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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10496
Strabo, Geography, 10.3.13-10.3.14


nan1. IF the scientific investigation of any subject be the proper avocation of the philosopher, Geography, the science of which we propose to treat, is certainly entitled to a high place; and this is evident from many considerations. They who first ventured to handle the matter were distinguished men. Homer, Anaximander the Milesian, and Hecataeus, (his fellow-citizen according to Eratosthenes,) Democritus, Eudoxus, Dicaearchus, Ephorus, with many others, and after these Erastosthenes, Polybius, and Posidonius, all of them philosophers. Nor is the great learning, through which alone this subject can be approached, possessed by any but a person acquainted with both human and divine things, and these attainments constitute what is called philosophy. In addition to its vast importance in regard to social life, and the art of government, Geography unfolds to us the celestial phenomena, acquaints us with the occupants of the land and ocean, and the vegetation, fruits, and peculiarities of the various quarters of the earth, a knowledge of which marks him who cultivates it as a man earnest in the great problem of life and happiness.,2. Admitting this, let us examine more in detail the points we have advanced. And first, [we maintain, ] that both we and our predecessors, amongst whom is Hipparchus, do justly regard Homer as the founder of geographical science, for he not only excelled all, ancient as well as modern, in the sublimity of his poetry, but also in his experience of social life. Thus it was that he not only exerted himself to become familiar with as many historic facts as possible, and transmit them to posterity, but also with the various regions of the inhabited land and sea, some intimately, others in a more general manner. For otherwise he would not have reached the utmost limits of the earth, traversing it in his imagination.,3. First, he stated that the earth was entirely encompassed by the ocean, as in truth it is; afterwards he described the countries, specifying some by name, others more generally by various indications, explicitly defining Libya, Ethiopia, the Sidonians, and the Erembi (by which latter are probably intended the Troglodyte Arabians); and alluding to those farther east and west as the lands washed by the ocean, for in ocean he believed both the sun and constellations to rise and set. Now from the gently-swelling flood profound The sun arising, with his earliest rays, In his ascent to heaven smote on the fields. (Iliad vii. 421). And now the radiant sun in ocean sank, Dragging night after him o'er all the earth. (Iliad viii. 485). The stars also he describes as bathed in the ocean.,4. He portrays the happiness of the people of the West, and the salubrity of their climate, having no doubt heard of the abundance of Iberia, which had attracted the arms of Hercules, afterwards of the Phoenicians, who acquired there an extended rule, and finally of the Romans. There the airs of Zephyr breathe, there the poet feigned the fields of Elysium, when he tells us Menelaus was sent thither by the gods: Thee the gods Have destined to the blest Elysian isles, Earth's utmost boundaries. Rhadamanthus there For ever reigns, and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there, No biting winter, and no drenching shower, But Zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them, to refresh the happy race. [Od. iv. 563],5. The Isles of the Blest are on the extreme west of Maurusia, near where its shore runs parallel to the opposite coast of Spain; and it is clear he considered these regions also Blest, from their contiguity to the Islands.,6. He tells us also, that the Ethiopians are far removed, and bounded by the ocean: far removed, — The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those toward the west. [Od. i. 23] Nor was he mistaken in calling them separated into two divisions, as we shall presently show: and next to the ocean, — For to the banks of the Oceanus, Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove, He journey'd yesterday. Speaking of the Bear, he implies that the most northern part of the earth is bounded by the ocean: Only star of these denied To slake his beams in Ocean's briny baths. Iliad xviii. 