most remote people south of the territory of Carthage, and they reach the parallel that runs through the Cinnamon-producing Country. But if you sail in the opposite direction from the Sacred Cape until you come to the people called Artabrians, your voyage is northward, and you have Lusitania on your right hand. Then all the rest of your voyage is eastward, thus making an obtuse angle to your former course, until you reach the headlands of the Pyrenees that abut on the ocean. The westerly parts of Britain lie opposite these headlands towards the north; and in like manner the islands called Cassiterides, situated in the open sea approximately in the latitude of Britain, lie opposite to, and north of, the Artabrians. Therefore it is clear how greatly the east and west ends of the inhabited world have been narrowed down by the surrounding sea.

16 Such being the general shape of the inhabited world, it is clearly helpful to assume two straight lines that intersect each other at right angles, one of which will run through the entire greatest length and the other through the entire greatest breadth of the inhabited world; and the first line will be one of the parallels, and the second line one of the meridians; then it will be helpful to conceive of lines parallel to these two lines on either side of them and by them to divide the land and the sea with which we happen to be conversant. For thereby the shape of the inhabited world will prove more clearly to be such as I have described it, being judged by the extent of the lines, which lines are of different measurements, both those of the length and those of the breadth; and thereby too the "climata" will be better represented, both in the east and in the west, and likewise in the south and in the north. But since these straight lines must be drawn through known places, two of them have already been so drawn, I mean the two central lines mentioned above, the one representing the length and the other the breadth; and the other lines will be easily found by the help of these two. For by using these lines as "elements," so to speak, we can correlate the regions that are parallel, and the other positions, both geographical and astronomical, of inhabited places.

17 It is the sea more than anything else that defines the contours of the land and gives it its shape, by forming gulfs, deep seas, straits, and likewise isthmuses, peninsulas, and promontories; but both the rivers and the mountains assist the seas herein. It is through such natural features that we gain a clear conception of continents, nations, favourable positions of cities, and all the other diversified details with which our geographical map is filled. And among these details are the multitude of islands scattered both in the open seas and along the whole seaboard. And since different places exhibit different good and bad attributes, as also the advantages and inconveniences that result therefrom, some due to nature and others resulting from human design, the geographer should mention those that are due to nature; for they are permanent, whereas the adventitious attributes undergo changes. And also of the latter attributes he should indicate such as can persist for a long time, or else such as can not persist for long and yet somehow possess a certain distinction and fame, which, by enduring to later times, make a work of man, even when it no longer exists, a kind of natural attribute of a place; hence it is clear that these latter attributes must also be mentioned. Indeed, it is possible to say concerning many cities what Demosthenes said of Olynthus and the cities round about it, which have so completely disappeared, he says, that a visitor could not know even whether they had ever been founded. But nevertheless men like to visit these places as well as others, because they are eager to see at least the traces of deeds so widely famed, just as they like to visit the tombs of illustrious men. So, also, I have mentioned customs and constitutions that no longer exist, for the reason that utility urges me in their case just as it does in the case of deeds of action; that is, either to incite emulation or signal avoidance of this or that.

18 I now resume my first sketch of the inhabited world and say that our inhabited world, being girt by the sea, admits into itself from the exterior sea along the ocean many gulfs, of which four are very large. Of these four gulfs the northern one is called the Caspian Sea (though some call it the Hyrcanian Sea); the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Gulf pour inland from the Southern Sea, the one about opposite the Caspian Sea and the other about opposite the Pontus; and the fourth, which far exceeds the others in size, is formed by the sea which is called the Interior Sea, or Our Sea; it takes its beginning in the west at the strait at the Pillars of Heracles, and extends lengthwise towards the regions of the east, but with varying breadth, and finally divides itself and ends in two sea-like gulfs, the one on the left hand, which we call the Euxine Pontus, and the other consisting of the Egyptian, the Pamphylian, and the Issican Seas. All these aforesaid gulfs have narrow inlets from the Exterior Sea, particularly the Arabian Gulf and that at the Pillars, whereas the others are not so narrow. The land that surrounds these gulfs is divided into three parts, as I have said. Now Europe has the most irregular shape of all three; Libya has the most regular shape; while Asia occupies a sort of middle position between the other two in this respect. And the cause of their irregularity or their lack of it lies in the coastline of the Interior Sea, whereas the coastline of the Exterior Sea, with the exception of that of the aforesaid gulfs, is regular and, as I have said, like a chlamys; but I must leave out of view the other slight irregularities, for a little thing is nothing when we are dealing with great things. And further, since in the study of geography we inquire not merely into the shapes and dimensions of countries, but also, as I have said, into their positions with reference to each other, herein, too, the coast-line of the Interior Sea offers for our consideration more varied detail than that of the Exterior Sea. And far greater in extent here than there is the known portion, and the temperate portion, and the portion inhabited by well-governed cities and nations. Again, we wish to know about those parts of the world where tradition places more deeds of action, political constitutions, arts, and everything else that contributes to practical wisdom; and our needs draw us to those places with which commercial and social intercourse is attainable; and these are the places that are under government, or rather under good government. Now, as I have said, our Interior Sea has a great advantage in all these respects; and so with it I must begin my description.

19 I have already stated that the strait at the Pillars forms the beginning to this gulf; and the narrowest part of the strait is said to be about seventy stadia; but after you sail through the narrows, which are one hundred and twenty stadia in length, the coasts take a divergent course all at once, though the one on the left diverges more; and then the gulf assumes the aspect of a great sea. It is bounded on the right side by the coastline of Libya as far as Carthage, and on the other side, first, by Iberia and also by Celtica in the regions of Narbo and Massilia, and next by Liguria, and finally by Italy as far as the Strait of Sicily. The eastern side of this sea is formed by Sicily and the straits on either side of Sicily; the one between Italy and Sicily is seven stadia in width and the one between Sicily and Carthage is fifteen hundred stadia. But the line from the Pillars to the seven-stadia strait is a part of the line to Rhodes and the Taurus Range; it cuts the aforesaid sea approximately in the middle; and it is said to be twelve thousand stadia in length. This, then, is the length of the sea, while its greatest breadth is as much as five thousand stadia, the distance from the galatic Gulf between Massilia and Narbo to the opposite coast of Libya. The entire portion of this sea along the coast of Libya they call the Libyan Sea, and the portion that lies along the opposite coast they call, in order, the Iberian Sea, the Ligurian Sea, the Sardinian Sea, and finally, to Sicily, the Tyrrhenian Sea. There are numerous islands along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea as far as Liguria, and largest of all are Sardinia and Corsica, except Sicily; but Sicily is the largest and best of all the islands in our part of the world. Far behind these in size are Pandateria and Pontia, which lie in the open sea, and, lying near the land, Aethalia, Planasia, Pithecussa, Prochyta, Capreae, Leucosia, and others like them. But on the other side of the Ligurian Sea the islands off the rest of the coast up to the Pillars are not numerous, among which are the Gymnesiae and Ebysus; and those off the coasts of Libya and Sicily are not numerous, either, among which are Cossura, Aegimurus, and the Liparian Islands, which some call the Islands of Aeolus.

20 Beyond Sicily and the straits on both sides of it other seas join with the former sea. The first is the sea in front of the Syrtes and Cyrenaea and the two Syrtes themselves, and the second is the sea formerly called the Ausonian Sea, but now the Sicilian Sea, which is confluent with and a continuation of the first sea. Now the sea in front of the Syrtes and Cyrenaea is called the Libyan Sea, and it ends at the Egyptian Sea. Of the Syrtes, the lesser is about one thousand six hundred stadia in circumference; and the islands Meninx and Cercina lie at either side of its mouth. As for the Greater Syrtes, Eratosthenes says that its circuit is five thousand stadia, and its breadth eighteen hundred stadia, reckoning from the Hesperides to Automala and to the common boundary between Cyrenaea and the rest of Libya in that region; but others have estimated its circuit at four thousand stadia, and its breadth at fifteen hundred stadia, as much as the breadth of its mouth is. The Sicilian Sea lies in front of Sicily and Italy toward the regions of the east, and, besides, in front of the strait that lies between them — in front of the territory of Rhegium as far as Locri, and of the territory of Messina as far as Syracuse and Pachynum. Toward the regions of the east it stretches on to the headlands of Crete, and its waters also wash round most of the Peloponnesus and fill what is called the Gulf of Corinth. On the north it stretches to the Iapygian Cape and the mouth of the Ionian Gulf and to the southern parts of Epirus as far as the Ambracian Gulf and the coast that adjoins it and, with the Peloponnesus, forms the Corinthian Gulf. But the Ionian Gulf is part of what is now called the Adriatic Sea. The right side of this sea is formed by Illyria, and the left by Italy up to its head at Aquileia. It reaches up towards the north-west in a narrow and long course; and its length is about six thousand stadia, while its greatest breadth is twelve hundred stadia. There are numerous islands in this sea: off the Illyrian coast the Apsyrtides, and Cyrictica, and the Liburnides, and also Issa, Tragurium, Black Corcyra, and Pharos; and off the Italian coast the Diomedeae. The stretch of the Sicilian Sea from Pachynum to Crete, they say, measures four thousand five hundred stadia, and just as much the stretch to Taenarum in Laconia; and the stretch from the Iapygian Cape to the head of the Gulf of Corinth is less than three thousand stadia, while that from Iapygia to Libya is more than four thousand. The islands of this sea are: Corcyra and the Sybota off the coast of Epirus; and next to them, off the Gulf of Corinth, Cephallenia, Ithaca, Zacynthus, and the Echinades.

21 Adjoining the Sicilian Sea are the Cretan, the Saronic, and the Myrtoan Seas. The Myrtoan Sea is between Crete, Argeia and Attica; its greatest breadth, measured from Attica, is about one thousand two hundred stadia, and its length is less than double its breadth. In this sea are the islands of Cythera, Calauria, Aegina and its neighbouring isles, Salamis, and some of the Cyclades. Next beyond the Myrtoan Sea comes immediately the Aegean Sea, with the Gulf of Melas and the Hellespont; and also the Icarian and Carpathian Seas, extending to Rhodes, Crete, Carpathus, and the first regions of Asia. In the Aegean are the Cyclades, the Sporades, and the islands that lie off Caria, Ionia, and Aeolis up to the Troad — I mean Cos, Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos; so also those that lie off Greece as far as Macedonia and Thrace the next country beyond Macedonia — namely, Euboea, Scyros, Peparethos, Lemnos, Thasos, Imbros, Samothrace, and a number of others, concerning which I shall speak in my detailed description. The length of this sea is about four thousand stadia or slightly more, and its breadth is about two thousand stadia. It is surrounded by the aforesaid regions of Asia, and by the coast-line from Sunium to the Thermaic Gulf as you sail towards the north, and by the Macedonian Gulfs up to the Thracian Chersonese.

22 Along this Chersonese lies the strait, seven stadia in breadth, between Sestus and Abydus, through which the Aegean Sea and the Hellespont empty northwards into another sea which they call the Propontis; and the Propontis empties into another sea termed the "Euxine"184 Pontus. This latter is a double sea, so to speak: for two promontories jut out at about the middle of it, one from Europe and the northern parts, and the other, opposite to it, from Asia, thus contracting the passage between them and forming two large seas. The promontory of Europe is called Criumetopon,185 and that of Asia, Carambis; and they are about two thousand five hundred stadia distant from each other. Now the western sea has a length of three thousand eight hundred stadia, reckoning from Byzantium to the mouths of the Borysthenes, and a breadth of two thousand eight hundred stadia; in this sea the island of Leuce is situated. The eastern sea is oblong and ends in a narrow head at Dioscurias; it has a length of five thousand stadia or a little more, and a breadth of about three thousand stadia. The circumference of the whole sea is approximately twenty-five thousand stadia. Some compare the shape of this circumference to that of a bent Scythian bow, likening the bow-string to the regions on what is called the right-hand side of the Pontus (that is, the ship-course along the coast from the outlet to the head at Dioscurias; for with the exception of the promontory of Carambis the whole shore has but small recesses and projections, so that it is like a straight line; and the rest they liken to the horn of the bow with its double curve, the upper curve being rounded off, while the lower curve is straighter; and thus they say the left coast forms two gulfs, of which the western is much more rounded than the other.

23 North of the eastern gulf lies Lake Maeotis, which has a circumference of nine thousand stadia or even a little more. It empties into the Pontus at what is called the Cimmerian Bosporus, and the Pontus empties into the Propontis at the Thracian Bosporus; for they give the name of Thracian Bosporus to the outlet at Byzantium, which is four stadia. The Propontis is said to be fifteen hundred stadia long, reckoning from the Troad to Byzantium; and its breadth is approximately the same. In it lie the island of Cyzicus and the little islands in its neighbourhood.

24 Such, then, is the nature and such the size of the arm of the Aegean Sea that extends towards the north. Again: the arm that begins at Rhodes and forms the Egyptian, the Pamphylian, and the Issican Seas, stretches towards the east as far as Issus in Cilicia for a distance of five thousand stadia along Lycia, Pamphylia, and the whole coastline of Cilicia. Thence, Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt encircle the sea on the south and west as far as Alexandria. And Cyprus must lie both in the Issican and the Pamphylian Gulfs, since it borders on the Egyptian Sea. The sea-passage from Rhodes to Alexandria is, with the north wind, approximately four thousand stadia, while the coasting-voyage is double that distance. Eratosthenes says that this is merely the assumption made by navigators in regard to the length of the sea-passage, some saying it is four thousand stadia, others not hesitating to say it is even five thousand stadia, but that he himself, by means of the shadow-catching sun-dial, has discovered to be three thousand seven hundred and fifty stadia. Now the part of this sea that is next to Cilicia and Pamphylia, and the side called the right-hand side of the Pontic Sea, and the Propontis, and the sea-board next beyond as far as Pamphylia, form a great peninsula and a great isthmus belonging thereto that stretches from the sea at Tarsus to the city of Amisus, and to Themiscyra, the Plain of the Amazons. For the country within this line, as far as Caria and Ionia and the peoples that live on this side of the Halys River, is all washed by the Aegean or else by the above-mentioned parts thereof on both sides of the peninsula. And indeed we call this peninsula by the special name of Asia, the same name that is given to the whole continent.

25 In short, the head of the Greater Syrtis is the most southerly point of our Mediterranean Sea, and next to this Alexandria in Egypt and the mouths of the Nile; the most northerly point is the mouth of the Borysthenes, though if we add Lake Maeotis to the sea (and indeed it is a part of it, in a sense) the mouth of the Tanaïs is the most northerly point; the most westerly point is the strait at the Pillars; and the most easterly point is the above-mentioned head of the Pontus at Dioscurias; and Eratosthenes is wrong in saying that the Issican Gulf is the most easterly, for it lies on the same meridian with Amisus and Themiscyra — or, if you like, you may add in the territory of Sidene on to Pharnacia. From these regions the voyage to Dioscurias is, I might say, more than three thousand stadia eastward, as will become clearer when I describe that region in detail. Such, then, is the nature of our Mediterranean Sea.

26 I must also give a general description of the countries that surround this sea, beginning at the same points at which I began to describe the sea itself. Now as you sail into the strait at the Pillars, Libya lies on your right hand as far as the stream of the Nile, and on your left hand across the strait lies Europe as far as the Tanaïs. And both Europe and Libya end at Asia. But I must begin with Europe, because it is both varied in form and admirably adapted by nature for the development of excellence in men and governments, and also because it has contributed most of its own store of good things to the other continents; for the whole of it is inhabitable with the exception of a small region that is uninhabited on account of the cold. This uninhabited part borders on the country of the Wagon-Dwellers in the region of the Tanaïs, Lake Maeotis, and the Borysthenes. Of the inhabitable part of Europe, the cold mountainous regions furnish by nature only a wretched existence to their inhabitants, yet even the regions of poverty and piracy become civilised as soon as they get good administrators. Take the case of the Greeks: though occupying mountains and rocks, they used to live happily, because they took forethought for good government, for the arts, and in general for the science of living. The Romans, too, took over many nations that were naturally savage owing to the regions they inhabited, because those regions were either rocky or without harbours or cold or for some other reason ill-suited to habitation by many, and thus not only brought into communication with each other peoples who had been isolated, but also taught the more savage how to live under forms of government. But all of Europe that is level and has a temperate climate has nature to coöperate with her toward these results; for while in a country that is blessed by nature everything tends to peace, in a disagreeable country everything tends to make men warlike and courageous; and so both kinds of country receive benefits from each other, for the latter helps with arms, the former with products of the soil, with arts, and with character-building. But the harm that they receive from each other, if they are not mutually helpful, is also apparent; and the might of those who are accustomed to carry arms will have some advantage unless it be controlled by the majority. However, this continent has a natural advantage to meet this condition also; for the whole of it is diversified with plains and mountains, so that throughout its entire extent the agricultural and civilised element dwells side by side with the warlike element; but of the two elements the one that is peace-loving is more numerous and therefore keeps control over the whole body; and the leading p489nations, too — formerly the Greeks and later the Macedonians and the Romans — have taken hold and helped. And for this reason Europe is most independent of other countries as regards both peace and war; for the warlike population which she possesses is abundant and also that which tills her soils and holds her cities secure. She excels also in this respect, that she produces the fruits that are best and that are necessary for life, and all the useful metals, while she imports from abroad spices and precious stones — things that make the life of persons who have only a scarcity of them fully as happy as that of persons who have them in abundance. So, also, Europe offers an abundance of various kinds of cattle, but a scarcity of wild animals. Such, in a general way, is the nature of this continent.

27 If, however, we look at the separate parts of it, the first of all its countries, beginning from the west, is Iberia, which in shape is like an ox-hide, whose "neck" parts, so to speak, fall over into the neighbouring Celtica; and these are the parts that lie towards the east, and within these parts the eastern side of Iberia is cut off by a mountain, the so‑called Pyrenees, but all the rest is surrounded by the sea; on the south, as far as the Pillars, it is surrounded by our Sea, and on the other side, as far as the northern headlands of the Pyrenees, by the Atlantic. The greatest length of this country is about six thousand stadia; and breadth, five thousand.

28 Next to Iberia towards the east lies Celtica, which extends to the River Rhine. On its northern p491side it is washed by the whole British Channel (for the whole island of Britain lies over against and parallel to the whole of Celtica and stretches lengthwise about five thousand stadia); on its eastern side it is bounded by the River Rhine, whose stream runs parallel to the Pyrenees; and on its southern side it is bounded, on the stretch that begins at the Rhine, by the Alps, and by our sea itself in the region where the so‑called Galatic Gulf widens out — the region in which Massilia and Narbo are situated, very famous cities. Opposite this gulf, and facing in the opposite direction, lies another gulf that is also called Galatic Gulf; and it looks toward the north and Britain; and it is between these two gulfs that Celtica has its least breadth; for it is contracted into an isthmus of less than three thousand, but more than two thousand, stadia. Between these two gulfs a mountain range, the so‑called Cemmenus Mountain, runs at right angles to the Pyrenees and comes to an end in the very centre of the plains of Celtica. As for the Alps (which are extremely high mountains that form the arc of a circle), their convex side is turned towards the plains of Celtica just mentioned and the Cemmenus Mountain, while their concave side is turned toward Liguria and Italy. Many tribes occupy these mountains, all Celtic except the Ligurians; but while these Ligurians belong to a different race, still they are similar to the Celts in their modes of life. They live in the part of the Alps that joins the Apennines, and they occupy a part of the Apennines also. The Apennines form a mountain range running through the whole length of Italy from the north to the south and ending at the Strait of Sicily.

29 The first parts of Italy are the plains that lie at the foot of the Alps and extend as far as the head of the Adriatic and the regions near it, but the rest of Italy is a narrow and long promontory in the form of a peninsula, through which, as I have said, the Apennines extend lengthwise for about seven thousand stadia, but with varying breadth. The seas that make Italy a peninsula are the Tyrrhenian (which begins at the Ligurian Sea), the Ausonian, and the Adriatic.

30 After Italy and Celtica come the remaining, or eastern, countries of Europe, which are cut in two by the River Ister. This river flows from the west towards the east and the Euxine Sea; it leaves on its left the whole of Germany (which begins at the Rhine), all the country of the Getans, and the country of the Tyregetans, Bastarnians, and Sarmatians as far as the River Tanaïs and Lake Maeotis; and it leaves on its right the whole of Thrace, Illyria, and, lastly and finally, Greece. The islands which I have already mentioned193 lie off Europe; outside the Pillars: Gades, the Cassiterides, and the Britannic islands; and inside the Pillars: the Gymnesiae and other little islands of the Phoenicians, and those off Massilia and Liguria, and the islands of Italy up to the Islands of Aeolus and to Sicily, and all the islands round about Epirus and Greece and as far as Macedonia and the Thracian Chersonese.

31 After the Tanaïs and Lake Maeotis come the regions of Asia — the Cis-Tauran regions which are contiguous to the Tanaïs and Lake Maeotis, and following upon these regions come the Trans-Tauran regions. For since Asia is divided in two by the Taurus Range, which stretches from the capes of Pamphylia to the eastern sea at India and farther Scythia, the Greeks gave the name of Cis-Tauran to that part of the continent which looks towards the north, and the name of Trans-Tauran to that part which looks towards the south; accordingly, the parts of Asia that are contiguous to lake Maeotis and the Tanaïs belong to the Cis-Tauran regions. The first of these regions are those that lie between the Caspian Sea and the Euxine Pontus, and they come to an end, in one direction, at the Tanaïs and the ocean, that is, both at the exterior ocean and at that part of it which forms the Hyrcanian Sea, and, in the other direction, at the isthmus, at the point where the distance from the head of the Pontus to the Caspian Sea is least. Then come those Cis-Tauran regions that are north of Hyrcania, which reach all the way to the sea at India and farther Scythia, and to Mt. Imaeus. These regions inhabited, partly, by the Maeotic Sarmatians, and by the Sarmatians that dwell between the Hyrcanian Sea and the Pontus as far as the Caucasus and the countries of the Iberians and the Albanians, and by Scythians, Achaeans, Zygians, and Heniochians; and, partly, beyond the Hyrcanian Sea, by Scythians, Hyrcanians, Parthians, Bactrians, Sogdianians, and also by the inhabitants of the regions that lie beyond India on the north. And to the south of the Hyrcanian Sea, in part, and of the whole of the isthmus between this sea and the Pontus lie the greater part of Armenia, Colchis, the whole of Cappadocia up to the Euxine and to the Tibaranian tribes, and also the so‑called Cis-Halys country, which embraces, first next to the Pontus and to the Propontis, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, the so‑called "Phrygia on the Hellespont" (of which the Troad is a part); and, secondly, next to the Aegean and to the sea that forms its continuation, Aeolis, Ionia, Caria, Lycia; and, thirdly, in the interior, Phrygia (of which both the so‑called "Galatia of the Gallo-Grecians" and "Phrygia Epictetus" form a part), Lycaonia, and Lydia.

32 Following immediately upon the Cis-Tauran peoples come the peoples that inhabit the mountains: the Paropamisadae, the tribes of the Parthians, of the Medes, of the Armenians, and of the Cilicians, and the Cataonians and the Pisidians. Next after the mountaineers come the Trans-Tauran regions. The first of them is India,198 which is the greatest of all nations and the happiest in lot, a nation whose confines reach both to the eastern sea and to the southern sea of the Atlantic. In this southern sea, off the coast of India, lies an island, Taprobane, which is not less than Britain. Then, if we turn from India toward the western regions and keep the mountains on our right, we come to a vast country, which owing to the poverty of the soil, furnishes only a wretched livelihood to men who are wholly barbarians and belong to different races. They call this country Aria, and it extends from the mountains as far as Gedrosia and Carmania. Next after Aria, toward the sea, are Persia, Susiana, Babylonia (countries which reach down to the Persian Sea), and the small tribes that dwell on the frontiers of those countries; while the peoples who live near the mountains or in the mountains themselves are the Parthians, the Medes, the Armenians and the tribe adjoining them, and the Mesopotamians. After Mesopotamia come the countries this side of the Euphrates. These are: the whole of Arabia Felix (which is bounded by the whole extent of the Arabian Gulf and by the Persian Gulf), and all the country occupied by the Tent-Dwellers and by the Sheikh-governed tribes (which reaches to the Euphrates and Syria). Then come the peoples who live on the other side of the Arabian Gulf and as far as the Nile, namely, the Ethiopians and the Arabs, and the Egyptians who live next to them, and the Syrians, and the Cilicians (including the so‑called "Trachiotae"), and finally the Pamphylians.

33 After Asia comes Libya, which is a continuation of Egypt and Ethiopia. Its shore that lies opposite to us runs in a straight line almost to the Pillars, beginning at Alexandria, except for the Syrtes and perhaps other moderate bends of gulfs and projections of the promontories that form these gulfs; but its coastline on the ocean from Ethiopia to a certain point is approximately parallel to the former line, and then it draws in on the south and forms a sharp promontory, which projects slightly outside the Pillars and thus gives to Libya approximately the shape of a trapezium. And Libya is — as the others show, and indeed as Cnaeus Piso, who was once the prefect of that country, told me — like a leopard's skin; for it is spotted with inhabited places that are surrounded by waterless and desert land. The Egyptians call such inhabited places "auases." But though Libya is thus peculiar, it has some other peculiarities, which give it a threefold division. In the first place, most of its coastline that lies opposite to us is extremely fertile, and especially Cyrenaea and the country about Carthage up to Maurusia and to the Pillars of Heracles; secondly, even its coastline on the ocean affords only moderate sustenance, and thirdly, its interior region, which produces silphium, affords only a wretched sustenance, being, for the most part, a rocky and sandy desert; and the same is also true of the straight prolongation of this region through Ethiopia, the Troglodyte Country, Arabia, and Gedrosia where the Fish-Eaters live. The most of the peoples of Libya are unknown to us; for not much of it is visited by armies, nor yet by men of outside tribes; and not only do very few of the natives from far inland ever visit us, but what they tell is not trustworthy or complete either. But still the following is based on what they say. They call the most southerly peoples Ethiopians; those who live next north of the Ethiopians they call, in the main, Garamantians, Pharusians, and Nigritans; those who live still north of these latter, Gaetulans; those who live near the sea, or even on the seacoast, next to Egypt and as far as Cyrenaea, Marmaridans; while they call those beyond Cyrenaea and the Syrtes, Psyllians, Nasamonians, and certain of the Gaetulans, and then Asbystians and Byzacians, whose territory reaches to that of Carthage. The territory of Carthage is large, and beyond it comes that of the Nomads;203 the best known of these are called, some of them, Masylians, and others Masaesylians. And last of all come the Maurusians. The whole country from Carthage to the Pillars is fertile, though full of wild beasts, as is also the whole of the interior of Libya. So it is not unlikely that some of these peoples were also called Nomads for the reason that in early times they were not able to cultivate the soil on account of the multitude of wild animals. But the Nomads of to‑day not only excel in the skill of hunting (and the Romans take a hand in this with them because of their fondness for fights with wild animals), but they have mastered farming as well as the chase. This, then, is what I have to say about the continents.

34 It remains for me to speak about the "climata" (which is likewise a subject that involves only a general sketch), taking my beginning at those lines which I have called "elements" — I mean the two lines that mark off the greatest length and breadth of the inhabited world, but more particularly the breadth-line. Astronomers, of course, must treat this subject more at length, just as Hipparchus has treated it. For, as he himself says, he recorded the different aspects of the celestial bodies for all the different regions of the earth that are found in our Fourth — I mean the regions between the equator and the north pole. The geographer, however, need not busy himself with what lies outside of our inhabited world; and even in the case of the parts of the inhabited world the man of affairs need not be taught the nature and number of the different aspects of the celestial bodies, because this is dry reading for him. But it will be sufficient for me to set forth the significant and simplest differences noted by Hipparchus, taking as a hypothesis, just as he does, that the magnitude of the earth is two hundred and fifty-two thousand stadia, the figure rendered by Eratosthenes also. For the variation from this reckoning will not be large, so far as the celestial phenomena are concerned, in the distances between the inhabited places. If, then, we cut the greatest circle of the earth into three hundred and sixty sections, each of these sections will have seven hundred stadia. Now it is this that Hipparchus uses as a measure for the distances to be fixed on the aforesaid meridian through Meroë. So he begins with the inhabitants of the equator, and after that, proceeding along the said meridian to the inhabited places, one after another, with an interval each time of seven hundred stadia, he tries to give the celestial phenomena for each place; but for me the equator is not the place to begin. For if these regions are inhabitable, as some think, they constitute a peculiar kind of inhabited country, stretching as a narrow strip through the centre of the country that is uninhabitable on account of the heat, and not forming a part of our inhabited world. But the geographer takes into his purview only this our inhabited world; and its limits are marked off on the south by the parallel through the Cinnamon-producing Country and on the north by the parallel through Ierne; and, keeping in mind the scope of my geography, I am neither required to enumerate all the many inhabited places that the said intervening distance suggests to me, nor to fix all the celestial phenomena; but I must begin with the southern parts, as Hipparchus does.

35 Now Hipparchus says that the people who live on the parallel that runs through the Cinnamon-producing Country (this parallel is three thousand stadia south of Meroë and from it the equator is distant eight thousand eight hundred stadia), have their home very nearly midway between the equator and the summer tropic which passes through Syene; for Syene is five thousand stadia distant from Meroë. The Cinnamon-producing Country are the first to whom the Little Bear is wholly inside the arctic circle and always visible; for the bright star at the tip of the tail, the most southerly in the constellation, is situated on the very circumference of the arctic circle, so that it touches the horizon. The Arabian Gulf lies approximately parallel to the meridian in question, to the east of it; and where this gulf pours outside into the exterior sea is the Cinnamon-producing Country, where in ancient times they used to hunt the elephant. But this parallel passes outside the inhabited world, running, on the one side, to the south of Taprobane, or else to its farthermost inhabitants, and, on the other side, to the most southerly regions of Libya.

36 In the regions of Meroë, and of the Ptolemaïs in the country of the Troglodytes, the longest day has thirteen equinoctial hours; and this inhabited country is approximately midway between the equator and the parallel that runs through Alexandria (the stretch to the equator being eighteen hundred stadia more). And the parallel through Meroë passes, on the one side, through unknown regions, and, on the other, through the capes of India. At Syene, at Berenice on the Arabian Gulf, and in the country of the Troglodytes, the sun stands in the zenith at the time of the summer solstice, and the longest day has thirteen and one half equinoctial hours; and almost the whole of the Great Bear is also visible in the arctic circle, and one of the stars in the square. And the parallel through Syene passes, on the one side, through the country of the Fish-Eaters in Gedrosia, and through India, and, on the other side, through the regions that are almost five thousand stadia south of Cyrene.

37 In all the regions that lie between the tropic and the equator the shadows fall in both directions, that is, toward the north and toward the north; but, beginning at the regions of Syene and the summer tropic, the shadows fall toward the north at noon; and the inhabitants of the former region are called Amphiscians, and of the latter, Heteroscians. There is still another distinctive characteristic of the regions beneath the tropic, which I have mentioned before in speaking of the zones, namely, the soil itself is very sandy, silphium-producing, and dry, whereas the regions to the south of it are well-watered and very fruitful.

38 In the region approximately four hundred stadia farther south than the parallel through Alexandria and Cyrene, where the longest day has fourteen equinoctial hours, Arcturus stands in the zenith, though he declines a little toward the south. At Alexandria the relation of the index of the sun-dial to the shadow on the day of the equinox is five to three. But the region in question is thirteen hundred stadia farther south than Carthage — if it be true that at Carthage the relation of the index to the shadow on the day of the equinox is as eleven to seven. But our parallel through Alexandria passes, in one direction, through Cyrene and the regions nine hundred stadia south of Carthage and central Maurusia, and, in the other direction, it passes through Egypt, Coelesyria, Upper Syria, Babylonia, Susiana, Persia, Carmania, Upper Gedrosia, and India.

39 At the Ptolemaïs in Phoenicia, at Sidon, and at Tyre, and the regions thereabouts, the longest day has fourteen and one quarter equinoctial hours; and these regions are about sixteen hundred stadia farther north than Alexandria and about seven hundred stadia farther north than Carthage. But in the Peloponnesus, in the regions about the centre of Rhodes, about Xanthus of Lycia or a little south of Xanthus, and also in the regions four hundred stadia south of Syracuse, — here, I say, the longest day has fourteen and one half equinoctial hours. These regions are three thousand six hundred and forty stadia distant in latitude from Alexandria; and, according to Eratosthenes, this parallel runs through Caria, Lycaonia, Cataonia, Media, the Caspian Gates, and the parts of India along the Caucasus.

40 At the Alexandria in the Troad and the regions thereabouts, at Amphipolis, at the Apollonia in Epirus, and in the regions south of Rome but north of Neapolis, the longest day has fifteen equinoctial hours. This parallel is about seven thousand stadia north of the parallel through the Alexandria in Egypt, and more than twenty-eight thousand eight hundred stadia distant from the equator, and three thousand four hundred stadia distant from the parallel through Rhodes, and one thousand five hundred stadia south of Byzantium, Nicaea, Massilia, and the regions thereabouts; and a little north of it lies the parallel through Lysimachia, which, says Eratosthenes, passes through Mysia, Paphlagonia, Sinope, and the regions thereabouts, Hyrcania, and Bactra.

41 At Byzantium and the regions thereabouts the longest day has fifteen and one quarter equinoctial hours, and the ratio of the index of the sun-dial to the shadow at the time of summer solstice is that of one hundred and twenty to forty-two minus one fifth. These regions are about four thousand nine hundred stadia distant from the parallel through the centre of Rhodes and about thirty thousand three hundred stadia distant from the equator. If you sail into the Pontus and proceed about fourteen hundred stadia toward the north, the longest day becomes fifteen and one half equinoctial hours. These regions are equidistant from the pole and from the equator, and there the arctic circle is in the zenith; and the star on the neck of Cassiopeia lies on the arctic circle, while the star on the right elbow of Perseus is a little north of it.

42 In the regions about three thousand eight hundred stadia north of Byzantium the longest day has sixteen equinoctial hours; and therefore Cassiopeia moves within the arctic circle. These are the regions about the Borysthenes and the southern parts of Lake Maeotis, and they are about thirty-four thousand one hundred stadia distant from the equator. There the northern part of the horizon is dimly illuminated by the sun throughout almost the entire night in the summer-time, the sun's light making a reverse movement from west back to east. For the summer tropic is seven-twelfths of a zodiacal sign distant from the horizon; and accordingly the sun at midnight is just that distance below the horizon. And in our own regions also, when the sun is so far as that from the horizon before sunrise and after sunset, it illumines the skies in the east and in the west. And in those regions in the winter-days the sun attains an elevation of at most nine cubits. Eratosthenes says that these regions are a little more than twenty-three thousand stadia from Meroë, since the distance from Meroë to the parallel through the Hellespont is eighteen thousand stadia, and thence to the Borysthenes, five thousand. In the regions about six thousand three hundred stadia distant from Byzantium north of Lake Maeotis, in the winter-days, the sun attains an elevation of at most six cubits, and there the longest day has seventeen equinoctial hours.

43 Since the regions beyond already lie near territory rendered uninhabitable by the cold, they are without value to the geographer. But if any one wishes to learn about these regions also, and about all the other astronomical matters that are treated by Hipparchus, but omitted by me as being already too clearly treated to be discussed in the present treatise, let him get them from Hipparchus. And what Poseidonius says about the Periscians and Amphiscians and Heteroscians is too clear to be repeated here; nevertheless, I must mention these terms at sufficient length to explain the idea and to show wherein it is useful for geography and wherein useless. Now since the point in question concerns the shadows cast by the sun, and since, on the evidence of our senses, the sun moves along a circle parallel to the revolution of the universe, it follows that, wherever each revolution of the universe produces a day and a night (because at one time the sun moves beneath the earth and at another time above the earth), the people are thought of as either Amphiscians or Heteroscians, — as Amphiscians, all whose shadows at noon sometimes fall toward the north, namely, when the sun strikes from the south the index (which is perpendicular to the horizontal surface beneath), and, at other times, fall in the opposite direction, namely, when the sun revolves round to the opposite side (this is the result for only those who live between the tropics), but as Heteroscians, all whose shadows either always fall toward the north, as is the case with us, or always toward the south, as is the case with the inhabitants of the other temperate zone. And this is the result for every man whose arctic circle is smaller than the tropic circle. But wherever the arctic circle is the same as, or greater than, the tropic, there the Periscians begin and they extend to the people who live beneath the pole.For since, in those regions, the sun moves above the earth throughout the whole revolution of the universe, it is clear that the shadow will move in a circle round the index of the sun-dial; and that is the reason why Poseidonius called them Periscians, although they are non-existent as far as geography is concerned; for all those regions uninhabitable on account of the cold, as I have already stated in my criticism of Pytheas. Therefore I need not concern myself, either, with the extent of this uninhabited region, apart from assuming that those regions which have the tropic-arctic circle lie beneath the circle described by the pole of the zodiac in the diurnal revolution of the universe — that is, on the hypothesis that the distance between the equator and the tropic is four-sixtieths of the greatest circle.

 
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Spain 3.1
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Spain
3 - 1 Introduction

1 Now that I have given the first general outline of geography, it is proper for me to discuss next the several parts of the inhabited world; indeed, I have promised to do so, and I think that thus far my treatise has been correctly apportioned. But I must begin again with Europe and with those parts of Europe with which I began at first, and for the same reasons.

2 As I was saying, the first part of Europe is the western, namely, Iberia. Now of Iberia the larger part affords but poor means of livelihood; for most of the inhabited country consists of mountains, forests, and plains whose soil is thin — and even that not uniformly well-watered. And Northern Iberia, in addition to its ruggedness, not only is extremely cold, but lies next to the ocean, and thus has acquired its characteristic of inhospitality and aversion to intercourse with other countries; consequently, it is an exceedingly wretched place to live in. Such, then, is the character of the northern parts; but almost the whole of Southern Iberia is fertile, particularly the region outside the Pillars. This will become clear in the course of my detailed description of Iberia. But first I must briefly describe its shape and give its dimensions.

3 Iberia is like an ox-hide extending in length from west to east, its fore-parts toward the east, and in breadth from north to south. It is six thousand stadia in length all told, and five thousand stadia in its greatest breadth; though in some places it is much less than three thousand stadia in breadth, particularly near the Pyrenees, which form its eastern side. That is, an unbroken chain of mountains, stretching from north to south, forms the boundary line between Celtica and Iberia; and since Celtica, as well as Iberia, varies in breadth, the part of each country that is narrowest in breadth between Our Sea and the ocean is that which lies nearest to the Pyrenees, on either side of those mountains, and forms gulfs both at the ocean and at Our Sea. The Celtic gulfs, however, which are also called Galatic, are larger, and the isthmus which they form is narrower as compared with that of Iberia. So the eastern side of Iberia is formed by the Pyrenees; the southern side is formed in part by Our Sea, from the Pyrenees to the Pillars, and from that point on by the ocean, up to what is called the Sacred Cape; the third is the western side, which is approximately parallel to the Pyrenees and extends from the Sacred Cape to that Cape of the Artabrians which is called Nerium; and the fourth side extends from Cape Nerium up to the northern headlands of the Pyrenees.

4 But, to resume, let me describe Iberia in detail, beginning with the Sacred Cape. This cape is the most westerly point, not only of Europe, but of the whole inhabited world; for, whereas the inhabited world comes to an end in the west with the two continents (in the one hand, at the headlands of Europe, and in the other, at the extremities of Libya, of which regions the Iberians occupy the one, and the Maurusians the other), the headlands of Iberia project at the aforementioned cape about fifteen hundred stadia beyond those of Libya. Moreover, the country adjacent to this cape they call in the Latin language "Cuneus," meaning thereby to indicate its wedge-shape. But as for the cape itself, which projects into the sea, Artemidorus (who visited the place, as he says) likens it to a ship; and he says that three little islands help to give it this shape, one of these islands occupying the position of a ship's beak, and the other two, which have fairly good places of anchorage, occupying the position of cat-heads. But as for Heracles, he says, there is neither a temple of his to be seen on the cape (as Ephorus wrongly states), nor an altar to him, or to any other god either, but only stones in many spots, lying in groups of three or four, which in accordance with a native custom are turned round by those who visit the place, and then, after the pouring of a libation, are moved back again. And it is not lawful, he adds, to offer sacrifice there, nor, at night, even to set foot on the place, because the gods, the people say, occupy it at that time; but those who come to see the place spend the night in a neighbouring village, and then enter the place by day, taking water with them, for there is no water there.

5 Now these assertions of Artemidorus are allowable, and we should believe them; but the stories which he has told in agreement with the common crowd of people are by no means to be believed. For example, it is a general saying among the people, according to Poseidonius, that in the regions along the coast of the ocean the sun is larger when it sets, and that it sets with a noise much as if the sea were sizzling to extinguish it because of its falling into the depths. But, says Poseidonius, this is false, as also the statement that night follows instantly upon sunset; for night does not come on instantly, but after a slight interval, just as it does on the coasts of the other large seas. For in regions where the sun sets behind mountains, he says, the daylight lasts a longer time after sunset, as a result of the indirect light; but on the sea-coasts no considerable interval ensues, albeit the darkness does not come on instantly, either, any more than it does on the great plains. And, he says, the visual impression of the size of the sun increases alike both at sunset and sunrise on the seas, because at those times a greater amount of vapour rises from the water; that is, the visual rays, in passing through this vapour as through a lens, are broken, and therefore the visual impression is magnified, just as it is when the setting or the rising sun, or moon, is seen through a dry, thin cloud, at which time the heavenly body also appears somewhat ruddy. He convinced himself, he says, of the falsity of the above assertions during his stay of thirty days in Gades, when he observed the settings of the sun. Nevertheless, Artemidorus says that the sun sets a hundred times larger than usual, and that night comes on immediately! However, if we look closely at his declaration, we are obliged to assume that he did not himself see this phenomenon at the Sacred Cape, for he states that no one sets foot on the place by night; and hence no one could set foot on it while the sun was setting, either, if it be true that night comes on immediately. Neither, in fact, did he see it at any other point on the ocean-coast, for Gades is also on the ocean, and Poseidonius and several others bear witness against him.

6 The coastline adjacent to the Sacred Cape, on the west, is the beginning of the western side of Iberia as far as the mouth of the Tagus River, and, on the south, the beginning of the southern side as far as another river, the Anas, and its mouth. Both rivers flow from the eastern regions; the Tagus, which is a much larger stream than the other, flows straight westward to its mouth, whereas the Anas turns south, and marks off a boundary of the interfluvial region, which is inhabited for the most part by Celtic peoples, and by certain of the Lusitanians who were transplanted thither by the Romans from the other side of the Tagus. But in the regions farther inland dwell Carpetanians, Oretanians, and large numbers of Vettonians. This country, to be sure, has only a moderately happy lot, but that which lies next to it on the east and south takes pre-eminence in comparison with the entire inhabited world in respect of fertility and of the goodly products of land and sea. This is the country through which the Baetis flows, which rises in the same districts as both the Anas and the Tagus, and in size is about midway between the other two rivers. Like the Anas, however, it at first flows towards the west, and then turns south, and empties on the same coast as the Anas. They call the country Baetica for the river, and also Turdetania after the inhabitants; yet they call the inhabitants both Turdetanians and Turdulians, some believing that they are the same people, others that they are different. Among the latter is Polybius, for he states that the Turdulians are neighbours of the Turdetanians on the north; but at the present time there is no distinction to be seen among them. The Turdetanians are ranked as the wisest of the Iberians; and they make use of an alphabet, and possess records of their ancient history, poems, and laws written in verse that are six thousand years old, as they assert. And also the other Iberians use an alphabet, though not letters of one and the same character, for their speech is not one and the same, either. Now Turdetania, the country this side the Anas, stretches eastward as far as Oretania, and southward as far as the coastline that extends from the mouths of the Anas to the Pillars. But I must describe it and the regions that are close to it at greater length, telling all that contributes to our knowledge of their natural advantages and happy lot.

7 Between this stretch of coastline, on which both the Baetis and the Anas empty, and the limits of Maurusia, the Atlantic Ocean breaks in and thus forms the strait at the Pillars, and by this strait the interior sea connects with the exterior sea. Now at this strait there is a mountain belonging to those Iberians that are called Bastetanians, who are also called Bastulians; I mean Calpe, which, although its circumference is not great, rises to so great a height and is so steep that from a distance it looks like an island. So when you sail from Our Sea into the exterior sea, you have this mountain on your right hand; and near it, within a distance of forty stadia, is the city Calpe, an important and ancient city, which was once a naval station of the Iberians. And some further say that it was founded by Heracles, among whom is Timosthenes, who says that in ancient times it was also called Heracleia, and that its great city-walls and its docks are still to be seen.

8 Then comes Menlaria, with its establishments for salting fish; and next, the city and river of Belon. It is from Belon that people generally take ship for the passage across to Tingis in Maurusia; and at Belon there are trading-places and establishments for salting fish. There used to be a city of Zelis, also, a neighbour of Tingis, but the Romans transplanted it to the opposite coast of Iberia, taking along some of the inhabitants of Tingis; and they also sent some of their own people thither as colonists and named the city "Julia Ioza." Then comes Gades, an island separated from Turdetania by a narrow strait, and distant from Calpe about seven hundred and fifty stadia (though some say eight hundred). This island does not differ at all from the others except that, because of the daring of its inhabitants as sailors, and because of their friendship for the Romans, it has made such advances in every kind of prosperity that, although situated at the extremity of the earth, it is the most famous of them all. But I shall tell about Gades when I discuss the other islands.

9 Next in order comes what is called the Port of Menestheus, and then the estuary at Asta and Nabrissa. (The name of estuaries is given to hollows that are covered by the sea at the high tides, and, like rivers, afford waterways into the interior and to the cities on their shores.) Then immediately comes the outlet of the Baetis, which has a twofold division; and the island that is enclosed by the two mouths has a coastal boundary of one hundred stadia, or, as some say, still more than that. Hereabouts is the oracle of Menestheus; and also the tower of Caepio, which is situated upon a rock that is washed on all sides by the waves, and, like the Pharos tower, is a marvellous structure built for the sake of the safety of mariners; for not only do the alluvial deposits that are discharged by the river form shallows, but the region in front of it is full of reefs, so that there is need of a conspicuous beacon. Thence is the waterway up the Baetis, and the city of Ebura, and the shrine of Phosphorus, which they call "Lux Dubia." Then come the waterways up to the estuaries; and after that the Anas River, which also has two mouths, and the waterway from both mouths into the interior. Then, finally, comes the Sacred Cape, which is less than two thousand stadia distant from Gades. Some, however, say that the distance from the Sacred Cape to the mouth of the Anas is sixty miles, and thence to the mouth of the Baetis, a hundred, and then, to Gades, seventy.

 
Munda 3.2
Munda 3.2b
Munda 3.2
3 - 2 Boundaries

1 At all events, it is above the coast this side the Anas that Turdetania lies, and through it flows the Baetis River. And its boundary is marked off on the west and north by the Anas River, on the east by a part of Carpetania and by Oretania, and on the south by those of the Bastetanians who occupy a narrow stretch of coast between Calpe and Gades and by the sea next to that stretch as far as the Anas. But these Bastetanians of whom I have just spoken also belong to Turdetania, and so do those Bastetanians beyond the Anas, and most of its immediate neighbours. The extent of this country is not more than two thousand stadia, that is, in length or breadth, but it contains a surpassing number of cities — as many, indeed, as two hundred, it is said. The best known are those situated on the rivers, on the estuaries, and on the sea; and this is due to their commercial intercourse. But the two that have grown most in fame and in power are Corduba, which was founded by Marcellus, and the city of the Gaditanians: the latter, because of its maritime commerce and because it associated itself with the Romans as an ally; the former because of the excellence of its soil and the extent of its territory, though the Baetis River has also contributed in great measure to its growth; and it has been inhabited from the beginning by picked men of the Romans and of the native Iberians; what is more, the first colony which the Romans sent to these regions was that to Corduba. After Corduba and the city of the Gaditanians, Hispalis, itself also a colony of the Romans, is most famous, and still remains the trade-centre of the district; yet, in the matter of distinction, that is, in the fact that the soldiers of Caesar have recently colonised it, Baetis ranks higher, albeit a city not notable for its population.

2 After these cities come Italica and Ilipa, both near the Baetis River; and Astigis, farther away from the river, and Carmo, and Obulco, and, besides these, the cities in which the sons of Pompey were defeated, namely, Munda, Ategua, Urso, Tuccis, Ulia, and Aegua; and all of these cities are not far from Corduba. In a way, Munda has become the capital city of this region. Munda is one thousand four hundred stadia distant from Carteia, whither Gnaeus fled after his defeat; he sailed away from there, and disembarked into a certain mountainous region overlooking the sea, where he was put to death. But his brother Sextus escaped from Corduba, carried on war for a short time in Iberia, and later on caused Sicily to revolt; then, driven out of Sicily into Asia, he was captured by the generals of Antony, and ended his life at Miletus. In the country of the Celti, Conistorgis is the best known city; but on the estuaries Asta is the best known, where the Gaditanians of to‑day usually hold their assemblies, and it is situated not much more than one hundred stadia beyond the seaport of the island.

3 The Baetis has a large population along its shores, and is navigable for approximately one thousand two hundred stadia from the sea up to Corduba and the regions a little higher up. Furthermore, the land along the river, and the little islands in the river, are exceedingly well cultivated. And besides that, there is the charm of the scenery, for the farms are fully improved with groves and gardens of the various plants. Now, up to Hispalis, the river is navigable for merchant-vessels of considerable size, that is, for a distance not much short of five hundred stadia; to the cities higher up the stream as far as Ilipa, for the smaller merchant vessels; and, as far as Corduba, for the river-boats (at the present time these are builded boats, whereas in antiquity they were merely dugout canoes); but above Corduba, in the direction of Castalo, the river is not navigable. On the north, there are some mountain-ridges which extend parallel to the river, approaching it closely, sometimes more so, sometimes less, and they are full of mines. Silver, however, is the most plentiful in the regions about Ilipa, and in those about Sisapo — I mean what is called the Old Sisapo as well as the New Sisapo; and at the place called Cotinae both copper and gold are mined at the same time. Now on your left, as you sail up the river, are these mountains, while on your right is a large plain, high, very productive, with lofty trees, and affording good pasturage. The Anas also is navigable, though neither for such large vessels nor for so great a distance. Beyond the Anas, too, lie mountains that contain ores, and these mountains reach down to the Tagus River. Now the regions which contain ores are necessarily rugged as well as rather poor in soil, precisely as are the regions that join Carpetania, and still more so those that join Celtiberia. And such is the nature of Baeturia also, which contains arid plains that stretch along the Anas.

4 Turdetania itself is marvellously blessed by nature; and while it produces all things, and likewise great quantities of them, these blessings are doubled by the facilities of exportation; for its surplus products are bartered off with ease because of the large number of the merchant vessels. This is made possible by the rivers, and by the estuaries as well, which, as I have said, resemble rivers, and, like rivers, are navigable inland from the sea, not only for small boats but also for large ones, to the cities of the interior. For the whole country beyond the seaboard that lies between the Sacred Cape and the Pillars is a plain for a considerable distance inland. And here, at a large number of places, are inlets which run up from the sea into the interior, resembling moderate-sized ravines or simply river-beds, and extending for many stadia; and these inlets are filled by the overflows of the sea at the flood-tides, so that one can sail inland thereon as readily as on the rivers — in fact, better, for it is like sailing down the rivers, not only because there is no opposing current, but because, on account of the flood-tide, the sea wafts you onwards just as the river-current does. And the overflows are greater on this coast than in the other regions, because the sea, coming from the great ocean, is compressed into the narrow strait which Maurusia forms with Iberia, there meets resistance, and then easily rushes to those parts of the land that yield to it. Now, while a number of the inlets of this kind are emptied at the ebb-tides (though some of them do not become wholly dry), yet a number of them enclose islands within themselves. Such, then, are the estuaries between the Sacred Cape and the Pillars, for they have an excessive rise of tide as compared with those in the other regions. A rise of tide like this affords a certain advantage to be utilised by sailors, namely, the estuaries are made more numerous and larger, oftentimes being navigable even for a distance of eight stadia; so that, after a fashion, it renders the whole country navigable and convenient both for exporting and importing merchandise. And yet it also affords a certain annoyance; for, on account of the vehemence of the flood-tides, which press with superior force against the current of the rivers, navigation on the rivers is attended by no small danger to the vessels, alike in their descent and ascent. But in the case of the estuaries the ebb-tides too are harmful; for the ebb-tides too grow violent in proportion to the strength of the flood-tides, and on account of their swiftness have oftentimes even left the ship stranded on dry land. Again, the cattle which cross over to the islands that lie off the rivers or the estuaries have at times actually been engulfed; at other times they have merely been cut off, and in their struggle to get back to the land lacked the strength to do so, and perished. But the cows, they say, are by observation actually aware of what happens, wait for the retirement of the sea, and then make off for the mainland.

5 At any rate, it was because the people had learned the character of these regions and that the estuaries could subserve the same purpose as the rivers, that they built cities and other settlements on their banks, just as on the rivers. Among these cities are Asta, Nabrissa, Onoba, Ossonoba, Maenoba, and several others. Again, canals that have been dug in a number of places are an additional aid, since many are the points thereon from which and to which the people carry on their traffic, not only with one another but also with the outside world. And further, the meetings of the waters when the flood-tides reach far inland are likewise helpful, for the waters pour across over the isthmuses that separate the waterways, thus rendering the isthmuses navigable also; so that one can cross over by boat from the rivers into the estuaries and from the estuaries into the rivers. But all the foreign trade of the country is carried on with Italy and Rome, since the voyage as far as the Pillars is good, except, perhaps, for a certain difficulty in passing the strait, and also the voyage on the high seas of Our Sea. For the sea-routes all pass through a zone of fair weather, particularly if the sailor keeps to the high seas; and this fact is advantageous to the merchant-freighters. And further, the winds on the high seas are regular. Added to that, too, is the present peace, because all piracy has been broken up, and hence the sailors feel wholly at ease. Poseidonius says that he observed a peculiar circumstance on his return voyage from Iberia, namely, that the east winds on that sea, as far as the gulf of Sardinia, blew at a fixed time each year; and that this was why he barely reached Italy even in three months; for he was driven out of his course in both directions, not only near to the Gymnesian Islands and Sardinia, but also to the different parts of Libya opposite to these islands.