489; [Od. v. 275.] Now, by the Bear and the Wain, he means the Arctic Circle; otherwise he would never have said, It alone is deprived of the baths of the ocean, when such an infinity of stars is to be seen continually revolving in that part of the hemisphere. Let no one any longer blame his ignorance for being merely acquainted with one Bear, when there are two. It is probable that the second was not considered a constellation until, on the Phoenicians specially designating it, and employing it in navigation, it became known as one to the Greeks. Such is the case with the Hair of Berenice, and Canopus, whose names are but of yesterday; and, as Aratus remarks, there are numbers which have not yet received any designation. Crates, therefore, is mistaken when, endeavouring to amend what is correct, he reads the verse thus: οἷος δ᾽ ἄμμορός ἐστι λοετρῶν, replacing οἴη by οἶς, with a view to make the adjective agree with the Arctic Circle, which is masculine; instead of the Arctic Constellation, which is feminine. The expression of Heraclitus is far more preferable and Homeric, who thus figuratively describes the Arctic Circle as the Bear, — The Bear is the limit of the dawn and of the evening, and from the region of the Bear we have fine weather. Now it is not the constellation of the Bear, but the Arctic Circle, which is the limit of the rising and the setting stars. By the Bear, then, which he elsewhere calls the Wain, and describes as pursuing Orion, Homer means us to understand the Arctic Circle; and by the ocean, that horizon into which, and out of which, the stars rise and set. When he says that the Bear turns round and is deprived of the ocean, he was aware that the Arctic Circle [always] extended to the sign opposite the most northern point of the horizon. Adapting the words of the poet to this view, by that part of the earth nearest to the ocean we must understand the horizon, and by the Arctic Circle that which extends to the signs which seem to our senses to touch in succession the most northern point of the horizon. Thus, according to him, this portion of the earth is washed by the ocean. With the nations of the North he was well acquainted, although he does not mention them by name, and indeed at the present day there is no regular title by which they are all distinguished. He informs us of their mode of life, describing them as wanderers, noble milkers of mares, living on cheese, and without wealth.,7. In the following speech of Juno, he states that the ocean surrounds the earth. For to the green earth's utmost bounds I go, To visit there the parent of the gods, Oceanus. Iliad xiv. 200. Does he not here assert that ocean bounds all its extremities, and does it not surround these extremities? Again, in the Hoplopoeia, he places the ocean in a circle round the border of Achilles' shield. Another proof of the extent of his knowledge, is his acquaintance with the ebb and flow of the sea, calling it the ebbing ocean. Again, Each day she thrice disgorges, and again Thrice drinks, insatiate, the deluge down. The assertion of thrice, instead of twice, is either an error of the author, or a blunder of the scribe, but the phenomenon is the same, and the expression soft-flowing, has reference to the flood-tide, which has a gentle swell, and does not flow with a full rush. Posidonius believes that where Homer describes the rocks as at one time covered with the waves, and at another left bare, and when he compares the ocean to a river, he alludes to the flow of the ocean. The first supposition is correct, but for the second there is no ground; inasmuch as there can be no comparison between the flow, much less the ebb of the sea, and the current of a river. There is more probability in the explanation of Crates, that Homer describes the whole ocean as deep-flowing, ebbing, and also calls it a river, and that he also describes a part of the ocean as a river, and the flow of a river; and that he is speaking of a part, and not the whole, when he thus writes: — When down the smooth Oceanus impell'd By prosperous gales, my galley, once again, Cleaving the billows of the spacious deep, Had reach'd the Aeaean isle. He does not, however, mean the whole, but the flow of the river in the ocean, which forms but a part of the ocean. Crates says, he speaks of an estuary or gulf, extending from the winter tropic towards the south pole. Now any one quitting this, might still be in the ocean; but for a person to leave the whole and still to be in the whole, is an impossibility. But Homer says, that leaving the flow of the river, the ship entered on the waves of the sea, which is the same as the ocean. If you take it otherwise you make him say, that departing from the ocean he came to the ocean. But this requires further discussion.,8. Perception and experience alike inform us, that the earth we inhabit is an island: since wherever men have approached the termination of the land, the sea, which we designate ocean, has been met with: and reason assures us of the similarity of those places which our senses have not been permitted to survey. For in the east the land occupied by the Indians, and in the west by the Iberians and Maurusians, is wholly encompassed [by water], and so is the greater part on the south and north. And as to what remains as yet unexplored by us, because navigators, sailing from opposite points, have not hitherto fallen in with each other, it is not much, as any one may see who will compare the distances between those places with which we are already acquainted. Nor is it likely that the Atlantic Ocean is divided into two seas by narrow isthmuses so placed as