6 There are exported from Turdetania large quantities of grain and wine, and also olive oil, not only in large quantities, but also of best quality. And further, wax, honey, and pitch are exported from there, and large quantities of kermes, and ruddle which is not inferior to the Sinopian earth. And they build up their ships there out of native timber; and they have salt quarries in their country, and not a few streams of salt water; and not unimportant, either, is the fish-salting industry that is carried on, not only from this county,º but also from the rest of the seaboard outside the Pillars; and the product is not inferior to that of the Pontus. Formerly much cloth came from Turdetania, but now, wool, rather of the raven-black sort. And it is surpassingly beautiful; at all events, the rams are bought for breeding purposes at a talent apiece. Surpassing, too, are the delicate fabrics which are woven by the people of Salacia. Turdetania also has a great abundance of cattle of all kinds, and of game. But there are scarcely any destructive animals, except the burrowing hares, by some called "peelers"; for they damage both plants and seeds by eating the roots. This pest occurs throughout almost the whole of Iberia, and extends even as far as Massilia, and infests the islands as well. The inhabitants of the Gymnesian Islands, it is said, once sent an embassy to Rome to ask for a new place of abode, for they were being driven out by these animals, because they could not hold out against them on account of their great numbers. Now perhaps such a remedy is needed against so great a warfare (which is not always the case, but only when there is some destructive plague like that of snakes or field-mice), but, against the moderate pest, several methods of hunting have been discovered; more than that, they make a point of breeding Libyan ferrets, which they muzzle and send into the holes. The ferrets with their claws drag outside all the rabbits they catch, or else force them to flee into the open, where men, stationed at the hole, catch them as they are driven out. The abundance of the exports of Turdetania is indicated by the size and the number of the ships; for merchantmen of the greatest size sail from this country to Dicaearchia, and to Ostia, the seaport of Rome; and their number very nearly rivals that of the Libyan ships.

7 Although the interior of Turdetania is so productive, it will be found that the seaboard vies with it in its goodly products from the sea. For the various kinds of oysters as well as mussels are in general surpassing, both in their number and in their size, along the whole of the exterior sea; but especially so here, inasmuch as the flood-tides and the ebb-tides have increased power here, and these tides, it is reasonable to suppose, are, on account of the exercise they give, responsible both for the number and the size of them. So it is, in the same way, with respect to all the cetaceans; narwhals, "phalaenae" and spouting-whales; when these spout, the distant observer seems to see a cloud-like pillar. And further, the conger-eels become monsters, far exceeding in size those of Our Sea; and so do the lampreys and several other edible fish of the kind. And at Carteia, it is said, there are shells of trumpet-fish and purple-fish which hold ten cotylae, and in the regions farther out to sea the lamprey and the conger-eel weigh even more than eighty minae, the sea-polypus a talent, the cuttle-fish are two cubits long — and other things in like proportion. Again, large numbers of plump, fat tunny-fish congregate hither from the other coast, namely, that outside the Pillars. And they feed on the acorns of a certain very stunted oak that grows at the bottom of the sea and produces very large fruit. This oak also grows in abundance on the dry land, in Iberia; and although its roots are large like those of a full-grown oak, yet it does not grow as high as a low bush. But the sea-oak brings forth so much fruit that, after the ripening, the seacoast, both inside and outside the Pillars, is covered with the acorns, for they are cast ashore by the tides. However, those inside the Pillars are always smaller, and are to be found in greater quantities. Polybius tells us that the sea casts these acorns ashore even as far as Latium, unless perhaps, says he, also Sardinia and the neighbouring land produce them. And further, the nearer the tunny-fish approach the Pillars, in coming from the exterior sea, the leaner they become, since their food fails them. This creature, says Polybius, is therefore a sea-hog, for it is fond of the acorn and gets exceedingly fat on it; and whenever the sea-oak has produced a large crop of acorns, there is also a large crop of tunny-fish.

8 Now, although the aforesaid country has been endowed with so many good things, still one might welcome and admire, not least of all, but even most of all, its natural richness in metals. For the whole country of the Iberians is full of metals, although not all of it is so rich in fruit, or so fertile either, and in particular that part of it which is well supplied with metals. It is rare for a country to be fortunate in both respects, and it is also rare for the same country to have within a small area an abundance of all kinds of metals. But as for Turdetania and the territory adjoining it, there is no worthy word of praise left to him who wishes to praise their excellence in this respect. Up to the present moment, in fact, neither gold, nor silver, nor yet copper, nor iron, has been found anywhere in the world, in a natural state, either in such quantity or of such good quality. And the gold is not only mined, but is also washed down; that is, the gold-bearing sand is carried down by the rivers and the torrents, although it is often found in the waterless districts also; but in these districts it cannot be seen, whereas in the flooded districts the gold-dust glitters. Besides, they flood the waterless districts by conducting water thither, and thus they make the gold-dust glitter; and they also get the gold out by digging pits, and by inventing other means for washing the sand; and the so‑called "gold-washeries" are now more numerous than the gold mines. The Galatae hold that their own mines, both those in the Cemmenus Mountains and those situated at the foot of the Pyrenees themselves, are equal to those of Turdetania; the metals from the latter, however, are held in greater esteem. And in the gold-dust, they say, nuggets weighing as much as half a pound are some found, which are called "palae," and they need but little refining. They further say that when stones are split they find in them small nuggles resembling nipples, and when the gold is smelted and refined by means of a sort of styptic earth the residuum thereof is "electrum"; and, again, that when this electrum, which contains a mixture of silver and gold, is smelted, the silver is burned away, while the gold remains. For the alloy-type is easily fused and stone-like. For this reason, too, the gold is preferably melted with chaff-fire, because the flame, on account of its softness, is suitable to a substance that yields and fuses easily; but the charcoal-fire consumes much of it because, owing to its intensity, it over-melts the gold and carries it off as vapour.a The soil is carried along in the streams, and is washed in by troughs; or else a pit is dug, and the soil that has been accumulated is there washed. They build the silver-smelting furnaces with high chimneys, so that the gas from the ore may be carried high into the air; for it is heavy and deadly. Some of the copper-mines are called gold-mines, and from this fact it is inferred that in former times gold was mined from them.

9 Poseidonius, in praising the quantity and the excellence of these ores, does not abstain from his usual rhetorical speech; indeed, he enthusiastically concurs with the extravagant stories told; for example, he does not discredit the story, he says, that, when on a time the forests had been burned, the soil, since it was composed of silver and gold ores, melted and boiled out over the surface, because, as he says, every mountain and every hill is bullion heaped up there by some prodigal fortune. And, in general, he says, anyone who had seen these regions would declare that they are everlasting storehouses of nature, or a never-failing treasury of an empire. For the country was, he adds, not only rich, but also rich down below; and with the Turdetanians it is verily Pluto, and not Hades, who inhabits the region down below. Such, then, are the flowery utterances of Poseidonius on this subject — himself drawing much of his language from a mine, as it were. Again, in speaking of the industry of the miners, he cites the statement of Demetrius of Phalerum. Demetrius, he says, states in reference to the Attic silver-mines, that the people dig as strenuously as if they expected to bring up Pluto himself. So Poseidonius implies that the energy and industry of the Turdetanian miners is similar, since they cut their shafts aslant and deep, and, as regards the streams that meet them in the shafts, oftentimes draw them off with the Egyptian screw. However, the whole affair, he says, is never the same for these miners as for the Attic miners; indeed, for the latter, mining is like a riddle: "What they took up," he says, "they did not take, yet what they had, they lost"; but, for the Turdetanians, mining is profitable beyond measure, since one-fourth of the ore brought out by their copper-workers is pure copper, while some of their private adventurers who search for silver pick up within three days a Euboean talent of silver. Tin, however, is not found there on the surface of the ground, he says, as the historians continually repeat, but is dug up; and it is produced both in the country of the barbarians who live beyond Lusitania, and in the Cassiterides Islands; and tin is brought to Massilia from the British Islands also. But among the Artabrians, who live farthest on the north-west of Lusitania, the soil "effloresces," he says, with silver, tin, and "white gold" (for it is mixed with silver). This soil, however, he adds, is brought by the streams; and the women scrape it up with shovels and wash it in sieves woven basket-like. Such, then, is what Poseidonius has said about the mines.

10 Polybius, in mentioning the silver-mines of New Carthage, says that they are very large; that they are distant from the city about twenty stadia and embrace an area four hundred stadia in circuit; and that forty thousand workmen stay there, who (in his time) bring into the Roman exchequer a daily revenue of twenty-five thousand drachmae. But as for the processes of the work, I omit all he says about it (for it is a long story) except what he says of the silver-bearing ore that is carried along in the streams, namely, that it is crushed and by means of sieves disengaged in water; then the sediment is again crushed, and again strained through (the waters meantime being poured off), and crushed; then the fifth sediment is smelted, and, after the lead has been poured off, yields the pure silver. The silver-mines are still being worked at the present time; they are not state-property, however, either at New Carthage or anywhere else, but have passed over to private ownership. But the majority of the gold-mines are state-property. Both in Castalo and elsewhere there is a special metal of mined lead; this, too, has a slight quantity of silver mixed with it, though not enough to make the refining of it profitable.

11 Not very far from Castalo is also the mountain in which the Baetis is said to rise; it is called "Silver Mountain" on account of the silver-mines that are in it. According to Polybius, however, both this river and the Anas, though distant from each other as much as nine hundred stadia, rise in Celtiberia; for, as a result of their growth in power, the Celtiberians caused the whole neighbouring country to have the same name as their own. The ancients seem to have called the Baetis River "Tartessus"; and to have called Gades and the adjoining islands "Erytheia"; and this is supposed to be the reason why Stesichorus spoke as he did about the neat-herd of Geryon, namely, that he was born "about opposite famous Erytheia, beside the unlimited, silver-rooted springs of the river Tartessus, in a cavern of a cliff." Since the river had two mouths, a city was planted on the intervening territory in former times, it is said, — a city which was called "Tartessus," after the name of the river; and the country, which is now occupied by Turdulians, was called "Tartessis." Further, Eratosthenes says that the country adjoining Calpe is called "Tartessis," and that Erytheia is called "Blest Isle." Eratosthenes is contradicted by Artemidorus, who says that this is another false statement of Eratosthenes, like his statement that the distance from Gades to the Sacred Cape is a five days' sail (although it is not more than one thousand seven hundred stadia), and his statement that the tides come to an end at the Sacred Cape (although the tides take place round the whole circuit of the inhabited world), and his statement that the northerly parts of Iberia afford an easier passage to Celtica than if you sail thither by the ocean; and, in fact, every other statement which he had made in reliance upon Pytheas, on account of the latter's false pretensions.

12 The poet, man of many voices, so to speak, and of wide information, affords us grounds for the argument that even these regions were not unheard of by him, if one were only willing to argue scientifically from both statements that are made about these regions, not only from the worse, but also from the better and more truthful. Worse, namely, the statement that Tartessus was known by hearsay as "farthermost in the west," where, as the poet himself says, falls into Oceanus "the sun's bright light, drawing black night over earth, the grain-giver." Now, that night is a thing of evil omen and associated with Hades, is obvious; also that Hades is associated with Tartarus. Accordingly, one might reasonably suppose that Homer, because he heard about Tartessus, named the farthermost of the nether-regions Tartarus after Tartessis, with a slight alteration of letters; and that he also added a mythical element, thus conserving the creative quality of poetry. Just as the poet, because he knew that the Cimmerians had taken their abode in northern and gloomy regions about the Bosporus, settled them in the neighbourhood of Hades, though perhaps he did it also in accordance with a certain common hatred of the Ionians for this tribe (indeed, it was in the time of Homer, or shortly before his time, they say, that that Cimmerian invasion which reached as far as Aeolis and Ionia took place). Again, the poet modelled his "Planctae" after the "Cyaneae," always bringing in his myths from some historical fact or other. For example, he tells a mythical story of certain rocks that are dangerous, just as they say the Cyaneae are (from which fact the Cyaneae are also called "Symplegades"), and this is the reason why he cited Jason's voyage through them. But both the strait at the Pillars and that at Sicily suggested to him the myth about the Planctae. As regards that worse statement, therefore, one might get a hint from the mythical invention of Tartarus that Homer had in mind the regions about Tartessus.

13 As regards the latter, on the other hand, one might get hints from the following: In the first place, the expeditions of Heracles and of the Phoenicians, since they both reached as far as Iberia, suggested to Homer that the people of Iberia were in some way rich, and led a life of ease. Indeed, these people became so utterly subject to the Phoenicians that the greater number of the cities in Turdetania and of the neighbouring places are now inhabited by the Phoenicians. Secondly, the expedition of Odysseus, as it seems to me, since it actually had been made to Iberia, and since Homer had learned about it through inquiry, gave him an historical pretext; and so he also transferred the Odyssey, just as he had already transferred the Iliad, from the domain of historical fact to that of creative art, and to that of mythical invention so familiar to the poets. For not only do the regions about Italy and Sicily and certain other regions betray signs of such facts, but in Iberia also a city of Odysseia is to be seen, and a temple of Athene, and countless other traces, not only of the wanderings of Odysseus, but also of other wanderings which took place thither after the Trojan War and afflicted the capturers of Troy quite as much as it did the vanquished (for the capturers, as it happened, carried off only a Cadmean victory). And since the Trojan homes were in ruins, and the booty that came to each Greek was but small, the result was that the surviving Trojans, after having escaped from the perils of the war, turned to acts of piracy, as did also the Greeks; the Trojans, because their city was now in utter ruins; the Greeks, for shame, since every Greek took it for granted that it was "verily shameful to wait long" far from his kindred "and then" back to them "empty-handed go." Thirdly, the wanderings of Aeneas are a traditional fact, as also those of Antenor, and those of the Henetians;56 similarly, also, those of Diomedes, Menelaus, Odysseus, and several others. So then, the poet, informed through his inquiries of so many expeditions to the outermost parts of Iberia, and learning by hearsay about the wealth and the other good attributes of the country (for the Phoenicians were making these facts known), in fancy placed the abode of the blest there, and also the Elysian Plain, where Proteus says Menelaus will go and make his home: "But the deathless gods will escort thee to the Elysian Plain and the ends of the earth, where is Rhadamanthys of the fair hair, where life is easiest. No snow is there, nor yet great storm, nor ever any p57rain; but always Oceanus sendeth forth the breezes of clear-blowing Zephyrus." For both the pure air and the gentle breezes of Zephyrus properly belong to this country, since the country is not only in the west but also warm; and the phrase "at the ends of the earth" properly belongs to it, where Hades has been "mythically placed," as we say. And Homer's citing of Rhadamanthys suggests the region that is near Minos, concerning whom he says: "There it was I saw Minos, glorious son of Zeus, holding a golden sceptre, rendering decisions to the dead." Furthermore, the poets who came after Homer keep dinning into our ears similar stories: the expedition of Heracles in quest of the kine of Geryon and likewise the expedition which he made in quest of the golden apples of the Hesperides — even calling by name certain Isles of the Blest, which, as we know, are still now pointed out, not very far from the headlands of Maurusia that lie opposite to Gades.

14 The Phoenicians, I say, were the informants of Homer; and these people occupied the best of Iberia and Libya before the age of Homer, and continued to be masters of those regions until the Romans broke up their empire. The wealth of Iberia is further evidenced by the following facts: the Carthaginians who, along with Barcas, made a campaign against Iberia found the people in Turdetania, as the historians tell us, using silver feeding-troughs and wine-jars. And one might assume that it was from their great prosperity that the people there got the additional name of "Macraeones," and particularly the chieftains; and that this is why Anacreon said as follows: "I, for my part, should neither wish the horn of Amaltheia, nor to be king of Tartessus for one hundred and fifty years"; and why Herodotus recorded even the name of the king, whom he called Arganthonius. For one might either take the phrase of Anacreon literally or as meaning "a time equal to the king's," or else in a more general way, "nor the king of Tartessus for a long time." Some, however, call Tartessus the Carteia of to‑day.

15 Along with the happy lot of their country, the qualities of both gentleness and civility have come to the Turdetanians; and to the Celtic peoples, too, on account of their being neighbours to the Turdetanians, as Polybius has said, or else on account of their kinship; but less so the Celtic peoples, because for the most part they live in mere villages. The Turdetanians, however, and particularly those that live about the Baetis, have completely changed over to the Roman mode of life, not even remembering their own language any more. And most of them have become Latins, and they have received Romans as colonists, so that they are not far from being all Romans. And the present jointly-settled cities, Pax Augusta in the Celtic country, Augusta Emerita in the country of the Turdulians, Caesar-Augusta near Celtiberia, and some other settlements, manifest the change to the aforesaid civil modes of life. Moreover, all those Iberians who belong to this class are called "Togati." And among these are the Celtiberians, who were once regarded the most brutish of all. So much for the Turditanians.

 
Aristarchus 3.3
Aristotle 3.3
Atlantis 3.3
Ethiopia 3.3
Herodotos 3.3
Homer 3.3
Polybius 3.3
Poseidonius 3.3
Solon 3.3
3 - 3 Polybius makes six zones

Polybius makes six zones: two that fall beneath the arctic circles, two between the arctic circles and the tropics, and two between the tropics and the geography; with physics, in relation both to the celestial phenomena and to the temperature of the atmosphere; in relation to the celestial phenomena, because, by means of the "periscian" and the "heteroscian" and the "amphiscian" regions (the best way to determine the zone), the appearance of the constellations to our sight is at the same time determined; for thus, by a kind of rough-outline division, the constellations receive their proper variations; and in relation to the temperature of the atmosphere, because the temperature of the atmosphere, being judged with reference to the sun, is subject to three very broad differences — namely, excess of heat, lack of heat, and moderate heat, which have a strong bearing on the organisations of animals and plants, and the semi-organisations of everything else beneath the air or in the air itself. And the temperature of the atmosphere receives its proper determination by this division of the earth into five zones: for the two frigid zones imply the absence of heat, agreeing in the possession of one characteristic temperature; and in like manner the two temperate zones agree in one temperature, that of moderate heat; while the one remaining is consistent in having the remaining characteristic, in that it is one and torrid in temperature. And it is clear that this division is in harmony with geography. For geography seeks to define by boundaries that section of the earth which we inhabit by means of the one of the two temperate zones. Now on the west and on the east it is the sea that fixes its limits, but on the south and the north the nature of the air; for the air that is between these limits is well-tempered both for plants and for animals, while the air on both sides of these limits is harsh-tempered, because of excess of heat or lack of heat. It was necessary to divide the earth into five zones corresponding to these three differences of temperature; indeed, the cutting of the sphere of the earth by the equator into two hemispheres, the northern hemisphere in which we live, and the southern hemisphere, suggested the three differences of temperature. For the regions on the equator and in the torrid zone are uninhabitable because of the heat, and those near the pole are uninhabitable because of the cold; but it is the intermediate regions that are well-tempered and inhabitable. But when he adds the two zones beneath the tropics, Poseidonius does not follow the analogy of the five zones, nor yet does he employ a like criterion; but he was apparently representing zones by the ethnical criteria also, for he calls one of them the "Ethiopic zone," another the "Scythico-Celtic zone," and a third the "intermediate zone."

2 Polybius is not right in this, namely, in that he defines some of his zones by means of the arctic circles: two that fall under the arctic circles themselves, and two between the arctic circles and the tropics; for, as I have already said, non-variables must not be defined by points that are variable. And we must also not employ the tropics as boundaries of the torrid zone; this, too, I have already said. However, when he divides the torrid zone into two parts, it is clearly no foolish notion that has moved him to do so; it is by this notion that we very suitably use the equator to divide the whole earth into two parts, namely, the northern and the southern hemispheres. For it is clear that, if the torrid zone as well is divided according to this method of partition, Polybius reaches a convenient result; that is, each of the two hemispheres is composed of three whole zones, each of which is like in form to its corresponding zone in the other hemisphere. Now a partition of this kind admits of the division into six zones; but the other partition does not altogether admit of it. At all events, if you should cut the earth into two parts by means of the circle that runs through the poles, you could not reasonably divide each of the two hemispheres, the western and the eastern, into six zones, but the division into five zones would be sufficient; for the homogeneousness of the two sections of the torrid zone that are made by the equator, and the fact that they are contiguous to each other, render their partition useless and superfluous, indeed, alike in form respectively, though they are not contiguous. So, therefore, if you conceive of the whole earth as composed of hemispheres of this kind it will be sufficient to divide it into five zones. But if the country that lies under the equator is temperate, as Eratosthenes says it is (an opinion with which Polybius agrees, though he adds this, that it is the highest part of the earth, and for that reason is subject to rains, because at the season of the Etesian Winds the clouds from the north strike in great numbers against the mountain peaks in that region), it would be much better to regard it as a third temperate zone, although a narrow one, than to introduce the two zones beneath the tropics. And in accord with these circumstances are the following (which Poseidonius has already mentioned), namely, that in those regions the oblique motion of the sun is more rapid, and in the same way its daily motion from east to west; for when revolutions are accomplished within the same period of time, those on the greatest circles are the more rapid.

3 But Poseidonius objects to the statement of Polybius that the inhabited region under the equator is the highest. For, says Poseidonius, there can be no high point on a spherical surface, because the surface of a sphere is uniform all round; and indeed the country under the equator is not mountainous, but rather it is a plain that is approximately on a level with the surface of the sea; and the rains that flood the Nile come together from the mountains of Ethiopia. But although Poseidonius thus expresses himself in this passage, he concedes the view of Polybius in other passages, saying he suspects that there are mountains beneath the equator and that the clouds from the two temperate zones strike against those mountains on both sides and cause the rains. Now here the lack of consistency is obvious; but even if it be admitted that the country beneath the equator is mountainous, another inconsistency, as it seems, would arise; for these same men assert that the ocean is one continuous stream round the earth. How, pray, can they place mountains in the centre of the ocean — unless by "mountains" they refer to certain islands? But however this may be, it falls outside the province of geography; and perhaps we should give over these matters for examination to some one who proposes to write a treatise on the ocean.

4 In giving the names of those who are said to have circumnavigated Libya Poseidonius says that Herodotus believes that certain men commissioned by Neco accomplished the circumnavigation of Libya; and adds that Heracleides of Pontus in one of his Dialogues makes a certain Magus who had come to the court of Gelo assert that he had circumnavigated Libya. And, after stating that these reports are unsupported by testimony, he tells the story of a certain Eudoxus of Cyzicus, a sacred ambassador and peace herald at the festival of Persephone. Eudoxus, the story goes, came to Egypt in the reign of Euergetes the Second;116 and he became associated with the king and the king's ministers, and particularly in connection with the voyages up the Nile; for he was a man inclined to admire the peculiarities of regions and was also not uninformed about them. Now it so happened, the story continues, that a certain Indian was brought to the king by the coast-guards of the recess of the Arabian Gulf, who said that they had found him half-dead and alone on a stranded ship, but that they did not know who he was or where he came from, since they did not understand his language; and the king gave the Indian into the charge of men who would teach him Greek; and when the Indian had learned Greek, he related that on his voyage from India he by a strange mischance mistook his course and reached Egypt in safety, but only after having lost all his companions by starvation; and when his story was doubted, he promised to act as guide on the trip to India for the men who had been previously selected by the King; and of this party Eudoxus, also, became a member.

So Eudoxus sailed away with presents; and he returned with a cargo of perfumes and precious stones (some of which the rivers bring down with the sands, while others are fortified by digging, being solidified from a liquid state, just as our crystals are). But Eudoxus was wholly deceived in his expectations, for Euergetes took from him his entire cargo. And after the death of Euergetes, his wife, Cleopatra, succeeded him on the throne; and so Eudoxus was again sent out, by her also, and this time with a larger outfit. But on his return voyage he was driven out of his course by the winds to the south of Ethiopia, and being driven to certain places he conciliated the people by sharing with them bread, wine, and dried figs (for they had no share of such things), and in return therefor he received a supply of fresh water and the guidance of pilots, and he also made a list of some of their words. And he found an end of a wooden prow that had come from a wrecked ship and had a horse carved on it; and when he learned that this piece of wreckage belonged to some voyagers who had been sailing from the west, he took it with him when he turned back upon his homeward voyage. And when he arrived safely in Egypt, inasmuch as Cleopatra no longer reigned but her son in her stead, he was again deprived of everything, for it was discovered that he had stolen much property. But he brought the figure-head to the market-place and showed it to the shipmasters, and learned from them that it was a figure-head from Gades; for he was told that whereas the merchants of Gades fit out large ships, the poor men fit out small ships which they call "horses" from the devices on the prows of their ships, and that they sail with these small ships on fishing voyages around the coast of Maurusia as far as the river Lixus; but some of the shipmasters, indeed, recognized the figure-head as having belonged to one of the ships that had sailed rather too far beyond the Lixus River and had not returned home safely.

And from the above-mentioned fact Eudoxus conjectured that the circumnavigation of Libya was possible, went home, placed all his property on a ship, and put out to sea. First he put in at Dicaearchia, then at Massilia, and then at the successive points along the coast until he came to Gades; and everywhere noisily proclaiming his scheme and making money by trafficking, he built a great ship and also two tow-boats like those used by pirates; and he put music-girls on board, and physicians, and other artisans, and finally set sail on the high sea on the way to India, favoured by constant western breezes. But since his companions became tired of the voyage, he sailed with a fair wind towards the land; though he did it against his will, for he feared the ebb and flow of the tides. And, indeed, what he feared actually came to pass: the ship ran aground, — though so gently that it was not broken up all at once, and they succeeded in bringing safely to land the cargo and also most of the ship's timbers' and from these timbers he constructed a third boat about as large as a ship of fifty oars; and he continued his voyage, until he came to people who spoke the same words that he had made a list of on the former occasion; and forthwith he learnt this, at least, that the men in that region belonged to the same nation as those other Ethiopians, and also that they were neighbours to the kingdom of Bogus.

Accordingly, he abandoned the voyage to India and turned back; and on the voyage along the coast, he espied and made note of an island that was well-watered and well-wooded but uninhabited. And when he reached Maurusia safely he disposed of his boats, travelled on foot to the court of Bogus, and advised him to take up this expedition on his own account; but the friends of Bogus prevailed to the contrary, inspiring in him the fear that Maurusia might in consequence be easily exposed to hostile intrigue if the way thither had once been pointed out to outsiders who wished to attack it. And when Eudoxus heard that he was being sent out, ostensibly, on the expedition as proposed by him, but in reality was going to be placed out on some desert island, he fled to the territory that was under Roman dominion, and thence crossed over to Iberia. And again he built a round ship and a long ship of fifty oars, his purpose being to keep to the open sea with his long ship and to explore the coast with the round ship. He put on board agricultural implements, seeds, and carpenters, and again set out with a view to the same circumnavigation; his intention being, in case the voyage should be delayed, to spend the winter on the island he had previously observed, to sow the seed, reap the harvest therefrom, and then finish the voyage which he had decided upon at the outset.

5 "Now I," says Poseidonius, "have traced the story of Eudoxus to this point, but what happened afterwards probably the people of Gades and Iberia know." So from all these indications he says it is shown that the ocean flows in a circle round the inhabited world: "For him no fetters of continent encompass; but he pours forth his waters boundlessly, and nothing ever sullies their purity." Now Poseidonius is a wonderful fellow in all this; for although he considers as unsupported by testimony the story of the voyage of the Magus, which Heracleides told, and of the voyage even of the emissaries of Neco, of which Herodotus gives an account, he puts down as real evidence this Bergaean story, though he either invented it himself or accepted it from others who were its inventors. For, in the first place, what plausibility is there in the "strange mischance" which the Indian tells about? Why, the Arabian Gulf is like a river in its narrowness, and it is about fifteen thousand stadia long up to its mouth, which, in its turn, is narrow throughout its entire length; and so it is not likely that the Indians who were voyaging outside this gulf were pushed out of their course into it by mistake (for its narrowness at its mouth would have shown their mistake), nor, if they sailed into the gulf on purpose, did they any longer have the excuse that they mistook their course or encountered inconstant winds. And how can it be that they permitted all their number to die of starvation with the exception of one man? And if he survived, how could he single-handed have guided the ship, which was not a small one, since at all events it could sail over open seas of so great extent? And how strange his speedy mastery of the Greek language, which enabled him to convince the king that he was competent to act as pilot of the expedition? And how strange Euergetes' scarcity of competent pilots, since the sea in that region was already known to many men? And as for that peace herald and sacred ambassador of the people of Cyzicus, how came he to abandon his native city and go sailing to India? And how did he come to be entrusted with so great an office? And although on his return everything was taken away from him, contrary to his expectation, and he was in disgrace, how did he come to be entrusted with a still greater equipment of presents? And when he returned from this second voyage and was driven out of his course to Ethiopia, why did he write down those lists of words, and why did he enquire from what source the beak of that fishing-smack had been cast ashore? For the discovery that this bit of wreckage had belonged to men who sailed from the west could have signified nothing, since he himself was to sail from the west on his homeward voyage. And so, again, upon his return to Alexandria, when it was discovered that he had stolen much property, how is it that he was not punished, and that he even went about interviewing shipmasters, at the same time showing them the figure-head of the ship? And wasn't the man that recognized the figure-head a wonderful fellow? And wasn't the man that believed him a still more wonderful fellow — the man who on the strength of a hope of that sort returned to his home land, and then changed his home to the regions beyond the Pillars? But it would not even have been permitted him to put to sea from Alexandria without a passport, least of all after he had stolen property belonging to the king. Neither could he have sailed out of the harbour secretly, since not only the harbour, but also all the other ways of issue from the city had always been kept closed under just as strong guard as I know is still kept up to this day (for I have lived a long time in Alexandria) — though at the present time, under Roman control, the watch is considerably relaxed: but under the kings, the guards were much more strict. And, again, when Eudoxus had sailed away to Gades, and in royal style had built himself ships and continued on his voyage, after his vessel had been wrecked, how could he have built a third boat in the desert? And how is it, when once more he put out to sea and found that those western Ethiopians spoke the same language as the eastern Ethiopians, that he was not eager to accomplish the rest of his voyage (inasmuch as he was so foolish in his eagerness for travels abroad, and since he had a good hope that the unexplored remainder of his voyage was but small) — but instead gave up all this and conceived a longing for the expedition that was to be carried out through the aid of Bogus? And how did he come to learn about the plot that was secretly framed against him? And what advantage could this have been to Bogus — I mean his causing the disappearance of the man when he might have dismissed him in other ways? But even if the man learned about the plot, how could he have made his escape to places of safety? For, although there is nothing impossible in any escapes of that sort, yet every one of them is difficult and rarely made even with a streak of good luck; but Eudoxus is always attended by good luck, although he is placed in jeopardies one after another. And, again, after he had escaped from Bogus, why was he not afraid to sail once more along the coast of Libya when he had an outfit large enough to colonise an island?

Now, really, all this does not fall short of the fabrications of Pytheas, Euhemerus and Antiphanes. Those men, however, we can pardon for their fabrications — since they follow precisely this as their business — just as we pardon jugglers; but who could pardon Poseidonius, master of demonstration and philosopher, whom we may almost call the claimant for first honours. So much, at least, is not well done by Poseidonius.

6 On the other hand, he correctly sets down in his work the fact that the earth sometimes rises and undergoes settling processes, and undergoes changes that result from earthquakes and the other similar agencies, all of which I too have enumerated above. And on this point he does well to cite the statement of Plato that it is possible that the story about the island of Atlantis is not a fiction. Concerning Atlantis Plato relates that Solon, after having made inquiry of the Egyptian priests, reported that Atlantis did once exist, but disappeared — an island no smaller in size than a continent; and Poseidonius thinks that it is better to put the matter in that way than to say of Atlantis: "Its inventor caused it to disappear, just as did the Poet the wall of the Achaeans." And Poseidonius also conjectures that migration of the Cimbrians and their kinsfolk from their native country occurred as the result of an inundation of the sea that came on all of a sudden. And he suspects that the length of the inhabited world, being about seventy thousand stadia, is half of the entire circle on which it has been taken, so that, says he, if you sail from the west in a straight course you will reach India within the seventy thousand stadia.

7 Then, after an attempt to find fault with those who divided the inhabited world into continents in the way they did, instead of by certain circles parallel to the equator (through means of which they could have indicated variations in animals, plants, and climates, because some of these belong peculiarly to the frigid zone and others to the torrid zone), so that the continents would be practically zones, Poseidonius again revises his own plea and withdraws his indictment, in that he again approves of the prevailing division into three continents, and thus he makes the question a mere matter of argument with no useful end in view. For such a distribution of animals, plants, and climates as exists is not the result of design — just as the differences of race, or of language, are not, either — but rather of accident and chance. And again, as regards the various arts and faculties and institutions of mankind, most of them, when once men have made a beginning, flourish in any latitude whatsoever and in certain instances even in spite of the latitude; so that some local characteristics of a people come by nature, others by training and habit. For instance, it was not by nature that the Athenians were fond of letters, whereas the Lacedaemonians, and also the Thebans, who are still closer to the Athenians, were not so; but rather by habit. So, also, the Babylonians and the Egyptians are philosophers, not by nature, but by training and habit. And further, the excellent qualities of horses, cattle, and other animals, are the result, not merely of locality, but of training also. But Poseidonius confounds all this. And when he approves of such a division into three continents as is now accepted, he uses as an illustration the fact that the Indians differ from the Ethiopians of Libya, for the Indians are better developed physically and less parched by the dryness of the atmosphere. And, says he, that is the reason why Homer, in speaking of the Ethiopians as a whole, divides them into two groups, "some where Hyperion sets and some where he rises." But, says Poseidonius, Crates, in introducing into the discussion the question of a second inhabited world, about which Homer knows nothing, is a slave to hypothesis, and, says Poseidonius, the passage in Homer should have been emended to read: "both where Hyperion departs," meaning where he declines from the meridian.

8 Now, in the first place, the Ethiopians that border on Egypt are themselves, also, divided into two groups; for some of them live in Asia, others in Libya, though they differ in no respect from each other. And, in the second place, Homer divides the Ethiopians into two groups, not for this reason, namely, because he knew that the Indians were physically similar to the Ethiopians (for Homer probably did not know of the Indians at all, in view of the fact that even Euergetes himself, according to that story of Eudoxus, knew nothing about India, nor the voyage that leads thither), but rather on the basis of the division of which I have spoken above. And in speaking on that subject I also expressed my opinion in regard to the reading proposed by Crates, namely, that it makes no difference whether we read the passage one way or the other; but Poseidonius says it does make a difference, and that it is better to emend the passage to read "both where Hyperion departs." Now wherein does this differ from "both where Hyperion sets"? For the whole segment of the circle from the meridian to the setting is called "the setting," just as the semi-circle of the horizon is so called. This is what Aratus means when he says: "There where the extremities of the west and of the east join with each other." And if the passage is better as Crates reads it, then one may say that it must also be better as Aristarchus reads it.

So much for Poseidonius. For in my detailed discussions many of his views will meet with fitting criticism, so far as they relate to geography; but so far as they relate to physics, I must inspect them elsewhere or else not consider them at all. For in Poseidonius there is much inquiry into causes and much imitating of Aristotle — precisely what our school avoids, on account of the obscurity of the causes.

 
Dicaearchus 3.4
3 - 4

Polybius, in his account of the geography of Europe, says he passes over the ancient geographers but examines the men who criticise them, namely, Dicaearchus, and Eratosthenes, who has written the most recent treatise on Geography; and Pytheas, by whom many have been misled; for after asserting that he travelled over the whole of Britain that was accessible Pytheas reported that the coast-line of the island was more than forty thousand stadia, and added his story about Thule and about those regions in which there was no longer either land properly so‑called, or sea, or air, but a kind of substance concreted from all these elements, resembling a sea-lungs — a thing in which, he says, the earth, the sea, and all the elements are held in suspension; and this is a sort of bond to hold all together, which you can neither walk nor sail upon. Now, as for this thing that resembles the sea-lungs, he says that he saw it himself, but that all the rest he tells from hearsay. That, then, is the narrative of Pytheas, and to it he adds that on his return from those regions he visited the whole coast-line of Europe from Gades to the Tanaïs.

2 Now Polybius says that, in the first place, it is incredible that a private individual — and a poor man too — could have travelled such distances by sea and by land; and that, though Eratosthenes was wholly at a loss whether he should believe these stories, nevertheless he has believed Pytheas' account of Britain, and the regions about Gades, and of Iberia; but he says it is far better to believe Euhemerus, the Messenian, than Pytheas. Euhemerus, at all events, asserts that he sailed only to one country, Panchaea, whereas Pytheas asserts that he explored in person the whole northern region of Europe as far as the ends of the world — an assertion which no man would believe, not even if Hermes made it. And as for Eratosthenes — adds Poseidonius — though he calls Euhemerus a Bergaean, he believes Pytheas, and that, too, though not even Dicaearchus believed him. Now that last remark, "though not even Dicaearchus believed him," is ridiculous; as if it were fitting for Eratosthenes to use as a standard the man against whom he himself directs so many criticisms. And I have already stated that Eratosthenes was ignorant concerning the western and northern parts of Europe. But while we must pardon Eratosthenes and Dicaearchus, because they had not seen those regions with their own eyes, yet who could pardon Polybius and Poseidonius? Nay, it is precisely Polybius who characterises as "popular notions" the statements made by Eratosthenes and Dicaearchus in regard to the distances in those regions and many other regions, though he does not keep himself free from the error even where he criticises them. At any rate, when Dicaearchus estimates the distance from p403the Peloponnesus to the Pillars at ten thousand stadia, and from the Peloponnesus to the recess of the Adriatic Sea at more than this, and when, of the distance to the Pillars, he reckons the part up to the Strait of Sicily at three thousand stadia, so that the remaining distance — the part from the Strait to the Pillars — becomes seven thousand stadia, Polybius says that he will let pass the question whether the estimate of three thousand is correctly taken or not, but, as for the seven thousand stadia, he cannot let the estimate pass from either of two points of view, namely, whether you take the measure of the coast-line or of the line drawn through the middle of the open sea. For, says he, the coast-line is very nearly like an obtuse angle, whose sides run respectively to the Strait and to the Pillars, and with Narbo as vertex; hence a triangle is formed with a base that runs straight through the open sea and with sides that form the said angle, of which sides the one from the Strait to Narbo measures more than eleven thousand two hundred stadia, the other a little less than eight thousand stadia; and, besides, it is agreed that the maximum distance from Europe to Libya across the Tyrrhenian Sea is not more than three thousand stadia, whereas the distance is reduced if measured across the Sardinian Sea. However, let it be granted, says Polybius, that the latter distance is also three thousand stadia, but let it be further assumed as a prior condition that the depth of the gulf opposite Narbo is two thousand stadia, the depth being, as it were, a perpendicular let fall from the vertex upon the base of the obtuse-angled triangle; then, says Polybius, it is clear from the principles of elementary geometry that the total length of the coast-line from the Strait to the Pillars exceeds the length of the straight line through the open sea by very nearly five hundred stadia. And if to this we added the three thousand stadia from the Peloponnesus to the Strait, the sum total of the stadia, merely those measured on a straight line, will be more than double the estimate given by Dicaearchus. And, according to Dicaearchus, says Polybius, it will be necessary to put the distance from the Peloponnesus to the recess of the Adriatic at more than this sum.

3 But, my dear Polybius, one might reply, just as the test based upon your own words makes evident the error of these false reckonings, namely, "from the Peloponnesus to Leucas, seven hundred stadia; from Leucas to Corcyra the same; and, again, from Corcyra to the Ceraunian Mountains the same; and the Illyrian coast-line to Iapydia on your right hand side, if you measure from the Ceraunian Mountains, six thousand one hundred and fifty stadia," so also those other reckonings are both false — both that made by Dicaearchus when he makes the distance from Strait of Sicily to the Pillars seven thousand stadia, and that which you think you have demonstrated; for most men agree in saying that the distance measured straight across the Sea is twelve thousand stadia, and this estimate agrees with the opinion rendered in regard to the length of the inhabited world. For they say that this length is about seventy thousand stadia, and that the western section thereof, that is, from the Gulf of Issus to the capes of Iberia, which are the most westerly points, is a little less than thirty thousand stadia. They arrive at this result in the following way: From the Gulf of Issus to Rhodes the distance is five thousand stadia; thence to Salmonium, which is the eastern Cape of Crete, one thousand stadia; and the length of Crete itself, from Salmonium to Criumetopon, more than two thousand stadia; thence, from Criumetopon to Pachynum in Sicily, four thousand five hundred stadia; and from Pachynum to the Strait of Sicily, more than one thousand stadia; then, the sea-passage from the Strait of Sicily to the Pillars, twelve thousand stadia; and from the Pillars to the extreme end of the Sacred Cape140 of Iberia, about three thousand stadia. And Polybius has not taken even his perpendicular properly, if it be true that Narbo is situated approximately on the same parallel as that which runs through Massilia and (as Hipparchus also believes) Massilia on the same as that through Byzantium, and that the line which runs through the open Sea is on the same parallel as that through the Strait and Rhodes, and that the distance from Rhodes to Byzantium has been estimated at about five thousand stadia on the assumption that both places lies on the same meridian; for the perpendicular in question would also be five thousand stadia in length. But when they say that the longest passage across this sea from Europe to Libya, reckoned from the head of the Galatic Gulf, is approximately five thousand stadia, it seems to me that they make an erroneous statement, or else that in that region Libya projects far to the north and reaches the parallel that runs through the Pillars. And Polybius is again not right when he says that the perpendicular in question ends near Sardinia; for the line of this sea-passage is nowhere near Sardinia, but much farther west, leaving between it and Sardinia not only the Sardinian Sea, but almost the whole of the Ligurian Sea as well. And Polybius has exaggerated the length of the seaboard also, only in a lesser degree.

4 Next in order, Polybius proceeds to correct the errors of Eratosthenes; sometimes rightly, but sometimes he is even more in error than Eratosthenes. For instance, when Eratosthenes estimates the distance from Ithaca to Corcyra at three hundred stadia, Polybius says it is more than nine hundred; when Eratosthenes gives the distance from Epidamnus to Thessalonica as nine hundred stadia, Polybius says more than two thousand; and in these cases Polybius is right. But when Eratosthenes says the distance from Massilia to the Pillars is seven thousand stadia and from the Pyrenees to the Pillars six thousand stadia, Polybius himself makes a greater error in giving the distance from Massilia as more than nine thousand stadia and that from the Pyrenees a little less than eight thousand stadia; for Eratosthenes' estimates are nearer the truth. Indeed, modern authorities agree that if one cut off an allowance for the irregular windings of the roads, the whole of Iberia is not more than six thousand stadia in length from the Pyrenees to its western side. But Polybius reckons the river Tagus alone at eight thousand stadia in length from its source to its mouth — without reckoning in the windings of the river, of course (for this is a thing geography does not do) — but estimating the distance on a straight line. And yet from the Pyrenees the sources of the Tagus are more than one thousand stadia distant. On the other hand, Polybius is right when he asserts that Eratosthenes is ignorant of the geography of Iberia, that is, for the reason that he sometimes makes conflicting statements; at any rate, after he has said that the exterior coast of Iberia as far as Gades is inhabited by Gauls — if they really hold the western regions of Europe as far as Gades — he forgets that statement and nowhere mentions the Gauls in his description of Iberia.

5 Again, when Polybius sets forth that the length of Europe is less than the combined length of Libya and Asia, he does not make his comparison correctly. The outlet at the Pillars, he says, is in the equinoctial west, whereas the Tanaïs flows from the summer rising of the sun, and therefore Europe is less in length than the combined length of Libya and Asia by the space between the summer sunrise and the equinoctial sunrise; for Asia has a prior claim to this space of the northern semicircle that lies toward the equinoctial sunrise. Indeed, apart from the abstruseness which characterises Polybius when he is discussing matters that are easy of explanation, his statement that the Tanaïs flows from the summer rising of the sun is also false; for all who are acquainted with those regions say that the Tanaïs flows from the north into Lake Maeotis, and in such wise that the mouth of the river, the mouth of Lake Maeotis, and the course of the Tanaïs itself, so far as it has been explored, all lie on the same meridian.

6 Unworthy of mention are those writers who have stated that the Tanaïs rises in the regions on the Ister and flows from the west, because they have not reflected that the Tyras, the Borysthenes, and the Hypanis, all large rivers, flow between those two rivers into the Pontus, one of them parallel to the Ister and the others parallel to the Tanaïs. And since neither the sources of the Tyras, nor of the Borysthenes, nor of the Hypanis, have been explored, the regions that are farther north than they would be far less known; and therefore the argument that conducts the Tanaïs through those regions and then makes it turn from them to the Maeotis Lake (for the mouths of the Tanaïs are obviously to be seen in the most northerly parts of the Lake, which are also the most easterly parts) — such an argument, I say, would be false and inconclusive. Equally inconclusive is the argument that the Tanaïs flows through the Caucasus towards the north and then turns and flows into Lake Maeotis; for this statement has also been made. However, no one has stated that the Tanaïs flows from the east; for if it flowed from the east the more accomplished geographers would not be asserting that it flows in a direction contrary to, and in a sense diametrically opposed to, that of the Nile — meaning that the courses of the two rivers are on the same meridian or else on meridians that lie close to each other.

7 The measurement of the length of the inhabited world is made along a line parallel to the equator, because the inhabited world, in its length, stretches in the same way the equator does; and in the same way, therefore, we must take as the length of each of the continents the space that lies between two meridians. Again, the measure employed for these lengths is that by stadia; and we seek to discover the number of the stadia either by travelling through the continents themselves, or else along the roads or waterways parallel to them. But Polybius abandons this method and introduces something new, namely, a certain segment of the northern semicircle, which lies between the summer sunrise and the equinoctial sunrise. But no one employs rules and measures that are variable for things that are non-variable, nor reckonings that are made relative to one position or another for things that are absolute and unchanging. Now while the term "length" is non-variable and absolute, "equinoctial rising" and "setting" and, in the same way, "summer sunrise" and "winter sunrise," are not absolute, but relative to our individual positions; and if we shift our position to different points, the positions of sunset and sunrise, whether equinoctial or solstitial, are different, but the length of the continent remains the same. Therefore, while it is not out of place to make the Tanaïs and the Nile limits of continents, it is something new to use the summer, or the equinoctial, sunrise for this purpose.

8 Since Europe runs out into several promontories, Polybius' account of them is better than that of Eratosthenes, but it is still inadequate. For Eratosthenes spoke of only three promontories: first, the promontory that juts down to the Pillars, on which is Iberia; secondly, that to the Strait of Sicily, on which is Italy; and, thirdly, that which ends at Cape Malea, on which are all the nations that dwell between the Adriatic, the Euxine, and the Tanaïs. But Polybius explains the first two promontories in the same way and then makes a third of the promontory which ends at Cape Malea and Sunium, on which are all Greece, and Illyria, and certain parts of Thrace, and a fourth of the Thracian Chersonese, where the strait between Sestus and Abydus is, inhabited by Thracians; and still a fifth of the promontory in the region of the Cimmerian Bosporus and of the mouth of Lake Maeotis. Now we must grant the first two, because they are encompassed by simple gulfs: one of them, by the gulf that lies between Calpe and the Sacred Cape (the gulf on which Gades is situated) and also by that portion of the sea that lies between the Pillars and Sicily; the other, by the last-mentioned sea and the Adriatic — although, of course, the promontory of Iapygia, since it thrusts itself forward on the side and thus makes Italy have two crests, presents a sort of contradiction to my statement; but the remaining three promontories, which still more clearly are complex and composed of many members, require further division. Likewise, also, the division of Europe into six parts is open to similar objection, since it has been made in accordance with the promontories. However, in my detailed account I shall make the suitable corrections, not only of these mistakes, but also of all the other serious mistakes that Polybius has made, both in the matter of Europe and in his circuit of Libya. Brief, for the present, I shall rest satisfied with what I have here said in criticism of my predecessors — that is, of so many of them as I have thought would, if cited, make enough witnesses to prove that I too am justified in having undertaken to treat this same subject, since it stands in need of so much correction and addition.

 
Baleares 3.5

Baleares 3.5b
Cadiz 3.5

Baleares 3.5b
3 - 5  Islands of Iberia: Baleares, Cassiterides, Gades

1 Since the taking in hand of my proposed task naturally follows the criticisms of my predecessors, let me make a second beginning by saying that the person who attempts to write an account of the countries of the earth must take many of the physical and mathematical principles as hypotheses and elaborate his whole treatise with reference to their intent and authority. For, as I have already said, no architect or engineer would be competent even to fix the site of a house or a city properly if he had no conception beforehand of "climata" and of the celestial phenomena, and of geometrical figures and magnitudes and heat and cold and other such things — much less a person who would fix positions for the whole of the inhabited world. For the mere drawing on one and the same plane surface of Iberia and India and the countries that lie between them and, in spite of its being a plane surface, the plotting the sun's position at its settings, risings, and in meridian, as though these positions were fixed for all the people of the world — merely this exercise gives to the man who has previously conceived of the arrangement and movement of the celestial bodies and grasped the fact that it is depicted for the moment as a plane surface for the convenience of the eye — merely this exercise, I say, gives to that man instruction that is truly geographical, but to the man not thus qualified it does not. Indeed, the case is not the same with us when we are dealing with geography as it is when we are travelling great plains (those of Babylonia, for example) or over the sea: then all that is in front of us and behind us and on either side of us is presented to our minds as a plane surface and offers no varying aspects with reference to the celestial bodies or the movements or the positions of the sun and the other stars relatively to us; but when we are dealing with geography the like parts must never present themselves to our minds in that way. The sailor on the open sea, or the man who travels through a level country, is guided by certain popular notions (and these notions impel not only the uneducated man but the man of affairs as well to act in the self-same way), because he is unfamiliar with the heavenly bodies and ignorant of the varying aspects of things with reference to them. For he sees the sun rise, pass the meridian, and set, but how it comes about he does not consider; for, indeed, such knowledge is not useful to him with reference to the task before him, any more than it is useful for him to know whether or not his body stands parallel to that of his neighbour. But perhaps he does consider these matters, and yet holds opinions opposed to the principles of mathematics — just as the natives of any given place do; for a man's place occasions such blunders. But the geographer does not write for the native of any particular place, nor yet does he write for the man of affairs of the kind who has paid no attention to the mathematical sciences properly so‑called; nor, to be sure, does he write for the harvest-hand or the ditch-digger, but for the man who can be persuaded that the earth as a whole is such as the mathematicians represent it to be, and also all that relates to such an hypothesis. And the geographer urges upon his students that they first master those principles and then consider the subsequent problems; for, he declares, he will speak only of the results which follow from those principles; and hence his students will the more unerringly make the application of his teachings if they listen as mathematicians; but he refuses to teach geography to persons not thus qualified.

2 Now as for the matters which he regards as fundamental principles of his science, the geographer must rely upon the geometricians who have measured the earth as a whole; and in their turn the geometricians must rely upon the astronomers; and again the astronomers upon the physicists. Physics is a kind of Arete; by Aretai they mean those sciences that postulate nothing but depend upon themselves, and contain within themselves their own principles as well as the proofs thereof. Now what we are taught by the physicists is as follows: The universe and the heavens are sphere-shaped. The tendency of the bodies that have weight is towards the centre. And, having taken its position about this centre in the form of a sphere, the earth remains homocentric with the heavens, as does also the axis through it, which axis extends also through the centre of the heavens. The heavens revolve round both the earth and its axis from east to west; and along with the heavens revolve the fixed stars, with the same rapidity as the vault of the heavens. Now the fixed stars move along parallel circles, and the best known parallel circles are the equator, the two tropics, and the arctic circles; whereas the planets and the sun and the moon move along certain oblique circles whose positions lie in the zodiac. Now the astronomers first accept these principles, either in whole or in part, and then work out the subsequent problems, namely, the movements of the heavenly bodies, their revolutions, their eclipses, their sizes, their respective distances, and a host of other things. And, in the same way, the geometricians, in measuring the earth as a whole, adhere to the doctrines of the physicists and the astronomers, and, in their turn, the geographers adhere to those of the geometricians.

3 Thus we must take as an hypothesis that the heavens have five zones, and that the earth also has five zones, and that the terrestrial zones have the same names as the celestial zones (I have already stated the reasons for this division into zones). The limits of the zones can be defined by circles drawn on both sides of the equator and parallel to it, namely, by two circles which enclose the torrid zone, and by two others, following upon these, which form the two temperate zones next to the torrid zone and the two frigid zones next to the temperate zones. Beneath each of the celestial circles falls the corresponding terrestrial circle which bears the same name: and, in like manner, beneath the celestial zone, the terrestrial zone. Now they call "temperate" the zones that can be inhabited; the others they call uninhabitable, the one on account of the heat, and the other on account of the cold. They proceed in the same manner with reference to the tropic and the arctic circles (that is, in countries that admit of arctic circles): they define their limits by giving the terrestrial circles the same names as the celestial — and thus they define all the terrestrial circles that fall beneath the several celestial circles. Since the celestial equator cuts the whole heavens in two, the earth also must of necessity be cut in two by the terrestrial equator. Of the two hemispheres — I refer to the two celestial as well as the two terrestrial hemispheres — one is called "the northern hemisphere" and the other "the southern hemisphere"; so also, since the torrid zone is cut in two by the same circle, the one part of it will be the northern and the other the southern. It is clear that, of the temperate zones also, the one will be northern and the other southern, each bearing the name of the hemisphere in which it lies. That hemisphere is called "northern hemisphere" which contains that temperate zone in which, as you look from the east to the west, the pole is on your right hand and the equator on your left, or in which, as you look towards the south, the west is on your right hand and the east on your left; and that hemisphere is called "southern hemisphere," in which the opposite is true; and hence it is clear that we are in one of the two hemispheres (that is, of course, in the north), and that it is impossible for us to be in both. "Between them are great rivers; first, Oceanus", and then the torrid zone. But neither is there an Oceanus in the centre of our whole inhabited world, cleaving the whole of it, nor, to be sure, is there a torrid spot in it; nor yet, indeed, is there a portion of it to be found whose "climata" are opposite to the "climata" which I have given for the northern temperate zone.