to prevent circumnavigation: how much more probable that it is confluent and uninterrupted! Those who have returned from an attempt to circumnavigate the earth, do not say they have been prevented from continuing their voyage by any opposing continent, for the sea remained perfectly open, but through want of resolution, and the scarcity of provision. This theory too accords better with the ebb and flow of the ocean, for the phenomenon, both in the increase and diminution, is everywhere identical, or at all events has but little difference, as if produced by the agitation of one sea, and resulting from one cause.,9. We must not credit Hipparchus, who combats this opinion, denying that the ocean is every where similarly affected; or that even if it were, it would not follow that the Atlantic flowed in a circle, and thus continually returned into itself. Seleucus, the Babylonian, is his authority for this assertion. For a further investigation of the ocean and its tides we refer to Posidonius and Athenodorus, who have fully discussed this subject: we will now only remark that this view agrees better with the uniformity of the phenomenon; and that the greater the amount of moisture surrounding the earth, the easier would the heavenly bodies be supplied with vapours from thence.,10. Homer, besides the boundaries of the earth, which he fully describes, was likewise well acquainted with the Mediterranean. Starting from the Pillars, this sea is encompassed by Libya, Egypt, and Phoenicia, then by the coasts opposite Cyprus, the Solymi, Lycia, and Caria, and then by the shore which stretches between Mycale and Troas, and the adjacent islands, every one of which he mentions, as well as those of the Propontis and the Euxine, as far as Colchis, and the locality of Jason's expedition. Furthermore, he was acquainted with the Cimmerian Bosphorus, having known the Cimmerians, and that not merely by name, but as being familiar with themselves. About his time, or a little before, they had ravaged the whole country, from the Bosphorus to Ionia. Their climate he characterizes as dismal, in the following lines: — With clouds and darkness veil'd, on whom the sun Deigns not to look with his beam-darting eye, But sad night canopies the woeful race. [Od. xi. 15] and 19. He must also have been acquainted with the Ister, since he speaks of the Mysians, a Thracian race, dwelling on the banks of the Ister. He knew also the whole Thracian coast adjacent thereto, as far as the Peneus, for he mentions individually the Paeonians, Athos, the Axius, and the neighbouring islands. From hence to Thesprotis is the Grecian shore, with the whole of which he was acquainted. He was besides familiar with the whole of Italy, and speaks of Temese and the Sicilians, as well as the whole of Spain and its fertility, as we have said before. If he omits various intermediate places this must be pardoned, for even the compiler of a Geography overlooks numerous details. We must forgive him too for intermingling fabulous narrative with his historical and instructive work. This should not be complained of; nevertheless, what Eratosthenes says is false, that the poets aim at amusement, not instruction, since those who have treated upon the subject most profoundly, regard poesy in the light of a primitive philosophy. But we shall refute Eratosthenes more at length, when we have occasion again to speak of Homer.,11. What we have already advanced is sufficient to prove that poet the father of geography. Those who followed in his track are also well known as great men and true philosophers. The two immediately succeeding Homer, according to Eratosthenes, were Anaximander, the disciple and fellow citizen of Thales, and Hecataeus the Milesian. Anaximander was the first to publish a geographical chart. Hecataeus left a work [on the same subject], which we can identify as his by means of his other writings.,12. Many have testified to the amount of knowledge which this subject requires, and Hipparchus, in his Strictures on Eratosthenes, well observes, that no one can become really proficient in geography, either as a private individual or as a professor, without an acquaintance with astronomy, and a knowledge of eclipses. For instance, no one could tell whether Alexandria in Egypt were north or south of Babylon, nor yet the intervening distance, without observing the latitudes. Again, the only means we possess of becoming acquainted with the longitudes of different places is afforded by the eclipses of the sun and moon. Such are the very words of Hipparchus.,13. Every one who undertakes to give an accurate description of a place, should be particular to add its astronomical and geometrical relations, explaining carefully its extent, distance, degrees of latitude, and climate. Even a builder before constructing a house, or an architect before laying out a city, would take these things into consideration; much more should he who examines the whole earth: for such things in a peculiar manner belong to him. In small distances a little deviation north or south does not signify, but when it is the whole circle of the earth, the north extends to the furthest confines of Scythia, or Keltica, and the south to the extremities of Ethiopia: there is a wide difference here. The case is the same should we inhabit India or Spain, one in the east, the other far west, and, as we are aware, the antipodes to each other.,14. The [motions] of the sun and stars, and the centripetal force meet us on the very threshold of such subjects, and compel us to the study of astronomy, and the observation of such phenomena as each of us may notice; in which too, very considerable differences appear, according to the various points of observation. How could any one undertake to write accurately and with propriety on the differences of the various parts of the earth, who was ignorant of these matters? and although, if the undertaking were of a popular character, it might not be advisable to enter thoroughly into detail, still we should endeavour to include every thing which could be comprehended by the general reader.,15. He who has thus elevated his mind, will he be satisfied with any thing less than the whole world? If in his anxiety accurately to portray the inhabited earth, he has dared to survey heaven, and make use thereof for purposes of instruction, would it not seem childish were he to refrain from examining the whole earth, of which the inhabited is but a part, its size, its features, and its position in the universe; whether other portions are inhabited besides those on which we dwell, and if so, their amount? What is the extent of the regions not peopled? what their peculiarities, and the cause of their remaining as they are? Thus it appears that the knowledge of geography is connected with meteorology and geometry, that it unites the things of earth to the things of heaven, as though they were nearly allied, and not separated. As far as heaven from earth. Iliad viii. 16,16. To the various subjects which it embraces let us add natural history, or the history of the animals, plants, and other different productions of the earth and sea, whether serviceable or useless, and my original statement will, I think, carry perfect conviction with it. That he who should undertake this work would be a benefactor to mankind, reason and the voice of antiquity agree. The poets feign that they were the wisest heroes who travelled and wandered most in foreign climes: and to be familiar with many countries, and the disposition of the inhabitants, is, according to them, of vast importance. Nestor prides himself on having associated with the Lapithae, to whom he went, having been invited thither from the Apian land afar. So does Menelaus: — Cyprus, Phoenicia, Sidon, and the shores Of Egypt, roaming without hope I reach'd; In distant Ethiopia thence arrived, And Libya, where the lambs their foreheads show With budding horns defended soon as yean'd. [Od. iv. 83.] Adding as a peculiarity of the country, There thrice within the year the flocks produce. [Od. iv. 86.] And of Egypt: — Where the sustaining earth is most prolific. And Thebes, the city with an hundred gates, Whence twenty thousand chariots rush to war. Iliad ix. 383 Such information greatly enlarges our sphere of knowledge, by informing us of the nature of the country, its botanical and zoological peculiarities. To these should be added its marine history; for we are in a certain sense amphibious, not exclusively connected with the land, but with the sea as well. Hercules, on account of his vast experience and observation, was described as skilled in mighty works. All that we have previously stated is confirmed both by the testimony of antiquity and by reason. One consideration however appears to bear in a peculiar manner on the case in point; viz. the importance of geography in a political view. For the sea and the earth in which we dwell furnish theatres for action; limited, for limited actions; vast, for grander deeds; but that which contains them all, and is the scene of the greatest undertakings, constitutes what we term the habitable earth; and they are the greatest generals who, subduing nations and kingdoms under one sceptre, and one political administration, have acquired dominion over land and sea. It is clear then, that geography is essential to all the transactions of the statesman, informing us, as it does, of the position of the continents, seas, and oceans of the whole habitable earth. Information of especial interest to those who are concerned to know the exact truth of such particulars, and whether the places have been explored or not: for government will certainly be better administered where the size and position of the country, its own peculiarities, and those of the surrounding districts, are understood. Forasmuch as there are many sovereigns who rule in different regions, and some stretch their dominion over others' territories, and undertake the government of different nations