4 By accepting these principles, then, and also by making use of the sun-dial and the other helps given him by the astronomer — by means of which are found, for the several inhabited localities, both the circles that are parallel to the equator and the circles that cut the former at right angles, the latter being drawn through the poles — the geometrician can measure the inhabited portion of the earth by visiting it and the rest of the earth by his calculation of the intervals. In the same way he can find the distance from the equator to the pole, which is a fourth part of the earth's largest circle; and when he has this distance, he multiplies it by four; and this is the circumference of the earth. Accordingly, just as the man who measures the earth gets his principles from the astronomer and the astronomer his from the physicist, so, too, the geographer must in the same way first take his point of departure from the man who has measured the earth as a whole, having confidence in him and in those in whom he, in his turn, had confidence, and then explain, in the first instance, our inhabited world — its size, shape, and character, and its relations to the earth as a whole; for this is the peculiar task of the geographer. Then, secondly, he must discuss in a fitting manner the several parts of the inhabited world, both land and sea, noting in passing wherein the subject has been treated inadequately by those of our predecessors whom we have believed to be the best authorities on these matters.

5 Now let us take as hypothesis that the earth together with the sea is sphere-shaped and that the surface of the earth is one and the same with that of the high seas; for the elevations on the earth's surface would disappear from consideration, because they are small in comparison with the great size of the earth and admit of being overlooked; and so we use "sphere-shaped" for figures of this kind, not as though they were turned on a lathe, nor yet as the geometrician uses the sphere for demonstration, but as an aid to our conception of the earth — and that, too, a rather rough conception. Now let us conceive of a sphere with five zones, and let the equator be drawn as a circle upon that sphere, and let a third circle be drawn parallel thereto, bounding the frigid zone in the northern hemisphere, and let a third circle be drawn through the poles, cutting the other two circles at right angles. Then, since the northern hemisphere contains two-fourths of the earth, which are formed by the equator with the circle that passes through the poles, a quadrilateral area is cut off in each of the two fourths. The northern side of the quadrilateral is half of the parallel next to the pole; the southern side is half of the equator; and the two remaining sides are segments of the circle that runs through the poles, these segments lying opposite to each other and being equal in length. Now in one of these two quadrilaterals (it would seem to make no difference in which one) we say that our inhabited world lies, washed on all sides by the sea and like an island; for, as I have already said above, the evidence of our senses and of reason prove this. But if anyone disbelieves the evidence of reason, it would make no difference, from the point of view of the geographer, whether we make the inhabited world an island, or merely admit what experience has taught us, namely, that it is possible to sail round the inhabited world on both sides, from the east as well as from the west, with the exception of a few intermediate stretches. And, as to these stretches, it makes no difference whether they are bounded by sea or by uninhabited land; for the geographer undertakes to describe the known parts of the inhabited world, but he leaves out of consideration the unknown parts of it — just as he does what is outside of it. And it will suffice to fill out and complete the outline of what we term "the island" by joining with a straight line the extreme points reached on the coasting-voyages made on both sides of the inhabited world.

6 So let us presuppose that the island lies in the aforesaid quadrilateral. We must then take as its p435size the figure that is obvious to our sense, which is obtained by abstracting from the entire size of the earth our hemisphere, then from this area its half, and in turn from this half the quadrilateral in which we say the inhabited world lies and it is by an analogous process that we must form our conception of the shape of the island, accommodating the obvious shape to our hypotheses. But since the segment of the northern hemisphere that lies between the equator and the circle drawn parallel to it next to the pole is a spinning-whorl in shape, and since the circle that passes through the pole, by cutting the northern hemisphere in two, also cuts the spinning-whorl in two and thus forms the quadrilateral, it will be clear that the quadrilateral in which the Atlantic Sea lies is half of a spinning-whorl's surface; and that the inhabited world is a chlamys-shaped island in this quadrilateral, since it is less in size than half of the quadrilateral. This latter fact is clear from geometry, and also from the great extent of the enveloping sea which covers the extremities of the continents both in the east and west and contracts them to a tapering shape; and, in the third place, it is clear from the maximum length and breadth. Now the length of the inhabited world is seventy thousand stadia, being for the most part limited by a sea which still cannot be navigated because of its vastness and desolation; the breadth is less than thirty thousand stadia, being bounded by the regions that are uninhabitable on account either of heat or cold. For merely the part of the quadrilateral that is uninhabitable on account of the heat — since it has a breadth of eight thousand eight hundred stadia and a maximum length of one hundred and twenty six thousand stadia, that is, half the length of the equator — is more than half the inhabited world, and the remainder of the quadrilateral would be still more than that.

7 In essential accord with all this are the views of Hipparchus. He says that, having taken as hypothesis the measurement of the earth as stated by Eratosthenes, he must then abstract the inhabited world from the earth in his discussion; for it will not make much difference with respect to the celestial phenomena for the several inhabited places whether the measurement followed is that of Eratosthenes or that given by the later geographers. Since, then, according to Eratosthenes, the equator measures two hundred and fifty two thousand stadia, the fourth part of it would be sixty three thousand stadia; and this is the distance from the equator to the pole, namely, fifteen sixtieths of the sixty intervals into which the equator is divided. And the distance from the equator to the summer tropic is four sixtieths; and the summer tropic is the parallel drawn through Syene. Now the several distances are computed from the standard measures that are obvious to our senses. The summer tropic, for instance, must pass through Syene, because there, at the time of the summer solstice, the index of the sun-dial does not cast a shadow at noon. And the meridian through Syene is drawn approximately along the course of the Nile from Meroë to Alexandria, and this distance is about ten thousand stadia; and Syene must lie in the centre of that distance; so that the distance from Syene to Meroë is five thousand stadia. And when you have proceeded about three thousand stadia in a straight line south of Meroë, the country is no longer inhabitable on account of the heat, and therefore the parallel though these regions, being the same as that through the Cinnamon-producing Country, must be put down as the limit and the beginning of our inhabited world on the South. Since, then, the distance from Syene to Meroë is five thousand stadia, to which we have added the other three thousand stadia, the total distance from Syene to the confines of the inhabited world would be eight thousand stadia. But the distance from Syene to the equator is sixteen thousand eight hundred stadia (for that is what the four sixtieths amounts to, since each sixtieth is estimated at four thousand two hundred stadia), and therefore we should have eight thousand eight hundred stadia left as the distance from the confines of the inhabited world to the equator, and from Alexandria twenty-one thousand eight hundred. Again, all agree that the route by sea from Alexandria to Rhodes is in a straight line with the course of the Nile, as also the route thence along the coast of Caria and Ionia to the Troad, Byzantium, and the Borysthenes. Taking, therefore, the distances that are already known and sailed over, geographers inquire as to the regions beyond the Borysthenes that lie in a straight course with this line — as to how far they are inhabitable, and how far the northern parts of the inhabited world have their boundaries. Now the Roxolanians, the most remote of the known Scythians, live beyond the Borysthenes, though they are farther south than the most remote peoples of whom we have knowledge north of Britain; and the regions beyond the Roxolanians become at once uninhabitable because of the cold; and farther south than the Roxolanians are the Sarmatians who dwell beyond Lake Maeotis, and also the Scythians as far as the Eastern Scythians.

8 Now Pytheas of Massilia tells us that Thule, the most northerly of the Britannic Islands, is farthest north, and that there the circle of the summer tropic is the same as the arctic circle. But from the other writers I learn nothing on the subject — neither that there exists a certain island by the name of Thule, nor whether the northern regions are inhabitable up to the point where the summer tropic becomes the arctic circle. But in my opinion the northern limit of the inhabited world is much farther to the south than where the summer tropic becomes the arctic circle. For modern scientific writers are not able to speak of any country north of Ierne, which lies to the north of Britain and near thereto, and is the home of men who are complete savages and lead a miserable existence because of the cold; and therefore, in my opinion, the northern limit of our inhabited world is to be placed there. But if the parallel though Byzantium passes approximately through Massilia, as Hipparchus says on the testimony of Pytheas (Hipparchus says, namely, that in Byzantium the relation of the index to the shadow is the same as that which Pytheas gave for Massilia), and if the parallel through the mouth of the Borysthenes is about three thousand eight hundred stadia distant from that parallel, then, in view of the distance from Massilia to Britain,164 the circle drawn through the mouth of the Borysthenes would fall somewhere in Britain. But Pytheas, who misleads people everywhere else, is, I think, wholly in error here too; for it has been admitted by many writers that all the line drawn from the Pillars to the regions of Strait of Sicily and of Athens, and of Rhodes, lies on the same parallel; and it is admitted that the part of that line from the Pillars to the strait runs approximately through the middle of the sea. And further, sailors say that the longest passage from Celtica to Libya, namely, that from the Galatic Gulf, is five thousand stadia, and that this is also the greatest width of the Mediterranean sea, and therefore the distance from the line in question to the head of the gulf would be two thousand five hundred stadia and less than that to Massilia; for Massilia is farther south than the head of the gulf. But the distance from Rhodes to Byzantium is about four thousand nine hundred stadia, and therefore the parallel through Byzantium would be much farther north than that through Massilia. And the distance from Massilia to Britain may possibly correspond to that from Byzantium to the mouth of the Borysthenes; but the distance that should be set down for the stretch from Britain to Ierne is no longer a known quantity, nor is it known whether there are still inhabitable regions farther on, nor need we concern ourselves about the question if we give heed to what Hesiod said above. For, so far as science is concerned, it is sufficient to assume that, just as it was appropriate in the case of the southern regions to fix a limit of the habitable world by proceeding three thousand stadia south of Meroë (not indeed as though this were a very accurate limit, but as one that at least approximates accuracy), so in this case too we must reckon not more than three thousand stadia north of Britain, or only a little more, say, four thousand stadia. And for governmental purposesa there would be no advantage in knowing such countries and their inhabitants, and particularly if the people live in islands which are of such a nature that they can neither injure nor benefit us in any way because of their isolation. For although they could have held even Britain, the Romans scorned to do so, because they saw that there was nothing at all to fear from the Britons (for they are not strong enough to cross p447over and attack us), 116and that no corresponding advantage was to be gained by taking and holding their country. For it seems that at present more revenue is derived from the duty on their commerce than the tribute could bring in, if we deduct the expense involved in the maintenance of an army for the purpose of guarding the island and collecting the tribute; and the unprofitableness of an occupation would be still greater in the case of the other islands about Britain.

9 Now if to the distance from Rhodes to the mouth of the Borysthenes we add the distance of four thousand stadia from the mouth of the Borysthenes to the northern regions, the sum total amounts to twelve thousand seven hundred stadia, but the distance from Rhodes to the southern limit of the inhabited world is sixteen thousand six hundred stadia, and therefore the total breadth of the inhabited world would be less than thirty thousand stadia from south to north. Its length, however, is estimated at about seventy thousand stadia; and this is, from west to east, the distance from the capes of Iberia to the capes of India, measured partly by land journeys and partly by sea voyages. And that this length falls within the quadrilateral mentioned above is clear from the relation of the parallels to the equator; hence the length of the inhabited world is more than double its breadth. Its shape is described as about like that of a chlamys; for when we visit the several regions of the inhabited world, we discover a considerable contraction in its width at its extremities, and particularly at its western extremities.

10 We have now traced on a spherical surface the area in which we say the inhabited world is situated; and the man who would most closely approximate the truth by constructed figures must needs take for the earth a globe like that of Crates, and lay off on it the quadrilateral, and within the quadrilateral put down the map of the inhabited world. But since the need of a large globe, so that the section in question (being a small fraction of the globe) may be large enough to receive distinctly the appropriate parts of the inhabited world and to present the proper appearance to observers, it is better for him to construct a globe of adequate size, if he can do so; and let it be no less than ten feet in diameter. But if he cannot construct a globe of adequate size or not much smaller, he should sketch his map on a plane surface of at least seven feet. For it will make only a slight difference if we draw straight lines to represent the circles, that is, the parallels and meridians, by means of which we clearly indicate the "climata," the winds and the other differences, and also the positions of the parts of the earth with reference both to each other and to the heavenly bodies — drawing parallel lines for the parallels and perpendicular lines for the circles perpendicular to the parallels, for our imagination can easily transfer to the globular and spherical surface the figure or magnitude seen by the eye on a plane surface. And the same applies also, we say, to the oblique circles and their corresponding straight lines. Although the several meridians drawn through the pole all converge on the sphere toward one point, yet on our plane-surface chart it will not be a matter of importance merely to make the straight meridian lines converge slightly; for there is no necessity for this in many cases, nor are the converging straight lines, when the lines of the sphere are transferred to the plane chart and drawn as straight lines, as easily understood as are the curved lines on the sphere.

11 And so in what I have to say hereafter I shall assume that our drawing has been made on a plane chart. Now I shall tell what part of the land and sea I have myself visited and concerning what part I have trusted to accounts given by others by word of mouth or in writing. I have travelled westward from Armenia as far as the regions of Tyrrhenia opposite Sardinia, and southward from the Euxine Sea as far as the frontiers of Ethiopia. And you could not find another person among the writers on geography who has travelled over much more of the distances just mentioned than I; indeed, those who have travelled more than I in the western regions have not covered as much ground in the east, and those who have travelled more in the eastern countries are behind me in the western; and the same holds true in regard to the regions towards the south and north. However, the greater part of our material both they and I receive by hearsay and then form our ideas of shape and size and also other characteristics, qualitative and quantitative, precisely as the mind forms its ideas from sense impressions — for our senses report the shape, colour, and size of an apple, and also its smell, feel, and flavour; and from all this the mind forms the concept of apple. So, too, even in the case of large figures, while the senses perceive only the parts, the mind forms a concept of the whole from what the senses have perceived. And men who are eager to learn proceed in just that way: they trust as organs of sense those who have seen or wandered over any region, no matter what, some in this and some in that part of the earth, and they form in one diagram their mental image of the whole inhabited world. Why, generals, too, though they do everything themselves, are not present everywhere, but they carry out successfully most of their measures through others, trusting the reports of messengers and sending their orders around in conformity with the reports they hear. And he who claims that only those have knowledge who have actually seen abolishes the criterion of the sense of hearing, though this sense is much more important than sight for the purposes of science.

12 In particular the writers of the present time can give a better account of the Britons, the Germans, the peoples both north and south of the Ister, the Getans, the Tyregetans, the Bastarnians, and, furthermore, the peoples in the regions of the Caucasus, such as the Albanians and the Iberians. Information has been given us also concerning Hyrcania and Bactriana by the writers of Parthian histories (Apollodorus of Artemita and his school), in which they marked off those countries more definitely than many other writers. Again, since the Romans have recently invaded Arabia Felix with an army, of which Aelius Gallus, my friend and companion, was the commander, and since the merchants of Alexandria are already sailing with fleets by way of the Nile and of the Arabian Gulf as far as India, these regions also have become far better known to us of to‑day than to our predecessors. At any rate, when Gallus was prefect of Egypt, I accompanied him and ascended the Nile as far as Syene and the frontiers of Ethiopia, and I learned that as many as one hundred and twenty vessels were sailing from Myos Hormos to India, whereas formerly, under the Ptolemies, only a very few ventured to undertake the voyage and to carry on traffic in Indian merchandise.

13 Now my first and most important concern, both for the purposes of science and for the needs of the state, is this — to try to give, in the simplest possible way, the shape and size of that part of the earth which falls within our map, indicating at the same time what the nature of that part is and what portion it is of the whole earth; for this is the task proper of the geographer. But to give an accurate account of the whole earth and of the whole "spinning-whorl" of the zone of which I was speaking is the function of another science — for instance, take the question whether the "spinning-whorl" is inhabited in its other fourth also. And, indeed, if it is inhabited, it is not inhabited by men such as exist in our fourth, and we should have to regard it as another inhabited world — which is a plausible theory. It is mine, however, to describe what is in this our own inhabited world.

14 As I have said, the shape of the inhabited world is somewhat like a chlamys, whose greatest breadth is represented by the line that runs through the Nile, a line that begins at the parallel that runs through the Cinnamon-producing Country and the island of the fugitive Egyptians, and ends at the parallel through Ierne; its length is represented by that line drawn perpendicular thereto which runs from the west through the Pillars and the Strait of Sicily to Rhodes and the Gulf of Issus, passes along the Taurus Range, which girdles Asia, and ends at the Eastern Sea between India and the country of those Scythians who live beyond Bactriana. Accordingly, we must conceive of a parallelogram in which the chlamys-shaped figure is inscribed in such a way that the greatest length of the chlamys coincides with, and is equal to, the greatest length of the parallelogram, and likewise its greatest breadth and the breadth of the parallelogram. Now this chlamys-shaped figure is the inhabited world; and, as I said, its breadth is fixed by the parallelogram's outermost lines, which separate its inhabited and its uninhabited territory in both directions. And these sides were: in the north, the parallel through Ierne; in the torrid region, the parallel through the Cinnamon-producing Country; hence these lines, if produced both east and west as far as those parts of the inhabited world that rise opposite to them, will form a parallelogram with the meridian-lines that unite them at their extremities. Now, that the inhabited world is situated in this parallelogram is clear from this fact that neither its greatest breadth nor its greatest length fall outside thereof; and that its shape is like a chlamys is apparent from the fact that the extremities of its length, being washed away by the sea, taper off on both sides and thus diminish its width there; and this is apparent from the reports of those who have sailed around the eastern and western parts in both directions. For these navigators declare that the island called Taprobane is considerably south of India, inhabited nevertheless, and that it "rises opposite to" the Island of the Egyptians and the Cinnamon-nearing Country; and that, indeed, the temperature of the atmosphere is much the same as that of these latter places; and the region about the outlet of the Hyrcanian Sea are farther north than outermost Scythia beyond India, and the regions about Ierne are farther north still. A similar report is also made concerning the country outside the Pillars, namely, the promontory of Iberia which they call the Sacred Cape is the most westerly point of the inhabited world; and this cape lies approximately on the line that passes through Gades, the Pillars, the Strait of Sicily, and Rhodes. At all these points, they say, the shadows cast by the sun-dial agree, and the winds that blow in either direction come from the same direction, and the lengths of the longest days and nights are the same; for the longest day and the longest night have fourteen and a half equinoctial hours. Again, the constellation of the Cabeiri is sometimes seen along the coast near Gades. And Poseidonius says that from a tall house in a city about four hundred stadia distant from these regions he saw a star which he judged to be Canopus itself, so judging from the fact that those who had proceeded but a short distance south of Iberia were in agreement that they saw Canopus, and also from scientific observations made at Cnidus; for, says he, the observatory of Eudoxus at Cnidus is not much higher than the dwelling-houses, and from there, it is said, Eudoxus saw the star Canopus; and, adds Poseidonius, Cnidus lies on the parallel of Rhodes, on which lie both Gades and the coastline thereabouts.

15 Now as you sail to the regions of the south you come to Libya; of this country the westernmost coast extends only slightly beyond Gades; then this coast, forming a narrow promontory, recedes towards the southeast and gradually broadens out to the point where it reaches the land of the Western Ethiopians. They are the most remote people south of the territory of Carthage, and they reach the parallel that runs through the Cinnamon-producing Country. But if you sail in the opposite direction from the Sacred Cape until you come to the people called Artabrians, your voyage is northward, and you have Lusitania on your right hand. Then all the rest of your voyage is eastward, thus making an obtuse angle to your former course, until you reach the headlands of the Pyrenees that abut on the ocean. The westerly parts of Britain lie opposite these headlands towards the north; and in like manner the islands called Cassiterides, situated in the open sea approximately in the latitude of Britain, lie opposite to, and north of, the Artabrians. Therefore it is clear how greatly the east and west ends of the inhabited world have been narrowed down by the surrounding sea.

16 Such being the general shape of the inhabited world, it is clearly helpful to assume two straight lines that intersect each other at right angles, one of which will run through the entire greatest length and the other through the entire greatest breadth of the inhabited world; and the first line will be one of the parallels, and the second line one of the meridians; then it will be helpful to conceive of lines parallel to these two lines on either side of them and by them to divide the land and the sea with which we happen to be conversant. For thereby the shape of the inhabited world will prove more clearly to be such as I have described it, being judged by the extent of the lines, which lines are of different measurements, both those of the length and those of the breadth; and thereby too the "climata" will be better represented, both in the east and in the west, and likewise in the south and in the north. But since these straight lines must be drawn through known places, two of them have already been so drawn, I mean the two central lines mentioned above, the one representing the length and the other the breadth; and the other lines will be easily found by the help of these two. For by using these lines as "elements," so to speak, we can correlate the regions that are parallel, and the other positions, both geographical and astronomical, of inhabited places.

17 It is the sea more than anything else that defines the contours of the land and gives it its shape, by forming gulfs, deep seas, straits, and likewise isthmuses, peninsulas, and promontories; but both the rivers and the mountains assist the seas herein. It is through such natural features that we gain a clear conception of continents, nations, favourable positions of cities, and all the other diversified details with which our geographical map is filled. And among these details are the multitude of islands scattered both in the open seas and along the whole seaboard. And since different places exhibit different good and bad attributes, as also the advantages and inconveniences that result therefrom, some due to nature and others resulting from human design, the geographer should mention those that are due to nature; for they are permanent, whereas the adventitious attributes undergo changes. And also of the latter attributes he should indicate such as can persist for a long time, or else such as can not persist for long and yet somehow possess a certain distinction and fame, which, by enduring to later times, make a work of man, even when it no longer exists, a kind of natural attribute of a place; hence it is clear that these latter attributes must also be mentioned. Indeed, it is possible to say concerning many cities what Demosthenes said of Olynthus and the cities round about it, which have so completely disappeared, he says, that a visitor could not know even whether they had ever been founded. But nevertheless men like to visit these places as well as others, because they are eager to see at least the traces of deeds so widely famed, just as they like to visit the tombs of illustrious men. So, also, I have mentioned customs and constitutions that no longer exist, for the reason that utility urges me in their case just as it does in the case of deeds of action; that is, either to incite emulation or signal avoidance of this or that.

18 I now resume my first sketch of the inhabited world and say that our inhabited world, being girt by the sea, admits into itself from the exterior sea along the ocean many gulfs, of which four are very large. Of these four gulfs the northern one is called the Caspian Sea (though some call it the Hyrcanian Sea); the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Gulf pour inland from the Southern Sea, the one about opposite the Caspian Sea and the other about opposite the Pontus; and the fourth, which far exceeds the others in size, is formed by the sea which is called the Interior Sea, or Our Sea; it takes its beginning in the west at the strait at the Pillars of Heracles, and extends lengthwise towards the regions of the east, but with varying breadth, and finally divides itself and ends in two sea-like gulfs, the one on the left hand, which we call the Euxine Pontus, and the other consisting of the Egyptian, the Pamphylian, and the Issican Seas. All these aforesaid gulfs have narrow inlets from the Exterior Sea, particularly the Arabian Gulf and that at the Pillars, whereas the others are not so narrow. The land that surrounds these gulfs is divided into three parts, as I have said. Now Europe has the most irregular shape of all three; Libya has the most regular shape; while Asia occupies a sort of middle p469position between the other two in this respect. And the cause of their irregularity or their lack of it lies in the coastline of the Interior Sea, whereas the coastline of the Exterior Sea, with the exception of that of the aforesaid gulfs, is regular and, as I have said, like a chlamys; but I must leave out of view the other slight irregularities, for a little thing is nothing when we are dealing with great things. And further, since in the study of geography we inquire not merely into the shapes and dimensions of countries, but also, as I have said, into their positions with reference to each other, herein, too, the coast-line of the Interior Sea offers for our consideration more varied detail than that of the Exterior Sea. And far greater in extent here than there is the known portion, and the temperate portion, and the portion inhabited by well-governed cities and nations. Again, we wish to know about those parts of the world where tradition places more deeds of action, political constitutions, arts, and everything else that contributes to practical wisdom; and our needs draw us to those places with which commercial and social intercourse is attainable; and these are the places that are under government, or rather under good government. Now, as I have said, our Interior Sea has a great advantage in all these respects; and so with it I must begin my description.

19 I have already stated that the strait at the Pillars forms the beginning to this gulf; and the narrowest part of the strait is said to be about seventy stadia; but after you sail through the narrows, which are one hundred and twenty stadia in length, the coasts take a divergent course all at once, though the one on the left diverges more; and then the gulf assumes the aspect of a great sea. It is bounded on the right side by the coastline of Libya as far as Carthage, and on the other side, first, by Iberia and also by Celtica in the regions of Narbo and Massilia, and next by Liguria, and finally by Italy as far as the Strait of Sicily. The eastern side of this sea is formed by Sicily and the straits on either side of Sicily; the one between Italy and Sicily is seven stadia in width and the one between Sicily and Carthage is fifteen hundred stadia. But the line from the Pillars to the seven-stadia strait is a part of the line to Rhodes and the Taurus Range; it cuts the aforesaid sea approximately in the middle; and it is said to be twelve thousand stadia in length. This, then, is the length of the sea, while its greatest breadth is as much as five thousand stadia, the distance from the galatic Gulf between Massilia and Narbo to the opposite coast of Libya. The entire portion of this sea along the coast of Libya they call the Libyan Sea, and the portion that lies along the opposite coast they call, in order, the Iberian Sea, the Ligurian Sea, the Sardinian Sea, and finally, to Sicily, the Tyrrhenian Sea. There are numerous islands along the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea as far as Liguria, and largest of all are Sardinia and Corsica, except Sicily; but Sicily is the largest and best of all the islands in our part of the world. Far behind these in size are Pandateria and Pontia, which lie in the open sea, and, lying near the land, Aethalia, Planasia, Pithecussa, Prochyta, Capreae, Leucosia, and others like them. But on the other side of the Ligurian Sea the islands off the rest of the coast up to the Pillars are not numerous, among which are the Gymnesiae and Ebysus; and those off the coasts of Libya and Sicily are not numerous, either, among which are Cossura, Aegimurus, and the Liparian Islands, which some call the Islands of Aeolus.

20 Beyond Sicily and the straits on both sides of it other seas join with the former sea. The first is the sea in front of the Syrtes and Cyrenaea and the two Syrtes themselves, and the second is the sea formerly called the Ausonian Sea, but now the Sicilian Sea, which is confluent with and a continuation of the first sea. Now the sea in front of the Syrtes and Cyrenaea is called the Libyan Sea, and it ends at the Egyptian Sea. Of the Syrtes, the lesser is about one thousand six hundred stadia in circumference; and the islands Meninx and Cercina lie at either side of its mouth. As for the Greater Syrtes, Eratosthenes says that its circuit is five thousand stadia, and its breadth eighteen hundred stadia, reckoning from the Hesperides to Automala and to the common boundary between Cyrenaea and the rest of Libya in that region; but others have estimated its circuit at four thousand stadia, and its breadth at fifteen hundred stadia, as much as the breadth of its mouth is. The Sicilian Sea lies in front of Sicily and Italy toward the regions of the east, and, besides, in front of the strait that lies between them — in front of the territory of Rhegium as far as Locri, and of the territory of Messina as far as Syracuse and Pachynum. Toward the regions of the east it stretches on to the headlands of Crete, and its waters also wash round most of the Peloponnesus and fill what is called the Gulf of Corinth. On the north it stretches to the Iapygian Cape and the mouth of the Ionian Gulf and to the southern parts of Epirus as far as the Ambracian Gulf and the coast that adjoins it and, with the Peloponnesus, forms the Corinthian Gulf. But the Ionian Gulf is part of what is now called the Adriatic Sea. The right side of this sea is formed by Illyria, and the left by Italy up to its head at Aquileia. It reaches up towards the north-west in a narrow and long course; and its length is about six thousand stadia, while its greatest breadth is twelve hundred stadia. There are numerous islands in this sea: off the Illyrian coast the Apsyrtides, and Cyrictica, and the Liburnides, and also Issa, Tragurium, Black Corcyra, and Pharos; and off the Italian coast the Diomedeae. The stretch of the Sicilian Sea from Pachynum to Crete, they say, measures four thousand five hundred stadia, and just as much the stretch to Taenarum in Laconia; and the stretch from the Iapygian Cape to the head of the Gulf of Corinth is less than three thousand stadia, while that from Iapygia to Libya is more than four thousand. The islands of this sea are: Corcyra and the Sybota off the coast of Epirus; and next to them, off the Gulf of Corinth, Cephallenia, Ithaca, Zacynthus, and the Echinades.

21 Adjoining the Sicilian Sea are the Cretan, the Saronic, and the Myrtoan Seas. The Myrtoan Sea is between Crete, Argeia and Attica; its greatest breadth, measured from Attica, is about one thousand two hundred stadia, and its length is less than double its breadth. In this sea are the islands of Cythera, Calauria, Aegina and its neighbouring isles, Salamis, and some of the Cyclades. Next beyond the Myrtoan Sea comes immediately the Aegean Sea, with the Gulf of Melas and the Hellespont; and also the Icarian and Carpathian Seas, extending to Rhodes, Crete, Carpathus, and the first regions of Asia. In the Aegean are the Cyclades, the Sporades, and the islands that lie off Caria, Ionia, and Aeolis up to the Troad — I mean Cos, Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos; so also those that lie off Greece as far as Macedonia and Thrace the next country beyond Macedonia — namely, Euboea, Scyros, Peparethos, Lemnos, Thasos, Imbros, Samothrace, and a number of others, concerning which I shall speak in my detailed description. The length of this sea is about four thousand stadia or slightly more, and its breadth is about two thousand stadia. It is surrounded by the aforesaid regions of Asia, and by the coast-line from Sunium to the Thermaic Gulf as you sail towards the north, and by the Macedonian Gulfs up to the Thracian Chersonese.

22 Along this Chersonese lies the strait, seven stadia in breadth, between Sestus and Abydus, through which the Aegean Sea and the Hellespont empty northwards into another sea which they call the Propontis; and the Propontis empties into another sea termed the "Euxine" Pontus. This latter is a double sea, so to speak: for two promontories jut out at about the middle of it, one from Europe and the northern parts, and the other, opposite to it, from Asia, thus contracting the passage between them and forming two large seas. The promontory of Europe is called Criumetopon, and that of Asia, Carambis; and they are about two thousand five hundred stadia distant from each other. Now the western sea has a length of three thousand eight hundred stadia, reckoning from Byzantium to the mouths of the Borysthenes, and a breadth of two thousand eight hundred stadia; in this sea the island of Leuce is situated. The eastern sea is oblong and ends in a narrow head at Dioscurias; it has a length of five thousand stadia or a little more, and a breadth of about three thousand stadia. The circumference of the whole sea is approximately twenty-five thousand stadia. Some compare the shape of this circumference to that of a bent Scythian bow, likening the bow-string to the regions on what is called the right-hand side of the Pontus (that is, the ship-course along the coast from the outlet to the head at Dioscurias; for with the exception of the promontory of Carambis the whole shore has but small recesses and projections, so that it is like a straight line; and the rest they liken to the horn of the bow with its double curve, the upper curve being rounded off, while the lower curve is straighter; and thus they say the left coast forms two gulfs, of which the western is much more rounded than the other.

23 North of the eastern gulf lies Lake Maeotis, which has a circumference of nine thousand stadia or even a little more. It empties into the Pontus at what is called the Cimmerian Bosporus, and the Pontus empties into the Propontis at the Thracian Bosporus; for they give the name of Thracian Bosporus to the outlet at Byzantium, which is four stadia. The Propontis is said to be fifteen hundred stadia long, reckoning from the Troad to Byzantium; and its breadth is approximately the same. In it lie the island of Cyzicus and the little islands in its neighbourhood.

24 Such, then, is the nature and such the size of the arm of the Aegean Sea that extends towards the north. Again: the arm that begins at Rhodes and forms the Egyptian, the Pamphylian, and the Issican Seas, stretches towards the east as far as Issus in Cilicia for a distance of five thousand stadia along Lycia, Pamphylia, and the whole coastline of Cilicia. Thence, Syria, Phoenicia, and Egypt encircle the sea on the south and west as far as Alexandria. And Cyprus must lie both in the Issican and the Pamphylian Gulfs, since it borders on the Egyptian Sea. The sea-passage from Rhodes to Alexandria is, with the north wind, approximately four thousand stadia, while the coasting-voyage is double that distance. Eratosthenes says that this is merely the assumption made by navigators in regard to the length of the sea-passage, some saying it is four thousand stadia, others not hesitating to say it is even five thousand stadia, but that he himself, by means of the shadow-catching sun-dial, has discovered to be three thousand seven hundred and fifty stadia. Now the part of this sea that is next to Cilicia and Pamphylia, and the side called the right-hand side of the Pontic Sea, and the Propontis, and the sea-board next beyond as far as Pamphylia, form a great peninsula and a great isthmus belonging thereto that stretches from the sea at Tarsus to the city of Amisus, and to Themiscyra, the Plain of the Amazons. For the country within this line, as far as Caria and Ionia and the peoples that live on this side of the Halys River, is all washed by the Aegean or else by the above-mentioned parts thereof on both sides of the peninsula. And indeed we call this peninsula by the special name of Asia, the same name that is given to the whole continent.

25 In short, the head of the Greater Syrtis is the most southerly point of our Mediterranean Sea, and next to this Alexandria in Egypt and the mouths of the Nile; the most northerly point is the mouth of the Borysthenes, though if we add Lake Maeotis to the sea (and indeed it is a part of it, in a sense) the mouth of the Tanaïs is the most northerly point; the most westerly point is the strait at the Pillars; and the most easterly point is the above-mentioned head of the Pontus at Dioscurias; and Eratosthenes is wrong in saying that the Issican Gulf is the most easterly, for it lies on the same meridian with Amisus and Themiscyra — or, if you like, you may add in the territory of Sidene on to Pharnacia. From these regions the voyage to Dioscurias is, I might say, more than three thousand stadia eastward, as will become clearer when I describe that region in detail. Such, then, is the nature of our Mediterranean Sea.

26 I must also give a general description of the countries that surround this sea, beginning at the same points at which I began to describe the sea itself. Now as you sail into the strait at the Pillars, Libya lies on your right hand as far as the stream of the Nile, and on your left hand across the strait lies Europe as far as the Tanaïs. And both Europe and Libya end at Asia. But I must begin with Europe, because it is both varied in form and admirably adapted by nature for the development of excellence in men and governments, and also because it has contributed most of its own store of good things to the other continents; for the whole of it is inhabitable with the exception of a small region that is uninhabited on account of the cold. This uninhabited part borders on the country of the Wagon-Dwellers in the region of the Tanaïs, Lake Maeotis, and the Borysthenes. Of the inhabitable part of Europe, the cold mountainous regions furnish by nature only a wretched existence to their inhabitants, yet even the regions of poverty and piracy become civilised as soon as they get good administrators. Take the case of the Greeks: though occupying mountains and rocks, they used to live happily, because they took forethought for good government, for the arts, and in general for the science of living. The Romans, too, took over many nations that were naturally savage owing to the regions they inhabited, because those regions were either rocky or without harbours or cold or for some other reason ill-suited to habitation by many, and thus not only brought into communication with each other peoples who had been isolated, but also taught the more savage how to live under forms of government. But all of Europe that is level and has a temperate climate has nature to coöperate with her toward these results; for while in a country that is blessed by nature everything tends to peace, in a disagreeable country everything tends to make men warlike and courageous; and so both kinds of country receive benefits from each other, for the latter helps with arms, the former with products of the soil, with arts, and with character-building. But the harm that they receive from each other, if they are not mutually helpful, is also apparent; and the might of those who are accustomed to carry arms will have some advantage unless it be controlled by the majority. However, this continent has a natural advantage to meet this condition also; for the whole of it is diversified with plains and mountains, so that throughout its entire extent the agricultural and civilised element dwells side by side with the warlike element; but of the two elements the one that is peace-loving is more numerous and therefore keeps control over the whole body; and the leading p489nations, too — formerly the Greeks and later the Macedonians and the Romans — have taken hold and helped. And for this reason Europe is most independent of other countries as regards both peace and war; for the warlike population which she possesses is abundant and also that which tills her soils and holds her cities secure. She excels also in this respect, that she produces the fruits that are best and that are necessary for life, and all the useful metals, while she imports from abroad spices and precious stones — things that make the life of persons who have only a scarcity of them fully as happy as that of persons who have them in abundance. So, also, Europe offers an abundance of various kinds of cattle, but a scarcity of wild animals. Such, in a general way, is the nature of this continent.

27 If, however, we look at the separate parts of it, the first of all its countries, beginning from the west, is Iberia, which in shape is like an ox-hide, whose "neck" parts, so to speak, fall over into the neighbouring Celtica; and these are the parts that lie towards the east, and within these parts the eastern side of Iberia is cut off by a mountain, the so‑called Pyrenees, but all the rest is surrounded by the sea; on the south, as far as the Pillars, it is surrounded by our Sea, and on the other side, as far as the northern headlands of the Pyrenees, by the Atlantic. The greatest length of this country is about six thousand stadia; and breadth, five thousand.

28 Next to Iberia towards the east lies Celtica, which extends to the River Rhine. On its northern p491side it is washed by the whole British Channel (for the whole island of Britain lies over against and parallel to the whole of Celtica and stretches lengthwise about five thousand stadia); on its eastern side it is bounded by the River Rhine, whose stream runs parallel to the Pyrenees; and on its southern side it is bounded, on the stretch that begins at the Rhine, by the Alps, and by our sea itself in the region where the so‑called Galatic Gulf widens out — the region in which Massilia and Narbo are situated, very famous cities. Opposite this gulf, and facing in the opposite direction, lies another gulf that is also called Galatic Gulf; and it looks toward the north and Britain; and it is between these two gulfs that Celtica has its least breadth; for it is contracted into an isthmus of less than three thousand, but more than two thousand, stadia. Between these two gulfs a mountain range, the so‑called Cemmenus Mountain, runs at right angles to the Pyrenees and comes to an end in the very centre of the plains of Celtica. As for the Alps (which are extremely high mountains that form the arc of a circle), their convex side is turned towards the plains of Celtica just mentioned and the Cemmenus Mountain, while their concave side is turned toward Liguria and Italy. Many tribes occupy these mountains, all Celtic except the Ligurians; but while these Ligurians belong to a different race, still they are similar to the Celts in their modes of life. They live in the part of the Alps that joins the Apennines, and they occupy a part of the Apennines also. The Apennines form a mountain range running through the whole length of Italy from the north to the south and ending at the Strait of Sicily.

29 The first parts of Italy are the plains that lie at the foot of the Alps and extend as far as the head of the Adriatic and the regions near it, but the rest of Italy is a narrow and long promontory in the form of a peninsula, through which, as I have said, the Apennines extend lengthwise for about seven thousand stadia, but with varying breadth. The seas that make Italy a peninsula are the Tyrrhenian (which begins at the Ligurian Sea), the Ausonian, and the Adriatic.

30 After Italy and Celtica come the remaining, or eastern, countries of Europe, which are cut in two by the River Ister. This river flows from the west towards the east and the Euxine Sea; it leaves on its left the whole of Germany (which begins at the Rhine), all the country of the Getans, and the country of the Tyregetans, Bastarnians, and Sarmatians as far as the River Tanaïs and Lake Maeotis; and it leaves on its right the whole of Thrace, Illyria, and, lastly and finally, Greece. The islands which I have already mentioned lie off Europe; outside the Pillars: Gades, the Cassiterides, and the Britannic islands; and inside the Pillars: the Gymnesiae and other little islands of the Phoenicians, and those off Massilia and Liguria, and the islands of Italy up to the Islands of Aeolus and to Sicily, and all the islands round about Epirus and Greece and as far as Macedonia and the Thracian Chersonese.

31 After the Tanaïs and Lake Maeotis come the regions of Asia — the Cis-Tauran regions which are contiguous to the Tanaïs and Lake Maeotis, and following upon these regions come the Trans-Tauran regions. For since Asia is divided in two by the Taurus Range, which stretches from the capes of Pamphylia to the eastern sea at India and farther Scythia, the Greeks gave the name of Cis-Tauran to that part of the continent which looks towards the north, and the name of Trans-Tauran to that part which looks towards the south; accordingly, the parts of Asia that are contiguous to lake Maeotis and the Tanaïs belong to the Cis-Tauran regions. The first of these regions are those that lie between the Caspian Sea and the Euxine Pontus, and they come to an end, in one direction, at the Tanaïs and the ocean, that is, both at the exterior ocean and at that part of it which forms the Hyrcanian Sea, and, in the other direction, at the isthmus, at the point where the distance from the head of the Pontus to the Caspian Sea is least. Then come those Cis-Tauran regions that are north of Hyrcania, which reach all the way to the sea at India and farther Scythia, and to Mt. Imaeus. These regions inhabited, partly, by the Maeotic Sarmatians, and by the Sarmatians that dwell between the Hyrcanian Sea and the Pontus as far as the Caucasus and the countries of the Iberians and the Albanians, and by Scythians, Achaeans, Zygians, and Heniochians; and, partly, beyond the Hyrcanian Sea, by Scythians, Hyrcanians, Parthians, Bactrians, Sogdianians, and also by the inhabitants of the regions that lie beyond India on the north. And to the south of the Hyrcanian Sea, in part, and of the whole of the isthmus between this sea and the Pontus lie the greater part of Armenia, Colchis, the whole of Cappadocia up to the Euxine and to the Tibaranian tribes, and also the so‑called Cis-Halys country, which embraces, first next to the Pontus and to the Propontis, Paphlagonia, Bithynia, Mysia, the so‑called "Phrygia on the Hellespont" (of which the Troad is a part); and, secondly, next to the Aegean and to the sea that forms its continuation, Aeolis, Ionia, Caria, Lycia; and, thirdly, in the interior, Phrygia (of which both the so‑called "Galatia of the Gallo-Grecians" and "Phrygia Epictetus" form a part), Lycaonia, and Lydia.

32 Following immediately upon the Cis-Tauran peoples come the peoples that inhabit the mountains: the Paropamisadae, the tribes of the Parthians, of the Medes, of the Armenians, and of the Cilicians, and the Cataonians and the Pisidians. Next after the mountaineers come the Trans-Tauran regions. The first of them is India, which is the greatest of all nations and the happiest in lot, a nation whose confines reach both to the eastern sea and to the southern sea of the Atlantic. In this southern sea, off the coast of India, lies an island, Taprobane, which is not less than Britain. Then, if we turn from India toward the western regions and keep the mountains on our right, we come to a vast country, which owing to the poverty of the soil, furnishes only a wretched livelihood to men who are wholly barbarians and belong to different races. They call this country Aria, and it extends from the mountains p499as far as Gedrosia and Carmania. Next after Aria, toward the sea, are Persia, Susiana, Babylonia (countries which reach down to the Persian Sea), and the small tribes that dwell on the frontiers of those countries; while the peoples who live near the mountains or in the mountains themselves are the Parthians, the Medes, the Armenians and the tribe adjoining them, and the Mesopotamians. After Mesopotamia come the countries this side of the Euphrates. These are: the whole of Arabia Felix (which is bounded by the whole extent of the Arabian Gulf and by the Persian Gulf), and all the country occupied by the Tent-Dwellers and by the Sheikh-governed tribes (which reaches to the Euphrates and Syria). Then come the peoples who live on the other side of the Arabian Gulf and as far as the Nile, namely, the Ethiopians and the Arabs, and the Egyptians who live next to them, and the Syrians, and the Cilicians (including the so‑called "Trachiotae"), and finally the Pamphylians.

33 After Asia comes Libya, which is a continuation of Egypt and Ethiopia. Its shore that lies opposite to us runs in a straight line almost to the Pillars, beginning at Alexandria, except for the Syrtes and perhaps other moderate bends of gulfs and projections of the promontories that form these gulfs; but its coastline on the ocean from Ethiopia to a certain point is approximately parallel to the former line, and then it draws in on the south and forms a sharp promontory, which projects slightly outside the Pillars and thus gives to Libya approximately p501the shape of a trapezium. And Libya is — as the others show, and indeed as Cnaeus Piso, who was once the prefect of that country, told me — like a leopard's skin; for it is spotted with inhabited places that are surrounded by waterless and desert land. The Egyptians call such inhabited places "auases." But though Libya is thus peculiar, it has some other peculiarities, which give it a threefold division. In the first place, most of its coastline that lies opposite to us is extremely fertile, and especially Cyrenaea and the country about Carthage up to Maurusia and to the Pillars of Heracles; secondly, even its coastline on the ocean affords only moderate sustenance, and thirdly, its interior region, which produces silphium, affords only a wretched sustenance, being, for the most part, a rocky and sandy desert; and the same is also true of the straight prolongation of this region through Ethiopia, the Troglodyte Country, Arabia, and Gedrosia where the Fish-Eaters live. The most of the peoples of Libya are unknown to us; for not much of it is visited by armies, nor yet by men of outside tribes; and not only do very few of the natives from far inland ever visit us, but what they tell is not trustworthy or complete either. But still the following is based on what they say. They call the most southerly peoples Ethiopians; those who live next north of the Ethiopians they call, in the main, Garamantians, Pharusians, and Nigritans; those who live still north of these latter, Gaetulans; those who live near the sea, or even on the seacoast, next to Egypt and as far as Cyrenaea, Marmaridans; while they call those beyond Cyrenaea and the Syrtes, Psyllians, Nasamonians, and certain of the Gaetulans, and then Asbystians and Byzacians, whose territory reaches to that of Carthage. The territory of Carthage is large, and beyond it comes that of the Nomads; the best known of these are called, some of them, Masylians, and others Masaesylians. And last of all come the Maurusians. The whole country from Carthage to the Pillars is fertile, though full of wild beasts, as is also the whole of the interior of Libya. So it is not unlikely that some of these peoples were also called Nomads for the reason that in early times they were not able to cultivate the soil on account of the multitude of wild animals. But the Nomads of to‑day not only excel in the skill of hunting (and the Romans take a hand in this with them because of their fondness for fights with wild animals), but they have mastered farming as well as the chase. This, then, is what I have to say about the continents.

34 It remains for me to speak about the "climata" (which is likewise a subject that involves only a general sketch), taking my beginning at those lines which I have called "elements" — I mean the two lines that mark off the greatest length and breadth of the inhabited world, but more particularly the breadth-line. Astronomers, of course, must treat this subject more at length, just as Hipparchus has treated it. For, as he himself says, he recorded the different aspects of the celestial bodies for all the different regions of the earth that are found in our Fourth — I mean the regions between the equator and the north pole. The geographer, however, need not busy himself with what lies outside of our inhabited world; and even in the case of the parts of the inhabited world the man of affairs need not be taught the nature and number of the different aspects of the celestial bodies, because this is dry reading for him. But it will be sufficient for me to set forth the significant and simplest differences noted by Hipparchus, taking as a hypothesis, just as he does, that the magnitude of the earth is two hundred and fifty-two thousand stadia, the figure rendered by Eratosthenes also. For the variation from this reckoning will not be large, so far as the celestial phenomena are concerned, in the distances between the inhabited places. If, then, we cut the greatest circle of the earth into three hundred and sixty sections, each of these sections will have seven hundred stadia. Now it is this that Hipparchus uses as a measure for the distances to be fixed on the aforesaid meridian through Meroë. So he begins with the inhabitants of the equator, and after that, proceeding along the said meridian to the inhabited places, one after another, with an interval each time of seven hundred stadia, he tries to give the celestial phenomena for each place; but for me the equator is not the place to begin. For if these regions are inhabitable, as some think, they constitute a peculiar kind of inhabited country, stretching as a narrow strip through the centre of the country that is uninhabitable on account of the heat, and not forming a part of our inhabited world. But the geographer takes into his purview only this our inhabited world; and its limits are marked off on the south by the parallel through the Cinnamon-producing Country and on the north by the parallel through Ierne; and, keeping in mind the scope of my geography, I am neither required to enumerate all the many inhabited places that the said intervening distance suggests to me, nor to fix all the celestial phenomena; but I must begin with the southern parts, as Hipparchus does.

35 Now Hipparchus says that the people who live on the parallel that runs through the Cinnamon-producing Country (this parallel is three thousand stadia south of Meroë and from it the equator is distant eight thousand eight hundred stadia), have their home very nearly midway between the equator and the summer tropic which passes through Syene; for Syene is five thousand stadia distant from Meroë. The Cinnamon-producing Country are the first to whom the Little Bear is wholly inside the arctic circle and always visible; for the bright star at the tip of the tail, the most southerly in the constellation, is situated on the very circumference of the arctic circle, so that it touches the horizon. The Arabian Gulf lies approximately parallel to the meridian in question, to the east of it; and where this gulf pours outside into the exterior sea is the Cinnamon-producing Country, where in ancient times they used to hunt the elephant. But this parallel passes outside the inhabited world, running, on the one side, to the south of Taprobane, or else to its farthermost inhabitants, and, on the other side, to the most southerly regions of Libya.

36 In the regions of Meroë, and of the Ptolemaïs in the country of the Troglodytes, the longest day has thirteen equinoctial hours; and this inhabited country is approximately midway between the equator and the parallel that runs through Alexandria (the stretch to the equator being eighteen hundred stadia more). And the parallel through Meroë passes, on the one side, through unknown regions, and, on the other, through the capes of India. At Syene, at Berenice on the Arabian Gulf, and in the country of the Troglodytes, the sun stands in the zenith at the time of the summer solstice, and the longest day has thirteen and one half equinoctial hours; and almost the whole of the Great Bear is also visible in the arctic circle, and one of the stars in the square. And the parallel through Syene passes, on the one side, through the country of the Fish-Eaters in Gedrosia, and through India, and, on the other side, through the regions that are almost five thousand stadia south of Cyrene.

37 In all the regions that lie between the tropic and the equator the shadows fall in both directions, that is, toward the north and toward the north; but, beginning at the regions of Syene and the summer tropic, the shadows fall toward the north at noon; and the inhabitants of the former region are called Amphiscians, and of the latter, Heteroscians. There is still another distinctive characteristic of the regions beneath the tropic, which I have mentioned before in speaking of the zones, namely, the soil itself is very sandy, silphium-producing, and dry, whereas the regions to the south of it are well-watered and very fruitful.

38 In the region approximately four hundred stadia farther south than the parallel through Alexandria and Cyrene, where the longest day has fourteen equinoctial hours, Arcturus stands in the zenith, though he declines a little toward the south. At Alexandria the relation of the index of the sun-dial to the shadow on the day of the equinox is five to three. But the region in question is thirteen hundred stadia farther south than Carthage — if it be true that at Carthage the relation of the index to the shadow on the day of the equinox is as eleven to seven. But our parallel through Alexandria passes, in one direction, through Cyrene and the regions nine hundred stadia south of Carthage and central Maurusia, and, in the other direction, it passes through Egypt, Coelesyria, Upper Syria, Babylonia, Susiana, Persia, Carmania, Upper Gedrosia, and India.

39 At the Ptolemaïs in Phoenicia, at Sidon, and at Tyre, and the regions thereabouts, the longest day has fourteen and one quarter equinoctial hours; and these regions are about sixteen hundred stadia farther north than Alexandria and about seven hundred stadia farther north than Carthage. But in the Peloponnesus, in the regions about the centre of Rhodes, about Xanthus of Lycia or a little south of Xanthus, and also in the regions four hundred stadia south of Syracuse, — here, I say, the longest day has fourteen and one half equinoctial hours. These regions are three thousand six hundred and forty stadia distant in latitude from Alexandria; and, according to Eratosthenes, this parallel runs through Caria, Lycaonia, Cataonia, Media, the Caspian Gates, and the parts of India along the Caucasus.

40 At the Alexandria in the Troad and the regions thereabouts, at Amphipolis, at the Apollonia in Epirus, and in the regions south of Rome but north of Neapolis, the longest day has fifteen equinoctial hours. This parallel is about seven thousand stadia north of the parallel through the Alexandria in Egypt, and more than twenty-eight thousand eight hundred stadia distant from the equator, and three thousand four hundred stadia distant from the parallel through Rhodes, and one thousand five hundred stadia south of Byzantium, Nicaea, Massilia, and the regions thereabouts; and a little north of it lies the parallel through Lysimachia, which, says Eratosthenes, passes through Mysia, Paphlagonia, Sinope, and the regions thereabouts, Hyrcania, and Bactra.

41 At Byzantium and the regions thereabouts the longest day has fifteen and one quarter equinoctial hours, and the ratio of the index of the sun-dial to the shadow at the time of summer solstice is that of one hundred and twenty to forty-two minus one fifth. These regions are about four thousand nine hundred stadia distant from the parallel through the centre of Rhodes and about thirty thousand three hundred stadia distant from the equator. If you sail into the Pontus and proceed about fourteen hundred stadia toward the north, the longest day becomes fifteen and one half equinoctial hours. These regions are equidistant from the pole and from the equator, and there the arctic circle is in the zenith; and the star on the neck of Cassiopeia lies on the arctic circle, while the star on the right elbow of Perseus is a little north of it.

42 In the regions about three thousand eight hundred stadia north of Byzantium the longest day has sixteen equinoctial hours; and therefore Cassiopeia moves within the arctic circle. These are the regions about the Borysthenes and the southern parts of Lake Maeotis, and they are about thirty-four thousand one hundred stadia distant from the equator. There the northern part of the horizon is dimly illuminated by the sun throughout almost the entire night in the summer-time, the sun's light making a reverse movement from west back to east. For the summer tropic is seven-twelfths of a zodiacal sign distant from the horizon; and accordingly the sun at midnight is just that distance below the horizon. And in our own regions also, when the sun is so far as that from the horizon before sunrise and after sunset, it illumines the skies in the east and in the west. And in those regions in the winter-days the sun attains an elevation of at most nine cubits. Eratosthenes says that these regions are a little more than twenty-three thousand stadia from Meroë, since the distance from Meroë to the parallel through the Hellespont is eighteen thousand stadia, and thence to the Borysthenes, five thousand. In the regions about six thousand three hundred stadia distant from Byzantium north of Lake Maeotis, in the winter-days, the sun attains an elevation of at most six cubits, and there the longest day has seventeen equinoctial hours.

43 Since the regions beyond already lie near territory rendered uninhabitable by the cold, they are without value to the geographer. But if any one wishes to learn about these regions also, and about all the other astronomical matters that are treated by Hipparchus, but omitted by me as being already too clearly treated to be discussed in the present treatise, let him get them from Hipparchus. And what Poseidonius says about the Periscians and Amphiscians and Heteroscians is too clear to be repeated here; nevertheless, I must mention these terms at sufficient length to explain the idea and to show wherein it is useful for geography and wherein useless. Now since the point in question concerns the shadows cast by the sun, and since, on the evidence of our senses, the sun moves along a circle parallel to the revolution of the universe, it follows that, wherever each revolution of the universe produces a day and a night (because at one time the sun moves beneath the earth and at another time above the earth), the people are thought of as either Amphiscians or Heteroscians, — as Amphiscians, all whose shadows at noon sometimes fall toward the north, namely, when the sun strikes from the south the index (which is perpendicular to the horizontal surface beneath), and, at other times, fall in the opposite direction, namely, when the sun revolves round to the opposite side (this is the result for only those who live between the tropics), but as Heteroscians, all whose shadows either always fall toward the north, as is the case with us, or always toward the south, as is the case with the inhabitants of the other temperate zone. And this is the result for every man whose arctic circle is smaller than the tropic circle. But wherever the arctic circle is the same as, or greater than, the tropic, there the Periscians begin and they extend to the people who live beneath the pole.For since, in those regions, the sun moves above the earth throughout the whole revolution of the universe, it is clear that the shadow will move in a circle round the index of the sun-dial; and that is the reason why Poseidonius called them Periscians, although they are non-existent as far as geography is concerned; for all those regions uninhabitable on account of the cold, as I have already stated in my criticism of Pytheas. Therefore I need not concern myself, either, with the extent of this uninhabited region, apart from assuming that those regions which have the tropic-arctic circle lie beneath the circle described by the pole of the zodiac in the diurnal revolution of the universe — that is, on the hypothesis that the distance between the equator and the tropic is four-sixtieths of the greatest circle.

 
4 Transalpine Gaul 6 71 1:50
4 - 1 Transalpine Gaul: Narbonensis

1 Next, in order,1 comes Transalpine Celtica. I have already indicated roughly both the shape and the size of this country; but now I must speak of it in detail. Some, as we know, have divided it into three parts, calling its inhabitants Aquitani, Belgae, and Celtae. The Aquitani, they said, are wholly different, not only in respect to their language but also in respect to their physique — more like the Iberians than the Galatae; while the rest of the inhabitants are Galatic in appearance, although not all speak the same language, but some make slight variations in their languages. Furthermore, their governments and their modes of life are slightly different. Now by "Aquitani" and "Celtae" they meant the two peoples (separated from each other by the Cemmenus Mountain) who live next to the Pyrenees; for, as has already been said, this Celtica is bounded on the west by the Pyrenees Mountains, which join the sea on either side, that is, both the inner and the outer sea; on the east, by the River Rhenus, which is parallel to the Pyrenees; as for the parts on the north and the south, those on the north are surrounded by the ocean (beginning at the northern headlands of the Pyrenees) as far as the mouths of the Rhenus, while those on the opposite side are surrounded by the sea that is about Massilia and Narbo, and by the Alps (beginning at Liguria) as far as the sources of the Rhenus. The Cemmenus Mountain has been drawn at right angles to the Pyrenees, through the midst of the plains; and it comes to an end about the centre of these plains, near Lugdunum, with an extent of about two thousand stadia. So, then, by "Aquitani" they meant the people who occupy the northern parts of the Pyrenees and, from the country of the Cemmenus on to the ocean, the parts this side the Garumna River; by "Celtae" they meant the people whose territory extends in the other direction; — down to the sea that is about Massilia and Narbo — and also joins some of the Alpine Mountains; and by "Belgae" they meant the rest of the people who live beside the Rhenus and the Alps. Thus the Deified Caesar, also, has put it in his "Commentaries." Augustus Caesar, however, divided Transalpine Celtica into four parts: the Celtae he designated as belonging to the province of Narbonitis; the Aquitani he designated as the former Caesar had already done, although he added to them fourteen tribes of the peoples who dwell between the Garumna and the Liger Rivers; the rest of the country he divided into two parts: one part he included within the boundaries of Lugdunum as far as the upper districts of the Rhenus, while the other he included within the boundaries of the Belgae. Now although the geographer should tell of all the physical and ethnic distinctions which have been made, whenever they are worth recording, yet, as for the diversified political divisions which are made by the rulers (for they suit their government to the particular times), it is sufficient if one state them merely in a summary way; and the scientfic treatment of them should be left to others.

2 Now the whole of this country is watered by rivers: some of them flow down from the Alps, the others from the Cemmenus and the Pyrenees; and some of them are discharged into the ocean, the others into Our Sea. Further, the districts through which they flow are plains, for the most part, and hilly lands with navigable water-courses. The river-beds are by nature so well situated with reference to one another that there is transportation from either sea into the other; for the cargoes are transported only a short distance by land, with an easy transit through plains, but most of the way they are carried on the rivers — on some into the interior, on the others to the sea. The Rhodanus offers an advantage in this regard; for not only is it a stream of many tributaries, as has been stated, but it also connects with Our Sea, which is better than the outer sea, and traverses a country which is the most favoured of all in that part of the world. For example, the same fruits are produced by the whole of the province of Narbonitis as by Italy. As you proceed towards the north and the Cemmenus Mountain, the olive-planted and fig-bearing land indeed ceases, but the other things still grow. Also the vine, as you thus proceed, does not easily bring its fruit to maturity. All the rest of the country produces grain in large quantities, and millet, and nuts, and all kinds of live stock. And none of the country is untilled except parts where tilling is precluded by swamps and woods. Yet these parts too are thickly peopled — more because of the largeness of the population13 than because of the industry of the people; for the women are not only prolific, but good nurses as well, while the men are fighters rather than farmers. But at the present time they are compelled to till the soil, now that they have laid down their arms. However, although I am here speaking only in a general way of the whole of outer Celtica, let me now take each of the fourth parts separately and tell about them, describing them only in rough outline. And first, Narbonitis.

3 The figure of Narbonitis is approximately a parallelogram, since, on the west, it is traced by the Pyrenees, and, on the north, by the Cemmenus; as for the remaining sides, the southern is formed by the sea between the Pyrenees and Massilia, the eastern by the Alps, partly, and also by the intervening distance (taken in a straight line with the Alps) between the Alps and those foot-hills of the Cemmenus that reach down to the Rhodanus and form a right angle with the aforesaid straight line from the Alps. To the southern part there belongs an addition to the aforesaid figure, I mean the seaboard that follows next which is inhabited by the Massiliotes and the Sallyes, as far as the Ligures, to those parts that lie towards Italy and to the Varus River. This river is, as I stated before,16 the boundary between this Province and Italy. It is only a small river in summer, but in winter it broadens out to a breadth of as much as seven stadia. Now from this river the seaboard extends as far as the temple of the Pyrenaean Aphrodite. This temple, moreover, marks the boundary between the province of Narbonitis and the Iberian country, although some represent the place where the Trophies of Pompey are as marking the boundary between Iberia and Celtica. The distance thence to Narbo is sixty-three miles, from here to Nemausus eighty-eight, from Nemausus through Ugernum and Tarusco to the hot waters that are called "Sextian," which are near Massilia, fifty-three, and thence to Antipolis and the Varus River seventy-three; so that the sum total amounts to two hundred and seventy-seven miles. Some, however, have recorded the distance from the temple of Aphrodite on to the Varus River as two thousand six hundred stadia, while others add two hundred more; for there is disagreement with respect to the distances. But if you go by the other road — that leads through the country of the Vocontii and that of Cottius: from Nemausus the road is identical with the former road 179as far as Ugernum and Tarusco, but thence it runs across the Druentia River and through Caballio sixty-three miles to the frontiers of the Vocontii and the beginning of the ascent of the Alps; and thence, again, ninety-nine miles to the other frontiers of the Vocontii, at the country of Cottius, to the village of Ebrodunum; then, another ninety-nine through the village of Brigantium and Scingomagus and the pass that leads over the Alps to Ocelum, the end of the land of Cottius. Moreover, from Scingomagus on you begin to call the country Italy; and the distance from here to Ocelum is twenty-eight miles.

4 Massilia was founded by the Phocaeans,a and it is situated on a rocky place. Its harbour lies at the foot of a theatre-like rock which faces south. And not only is the rock itself well fortified, but also the city as a whole, though it is of considerable size. It is on the headland, however, that the Ephesium and also the temple of the Delphinian Apollo are situated. The latter is shared in common by all Ionians, whereas the Ephesium is a temple dedicated solely to the Ephesian Artemis: for when the Phocaeans were setting sail from their homeland an oracle was delivered to them, it is said, to use for their voyage a guide received from the Ephesian Artemis; accordingly, some of them put in at Ephesus and inquired in what way they might procure from the goddess what had been enjoined in a dream. Now the goddess, in a dream, it is said, had stood beside Aristarcha, one of the women held in very high honour, and commanded her to sail away with the Phocaeans, taking with her a certain reproduction which was among the sacred images; this done and the colony finally settled, they not only established the temple but also did Aristarcha the exceptional honour of appointing her priestess; further, in the colonial cities the people everywhere do this goddess honours of the first rank, and they preserve the artistic design of the "xoanon" the same, and all the other usages precisely the same as is customary in the mother-city.

5 The government under which the Massiliotes lives is aristocratic, and of all aristocracies theirs is the best ordered, since they have established an Assembly of six hundred men, who hold the honour of that office for life; these they call Timouchoi. Over the Assembly are set fifteen of its number, and to these fifteen it is given to carry on the immediate business of the government. And, in turn, three, holding the chief power, preside over the fifteen. However, a Timouchos cannot become one of these three unless he has children or is a descendant of persons who have been citizens for three generations. Their laws are Ionic, and are published to the people. They possess a country which, although planted with olive-trees and vines, is, on account of its ruggedness, too poor for grain; so that, trusting the sea rather than the land, they preferred their natural fitness for a seafaring life. 180Later, however, their valour enabled them to take in some of the surrounding plains, thanks to the same military strength by which they founded their cities, I mean their stronghold-cities, namely, first, those which they founded in Iberia as strongholds against the Iberians (they also taught the Iberians the sacred rites of the Ephesian Artemis, as practised in the fatherland, so that they sacrifice by the Greek ritual); secondly, Rhoë Agathe, as a stronghold against the barbarians who live round about the River Rhodanus; thirdly, Tauroentium, Olbia, Antipolis, and Nicaea, against the tribe of the Sallyes and against those Ligures who live in the Alps. There are also dry-docks and an armoury among the Massiliotes. In earlier times they had a good supply of ships, as well as of arms and instruments that are useful for the purposes of navigation and for sieges; and thanks to these they not only held out against the barbarians, but also acquired the Romans as friends, and many times not only themselves rendered useful service to the Romans, but also were aided by the Romans in their own aggrandizement. At any rate, Sextius, who defeated the Sallyes, after founding not very far from Massilia a city which bears his own name and that of the "hot waters" (some of which, they say, have changed to cold waters), not only settled a garrison of Romans there, but also drove back the barbarians out of the seaboard which leads from Massilia into Italy, since the Massiliotes could not entirely keep them back. Yet not even Sextius could effect more than merely this — that at those parts of the coast where there were good harbours the barbarians retired for a distance of only twelve stadia, and at the rugged parts, only eight. And the country thus abandoned by them he has given over to the Massiliotes. And in their citadel are set up great quantities of the first fruits of their victories, which they captured by defeating in naval battles those who from time to time unjustly disputed their claim to the mastery of the sea. In earlier times, then, they were exceptionally fortunate, not only in everything else, but also in their friendship with the Romans, of which one may detect many signs; what is more, the "xoanon" of that Artemis which is on the Aventine Hill was constructed by the Romans on the same artistic design as the "xoanon" which the Massiliotes have. But at the time of Pompey's sedition against Caesar they joined the conquered party and thus threw away the greater part of their prosperity. Nevertheless traces of their ancient zeal are still left among the people, especially in regard to the making of instruments and to the equipment of ships. But since, on account of the overmastery of the Romans, the barbarians who are situated beyond the Massiliotes became more and more subdued as time went on, and instead of carrying on war have already turned to civic life and farming, it may also be the case that the Massiliotes themselves no longer occupy themselves so earnestly with the pursuits aforementioned. Their present state of life makes this clear; for all the men of culture turn to the art of speaking and the study of philosophy; so that the city, although a short time ago it was given over as merely a training-school for the barbarians and was schooling the Galatae to be fond enough of the Greeks to write even their contracts in Greek, at the present time has attracted also the most notable of the Romans, if eager for knowledge, to go to school there instead of making their foreign sojourn at Athens. Seeing these men and at the same time living at peace, the Galatae are glad to adapt their leisure to such modes of life, not only as individuals, but also in a public way; at any rate, they welcome sophists, hiring some at private expense, but others in common, as cities, just as they do physicians. And the following might be set down as not the least proof of the simplicity of the modes of life, and of the self-restraint, of the Massiliotes: the maximum dowry among them is a hundred gold pieces, and five for dress, and five for golden ornaments; but more than this is not permitted. Both Caesar and the commanders who succeeded him, mindful of the former friendship, acted in moderation with reference to the wrongs done in the war, and preserved to the city the autonomy which it had had from the beginning; so that neither Massilia nor its subjects are subject to the praetors who are sent to the province. So much for Massilia.

6 While the mountainous country of the Sallyes inclines more and more from the west to the north and retires little by little from the sea, the coastline bends round to the west; but after extending a short distance from the city of the Massiliotes, about a hundred stadia, to a fair-sized promontory near some stone-quarries, the coastline then begins to curve inland and to form with the precincts of Aphrodite (that is, the headland of the Pyrenees) the Galatic Gulf, which is also called the Gulf of Massilia. The Gulf is double, for, in the same circuit, Mount Setium, with the help of the Isle of Blascon, which is situated near by, juts out and thus marks off two gulfs. Of the two gulfs, the larger, into which the mouth of the Rhodanus discharges, is again called, in the proper sense of the term, "Galatic Gulf"; the smaller is opposite Narbo and extends as far as the Pyrenees. Now Narbo lies above the outlets of the Atax and the Lake of Narbonitis, and it is the greatest of the emporiums in this country, though there is a city near the Rhodanus which is no small emporium, namely, Arelate. These emporiums are about an equal distance from each other and from the aforesaid headlands — Narbo from the precincts of Aphrodite, and Arelate from Massilia. On either side of Narbo there flow other rivers — some from the Cemmenus Mountains, the others from the Pyrenees — and they have cities to which voyages of no considerable length are made in small ships. From the Pyrenees flow both the Ruscino and the Ilibirris, each of them having a city of like name; and, as for the Ruscino, there is not only a lake near by, but also, a short distance above the sea, a marshy district, full of salt-springs, which contains the "dug mullets"; for if one digs only two or three feet and thrusts his trident down into the muddy water, it is possible to spit a fish that is notable for its size; and it feeds on the mud just as the eels do. These, then, are the rivers which flow from the Pyrenees between Narbo and the precincts of Aphrodite; while on the other size of Narbo there flow to the sea from the Cemmenus (from which the Atax flows) both the Orbis and the Arauris. On the former of these rivers is situated Baetera, a safe city, near Narbo, and on the other, Agathe, founded by the Massiliotes.

7 Now the aforesaid seaboard has not merely one marvel, namely, that of the "dug mullets," but also another which one might say is greater than that, about which I shall now speak: Between Massilia and the outlets of the Rhodanus there is a plain, circular in shape, which is as far distant from the sea as a hundred stadia, and is also as much as that in diameter. It is called Stony Plain from the fact that it is full of stones as large as you can hold in your hand, although from beneath the stones there is a growth of wild herbage which affords abundant pasturage for cattle. In the middle of the plain stand water and salt springs, and also lumps of salt. Now although the whole of the country which lies beyond, as well as this, is exposed to the winds, the Black North, a violent and chilly wind, descends upon this plain with exceptional severity; at any rate, it is said that some of the stones are swept and rolled along, and that by the blasts the people are dashed from their vehicles and stripped of both weapons and clothing. Now Aristotle says that the stones, after being vomited to the surface by those earthquakes that are called "Brastae," rolled together into the hollow places of the districts. But Poseidonius says that, since it was a lake, it solidified while the waves were dashing, and because of this was parted into a number of stones — as are the river-rocks and the pebbles on the sea-shore; and by reason of the similarity of origin, the former, like the latter, are both smooth and equal in size. And an account of the cause has been given by both men. Now the argument in both treatises is plausible; for of necessity the stones that have been assembled together in this way cannot separately, one by one, either have changed from liquid to solid or have been detached from great masses of rock that received a succession of fractures. What was difficult to account for, however, Aeschylus, who closely studied the accounts or else received them from another source, removed to the realm of myth. At any rate, Prometheus, in Aeschylus' poem, in detailing to Heracles the route of the roads from the Caucasus to the Hesperides says: "And thou wilt come to the undaunted host of the Ligurians, where thou wilt not complain of battle, I clearly know, — impetuous fighter though thou art; because there it is fated that even thy missiles shall fail thee, and no stone from the ground shalt thou be able to choose, since the whole district is soft ground. But Zeus, seeing thee without means to fight, will have pity upon thee, and, supplying a cloud with a snow-like shower of round stones, will put the soil under cover; and with these stones, thereupon, thou wilt pelt, and easily push thy way through, the Ligurian host." Just as if it were not better, says Poseidonius, for Zeus to have cast the stones upon the Ligures themselves and to have buried the whole host than to represent Heracles as in need of so many stones. Now, as for the number ("so many"), he needed them all if indeed the poet was speaking with reference to a throng that was very numerous; so that in this, at least, the writer of the myth is more plausible than the man who revises the myth. Furthermore, by saying "it is fated," the poet forbids one to find fault in a captious way with anything else in the p189passage — "captious," I say, for one might also find in the discussions on "Providence" and "Presdestination" many instances among the affairs of men and among the natural occurrences of such a kind that, in reference to them, one might say that it were much better for this to have taken place than that; for example, for Egypt to be well-watered by rains, rather than that Ethiopia should soak its soil with water; and for Paris to have met his reversal by shipwreck on the voyage to Sparta, instead of later carrying off Helen and paying the penalty to those whom he had wronged, after he had effected all that ruin of Greeks and barbarians — a ruin which Euripides attributed to Zeus: "For Zeus, the father, willing not only evil for the Trojans but also sorrow for the Greeks, resolved upon all this."

8 With respect to the mouths of the Rhodanus: Polybius reproves Timaeus by saying that there are not five but two; Artemidorus says three; Marius, later, seeing that, in consequence of the silting, its mouths were becoming stopped up and difficult of entrance, cut a new channel, and, upon admitting the greater part of the river here, presented it to the Massiliotes as a meed of their valour in the war against the Ambrones and Toÿgeni; and the wealth they carried off from this source was considerable, because they exacted tolls from all who sailed up and all who sailed down it. Nevertheless, the mouths still remain difficult of entrance for ships, not only on account of the impetuosity of the river and the silting up, but also of the lowness of the country, so that in foul weather one cannot descry the land even when close to it. Wherefore the Massiliotes set up towers as beacons, because they were in every way making the country their own; and, in truth, they also established a temple of the Ephesian Artemis there, after first enclosing a piece of land which is made an island by the mouths of the river. Beyond the outlets of the Rhodanus lies a sea-water marsh; it is called "Stomalimne," and it has a very great quantity of oysters, and, besides that, is well supplied with fish. This lake was by some counted in with the mouths of the Rhodanus, and particularly by those who said there were seven mouths, although they were right in neither the latter nor the former; for there is a mountain intervening which separates the lake from the river. This, then, is approximately the nature and the extent of the seaboard from the Pyrenees to Massilia.

9 Again, the seaboard which extends from Massilia to the Varus River and to those Ligures who live in the region of the river has not only the following cities of the Massiliotes, namely, Tauroentium, Olbia, Antipolis, and Nicaea, but also that naval-station of Caesar Augustus which is called Forum Julium. This naval-station is situated between Olbia and Antipolis, at a distance of about six hundred stadia from Massilia. The Varus is between Antipolis and Nicaea, at a distance of about twenty stadia from the latter and sixty from the former, so that, according to what is now the declared boundary, Nicaea becomes a part of Italy, although it belongs to the Massiliotes; for the Massiliotes founded these places as strongholds against those barbarians who were situated beyond, wishing at least to keep free the sea, since the land was controlled by the barbarians; for it is mountainous and also strong for defence, since, although next to Massilia it leaves a strip of level land of moderate width, yet as you proceed towards the east it squeezes the strip off altogether towards the sea, and scarcely leaves the road itself passable. Now the first of these districts are occupied by the Sallyes, but the last by those Ligures whose territory connects with Italy, concerning whom I shall speak hereafter. But at present I need add only this, that, although Antipolis is situated among the parts that belong to Narbonitis, and Nicaea among those that belong to Italy, Nicaea remains subject to the Massiliotes and belongs to the Province, while Antipolis is classed among the Italiote cities, having been so adjudged in a suit against the Massiliotes and thereby freed from their orders.

10 Lying off these narrow stretches of coast, if we begin at Massilia, are the five Stoechades Islands, three of them of considerable size, but two quite small; they are tilled by Massiliotes. In early times the Massiliotes had also a garrison, which they placed there to meet the onsets of the pirates, whence the islands were well supplied with harbours. Next, after the Stoechades, are the islands of Planasia and Lero, which have colonial settlements. In Lero there is also a hero-temple, namely, that in honour of Lero; this island lies off Antipolis. And, besides, there are isles that are not worth mentioning, some off Massilia itself and the others off the rest of the aforesaid shore. As for the harbours, the one that is at the naval-station is of considerable size, and so is that of the Massiliotes, whereas the others are only of moderate size; among these latter is the harbour that is called Oxybius, so named after the Oxybian Ligures. This is what I have to say about the seaboard.

11 As for the country that lies beyond the seaboard, its geographical limits are, in a general way, traced by the mountains that lie round about it, and also by the rivers — by the Rhodanus River especially, for it not only is the largest but also affords the most navigation inland, since the number of the streams from which it is filled is large. However, I must tell about all these regions in order. If you begin, then, at Massilia, and proceed towards the country that is between the Alps and the Rhodanus: Up to the Druentia River the country is inhabited by the Sallyes for a distance of five hundred stadia; but if you cross the river by ferry into the city of Caballio, the whole country next thereafter belongs to the Cavari, up to the confluence of the Isar with the Rhodanus; this is also approximately where the Cemmenus Mountain joins the Rhodanus; the length of your journey from Druentia up to this place is seven hundred stadia. Now the Sallyes occupy — I mean in their own country — not only the plains but also the mountains that lie above the plains, whereas above the Cavari are situated the Vocontii, Tricorii, Iconii, and Medulli. Between the Druentia and the Isar there are still other rivers which flow from the Alps to the Rhodanus, namely, two that flow round a city of the Cavaran Vari, and coming together in a common stream empty into the Rhodanus; and a third, the Sulgas, which mingles its waters with the Rhodanus near the city of Undalum, where in a great battle Gnaeus Ahenobarbus turned many myriads of Celti to flight. And there are in the intervening space the cities of Avenio, Arausio, and Aeria — "an 'Aeria' in reality," says Artemidorus, "because it is situated on a lofty elevation." All the country, however, is level and good for pasturage, except that the stretch from Aeria to Durio has mountainous passes that are narrow and wooded. But where the Isar River and the Rhodanus and the Cemmenus Mountain meet, Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus, with less than thirty thousand men all told, cut down two hundred thousand Celti; and on the spot he set up a trophy of white marble, and also two temples, one in honour of Ares, the other in honour of Heracles. From the Isar to Vienna, the metropolis of the Allobroges, situated on the Rhodanus, the distance is three hundred and twenty stadia. Near Vienna, and beyond it, is situated Lugdunum, at which the Arar and the Rhodanus mingle with one another; and the distance to Lugdunum in stadia is, if you go by foot through the territory of the Allobroges, about two hundred, but if by voyage up the river, slightly more than that. Formerly the Allobroges kept up warfare with many myriads of men, whereas now they till the plains and the glens that are in the Alps, and all of them live in villages, except that the most notable of them, inhabitants of Vienna (formerly a village, but called, nevertheless, the "metropolis" of the tribe), have built it up into a city. It is situated on the Rhodanus. This river runs from the Alps in great volume and impetuosity — since on its way out, while passing through the Lemenna Lake, its stream is clearly visible for many stadia. And after coming down into the plains of the country of the Allobroges and Segusiavi, it meets the Arar at Lugdunum, a city of the Segusiavi. The Arar, too, flows from the Alps, since it separates the Sequani from the Aedui and the Lingones; then, later, taking on the waters of the Dubis — a navigable river that runs from the same mountains — it prevails over the Dubis with its name, and though made up of both mingles with the Rhodanus as the "Arar." And, in its turn, the Rhodanus prevails, and runs to Vienna. So the result is, that at first the three rivers run northwards, and then westwards; and then, immediately after they have joined together into one bed, the stream again takes another turn and runs a southerly course as far as its outlets (although before this it has received the other rivers), and from there begins to make the remainder of its course as far as the sea. Such, then, is approximately the nature of the country which lies between the Alps and the Rhodanus.

12 As for the country which lies on the other side of the river, most of it is occupied by those Volcae who are called Arecomisci. Narbo is spoken of as the naval-station of these people alone, though it would be fairer to add "and of the rest of Celtica" — so greatly has it surpassed the others in the number of people who use it as a trade-centre. Now, although the Volcae border on the Rhodanus, with the Sallyes and also the Cavari stretching along parallel to them on the opposite side of the river, the name of the Cavari prevails, and people are already calling by that name all the barbarians in that part of the country — no, they are no longer barbarians, but are, for the most part, transformed to the type of the Romans, both in their speech and in their modes of living, and some of them in their civic life as well. Again, situated alongside the Arecomisci as far as the Pyrenees, are other tribes, which are without repute and small. Now the metropolis of the Arecomisci is Nemausus, which, although it comes considerably short of Narbo in its throng of foreigners and of merchants, surpasses Narbo in that of citizens; for it has, subject to its authority, twenty-four villages, which are exceptional in their supply of strong men, of stock like its own, and contribute towards its expenses; and it has also what is called the "Latin right," so that those who have been thought worthy of the offices of aedile and quaestor at Nemausus are by that preferment Roman citizens, and, on account of this fact, this tribe too is not subject to the orders of the praetors who are sent out from Rome.56 The city is situated on the road that leads from Iberia into Italy, which, although it is easy to travel in summer, is muddy and also flooded by the rivers in winter and spring. Now some of the streams are crossed by ferries, others by bridges — some made of timber, others of stone. But it is the torrents that cause the annoying difficulties that result from the waters, since, after the melting away of the snows, they sometimes rush down from the Alps even till the summer-time. Of the aforesaid road, the branch57 that leads straight to the Alps is, as I stated, the short cut through the territory of the Vocontii, whereas that through the Massilian and Ligurian seaboard is indeed longer, although the passes it affords over into Italy are easier since the mountains begin to lower there. The distance of Nemausus from the Rhodanus — reckoning from a point opposite the town of Tarusco, on the other side of the river — is about a hundred stadia; but from Narbo, seven hundred and twenty. Again, in territory that joins the Cemmenus Mountain, and that takes in also the southern side of the mountain as far as its summits, there live that people of the Volcae who are called Tectosages and also certain others. About these others I shall speak later on.

13 The people who are called Tectosages closely approach the Pyrenees, though they also reach over small parts of the northern side of the Cemmenus; and the land they occupy is rich in gold. It appears that at one time they were so powerful and had so large a stock of strong men that, when a sedition broke out in their midst, they drove a considerable number of their own people out of the homeland; again, that other persons from other tribes made common lot with these exiles; and that among these are also those people who have taken possession of that part of Phrygia which has a common boundary with Cappadocia and the Paphlagonians.59 Now as proof of this we have the people who are still, even at the present time, called Tectosages; for, since there are three tribes, one of them — the one that lives about the city of Ancyra — is called "the tribe of the Tectosages," while the remaining two are the Trocmi and the Tolistobogii. As for these latter peoples, although the fact of their racial kinship with the Tectosages indicates that they emigrated from Celtica, I am unable to tell from what districts they set forth; for I have not learned of any Trocmi or Tolistobogii who now live beyond the Alps, or within them, or this side of them. But it is reasonable to suppose that nothing has been left of them in Celtica on account of their thoroughgoing migrations — just as is the case with several other peoples. For example, some say that the second Brennus who made an invasion against Delphi was a Prausan, but I am unable to say where on earth the Prausans formerly lived, either. And it is further said that the Tectosages shared in the expedition to Delphi; and even the treasures that were found among them in the city of Tolosa by Caepio, a general of the Romans, were, it is said, a part of the valuables that were taken from Delphi, although the people, in trying to consecrate them and propitiate the god, added thereto out of their personal properties, and it was on account of having laid hands on them that Caepio ended his life in misfortunes — for he was cast out by his native land as a temple-robber, and he left behind as his heirs female children only, who, as it turned out, became prostitutes, as Timagenes has said, and therefore perished in disgrace. However, the account of Poseidonius is more plausible: for he says that the treasure that was found in Tolosa amounted to about fifteen thousand talents (part of it in sacred lakes), unwrought, that is, merely gold and silver bullion; whereas the temple at Delphi was in those times already empty of such treasure, because it had been robbed at the time of the sacred war by the Phocians; but even if something was left, it was divided by many among themselves; neither is it reasonable to suppose that they reached their homeland in safety, since they fared wretchedly after their retreat from Delphi and, because of their dissensions, were scattered, some in one direction, others in another. But, as has been said both by Poseidonius and several others, since the country was rich in gold, and also belonged to people who were god-fearing and not extravagant in their ways of living, it came to have treasures in many places in Celtica; but it was the lakes, most of all, that afforded the treasures their inviolability, into which the people let down heavy masses of silver or even of gold. At all events, the Romans, after they mastered the regions, sold the lakes for the public treasury, and many of the buyers found in them hammered mill-stones of silver. And, in Tolosa, the temple too was hallowed, since it was very much revered by the inhabitants of the surrounding country, and on this account the treasures there were excessive, for numerous people had dedicated them and no one dared to lay hands on them.

14 Tolosa is situated on the narrowest part of the isthmus which separates the ocean from the sea that is at Narbo, which isthmus, according to Poseidonius is less than three thousand stadia in width. But it is above all worth while to note again a characteristic of this region which I have spoken of before — the harmonious arrangement of the country with reference, not only to the rivers, but also to the sea, alike both the outer sea and the inner; for one might find, if he set his thoughts upon the matter, that this is not the least factor in the excellence of the regions — I mean the fact that the necessities of life are with ease interchanged by every one with every one else and that the advantages which have arisen therefrom are common to all; but especially so at present, when being at leisure from the weapons of war, the people are tilling the country diligently, and are devising for themselves modes of life that are civil. Therefore, in the cases of this sort, one might believe that there is confirmatory evidence for the workings of Providence, since the regions are laid out, not in a fortuitous way, but as though in accordance with some calculated plan. In the first place, the voyage which the Rhodanus affords inland is a considerable one, even for vessels of great burden, and reaches numerous parts of the country, on account of the fact that the rivers which fall into it are navigable, and in their turns receive most of the traffic. Secondly, the Rhodanus is succeeded by the Arar, and by the Dubis (which empties into the Arar); then the traffic goes by land as far as the Sequana River; and thence it begins its voyage down to the ocean, and to the Lexobii and Caleti; and from these peoples it is less than a day's run to Britain. But since the Rhodanus is swift and difficult to sail up, some of the traffic from here preferably goes by land on the wagons, that is, all the traffic that is conveyed to the Arvernians and the Liger River — albeit in a part of its course the Rhodanus draws close to these also; still, the fact that the road is level and not long (about eight hundred stadia)66 is an inducement not to use the voyage upstream, since it is easier to go by land; from here, however, the road is naturally succeeded by the Liger; and it flows from the Cemmenus Mountain to the ocean. Thirdly, from Narbo traffic goes inland for a short distance by the Atax River, and then a greater distance by land to the Garumna River; and this latter distance is about eight hundred or seven hundred stadia. And the Garumna, too, flows to the ocean. This, then, is what I have to say about the people who inhabit the dominion of Narbonitis, whom the men of former times named "Celtae"; and it was from the Celtae, I think, that the Galatae as a whole were by the Greeks called "Celti" — on account of the fame of the Celtae, or it may also be that the Massiliotes, as well as other Greek neighbours, contributed to this result, on account of their proximity.

 
4 - 2 Transalpine Gaul: Aquitania

1 Next, I must discuss the Aquitani, and the tribes which have been included within their boundaries, namely, the fourteen Galatic tribes which inhabit the country between the Garumna and the Liger, some of which reach even to the river-land of the Rhone and to the plains of Narbonitis. For, speaking in a general way, the Aquitani differ from the Galatic race in the build of their bodies as well as in their speech; that is, they are more like the Iberians. Their country is bounded by the Garumna River, since they live between this and the Pyrenees. There are more than twenty tribes of the Aquitani, but they are small and lacking in repute; the majority of the tribes live along the ocean, while the others reach up into the interior and to the summits of the Cemmenus Mountains, as far as the Tectosages. But since a country of this size was only a small division, they added to it the country which is between the Garumna and the Liger. These rivers are approximately parallel to the Pyrenees and form with the Pyrenees two parallelograms, since they are bounded on their other sides by the ocean and the Cemmenus Mountains. And the voyage on either of the rivers is, all told, two thousand stadia. The Garumna, after being increased by the waters of three rivers, discharges its waters into the region that is between those Bituriges that are surnamed "Vivisci" and the Santoni — both of them Galatic tribes; for the tribe of these Bituriges is the only tribe of different race that is situated among the Aquitani; and it does than pay tribute to them, though it has an emporium, Burdigala, which is situated on a lagoon that is formed by the outlets of the river. The Liger, however, discharges its waters between the Pictones and the Namnitae. Formerly there was an emporium on this river, called Corbilo, with respect to which Polybius, calling to mind the fabulous stories of Pytheas, has said: "Although no one of all the Massiliotes who conversed with Scipio was able, when questioned by Scipio about Britain, to tell anything worth recording, nor yet any one of the people from Narbo or of those from Corbilo, though these were the best of all the cities in that country, still Pytheas had the hardihood to tell all those falsehoods about Britain." The city of the Santoni, however, is Mediolanium. Now the most of the ocean-coast of the Aquitani is sandy and thin-soiled, thus growing millet, but it is rather unproductive in respect of the other products. Here too is the gulf which, along with that Galatic Gulf which is within the coastline of Narbonitis, forms the isthmus (itself too, like the latter gulf, having the name "Galatic"). The gulf is held by the Tarbelli, in whose land the gold mines are most important of all; for in pits dug only to a slight depth they find slabs of gold as big as the hand can hold, which at times require but little refining; but the rest is gold dust and nuggets, the nuggets too requiring no great amount of working. The interior and mountainous country, however, has better soil: first, next to the Pyrenees, the country of the "Convenae" (that is, "assembled rabble"), in which are the city of Lugdunum and the hot springsa of the Onesii — most beautiful springs of most potable waters; and, secondly, the country of the Auscii also has good soil.

2 Those tribes between the Garumna and the Liger that belong to Aquitania are, first, the Elui, whose territory begins at the Rhodanus, and then, after them, the Vellavii, who were once included within the boundaries of the Arverni, though they are now ranked as autonomous; then the Arverni, the Lemovices, and the Petrocorii; and, next to these, the Nitiobriges, the Cadurci, and those Bituriges that are called "Cubi"; and, next to the ocean, both the Santoni and the Pictones, the former living along the Garumna, as I have said, the latter along the Liger; but the Ruteni and the Gabales closely approach Narbonitis. Now among the Petrocorii there are fine iron-works, and also among the Bituriges Cubi; among the Cadurci, linen factories; among the Ruteni, silver mines; and the Gabales, also, have silver mines. The Romans have given the "Latin right" to certain of the Aquitani just as they have done in the case of the Auscii and the Convenae.

3 The Arverni are situated on the Liger; their metropolis is Nemossus, a city situated on the Liger. This river, after flowing past Cenabum (the emporium of the Carnutes at about the middle of the voyage, an emporium that is jointly peopled), discharges its waters towards the ocean. As for their former power, the Arverni hold out as a great proof thereof the fact that they oftentimes warred against the Romans, at times with two hundred thousand men, and again, with double that number — with double that number, for example, when they, with Vercingetorix, struggled to a finish against the Deified Caesar; and, before that, also, with two hundred thousand against Maximus Aemilianus, and also, in like manner, against Dometius Ahenobarbus. Now the struggles against Caesar took place near Gergovia (a city of the Arverni, situated on a high mountain), where Vercingetorix was born, and also near Alesia (a city of the Mandubii — a tribe which has a common boundary with the Arverni — and this city too is situated on a high hill, although it is surrounded by mountains and two rivers), in which not only the commander was captured but the war had its end. But the struggles against Maximus Aemilianus took place at the confluence of the Isar and the Rhodanus, where the Cemmenus Mountain approaches closely the Rhodanus; and against Dometius Ahenobarbus, at a place still lower down the Rhodanus, at the confluence of the Sulgas and the Rhodanus. Again, the Arverni not only had extended their empire as far as Narbo and the boundaries of Massiliotis, but they were also masters of the tribes as far as the Pyrenees, and as far as the ocean and the Rhenus. Luerius, the father of the Bituitus who warred against Maximus and Dometius, is said to have been so exceptionally rich and extravagant that once, when making a display of his opulence to his friends, he rode on a carriage through a plain, scattering gold and silver coins here and there, for his followers to pick up.

 
4 - 3 Transalpine Gaul: Lugdunensis

1 The country next in order after the Aquitanian division and Narbonitis reaches as far as the whole of the Rhenus, extending from the Liger River and also from the Rhodanus at the point where the Rhodanus, after it runs down from its source, touches Lugdunum. Now of this country the upper parts that are next to the sources of the rivers (the Rhenus and the Rhodanus), extending as far, approximately, as the centre of the plains, have been classified under Lugdunum; whereas the remaining parts, including the parts along the ocean, have been classified under another division, I mean that division which is specifically assigned to the Belgae. As for me, however, I shall point out the separate parts in a rather general way.

2 Lugdunum itself, then, (a city founded at the foot of a hill at the confluence of the River Arar and the Rhodanus), is occupied by the Romans. And it is the most populous of all the cities of Celtica except Narbo; for not only do people use it as an emporium, but the Roman governors coin their money there, both the silver and the gold.a Again, the temple that was dedicated to Caesar Augustus by all the Galatae in common is situated in front of this city at the junction of the rivers. And in it is a noteworthy altar, bearing an inscription of the names of the tribes, sixty in number; and also images from these tribes, one from each tribe, and also another large altar. The city of Lugdunum presides over the tribe of the Segusiavi, which tribe is situated between the Rhodanus and the Dubis. The tribes that come next in order after the Segusiavi, I mean those which together stretch towards the Rhenus, are bounded partly by the Dubis and partly by the Arar. Now these rivers too, as I have said before,89 first run down from the Alps, and then, falling into one stream, run down into the Rhodanus; and there is still another river, Sequana by name, which likewise has its sources in the Alps.b It flows into the ocean, however, running parallel to the Rhenus, through a tribe of like name,90 whose country joins the Rhenus in its eastern parts, but in the opposite parts, the Arar; and it is from their country that the finest of salted hog-meat is brought down and shipped to Rome. Now between the Dubis and the Arar dwells the tribe of the Aedui, with their city of Cabyllinum, on the Arar, and their garrison of Bibracte. (The Aedui were not only called kinsmen of the Romans, but they were also the first of the peoples in that country to apply for their friendship and alliance.) But across the Arar dwell the Sequani, who, for a long time, in fact, had been at variance with the Romans as well as with the Aedui. This was because they often joined forces with the Germans in their attacks upon Italy; aye, and they demonstrated that theirs was no ordinary power: they made the Germans strong when they took part with them and weak when they stood aloof. As regards the Aedui, not only were the Sequani at variance with them for the same reasons, but their hostility was intensified by the strife about the river that separates them, since each tribe claimed that the Arar was its private property and that the transportation tolls belonged to itself. Now, however, everything is subject to the Romans.

3 As for the country that is on the Rhenus, the first of all the peoples who live there are the Elvetii, in whose territory, on Mount Adula, are the sources of the river. Mount Adula is a part of the Alps, and from it flows also the River Addua, in the opposite direction, that is, towards Cisalpine Celtica, and fills Lake Larius (near which the city of Comum has been founded), and then, flowing on from Lake Larius, contributes its waters to those of the Padus (matters about which I shall speak later on). The Rhenus, too, spreads into great marshes and a great lake, which lake is touched by the territory of both the Rhaeti and the Vindelici (certain of the peoples who live in the Alps and also beyond the Alps). Asinius says that the length of the river is six thousand stadia, but it is not. In fact, it could only slightly exceed the half of that in a straight line, while the addition of one thousand stadia would be quite sufficient for the windings. For not only is it swift, and on this account also hard to bridge, but after its descent from the mountains runs the rest of the way with even slope through the plains. How, then, could it remain swift and violent, if to the even slope of the river we added numerous long windings? He further says it has only two mouths, after first finding fault with those who say it has more than that. So then, both this river and the Sequana encircle somewhat of territory within their windings, but not so much as that. Both rivers flow from the southern parts towards the north; and in front of them lies Britain, which is near enough to the Rhenus for Cantium, which is the eastern cape of the island, to be visible from it, though it is slightly farther off from the Sequana. Here, too, the Deified Caesar established his navy-yard when he sailed to Britain. The part of the Sequana that is navigated by those who receive the cargoes from the Arar is slightly longer than that of the Liger and that of the Garumna; but the distance from Lugdunum to the Sequana is a thousand stadia, and that from the mouths of the Rhodanus to Lugdunum is less than double this distance. It is said also that the Elvetii, although rich in gold, none the less turned themselves to robbery upon seeing the opulence of the Cimbri; but that on their campaigns two of their tribes (there were three) were obliterated. But still the number of the descendants from what was left of them was shown by their war against the Deified Caesar, in which about four hundred thousand lives were destroyed, although Caesar allowed the rest of them, about eight thousand, to escape, so as not to abandon the country, destitute of inhabitants, to the Germans, whose territory bordered on theirs.

4 After the Elvetii, along the Rhenus, dwell the Sequani and the Mediomatrici, in whose territory are situated the Tribocchi, a Germanic tribe which crossed the river from their homeland. Mount Jura is in the territory of the Sequani; it marks the boundary between the Elvetii and the Sequani. So it is beyond the Elvetii and the Sequani, towards the west, that the Aedui and the Lingones dwell; and beyond the Mediomatrici, that the Leuci and a part of the Lingones dwell. But those tribes between the Liger and the Sequana Rivers that are on the far side of the Rhodanus and the Arar are situated side by side, towards the north, with both the Allobroges and the people round Lugdunum; and of these tribes the most conspicuous are those of the Arverni and the Carnutes, through both of whose territories the Liger runs on its way out to the ocean. The passage across to Britain from the rivers of Celtica is three hundred and twenty stadia; for if you put to sea on the ebb-tide at nightfall, you land upon the island about the eighth hour on the following day. After the Mediomatrici and the Tribocchi, along the Rhenus, dwell the Treveri, near whom the bridge has been built by the Roman officers who are now conducting the Germanic war. The Ubii used to live opposite this region, across the Rhenus, though by their own consent they were transferred by Agrippa to the country this side the Rhenus. Next after the Treveri are the Nervii, who are also a Germanic tribe. Last come the Menapii, who dwell on both sides of the river near its mouths, in marshes and woods (not of tall timber, but dense and thorny). It is opposite to these that the Sugambri are situated, a Germanic people. But beyond this whole river-country are those Germans who are called the Suevi and excel all the others in power and numbers (the people driven out by the Suevi in our time have been fleeing for refuge to this side of the Rhenus). And other peoples, also, lord it in different places, and in their turn take up the tinders of war, but the foremost are always put down.

5 West of the Treveri and the Nervii dwell the Senones and the Remi, and farther on, the Atrebatii and the Eburones; and after the Menapii, on the sea, are, in their order, the Morini, the Bellovaci, the Ambiani, the Suessiones, and the Caleti, as far as the outlet of the Sequana River. Both the country of the Morini and that of the Atrebatii and Eburones resemble that of the Menapii; for much of it, though not so much as the historians have said (four thousand stadia), is a forest, consisting of trees that are not tall; the forest is called Arduenna. At the time of hostile onsets they used to intertwine the withes of the brushwood, since the withes were thorny, and thus block the passage of the enemy. In some places they also used to fix stakes in the ground — themselves, with their whole families, slinking away into the depths of the forest, for they had small islands in their marshes. Now although the refuge they took was safe for them in the rainy seasons, they were easily captured in the dry seasons. But as it is, all the peoples this side the Rhenus are living in a state of tranquillity and are submissive to the Romans. The Parisii live round about the Sequana River, having an island in the river and a city called Lucotocia; and so do the Meldi and the Lexovii — these latter beside the ocean. But the most noteworthy of all the tribes in this region of Celtica is that of the Remi; their metropolis, Duricortora, is most thickly settled and is the city that entertains the Roman governors.

 
4 - 4 Transalpine Gaul: W Lugdunensis and Belgica

1 After the aforesaid tribes, the rest are tribes of those Belgae who live on the ocean-coast. Of the Belgae, there are, first, the Veneti who fought the naval battle with Caesar; for they were already prepared to hinder his voyage to Britain, since they were using the emporium there. But he easily defeated them in the naval battle, making no use of ramming (for the beams were thick), but when the Veneti bore down upon him with the wind, the Romans hauled down their sails by means of pole-hooks; for, on account of the violence of the winds, the sails were made of leather, and they were hoisted by chains instead of ropes. Because of the ebb-tides, they make their ships with broad bottoms, high sterns, and high prows; they make them of oak (of which they have a plentiful supply), and this is why they do not bring the joints of the planks together but leave gaps; they stuff the gaps full of sea-weed, however, so that the wood may not, for lack of moisture, become dry when the ships are hauled up, because the sea-weed is naturally rather moist, whereas the oak is dry and without fat. It is these Veneti, I think, who settled the colony that is on the Adriatic (for about all the Celti that are in Italy migrated from the transalpine land, just as did the Boii and Senones), although, on account of the likeness of name, people call them Paphlagonians. I do not speak positively, however, for with reference to such matters probability suffices. Secondly, there are the Osismii (whom Pytheas calls the Ostimii), who live on a promontory that projects quite far out into the ocean, though not so far as he and those who have trusted him say. But of the tribes that are between the Sequana and the Liger, some border on the Sequani, others on the Arverni.

2 The whole race which is now called both "Gallic" and "Galatic" is war-mad, and both high-spirited and quick for battle, although otherwise simple and not ill-mannered. And therefore, if roused, they come together all at once for the struggle, both openly and without circumspection, so that for those who wish to defeat them by stratagem they become easy to deal with (in fact, irritate them when, where, or by what chance pretext you please, and you have them ready to risk their lives, with nothing to help them in the struggle but might and daring); whereas, if coaxed, they so easily yield to considerations of utility that they lay hold, not only of training in general, but of language-studies as well. As for their might, it arises partly from their large physique and partly from their numbers. And on account of their trait of simplicity and straightforwardness they easily come together in great numbers, because they always share in the vexation of those of their neighbours whom they think wronged. At the present time they are all at peace, since they have been enslaved and are living in accordance with the commands of the Romans who captured them, but it is from the early times that I am taking this account of them, and also from the customs that hold fast to this day among the Germans. For these peoples are not only similar in respect to their nature and their governments, but they are also kinsmen to one another; and, further, they live in country that has a common boundary, since it is divided by the River Rhenus, and the most of its regions are similar (though Germany is more to the north), if the southern regions be judged with reference to the southern and also the northern with reference to the northern. But it is also on account of this trait that their migrations easily take place, for they move in droves, army and all, or rather they make off, households and all, whenever they are cast out by others stronger than themselves. Again, the Romans conquered these people much more easily than they did the Iberians; in fact, the Romans began earlier, and stopped later, carrying on war with the Iberians, but in the meantime defeated all these — I mean all the peoples who live between the Rhenus and the Pyrenees Mountains. For, since the former were wont to fall upon their opponents all at once and in great numbers, they were defeated all at once, but the latter would husband their resources and divide their struggles, carrying on war in the manner of brigands, different men at different times and in separate divisions. Now although they are all fighters by nature, they are better as cavalry than as infantry; and the best cavalry-force the Romans have comes from these people. However, it is always those who live more to the north and along the ocean-coast that are the more warlike.

3 Of these people, they say, the Belgae are bravest (who have been divided into fifteen tribes, the tribes that live along the ocean between the Rhenus and the Liger); consequently they alone could hold out against the onset of the Germans — the Cimbri and Teutones. But of the Belgae themselves, they say, the Bellovaci are bravest, and after them the Suessiones. As for the largeness of the population, this is an indication: it is found upon inquiry, they say, that there are as many as three hundred thousand of those Belgae (of former times) who are able to bear arms; and I have already told the number of the Elvetii, and of the Arverni, and of their allies, — from all of which the largeness of the population is manifest, as is also the thing of which I spoke above — the excellence of the women in regard to the bearing and nursing of children. The Gallic people wear the "sagus," let their hair grow long, and wear tight breeches; instead of tunics they wear slit tunics that have sleeves and reach as far as their private parts and the buttocks. The wool of their sheep, from which they weave the coarse "sagi" (which they call "laenae"), is not only rough, but also flocky at the surface; the Romans, however, even in the most northerly parts raise skin-clothed flocks with wool that is sufficiently fine. The Gallic armour is commensurate with the large size of their bodies: a long sabre, which hangs along the right side, and a long oblong shield, and spears in proportion, and a "madaris," a special kind of javelin. But some of them also use bows and slings. There is also a certain wooden instrument resembling the "grosphus" (it is hurled by hand, not by thong, and ranges even farther than an arrow), which they use particularly for the purposes of bird-hunting. Most of them, even to the present time, sleep on the ground, and eat their meals seated on beds of straw. Food they have in very great quantities, along with milk and flesh of all sorts, but particularly the flesh of hogs, both fresh and salted. Their hogs run wild, and they are of exceptional height, boldness, and swiftness; at any rate, it is dangerous for one unfamiliar with their ways to approach them, and likewise, also, for a wolf. As for their houses, which are large and dome-shaped, they make them of planks and wicker, throwing up over them quantities of thatch. And their flocks of sheep and herds of swine are so very large that they supply an abundance of the "sagi" and the salt-meat, not only to Rome, but to most parts of Italy as well. The greater number of their governments used to be aristocratic — although in the olden time only one leader was chosen, annually; and so, likewise, for war, only one man was declared general by the common people. But now they give heed, for the most part, to the commands of the Romans. There is a procedure that takes place in their assemblies which is peculiar to them: if a man disturbs the speaker and heckles him, the sergeant-at‑arms approaches him with drawn sword, and with a threat commands him to be silent; if he does not stop, the sergeant-at‑arms does the same thing a second time, and also a third time, but at last cuts off enough of the man's "sagus" to make it useless for the future. But as for their custom relating to the men and the women (I mean the fact that their tasks have been exchanged, in a manner opposite to what obtains among us), it is one which they share in common with many other barbarian peoples.

4 Among all the Gallic peoples, generally speaking, there are three sets of men who are held in exceptional honour; the Bards, the Vates and the Druids. The Bards are singers and poets; the Vates, diviners and natural philosophers; while the Druids, in addition to natural philosophy, study also moral philosophy. The Druids are considered the most just of men, and on this account they are entrusted with the decision, not only of the private disputes, but of the public disputes as well; so that, in former times, they even arbitrated cases of war and made the opponents stop when they were about to line up for battle, and the murder cases, in particular, had been turned over to them for decision. Further, when there is a big yield from these cases, there is forthcoming a big yield from the land too, as they think. However, not only the Druids, but others as well, say that men's souls, and also the universe, are indestructible, although both fire and water will at some time or other prevail over them.

5 In addition to their trait of simplicity and high-spiritedness, that of witlessness and boastfulness is much in evidence, and also that of fondness for ornaments; for they not only wear golden ornaments — both chains round their necks and bracelets round their arms and wrists — but their dignitaries wear garments that are dyed in colours and sprinkled with gold. And by reason of this levity of character they not only look insufferable when victorious, but also scared out of their wits when worsted.a Again, in addition to their witlessness, there is also that custom, barbarous and exotic, which attends most of the northern tribes — I mean the fact that when they depart from the battle they hang the heads of their enemies from the necks of their horses, and, when they have brought them home, nail the spectacle to the entrances of their homes. At any rate, Poseidonius says that he himself saw this spectacle in many places, and that, although at first he loathed it, afterwards, through his familiarity with it, he could bear it calmly. The heads of enemies of high repute, however, they used to embalm in cedar-oil and exhibit to strangers, and they would not deign to give them back even for a ransom of an equal weight of gold. But the Romans put a stop to these customs, as well as to all those connected with the sacrifices and divinations that are opposed to our usages. They used to strike a human being, whom they had devoted to death, in the back with a sabre, and then divine from his death-struggle. But they would not sacrifice without the Druids. We are told of still other kinds of human sacrifices; for example, they would shoot victims to death with arrows, or impale them in the temples, or, having devised a colossus of straw and wood, throw into the colossus cattle and wild animals of all sorts and human beings, and then make a burnt-offering of the whole thing.