and kingdoms, and thus enlarge the extent of their dominion, it is not possible that either themselves, nor yet writers on geography, should be equally acquainted with the whole, but to both there is a great deal more or less known. Indeed, were the whole earth under one government and one administration, it is hardly possible that we should be informed of every locality in an equal degree; for even then we should be most acquainted with the places nearest us: and after all, it is better that we should have a more perfect description of these, since, on account of their proximity, there is greater reed for it. We see there is no reason to be surprised that there should be one chorographer for the Indians, another for the Ethiopians, and a third for the Greeks and Romans. What use would it be to the Indians if a geographer should thus describe Boeotia to them, in the words of Homer: — The dwellers on the rocks Of Aulis follow'd, with the hardy clans Of Hyria, Schoenus, Scolus. Iliad ii. 496. To us this is of value, while to be acquainted with the Indies and their various territorial divisions would be useless, as it could lead to no advantage, which is the only criterion of the worth of such knowledge.,17. Even if we descend to the consideration of such trivial matters as hunting, the case is still the same; for he will be most successful in the chase who is acquainted with the size and nature of the wood, and one familiar with the locality will be the most competent to superintend an encampment, an ambush, or a march. But it is in great undertakings that the truth shines out in all its brilliancy, for here, while the success resulting from knowledge is grand, the consequences of ignorance are disastrous. The fleet of Agamemnon, for instance, ravaging Mysia, as if it had been the Trojan territory, was compelled to a shameful retreat. Likewise the Persians and Libyans, supposing certain straits to be impassable, were very near falling into great perils, and have left behind them memorials of their ignorance; the former a monument to Salganeus on the Euripus, near Chalcis, whom the Persians slew, for, as they thought, falsely conducting their fleet from the Gulf of Malea to the Euripus; and the latter to the memory of Pelorus, who was executed on a like occasion. At the time of the expedition of Xerxes, the coasts of Greece were covered with wrecks, and the emigrations from Aeolia and Ionia furnish numerous instances of the same calamity. On the other hand, matters have come to a prosperous termination, when judiciously directed by a knowledge of the locality. Thus it was at the pass of Thermopylae that Ephialtes is reported to have pointed out to the Persians a pathway over the mountains, and so placed the band of Leonidas at their mercy, and opened to the Barbarians a passage into Pylae. But passing over ancient occurrences, we think that the late expeditions of the Romans against the Parthians furnish an excellent example, where, as in those against the Germans and Kelts, the Barbarians, taking advantage of their situation, [carried on the war] in marshes, woods, and pathless deserts, deceiving the ignorant enemy as to the position of different places, and concealing the roads, and the means of obtaining food and necessaries.,18. As we have said, this science has an especial reference to the occupations and requirements of statesmen, with whom also political and ethical philosophy is mainly concerned; and here is an evidence. We distinguish the different kinds of civil government by the office of their chief men, denominating one government a monarchy, or kingdom, another an aristocracy, a third a democracy; for so many we consider are the forms of government, and we designate them by these names, because from them they derive their primary characteristic. For the laws which emanate from the sovereign, from the aristocracy, and from the people all are different. The law is in fact a type of the form of government. It is on this account that some define right to be the interest of the strongest. If, therefore, political philosophy is advantageous to the ruler, and geography in the actual government of the country, this latter seems to possess some little superiority. This superiority is most observable in real service.,19. But even the theoretical portion of geography is by no means contemptible. On the one hand, it embraces the arts, mathematics, and natural science; on the other, history and fable. Not that this latter can have any distinct advantage: for instance, if any one should relate to us the wanderings of Ulysses, Menelaus, and Jason, he would not seem to have added directly to our fund of practical knowledge thereby, (which is the only thing men of the world are interested in,) unless he should convey useful examples of what those wanderers were compelled to suffer, and at the same time afford matter of rational amusement to those who interest themselves in the places which gave birth to such fables. Practical men