6 In the ocean, he says, there is a small island, not very far out to sea, situated off the outlet of the Liger River; and the island is inhabited by women of the Samnitae, and they are possessed by Dionysus and make this god propitious by appeasing him with mystic initiations as well as other sacred performances; and no man sets foot on the island, although the women themselves, sailing from it, have intercourse with the men and then return again. And, he says, it is a custom of theirs once a year to unroof the temple and roof it again on the same day before sunset, each woman bringing her load to add to the roof; but the woman whose load falls out of her arms is rent to pieces by the rest, and they carry the pieces round the temple with the cry of "Ev-ah," and do not cease until their frenzy ceases; and it is always the case, he says, that some one jostles the woman who is to suffer this fate. But the following story which Artemidorus has told about the case of the crows is still more fabulous: there is a certain harbour on the ocean-coast, his story goes, which is surnamed "Two Crows," and in this harbour are to be seen two crows, with their right wings somewhat white; so the men who have disputes about certain things come here, put a plank on an elevated place, and then throw on barley cakes, each man separately; the birds fly up, eat some of the barley cakes, scatter the others; and the man whose barley cakes are scattered wins his dispute. Now although this story is more fabulous, his story about Demeter and Core is more credible. He says that there is an island near Britain on which sacrifices are performed like those sacrifices in Samothrace that have to do with Demeter and Core. And the following, too, is one of the things that are believed, namely, that in Celtica there grows a tree like a fig-tree, and that it brings forth a fruit similar to a Corinthian-wrought capital of a column; and that, if an incision be made, this fruit exudes a sap which, as used for the smearing of arrows, is deadly. And the following, too, is one of the things that are repeated over and over again, namely, that not only are all Celti fond of strife, but among them it is considered no disgrace for the young men to be prodigal of their youthful charms. Ephorus, in his account, makes Celtica so excessive in its size that he assigns to the regions of Celtic most of the regions, as far as Gades, of what we now call Iberia; further, he declares that the people are fond of the Greeks, and specifies many things about them that do not fit the facts of to‑day. The following, also, is a thing peculiar to them, that they endeavour not to grow fat or pot-bellied, and any young man who exceeds the standard measure of the girdle is punished. So much for Transalpine Celtica.

 
4 - 5 Britain, Ireland, and Thule

1 Britain is triangular in shape; and its longest side stretches parallel to Celtica, neither exceeding nor falling short of the length of Celtica; for each of the two lengths is about four thousand three hundred — or four hundred — stadia: the Celtic length that extends from the outlets of the Rhenus as far as those northern ends of the Pyrenees that are near Aquitania, as also the length that extends from Cantium (which is directly opposite the outlets of the Rhenus), the most easterly point of Britain, as far as that westerly end of the island which lies opposite the Aquitanian Pyrenees. This, of course, is the shortest distance from the Pyrenees to the Rhenus, since, as I have already said, the greatest distance is as much as five thousand stadia; yet it is reasonable to suppose that there is a convergence from the parallel position which the river and the mountains occupy with reference to each other, since at the ends where they approach the ocean there is a curve in both of them.

2 There are only four passages which are habitually used in crossing from the mainland to the island, those which begin at the mouths of the rivers — the Rhenus, the Sequana, the Liger, and the Garumna. However, the people who put to sea from the regions that are near the Rhenus make the voyage, not from the mouths themselves, but from the coast of those Morini who have a common boundary with the Menapii. (On their coast, also, is Itium, which the Deified Caesar used as a naval station when he set sail for the island. He put to sea by night and landed on the following day about the fourth hour, thus having completed three hundred and twenty stadia in his voyage across; and he found the grain still in the fields.) Most of the island is flat and overgrown with forests, although many of its districts are hilly. It bears grain, cattle, gold, silver, and iron. These things, accordingly, are exported from the island, as also hides, and slaves, and dogs that are by nature suited to the purposes of the chase; the Celti, however, use both these and the native dogs for the purposes of war too. The men of Britain are taller than the Celti, and not so yellow-haired, although their bodies are of looser build. The following is an indication of their size: I myself, in Rome, saw mere lads towering as much as half a foot above the tallest people in the city, although they were bandy-legged and presented no fair lines anywhere else in their figure. Their habits are in part like those of the Celti, but in part more simple and barbaric — so much so that, on account of their inexperience, some of them, although well supplied with milk, make no cheese; and they have no experience in gardening or other agricultural pursuits. And they have powerful chieftains in their country. For the purposes of war they use chariots for the most part, just as some of the Celti do. The forests are their cities; for they fence in a spacious circular enclosure with trees which they have felled, and in that enclosure make huts for themselves and also pen up their cattle — not, however, with the purpose of staying a long time. Their weather is more rainy than snowy; and on the days of clear sky fog prevails so long a time that throughout a whole day the sun is to be seen for only three or four hours round about midday. And this is the case also among the Morini and the Menapii and all the neighbours of the latter.

3 The Deified Caesar crossed over to the island twice, although he came back in haste, without accomplishing anything great or proceeding far into the island, not only on account of the quarrels that took place in the land of the Celti, among the barbarians and his own soldiers as well, but also on account of the fact that many of his ships had been lost at the time of the full moon, since the ebb-tides and the flood-tides got their increase at that time. However, he won two or three victories over the Britons, albeit he carried along only two legions of his army; and he brought back hostages, slaves, and quantities of the rest of the booty. At present, however, some of the chieftains there, after procuring the friendship of Caesar Augustus by sending embassies and by paying court to him,150 have not only dedicated offerings in the Capitol, but have also managed to make the whole of the island virtually Roman property. Further, they submit so easily to heavy duties, both on the exports from there to Celtica and on the imports from Celtica (these latter are ivorya chains and necklaces, and amber-gems and glass vessels and other petty wares of that sort), that there is no need of garrisoning the island; for one legion, at the least, and some cavalry would be required in order to carry off tribute from them, and the expense of the army would offset the tribute-money; in fact, the duties must necessarily be lessened if tribute is imposed, and, at the same time, dangers be encountered, if force is applied.

4 Besides some small islands round about Britain, there is also a large island, Ierne, which stretches parallel to Britain on the north, its breadth being greater than its length. Concerning this island I have nothing certain to tell, except that its inhabitants are more savage than the Britons, since they are man-eaters as well as heavy eaters, and since, further, they count it an honourable thing, when their fathers die, to devour them, and openly to have intercourse, not only with the other women, but also with their mothers and sisters; but I am saying this only with the understanding that I have no trustworthy witnesses for it; and yet, as for the matter of man-eating, that is said to be a custom of the Scythians also, and, in cases of necessity forced by sieges, the Celti, the Iberians, and several other peoples are said to have practised it.

5 Concerning Thule our historical information is still more uncertain, on account of its outside position; for Thule, of all the countries that are named, is set farthest north. But that the things which Pytheas has told about Thule, as well as the other places in that part of the world, have indeed been fabricated by him, we have clear evidence from the districts that are known to us, for in most cases he has falsified them, as I have already said before, and hence he is obviously more false concerning the districts which have been placed outside the inhabited world. And yet, if judged by the science of the celestial phenomena and by mathematical theory, he might possibly seem to have made adequate use of the facts as regards the people who live close to the frozen zone, when he says that, of the animals and domesticated fruits, there is an utter dearth of some and a scarcity of the others, and that the people live on millet and other herbs, and on fruits and roots; and where there are grain and honey, the people get their beverage, also, from them. As for the grain, he says, — since they have no pure sunshine — they pound it out in large storehouses, after first gathering in the ears thither; for the threshing floors become useless because of this lack of sunshine and because of the rains.

 
4 - 6 Cisalpine Gaul (Northern Italy)

After Transalpine Celtica and the tribes which hold this country, I must tell about the Alps themselves and the people who inhabit them, and then about the whole of Italy, keeping the same order in my description as is given me by the nature of the country. The beginning, then, of the Alps is not at the Port of Monoecus, as some have told us, but at the same districts as the beginning of the Apennine mountains, namely, near Genua, the emporium of the Ligures, and what is called Vada (that is, "Shoals") Sabatorum: for the Apennines begin at Genua, and the Alps have their beginning at Sabata; and the distance, in stadia, between Genua and Sabata is two hundred and sixty; then, after three hundred and seventy stadia from Sabata, comes the town of Albingaunum (its inhabitants are called Ligures Ingauni); and thence, to the Port of Monoecus, four hundred and eighty stadia. Further, in this last interval there is a city of fair size, Albium Intemelium, and its occupants are called Intemelii. And indeed it is on the strength of these names that writers advance a proof that the Alps begin at Sabata; for things "Alpian" were formerly called "Albian," as also things "Alpionian," and, in fact, writers add that still to‑day the high mountain among the Iapodes which almost joins Mount Ocra and the Alps is called "Albius," thus implying that the Alps have stretched as far as that mountain.

2 Since, then, the Ligures were partly Ingauni and partly Intemelii, writers add, it was reasonable for their settlements on the sea to be named, the one, Albium (the equivalent of Alpium) Intemelium, and the other, more concisely, Albingaunum. Polybius,a however, adds to the two aforesaid tribes of the Ligures both that of the Oxybii and that of the Decietae. Speaking generally, this whole coastline, from the Port of Monoecus as far as Tyrrhenia, is not only exposed to the wind but harbourless as well, except for shallow mooring-places and anchorages. And lying above it are the enormous beetling cliffs of the mountains, which leave only a narrow pass next to the sea. This country is occupied by the Ligures, who live on sheep, for the most part, and milk, and a drink made of barley; they pasture their flocks in the districts next to the sea, but mainly in the mountains. They have there in very great quantities timber that is suitable for ship-building, with trees so large that the diameter of their thickness is sometimes found to be •eight feet. And many of these trees, even in the variegation of the grain, are not inferior to the thyine wood for the purposes of table-making. These, accordingly, the people bring down to the emporium of Genua, as well as flocks, hides and honey, and receive therefor a return-cargo of olive oil and Italian wine (the little wine they have in their country is mixed with pitch, and harsh). And this is the country from which come not only the so‑called "ginni" — both horses and mules, — but also the Ligurian tunics and "sagi." And they also have in their country excessive quantities of amber, which by some is called "electrum."b And although, in their campaigns, they are no good at all as cavalrymen, they are excellent heavy-armed soldiers and skirmishers; and, from the fact that they use bronze shields, some infer that they are Greeks.

3 The Port of Monoecus affords a mooring-place for no large ships, nor yet for a considerable number; and it has a temple of Heracles "Monoecus," as he is called; and it is reasonable to conjecture from the name that the coastal voyages of the Massiliotes reach even as far as the Port of Monoecus. The distance from the Port of Monoecus to Antipolis is a little more than two hundred stadia. As for the stretch of country which begins at Antipolis and extends as far as Massilia or a little farther, the tribe of the Sallyes inhabits the Alps that lie above the seaboard and also — promiscuously with the Greeks — certain parts of the same seaboard. But though the early writers of the Greeks call the Sallyes "Ligues," and the country which the Massiliotes hold, "Ligustica," later writers name them "Celtoligures," and attach to their territory all the level country as far as Luerio and the Rhodanus, the country from which the inhabitants, divided into ten parts, used to send forth an army, not only of infantry, but of cavalry as well. These were the first of the Transalpine Celti that the Romans conquered, though they did so only after carrying on war with both them and the Ligures for a long time — because the latter had barred all the passes leading to Iberia that ran through the seaboard. And, in fact, they kept making raids both by land and sea, and were so powerful that the road was scarcely practicable even for great armies. And it was not until the eightieth year of the war that the Romans succeeded, though only with difficulty, in opening up the road for a breadth of only twelve stadia to those travelling on public business. After this, however, they defeated them all, and, having imposed a tribute upon them, administered the government themselves.

4 After the Sallyes come the Albienses and the Albioeci and the Vocontii, who occupy the northerly parts of the mountains. But the Vocontii, stretching alongside the others, reach as far as the Allobroges; they have glens in the depths of their mountainous country that are of considerable size and not inferior to those which the Allobroges have. Now the Allobroges and the Ligures are ranked as subject to the praetors who come to Narbonitis, but the Vocontii (as I said of the Volcae who live round about Nemausus) are ranked as autonomous. Of the Ligures who live between the Varus River and Genua, those who live on the sea are the same as the Italiotes, whereas to the mountaineers a praefect of equestrian rank is sent — as is done in the case of other peoples who are perfect barbarians.

5 After the Vocontii come the Iconii and the Tricorii; and after them the Medulli, who hold the loftiest peaks. At any rate, the steepest height of these peaks is said to involve an ascent of a hundred stadia, and an equal number the descent thence to the boundaries of Italy. And up in a certain hollowed-out region stands a large lake, and also two springs which are not far from one another. One of these springs is the source of the Druentia, a torrential river which dashes down towards the Rhodanus, and also of the Durias, which takes the opposite direction, since it first courses down through the country of the Salassi into Cisalpine Celtica and then mingles with the Padus; while from the other spring there issues forth, considerably lower than the region above-mentioned, the Padus itself, large and swift, although as it proceeds it becomes larger and more gentle in its flow; for from the time it reaches the plains it is increased from many streams and is thus widened out; and so, because of the spreading out of its waters, the force of its current is dispersed and blunted; then it empties into the Adriatic Sea, becoming the largest of all the rivers in Europe except the Ister. The situation of the Medulli is, to put it in a general way, above the confluence of the Isar and the Rhodanus.

6 Towards the other parts (I mean the parts which slope towards Italy) of the aforesaid mountainous country dwell both the Taurini, a Ligurian tribe, and other Ligures; to these latter belongs what is called the land of Donnus and Cottius. And after these peoples and the Padus come the Salassi; and above them, on the mountain-crests, the Ceutrones, Catoriges, Varagri, Nantuates, Lake Lemenna (through which the Rhodanus courses), and the source of the Rhodanus. And not far from these are also the sources of the Rhenus, and Mount Adula, whence flows not only, towards the north, the Rhenus, but also, in the opposite direction, the Addua, emptying into Lake Larius, which is near Comum. And beyond Comum, which is situated near the base of the Alps, lie, on the one side, with its slope towards the east, the land of the Rhaeti and the Vennones, and, on the other, the land of the Lepontii, Tridentini, Stoni, and several other small tribes, brigandish and resourceless, which in former times held the upper hand in Italy; but as it is, some of the tribes have been wholly destroyed, while the others have been so completely subdued that the passes which lead through their territory over the mountain, though formerly few and hard to get through, are now numerous, and safe from harm on the part of the people, and easily passable — so far as human device can make them so. For in addition to his putting down the brigands Augustus Caesar built up the roads as much as he possibly could; for it was not everywhere possible to overcome nature by forcing a way through masses of rock and enormous beetling cliffs, which sometimes lay above the road and sometimes fell away beneath it, and consequently, if one made even a slight misstep out of the road, the peril was one from which there was no escape, since the fall reached to chasms abysmal. And at some places the road there is so narrow that it brings dizziness to all who travel it afoot — not only to men, but also to all beasts of burden that are unfamiliar with it; the native beasts, however, carry the burdens with sureness of foot. Accordingly, these places are beyond remedy; and so are the layers of ice that slide down from above — enormous layers, capable of intercepting a whole caravan or of thrusting them all together into the chasms that yawn below; for there are numerous layers resting upon another, because there are congelations upon congelations of snow that have become ice-like, and the congelations that are on the surface are from time to time easily released from those beneath before they are completely dissolved in the rays of the sun.

7 Most of the country of the Salassi lies in a deep glen, the district being shut in by both mountains, whereas a certain part of their territory stretches up to the mountain-crests that lie above. Accordingly, the road for all who pass over the mountains from Italy runs through the aforesaid glen. Then the road forks; and one fork runs through what is called Poeninus (a road which, for wagons, is impassable near the summits of the Alps), while the other runs more to the west, through the country of the Ceutrones. The country of the Salassi has gold mines also, which in former times, when the Salassi were powerful, they kept possession of, just as they were also masters of the passes. The Durias River was of the greatest aid to them in their mining — I mean in washing the gold; and therefore, in making the water branch off to numerous places, they used to empty the common bed completely. But although this was helpful to the Salassi in their hunt for the gold, it distressed the people who farmed the plains below them, because their country was deprived of irrigation; for, since its bed was on favourable ground higher up, the river could give the country water. And for this reason both tribes were continually at war with each other. But after the Romans got the mastery, the Salassi were thrown out of their gold-works and country too; however, since they still held possession of the mountains, they sold water to the publicans who had contracted to work the gold mines; but on account of the greediness of the publicans Salassi were always in disagreement with them too. And in this way it resulted that those of the Romans who from time to time wished to lead armies and were sent to the regions in question were well provided with pretexts for war. Until quite recently, indeed, although at one time they were being warred upon by the Romans and at another were trying to bring to an end their war against the Romans, they were still powerful, and, in accordance with their custom of brigandage, inflicted much damage upon those who passed through their country over the mountains; at any rate, they exacted even from Decimus Brutus, on his flight from Mutina, a toll of a drachma per man; and when Messala was wintering near their country, he had to pay for wood, cash down, not only for his fire-wood but also for the elm-wood used for javelins and the wood used for gymnastic purposes. And once these men robbed even Caesar of money and threw crags upon his legions under the pretext that they were making roads or bridging rivers. Later on, however, Augustus completely overthrew them, and sold all of them as booty, after carrying them to Eporedia, a Roman colony; and although the Romans had colonised this city because they wished it to be a garrison against the Salassi, the people there were able to offer only slight opposition until the tribe, as such, was wiped out. Now although the number of the other persons captured proved to be thirty-six thousand and, of the fighting men, eight thousand, Terentius Varro, the general who overthrew them, sold all of them under the spear. And Caesar sent three thousand Romans and founded the city of Augusta in the place where Varro had pitched his camp, and at the present time peace is kept by all the neighbouring country as far as the highest parts of the passes which lead over the mountain.

8 Next, in order, come those parts of the mountains that are towards the east, and those that bend round towards the south: the Rhaeti and the Vindelici occupy them, and their territories join those of the Elvetii and the Boii; for their territories overlook the plains of those peoples. Now the Rhaeti reach down as far as that part of Italy which is above Verona and Comum (moreover, the "Rhaetic" wine, which has the repute of not being inferior to the approved wines of the Italic regions, is made in the foot-hills of the Rhaetic Alps), and also extend as far as the districts through which the Rhenus runs; the Lepontii, also, and Camuni, belong to this stock. But the Vindelici and Norici occupy the greater part of the outer side of the mountain, along with the Breuni and the Genauni, the two peoples last named being Illyrians. All these peoples used to overrun, from time to time, the neighbouring parts, not only of Italy, but also of the country of the Elvetii, the Sequani, the Boii and the Germans. The Licattii, the Clautenatii, and the Vennones proved to be the boldest warriors of all the Vindelici, as did the Rucantii and the Cotuantii of all the Rhaeti. The Estiones, also, belong to the Vindelici, and so do the Brigantii, and their cities, Brigantium and Cambodunum, and also Damasia, the acropolis, as it were, of the Licattii. The stories of the severity of these brigands towards the Italiotes are to this effect: When they capture a village or city, they not only murder all males from youths up but they also go on and kill the male infants, and they do not stop there either, but also kill all the pregnant women who their seers say are pregnant with male children.

9 Directly after these people come the peoples that dwell near the recess of the Adriatic and the districts round about Aquileia, namely, the Carni as well as certain of the Norici; the Taurisci, also, belong to the Norici. But Tiberius and his brother Drusus stopped all of them from their riotous incursions by means of a single summer-campaign; so that now for thirty-three years they have been in a state of tranquillity and have been paying their tributes regularly. Now throughout the whole of the mountainous country of the Alps there are, indeed, not only hilly districts which admit of good farming, but also glens which have been well built up by settlers; the greater part, however (and, in particular, in the neighbourhood of the mountain-crests, where, as we know, the brigands used to congregate) is wretched and unfruitful, both on account of the frosts and of the ruggedness of the soil. It was because of scarcity, therefore, of both food and other things that they sometimes would spare the people in the plains, in order that they might have people to supply their wants; and in exchange they would give resin, pitch, torch-pine, wax, honey, and cheese — for with these things they were well supplied. Above the Carni lies the Apennine Mountain, which has a lake that issues forth into the River Isaras, which, after having received another river, the Atagis, empties into the Adriatic. But there is also another river, called the Atesinus, which flows into the Ister from the same lake. The Ister too, in fact, takes it beginning in these mountains, for they are split into many parts and have many peaks; that is, from Liguria, up to this point, the lofty parts of the Alps run in an unbroken stretch and then break up and diminish in height, and in turn rise again, into more and more parts, and more and more crests. Now the first of these is that ridge, on the far side of the Rhenus and the lake, which leans towards the east — a ridge only moderately high, in which, near the Suevi and the Hercynian Forest, are the sources of the Ister. And there are other ridges which bend round towards Illyria and the Adriatic, among which are the Apennine Mountain above-mentioned and also the Tullum and Phligadia, the mountains which lie above the Vindelici, whence flow the Duras and Clanis and several other torrential rivers which join the stream of the Ister.

10 And further, the Iapodes (we now come to this mixed tribe of Illyrii and Celti) dwell round about these regions; and Mount Ocra is near these people. The Iapodes, then, although formerly they were well supplied with strong men and held as their homeland both sides of the mountain208 and by their business of piracy held sway over these regions, have been vanquished and completely outdone by Augustus Caesar. Their cities are: Metulum, Arupini, Monetium, and Vendo. After the Iapodes comes Segestica, a city in the plain, past which flows the River Saüs, which empties into the Ister. The situation of the city is naturally well-suited for making war against the Daci. The Ocra is the lowest part of the Alps in that region in which the Alps join the country of the Carni, and through which the merchandise from Aquileia is conveyed in wagons to what is called Nauportus (over a road of not much more than four hundred stadia); from here, however, it is carried down by the rivers as far as the Ister and the districts in that part of the country; for there is, in fact, a river which flows past Nauportus; it runs out of Illyria, is navigable, and empties into the Saüs, so that the merchandise is easily carried down to Segestica and the country of the Pannonii and Taurisci. And the Colapis too joins the Saüs near the city; both are navigable and flow from the Alps. The Alps have both cattle and wild horses. Polybius says that there is also produced in the Alps an animal of special form; it is like a deer in shape, except for its neck and growth of hair (in these respects, he says, it resembles a boar), and beneath its chin it has a sac about a span long with hair at the tip, the thickness of a colt's tail.

11 Among the passes which lead over from Italy to the outer — or northerly — Celtica, is the one that leads through the country of the Salassi, to Lugdunum; it is a double pass, one branch, that through the Ceutrones, being practicable for wagons through the greater part of its length, while the other, that through the Poeninus, is steep and narrow, but a short cut. Lugdunum is in the centre of the country — an acropolis, as it were, not only because the rivers meet there, but also because it is near all parts of the country. And it was on this account, also, that Agrippa began at Lugdunum when he cut his roads — that which passes through the Cemmenus Mountains as far as the Santoni and Aquitania, and that which leads to the Rhenus, and, a third, that which leads to the ocean (the one that runs by the Bellovaci and the Ambiani); and, a fourth, that which leads to Narbonitis and the Massilian seaboard. And there is also, again, in the Poeninus itself (if you leave on your left Lugdunum and the country that lies above it), a bye-road which, after you cross the Rhodanus or Lake Lemenna, leads into the plains of the Helvetii; and thence there is a pass through the Jura Mountain over to the country of the Sequani and also to that of the Lingones; moreover, the thoroughfares through these countries branch off both ways — both towards the Rhenus and towards the ocean.

12 Polybius further says that in his own time there was found, about opposite Aquileia in the country of the Noric Taurisci, a gold mine so well-suited for mining that, if one scraped away the surface-soil for a depth of only two feet, he found forthwith dug-gold, and that the diggings were never deeper than fifteen feet; and he goes on to say that part of the gold is immediately pure, in sizes of a bean or a lupine, when only the eighth part is boiled away, and that although the rest needs more smelting, the smelting is very profitable; and that two months after the Italiotes joined them in working the mine, the price of gold suddenly became a third less throughout the whole of Italy, but when the Taurisci learned this they cast out their fellow-workers and carried on a monopoly. Now, however, all the gold mines are under the control of the Romans. And here, too, just as in Iberia, in addition to the dug-gold, gold-dust is brought down by the rivers — not, however, in such quantities as there. The same man, in telling about the size and the height of the Alps, contrasts with them the greatest mountains among the Greeks: Taygetus, Lycaeus, Parnassus, Olympus, Pelion, Ossa; and in Thrace: Haemus, Rhodope, Dunax; and he says it is possible for people who are unencumbered to ascend any one of them on the same day, whereas one cannot ascend the Alps even in five days; and their length is two thousand two hundred stadia, that is, their length at the side, along the plains. But he only names four passes over the mountains: the pass through the Ligures (the one that is nearest the Tyrrhenian Sea), then that through the Taurini, which Hannibal crossed, then that through the Salassi, and the fourth, that through the Rhaeti, — all of them precipitous passes. And as for lakes, he says that there are several in the mountains, but that only three are large: one of these, Lake Benacus, has a length of five hundred stadia and a breadth of thirty, from which flows the Mincius River; the next, lake Verbanus, four hundred in length, and narrower in breadth than the former, which sends forth the River Addua; and, third, Lake Larius, in length nearly three hundred stadia, and in breadth thirty, which sends forth a large river, the Ticinus; and all three rivers flow into the Padus. This, then, is what I have to say about the Alpine Mountains.

 
5 North Italy 4 89 1:50
Parma 5.1
Placentia 5.1
5 - 1 Northern Italy proper (roughly Emilia-Romagna)

1 After the foothills of the Alps comes the beginning of what is now Italy. For the ancients used to call only Oenotria Italy, although it extended from the Strait of Sicily only as far as the Gulfs of Tarentum and Poseidonia, but the name of Italy prevailed and advanced even as far as the foothills of the Alps, and also took in, not only those parts of Ligustica which extend from the boundaries of Tyrrhenia as far as the Varus River and the sea there, but also those parts of Istria which extend as far as Pola. One might guess that it was because of their prosperity that the people who were the first to be named Italians imparted the name to the neighbouring peoples, and then received further increments in this way until the time of the Roman conquest. At some late time or other after the Romans had shared with the Italiotes the equality of civil rights, they decided to allow the same honour both to the Cisalpine Galatae3 and to the Heneti, and to call all of them Italiotes as well as Romans, and, further, to send forth many colonies amongst them, some earlier and some later, than which it is not easy to call any other set of colonies better.

2 Now it is not easy geometrically to outline what is now Italy, as a whole, by means of a single figure, and yet they say it is a triangular promontory extending towards the south and the winter-risings of the sun, with its vertex at the Strait of Sicily, and with the Alps as its base. I must concede also one of the sides, namely, that which ends at the strait and is washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea. But "triangle" is the specific name for the rectilinear figure, whereas in this case both the base and the side are curved, so that, if I say "I must concede," I must put down both the base and the side as belonging to a curved-line figure, and I must concede also the slant of this side, namely, the slant towards the risings. But as for the rest of the description given by these writers, it is inadequate, because they have assumed only a single side extending from the recess of the Adriatic to the strait; for by "side" we mean the line that has no angle, and a line has no angle when its parts either do not converge towards one another or else not much. But the line from Ariminum to the Iapygian Cape and that from the strait to the same cape converge very much. And the same holds true, I think, with the line from the recess of the Adriatic and that from Iapygia; for, meeting in the regions round about Ariminum and Ravenna, they form an angle, or, if not an angle, at least a considerable curve. Hence this stretch might perhaps be one side (I mean the coasting-voyage from the recess to Iapygia), though the side would not be straight; and the rest of the stretch, thence to the strait, might suggest another side, though this side would not be straight, either. In this sense one might call the figure "four-sided" rather than "three-sided," but in no sense whatever a "triangle," except by an abuse of the term. It is better, however, to confess that the representation of non-geometrical figures is not easy to describe.

3 Taking the parts severally, however, we can speak as follows: as for the Alps, their base is curved and gulf-like, with the cavities turned towards Italy; the central gulf are near the Salassi, while the extremities take a turn, the one as far as Ocra and the recess of the Adriatic, the other to the Ligurian seaboard as far as Genua (the emporium of the Ligures), where the Apennine Mountains join the Alps. But immediately at the base of the Alps there lies a considerable plain, with its length and its breadth about equal, namely, two thousand one hundred stadia; its southern side is shut in both by the seaboard of the Heneti and by those Apennine Mountains which reach down to the neighbourhood of Ariminum and Ancona; for these mountains, after beginning in Liguria, enter Tyrrhenia, leaving only a narrow seaboard, and then, withdrawing into the interior little by little, when they come to be opposite the territory of Pisa, bend towards the east and towards the Adriatic until they reach the regions round about Ariminum and Ancona, there joining in a straight line the seaboard of the Heneti. Cisalpine Celtica, accordingly, is shut in by these boundaries; and although the length of the seaboard, together with that of the mountains, is as much as six thousand three hundred stadia, the breadth is slightly less than one thousand. The remainder of Italy, however, is narrow and elongated, terminating in two heads, one at the Sicilian Strait and the other at Iapygia; and it is pinched in on both sides, on one by the Adriatic and on the other by the Tyrrhenian Sea. The shape and the size of the Adriatic are like that part of Italy which is marked off by the Apennine Mountains and by both seas as far as Iapygia and that isthmus which is between the Gulfs of Tarentum and Poseidonia; for the maximum breadth of each is about one thousand three hundred stadia, and the length not much less than six thousand. The remainder of Italy, however, is all the country occupied by the Brettii and certain of the Leucani. Polybius says that, if you go by foot, the seaboard from Iapygia to the strait is as much as three thousand stadia, and that it is washed by the Sicilian Sea, but that, if you go by sea, it is as much as five hundred stadia short of that. The Apennine Mountains, after joining the regions round about Ariminum and Ancona, that is, after marking off the breadth of Italy there from sea to sea, again take a turn, and cut the whole country lengthwise. As far, then, as the territory of the Peucetii and that of the Leucani they do not recede much from the Adriatic, but after joining the territory of the Leucani they bend off more towards the other sea and then, for the rest of the way, passing throughout the centre of the territory of the Leucani and Brettii, end at what is called Leucopetra in the district of Rhegium. Thus much, then, I have said about what is now Italy, as a whole, in a merely rough-outline way, but I shall now go back and try to tell about the several parts in detail; and first about the parts at the base of the Alps.

4 This country is a plain that is very rich in soil and diversified by fruitful hills. The plain is divided almost at its very centre by the Padus; and its parts are called, the one Cispadana, the other Transpadana. Cispadana is all the part that lies next to the Apennine Mountains and Liguria, while Transpadana is the rest. The latter is inhabited by the Ligurian and the Celtic tribes, who live partly in the mountains, partly in the plains, whereas the former is inhabited by the Celti and Heneti. Now these Celti are indeed of the same race as the Transalpine Celti, but concerning the Heneti there are two different accounts: Some say that the Heneti too are colonists of those Celti of like name who live on the ocean-coast; while others say that certain of the Heneti of Paphlagonia escaped hither with Antenor from the Trojan war, and, as testimony in this, adduce their devotion to the breeding of horses — a devotion which now, indeed, has wholly disappeared, although formerly it was prized among them, from the fact of their ancient rivalry in the matter of producing mares for mule-breeding. Homer, too, recalls this fact: "From the land of the Heneti, whence the breed of the wild mules." Again, Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, collected his stud of prize-horses from here, and consequently not only did the fame of the Henetian foal-breeding reach the Greeks but the breed itself was held in high esteem by them for a long time.

5 Now this whole country is filled with rivers and marshes, but particularly the part that belongs to the Heneti. And this part, furthermore, is also affected by the behaviour of the sea; for here are almost the only parts of Our Sea that behave like the ocean, and both the ebb-tides and the flood-tides produced here are similar to those of the ocean, since by them the greater part of the plain is made full of lagoons. But, like what is called Lower Egypt, it has been intersected by channels and dikes; and while some parts have been relieved by drainage and are being tilled, others afford voyages across their waters. Of the cities here, some are wholly island, while others are only partly surrounded by water. As for all the cities that are situated above the marshes in the interior, the inland voyages afforded thereto by the rivers are wonderful, but particularly by the Padus; for not only is it the largest of these rivers but it is oftentimes filled by both the rains and the snow, although, as the result of separating into many streams near the outlets, the mouth is choked with mud and hard to enter. But even the greatest difficulties are overcome by experience.

6 In early times, then, as I was saying, the country round about the Padus was inhabited for the most part by the Celti. And the largest tribes of the Celti were the Boii, the Insubri, and those Senones who, along with the Gaezatae, once seized the territory of the Romans at the first assault. These two peoples, it is true, were utterly destroyed by the Romans later on, but the Boii were merely driven out of the regions they occupied; and after migrating to the regions round about the Ister, lived with the Taurisci, and carried on war against the Daci until they perished, tribe and all — and thus they left their country, which was a part of Illyria, to their neighbours as a pasture-ground for sheep. The Insubri, however, are still in existence. They had as metropolis Mediolanium, which, though long ago only a village (for they all used to dwell only in villages), is now a notable city; it is across the Padus, and almost adjoins the Alps. Near by is Verona also (this, too, a large city), and, smaller than these two, the cities of Brixia, Mantua, Regium, and Comum. Comum used to be only a moderate-sized settlement, but, after its ill treatment by the Rhaeti who are situated above it, Pompey Strabo, father of Pompey the Great, settled a Roman colony there; then Gaius Scipio added three thousand colonists; then the Deified Caesar further settled it with five thousand, among whom the five hundred Greeks were the most notable; and to these latter he not only gave the rights of citizenship but also enrolled them among the colonists. The Greeks did not, however, take up their abode there, though they at least left to the settlement the name; for the colonists were, as a whole, called "Neo-Comitae" — that is, if interpreted in Latin, "Novum Comum." Near this place is what is called Lake Larius; it is fed by the River Addua. The river then issues forth from the lake into the Padus; it has its original sources, however, in Mount Adula, in which also the Rhenus has its sources.

7 These cities, then, are situated considerably above the marshes; and near them is Patavium, the best of all the cities in that part of the country, since this city by recent census, so it is said, had five hundred knights, and, besides, in ancient times used to send forth an army of one hundred and twenty thousand. And the quantities of manufactured goods which Patavium sends to Rome to market — clothing of all sorts and many other things — show what a goodly store of men it has and how skilled they are in the arts. Patavium offers an inland voyage from the sea by a river which runs through the marshes, two hundred and fifty stadia from a large harbour; the harbour, like the river, is called Medoacus. The largest city in the marshes, however, is Ravenna, a city built entirely of wood and coursed by rivers, and it is provided with thoroughfares by means of bridges and ferries. At the tides the city receives no small portion of the sea, so that, since the filth is all washed out by these as well as the rivers, the city is relieved of foul air. At any rate, the place has been found to be so healthful that the rulers have given orders to feed and train the gladiators there. Now this is indeed one of the marvellous things at Ravenna, I mean the fact that the air in a marsh is harmless (compare the Egyptian Alexandria, where, in summer, the lake loses its baneful qualities by reason of the overflow of the Nile and the disappearance of the standing waters), but the behaviour of the vine is also a thing fit to marvel at; for although the marshes support it and make it fruit quickly and in great quantities, it dies within four or five years. Altinum too is in a marsh, for the portion it occupies is similar to that of Ravenna. Between the two cities is Butrium, a town belonging to Ravenna, and also Spina, which though now only a small village, long ago was a Greek city of repute.a At any rate, a treasury of the Spinitae is to be seen at Delphi; and everything else that history tells about them shows that they were once masters of the sea. Moreover, it is said that Spina was once situated by the sea, although at the present time the place is in the interior, about ninety stadia distant from the sea. Furthermore, it has been said that Ravenna was founded by the Thessalians; but since they could not bear the wanton outrages of the Tyrrhenians, they voluntarily took in some of the Ombrici, which latter still now hold the city, whereas the Thessalians themselves returned home. These cities, then, are for the most part surrounded by the marshes, and hence subject to inundations.

8 But Opitergium, Concordia, Atria, Vicetia, and other small towns like them are less hemmed in by the marshes, though they are connected with the sea by small waterways. It is said that Atria was once an illustrious city, and that the Adriatic Gulf got its name therefrom, with only a slight change in the spelling. Aquileia, which is nearest of all to the recess of the Gulf, was founded by the Romans as a fortress against the barbarians who were situated above it; and there is an inland voyage thither for merchant-vessels, by way of the River Natiso, for a distance of more than sixty stadia. Aquileia has been given over as an emporium for those tribes of the Illyrians that live near the Ister; the latter load on wagons and carry inland the products of the sea, and wine stored in wooden jars, and also olive-oil, whereas the former get in exchange slaves, cattle, and hides. But Aquileia is outside the boundaries of the Heneti. The boundary between the two peoples is marked by a river flowing from the Alps, which affords an inland voyage of as much as twelve hundred stadia to the city of Noreia, near which Gnaeus Carbo clashed to no effect with the Cimbri. This region has places that are naturally well-suited to gold-washing, and has also iron-works. And in the very recess of the Adriatic there is also a temple of Diomedes that is worth recording, "the Timavum"; for it has a harbour, and a magnificent precinct, and seven fountains of potable waters which immediately empty into the sea in one broad, deep river. According to Polybius, all the fountains except one are of salt water, and what is more, the natives call the place the source and mother of the sea. But Poseidonius says that a river, the Timavus, runs out of the mountains, falls down into a chasm, and then, after running underground about a hundred and thirty stadia, makes its exit near the sea.

9 As for the dominion of Diomedes in the neighbourhood of this sea, not only the "Islands of Diomedes" bear witness thereto, but also the historical accounts of the Daunii and Argos Hippium, which I shall relate insofar as they may be historically useful; but I must disregard most of the mythical or false stories, as, for example, the stories of Phaethon, and of the Heliades that were changed into poplar-trees near the Eridanus (the Eridanus that exists nowhere on earth, although it is spoken of as near the Padus), and of the Electrides Islands that lie off the Padus, and of the guinea-fowls on them; for not one of these things is in that region, either. It is an historical fact, however, that among the Heneti certain honours have been decreed to Diomedes; and, indeed, a white horse is still sacrificed to him, and two precincts are still to be seen — one of them sacred to the Argive Hera and the other to the Aetolian Artemis. But some mythical elements, of course, have been added: namely, that in these sacred precincts the wild animals become tame, and deer herd with wolves, and they allow the people to approach and caress them, and any that are being pursued by dogs are no longer pursued when they have taken refuge here. And it is said that one of the prominent men, who was known for his fondness for giving bail for people and was twitted for this, fell in with some hunters who had a wolf in their nets, and, upon their saying in jest that if he would give bail for the wolf, and agree to settle all the damage the wolf should do, they would set the wolf free from the toils, he agreed to the proposal; and the wolf, when set free, drove off a considerable herd of unbranded horses and brought them to the steading of the man who was fond of giving bail; and the man who received the favour not only branded all the mares with a wolf, but also called them the "wolf-breed" — mares exceptional for speed rather than beauty; and his successors kept not only the brand but also the name for the breed of the horses, and made it a custom not to sell a mare to outsiders, in order that the genuine breed might remain in their family alone, since horses of that breed had become famous. But, at the present time, as I was saying, the practice of horse-breeding has wholly disappeared. After the Timavum comes the seaboard of the Istrii as far as Pola, which belongs to Italy. Between the Timavum and Pola lies the stronghold of Tergeste, at a distance of one hundred and eighty stadia from Aquileia. As for Pola, it is situated in a harbour-like gulf which has isles with good mooring-places and with fruitful soil; it was founded in early times by those Colchians who were sent forth in quest of Medea, but failed in their undertaking and thus condemned themselves to exile: "which a Greek would call 'the city of the exiles,' " as Callimachus has said, "but their tongue hath named it Polae." The Transpadane districts, then, are occupied both by the Heneti and by the peoples who extend as far as Pola; and, above the Heneti, by the Carni, the Cenomani, the Medoaci, and the Symbri; of these peoples, some were once enemies of the Romans, but the Cenomani and the Heneti used to help the Romans in their battles, not only before the campaign of Hannibal (I mean when the Romans were making war upon the Boii and the Symbri), but thereafter as well.

10 But the Cispadane peoples occupy all that country which is encircled by the Apennine Mountains towards the Alps as far as Genua and Sabata. The greater part of the country used to be occupied by the Boii, Ligures, Senones, and Gaezatae; but since the Boii have been driven out, and since both the Gaezatae and the Senones have been annihilated, only the Ligurian tribes and the Roman colonies are left. The Romans, however, have been intermingled with the stock of the Ombrici and also, in some places, with that of the Tyrrheni; for both these tribes, before the general aggrandizement of the Romans, carried on a sort of competition with one another for the primacy, and since they had only the River Tiber between them could easily cross over against one another. And if, as I suppose, one of the two peoples went forth on a campaign against a third people, the other of the two conceived a contentious desire not to fail to make an expedition to the same places; and so, too, when the Tyrrheni had sent forth an army into the midst of the barbarians round about the Padus and had fared well, and then on account of their luxurious living were quickly cast out again, the other of the two made an expedition against those who had cast them out; and then, in turns, disputing over the places, the two, in the case of many of the settlements, made some Tyrrhenian and some Ombrican — the greater number, however, Ombrican, for the Ombrici were nearer. But the Romans, upon taking control and sending settlers to many places, helped to preserve also the stocks of the earlier settlers. And at the present time, although they are all Romans, they are none the less called, some "Ombri," and some "Tyrrheni," as is the case with the Heneti, the Ligures, and the Insubri.

11 There are some famous cities in Cispadana and in the neighbourhood of the Padus: first, Placentia and Cremona, which are very near each other and are at about the centre of the country; and secondly — between these two and Ariminum — Parma, Mutina, and Bononia (once in Bononia you are near Ravenna), and also some small towns scattered between these three which also lie on the road to Rome — I mean Ancara, Regium Lepidum, Macri Campi where a public festival is held every year, Claterna, and Forum Cornelium; and then, Faventia and Caesena, near the River Sapis and the Rubicon, where, at last, you are on the borders of Ariminum. Ariminum is a settlement of the Ombri, just as Ravenna is, although each of them has received Roman colonists. And Ariminum has a harbour and a river of like name. From Placentia to Ariminum the distance is one thousand three hundred stadia. Beyond Placentia, towards the boundaries of the land of Cottius, there lies, within a distance of thirty-six miles from Placentia, the city of Ticinum (and also the river of like name that flows past it and joins the Padus), and also, on a road which runs slightly to one side, there lie Clastidium, Derton and Aquae Statiellae. But the direct road to Ocelum runs along the Padus and the River Durias, the greater part of it over ravines, since, besides these two, it has several other rivers to cross, among which is the Druentia, a distance of about sixty miles. And this is where the Alps Mountains and Celtica begin.

Near those mountains which lie above Luna is a city, Luca, although some of the people here live only in villages; nevertheless the country has a goodly store of men, and the greater part of the soldiery comes from here, and also the majority of those men of equestrian rank from whom the Senate recruits its ranks. Derton is a considerable city, and it is situated about midway of the road which runs from Genua to Placentia, being four hundred stadia distant from each; and this is the road on which Aquae Statiellae is situated. Of the distance from Placentia to Ariminum I have already spoken; there is also a voyage thence by the Padus down to Ravenna which takes two days and nights. Now a considerable part of Cispadana too used to be covered by marshes (through which Hannibal, on his advance against Tyrrhenia, passed only with difficulty); but Scaurus drained the plains by running navigable canals from the Padus as far as Parma; for near Placentia the Padus is joined by the Trebia, as also before that by several other rivers, and is thus made excessively full. This Scaurus is the man who constructed the Aemilian Way which runs through Pisa and Luna as far as Sabata and thence through Derton; there is another Aemilian Way, however — I mean the one which succeeds the Flaminian. For Marcus Lepidus and Gaius Flaminius were consuls together; and, upon subjugating the Ligures, the latter constructed the Flaminian Way from Rome through Tyrrhenia and Ombrica as far as the regions of Ariminum, and the former the succeeding road that runs as far as Bononia, and from there, along the base of the Alps, thus encircling the marshes, to Aquileia. Now the boundary of all this country which we call Cisalpine Celtica — I mean the boundary between it and the remainder of Italy — was once designated by that part of the Apennine Mountains which is beyond Tyrrhenia, and also by the River Aesis, but later on by the Rubicon; both these rivers empty into the Adriatic.

12 As for the excellence of the regions, it is evidenced by their goodly store of men, the size of the cities and their wealth, in all which respects the Romans in that part of the world have surpassed the rest of Italy. For not only does the tilled land bring forth fruits in large quantities and of all sorts, but the forests have acorns in such quantities that Rome is fed mainly on the herds of swine that come from there. And the yield of millet is also exceptional, since the soil is well-watered; and millet is the greatest preventive of famine, since it withstands every unfavourable weather, and can never fail, even though there be scarcity of every other grain. The country has wonderful pitch-works, also; and as for the wine, the quantity is indicated by the jars, for the wooden ones are larger than houses; and the good supply of the pitch helps much towards the excellent smearing the jars receive. As for wool, the soft kind is produced by the regions round Mutina and the River Scultenna (the finest wool of all); the coarse, by Liguria and the country of the Symbri, from which the greater part of the households of the Italiotes are clothed; and the medium, by the regions round Patavium, from which are made the expensive carpets and covers and everything of this kind that is woolly either on both sides or only on one. But as for the mines, at the present time they are not being worked here as seriously as before — perhaps on account of the fact that those in the country of the Transalpine Celti and in Iberia are more profitable; formerly, however, they were seriously worked, for there was a gold mine at Vercelli too; Vercelli is a village near Ictumuli (this too a village), and both are near Placentia. So much, then, my geographical description of the First Portion of Italy.

 
Sinuessa 5.2
Sinuessa 5.2b
5 - 2 Tyrrhenia and Umbria (Tuscany, Umbria, and the N Marche)

1 Let us call the Second Portion that Liguria which is in the Apennines themselves, situated between that Celtica which I have just described and Tyrrhenia. It contains nothing worthy of detailed p335description except that the people live only in villages, plowing and digging rough land, or rather, as Poseidonius says, quarrying stones. The Third Portion is contiguous to the Second — I mean the country of the Tyrrheni, who hold the plains that extend as far as the River Tiber and whose country is washed, on its eastern side (generally speaking), by the river as far as its mouth, and on the other side by the Tyrrhenian and Sardinian Sea. But the Tiber flows from the Apennine Mountains, and is fed by many rivers; for a part of its course it runs through Tyrrhenia itself, and in its course thereafter separates from Tyrrhenia, first, Ombrica, then, the country of the Sabini and also that part of Latium which is near Rome and extends as far as the coastline. These three latter lie approximately parallel to the river and Tyrrhenia in their breadth and also to one another in their length; and they reach up to those parts of the Apennine Mountains which closely approach the Adriatic, in this order: first, Ombrica, then, after Ombrica, the country of the Sabini, and, last, Latium, — all of them beginning at the river. Now the country of the Latini lies between the coastline that stretches from Ostia as far as the city of Sinuessa and the country of the Sabini (Ostia is the port-town of the Roman navy — the port into which the Tiber, after flowing past Rome, empties), although it extends lengthwise as far as Campania and the mountains of the Samnitae. But the country of the Sabini lies between that of the Latini and that of the Ombrici, although it too extends to the mountains of the Samnitae, or rather it joins that part of the Apennines which is in the country of the Vestini, the Peligni, and the Marsi. And the country of the Ombrici lies between the country of the Sabini and Tyrrhenia, although it extends over the mountains as far as Ariminum and Ravenna. And Tyrrhenia, beginning at its proper sea and the Tiber, ceases at the very foot of those mountains which enclose it from Liguria to the Adriatic. I shall treat the several parts, however, in detail, beginning with the Tyrrheni themselves.

2 The Tyrrheni, then, are called among the Romans "Etrusci" and "Tusci". The Greeks, however, so the story goes, named them thus after Tyrrhenus, the son of Atys, who sent forth colonists hither from Lydia: At a time of famine and dearth of crops, Atys, one of the descendants of Heracles and Omphale, having only two children, by a casting of lots detained one of them, Lydus, and, assembling the greater part of the people with the other, Tyrrhenus, sent them forth. And when Tyrrhenus came, he not only called the country Tyrrhenia after himself, but also put Tarco in charge as "coloniser," and founded twelve cities; Tarco, I say, after whom the city of Tarquinia is named, who, on account of his sagacity from boyhood, is said by the myth-tellers to have been born with grey hair. Now at first the Tyrrheni, since they were subject to the orders of only one ruler, were very strong, but in later times, it is reasonable to suppose, their united government was dissolved, and the Tyrrheni, yielding to the violence of their neighbours, were broken up into separate cities; for otherwise they would not have given up a happy land and taken to the sea as pirates, different bands turning to different parts of the high seas; indeed, in all cases where they acted in concert, they were able, not only to defend themselves against those who attacked them, but also to attack in turn and to make long expeditions. But it was after the founding of Rome that Demaratus arrived, bringing with him a host of people from Corinth; and, since he was received by the Tarquinians, he married a native woman, by whom he begot Lucumo. And since Lucumo had proved a friend to Ancus Marcius, the king of the Romans, he was made king, and his name was changed to Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. Be that as it may, he too adorned Tyrrhenia, as his father had done before him — the father by means of the goodly supply of artisans who had accompanied him from home and the son by means of the resources supplied by Rome. It is further said that the triumphal, and consular, adornment, and, in a word, that of all the rulers, was transferred to Rome from Tarquinii, as also fasces, axes, trumpets, sacrificial rites, divination, and all music publicly used by the Romans. This Tarquinius was the father of the second Tarquinius, the "Superbus," who was the last of the kings and was banished. Porsinas, the king of Clusium, a Tyrrhenian city, undertook to restore him to the throne by force of arms, but was unable to do so, although he broke up the personal enmity against himself and departed as friend, along with honour and large gifts.

3 Thus much for the lustre of the Tyrrheni. And still to be recorded are the achievements of the Caeretani: they defeated in war those Galatae who had captured Rome, having attacked them when they were in the country of the Sabini on their way back, and also took away as booty from the Galatae, against their will, what the Romans had willingly given them; in addition to this, they saved all who fled to them for refuge from Rome, and the immortal fire, and the priestesses of Vesta. The Romans, it is true, on account of the bad managers which the city had at the time, do not seem to have remembered the favour of the Caeretani with sufficient gratitude, for, although they gave them the right of citizenship, they did not enroll them among the citizens, and even used to relegate all others who had no share in the equal right to "the Tablets of the Caeretani." Among the Greeks, however, this city was in good repute both for bravery and for righteousness; for it not only abstained from all piracy, but also set up at Pytho what is called "the treasury of the Agyllaei"; for what is now Caerea was formerly called Agylla, and is said to have been founded by Pelasgi who had come from Thessaly. But when those Lydians whose name was changed to Tyrrheni marched against the Agyllaei, one of them approached the wall and inquired what the name of the city was, and when one of the Thessalians on the wall, instead of replying to the inquiry, saluted him with a "Chaere," the Tyrrheni accepted the omen, and, on capturing the city, changed its name accordingly. But the city, once so splendid and illustrious, now preserves mere traces of its former self; and the hot springs near by, which are called Caeretanian Springs, have a greater population than it has — because of those who visit the Springs for the cure.

4 As for the Pelasgi, almost all agree, in the first place, that some ancient tribe of that name spread throughout the whole of Greece, and particularly among the Aeolians of Thessaly. Again, Ephorus says that he is of the opinion that, since they were originally Arcadians, they chose a military life, and that, in converting many peoples to the same mode of life, they imparted their name to all, and thus acquired great glory, not only among the Greeks, but also among all other people whithersoever they had chanced to come. For example, they prove to have been colonisers of Crete, as Homer says; at any rate, Odysseus says to Penelope: "But one tongue with others is mixed; there dwell Achaeans, there Cretans of the old stock, proud of heart, there Cydonians, and Dorians too, of waving plumes, and goodly Pelasgians." And Thessaly is called "the Pelasgian Argos" (I mean that part of it which lies between the outlets of the Peneius River and Thermopylae as far as the mountainous country of Pindus), on account of the fact that the Pelasgi extended their rule over these regions. Further, the Dodonaean Zeus is by the poet himself named "Pelasgian": "O Lord Zeus, Dodonaean, Pelasgian." And many have called also the tribes of Epirus "Pelasgian," because in their opinion the Pelasgi extended their rule even as far as that. And, further, because many of the heroes were called "Pelasgi" by name, the people of later times have, from those heroes, applied the name to many of the tribes; for example, they have called the island of Lesbos "Pelasgia," and Homer has called "Pelasgi" the people that were neighbours to those Cilicians who lived in the Troad: "And Hippothous led the tribes of spear-fighting Pelasgi, those Pelasgi who inhabited deep-soiled Larissa."88 But Ephorus' authority for the statement that this race originated in Arcadia was Hesiod; for Hesiod says: "And sons were born of god-like Lycaon, who, on a time, was begotten by Pelasgus." Again, Aeschylus, in his Suppliants, or else his Danaan Women, says that the race of the Pelasgi originated in that Argos which is round about Mycenae. And the Peloponnesus too, according to Ephorus, was called "Pelasgia." And Euripides too, in his Archelaus, says: "Danaus, the father of fifty daughters, on coming into Argos, took up his abode in the city of Inachus, and throughout Greece he laid down a law that all people hitherto named Pelasgians were to be called Danaans." And again, Anticleides says that they were the first to settle the regions round about Lemnos and Imbros, and indeed that some of these sailed away to Italy with Tyrrhenus the son of Atys. And the compilers of the histories of The Land of Atthis give accounts of the Pelasgi, believing that the Pelasgi were in fact at Athens too, although the Pelasgi were by the Attic people called "Pelargi," the compilers add, because they were wanderers and, like birds, resorted to those places whither chance led them.