interest themselves in these pursuits, since they are at once commendable, and afford them pleasure; but yet not to any great extent. In this class, too, will be found those whose main object in life is pleasure and respectability: but these by no means constitute the majority of mankind, who naturally prefer that which holds out some direct advantage. The geographer should therefore chiefly devote himself to what is practically important. He should follow the same rule in regard to history and the mathematics, selecting always that which is most useful, most intelligible, and most authentic.,20. Geometry and astronomy, as we before remarked, seem absolutely indispensable in this science. This, in fact, is evident, that without some such assistance, it would be impossible to be accurately acquainted with the configuration of the earth; its climata, dimensions, and the like information. As the size of the earth has been demonstrated by other writers, we shall here take for granted and receive as accurate what they have advanced. We shall also assume that the earth is spheroidal, that its surface is likewise spheroidal, and above all, that bodies have a tendency towards its centre, which latter point is clear to the perception of the most average understanding. However we may show summarily that the earth is spheroidal, from the consideration that all things however distant tend to its centre, and that every body is attracted towards its centre of gravity; this is more distinctly proved from observations of the sea and sky, for here the evidence of the senses, and common observation, is alone requisite. The convexity of the sea is a further proof of this to those who have sailed; for they cannot perceive lights at a distance when placed at the same level as their eyes, but if raised on high, they at once become perceptible to vision, though at the same time further removed. So, when the eye is raised, it sees what before was utterly imperceptible. Homer speaks of this when he says, Lifted up on the vast wave he quickly beheld afar. [Od. v. 393.] Sailors, as they approach their destination, behold the shore continually raising itself to their view; and objects which had at first seemed low, begin to elevate themselves. Our gnomons, also, are, among other things, evidence of the revolution of the heavenly bodies; and common sense at once shows us, that if the depth of the earth were infinite, such a revolution could not take place. Every information respecting the climata is contained in the Treatises on Positions.,21. Now there are some facts which we take to be established, viz. those with which every politician and general should be familiar. For on no account should they be so uninformed as to the heavens and the position of the earth, that when they are in strange countries, where some of the heavenly phenomena wear a different aspect to what they have been accustomed, they should be in a consternation, and exclaim, Neither west Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun. [Od. x. 190.] Still, we do not expect that they should be such thorough masters of the subject as to know what stars rise and set together for the different quarters of the earth; those which have the same meridian line, the elevation of the poles, the signs which are in the zenith, with all the various phenomena which differ as well in appearance as reality with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle. With some of these matters, unless as philosophical pursuits, they should not burden themselves at all; others they must take for granted without searching into their causes. This must be left to the care of the philosopher; the statesman can have no leisure, or very little, for such pursuits. Those who, through carelessness and ignorance, are not familiar with the globe and the circles traced upon it, some parallel to each other, some at right angles to the former, others, again, in an oblique direction; nor yet with the position of the tropics, equator, and zodiac, (that circle through which the sun travels in his course, and by which we reckon the changes of season and the winds,) such persons we caution against the perusal of our work. For if a man is neither properly acquainted with these things, nor with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle, and such similar elements of mathematics, how can he comprehend the matters treated of here? So for one who does not know a right line from a curve, nor yet a circle, nor a plane or spherical surface, nor the seven stars in the firmament composing the Great Bear, and such like, our work is entirely useless, at least for the present. Unless he first acquires such information, he is utterly incompetent to the study of geography. So those who have written the works entitled On Ports, and Voyages Round the World, have performed their task imperfectly, since they have omitted to supply the requisite information from mathematics and astronomy.,22. The present undertaking is composed