5 They say that the maximum length of Tyrrhenia — the coastline from Luna as far as Ostia — is about two thousand five hundred stadia, and its breadth (I mean its breadth near the mountains) less than half its length. Now from Luna to Pisa the distance is more than four hundred stadia; and thence to Volaterrae, two hundred and eighty; again, from here to Poplonium, two hundred and seventy; and from Poplonium to Cosa, nearly eight hundred, though some say six hundred. Polybius, however, says the total number of stadia is not so much as one thousand three hundred and thirty. Of these, take first Luna; it is a city and also a harbour, and the Greeks call the city as well as the harbour "Harbour of Selene." The city, indeed, is not large, but the harbour is both very large and very beautiful, since it includes within itself several harbours, all of them deep up to the very shore, — just such a place as would naturally become the naval base of a people who were masters of the sea for so long a time. And the harbour is shut in all round by high mountains, from which the high seas are to be seen, as also Sardo, and a considerable stretch of the shore on either side. And the quarries of marble, both white and mottled bluish-grey marble, are so numerous, and of such quality (for they yield monolithic slabs and columns), that the material for most of the superior works of art108 in Rome and the rest of the cities are supplied therefrom; and, indeed, the marble is easy to export, since the quarries lie above the sea and near it, and since the Tiber in its turn takes up the cargo from the sea and conveys it to Rome. And the wooden material for the buildings, in beams that are very straight and very long, is for the most part supplied by Tyrrhenia, since by means of the river it can be brought down directly from the mountains. Now between Luna and Pisa is the Macras, which many of the historians have used as the boundary between Tyrrhenia and Liguria. As for Pisa, it was founded by those Pisatae who lived in the Peloponnesus, who made the expedition to Ilium with Nestor and on the return voyage went astray, some to Metapontum, and others to the territory of Pisa, although all of them were called Pylians. Pisa is situated between, and at the very confluence of, two rivers, the Arnus and the Ausar, of which the former runs from Arretium, with great quantities of water (not all in one stream, but divided into three streams), and the latter from the Apennine Mountains; and when they unite and form one stream they heave one another up so high by their mutual resistance that two persons standing on the opposite banks cannot even see each other;a and hence, necessarily, voyages inland from the sea are difficult to make; the length of the voyage is about twenty stadia. And the following fable is told: when these rivers first began to flow down from the mountains, and their course was being hindered by the natives for fear that they would unite in one stream and deluge the country, the rivers promised not to deluge it and kept their pledge. Again, Pisa is reputed to have been prosperous on a time, and at the present time it is not without repute, on account of its fertility, its stone-quarries, and its timber for ship-building; in ancient times, indeed, they utilised this latter material to meet the perils that faced them on the sea (for they were, to begin with, more warlike than the Tyrrheni, and their warlike spirit was sharpened by the Ligures, bad neighbours living at their flank), but at the present time most of it is being used up on the buildings at Rome, and also at the villas, now that people are devising palaces of Persian magnificence.

6 As for the Volaterrani, their country is washed by the sea and their settlement is in a deep ravine; in the ravine there is a high hill, which is precipitous on all sides and flat on the crest, and it is on this hill that the walls of the city are situated. The ascent from the base to the crest is fifteen stadia, an ascent that is sharp all the way up, and difficult to make. This is where some of the Tyrrheni and of those who had been proscribed by Sulla assembled; and, on filling out four battalions, they withstood a siege for two years, and even then retired from the place only under a truce. As for Poplonium, it is situated on a high promontory that makes an abrupt descent into the sea and forms a peninsula; it too sustained a siege at about the same time as Volaterrae. Now although the town is wholly desert except for the temples and a few dwellings, the port-town, which has a little harbour and two docks p355at the base of the mountain, is better peopled; and in my opinion this is the only one of the ancient Tyrrhenian cities that was situated on the sea itself; and my reason is the country's lack of harbours — precisely the reason why the founders would avoid the sea altogether, or else would throw forward defences towards the sea, so as not to be exposed, a ready prey, to any who might sail against them. Again, beneath the promontory there is a place for watching the tunny-fish. And in looking down from the city you can see, albeit from afar and with difficulty, the island of Sardo, and, nearer, the island of Cyrnus (about sixty stadia distant from Sardo), and much better than these, the island of Aethalia; Aethalia is closer to the mainland, since it is distant only about three hundred stadia, the same as its distance from Cyrnus. This place is the best point of departure from the mainland to the three aforesaid islands. I myself saw these islands when I went up to Poplonium, and also some mines out in the country that had failed. And I also saw the people who work the iron that is brought over from Aethalia; for it cannot be brought into complete coalescence by heating in the furnaces on the island; and it is brought over immediately from the mines to the mainland. However, this is not the only remarkable thing about the island; there is also the fact that the diggings which have been mined are in time filled up again, as is said to be the case with the ledges of rocks in Rhodes, the marble-rock in Paros, and, according to Cleitarchus, the salt-rock in India. Neither, then, is Eratosthenes correct, when he says that neither Cyrnus nor Sardo can be seen from the mainland, nor Artemidorus, when he says that both islands lie in the high sea within twelve hundred stadia; for even supposing they were visible to some people at that distance, they could not have been so to me, at least, or else not to the extent of their being seen clearly, and particularly Cyrnus. Again, there is at Aethalia a Portus Argous, from the ship "Argo," as they say; for when Jason, the story goes, was in quest of the abode of Circe, because Medea wished to see the goddess, he sailed to this port; and, what is more, because the scrapings, which the Argonauts formed when they used their •strigils, became congealed, the pebbles on the shore remain variegated still to this day. Now mythical stories of this sort are proofs of what I have been saying: that Homer was not wont to fabricate everything on his own account, but, because he heard many such stories told over and over again, he was wont on his own account to add to them by lengthening the distances and making the settings more remote; and that, just as he threw the setting of his Odysseus out into the ocean, so similarly he threw the setting of his Jason there, because a wandering had actually taken place in the life of Jason as well as in that of Odysseus — just as also in that of Menelaus. So much, then, for the island of Aethalia.

7 But Cyrnus is by the Romans called Corsica. It affords such a poor livelihood — being not only rough but in most of its parts absolutely impracticable for travel — that those who occupy the mountains and live from brigandage are more savage than wild animals. At any rate, whenever the Roman generals have made a sally, and, falling suddenly upon the strongholds, have taken a large number of the people as slaves, you can at Rome see, and marvel at, the extent to which the nature of wild beasts, as also that of battening cattle, is manifested in them; for either they cannot endure to live in captivity, or, if they live, they so irritate their purchasers by their apathy and insensibility, that, even to the purchasers may have paid for them no more than an insignificant sum, nevertheless they repent the purchase. But still there are some habitable parts in the island, and what might be called towns, namely, Blesinon, Charax, Eniconiae and Vapanes. The length of the island, says the Chorographer, is one hundred and sixty miles, and the breadth seventy; but the length of Sardinia is two hundred and twenty, and the breadth ninety-eight. According to others, however, the perimeter of Cyrnus is called about three thousand two hundred stadia, and of Sardo as much as four thousand. The greater part of Sardo is rugged and not at peace, though much of it has also soil that is blessed with all products — especially with grain. As for cities, there are indeed several, but only Caralis and Sulchi are noteworthy. But the excellence of the places is offset by a serious defect, for in summer the island is unhealthful, particularly in the fruitful districts; and it is precisely these districts that are continually ravaged by those mountaineers who are now called Diagesbes; in earlier times, however, their name was Iolaës; for Iolaüs, it is said, came hither, bringing with him some of the children of Heracles, and took up his abode with the barbarians who held the island (the latter were Tyrrheni). Later on, the Phoenicians of Carthage got the mastery over them, and along with them carried on war against the Romans; but upon the defeat of the Phoenicians, everything became subject to the Romans. There are four tribes of the mountaineers, the Parati, the Sossinati, the Balari, and the Aconites, and they live in caverns; but if they do hold a bit of land that is fit for sowing, they do not sow even this diligently; instead, they pillage the lands of the farmers — not only of the farmers on the island, but they actually sail against the people on the opposite coast, the Pisatae in particular. Now the military governors who are sent to the island resist the mountaineers part of the time, but sometimes they grow weary of it — when it is not profitable continuously to maintain a camp in unhealthful places, and then the only thing left for them is to employ stratagems; and so, having observed a certain custom of the barbarians (who come together after their forays for a general celebration extending over several days), attack them at that time and overpower many of them. Again, Sardo produces the rams that grow goat-hair instead of wool; they are called, however, "musmones," and it is with the hides of these that the people there make their cuirasses. They also use a small leather shield and a small dagger.

8 The islands can be seen clearly enough from any part of the country between Poplonium and Pisa; they are oblong and approximately parallel, all three of them, and they point towards the south and Libya; Aethalia, however, falls considerably short of the others in size. Further, the shortest passage to Sardo from Libya, according to the Chorographer, is three hundred miles. After Poplonium comes Cossa, a city slightly above the sea; that is, there is a high hill at the head of a gulf, and the settlement is on this hill; and beneath lies the Harbour of Heracles and near it is a lagoon and, along the promontory that lies above the gulf, a station for observing the tunny-fish; for along the shore the tunny-fish follow not only the acorns but also the purple fish, beginning their course at the outer sea and going even as far as Sicily. As one sails along the coast from Cossa to Ostia one comes to some small towns: Gravisci, Pyrgi, Alsium and Fregena. To Gravisci, then, the distance is three hundred stadia; and in the interval is a place called Regis Villa. History tells us that this was once the palace of Maleos, the Pelasgian, who, it is said, although he held dominion in the places mentioned, along with the Pelasgi who helped him to colonise them, departed thence to Athens. And this is also the stock to which people belong who have taken and now hold Agylla. Again, from Gravisci to Pyrgi the distance is a little less than one hundred and eighty stadia; it is the port-town of the Caeretani, thirty stadia away.b And Pyrgi has a temple of Eilethyia, an establishment of the Pelasgi; it was once rich, but it was robbed by Dionysius, the tyrant of the Sicilians, on his expedition to Cyrnus. And again, from Pyrgi to Ostia the distance is two hundred and sixty stadia; and in the interval are Alsium and Fregena. Thus much for the coastline of Tyrrhenia.

9 In the interior there are still other cities besides those already mentioned — Arretium, Perusia, Volsinii, and Sutrium; and, besides these, numerous small towns — Blera, Ferentinum,c Falerii, Faliscum, Nepeta, Statonia, and several others; some of them are constituted as of old, while others the Romans have colonised, or else have brought low, as they did Veii, which had oftentimes gone to war with them, and as they did Fidenae. Some, however, call the Falerii, not "Tyrrheni," but "Falisci," a special and distinct tribe; again, others call Faliscum a city with a special language all its own; and others mean by Faliscum "Aequum Faliscum," which is situated on the Flaminian Way between Ocriclid and Rome. The city of Feronia is at the foot of Mount Soracte, with the same name as a certain native goddess, a goddess greatly honoured by the surrounding peoples; her sacred precinct is in the place; and it has remarkable ceremonies, for those who are possessed by this goddess walk with bare feet through a great heap of embers and ashes without suffering; and a multitude of people come together at the same time, for the sake not only of attending the festal assembly, which is held here every year, but also of seeing the aforesaid sight. But Arretium, which is near the mountains, is farthest of all in the interior; at any rate, it is twelve hundred stadia distant from Rome, while Clusium is only eight hundred; and Perusia is near these two. The lakes, too, contribute to the prosperity of Tyrrhenia, being both large and numerous; for they are navigable, and also give food to quantities of fish and to the various marsh-birds; quantities of cat-tail, too, and papyrus, and downy plumes of the reed, are transported by rivers into Rome — rivers which are sent forth by the lakes as far as the Tiber; and among these are the Ciminian Lake, the lake near Volsinii, the lake near Clusium, and the lake that is nearest Rome and the sea — Lake Sabata. But the lake that is farthest away and that is near Arretium is Trasumenna, near which is the pass by which an army may debouch into Tyrrhenia from Celtica, the very pass which Hannibal used; there are two, however, this one and the one towards Ariminum through Ombrica. Now the one towards Ariminum is better, since the mountains become considerably lower there; and yet, since the defiles on this pass were carefully guarded, Hannibal was forced to choose the more difficult pass, but, for all that, he got control of it, after having conquered Flaminius in great battles. Furthermore, there are abundant hot springs in Tyrrhenia, and, because of the fact that they are near Rome, they have a population not less than the springs at Baiae, which are by far the most widely renowned of all.

10 Alongside Tyrrhenia, on the part toward the east, lies Ombrica; it takes its beginning at the Apennines and extends still farther beyond as far as the Adriatic; for it is at Ravenna that the Ombrici begin, and they occupy the nearby territory and also, in order thereafter, Sarsina, Ariminum, Sena, Camarinum. Here, too, is the Aesis River, and Mount Cingulum, and Sentinum, and the Metaurus River, and the Temple of Fortune. Indeed, it is near these places that the boundary between the Italy of former days and Celtica passed (I mean the boundary at the part next to the Adriatic Sea), albeit the boundary has often been changed by the rulers; at least they formerly made the Aesis the boundary and then in turn the Rubicon. The Aesis is between Ancona and Sena, the Rubicon between Ariminum and Ravenna, and both empty into the Adriatic. But as it is, now that the whole of the country as far as the Alps has been designated Italy, we should disregard these boundaries, but none the less agree, as is agreed by all, that Ombrica, properly so‑called, extends all the way to Ravenna; for Ravenna is inhabited by these people. From Ravenna, then, to Ariminum the distance is, they say, about three hundred stadia; and if you travel from Ariminum toward Rome along the Flaminian Way through Ombrica your whole journey, as far as Ocricli and the Tiber, is thirteen hundred and fifty stadia. This, then, is the length of Ombrica, but the breadth is uneven. The cities this side the Apennine Mountains that are worthy of mention are: first, on the Flaminian Way itself: Ocricli, near the Tiber and theº Larolon, and Narna, through which the Nar River flows (it meets the Tiber a little above Ocricli, and is navigable, though only for small boats); then, Carsuli, and Mevania, past which flows the Teneas (this too brings the products of the plain down to the Tiber on rather small boats); and, besides, still other settlements, which have become filled up with people rather on account of the Way itself than of political organisation; these are Forum Flaminium, and Nuceria (the place where the wooden utensils are made), and Forum Sempronium. Secondly, to the right of the Way, as you travel from Ocricli to Ariminum, is Interamna, and Spoletium, and Aesium, and Camertes (in the very mountains that mark the boundary of the Picentine country); and, on the other side of the Way, Ameria, and Tuder (a well-fortified city), and Hispellum, and Iguvium, the last-named lying near the passes that lead over the mountain. Now as a whole Ombrica is blessed with fertility, though it is a little too mountainous and nourishes its people with spelt rather than with wheat. The Sabine country also, which comes next in order after Ombrica, is mountainous, and it lies alongside Ombrica in the same way that Ombrica lies alongside Tyrrhenia; and further, all parts of the Latin country that are near to these parts and to the Apennine Mountains are rather rugged. These two tribes begin, then, at the Tiber and Tyrrhenia, and extend to that stretch of the Apennine Mountains near the Adriatic which slants slightly inland, although Ombrica passes on beyond the mountains, as I have said, as far as the Adriatic. So much, then, for the Ombrici.

 
Cures 5.3
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5 - 3 Sabine lands and Latium

The country the Sabini live in is narrow, but taken lengthwise it reaches even a thousand stadia from the Tiber and the little town of Nomentum, as far as the country of the Vestini. They have but few cities and even these have been brought low on account of the continual wars; they are Amiternum, and Reate (near which is the village of Interocrea, and also the cold springs of Cotiliae,160 where people cure their diseases, not only by drinking from the springs but also by sitting down in them). Foruli too belongs to the Sabini — a rocky elevation naturally suited to the purposes of a revolt rather than habitation. As for Cures, it is now only a small village,a but it was once a city of significance, since it was the original home of two kings of Rome, Titius Tatius and Numa Pompilius; hence, the title "Curites" by which the public orators address the Romans. Trebula, Eretum, and other such settlements might be ranked as villages rather than cities. As a whole the land of the Sabini is exceptionally well-planted with the olive and the vine, and it also produces acorns in quantities; it is important, also, for its domestic cattle of every kind; and in particular the fame of the Reate-breed of mules is remarkably widespread. In a word, Italy as a whole is an excellent nurse both of young animals and of fruits, although different species in different parts take the first prize. The Sabini not only are a very ancient race but are also the indigenous inhabitants (and both the Picentini and the Samnitae are colonists from the Sabini, and the Leucani from the Samnitae, and the Brettii from the Leucani). And the old-fashioned ways of the Sabini might be taken as evidence of bravery, and of those other excellent qualities which have enabled them to hold out to the present time. Fabius, the historian, says that the Romans realised their wealth for the first time when they became established as masters of this tribe. As for the roads that have been constructed through their country, there is not only the Via Salaria (though it does not run far) but also the Via Nomentana which unites with it at Eretum (a village of the Sabine country, situated beyond the Tiber), though it begins above the same gate, Porta Collina.

2 Next comes the Latin country, in which the city of the Romans is situated, though it now comprises also many cities of what was formerly non-Latin country. For the Aeci, the Volsci, the Hernici, and also the aborigines who lived near Rome itself, the Rutuli who held the old Ardea, and other groups, greater or less, who lived near the Romans of that time, were all in existence when the city was first founded; and some of these groups, since they were ranked under no common tribe, used to be allowed to live autonomously in separate villages. It is said that Aeneas, along with his father Anchises and his son Ascanius, after putting in at Laurentum, which was on the shore near Ostia and the Tiber, founded a city a little above the sea, within about twenty-four stadia from it; and Latinus, the king of the aborigines, who lived in this place where Rome now is, on making them a visit, used Aeneas and his people as allies against the neighbouring Rutuli who occupied Ardea (the distance from Ardea to Rome is one hundred and sixty stadia), and after his victory founded a city near by, naming it after his daughter Lavinia; and when the Rutuli joined battle again, Latinus fell, but Aeneas was victorious, became king, and called his subjects "Latini"; and after the death of both Aeneas and his father Anchises, Ascanius founded Alba and Mount Albanus, which Mount is the same distance from Rome as Ardea. Here the Romans in company with the Latini — I mean the joint assembly of all their magistrates — offered sacrifice to Zeus; and the assembly put one of the young nobles in charge of the city as governor for the time of the sacrifice. But it is four hundred years later that the stories about Amollius and his brother Numitor are placed — stories partly fabulous but partly closer to the truth. In the first place, both brothers succeeded to the rule of Alba (which extended as far as the Tiber) from the descendants of Ascanius; but Amollius, the younger, elbowed the elder out and reigned alone; but since Numitor had a son and a daughter, Amollius treacherously murdered the son while on a hunt, and appointed the daughter, in order that she might remain childless, a priestess of Vesta, so as to keep her a virgin (she is called Rhea Silvia); then, on discovering that she had been ruined (for she gave birth to twins), instead of killing her, he merely incarcerated her, to gratify his brother, and exposed the twins on the banks of the Tiber in accordance with an ancestral custom. In mythology, however, we are told that the boys were begotten by Ares, and that after they were exposed people saw them being suckled by a she-wolf; but Faustulus, one of the swineherds near the place, took them up and reared them (but we must assume that it was some influential man, a subject of Amollius, that took them and reared them), and called one Romulus and the other Romus; and upon reaching manhood they attacked Amollius and his sons, and upon the defeat of the latter and the reversion of the rule to Numitor, they went back home and founded Rome — in a place which was suitable more as a matter of necessity than of choice; for neither was the site naturally strong, nor did it have enough land of its own in the surrounding territory to meet the requirements of a city, nor yet, indeed, people to join with the Romans as inhabitants; for the people who lived thereabouts were wont to dwell by themselves (though their territory almost joined the walls of the city that was being founded), not even paying any attention to the Albani themselves. And there was Collatia, and Antemnae, and Fidenae, and Labicum, and other such places — then little cities, but now mere villages, or else estates of private citizens — all at a distance from Rome of thirty stadia, or a little more. At any rate, between the fifth and the sixth of those stones which indicate the miles from Rome there is a place called "Festi," and this, it is declared, is a boundary of what was then the Roman territory; and, further, the priests celebrate sacrificial festivals, called "Ambarvia," on the same day, both there and at several other places, as being boundaries. Be this as it may, a quarrel arose at the time of the founding of the city, and as a result Remus was slain. After the founding Romulus set about collecting a promiscuous rabble by designating as an asylum a sacred precinct between the Arx and the Capitol, and by declaring citizens all the neighbours who fled thither for refuge. But since he could not obtain the right of intermarriage for these, he announced one horse-race, sacred to Poseidon, the rite that is still to‑day performed; and when numerous people, but mostly Sabini, had assembled, he bade all who wanted a wife to seize the maidens who had come to the race. Titus Tatius, the king of the Curites, went to avenge180 the outrage by force of arms, but compromised with Romulus on the basis of partnership in the throne and state. But Tatius was treacherously murdered in Lavinium, and then Romulus, with the consent of the Curites, reigned alone. After Romulus, Numa Pompilius, a fellow-citizen of Tatius, succeeded to the throne, receiving it from his subjects by their own choice. This, then, is the best accredited story of the founding of Rome.

3 But there is another one, older and fabulous, in which we are told that Rome was an Arcadian colony and founded by Evander:— When Heracles was driving the cattle of Geryon he was entertained by Evander; and since Evander had learned from his mother Nicostrate (she was skilled in the art of divination, the story goes) that Heracles was destined to become a god after he had finished his labours, he not only told this to Heracles but also consecrated to him a precinct and offered a sacrifice to him after the Greek ritual, which is still to this day kept up in honour of Heracles. And Coelius himself, the Roman historian, puts this down as proof that Rome was founded by Greeks — the fact that at Rome the hereditary sacrifice to Heracles is after the Greek ritual. And the Romans honour also the mother of Evander, regarding her as one of the nymphs, although her name has been changed to Carmentis.

4 Be that as it may, the Latini at the outset were few in number and most of them would pay no attention to the Romans; but later on, struck with amazement at the prowess both of Romulus and of the kings who came after him, they all became subjects. And after the overthrow of the Aequi,183 of the Volsci, and of the Hernici, and, still before that, of both the Rutuli and the aborigines (and besides these, certain of the Rhaeci, as also of the Argyrusci and the Preferni), the whole country that belonged to these peoples was called Latium. The Pomptine Plain, on the confines of the Latini, and the city of Apiola, which was destroyed by Tarquinius Priscus, used to belong to the Volsci. The Aequi are the nearest neighbours of the Curites; their cities, too, were sacked by Tarquinius Priscus; and his son captured Suessa, the metropolis of the Volsci. The Hernici used to live near Lanuvium, Alba, and Rome itself; and Aricia, also, and Tellenae and Antium were not far away. At the outset the Albani lived in harmony with the Romans, since they spoke the same language and p389were Latini, and though they were each, as it happened, ruled by kings, separate and apart, none the less they not only had the right of intermarriage with one another, but also held sacrifices — those at Alba — and other political rights in common; later on, however, war arose between them, with the result that all Alba was destroyed except the temple, and that the Albani were adjudged Roman citizens. As for the other neighbouring cities, some of them too were destroyed, and others humiliated, for their disobedience, while some were made even stronger than they were because of their loyalty. Now at the present time the seaboard is called Latium from Ostia as far as the city of Sinuessa, but in earlier times Latium had extended its seaboard only as far as Circaeum. Further, in earlier times Latium did not include much of the interior, but later on it extended even as far as Campania and the Samnitae and the Peligni and other peoples who inhabit the Apennines.

5 All Latium is blest with fertility and produces everything, except for a few districts that are on the seaboard — I mean all those districts that are marshy and sickly (such as those of the Ardeatae, and those between Antium and Lanuvium as far as the Pomptine Plain, and certain districts in the territory of Setia and the country round about Tarracina and the Circaeum), or any districts that are perhaps mountainous and rocky; and yet even these are not wholly untilled or useless, but afford rich pasture grounds, or timber, or certain fruits that grow in marshy or rocky ground (the Caecuban Plain, although marshy, supports a vine that produces the best of wine, I mean the tree-vine). The seaboard cities belonging to the Latii are, first, Ostia: it is harbourless on account of the silting up which is caused by the Tiber, since the Tiber is fed by numerous streams. Now although it is with peril that the merchant-ships anchor far out in the surge, still, the prospect of gain prevails; and in fact the good supply of the tenders which receive the cargoes and bring back cargoes in exchange makes it possible for the ships to sail away quickly before they touch the river, or else, after being partly relieved of their cargoes, they sail into the Tiber and run inland as far as Rome, one hundred and ninety stadia. Ostia was founded by Ancus Marcius. Such, then, is this city of Ostia. Next comes Antium, it also being a harbourless city. It is situated on masses of rock, and is about two hundred and sixty stadia distant from Ostia. Now at the present time Antium is given over to the rulers for their leisure and relief from the cares of state whenever they get the opportunity, and therefore, for the purposes of such sojourns, many very costly residences have been built in the city; but in earlier times the people of Antium used to possess ships and to take part with the Tyrrheni in their acts of piracy, although at that time they were already subjects of the Romans. It is for this reason that Alexander, in earlier times, sent in complaints, and that Demetrius, later on, when he sent back to the Romans what pirates he had captured, said that, although he was doing the Romans the favour of sending back the captives because of the kinship between the Romans and the Greeks, he did not deem it right for men to be sending out bands of pirates at the same time that they were in command of Italy, or to build in their Forum a temple in honour of the Dioscuri, and to worship them, whom all call Saviours, and yet at the same time send to Greece people who would plunder the native land of the Dioscuri. And the Romans put a stop to such practices. Midway between these two cities is Lavinium, which has a temple of Aphrodite that is common to all the Latini, though the Ardeatae, through attendants, have the care of it. Then comes Laurentum. And beyond these cities lies Ardea, a settlement of the Rutuli, seventy stadia inland from the sea. Near Ardea too there is a temple of Aphrodite, where the Latini hold religious festivals. But the places were devastated by the Samnitae; and although only traces of cities are left, those traces have become famous because of the sojourn which Aeneas made there and because of those sacred rites which, it is said, have been handed down from those times.

6 After Antium, within a distance of two hundred and ninety stadia, comes Circaeum, a mountain which has the form of an island, because it is surrounded by sea and marshes. They further say that Circaeum is a place that abounds in roots — perhaps because they associate it with the myth about Circe. It has a little city and a temple of Circe and an altar of Athene, and people there show you a sort of bowl which, they say, belonged to Odysseus. Between Antium and Circaeum is the River Storas, and also, near it, an anchoring-place. Then comes a stretch of coast that is exposed to the south-west wind, with no shelter except a little harbour near Circaeum itself. Beyond this coast, in the interior, is the Pomptine Plain. The country that joins this latter was formerly inhabited by the Ausones, who also held Campania. After these come the Osci; they too had a share in Campania; but now everything belongs to the Latini as far as Sinuessa, as I said. A peculiar thing has taken place in the case of the Osci and the tribe of the Ausones. Although the Osci have disappeared, their dialect still remains among the Romans, so much so that, at the time of a certain traditional competition, poems in that dialect are brought on the stage and recited like mimes; again, although the Ausones never once lived on the Sicilian Sea, still the high sea is called "Ausonian." Next, within one hundred stadia of Circaeum, is Tarracina, which was formerly called "Trachine" from its actual character. In front of Tarracina lies a great marsh, formed by two rivers; the larger one is called Aufidus. It is here that the Appian Way first touches the sea; it has been constructed from Rome as far as Brentesium and is the most travelled of all; but of the cities on the sea it touches only these: Tarracina, and those that come next in order after it, Formiae, Minturnae, and Sinuessa, and those at the end — Taras and Brentesium. Near Tarracina, as you go toward Rome, there is a canal which runs alongside the Appian Way, and is fed at numerous places by waters from the marshes and the rivers. People navigate the canal, preferably by night (so that if they embark in the evening they can disembark early in the morning and go the rest of their journey by the Way), but they also navigate it by day. The boat is towed by a mule. Next after Tarracina comes Formiae, founded by the Laconians, and formerly called "Hormiae" because of its good "hormos." And those people also named the intervening gulf "Caietas," for the Laconians call all hollow things "Caietas"; but some say the gulf was named after the nurse of Aeneas. It has a length of one hundred stadia, beginning at Tarracina and extending as far as the promontory of like name. There are wide-open caverns of immense size at this place, which have been occupied by large and very costly residences; from here to Formiae the distance is forty stadia. Midway between Formiae and Sinuessa is Minturnae, which is about eighty stadia distant from each. Through Minturnae flows the River Liris, formerly called the "Clanis." It runs from the interior, out of the Apennine Mountains and the country of the Vestini, past Fregellae,º a village (it was formerly a famous city), and empties into a sacred precinct which is much revered by the people in Minturnae; the precinct is situated below the city. In the high sea, off the caverns and visible thence most of the time, are situated two islands, Pandateria and Pontia, which, though small, are well peopled; they are not far distant from one another, but they are two hundred and fifty stadia from the mainland. The Caecuban Plain borders on the Gulf of Caietas; and next to the plain comes Fundi, situated on the Appian Way. All these places produce exceedingly good wine; indeed, the Caecuban and the Fundanian and the Setinian belong to the class of wines that are widely famed, as is the case with the Falernian and the Alban and the Statanian. Sinuessa is situated in the Caietan "Kolpos," and hence its name; for "Kolpos" means "Sinus"; and near Sinuessa are hot baths, which are most efficacious for certain diseases. These, then, are the cities of the Latini on the sea.

7 In the interior, the first city above Ostia is Rome, and it is the only city that is situated on the Tiber. With regard to this city, I have already said that it was founded there as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice; and I must add that even those who afterwards added certain districts to the settlement could not as masters take the better course, but as slaves must needs accommodate themselves to what had already been founded. The first founders walled the Capitolium and the Palatium and the Quirinal Hill, which last was so easy for outsiders to ascend that Titus Tatius took it at the first onset, making his attack at the time when he came to avenge the outrage of the seizure of the maidens. Again, Ancus Marcius took in Mt. Caelium and Mt. Aventine, and the plain between them, which were separated both from one another and from the parts that were already walled, but he did so only from necessity; for, in the first place, it was not a good thing to leave hills that were so well fortified by nature outside the walls for any who wished strongholds against the city, and, secondly, he was unable to fill out the whole circuit of hills as far as the Quirinal. Servius, however, detected the gap, for he filled it out by adding both the Esquiline Hill and the Viminal Hill. But these too are easy for outsiders to attack; and for this reason they dug a deep trench and took the earth to the inner side of the trench, and extended a mound about six stadia on the inner brow of the trench, and built thereon a wall with towers from the Colline Gate to the Esquiline. Below the centre of the mound is a third gate, bearing the same name as the Viminal Hill. Such, then, are the fortifications of the city, though they need a second set of fortifications. And, in my opinion, the first founders took the same course of reasoning both for themselves and for their successors, namely, that it was appropriate for the Romans to depend for their safety and general welfare, not on their fortifications, but on their arms and their own valour, in the belief that it is not walls that protect men but men that protect walls. At the outset, then, since the fertile and extensive country round about them belonged to others, and since the terrain of the city was so easy to attack, there was nothing fortunate in their position to call for congratulation, but when by their valour and their toil they had made the country their own property, there was obviously a concourse, so to speak, of blessings that surpassed all natural advantages; and it is because of this concourse of blessings that the city, although it has grown to such an extent, holds out in the way it does, not only in respect to food, but also in respect to timber and stones for the building of houses, which goes on unceasingly in consequence of the collapses and fires and repeated sales (these last, too, going on unceasingly); and indeed the sales are intentional collapses, as it were, since the purchasers keep on tearing down the houses and build new ones, one after another, to suit their wishes. To meet these requirements, then, the Romans are afforded a wonderful supply of materials by the large number of mines, by the timber, and by the rivers which bring these down: first, the Anio, which flows from Alba, the Latin city next to the Marsi, through the plain that is below Alba to its confluence with the Tiber; and then the Nar and the Teneas, the rivers which run through Ombrica down to the same river, the Tiber; and also the Clanis, which, however, runs down thither through Tyrrhenia and the territory of Clusium. Now Augustus Caesar concerned himself about such impairments of the city, organising for protection against fires a militia composed of freedmen, whose duty it was to render assistance, and also to provide against collapses, reducing the heights of the new buildings and forbidding that any structure on the public streets should rise as high as seventy feet; but still his constructive measures would have failed by now were it not that the mines and the timber and the easy means of transportation by water still hold out.

8 So much, then, for the blessings with which nature supplies the city; but the Romans have added still others, which are the result of their foresight; for if the Greeks had the repute of aiming most happily in the founding of cities, in that they aimed at beauty, strength of position, harbours, and productive soil, the Romans had the best foresight in those matters which the Greeks made but little account of, such as the construction of roads and aqueducts, and of sewers that could wash out the filth of the city into the Tiber. Moreover, they have so constructed also the roads which run throughout the country, by adding both cuts through hills and embankments across valleys, that their wagons can carry boat-loads; and the sewers, vaulted with close-fitting stones, have in some places left room enough for wagons loaded with hay to pass through them. And water is brought into the city through the aqueducts in such quantities that veritable rivers flow through the city and the sewers; and almost every house has cisterns, and service-pipes, and copious fountains — with which Marcus Agrippa concerned himself most, though he also adorned the city with p407many other structures. In a word, the early Romans made but little account of the beauty of Rome, because they were occupied with other, greater and more necessary, matters; whereas the later Romans, and particularly those of to‑day and in my time, have not fallen short in this respect either — indeed, they have filled the city with many beautiful structures. In fact, Pompey, the Deified Caesar, Augustus, his sons and friends, and wife and sister, have outdone all others in their zeal for buildings and in the expense incurred. The Campus Martius contains most of these, and thus, in addition to its natural beauty, it has received still further adornment as the result of foresight. Indeed, the size of the Campus is remarkable, since it affords space at the same time and without interference, not only for the chariot-races and every other equestrian exercise, but also for all that multitude of people who exercise themselves by ball-playing, hoop-trundling, and wrestling; and the works of art situated around the Campus Martius, and the ground, which is covered with grass throughout the year, and the crowns of those hills that are above the river and extend as far as its bed, which present to the eye the appearance of a stage-painting — all this, I say, affords a spectacle that one can hardly draw away from. And near this campus is there is another campus, with colonnades round about it in very great numbers, and sacred precincts, and three theatres, and an amphitheatre, p409and very costly temples, in close succession to one another, giving you the impression that they are trying, as it were, to declare the rest of the city a mere accessory. For this reason, in the belief that this place was holiest of all, the Romans have erected in it the tombs of their most illustrious men and women. The most noteworthy is what is called the Mausoleum, a great mound near the river on a lofty foundation of white marble, thickly covered with ever-green trees to the very summit. Now on top is a bronze image of Augustus Caesar; beneath the mound are the tombs of himself and his kinsmen and intimates; behind the mound is a large sacred precinct with wonderful promenades; and in the centre of the Campus is the wall (this too of white marble) round his crematorium; the wall is surrounded by a circular iron fence and the space within the wall is planted with black poplars. And again, if, on passing to the old Forum, you saw one forum after another ranged along the old one, and basilicas, and temples, and saw also the Capitolium and the works of art there and those of the Palatium and Livia's Promenade, you would easily become oblivious to everything else outside. Such is Rome.

9 As for the rest of the cities of Latium, their positions may be defined, some by a different set of distinctive marks, and others by the best known roads that have been constructed through Latium; for they are situated either on these roads, or near them, or between them. The best known of the roads are the Appian Way, the Latin Way, and the Valerian Way. The Appian Way marks off, as far as Sinuessa, those parts of Latium that are next to the sea, and the Valerian Way, as far as the Marsi, those parts that are next to the Sabine country; while the Latin Way is between the two — the Way that unites with the Appian Way at Casilinum, a city nineteen stadia distant from Capua. The Latin Way begins, however, at the Appian Way, since near Rome it turns off from it to the left, and then, passing through the Tusculan Mountain, and over it at a point between the city of Tusculum and the Alban Mountain, runs down to the little city of Algidum and the Inns of Pictae;223 and then it is joined by the Labican Way. This latter begins at the Esquiline Gate, as also does the Praenestine Way, but it leaves both the Praenestine Way and the Esquiline Plain to the left and runs on for more than one hundred and twenty stadia, and, on drawing near to Labicum (a city founded in early times, once situated on an eminence, but now demolished), leaves both it and Tusculum on the right and comes to an end at Pictae and the Latin Way; the distance of this place from Rome is two hundred and ten stadia. Then in order, as you proceed on the Latin Way itself, you come to important settlements and the cities of Ferentinum, Frusino (past which the Cosa flows), Fabrateria (past which the Trerus flows), Aquinum (it is a large city, and past it flows a large river, the Melpis), Interamnium (which is situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Liris and another), and Casinum (this too a noteworthy city), which is the last city of Latium; for what is called Teanum "Sidicinum," which is situated next in order after Casinum, shows clearly from its epithet that it belongs to the Sidicini. These people are Osci, a tribe of Campani that has disappeared; and therefore this city might be called a part of Campania, although it is the largest of the cities on the Latin Way, as also might the city that comes next after it, that of the Caleni (this too a noteworthy city), although its territory joins that of Casilinum.

10 Then take the cities on either side of the Latin Way. On the right are those between it and the Appian Way, namely, Setia and Signia, which produce wine, the former, one of the costly wines, and the latter, the best for checking the bowels (what is called the "Signine" wine). And farther on, beyond Signia, is Privernum, and Cora, and Suessa, and also Trapontium, Velitrae, and Aletrium; and besides these, Fregellae (past which the Liris flows, the river that empties at Minturnae), which is now merely a village, although it was once a noteworthy city and formerly held as dependencies most of the surrounding cities just mentioned (and at the present time the inhabitants of these cities meet at Fregellae both to hold markets and to perform certain sacred rites), but, having revolted, it was demolished by the Romans. Most of these cities, as also of those on the Latin Way and of those on the far side of it, are situated in the country of the Hernici, the Aeci, and the Volsci, though all were founded by the Romans. Again, on the left of the Latin Way are the cities between it and the Valerian Way: first, Gabii, situated on the Praenestine Way, with a rock-quarry that is more serviceable to Rome than any other, and equidistant — about one hundred stadia — from Rome and Praeneste; then Praeneste, about which I shall speak presently; then the cities in those mountains that are above Praeneste: Capitulum, the little city of the Hernici, and Anagnia, a noteworthy city, and Cereate, and Sora (past which the Liris flows as it issues from the mountains and comes to Fregellae and Minturnae); and then certain other places, and Venafrum, whence comes the finest olive-oil. Now the city of Venafrum is situated on an eminence, and past the base of the hill flows the Volturnus River, which runs past Casilinum also and empties into the sea at the city of like name. But when you come to the cities of Aesernia and Allifae you are already in Samnitic territory; the former was destroyed in the Marsic War, while the latter still endures.

11 The Valerian Way has its beginning at Tibur, and leads to the country of the Marsi, and to Corfinium, the metropolis of the Peligni. On the Valerian Way are the following cities of Latium: Varia, Carseoli, and Alba, and also, near by, the city of Cuculum. Tibur, Praeneste, and Tusculum are all visible from Rome. First, Tibur: it possesses the temple of Heracles, and also the waterfall formed by the Anio, a navigable river which falls down from a great height into a deep, wooded237 ravine near the city itself. Thence the river flows out through a very fruitful plain past the quarries of the Tiburtine stone, and of the stone of Gabii, what is called "red stone"; so that the delivery from the quarries and the transportation by water are perfectly easy — most of the works of art240 at Rome being constructed of stone brought thence. In this plain, also, flow what are called the Albula waters — cold waters from many springs, helpful, both as drinking-water and as baths, in the cure of various diseases; and such, also, are the Labana waters, not far from the former, on the Nomentan Way and in the neighbourhood of Eretum. Secondly, Praeneste: here is the temple of Fortuna, noted for its oracles. Both of these cities are situated near the same mountain range, and they are about one hundred stadia distant from one another; but from Rome Praeneste is as much as double that distance, whereas Tibur is less than double. Both are called Greek cities; in any case Praeneste, they say, was formerly called "Polystephanos." Now each is well fortified by nature, but Praeneste is much more so, since it has for a citadel246 a high mountain which not only rises above the city but also in the rear is disjoined from the unbroken mountain range by a neck of land above which it rises as much as two stadia in a perpendicular ascent. And in addition to its natural strength, subterranean passages have been bored through it from all sides as far as the plains — some for water-supply, others for secret exits (it was in one of these that Marius was put to death when he was being besieged). Now although in the case of all other cities, generally speaking, good defences are accounted a blessing, in the case of the Praenestini they have proved to be a misfortune, because of the seditions among the Romans. For all who have attempted a revolution take refuge in Praeneste; and, if forced by a siege to surrender, the inhabitants, in addition to the damage done to their city, meet with the further misfortune that their territory is alienated, the guilt being transferred to the guiltless. The Verestis River flows through the territory in question. The aforesaid cities are to the east of Rome.

12 But still closer to Rome than the mountainous country where these cities lie, there is another ridge, which leaves a valley (the valley near Algidum) between them and is high as far as Mt. Albanus. It is on this chain that Tusculum is situated, a city with no mean equipment of buildings; and it is adorned by the plantings and villas encircling it, and particularly by those that extend below the city in the general direction of the city of Rome; for here Tusculum is a fertile and well-watered hill, which in many places rises gently into crests and admits of magnificently devised royal palaces. Adjoining this hill are also the foothills of Mt. Albanus, with the same fertility and the same kind of palaces. Then, next, come the plains, some connecting with Rome and its suburbs, and others with the sea. Now although the plains that connect with the sea are less healthful, the others are both pleasant to dwell in and decked out in similar manner. After Mt. Albanus comes Aricia, a city on the Appian Way; it is one hundred and sixty stadia distant from Rome. Aricia lies in a hollow, but for all that it has a naturally strong citadel. Above Aricia lies, first, on the right hand side of the Appian Way, Lanuvium, a city of the Romans, from which both the sea and Antium are visible, and, secondly, to the left of the Way as you go up from Aricia, the Artemisium, which they call Nemus. The temple of the Arician, they say, is a copy of that of the Tauropolos. And in fact a barbaric, and Scythian, element predominates in the sacred usages, for the people set up as priest merely a run-away slave who has slain with his own hand the man previously consecrated to that office; accordingly the priest is always armed with a sword, looking around for the attacks, and ready to defend himself. The temple is in a sacred grove, and in front of it is a lake which resembles an open sea, and round about it in a circle lies an unbroken and very high mountain-brow, which encloses both the temple and the water in a place that is hollow and deep. You can see the springs, it is true, from which the lake is fed (one of them is "Egeria," as it is called from a certain deity), but the outflows at the lake itself are not apparent, though they are pointed out to you at a distance outside the hollow, where they rise to the surface.

13 Near these places is also Mt. Albanus, which rises considerably above the Artemisium and the mountain-brows round about it, though they too are high and rather steep. This mountain also has a lake, much larger than the one at the Artemisium. The previously mentioned cities of Latium are farther away than these places. But of all the cities of Latium, Alba is the farthest in the interior, since it is on the confines of the Marsi; it is situated on a lofty rock, near Lake Fucinus,265 which in size is like an open sea. The lake is used mostly by the Marsi and all the neighbouring peoples. They say that it not only fills up sometimes as far as the mountainous country, but also lowers again enough to permit the places which have been converted into marshes to get dry and to be tilled — whether it be that changes take place, sporadically and in a way that is not apparent, in the flow of the waters down in the depths, and that they flow back together again, or that the springs completely fail and then by pressure are brought together again — as is said to be the case with the Amenanus, the river that flows through Catana, for it fails for many years and then flows again. It is from Lake Fucinus, the story goes, that the springs of the Aqua Marcia come, which brings drinking-water to Rome and has the highest repute as compared with the other waters. Because of the fact that Alba is situated deep in the interior of the country, and is also well-walled, the Romans often used it for a prison, shutting up therein those who have to be kept under guard.

 
Caudium 5.4
Caudium 5.4b
5 - 4 Picenum (S Marche) and Campania

1 I began with the tribes that live next to the Alps, and with that part of the Apennine Mountains which lies next to them, and then, passing over that part, traversed all the country on this side which lies between the Tyrrhenian Sea and that part of the Apennine Mountains which bends towards the Adriatic and stretches to the countries of the Samnitae and the Campani; I shall now, therefore, go back and indicate the tribes that live in these mountains, and also in the foothills both of the country outside the mountains, as far as the Adriatic seaboard, and of the country this side. But I must begin again with the Celtic boundaries.

2 Next after those cities of the Ombrici that are between Ariminum and Ancona comes the Picentine country. The Picentini are originally from the Sabine country, a woodpecker having led the way for their progenitors; and hence their name, for they call this bird "picus," and consider it sacred to Mars. The country they live in begins at the mountains and extends as far as the plains and the sea, thus having increased in length more than breadth; it is good for every use to which it may be put, though better for fruits than for grain. Its breadth — that from the mountains to the sea — taken at the different intervals, is irregular, while its length, by a voyage along the coast from the Aesis River to Castrum, is eight hundred stadia. Its cities are, first Ancona, a Greek city, founded by the Syracusans who fled from the tyranny of Dionysius; it is situated on a promontory, which by its curve towards the north encloses a harbour; and it is exceedingly productive of wine and wheat. Near it is the city of Auxumum, which is a short distance above the sea; then Septempeda, Pneuentia, Potentia and Firmum Picenum (its port-town is Castellum). Next in order comes the temple of Cupra, which was established, and founded as a city, by the Tyrrheni, who call Hera "Cupra"; then, the River Truentinus and the city named after it; then Castrum Novum, and the River Matrinus (which flows from the city of the Adriani), on which is Adria's port-town, named after the river. Not only is Adria in the interior, but also Asculum Picenum, a place that is well fortified by nature, not only where the wall is situated — but also the mountains that lie round about it are impassable for armies. Beyond the Picentine country are the Vestini, the Marsi, the Peligni, the Marrucini, and the Frentani (a Samnitic tribe); they occupy the mountain-country there, their territory touching upon the sea for only short stretches. These tribes are small, it is true, but they are very brave and oftentimes have exhibited this virtue to the Romans: first, when they went to war against them; a second time, when they took the field with them as allies; and a third time when, begging for freedom and political rights without getting them, they revolted and kindled what is called the Marsic War, for they proclaimed Corfinium (the metropolis of the Peligni) the common city for all the Italiotes, instead of Rome, making it their base of operations for the war and changing its name to Italica; and here it was that they mustered all their followers and elected consuls and praetors. And they persisted in the war for two years, until they achieved the partnership for which they went to war. The war was named "Marsic" after the people who began the revolt, Pompaedius in particular. Now these peoples live in villages, generally speaking, but they also have cities: first, above the sea, Corfinium, Sulmon, Maruvium, and Teate, the metropolis of the Marrucini. And, secondly, on the sea itself, Aternum, which borders on the Picentine country and is of like name with the river that separates the Vestine country from the Marrucine; for it flows from the territory of Amiternum, and through the Vestine country, leaving on its right that part of the Marrucine country which lies above the Peligni (it may be crossed by a pontoon-bridge). But although the little city that is named after the river belongs to the Vestini, it is used as a common port by the Peligni and the Marrucini. The pontoon-bridge is twenty-four stadia distant from Corfinium. After Aternum comes Orton, the port-town of the Frentani, and then Buca (it too belongs to the Frentani), whose territory borders on that of Teanum Apulum. Ortonium is in the country of the Frentani, a cliff-town belonging to pirates, whose dwellings are pieced together from the wreckage of ships; and in every other respect they are said to be a bestial folk. Between Orton and Aternum is the Sagrus River, which separates the country of the Frentani from that of the Peligni. The voyage along the coast from the Picentine country to the country of those Apuli whom the Greeks call "Daunii" is about four hundred and ninety stadia.

3 Next in order after Latium come both Campania, which stretches along the sea, and, above Campania, in the interior, the Samnite country, which extends as far as the country of the Frentani and the Daunii; then the Daunii themselves, and the rest of the tribes on to the Sicilian Strait. But I must first speak of Campania. There is a fair-sized gulf which, beginning at Sinuessa, extends along the coast next thereafter as far as Misenum, and also another gulf, much larger than the first, which begins at Misenum; they call the latter the "Crater," and the "Crater" forms a bay between the two capes of Misenum and Athenaeum. Above these coasts lies the whole of Campania; it is the most blest of all plains, and round about it lie fruitful hills, and the mountains of the Samnitae and of the Osci. Antiochus, it is true, says that the Opici once lived in this country and that "they are also called Ausones," but Polybius clearly believes that they are two different tribes, for he says "the Opici and the Ausones live in this country round about the Crater." Again, others say that, although at first it was inhabited by the Opici, and also by the Ausones, later on it was taken by the Sidicini, an Oscan tribe, but the Sidicini were ejected by the Cumaei, and in turn the Cumaei by the Tyrrheni. For on account of its fertility, they continue, the plain became an object of contention; and the Tyrrheni founded twelve cities in the country and named their capital city "Capua"; but on account of their luxury living they became soft, and consequently, just as they had been made to get out of the country round about the Padus, so now they had to yield this country to the Samnitae; and in turn the Samnitae were ejected by the Romans. A proof of the fruitfulness of the country is that it produces the finest grain — I mean the wheat from which groats are made, which is superior, not only to every kind of rice, but also to almost every kind of grain-food. It is reported that, in the course of one year, some of the plains are seeded twice with spelt, the third time with millet, and others still the fourth time with vegetables. And indeed it is from here that the Romans obtain their best wine, namely, the Falernian, the Statanian, and the Calenian, though already the Sorrentine wine is taking its place as a rival of the three, for recent tests show that it admits of aging. And so, in the same way, all the country round about Venafrum, which is on the border of the plains, is well-supplied with the olive.

4 The cities on the sea after Sinuessa are: Liternum, where is the tomb of Scipio, the one first to be called "Africanus"; for he spent his last days here, giving up the affairs of state, so strong was his hatred for certain persons. A river of like name flows by the city. And so, likewise, the Vulturnus has a name like that of the city which is situated beside it and which comes next in order after Sinuessa; this river flows through Venafrum and the centre of Campania. Next in order after these two cities comes Cumae, a city founded in most ancient times by people from Chalcis and Cumae; for it is the oldest of all the Sicilian and the Italiote cities. However, the men who led the expedition, Hippocles of Cumae and Megasthenes of Chalcis, made an agreement with one another that the city should be a colony of Chalcis, and a namesake of Cumae; and, hence, although the city is now called Cumae, it is reputed to have been founded by the Chalcidians alone. In earlier times, then, the city was prosperous, and so was what is called the Phlegraean Plain, which mythology has made the setting of the story of the Giants — for no other reason, it would seem, than that the land, on account of its excellence, was a thing to fight for; but later on, when the Campani became established as masters of the city, they committed numerous outrages against the people in general, and, what is more, cohabited with the wives of the citizens. Nevertheless, many traces of the Greek decorum and usages are still preserved there. But according to some, "Cumae" is named after the "Kumata"; for the neighbouring shore is surfy and exposed to the wind. And Cumae also has the best fisheries for the catching of large fish. Moreover, on this gulf there is a forest of scrub trees, extending for many stadia over a waterless and sandy tract, which they call "Silva Gallinaria." Here it was that the admirals of Sextus Pompeius assembled bands of pirates at that critical time when he caused Sicily to revolt.

5 Near Cumae is Cape Misenum, and between them is the Acherusian Lake, a kind of shoal-water estuary of the sea. After you double Cape Misenum you immediately come to a harbour, at the base of the cape, and, after the harbour, to a stretch of coast which runs inland and forms a deeply indented gulf — the coast on which is situated Baiae, and those hot springs that are suited both to the taste of the fastidious and to the cure of disease. Contiguous to Baiae is Gulf Lucrinus, and also, behind this gulf, Gulf Avernus, which forms a peninsula of the land that is cut off as far as Misenum, beginning from the transverse line which runs between Cumae and Avernus, for there remains an isthmus only a few stadia broad, that is, reckoning straight through the tunnel to Cumae itself and to the sea next to Cumae. The people prior to my time were wont to make Avernus the setting of the fabulous story of the Homeric "Necyia"; and, what is more, writers tell us that there actually was an oracle of the dead here and that Odysseus visited it. Now Gulf Avernus is deep up to the very shore and has a clear outlet; and it has both the size and character of a harbour, although it is useless as a harbour because of the fact that Gulf Lucrinus lies before it and is somewhat shallow as well as considerable in extent. Again, Avernus is enclosed round about by steep hill-brows that rise above it on all sides except where you sail into it (at the present time they have been brought by the toil of man into cultivation, though in former times they were thickly covered with a wild and untrodden forest of large trees); and these hill-brows, because of the superstition of man, used to make the gulf a shadowy place. And the natives used to add the further fable that all birds that fly over it fall down into the water, being killed by the vapours that rise from it, as in the case of all the Plutonia. And people used to suppose that this too was a Plutonian place and that the Cimmerians had actually been there. At any rate, only those who had sacrificed beforehand and propitiated the nether deities could sail into Avernus, and priests who held the locality on lease it were there to give directions in all such matters; and there is a fountain of potable water at this place, on the sea, but people used to abstain from it because they regarded it as the water of the Styx; and the oracle, too, is situated somewhere near it; and further, the hot springs near by and Lake Acherusia betokened the River Pyriphlegethon. Again, Ephorus, in the passage where he claims the locality in question for the Cimmerians, says: They live in underground houses, which they call "argillae," and it is through tunnels that they visit one another, back and forth, and also admit strangers to the oracle, which is situated far beneath the earth; and they live on what they get from mining, and from those who consult the oracle, and from the king of the country, who has appointed them fixed allowances; and those who live about the oracle have an ancestral custom, that no one should see the sun, but should go outside the caverns only during the night; and it is for this reason that the poet speaks of them as follows: "And never does the shining sun look upon them"; but later on the Cimmerians were destroyed by a certain king, because the response of the oracle did not turn out in his favour; the seat of the oracle, however, still endures, although it has been removed to another place. Such, then, are the stories the people before my time used to tell, but now that the forest round about Avernus has been cut down by Agrippa, and the tracts of land have been built up with houses, and the tunnel has been cut from Avernus to Cumae, all those stories have proven be mere myths; and yet the Cocceius who made, not only this tunnel, but also the one from Dicaearchia (near Baiae) to Neapolis, was pretty well acquainted with the story just now related about the Cimmerians, and it may very well be that he also deemed it an ancestral custom, for this region, that its roads should run through tunnels.

6 Gulf Lucrinus broadens out as far as Baiae; and it is shut off from the outer sea by a mound eight stadia in length and broad as a wagon-road. This mound is said to have been brought to completion by Heracles, when he was driving the cattle of Geryon. But since it admitted the waves over its surface in times of storm, so that it could not easily be traversed on foot, Agrippa built it up higher. The gulf affords entrance to light boats only; and, though useless as a place to moor boats, it affords most abundant catches of oysters. And some say that this gulf itself is Lake Acherusia, while Artemidorus says that Gulf Avernus itself is that lake. But Baiae is said to be named after one of the companions of Odysseus, Baius; and also Misenum. Next in order come the headlands that are in the neighbourhood of Dicaearchia, and then the city itself. In earlier times it was only a port-town of the Cumaeans, situated on the brow of a hill, but at the time of Hannibal's expedition the Romans settled a colony there, and changed its name to Puteoli from the wells there — though some say that it was from the foul smell of the waters, since the whole district, as far as Baiae and Cumae, has a foul smell, because it is full of sulphur and fire and hot waters. And some believe that it is for this reason that the Cumaean country was called "Phlegra," and that it is the wounds of the fallen giants, inflicted by the thunderbolts, that pour forth those streams of fire and water. And the city has become a very great emporium, since it has havens that have been made by the hand of man — a thing made possible by the natural qualities of the sand, for it is in proper proportion to the lime, and takes a firm set and solidity. And therefore, by mixing the sand-ash with the lime, they can run jetties out into the sea and thus make the wide-open shores curve into the form of bays, so that the greatest merchant-ships can moor therein with safety. Immediately above the city lies the Forum of Hephaestus, a plain shut in all round by exceedingly hot ridges, which in numerous places have fumaroles that are like chimneys and that have a rather noisome smell; and the plain is full of drifted sulphur.

7 After Dicaearchia comes Neapolis, a city of the Cumaeans. At a later time it was re-colonised by Chalcidians, and also by some Pithecussaeans and Athenians, and hence, for this reason, was called Neapolis. A monument of Parthenope, one of the Sirens, is pointed out in Neapolis, and in accordance with an oracle a gymnastic contest is celebrated there. But at a still later time, as the result of a dissension, they admitted some of the Campani as fellow-inhabitants, and thus they were forced to treat their worst enemies as their best friends, now that they had alienated their proper friends. This is disclosed by the names of their demarchs, for the earliest names are Greek only, whereas the later are Greek mixed with Campanian. And very many traces of Greek culture are preserved there — gymnasia, ephebeia, phratriae, and Greek names of things, although the people are Romans. And at the present time a sacred contest is celebrated among them every four years, in music as well as gymnastics; it lasts for several days, and vies with the most famous of those celebrated in Greece. Here, too, there is a tunnel — the mountain between Dicaearchia and Neapolis having been tunneled like the one leading to Cumae, and a road having been opened up for a distance of many stadia that is wide enough to allow teams going in opposite directions to pass each other. And windows have been cut out at many places, and thus the light of day is brought down from the surface of the mountain along shafts that are of considerable depth. Furthermore, Neapolis has springs of hot water and bathing-establishments that are not inferior to those at Baiae, although it is far short of Baiae in the number of people, for at Baiae, where palace on palace has been built, one after another, a new city has arisen, not inferior to Dicaearchia. And greater vogue is given to the Greek mode of life at Neapolis by the people who withdraw thither from Rome for the sake of rest — I mean the class who have made their livelihood by training the young, or still others who, because of old age or infirmity, long to live in relaxation; and some of the Romans, too, taking delight in this way of living and observing the great number of men of the same culture as themselves sojourning there, gladly fall in love with the place and make it their permanent abode.

8 Next after Neapolis comes the Heracleian Fortress, with a promontory which runs out into the sea and so admirably catches the breezes of the southwest wind that it makes the settlement a p453healthful place to live in. Both this settlement and the one next after it, Pompaia (past which flows the River Sarnus), were once held by the Osci; then, by the Tyrrheni and the Pelasgi; and after that, by the Samnitae; but they, too, were ejected from the places. Pompaia, on the River Sarnus — a river which both takes the cargoes inland and sends them out to sea — is the port-town of Nola, Nuceria, and Acherrae (a place with name like that of the settlement Cremona). Above these places lies Mt. Vesuvius, which, save for its summit, has dwellings all round, on farm-lands that are absolutely beautiful. As for the summit, a considerable part of it is flat, but all of it is unfruitful, and looks ash-coloured, and it shows pore-like cavities in masses of rock that are soot-coloured on the surface, these masses of rock looking as though they had been eaten out by fire; and hence one might infer that in earlier times this district was on fire and had craters of fire, and then, because the fuel gave out, was quenched. Perhaps, too, this is the cause of the fruitfulness of the country all round the mountain; just as at Catana, it is said, that part of the country which had been covered with ash-dust from the hot ashes carried up into the air by the fire of Aetna made the land suited to the vine; for it contains the substance that fattens both the soil which is burnt out and that which produces the fruits; so then, when it acquired plenty of fat, it was suited to burning out, as is the case with all sulphur-like substances, and then when it had been evaporated and quenched and reduced to ash-dust, it passed into a state of fruitfulness. Next after Pompaia comes Surrentum, a city of the Campani, whence the Athenaeum juts forth into the sea, which some call the Cape of the Sirenussae. There is a sanctuary of Athene, built by Odysseus, on the tip of the Cape. It is only a short voyage from here across to the island of Capreae; and after doubling the cape you come to desert, rocky isles, which are called the Sirens. On the side of the Cape toward Surrentum people show you a kind of temple, and offerings dedicated there long ago, because the people in the neighbourhood hold the place in honour. Here, then, the gulf that is called the "Crater" comes to an end, being marked off by two capes that face the south, namely, Misenum and Athenaeum. And the whole of the gulf is garnished, in part by the cities which I have just mentioned, and in part by the residences and plantations, which, since they intervene in unbroken succession, present the appearance of a single city.

9 The island of Prochyta lies off Cape Misenum, and it is a fragment broken off of Pithecussae. Pithecussae was once settled by Eretrians and also Chalcidians, who, although they had prospered there on account of the fruitfulness of the soil and on account of the gold mines, forsook the island as the result of a quarrel; later on they were also driven out of the island by earthquakes, and by eruptions of fire, sea, and hot waters; for the island has "fistulas" of this sort, and it was these that caused also the people sent thither by Hiero the tyrant of Syracuse to forsake the island and the fortress they had erected there; and then the Neapolitans came over and took possession. Hence, also, the myth according to which Typhon lies beneath this island, and when he turns his body the flames and the waters, and sometimes even small islands containing boiling water, spout forth. But what Pindar says is more plausible, since he starts with the actual phenomena; for this whole channel, beginning at the Cumaean country and extending as far as Sicily, is full of fire, and has caverns deep down in the earth that form a single whole, connecting not only with one another but also with the mainland; and therefore, not only Aetna clearly has such a character as it is reported by all to have, but also the Lipari Islands, and the districts round about Dicaearchia, Neapolis, and Baiae, and the island of Pithecussae. This, I say, is Pindar's thought when he says that Typhon lies beneath the whole region: "Now, however, both Sicily and the sea-fenced cliffs beyond Cumae press hard upon his shaggy breast." And Timaeus, also, says that many marvellous things are told by the ancients about Pithecussae, and that only shortly before his own time the hill called Epopeus, in the centre of the island, on being shaken by earthquakes, cast forth fire and shoved the part between it and the sea back to the open sea; and the part of the land that had been burned to ashes, on being lifted high into the air, crashed down again upon the island like a whirlwind; and the sea retreated for three stadia, but not long after retreating turned back and with its reverse current deluged the island; and consequently, the fire in the island was quenched, but the noise was such that the people on the mainland fled from the coast into Campania. The hot springs in the island are thought to cure those who have gall-stones. Capreae had two small towns in ancient times, though later on only one. The Neapolitans took possession of this island too; and although they lost Pithecussae in war, they got it back again, Augustus Caesar giving it to them, though he appropriated Capreae to himself personally and erected buildings on it. Such, then, are the seaboard cities of Campania and the islands that lie off it.

10 In the interior, take first Capua: It is the capital city — a "capital" in reality, as the etymology of its name implies, for in comparison with it all the rest might be regarded as only small towns, except Teanum Sidicinum, which is indeed a noteworthy city. It, too, lies on the Appian Way, and so do the three cities which, among the rest, lead from it to Brentesium, namely, Calatia, Caudium, and Beneventum. But Casilinum is situated towards Rome, on the River Vulturnus; it was here that five hundred and forty of the Praenestini held out against Hannibal — then at the height of his strength — for so long that, by reason of famine, a "medimnus" was sold for two hundred "drachmae," and the man who sold it died of hunger, whereas the man who bought it escaped with his life. And when Hannibal saw them sowing turnips near the wall, he wondered, and with reason, at their long-suffering — that they expected to hold out long enough for the turnips to get ripe; and in fact they all survived, it is said, except a few who perished either because of hunger or in the battles.

11 But in addition to the cities aforesaid, the following (to which I have adverted before) are also Campanian cities — Cales and Teanum Sidicinum, whose territories are separated by the two temples of Fortune situated on either side of the Latin Way; and so are Suessula, Atella, Nola, Nuceria, Acherrae, Abella, and other settlements (some of which are said to be Samnite) that are still smaller than these. As for the Samnitae: In earlier times they made expeditions even as far as that part of the Latin country which is about Ardea, and then, after that, ravaged Campania itself, and therefore they must have possessed considerable power (indeed, the Campani, since they were already schooled in the obedience of other despots, quickly submitted to the new commands); but now they have been completely worn out — first by others and last of all by Sulla, who became dictator of the Romans; for when, on putting down the insurrection of the Italiotes by many battles, he saw that the Samnitae, almost alone, were holding together and, in like manner as before, were on the border, ready actually to march against Rome itself, he joined battle with them before the walls; and some of them he cut down in the battle (for he had ordered that none be taken alive), while the rest, who had flung their arms (about three or four thousand men, it is said) he brought down to the Villa Publica in the Campus Martius and imprisoned; three days later, however, he let soldiers loose upon them and thus slaughtered them all; and further, he would not stop making proscriptions until either he had destroyed all Samnitae of importance or banished them from Italy. And to those who found fault with him for such excessive wrath he said he had realised from experience that not a Roman could ever live in peace so long as the Samnitae held together as a separate people. And verily their cities have now come to be mere villages (though some have utterly vanished), I mean Bovianum, Aesernia, Panna, Telesia (close to Venafrum), and others like them. No one of these deserves to be regarded as a city, but I, for my part, am thus going into detail, within due bounds, because of the glory and power of Italy. Beneventum, however, has held up very well, and so has Venusia.

12 Concerning the Samnitae there is another story current to this effect: The Sabini, since they had long been at war with the Ombrici, vowed (just as some of the Greeks do) to dedicate everything that was produced that year; and, on winning the victory, they partly sacrificed and partly dedicated all that was produced; then a dearth ensued, and some one said that they ought to have dedicated the babies too; this they did, and devoted to Mars all the children born that year; and these children, when grown to manhood, they sent away as colonists, and a bull led the way; and when the bull lay down to rest in the land of the Opici (who, as it chanced, were living only in villages), the Sabini ejected them and settled on the spot, and, in accordance with the utterance of their seers, slaughtered the bull as a sacrifice to Mars who had given it for a guide. It is reasonable to suppose therefore that their name "Sabelli" is a nickname derived from the name of their forefathers, while their name "Samnitae" (the Greeks say "Saunitae") is due to a different cause. Some say, moreover, that a colony of Laconians joined the Samnitae, and that for this reason the Samnitae actually became philhellenes, and that some of them were even called "Pitanatae." But it is thought that the Tarantini simply fabricated this, to flatter, and at the same time to win the friendship of, a powerful people on their borders; because, on a time, the Samnitae were wont to send forth an army of as many as eighty thousand infantry and eight thousand cavalry. And they say that among the Samnitae there is a law which is indeed honourable and conducive to noble qualities; for they are not permitted to give their daughters in marriage to whom they wish, but every year ten virgins and ten young men, the noblest of each sex, are selected, and, of these, the first choice of the virgins is given to the first choice of the young men, and the second to the second, and so on to the end; but if the young man who wins the meed of honour changes and turns out bad, they disgrace him and take away from him the woman given him. Next after the Samnitae come the Hirpini, and they too are Samnitae; they got their name from the wolf that led the way for their colony (for "hirpus" is what the Samnitae call the wolf); and their territory adjoins that of those Leucani who live in the interior. So much, then, for the Samnitae.

13 As for the Campani, it was their lot, because of the fertility of their country, to enjoy in equal degree both evil things and good. For they were so extravagant that they would invite gladiators, in pairs, to dinner, regulating the number by the importance of the dinners; and when, on their instant submission to Hannibal, they received his army into winter-quarters, the soldiers became so effeminate because of the pleasures afforded them that Hannibal said that, although victor, he was in danger of falling into the hands of his foes, because the soldiers he had got back were not his men, but only women. But when the Romans got the mastery, they brought them to their sense by many severe lessons, and, last of all, portioned out to Roman settlers a part of the land. Now, however, they are living in prosperity, being of one mind with the new settlers, and they preserve their old-time reputation, in respect to both the size of their city and the high quality of its men. After Campania, and the Samnite country (as far as the Frentani), on the Tyrrhenian Sea dwells the tribe of the Picentini, a small offshoot of those Picentini who dwell on the Adriatic, which has been transplanted by the Romans to the Poseidonian Gulf; this gulf is now called the Paestan Gulf; and the city of Poseidonia, which is situated in the centre of the gulf, is now called Paestus. The Sybaritae, it is true, had erected fortifications on the sea, but the settlers removed them farther inland; later on, however, the Leucani took the city away from the Sybaritae, and, in turn, the Romans took it away from the Leucani. But the city is rendered unhealthy by a river that spreads out into marshes in the neighbourhood. Between the Sirenussae and Poseidonia lies Marcina, a city founded by the Tyrrheni and now inhabited by Samnitae. From here to Pompaia, by way of Nuceria, the distance across the isthmus is not more than one hundred and twenty stadia. The country of the Picentes extends as far as the River Silaris, which separates the old Campania from this country. In regard to this river, writers report the following as a special characteristic, that although its water is potable, any plant that is let down into it turns to stone, though it keeps its colour and its shape. Picentia first belonged to the Picentes, as metropolis, but at the present time they live only in villages, having been driven away by the Romans because they had made common cause with Hannibal. And instead of doing military service, they were at that time appointed to serve the State as couriers and letter-carriers (as were also, for the same reasons, both the Leucani and the Brettii); and for the sake of keeping watch over the Picentes the Romans fortified Salernum against them, a city situated only a short distance above the sea. The distance from the Sirenussae to the Silaris is two hundred and sixty stadia.

 
6 South Italy 4 74 1:50
Pyxus 6.1
Consentia 6.1
Cosentia 6.1b
Grumentum 6.1
Grumentum 6.1b
Pandosia 6.1
Pandosia 6.1b
120 km of Elean Territory 8.3
205 Rhegium 683K 2.63 6.1
Bruttium 250Km 6.1
Bruttium Close 6.1
205 Rhegium 683K 2.63 6.1
Bruttium 250Km 6.1
Bruttium Close 6.1
6 - 1

1 After the mouth of the Silaris one comes to Leucania, and to the temple of the Argoan Hera, built by Jason, and near by, within fifty stadia, to Poseidonia. Thence, sailing out past the gulf, one comes to Leucosia,1 an island, from which it is only a short voyage across to the continent. The island is named after one of the Sirens, who was cast ashore here after the Sirens had flung themselves, as the myth has it, into the depths of the sea. In front of the island lies that promontory which is opposite the Sirenussae and with them forms the Poseidonian Gulf. On doubling this promontory one comes immediately to another gulf, in which there is a city which was called "Hyele" by the Phocaeans who founded it, and by others "Ele," after a certain spring, but is called by the men of to‑day "Elea." This is the native city of Parmenides and Zeno, the Pythagorean philosophers. It is my opinion that not only through the influence of these men but also in still earlier times the city was well governed; and it was because of this good government that the people not only held their own against the Leucani and the Poseidoniatae, but even returned victorious, although they were inferior to them both in extent of territory and in population. At any rate, they are compelled, on account of the poverty of their soil, to busy themselves mostly with the sea and to establish factories for the salting of fish, and other such industries. According to Antiochus, after the capture of Phocaea by Harpagus, the general of Cyrus, all the Phocaeans who could do so embarked with their entire families on their light boats and, under the leadership of Creontiades, sailed first to Cyrnus and Massalia, but when they were beaten off from those places founded Elea. Some, however, say that the city took its name from the River Elees. It is about two hundred stadia distant from Poseidonia. After Elea comes the promontory of Palinurus. Off the territory of Elea are two islands, the Oenotrides, which have anchoring-places. After Palinurus comes Pyxus — a cape, harbour, and river, for all three have the same name. Pyxus was peopled with new settlers by Micythus, the ruler of the Messene in Sicily, but all the settlers except a few sailed away again. After Pyxus comes another gulf, and also Laüs — a river and city; it is the last of the Leucanian cities, lying only a short distance above the sea, is a colony of the Sybaritae, and the distance thither from Ele is four hundred stadia. The whole voyage along the coast of Leucania is six hundred and fifty stadia. Near Laüs is the hero-temple of Draco, one of the companions of Odysseus, in regard to which the following oracle was given out to the Italiotes "Much people will one day perish about Laïan Draco." And the oracle came true, for, deceived by it, the peoples who made campaigns against Laüs, that is, the Greek inhabitants of Italy, met disaster at the hands of the Leucani.

2 These, then, are the places on the Tyrrhenian seaboard that belong to the Leucani. As for the other sea, they could not reach it at first; in fact, the Greeks who held the Gulf of Tarentum were in control there. Before the Greeks came, however, the Leucani were as yet not even in existence, and the regions were occupied by the Chones and the Oenotri. But after the Samnitae had grown considerably in power, and had ejected the Chones and the Oenotri, and had settled a colony of Leucani in this portion of Italy, while at the same time the Greeks were holding possession of both seaboards as far as the Strait, the Greeks and the barbarians carried on war with one another for a long time. Then the tyrants of Sicily, and afterwards the Carthaginians, at one time at war with the Romans for the possession of Sicily and at another for the possession of Italy itself, maltreated all the peoples in this part of the world, but especially the Greeks. Later on, beginning from the time of the Trojan war, the Greeks had taken away from the earlier inhabitants much of the interior country also, and indeed had increased in power to such an extent that they called this part of Italy, together with Sicily, Magna Graecia. But to‑day all parts of it, except Taras, Rhegium, and Neapolis, have become p9completely barbarised, and some parts have been taken and are held by the Leucani and the Brettii, and others by the Campani — that is, nominally by the Campani but in truth by the Romans, since the Campani themselves have become Romans. However, the man who busies himself with the description of the earth must needs speak, not only of the facts of the present, but also sometimes of the facts of the past, especially when they are notable. As for the Leucani, I have already spoken of those whose territory borders on the Tyrrhenian Sea, while those who hold the interior are the people who live above the Gulf of Tarentum. But the latter, and the Brettii, and the Samnitae themselves (the progenitors of these peoples) have so utterly deteriorated that it is difficult even to distinguish their several settlements; and the reason is that no common organisation longer endures in any one of the separate tribes; and their characteristic differences in language, armour, dress, and the like, have completely disappeared; and, besides, their settlements, severally and in detail, are wholly without repute.

3 Accordingly, without making distinctions between them, I shall only tell in a general way what I have learned about the peoples who live in the interior, I mean the Leucani and such of the Samnitae as are their next neighbours. Petelia, then, is regarded as the metropolis of the Chones, and has been rather populous down to the present day. It was founded by Philoctetes after he, as the result of a political quarrel, had fled from Meliboea. It has so strong a position by nature that the Samnitae once fortified it against the Thurii. And the old Crimissa, which is near the same regions, was also founded by Philoctetes. Apollodorus, in his work On Ships, in mentioning Philoctetes, says that, according to some, when Philoctetes arrived at the territory of Croton, he colonised the promontory Crimissa, and, in the interior above it, the city Chone, from which the Chonians of that district took their name, and that some of his companions whom he had sent forth with Aegestes the Trojan to the region of Eryx in Sicily fortified Aegesta. Moreover, Grumentum and Vertinae are in the interior, and so are Calasarna and some other small settlements, until we arrive at Venusia, a notable city; but I think that this city and those that follow in order after it as one goes towards Campania are Samnite cities. Beyond Thurii lies also the country that is called Tauriana. The Leucani are Samnite in race, but upon mastering the Poseidoniatae and their allies in war they took possession of their cities. At all other times, it is true, their government was democratic, but in times of war they were wont to choose a king from those who held magisterial offices. But now they are Romans.

4 The seaboard that comes next after Leucania, as far as the Sicilian Strait and for a distance of thirteen hundred and fifty stadia, is occupied by the Brettii. According to Antiochus, in his treatise On Italy, this territory (and this is the territory which he says he is describing) was once called Italy, although in earlier times it was called Oenotria. And he designates as its boundaries, first, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the same boundary that I have assigned to the country of the Brettii — the River Laüs; and secondly, on the Sicilian Sea, Metapontium. But as for the country of the Tarantini, which borders on Metapontium, he names it as outside of Italy, and calls its inhabitants Iapyges. And at a time more remote, according to him, the names "Italians" and "Oenotrians" were applied only to the people who lived this side the isthmus in the country that slopes toward the Sicilian Strait. The isthmus itself, one hundred and sixty stadia in width, lies between two gulfs — the Hipponiate (which Antiochus has called Napetine) and the Scylletic. The coasting-voyage round the country comprised between the isthmus and the Strait is two thousand stadia. But after that, he says, the name of "Italy" and that of the "Oenotrians" was further extended as far as the territory of Metapontium and that of Seiris, for, he adds, the Chones, a well-regulated Oenotrian tribe, had taken up their abode in these regions and had called the land Chone. Now Antiochus had spoken only in a rather simple and antiquated way, without making any distinctions between the Leucani and the Brettii. In the first place, Leucania lies between the Tyrrhenian and Sicilian coast-lines, the former coast-line from the River Silaris as far as Laüs, and the latter, from Metapontium as far as Thurii; in the second place, on the mainland, from the country of the Samnitae as far as the isthmus which extends from Thurii to Cerilli (a city near Laüs), the isthmus is three hundred stadia in width. But the Brettii are situated beyond the Leucani; they live on a peninsula, but this peninsula includes another peninsula which has the isthmus that extends from Scylletium to the Hipponiate Gulf. The name of the tribe was given to it by the Leucani, for the Leucani call all revolters "brettii." The Brettii revolted, so it is said (at first they merely tended flocks for the Leucani, and then, by reason of the indulgence of their masters, began to act as free men), at the time when Dio made his expedition against Dionysius and aroused all peoples against all others. So much, then, for my general description of the Leucani and the Brettii.

5 The next city after Laüs belongs to Brettium, and is named Temesa, though the men of to‑day call it Tempsa; it was founded by the Ausones, but later on was settled also by the Aetolians under the leadership of Thoas; but the Aetolians were ejected by the Brettii, and then the Brettii were crushed by Hannibal and by the Romans. Near Temesa, and thickly shaded with wild olive trees, is the hero-temple of Polites, one of the companions of Odysseus, who was treacherously slain by the barbarians, and for that reason became so exceedingly wroth against the country that, in accordance with an oracle, the people of the neighbourhood collected tribute for him; and hence, also, the popular saying applied to those who are merciless, that they are "beset by the hero of Temesa." But when the Epizephyrian Locrians captured the city, Euthymus, the pugilist, so the story goes, entered the lists against Polites, defeated him in the fight and forced him to release the natives from the tribute. People say that Homer has in mind this Temesa, not the Tamassus in Cyprus (the name is spelled both ways), when he says "to Temesa, in quest of copper." And in fact copper mines are to be seen in the neighbourhood, although now they have been abandoned. Near Temesa is Terina, which Hannibal destroyed, because he was unable to guard it, at the time when he had taken refuge in Brettium itself. Then comes Consentia, the metropolis of the Brettii; and a little above this city is Pandosia, a strong fortress, near which Alexander the Molossian was killed. He, too, was deceived by the oracle at Dodona, which bade him be on his guard against Acheron and Pandosia; for places which bore these names were pointed out to him in Thesprotia, but he came to his end here in Brettium. Now the fortress has three summits, and the River Acheron flows past it. And there was another oracle that helped to deceive him: "Three-hilled Pandosia, much people shalt thou kill one day"; for he thought that the oracle clearly meant the destruction of the enemy, not of his own people. It is said that Pandosia was once the capital of the Oenotrian Kings. After Consentia comes Hipponium, which was founded by the Locrians. Later on, the Brettii were in possession of Hipponium, but the Romans took it away from them and changed its name to Vibo Valentia. And because the country round about Hipponium has luxuriant meadows abounding in flowers, people have believed that Core used to come hither from Sicily to gather flowers; and consequently it has become the custom among the women of Hipponium to gather flowers and to weave them into garlands, so that on festival days it is disgraceful to wear bought garlands. Hipponium has also a naval station, which was built long ago by Agathocles, the tyrant of the Siciliotes, when he made himself master of the city. Thence one sails to the Harbour of Heracles, which is the point where the headlands of Italy near the Strait begin to turn towards the west. And on this voyage one passes Medma, a city of the same Locrians aforementioned, which has the same name as a great fountain there, and possesses a naval station near by, called Emporium. Near it is also the Metaurus River, and a mooring-place bearing the same name. Off this coast lie the islands of the Liparaei, at a distance of two hundred stadia from the Strait. According to some, they are the islands of Aeolus, of whom the Poet makes mention in the Odyssey. They are seven in number and are all within view both from Sicily and from the continent near Medma. But I shall tell about them when I discuss Sicily. After the Metaurus River comes a second Metaurus. Next after this river comes Scyllaeum, a lofty rock which forms a peninsula, its isthmus being low and affording access to ships on both sides. This isthmus Anaxilaüs, the tyrant of the Rhegini, fortified against the Tyrrheni, building a naval station there, and thus deprived the pirates of their passage through the strait. For Caenys, too, is near by, being two hundred and fifty stadia distant from Medma; it is the last cape, and with the cape on the Sicilian side, Pelorias, forms the narrows of the Strait. Cape Pelorias is one of the three capes that make the island triangular, and it bends towards the summer sunrise, just as Caenys bends towards the west, each one thus turning away from the other in the opposite direction. Now the length of the narrow passage of the Strait from Caenys as far as the Poseidonium, or the Columna Rheginorum, is about six stadia, while the shortest passage across is slightly more; and the distance is one hundred stadia from the Columna to Rhegium, where the Strait begins to widen out, as one proceeds towards the east, towards the outer sea, the sea which is called the Sicilian Sea.

6 Rhegium was founded by the Chalcidians who, it is said, in accordance with an oracle, were dedicated, one man out of every ten Chalcidians, to Apollo, because of a dearth of crops, but later on emigrated hithera from Delphi, taking with them still others from their home. But according to Antiochus, the Zanclaeans sent for the Chalcidians and appointed Antimnestus their founder-in‑chief. To this colony also belonged the refugees of the Peloponnesian Messenians who had been defeated by the men of the opposing faction. These men were unwilling to be punished by the Lacedaemonians for the violation of the maidens which took place at Limnae, though they were themselves guilty of the outrage done to the maidens, who had been sent there for a religious rite, and had also killed those who came to their aid. So the refugees, after withdrawing to Macistus, sent a deputation to the oracle of the god to find fault with Apollo and Artemis if such was to be their fate in return for their trying to avenge those gods, and also to enquire how they, now utterly ruined, might be saved. Apollo bade them go forth with the Chalcidians to Rhegium, and to be grateful to his sister; for, he added, they were not ruined, but saved, inasmuch as they were surely not to perish along with their native land, which would be captured a little later by the Spartans. They obeyed; and therefore the rulers of the Rhegini down to Anaxilas were always appointed from the stock of the Messenians. According to Antiochus, the Siceli and Morgetes had in early times inhabited the whole of this region, but later on, being ejected by the Oenotrians, had crossed over into Sicily. According to some, Morgantium also took its name from the Morgetes of Rhegium. The city of Rhegium was once very powerful and had many dependencies in the neighbourhood; and it was always a fortified outpost threatening the island, not only in earlier times but also recently, in our own times, when Sextus Pompeius caused Sicily to revolt. It was named Rhegium, either, as Aeschylus says, because of the calamity that had befallen this region, for, as both he and others state, Sicily was once "rent" from the continent by earthquakes, "and so from this fact," he adds, "it is called Rhegium." They infer from the occurrences about Aetna and in other parts of Sicily, and in Lipara and in the islands about it, and also in the Pithecussae and the whole of the coast of the adjacent continent, that it is not unreasonable to suppose that the rending actually took place. Now at the present time the earth about the Strait, they say, is but seldom shaken by earthquakes, because the orifices there, through which the fire is blown up and the red-hot masses and the waters are ejected, are open. At that time, however, the fire that was smouldering beneath the earth, together with the wind, produced violent earthquakes, because the passages to the surface were all blocked up, and the regions thus heaved up yielded at last to the force of the blasts of wind, were rent asunder, and then received the sea that was on either side, both here and between the other islands in that region. And, in fact, Prochyte and the Pithecussae are fragments broken off from the continent, as also Capreae, Leucosia, the Sirenes, and the Oenotrides. Again, there are islands which have arisen from the high seas, a thing that even now happens in many places; for it is more plausible that the islands in the high seas were heaved up from the deeps, whereas it is more reasonable to think that those lying off the promontories and separated merely by a strait from the mainland have been rent therefrom. However, the question which of the two explanations is true, whether Rhegium got its name on account of this or on account of its fame (for the Samnitae might have called it by the Latin word for "royal," because their progenitors had shared in the government with the Romans and used the Latin language to a considerable extent), is open to investigation. Be this as it may, it was a famous city, and not only founded many cities but also produced many notable men, some notable for their excellence as statesmen and others for their learning; nevertheless, Dionysius demolished it, they say, on the charge that when he asked for a girl in marriage they proffered the daughter of the public executioner; but his son restored a part of the old city and called it Phoebia. Now in the time of Pyrrhus the garrison of the Campani broke the treaty and destroyed most of the inhabitants, and shortly before the Marsic war much of the settlement was laid in ruins by earthquakes; but Augustus Caesar, after ejecting Pompeius from Sicily, seeing that the city was in want of population, gave it some men from his expeditionary forces as new settlers, and it is now fairly populous.

7 As one sails from Rhegium towards the east, and at a distance of fifty stadia, one comes to Cape Leucopetra (so called from its colour), in which, it is said, the Apennine Mountain terminates. Then comes Heracleium, which is the last cape of Italy and inclines towards the south; for on doubling it one immediately sails with the southwest wind as far as Cape Iapygia, and then veers off, always more and more, towards the northwest in the direction of the Ionian Gulf. After Heracleium comes a cape belonging to Locris, which is called Zephyrium; its harbour is exposed to the winds that blow from the west, and hence the name. Then comes the city Locri Epizephyrii, a colony of the Locri who live on the Crisaean Gulf, which was led out by Evanthes only a little while after the founding of Croton and Syracuse. Ephorus is wrong in calling it a colony of the Locri Opuntii. However, they lived only three or four years at Zephyrium, and then moved the city to its present site, with the cooperation of Syracusans for at the same time the latter, among whom . . . And at Zephyrium there is a spring, called Locria, where the Locri first pitched camp. The distance from Rhegium to Locri is six hundred stadia. The city is situated on the brow of a hill called Epopis.

8 The Locri Epizephyrii are believed to have been the first people to use written laws. After they had lived under good laws for a very long time, Dionysius, on being banished from the country of the Syracusans,46 abused them most lawlessly of all men. For he would sneak into the bed-chambers of the girls after they had been dressed up for their wedding, and lie with them before their marriage; and he would gather together the girls who were ripe for marriage, let loose doves with cropped wings upon them in the midst of the banquets, and then bid the girls waltz around unclad, and also bid some of them, shod with sandals that were not mates (one high and the other low), chase the doves around — all for the sheer indecency of it. However, he paid the penalty after he went back to Sicily again to resume his government; for the Locri broke up his garrison, set themselves free, and thus became masters of his wife and children. These children were his two daughters, and the younger of his two sons (who was already a lad), for the other, Apollocrates, was helping his father to effect his return to Sicily by force of arms. And although Dionysius — both himself and the Tarantini on his behalf — earnestly begged the Locri to release the prisoners on any terms they wished, they would not give them up; instead, they endured a siege and a devastation of their country. But they poured out most of their wrath upon his daughters, for they first made them prostitutes and then strangled them, and then, after burning their bodies, ground up the bones and sank them in the sea. Now Ephorus, in his mention of the written legislation of the Locri which was drawn up by Zaleucus from the Cretan, the Laconian, and the Areopagite usages, says that Zaleucus was among the first to make the following innovation — that whereas before his time it had been left to the judges to determine the penalties for the several crimes, he defined them in the laws, because he held that the opinions of the judges about the same crimes would not be the same, although they ought to be the same. And Ephorus goes on to commend Zaleucus for drawing up the laws on contracts in simpler language. And he says that the Thurii, who later on wished to excel the Locri in precision, became more famous, to be sure, but morally inferior; for, he adds, it is not those who in their laws guard against all the wiles of false accusers that have good laws, but those who abide by laws that are laid down in simple language. And Plato has said as much — that where there are very many laws, there are also very many lawsuits and corrupt practices, just as where there are many physicians, there are also likely to be many diseases.

9 The Halex River, which marks the boundary between the Rhegian and the Locrian territories, passes out through a deep ravine; and a peculiar thing happens there in connection with the grasshoppers, that although those on the Locrian bank sing, the others remain mute. As for the cause of this, it is conjectured that on the latter side the region is so densely shaded that the grasshoppers, being wet with dew, cannot expand their membranes, whereas those on the sunny side have dry and horn-like membranes and therefore can easily produce their song. And people used to show in Locri a statue of Eunomus, the cithara-bard, with a locust seated on the cithara. Timaeus says that Eunomus and Ariston of Rhegium were once contesting with each other at the Pythian games and fell to quarrelling about the casting of the lots; so Ariston begged the Delphians to cooperate with him, for the reason that his ancestors belonged to the god and that the colony had been sent forth from there; and although Eunomus said that the Rhegini had absolutely no right even to participate in the vocal contests, since in their country even the grasshoppers, the sweetest-voiced of all creatures, were mute, Ariston was none the less held in favour and hoped for the victory; and yet Eunomus gained the victory and set up the aforesaid image in his native land, because during the contest, when one of the chords broke, a grasshopper lit on his cithara and supplied the missing sound. The interior above these cities is held by the Brettii; here is the city Mamertium, and also the forest that produces the best pitch, the Brettian. This forest is called Sila, is both well wooded and well watered, and is seven hundred stadia in length.

10 After Locri comes the Sagra, a river which has a feminine name. On its banks are the altars of the Dioscuri, near which ten thousand Locri, with Rhegini, clashed with one hundred and thirty thousand Crotoniates and gained the victory — an occurrence which gave rise, it is said, to the proverb we use with incredulous people, "Truer than the result at Sagra." And some have gone on to add the fable that the news of the result was reported on the same day to the people at the Olympia when the games were in progress, and that the speed with which the news had come was afterwards verified. This misfortune of the Crotoniates is said to be the reason why their city did not endure much longer, so great was the multitude of men who fell in the battle. After the Sagra comes a city founded by the Achaeans, Caulonia, formerly called Aulonia, because of the glen which lies in front of it. It is deserted, however, for those who held it were driven out by the barbarians to Sicily and founded the Caulonia there. After this city comes Scylletium, a colony of the Athenians who were with Menestheus (and now called Scylacium). Though the Crotoniates held it, Dionysius included it within the boundaries of the Locri. The Scylletic Gulf, which, with the Hipponiate Gulf forms the aforementioned isthmus, is named after the city. Dionysius undertook also to build a wall across the isthmus when he made war upon the Leucani, on the pretext, indeed, that it would afford security to the people inside the isthmus from the barbarians outside, but in truth because he wished to break the alliance which the Greeks had with one another, and thus command with impunity the people inside; but the people outside came in and prevented the undertaking.

11 After Scylletium comes the territory of the Crotoniates, and three capes of the Iapyges; and after these, the Lacinium, a temple of Hera, which at one time was rich and full of dedicated offerings. As for the distances by sea, writers give them without satisfactory clearness, except that, in a general way, Polybius gives the distance from the strait to Lacinium as two thousand three hundred stadia, and the distance thence across to Cape Iapygia as seven hundred. This point is called the mouth of the Tarantine Gulf. As for the gulf itself, the distance around it by sea is of considerable length, two hundred and forty miles, as the Chorographer says, but Artemidorus says three hundred and eighty for a man well-girded, although he falls short of the real breadth of the mouth of the gulf by as much. The gulf faces the winter-sunrise; and it begins at Cape Lacinium, for, on doubling it, one immediately comes to the cities of the Achaeans, which, except that of the Tarantini, no longer exist, and yet, because of the fame of some of them, are worthy of rather extended mention.

12 The first city is Croton, within one hundred and fifty stadia from the Lacinium; and then comes the River Aesarus, and a harbour, and another river, the Neaethus. The Neaethus got its name, it is said, from what occurred there: Certain of the Achaeans who had strayed from the Trojan fleet put in there and disembarked for an inspection of the region, and when the Trojan women who were sailing with them learned that the boats were empty of men, they set fire to the boats, for they were weary of the voyage, so that the men remained there of necessity, although they at the same time noticed that the soil was very fertile. And immediately several other groups, on the strength of their racial kinship, came and imitated them, and thus arose many settlements, most of which took their names from the Trojans; and also a river, the Neaethus, took its appellation from the aforementioned occurrence. According to Antiochus, when the god told the Achaeans to found Croton, Myscellus departed to inspect the place, but when he saw that Sybaris was already founded — having the same name as the river near by — he judged that Sybaris was better; at all events, he questioned the god again when he returned whether it would be better to found this instead of Croton, and the god replied to him (Myscellus64 was a hunchback as it happened): "Myscellus, short of back, in searching else outside thy track, thou hunt'st for morsels only; 'tis right that what one giveth thee thou do approve;"65 and Myscellus came back and founded Croton, having as an associate Archias, the founder of Syracuse, who happened to sail up while on his way to found Syracuse. The Iapyges used to live at Croton in earlier times, as Ephorus says. And the city is reputed to have cultivated warfare and athletics; at any rate, in one Olympian festival the seven men who took the lead over all others in the stadium-race were all Crotoniates, and therefore the saying "The last of the Crotoniates was the first among all other Greeks" seems reasonable. And this, it is said, is what gave rise to the other proverb, "more healthful than Croton," the belief being that the place contains something that tends to health and bodily vigour, to judge by the multitude of its athletes. Accordingly, it had a very large number of Olympic victors, although it did not remain inhabited a long time, on account of the ruinous loss of its citizens who fell in such great numbers at the River Sagra. And its fame was increased by the large number of its Pythagorean philosophers, and by Milo, who was the most illustrious of athletes, and also a companion of Pythagoras, who spent a long time in the city. It is said that once, at the common mess of the philosophers, when a pillar began to give way, Milo slipped in under the burden and saved them all, and then drew himself from under it and escaped. And it is probably because he relied upon this same strength that he brought on himself the end of his life as reported by some writers; at any rate, the story is told that once, when he was travelling through a deep forest, he strayed rather far from the road, and then, on finding a large log cleft with wedges, thrust his hands and feet at the same time into the cleft and strained to split the log completely asunder; but he was only strong enough to make the wedges fall out, whereupon the two parts of the log instantly snapped together; and caught in such a trap as that, he became food for wild beasts.

13 Next in order, at a distance of two hundred stadia, comes Sybaris, founded by the Achaeans; it is between two rivers, the Crathis and the Sybaris. Its founder was Is of Helice. In early times this city was so superior in its good fortune that it ruled over four tribes in the neighbourhood, had twenty-five subject cities, made the campaign against the Crotoniates with three hundred thousand men, and its inhabitants on the Crathis alone completely filled up a circuit of fifty stadia. However, by reason of luxury and insolence they were deprived of all their felicity by the Crotoniates within seventy days; for on taking the city these conducted the river over it and submerged it. Later on, the survivors, only a few, came together and were making it their home again, but in time these too were destroyed by Athenians and other Greeks, who, although they came there to live with them, conceived such a contempt for them that they not only slew them but removed the city to another place near by and named it Thurii, after a spring of that name. Now the Sybaris River makes the horses that drink from it timid, and therefore all herds are kept away from it; whereas the Crathis makes the hair of persons who bathe in it yellow or white, and besides it cures many afflictions. Now after the Thurii had prospered for a long time, they were enslaved by the Leucani, and when they were taken away from the Leucani by the Tarantini, they took refuge in Rome, and the Romans sent colonists to supplement them, since their population was reduced, and changed the name of the city to Copiae.

14 After Thurii comes Lagaria, a stronghold, bounded by Epeius and the Phocaeans; thence comes the Lagaritan wine, which is sweet, mild, and extremely well thought of among physicians. That of Thurii, too, is one of the famous wines. Then comes the city Heracleia, a short distance above the sea; and two navigable rivers, the Aciris and the Siris. On the Siris there used to be a Trojan city of the same name, but in time, when Heracleia was colonised thence by the Tarantini, it became the port of the Heracleotes. It is twenty-four stadia distant from Heracleia and about three hundred and thirty from Thurii. Writers produce as proof of its settlement by the Trojans the wooden image of the Trojan Athene which is set up there — the image that closed its eyes, the fable goes, when the suppliants were dragged away by the Ionians who captured the city; for these Ionians came there as colonists when in flight from the dominion of the Lydians, and by force took the city, which belonged to the Chones, and called it Polieium; and the image even now can be seen closing its eyes. It is a bold thing, to be sure, to tell such a fable and to say that the image not only closed its eyes (just as they say the image in Troy turned away at the time Cassandra was violated) but can also be seen closing its eyes; and yet it is much bolder to represent as brought from Troy all those images which the historians say were brought from there; for not only in the territory of Siris, but also at Rome, at Lavinium, and at Luceria, Athene is called "Trojan Athena," as though brought from Troy. And further, the daring deed of the Trojan women is current in numerous places, and appears incredible, although it is possible. According to some, however, both Siris and the Sybaris which is on the Teuthras were founded by the Rhodians. According to Antiochus, when the Tarantini were at war with the Thurii and their general Cleandridas, an exile from Lacedaemon, for the possession of the territory of Siris, they made a compromise and peopled Siris jointly, although it was adjudged the colony of the Tarantini; but later on it was called Heracleia, its site as well as its name being changed.

15 Next in order comes Metapontium, which is one hundred and forty stadia from the naval station of Heracleia. It is said to have been founded by the Pylians who sailed from Troy with Nestor; and they so prospered from farming, it is said, that they dedicated a golden harvest at Delphi. And writers produce as a sign of its having been founded by the Pylians the sacrifice to the shades of the sons of Neleus. However, the city was wiped out by the Samnitae. According to Antiochus: Certain of the Achaeans were sent for by the Achaeans in Sybaris and resettled the place, then forsaken, but they were summoned only because of a hatred which the Achaeans who had been banished from Laconia had for the Tarantini, in order that the neighbouring Tarantini might not pounce upon the place; there were two cities, but since, of the two, Metapontium was nearer to Taras, the new-comers were persuaded by the Sybarites to take Metapontium and hold it, for, if they held this, they would also hold the territory of Siris, whereas, if they turned to the territory of Siris, they would add Metapontium to the territory of the Tarantini, which latter was on the very flank of Metapontium; and when, later on, the Metapontians were at war with the Tarantini and the Oenotrians of the interior, a reconciliation was effected in regard to a portion of the land — that portion, indeed, which marked the boundary between the Italy of that time and Iapygia. Here, too, the fabulous accounts place Metapontus, and also Melanippe the prisoner and her son Boeotus. In the opinion of Antiochus, the city Metapontium was first called Metabum and later on its name was slightly altered, and further, Melanippe was brought, not to Metabus, but to Dius, as is proved by a hero-temple of Metabus, and also by Asius the poet, when he says that Boeotus was brought forth "in the halls of Dius by shapely Melanippe," meaning that Melanippe was brought to Dius, not to Metabus. But, as Ephorus says, the coloniser of Metapontium was Daulius, the tyrant of the Crisa which is near Delphi. And there is this further account, that the man who was sent by the Achaeans to help colonise it was Leucippus, and that after procuring the use of the place from the Tarantini for only a day and night he would not give it back, replying by day to those who asked it back that he had asked and taken it for the next night also, and by night that he had taken and asked it also for the next day.

Next in order comes Taras and Iapygia; but before discussing them I shall, in accordance with my original purpose, give a general description of the islands that lie in front of Italy; for as from time to time I have named also the islands which neighbour upon the several tribes, so now, since I have traversed Oenotria from beginning to end, which alone the people of earlier times called Italy, it is right that I should preserve the same order in traversing Sicily and the islands round about it.

Sicilian tribes and towns 6.1
Messene 6-1

Messene 6-1
Pyxus 6.1
Consentia 6.1
Pyxus 6.1
Cosentia 6.1b
Grumentum 6.1
Grumentum 6.1b
Pandosia 6.1
Pandosia 6.1b
Camarina 6.2
Camarina 6.2b
Syracuse 6.2
Syracuse 6.2b
Cape Polorus 3.13k 6.2
Gela 6.2
Gela 6.22
Messene
6 - 2 Sicily

Sicily is triangular in shape; and for this reason it was at first called "Trinacria," though later the name was changed to the more euphonious "Thrinacis." Its shape is defined by three capes: Pelorias, which with Caenys and Columna Rheginorum forms the strait, and Pachynus, which lies out towards the east and is washed by the Sicilian Sea, thus facing towards the Peloponnesus and the sea-passage to Crete, and, third, Lilybaeum, the cape that is next to Libya, thus facing at the same time towards Libya and the winter sunset. As for the sides which are marked off by the three capes, two of them are moderately concave, 266whereas the third, the one that reaches from Lilybaeum to Pelorias, is convex; and this last is the longest, being one thousand seven hundred stadia in length, as Poseidonius states, though he adds twenty stadia more. Of the other two sides, the one from Lilybaeum to Pachynus is longer than the other, and the one next to the strait and Italy, from Pelorias to Pachynus, is shortest, being about one thousand one hundred and thirty stadia long. And the distance round the island by sea, as declared by Poseidonius, is four thousand stadia. But in the Chorography the distances given are longer, marked off in sections and given in miles: from Pelorias to Mylae, twenty-five miles; the same from Mylae to Tyndaris; then to Agathyrnum thirty, and the same to Alaesa, and again the same to Cephaloedium, these being small towns; and eighteen to the River Himera, which flows through the middle of Sicily; then to Panormus thirty-five, and thirty-two to the Emporium of the Aegestes, and the rest of the way, to Lilybaeum, thirty-eight. Thence, on doubling Lilybaeum, to the adjacent side, to the Heracleium seventy-five miles, and to the Emporium of the Acragantini twenty, and another twenty to Camarina; and then to Pachynus fifty. Thence again along the third side: to Syracuse thirty-six, and to Catana sixty; then to Tauromenium thirty-three; and then to Messene thirty. On foot, however, the distance from Pachynus to Pelorias is one hundred and sixty-eight miles, and from Messene to Lilybaeum by the Valerian Way two hundred and thirty-five. But some writers have spoken in a more general way, as, for example, Ephorus: "At any rate, the voyage round the island takes five days and nights." Further, Poseidonius, in marking off the boundaries of the island by means of the "climata," puts Pelorias towards the north, Lilybaeum towards the south, and Pachynus towards the east. But since the "climata" are each divided off into parallelograms, necessarily the triangles that are inscribed (particularly those which are scalene and of which no side fits on any one of the sides of the parallelogram) cannot, because of their slant, be fitted to the "climata." However this may be, one p61might fairly say, in the case of the "climata" of Sicily, which is situated south of Italy, that Pelorias is the most northerly of the three corners; and therefore the side that joins Pelorias to Pachynus will lie out towards the east, thus facing towards the north, and also will form the side that is on the strait. But this side must take a slight turn toward the winter sunrise, for the shore bends aside in this direction as one proceeds from Catana to Syracuse and Pachynus. Now the distance from Pachynus across to the mouth of the Alpheius91 is four thousand stadia; but when Artemidorus says that it is four thousand six hundred stadia from Pachynus to Taenarum and one thousand one hundred and thirty from the Alpheius to the Pamisus, he seems to me to afford us reason for suspecting that his statement is not in agreement with that of the man who says that the distance to the Alpheius from Pachynus is four thousand stadia. Again, the side that extends from Pachynus to Lilybaeum, which is considerably farther west than Pelorias, should itself also be made to slant considerably from its southernmost point towards the west, and should face at the same time towards the east and towards the south, one part being washed by the Sicilian Sea and the other by the Libyan Sea that reaches from Carthaginia to the Syrtes. The shortest passage from Lilybaeum across to Libya in the neighbourhood of Carthage is one thousand five hundred stadia; and on this passage, it is said, some man of sharp vision, from a look-out, used to report to the men in Lilybaeum the number of ships that were putting to sea from Carthage. Again, the side that extends from Lilybaeum to Pelorias necessarily slants towards the east, and faces towards the region that is between the west and the north, having Italy on the north and on the west the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Islands of Aeolus.

2 The cities along the side that forms the Strait are, first, Messene, and then Tauromenium, Catana, and Syracuse; but those that were between Catana and Syracuse have disappeared — Naxus98 and Megara; and on this coast are the outlets of the Symaethus and all rivers that flow down from Aetna and have good harbours at their mouths; and here too is the promontory of Xiphonia. According to Ephorus these were the earliest Greek cities to be founded in Sicily, that is, in the tenth generation after the Trojan war; for before that time men were so afraid of the bands of Tyrrhenian pirates and the savagery of the barbarians in this region that they would not so much as sail thither for trafficking; but though Theocles, the Athenian, borne out of his course by the winds to Sicily, clearly perceived both the weakness of the peoples and the excellence of the soil, yet, when he went back, he could not persuade the Athenians, and hence took as partners a considerable number of Euboean Chalcidians and some Ionians and also some Dorians (most of whom were Megarians) and made the voyage; so the Chalcidians founded Naxus, whereas the Dorians founded Megara, which in earlier times had been called Hybla. The cities no longer exist, it is true, but the name of Hybla still endures, because of the excellence of the Hyblaean honey.

3 As for the cities that still endure along the aforementioned side: Messene is situated in a gulf of Pelorias, which bends considerably towards the east and forms an armpit, so to speak; but though the distance across to Messene from Rhegium is only sixty stadia, it is much less from Columna. Messene was founded by the Messenians of the Peloponnesus, who named it after themselves, changing its name; for formerly it was called Zancle, on account of the crookedness of the coast (anything crooked was called "zanclion"), having been founded formerly by the Naxians who lived near Catana. But the Mamertini, a tribe of the Campani, joined the colony later on. Now the Romans used it as a base of operations for their Sicilian war against the Carthaginians; and afterwards Pompeius Sextus, when at war with Augustus Caesar, kept his fleet together there, and when ejected from the island also made his escape thence. And in the ship-channel, only a short distance off the city, is to be seen Charybdis, a monstrous deep, into which the ships are easily drawn by the refluent currents of the strait and plunged prow-foremost along with a mighty eddying of the whirlpool; and when the ships are gulped down and broken to pieces, the wreckage is swept along to the Tauromenian shore, which, from this occurrence, is called Copria. The Mamertini prevailed to such an extent among the Messenii that they got control of the city; and the people are by all called Mamertini rather than Messenii; and further, since the country is exceedingly productive of wine, the wine is called, not Messenian, but Mamertine, and it rivals the best of the Italian wines. The city is fairly populous, though Catana is still more so, and in fact has received Romans as inhabitants; but Tauromenium is less populous than either. Catana, moreover, was founded by the same Naxians, whereas Tauromenium was founded by the Zanclaeans of Hybla; but Catana lost its original inhabitants when Hiero, tyrant of Syracuse, established a different set of colonists there and called it Aetna instead of Catana. And Pindar too calls him the founder of Aetna when he says: "Attend to what I say to thee, O Father, whose name is that of the holy sacrifices, founder of Aetna." But at the death of Hiero the Catanaeans came back, ejected the inhabitants, and demolished the tomb of the tyrant.106 And the Aetnaeans, on withdrawing, took up their abode in a hilly district of Aetna called Innesa, and called the place, which is eighty stadia from Catana, Aetna, and declared Hiero its founder. Now the city of Aetna is situated in the interior about over Catana, and shares most in the devastation caused by the action of the craters; in fact the streams of lava rush down very nearly as far as the territory of Catana; and here is the scene of the act of filial piety, so often recounted, of Amphinomus and Anapias, who lifted their parents on their shoulders and saved them from the doom that was rushing upon them. According to Poseidonius, when the mountain is in action, the fields of the Catanaeans are covered with ash-dust to a great depth. Now although the ash is an affliction at the time, it benefits the country in later times, for it renders it fertile and suited to the vine, the rest of the country not being equally productive of good wine; further, the roots produced by the fields that have been covered with ash-dust make the sheep so fat, it is said, that they choke; and this is why blood is drawn from their ears every four or five days — a thing of which I have spoken before as occurring near Erytheia. But when the lava changes to a solid, it turns the surface of the earth into stone to a considerable depth, so that quarrying is necessary on the part of any who wish to uncover the original surface; for when the mass of rock in the craters melts and then is thrown up, the liquid that is poured out over the top is black mud and flows down the mountain, and then, solidifying, becomes millstone, keeping the same colour it had when in a liquid state. And ash is also produced when the stones are burnt, as from wood; therefore, just as wood-ashes nourish rue, so the ashes of Aetna, it is reasonable to suppose, have some quality that is peculiarly suited to the vine.

4 Syracuse was founded by Archias, who sailed from Corinth about the same time that Naxus and Megara were colonised. It is said that Archias went to Delphi at the same time as Myscellus, and when they were consulting the oracle, the god asked them whether they chose wealth or health; now Archias chose wealth, and Myscellus health; accordingly, the god granted to the former to found Syracuse, and to the latter Croton. And it actually came to pass that the Crotoniates took up their abode in a city that was exceedingly healthful, as I have related, and that Syracuse fell into such exceptional wealth that the name of the Syracusans was spread abroad in a proverb applied to the excessively extravagant — "the tithe of the Syracusans would not be sufficient for them." And when Archias, the story continues, was on his voyage to Sicily, he left Chersicrates, of the race of the Heracleidae, with a part of the expedition to help colonise what is now called Corcyra, but was formerly called Scheria; Chersicrates, however, ejected the Liburnians, who held possession of the island, and colonised it with new settlers, whereas Archias landed at Zephyrium, found that some Dorians who had quit the company of the founders of Megara and were on their way back home had arrived there from Sicily, took them up and in common with them founded Syracuse. And the city grew, both on account of the fertility of the soil and on account of the natural excellence of its harbours. Furthermore, the men of Syracuse proved to have the gift of leadership, with the result that when the Syracusans were ruled by tyrants they lorded it over the rest, and when set free themselves they set free those who were oppressed by the barbarians. As for these barbarians, some were native inhabitants, whereas others came over from the mainland. The Greeks would permit none of them to lay hold of the seaboard, but were not strong enough to keep them altogether away from the interior; indeed, to this day the Siceli, the Sicani, the Morgetes, and certain others have continued to live in the island, among whom there used to be Iberians, who, according to Ephorus, were said to be the first barbarian settlers of Sicily. Morgantium, it is reasonable to suppose, was settled by the Morgetes; it used to be a city, but now it does not exist. When the Carthaginians came over they did not cease to abuse both these people and the Greeks, but the Syracusans nevertheless held out. But the Romans later on ejected the Carthaginians and took Syracuse by siege. And in our own time, because Pompeius abused, not only the other cities, but Syracuse in particular, Augustus Caesar sent a colony and restored a considerable part of the old settlement; for in olden times it was a city of five towns, with a wall of one hundred and eighty stadia. Now it was not at all necessary to fill out the whole of this circuit, but it was necessary, he thought, to build up in a better way only the part that was settled — the part adjacent to the Island of Ortygia which had a sufficient circuit to make a notable city. Ortygia is connected with the mainland, near which it lies, by a bridge, and has the fountain of Arethusa, which sends forth a river that empties immediately into the sea.

People tell the mythical story that the river Arethusa is the Alpheius, which latter, they say, rises in the Peloponnesus, flows underground through the sea as far as Arethusa, and then empties thence once more into the sea. And the kind of evidence they adduce is as follows: a certain cup, they think, was thrown out into the river at Olympia and was discharged into the fountain; and again, the fountain was discoloured as the result of the sacrifices of oxen at Olympia. Pindar follows these reports when he says: "O resting-place august of Alpheius, Ortygia, scion of famous Syracuse." And in agreement with Pindar Timaeus the historian also declares the same thing. Now if the Alpheius fell into a pit before joining the sea, there would be some plausibility in the view that the stream extends underground from Olympia as far as Sicily, thereby preserving its potable water unmixed with the sea; but since the mouth of the river empties into the sea in full view, and since near this mouth, on the transit, there is no mouth visible that swallows up the stream of the river (though even so the water could not remain fresh; yet it might, the greater part of it at least, if it sank into the underground channel), the thing is absolutely impossible. For the water of Arethusa bears testimony against it, since it is potable; and that the stream of the river should hold together through so long a transit without being diffused with the sea-water, that is, until it falls into the fancied underground passage, is utterly mythical. Indeed, we can scarcely believe this in the case of the Rhodanus, although its stream does hold together when it passes through a lake, keeping its course visible; in this case, however, the distance is short and the lake does not rise in waves, whereas in case of the sea in question, where there are prodigious storms and surging waves, the tale is foreign to all plausibility. And the citing of the story of the cup only magnifies the falsehood, for a cup does not of itself readily follow the current of any stream, to say nothing of a stream that flows so great a distance and through such passages.

Now there are many rivers in many parts of the world that flow underground, but not for such a distance; and even if this is possible, the stories aforesaid, at least, are impossible, and those concerning the river Inachus are like a myth: "For it flows from the heights of Pindus," says Sophocles, "and from Lacmus, from the land of the Perrhaebians, into the lands of the Amphilochians and Acarnanians, and mingles with the waters of Acheloüs," and, a little below, he adds, "whence it cleaves the waves to Argos and comes to the people of Lyrceium." Marvellous tales of this sort are stretched still further by those who make the Inopus cross over from the Nile to Delos. And Zoïlus the rhetorician says in his Eulogy of the Tenedians that the Alpheius rises in Tenedos — the man who finds fault with Homer as a writer of myths! And Ibycus says that the Asopus in Sicyon rises in Phrygia. But the statement of Hecataeus is better, when he says that the Inachus among the Amphilochians, which flows from Lacmus, as does also the Aeas, is different from the river of Argos, and that it was named by Amphilochus, the man who called the city Argos Amphilochicum. Now Hecataeus says that this river does empty into the Acheloüs, but that the Aeas flows towards the west into Apollonia.

On either side of the island of Ortygia is a large harbour; the larger of the two is eighty stadia in circuit. Caesar restored this city and also Catana; and so, in the same way, Centoripa, because it contributed much to the overthrow of Pompeius. p81Centoripa lies above Catana, bordering on the Aetnaean mountains, and on the Symaethus River, which flows into the territory of Catana.

5 Of the remaining sides of Sicily, that which extends from Pachynus to Lilybaeum has been utterly deserted, although it preserves traces of the old settlements, among which was Camarina, a colony of the Syracusans; Acragas, however, which belongs to the Geloans, and its seaport, and also Lilybaeum still endure. For since this region was most exposed to attack on the part of Carthaginia, most of it was ruined by the long wars that arose one after another. The last and longest side is not populous either, but still it is fairly well peopled; in fact, Alaesa, Tyndaris, the Emporium of the Aegestes, and Cephaloedis are all cities, and Panormus has also a Roman settlement. Aegestaea was founded, it is said, by those who crossed over with Philoctetes to the territory of Croton, as I have stated in my account of Italy; they were sent to Sicily by him along with Aegestes the Trojan.

6 In the interior is Enna, where is the temple of Demeter, with only a few inhabitants; it is situated on a hill, and is wholly surrounded by broad plateaus that are tillable. It suffered most at the hands of Eunus and his runaway slaves, who were besieged there and only with difficulty were dislodged by the Romans. The inhabitants of Catana and Tauromenium and also several other peoples suffered this same fate.

Eryx, a lofty hill, is also inhabited. It has a temple of Aphrodite that is held in exceptional honour, and in early times was full of female temple-slaves, who had been dedicated in fulfillment of vows not only by the people of Sicily but also by many people from abroad; but at the present time, just as the settlement itself, so the temple is in want of men, and the multitude of temple-slaves has disappeared. In Rome, also, there is a reproduction of this goddess, I mean the temple before the Colline Gate which is called that of Venus Erycina and is remarkable for its shrine and surrounding colonnade.

But the rest of the settlements as well as most of the interior have come into the possession of shepherds; for I do not know of any settled population still living in either Himera, or Gela, or Callipolis or Selinus or Euboea or several other places. Of these cities Himera was founded by the Zanclaeans of Mylae, Callipolis by the Naxians, Selinus by the Megarians of the Sicilian Megara, and Euboea by the Leontines. Many of the barbarian cities, also, have been wiped out; for example Camici, the royal residence of Cocalus, at which Minos is said to have been murdered by treachery. The Romans, therefore, taking notice that the country was deserted, took possession of the mountains and most of the plains and then gave them over to horseherds, cowherds, and shepherds; and by these herdsmen the island was many times put in great danger, because, although at first they only turned to brigandage in a sporadic way, later they both assembled in great numbers and plundered the settlements, as, for example, when Eunus and his men took possession of Enna. And recently, in my own time, a certain Selurus, called the "son of Aetna," was sent up to Rome because he had put himself at the head of an army and for a long time had overrun the regions round about Aetna with frequent raids; I saw him torn to pieces by wild beasts at an appointed combat of gladiators in the Forum; for he was placed on a lofty scaffold, as though on Aetna, and the scaffold was made suddenly to break up and collapse, and he himself was carried down with it into cages of wild-beasts — fragile cages that had been prepared beneath the scaffold for that purpose.

7 As for the fertility of the country, why should I speak of it, since it is on the lips of all men, who declare that it is no whit inferior to that of Italy? And in the matter of grain, honey, saffron, and certain other products, one might call it even superior. There is, furthermore, its propinquity; for the island is a part of Italy, as it were, and readily and without great labour supplies Rome with everything it has, as though from the fields of Italy. And in fact it is called the storehouse of Rome, for everything it produces is brought hither except a few things that are consumed at home, and not the fruits only, but also cattle, hides, wool, and the like. Poseidonius says that Syracuse and Eryx are each situated like an acropolis by the sea, whereas Enna lies midway between the two above the encircling plains.

The whole of the territory of Leontini, also, which likewise belonged to the Naxians of Sicily, has been devastated; for although they always shared with the Syracusans in their misfortunes, it was not always so with their good fortunes.

8 Near Centoripa is the town of Aetna, which was mentioned a little above, whose people entertain and conduct those who ascend the mountain; for the mountain-summit begins here. The upper districts are bare and ash-like and full of snow during the winter, whereas the lower are divided up by forests and plantations of every sort. The topmost parts of the mountain appear to undergo many changes because of the way the fire distributes itself, for at one time the fire concentrates in one crater, but at another time divides, while at one time the mountain sends forth lava, at another, flames and fiery smoke, and at still other times it also emits red-hot masses; and the inevitable result of these disturbances is that not only the underground passages, but also the orifices, sometimes rather numerous, which appear on the surface of the mountain all round, undergo changes at the same time. Be this as it may, those who recently made the ascent gave me the following account: They found at the top a level plain, about twenty stadia in circuit, enclosed by a rim of ashes the height of a house-wall, so that any who wished to proceed into the plain had to leap down from the wall; they saw in the centre of the plain a mound of the colour of ashes, in this respect being like the surface of the plain as seen from above, and above the mound a perpendicular cloud rising straight up to a height of about two hundred feet, motionless (for it was a windless day) and resembling smoke; and two of the men had the hardihood to proceed into the plain, but because the sand they were walking on got hotter and deeper, they turned back, and so were unable to tell those who were observing from a distance anything more than what was already apparent. But they believed, from such a view as they had, that many of the current stories are mythical, and particularly those which some tell about Empedocles, that he leaped down into the crater and left behind, as a trace of the fate he suffered, one of the brazen sandals which he wore; for it was found, they say, a short distance outside the rim of the crater, as though it had been thrown up by the force of the fire. Indeed, the place is neither to be approached nor to be seen, according to my informants; and further, they surmised that nothing could be thrown down into it either, owing to the contrary blasts of the winds arising from the p91depths, and also owing to the heat, which, it is reasonable to suppose, meets one long before one comes near the mouth of the crater; but even if something should be thrown down into it, it would be destroyed before it could be thrown up in anything like the shape it had when first received; and although it is not unreasonable to assume that at times the blasts of the fire die down when at times the fuel is deficient, yet surely this would not last long enough to make possible the approach of man against so great a force. Aetna dominates more especially the seaboard in the region of the Strait and the territory of Catana, but also that in the region of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Liparaean Islands. Now although by night a brilliant light shines from the summit, by day it is covered with smoke and haze.

9 Over against Aetna rise the Nebrodes Mountains, which, though lower than Aetna, exceed it considerably in breadth. The whole island is hollow down beneath the ground, and full of streams and of fire, as is the case with the Tyrrhenian Sea, as far as the Cumaean country, as I have said before. At all events, the island has at many places springs of hot waters which spout up, of which those of Selinus and those of Himera are brackish, whereas those of Aegesta are potable. Near Acragas are lakes which, though they have the taste of sea-water, are different in nature; for even people who cannot swim do not sink, but float on the surface like wood. The territory of the Palici has craters that spout up water in a dome-like jet and receive it back again into the same recess. The cavern near Mataurus contains an immense gallery through which a river flows invisible for a considerable distance, and then emerges to the surface, as is the case with the Orontes in Syria, which sinks into the chasm (called Charybdis) between Apameia and Antiocheia and rises again forty stadia away. Similar, too, are the cases both of the Tigris in Mesopotamia and of the Nile in Libya, only a short distance from their sources. And the water in the territory of Stymphalus first flows underground for two hundred stadia and then issues forth in Argeia as the Erasinus River; and again, the water near the Arcadian Asea is first forced below the surface and then, much later, emerges as both the Eurotas and the Alpheius; and hence the belief in a certain fabulous utterance, that if two wreaths be dedicated separately to each of the two rivers and thrown into the common stream, each will reappear, in accordance with the dedication, in the appropriate river. And I have already mentioned what is told about the Timavus River.

10 Phenomena akin both to these and to those in Sicily are to be seen about the Liparaean Islands and Lipara itself. The islands are seven in number, but the largest is Lipara (a colony of the Cnidians), which, Thermessa excepted, lies nearest to Sicily. It was formerly called Meligunis; and it not only commanded a fleet, but for a long time resisted the incursions of the Tyrrheni, for it held in obedience all the Liparaean Islands, as they are now called, though by some they are called the Islands of Aeolus. Furthermore, it often adorned the temple of Apollo at Delphi with dedications from the first fruits of victory. It has also a fruitful soil, and a mine of styptic earth that brings in revenues, and hot springs, and fire blasts. Between Lipara and Sicily is Thermessa, which is now called Hiera of Hephaestus; the whole island is rocky, desert, and fiery, and it has three fire blasts, rising from three openings which one might call craters. From the largest the flames carry up also red-hot masses, which have already choked up a considerable part of the Strait. From observation it has been believed that the flames, both here and on Aetna, are stimulated along with the winds and that when the winds cease the flames cease too. And this is not unreasonable, for the winds are begotten by the evaporations of the sea and after they have taken their beginning are fed thereby; and therefore it is not permissible for any who have any sort of insight into such matters to marvel if the fire too is kindled by a cognate fuel or disturbance. According to Polybius, one of the three craters has partially fallen in, whereas the others remain whole; and the largest has a circular rim five stadia in circuit, but it gradually contracts to a diameter of fifty feet; and the altitude of this crater above the level of the sea is a stadium, so that the crater is visible on windless days. But if all this is to be believed, perhaps one should also believe the mythical story about Empedocles. Now if the south wind is about to blow, Polybius continues, a cloud-like mist pours down all round the island, so that not even Sicily is visible in the distance; and when the north wind is about to blow, pure flames rise aloft from the aforesaid crater and louder rumblings are sent forth; but the west wind holds a middle position, so to speak, between the two; but though the two other craters are like the first in kind, they fall short in the violence of their spoutings; accordingly, both the difference in the rumblings, and the place whence the spoutings and the flames and the fiery smoke begin, signify beforehand the wind that is going to blow again three days afterward; at all events, certain of the men in Liparae, when the weather made sailing impossible, predicted, he says, the wind that was to blow, and they were not mistaken; from this fact, then, it is clear that that saying of the Poet which is regarded as most mythical of all was not idly spoken, but that he hinted at the truth when he called Aeolus "steward of the winds." However, I have already discussed these matters sufficiently. It is the close attention of the Poet to vivid description, one might call it, . . . for both are equally present in rhetorical composition and vivid description; at any rate, pleasure is common to both. But I shall return to the topic which follows that at which I digressed.

11 Of Lipara, then, and Thermessa I have already spoken. As for Strongyle, it is so called from its shape, and it too is fiery; it falls short in the violence of its flame, but excels in the brightness of its light; and this is where Aeolus lived, it is said. The fourth island is Didyme, and it too is named after its shape. Of the remaining islands, Ericussa and Phoenicussa have been so called from their plants, and are given over to pasturage of flocks. The seventh is Euonymus, which is farthest out in the high sea and is desert; it is so named because it is more to the left than the others, to those who sail from Lipara to Sicily. Again, many times flames have been observed running over the surface of the sea round about the islands when some passage had been opened up from the cavities down in the depths of the earth and the fire had forced its way to the outside. Poseidonius says that within his own recollection, one morning at daybreak about the time of the summer solstice, the sea between Hiera and Euonymus was seen raised to an enormous height, and by a sustained blast remained puffed up for a considerable time, and then subsided; and when those who had the hardihood to sail up to it saw dead fish driven by the current, and some of the men were stricken ill because of the heat and stench, they took flight; one of the boats, however, approaching more closely, lost some of its occupants and barely escaped to Lipara with the rest, who would at times become senseless like epileptics, and then afterwards would recur to their proper reasoning faculties; and many days later mud was seen forming on the surface of the sea, and in many places flames, smoke, and murky fire broke forth, but later the scum hardened and became as hard as mill-stone; and the governor of Sicily, Titus Flaminius, reported the event to the Senate, and the Senate sent a deputation to offer propitiatory sacrifices, both in the islet and in Liparae, to the gods both of the underworld and of the Sea. Now, according to the Chorographer, the distance from Ericodes to Phoenicodes is ten miles, and thence to Didyme thirty, and thence to the northern part of Lipara twenty-nine, and thence to Sicily nineteen, but from Strongyle sixteen. Off Pachynus lie Melita, whence come the little dogs called Melitaean, and Gaudos, both eighty-eight miles distant from the Cape. Cossura lies off Lilybaeum, and off Aspis, a Carthaginian city whose Latin name is Clupea; it lies midway between the two, and is the aforesaid distance from either. Aegimurus, also, and other small islands lie off Sicily and Libya. So much for the islands.

Sicilian tribes and towns
Cape Polorus 3.13k
Gela 6.2
Gela 6.22
Panormus 6.2
Panormus 6.2b
Panormus 6.2
Panormus 6.2b
Pompeius Sextus 6.2
Canusium 6.3b
Canusium 6.3b
Herdonia 6.3
Herdonia 6.3b
6 - 3 Iapygia

Now that I have traversed the regions of Old Italy as far as Metapontium, I must speak of those that border on them. And Iapygia borders on them. The Greeks call it Messapia, also, but the natives, dividing it into two parts, call one part (that about the Iapygian Cape) the country of the Salentini, and the other the country of the Calabri. Above these latter, on the north, are the Peucetii and also those people who in the Greek language are called Daunii, but the natives give the name Apulia to the whole country that comes after that of the Calabri, though some of them, particularly the Peucetii, are called Poedicli also. Messapia forms a sort of peninsula, since it is enclosed by the isthmus that extends from Brentesium as far as Taras, three hundred and ten stadia. And the voyage thither around the Iapygian Cape is, all told, about four hundred stadia. The distance from Metapontium is about two hundred and twenty stadia, and the voyage to it is towards the rising sun. But though the whole Tarantine Gulf, generally speaking, is harbourless, yet at the city there is a very large and beautiful harbour, which is enclosed by a large bridge and is one hundred stadia in circumference. In that part of the harbour which lies towards the innermost recess, the harbour, with the outer sea, forms an isthmus, and therefore the city is situated on a peninsula; and since the neck of land is low-lying, the ships are easily hauled overland from either side. The ground of the city, too, is low-lying, but still it is slightly elevated where the acropolis is. The old wall has a large circuit, but at the present time the greater part of the city — the part that is near the isthmus — has been forsaken, but the part that is near the mouth of the harbour, where the acropolis is, still endures and makes up a city of noteworthy size. And it has a very beautiful gymnasium, and also a spacious market-place, in which is situated the bronze colossus of Zeus, the largest in the world except the one that belongs to the Rhodians. Between the market-place and the mouth of the harbour is the acropolis, which has but few remnants of the dedicated objects that in early times adorned it, for most of them were either destroyed by the Carthaginians when they took the city or carried off as booty by the Romans when they took the place by storm. Among this booty is the Heracles in the Capitol, a colossal bronze statue, the work of Lysippus, dedicated by Maximus Fabius, who captured the city.

2 In speaking of the founding of Taras, Antiochus says: After the Messenian war broke out, those of the Lacedaemonians who did not take part in the expedition were adjudged slaves and were named Helots, and all children who were born in the time of the expedition were called Partheniae and judicially deprived of the rights of citizenship, but they would not tolerate this, and since they were numerous formed a plot against the free citizens; and when the latter learned of the plot they sent secretly certain men who, through a pretence of friendship, were to report what manner of plot it was; among these was Phalanthus, who was reputed to be their champion, but he was not pleased, in general, with those who had been named to take part in the council. It was agreed, however, that p109the attack should be made at the Hyacinthian festival in the Amyclaeum when the games were being celebrated, at the moment when Phalanthus should put on his leather cap (the free citizens were recognizable by their hair); but when Phalanthus and his men had secretly reported the agreement, and when the games were in progress, the herald came forward and forbade Phalanthus to put on a leather cap; and when the plotters perceived that the plot had been revealed, some of them began to run away and others to beg for mercy; but they were bidden to be of good cheer and were given over to custody; Phalanthus, however, was sent to the temple of the god to consult with reference to founding a colony; and the god responded, "I give to thee Satyrium, both to take up thine abode in the rich land of Taras and to become a bane to the Iapygians." Accordingly, the Partheniae went thither with Phalanthus, and they were welcomed by both the barbarians and the Cretans who had previously taken possession of the place. These latter, it is said, are the people who sailed with Minos to Sicily, and, after his death, which occurred at the home of Cocalus in Camici, set sail from Sicily; but on the voyage back they were driven out of their course to Taras, although later some of them went afoot around the Adrias as far as Macedonia and were called Bottiaeans. But all the people as far as Daunia, it is said, were called Iapyges, after Iapyx, who is said to have been the son of Daedalus by a Cretan woman and to have been the leader of the Cretans. The city of Taras, however, was named after some hero.

3 But Ephorus describes the founding of the city thus: The Lacedaemonians were at war with the Messenians because the latter had killed their king Teleclus when he went to Messene to offer sacrifice, and they swore that they would not return home again until they either destroyed Messene or were all killed; and when they set out on the expedition, they left behind the youngest and the oldest of the citizens to guard the city; but later on, in the tenth year of the war, the Lacedaemonian women met together and sent certain of their own number to make complaint to their husbands that they were carrying on the war with the Messenians on unequal terms, for the Messenians, staying in their own country, were begetting children, whereas they, having abandoned their wives to widowhood, were on an expedition in the country of the enemy, and they complained that the fatherland was in danger of being in want of men; and the Lacedaemonians, both keeping their oath and at the same time bearing in mind the argument of the women, sent the men who were most vigorous and at the same time youngest, for they knew that these had not taken part in the oaths, because they were still children when they went out to war along with the men who were of military age; and they ordered them to cohabit with the maidens, every man with every maiden, thinking that thus the maidens would bear many more children; and when this was done, the children were named Partheniae. But as for Messene, it was captured after a war of nineteen years, as Tyrtaeus says: "About it they fought for nineteen years, relentlessly, with heart ever steadfast, did the fathers of our fathers, spearmen they; and in the twentieth the people forsook their fertile farms and fled from the great mountains of Ithome." Now the Lacedaemonians divided up Messenia among themselves, but when they came on back home they would not honour the Partheniae with civic rights like the rest, on the ground that they had been born out of wedlock; and the Partheniae, leaguing with the Helots, formed a plot against the Lacedaemonians and agreed to raise a Laconian cap in the market-place as a signal for the attack. But though some of the Helots had revealed the plot, the Lacedaemonians decided that it would be difficult to make a counter-attack against them, for the Helots were not only numerous but were all of one mind, regarding themselves as virtually brothers of one another, and merely charged those who were about to raise the signal to go away from the market-place. So the plotters, on learning that the undertaking had been betrayed, held back, and the Lacedaemonians persuaded them, through the influence of their fathers, to go forth and found a colony, and if the place they took possession of sufficed them, to stay there, but if not, to come on back and divide among themselves the fifth part of Messenia. And they, thus sent forth, found the Achaeans at war with the barbarians, took part in their perils, and founded Taras.

4 At one time the Tarantini were exceedingly powerful, that is, when they enjoyed a democratic government; for they not only had acquired the largest fleet of all peoples in that part of the world but were wont to send forth an army of thirty thousand infantry, three thousand cavalry, and one thousand commanders of cavalry. Moreover, the Pythagorean philosophy was embraced by them, but especially by Archytas, who presided over the city for a considerable time. But later, because of their prosperity, luxury prevailed to such an extent that the public festivals celebrated among them every year were more in number than the days of the year; and in consequence of this they also were poorly governed. One evidence of their bad policies is the fact that they employed foreign generals; for they sent for Alexander the Molossian to lead them in their war against the Messapians and Leucanians, and, still before that, for Archidamus, the son of Agesilaüs, and, later on, for Cleonymus, and Agathocles, and then for Pyrrhus, at the time when they formed a league with him against the Romans. And yet even to those whom they called in they could not yield a ready obedience, and would set them at enmity. At all events, it was out of enmity that Alexander tried to transfer to Thurian territory the general festival assembly of all Greek peoples in that part of the world — the assembly which was wont to meet at Heracleia in Tarantine territory, and that he began to urge that a place for the meetings be fortified on the Acalandrus River. Furthermore, it is said that the unhappy end which befell him was the result of their ingratitude. Again, about the time of the wars with Hannibal, they were deprived of their freedom, although later they received a colony of Romans, and are now living at peace and better than before. In their war against the Messapians for the possession of Heracleia, they had the co-operation of the king of the Daunians and the king of the Peucetians.

5 That part of the country of the Iapygians which comes next is fine, though in an unexpected way; for although on the surface it appears rough, it is found to be deep-soiled when ploughed, and although it is rather lacking in water, it is manifestly none the less good for pasturage and for trees. The whole of this district was once extremely populous; and it also had thirteen cities; but now, with the exception of Taras and Brentesium, all of them are so worn out by war that they are merely small towns. The Salentini are said to be a colony of the Cretans. The temple of Athene, once so rich, is in their territory, as also the look‑out-rock called Cape Iapygia, a huge rock which extends out into the sea towards the winter sunrise, though it bends approximately towards the Lacinium, which rises opposite to it on the west and with it bars the mouth of the Tarantine Gulf. And with it the Ceraunian Mountains, likewise, bar the mouth of the Ionian Gulf; the passage across from it both to the Ceraunian Mountains and to the Lacinium is about seven hundred stadia. But the distance by sea from Taras around to Brentesium is as follows: First, to the small town of Baris, six hundred stadia; Baris is called by the people of to‑day Veretum, is situated at the edge of the Salentine territory, and the trip thither from Taras is for the most part easier to make on foot than by sailing. Thence to Leuca eighty stadia; this, too, is a small town, and in it is to be seen a fountain of malodorous water; the mythical story is told that those of the Giants who survived at the Campanian Phlegra and are called the Leuternian Giants were driven out by Heracles, and on fleeing hithera for refuge were shrouded by Mother Earth, and the fountain gets its malodorous stream from the ichor of their bodies; and for this reason, also, the seaboard here is called Leuternia. Again, from Leuca to Hydrus, a small town, one hundred and fifty stadia. Thence to Brentesium four hundred; and it is an equal distance to the island Sason,196 which is situated about midway of the distance across from Epeirus to Brentesium. And therefore those who cannot accomplish the straight voyage sail to the left of Sason and put in at Hydrus; and then, watching for a favorable wind, they hold their course towards the harbours of the Brentesini, although if they disembark, they go afoot by a shorter route by way of Rodiae, a Greek city, where the poet Ennius was born. So then, the district one sails around in going from Taras to Brentesium resembles a peninsula, and the overland journey from Brentesium to Taras, which is only a one day's journey for a man well-girt, forms the isthmus of the aforesaid peninsula; and this peninsula most people call by one general name Messapia, or Iapygia, or Calabria, or Salentina, although some divide it up, as I have said before. So much, then, for the towns on the sea-coast.

6 In the interior are Rodiae and Lupiae, and, slightly above the sea, Aletia; and at the middle of the isthmus, Uria, in which is still to be seen the palace of one of the chieftains. When Herodotus states that Hyria is in Iapygia and was founded by the Cretans who strayed from the fleet of Minos when on its way to Sicily, we must understand Hyria to be either Uria or Veretum. Brentesium, they say, was further colonised by the Cretans, whether by those who came over with Theseus from Cnossus or by those who set sail from Sicily with Iapyx (the story is told both ways), although they did not stay together there, it is said, but went off to Bottiaea. Later on, however, when ruled by kings, the city lost much of its country to the Lacedaemonians who were under the leadership of Phalanthus; but still, when he was ejected from Taras, he was admitted by the Brentesini, and when he died was counted by them worthy of a splendid burial. Their country is better than that of the Tarantini, for, though the soil is thin, it produces good fruits, and its honey and wool are among those that are strongly commended. Brentesium is also better supplied with harbours; for here many harbours are closed in by one mouth; and they are sheltered from the waves, because bays are formed inside in such a way as to resemble in shape a stag's horns; and hence the name, for, along with the city, the place very much resembles a stag's head, and in the Messapian language the head of the stag is called "brentesium." But the Tarantine harbour, because of its wide expanse, is not wholly sheltered from the waves; and besides there are some shallows in the innermost part of it.

7 In the case of those who sail across from Greece or Asia, the more direct route is to Brentesium, and, in fact, all who propose to go to Rome by land put into port here. There are two roads from here: one, a mule-road through the countries of the Peucetii (who are called Poedicli), the Daunii, and the Samnitae as far as Beneventum; on this road is the city of Egnatia, and then, Celia, Netium, Canusium, and Herdonia. But the road by way of Taras, lying slightly to the left of the other, though as much as one day's journey out of the way when one has made the circuit, what is called the Appian Way, is better for carriages. On this road are the cities of Uria and Venusia, the former between Taras and Brentesium and the latter on the confines of the Samnitae and the Leucani. Both the roads from Brentesium meet near Beneventum and Campania. And the common road from here on, as far as Rome, is called the Appian Way, and passes through Caudium, Calatia, Capua, and Casilinum to Sinuessa. And the places from there on I have already mentioned. The total length of the road from Rome to Brentesium is three hundred and sixty miles. But there is also a third road, which runs from Rhegium through the countries of the Brettii, the Leucani, and the Samnitae into Campania, where it joins the Appian Way; it passes through the Apennine Mountains and it requires three or four days more than the road from Brentesium.

8 The voyage from Brentesium to the opposite mainland is made either to the Ceraunian Mountains and those parts of the seaboard of Epeirus and of Greece which come next to them, or else to Epidamnus; the latter is longer than the former, for it is one thousand eight hundred stadia. And yet the latter is the usual route, because the city has a good position with reference both to the tribes of the Illyrians and to those of the Macedonians. As one sails from Brentesium along the Adriatic seaboard, one comes to the city of Egnatia, which is the common stopping-place for people who are travelling either by sea or land to Barium; and the voyage is made with the south wind. The country of the Peucetii extends only thus far on the sea, but in the interior as far as Silvium. All of it is rugged and mountainous, since it embraces a large portion of the Apennine Mountains; and it is thought to have admitted Arcadians as colonists. From Brentesium to Barium is about seven hundred stadia, and Taras is about an equal distance from each. The adjacent country is inhabited by the Daunii; and then come the Apuli, whose country extends as far as that of the Frentani. But since the terms "Peucetii" and "Daunii" are not at all used by the native inhabitants, except in early times, and since this country as a whole is now called Apulia, necessarily the boundaries of these tribes cannot be told to a nicety either, and for this reason neither should I myself make positive assertions about them.

9 From Barium to the Aufidus River, on which is the Emporium of the Canusitae is four hundred stadia and the voyage inland to Emporium is ninety. Near by is also Salapia, the seaport of the Argyrippini. For not far above the sea (in the plain, at all events) are situated two cities, Canusium and Argyrippa, which in earlier times were the largest of the Italiote cities, as is clear from the circuits of their walls. Now, however, Argyrippa is smaller; it was called Argos Hippium at first, then Argyrippa, and then by the present name Arpi. Both are said to have been founded by Diomedes. And as signs of the dominion of Diomedes in these regions are to be seen the Plain of Diomedes and many other things, among which are the old votive offerings in the temple of Athene at Luceria — a place which likewise was in ancient times a city of the Daunii, but is now reduced — and, in the sea near by, two islands that are called the Islands of Diomedes, of which one is inhabited, while the other, it is said, is desert; on the latter, according to certain narrators of myths, Diomedes was caused to disappear, and his companions were changed to birds, and to this day, in fact, remain tame and live a sort of human life, not only in their orderly ways but also in their tameness towards honorable men and in their flight from wicked and knavish men. But I have already mentioned the stories constantly told among the Heneti about this hero and the rites which are observed in his honour. It is thought that Sipus also was founded by Diomedes, which is about one hundred and forty stadia distant from Salapia; at any rate it was named "Sepius" in Greek after the "sepia" that are cast ashore by the waves. Between Salapia and Sinus is a navigable river, and also a large lake that opens into the sea; and the merchandise from Sipus, particularly grain, is brought down on both. In Daunia, on a hill by the name of Drium, are to be seen two hero-temples: one, to Calchas, on the very summit, where those who consult the oracle sacrifice to his shade a black ram and sleep in the hide, and the other, to Podaleirius, down near the base of the hill, this temple being about one hundred stadia distant from the sea; and from it flows a stream which is a cure-all for diseases of animals. In front of this gulf is a promontory, Garganum, which extends towards the east for a distance of three hundred stadia into the high sea; doubling the headland, one comes to a small town, Urium, and off the headland are to be seen the Islands of Diomedes. This whole country produces everything in great quantity, and is excellent for horses and sheep; but though the wool is softer than the Tarantine, it is not so glossy. And the country is well sheltered, because the plains lie in hollows. According to some, Diomedes even tried to cut a canal as far as the sea, but left behind both this and the rest of his undertakings only half-finished, because he was summoned home and there ended his life. This is one account of him; but there is also a second, that he stayed here till the end of his life; and a third, the aforesaid mythical account, which tells of his disappearance in the island; and as a fourth one might set down the account of the Heneti, for they too tell a mythical story of how he in some way came to his end in their country, and they call it his apotheosis.

10 Now the above distances are put down in accordance with the data of Artemidorus; but according to the Chorographer, the distances from Brentesium as far as Garganum amount to one hundred and sixty-five miles, whereas according to Artemidorus they amount to more; and thence to Ancona two hundred and fifty-four miles according to the former, whereas according to Artemidorus the distance to the Aesis River, which is near Ancona, is one thousand two hundred and fifty stadia, a much shorter distance. Polybius states that the distance from Iapygia has been marked out by miles, and that the distance to the city of Sena is five hundred and sixty-two miles, and thence to Aquileia one hundred and seventy-eight. And they do not agree with the commonly accepted distance along the Illyrian coast-line, from the Ceraunian Mountains to the recess of the Adrias, since they represent this latter coasting-voyage as over six thousand stadia, thus making it even longer than the former, although it is much shorter. However, every writer does not agree with every other, particularly about the distances, as I often say. As for myself, where it is possible to reach a decision, I set forth my opinion, but where it is not, I think that I should make known the opinions of others. And when I have no opinion of theirs, there is no occasion for surprise if I too have passed something by, especially when one considers the character of my subject; for I would not pass by anything important, while as for little things, not only do they profit one but slightly if known, but their omission escapes unnoticed, and detracts not at all, or else not much, from the completeness of the work.

11 The intervening space, immediately after Cape Garganum, is taken up by a deep gulf; the people who live around it are called by the special name of Apuli, although they speak the same language as the Daunii and the Peucetii, and do not differ from them in any other respect either, at the present time at least, although it is reasonable to suppose that in early times they differed and that this is the source of the three diverse names for them that are now prevalent. In earlier times this whole country was prosperous, but it was laid waste by Hannibal and the later wars. And here too occurred the battle of Cannae, in which the Romans and their allies suffered a very great loss of life. On the gulf is a lake; and above the lake, in the interior, is Teanum Apulum, which has the same name as Teanum Sidicinum. At this point the breadth of Italy seems to be considerably contracted, since from here to the region of Dicaearcheia an isthmus is left of less than one thousand stadia from sea to sea. After the lake comes the voyage along the coast to the country of the Frentani and to Buca; and the distance from the lake either to Buca or to Cape Garganum is two hundred stadia. As for the places that come next after Buca, I have already mentioned them.

 
6 - 4 Summary remarks on Italy and the expansion of Rome

1 Such, indeed, is the size and such the character of Italy. And while I have already mentioned many things which have caused the Romans at the present time to be exalted to so great a height, I shall now indicate the most important things. One is, that, like an island, Italy is securely guarded by the seas on all sides, except in a few regions, and even these are fortified by mountains that are hardly passable. A second is that along most of its coast it is harbourless and that the harbours it does have are large and admirable. The former is useful in meeting attacks from the outside, while the latter is helpful in making counter-attacks and in promoting an abundant commerce. A third is that it is characterised by many differences of air and temperature, on which depend the greater variation, whether for better or for worse, in animals, plants, and, in short, everything that is useful for the support of life. Its length extends from north to south, generally speaking, and Sicily counts as an addition to its length, already so great. Now mild temperature and harsh temperature of the air are judged by heat, cold, and their intermediates; and so from this it necessarily follows that what is now Italy, situated as it is between the two extremes and extending to such a length, shares very largely in the temperate zone and in a very large number of ways. And the following is still another advantage which has fallen to the lot of Italy; since the Apennine Mountains extend through the whole of its length and leave on both sides plains and hills which bear fine fruits, there is no part of it which does not enjoy the blessings of both mountain and plain. And add also to this the size and number of its rivers and its lakes, and, besides these, the fountains of water, both hot and cold, which in many places nature has provided as an aid to health, and then again its good supply of mines of all sorts. Neither can one worthily describe Italy's abundant supply of fuel, and of food both for men and beast, and the excellence of its fruits. Further, since it lies intermediate between the largest races on the one hand, and Greece and the best parts of Libya on the other, it not only is naturally well-suited to hegemony, because it surpasses the countries that surround it both in the valour of its people and in size, but also can easily avail itself of their services, because it is close to them.

2 Now if I must add to my account of Italy a summary account also of the Romans who took possession of it and equipped it as a base of operations for the universal hegemony, let me add as follows: After the founding of Rome, the Romans wisely continued for many generations under the rule of kings. Afterwards, because the last Tarquinius was a bad ruler, they ejected him, framed a government which was a mixture of monarchy and aristocracy, and dealt with the Sabini and Latini as with partners. But since they did not always find either them or the other neighbouring peoples well intentioned, they were forced, in a way, to enlarge their own country by the dismemberment of that of the others. And in this way, while they were advancing and increasing little by little, it came to pass, contrary to the expectation of all, that they suddenly lost their city, although they also got it back contrary to expectation. This took place, as Polybius says, in the nineteenth year after the naval battle at Aegospotami, at the time of the Peace of Antalcidas After having rid themselves of these enemies, the Romans first made all the Latini their subjects; then stopped the Tyrrheni and the Celti who lived about the Padus from their wide and unrestrained licence; then fought down the Samnitae, and, after them, the Tarantini and Pyrrhus; and then at last also the remainder of what is now Italy, except the part that is about the Padus. And while this part was still in a state of war, the Romans crossed over to Sicily, and on taking it away from the Carthaginians came back again to attack the peoples who lived about the Padus; and it was while that war was still in progress that Hannibal invaded Italy. This latter is the second war that occurred against the Carthaginians; and not long afterwards occurred the third, in which Carthage was destroyed; and at the same time the Romans acquired, not only Libya, but also as much of Iberia as they had taken away from the Carthaginians. But the Greeks, the Macedonians, and those peoples in Asia who lived this side the Halys River and the Taurus Mountains joined the Carthaginians in a revolution, and therefore at the same time the Romans were led on to a conquest of these peoples, whose kings were Antiochus, Philip, and Perseus. Further, those of the Illyrians and Thracians who were neighbours to the Greeks and the Macedonians began to carry on war against the Romans and kept on warring until the Romans had subdued all the tribes this side the Ister and this side the Halys. And the Iberians, Celti, and all the remaining peoples which now give ear to the Romans had the same experience. As for Iberia, the Romans did not stop reducing it by force of arms until they had subdued the whole of it, first, by driving out the Nomantini, and, later on, by destroying Viriathus and Sertorius, and, last of all, the Cantabri, who were subdued by Augustus Caesar. As for Celtica (I mean Celtica as a whole, both the Cisalpine and Transalpine, together with Liguria), the Romans at first brought it over to their side only part by part, from time to time, but later the Deified Caesar, and afterwards Caesar Augustus, acquired it all at once in a general war. But at the present time the Romans are carrying on war against the Germans, setting out from the Celtic regions as the most appropriate base of operations, and have already glorified the fatherland with some triumphs over them. As for Libya, so much of it as did not belong to the Carthaginians was turned over to kings who were subject to the Romans, and, if they ever revolted, they were deposed. But at the present time Juba has been invested with the rule, not only of Maurusia, but also of many parts of the rest of Libya, because of his loyalty and his friendship for the Romans. And the case of Asia was like that of Libya. At the outset it was administered through the agency of kings who were subject to the Romans, but from that time on, when their line failed, as was the case with the Attalic, Syrian, Paphlagonian, Cappadocian, and Egyptian kings, or when they would revolt and afterwards be deposed, as was the case with Mithridates Eupator and the Egyptian Cleopatra, all parts of it this side the Phasis and the Euphrates, except certain parts of Arabia, have been subject to the Romans and the rulers appointed by them. As for the Armenians, and the peoples who are situated above Colchis, both Albanians and Iberians, they require the presence only of men to lead them, and are excellent subjects, but because the Romans are engrossed by other affairs, they make attempts at revolution — as is the case with all the peoples who live beyond the Ister in the neighbourhood of the Euxine, except those in the region of the Bosporus and the Nomads, for the people of the Bosporus are in subjection, whereas the Nomads, on account of their lack of intercourse with others, are of no use for anything and only require watching. Also the remaining parts of Asia, generally speaking, belong to the Tent-dwellers and the Nomads, who are very distant peoples. But as for the Parthians, although they have a common border with the Romans and also are very powerful, they have nevertheless yielded so far to the preeminence of the Romans and of the rulers of our time that they have sent to Rome the trophies which they once set up as a memorial of their victory over the Romans, and, what is more, Phraates has entrusted to Augustus Caesar his children and also his children's children, thus obsequiously making sure of Caesar's friendship by giving hostages; and the Parthians of to‑day have often gone to Rome in quest of a man to be their king, and are now about ready to put their entire authority into the hands of the Romans. As for Italy itself,a though it has often been torn by factions, at least since it has been under the Romans, and as for Rome itself, they have been prevented by the excellence of their form of government and of their rulers from proceeding too far in the ways of error and corruption. But it were a difficult thing to administer so great a dominion otherwise than by turning it over to one man, as to a father; at all events, never have the Romans and their allies thrived in such peace and plenty as that which was afforded them by Augustus Caesar, from the time he assumed the absolute authority, and is now being afforded them by his son and successor, Tiberius, who is making Augustus the model of his administration and decrees, as are his children, Germanicus and Drusus, who are assisting their father.

 
7 Central Europe 8 114 1:50
Tribes of Germany 7-1
7 - 1 Germany

1 Now that I have described Iberia and the Celtic and Italian tribes, along with the islands near by, it will be next in order to speak of the remaining parts of Europe, dividing them in the approved manner. The remaining parts are: first, those towards the east, being those which are across the Rhenus and extend as far as the Tanaïs and the mouth of Lake Maeotis, and also all those regions lying between the Adrias and the regions on the left of the Pontic Sea that are shut off by the Ister4 and extend towards the south as far as Greece and the Propontis; for this river divides very nearly the whole of the aforesaid land into two parts. It is the largest of the European rivers, at the outset flowing towards the south and then turning straight from the west towards the east and the Pontus. It rises in the western limits of Germany, as also near the recess of the Adriatic (at a distance from it of about one thousand stadia), and comes to an end at the Pontus not very far from the outlets of the Tyras and the Borysthenes, bending from its easterly course approximately towards the north. Now the parts that are beyond the Rhenus and Celtica are to the north of the Ister; these are the territories of the Galatic and the Germanic tribes, extending as far as the Bastarnians and the Tyregetans and the River Borysthenes. And the territories of all the tribes between this river and the Tanaïs and the mouth of Lake Maeotis extend up into the interior as far as the ocean and are washed by the Pontic Sea. But both the Illyrian and the Thracian tribes, and all tribes of the Celtic or other peoples that are mingled with these, as far as Greece, are to the south of the Ister. But let me first describe the parts outside the Ister, for they are much simpler than those on the other side.

2 Now the parts beyond the Rhenus, immediately after the country of the Celti, slope towards the east and are occupied by the Germans, who, though they vary slightly from the Celtic stock in that they are wilder, taller, and have yellower hair, are in all other respects similar, for in build, habits, and modes of life they are such as I have said the Celti are. And I also think that it was for this reason that the Romans assigned to them the name "Germani," as though they wished to indicate thereby that they were "genuine" Galatae, for in the language of the Romans "germani" means "genuine."

3 The first parts of this country are those that are next to the Rhenus, beginning at its source and extending as far as its outlet; and this stretch of river-land taken as a whole is approximately the breadth of the country on its western side. Some of the tribes of this river-land were transferred by the Romans to Celtica, whereas the others anticipated the Romans by migrating deep into the country, for instance, the Marsi; and only a few people, including a part of the Sugambri, are left. After the people who live along the river come the other tribes that live between the Rhenus and the River Albis, which latter flows approximately parallel to the former, towards the ocean, and traverses no less territory than the former. Between the two are other navigable rivers also (among them the Amasias, on which Drusus won a naval victory over the Bructeri), which likewise flow from the south towards the north and the ocean; for the country is elevated towards the south and forms a mountain chain that connects with the Alps and extends towards the east as though it were a part of the Alps; and in truth some declare that they actually are a part of the Alps, both because of their aforesaid position and of the fact that they produce the same timber; however, the country in this region does not rise to a sufficient height for that. Here, too, is the Hercynian Forest, and also the tribes of the Suevi, some of which dwell inside the forest, as, for instance, the tribes of the Coldui, in whose territory is Boihaemum, the domain of Marabodus, the place whither he caused to migrate, not only several other peoples, but in particular the Marcomanni, his fellow-tribesmen; for after his return from Rome this man, who before had been only a private citizen, was placed in charge of the affairs of state, for, as a youth he had been at Rome and had enjoyed the favour of Augustus, and on his return he took the rulership and acquired, in addition to the peoples aforementioned, the Lugii (a large tribe), the Zumi, the Butones, the Mugilones, the Sibini, and also the Semnones, a large tribe of the Suevi themselves. However, while some of the tribes of the Suevi dwell inside the forest, as I was saying, others dwell outside of it, and have a common boundary with the Getae. Now as for the tribe of the Suevi, it is the largest, for it extends from the Rhenus to the Albis; and a part of them even dwell on the far side of the Albis, as, for instance, the Hermondori and the Langobardi; 1and at the present time these latter, at least, have, to the last man, been driven in flight out of their country into the land on the far side of the river. It is a common characteristic of all the peoples in this part of the world that they migrate with ease, because of the meagerness of their livelihood and because they do not till the soil or even store up food, but live in small huts that are merely temporary structures; and they live for the most part off their flocks, as the Nomads do, so that, in imitation of the Nomads, they load their household belongings on their wagons and with their beasts turn whithersoever they think best. But other German tribes are still more indigent. I mean the Cherusci, the Chatti, the Gamabrivii and the Chattuarii,a and also, near the ocean, the Sugambri, the Chaubi, the Bructeri, and the Cimbri, and also the Cauci, the Caülci, the Campsiani, and several others. Both the Visurgis and the Lupias Rivers run in the same direction as the Amasias, the Lupias being about six hundred stadia distant from the Rhenus and flowing through the country of the Lesser Bructeri. Germany has also the Salas River; and it was between the Salas and the Rhenus that Drusus Germanicus, while he was successfully carrying on the war, came to his end. He had subjugated, not only most of the tribes, but also the islands along the coast, among which is Burchanis, which he took by siege.

4 These tribes have become known through their wars with the Romans, in which they would either yield and then later revolt again, or else quit their settlements; and they would have been better known if Augustus had allowed his generals to cross the Albis in pursuit of those who emigrated thither. But as a matter of fact he supposed that he could conduct the war in hand more successfully if he should hold off from those outside the Albis, who were living in peace, and should not incite them to make common cause with the others in their enmity against him. It was the Sugambri, who live near the Rhenus, that began the war, Melo being their leader; and from that time on different peoples at different times would cause a breach, first growing powerful and then being put down, and then revolting again, betraying both the hostages they had given and their pledges of good faith. In dealing with these peoples distrust has been a great advantage, whereas those who have been trusted have done the greatest harm, as, for instance, the Cherusci and their subjects, in whose country three Roman legions, with their general Quintilius Varus, were destroyed by ambush in violation of the treaty. But they all paid the penalty, and afforded the younger Germanicus a most brilliant triumph — that triumph in which their most famous men and women were led captive, I mean Segimuntus, son of Segestes and chieftain of the Cherusci, and his sister Thusnelda, the wife of Armenius, the man who at the time of the violation of the treaty against Quintilius Varus was commander-in‑chief of the Cheruscan army and even to this day is keeping up the war, and Thusnelda's three-year‑old son Thumelicus; and also Sesithacus, the son of Segimerus and chieftain of the Cherusci, and Rhamis, his wife, and a daughter of Ucromirus chieftain of the Chatti, and Deudorix, a Sugambrian, the son of Baetorix the brother of Melo. But Segestes, the father-in‑law of Armenius, who even from the outset had opposed the purpose of Armenius, and, taking advantage of an opportune time, had deserted him, was present as a guest of honour at the triumph over his loved ones. And Libes too, a priest of the Chatti, marched in the procession, as also other captives from the plundered tribes — the Caülci, Campsani, Bructeri, Usipi, Cherusci, Chatti, Chattuarii, Landi, Tubattii. Now the Rhenus is about three thousand stadia distant from the Albis, if one had straight roads to travel on, but as it is one must go by a circuitous route, which winds through a marshy country and forests.

5 The Hercynian Forest is not only rather dense, but also has large trees, and comprises a large circuit within regions that are fortified by nature; in the centre of it, however, lies a country (of which I have already spoken) that is capable of affording an excellent livelihood. And near it are the sources of both the Ister and the Rhenus, as also the lake between the two sources, and the marshes into which the Rhenus spreads. The perimeter of the lake is more than three hundred stadia, while the passage across it is nearly two hundred. There is also an island in it which Tiberius used as a base of operations in his naval battle with the Vindelici. This lake is south of the sources of the Ister, as is also the Hercynian Forest, so that necessarily, in going from Celtica to the Hercynian Forest, one first crosses the lake and then the Ister, and from there on advances through more passable regions — plateaus — to the forest. Tiberius had proceeded only a day's journey from the lake when he saw the sources of the Ister. The country of the Rhaeti adjoins the lake for only a short distance, whereas that of the Helvetii and the Vindelici, and also the desert of the Boii, adjoin the greater part of it. All the peoples as far as the Pannonii, but more especially the Helvetii and the Vindelici, inhabit plateaus. But the countries of the Rhaeti and the Norici extend as far as the passes over the Alps and verge toward Italy, a part thereof bordering on the country of the Insubri and a part on that of the Carni and the legions about Aquileia. And there is also another large forest, Gabreta; it is on this side of the territory of the Suevi, whereas the Hercynian Forest, which is also held by them, is on the far side.

Germany 7.1
7 - 2 Germans and the Cimbri or Cimmerians

1 As for the Cimbri, some things that are told about them are incorrect and others are extremely improbable. For instance, one could not accept such a reason for their having become a wandering and piratical folk as this — that while they were dwelling on a Peninsula they were driven out of their habitations by a great flood-tide; for in fact they still hold the country which they held in earlier times; and they sent as a present to Augustus the most sacred kettle in their country, with a plea for his friendship and for an amnesty of their earlier offences, and when their petition was granted they set sail for home; and it is ridiculous to suppose that they departed from their homes because they were incensed on account of a phenomenon that is natural and eternal, occurring twice every day. And the assertion that an excessive flood-tide once occurred looks like a fabrication, for when the ocean is affected in this way it is subject to increases and diminutions, but these are regulated and periodical. And the man who said that the Cimbri took up arms against the flood-tides was not r