in a lucid style, suitable alike to the statesman and the general reader, after the fashion of my History. By a statesman we do not intend an illiterate person, but one who has gone through the course of a liberal and philosophical education. For a man who has bestowed no attention on virtue or intelligence, nor what constitutes them, must be incompetent either to blame or praise, still less to decide what actions are worthy to be placed on record.,23. Having already compiled our Historical Memoirs, which, as we conceive, are a valuable addition both to political and moral philosophy, we have now determined to follow it up with the present work, which has been prepared on the same system as the former, and for the same class of readers, but more particularly for those who are in high stations of life. And as our former production contains only the most striking events in the lives of distinguished men, omitting trifling and unimportant incidents; so here it will be proper to dismiss small and doubtful particulars, and merely call attention to great and remarkable transactions, such in fact as are useful, memorable, and entertaining. In the colossal works of the sculptor we do not descend into a minute examination of particulars, but look principally for perfection in the general ensemble. This is the only method of criticism applicable to the present work. Its proportions, so to speak, are colossal; it deals in the generalities and main outlines of things, except now and then, when some minor detail can be selected, calculated to be serviceable to the seeker after knowledge, or the man of business. We now think we have demonstrated that our present undertaking is one that requires great care, and is well worthy of a philosopher.,1. No one can [justly] blame us for having undertaken to write on a subject already often treated of, unless it appears that we have done nothing more than copy the works of former writers. In our opinion, though they may have perfectly treated some subjects, in others they have still left much to be completed; and we shall be justified in our performance, if we can add to their information even in a trifling degree. At the present moment the conquests of the Romans and Parthians have added much to our knowledge, which (as was well observed by Eratosthenes) had been considerably increased by the expedition of Alexander. This prince laid open to our view the greater part of Asia, and the whole north of Europe as far as the Danube. And the Romans [have discovered to us] the entire west of Europe as far as the river Elbe, which divides Germany, and the country beyond the Ister to the river Dniester. The country beyond this to the Maeotis, and the coasts extending along Colchis, was brought to light by Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, and his generals. To the Parthians we are indebted for a better acquaintance with Hyrcania, Bactriana, and the land of the Scythians lying beyond, of which before we knew but little. Thus we can add much information not supplied by former writers, but this will best be seen when we come to treat on the writers who have preceded us; and this method we shall pursue, not so much in regard to the primitive geographers, as to Eratosthenes and those subsequent to him. As these writers far surpassed the generality in the amount of their knowledge, so naturally it is more difficult to detect their errors when such occur. If I seem to contradict those most whom I take chiefly for my guides, I must claim indulgence on the plea, that it was never intended to criticise the whole body of geographers, the larger number of whom are not worthy of consideration, but to give an opinion of those only who are generally found correct. Still, while many are beneath discussion, such men as Eratosthenes, Posidonius, Hipparchus, Polybius, and others of their stamp, deserve our highest consideration.,2. Let us first examine Eratosthenes, reviewing at the same time what Hipparchus has advanced against him. Eratosthenes is much too creditable an historian for us to believe what Polemon endeavours to charge against him, that he had not even seen Athens. At the same time he does not merit that unbounded confidence which some seem to repose in him, although, as he himself tells us, he passed much of his time with first-rate [characters]. Never, says he, at one period, and in one city, were there so many philosophers flourishing together as in my time. In their number was Ariston and Arcesilaus. This, however, it seems is not sufficient, but you must also be able to choose who are the real guides whom it is your interest to follow. He considers Arcesilaus and Ariston to be the coryphaei of the philosophers who flourished in his time, and is ceaseless in his eulogies of Apelles and Bion, the latter of whom, says he, was the first to deck himself in the flowers of philosophy, but concerning whom one is often likewise tempted to exclaim, How great is Bion in spite of his rags! It is in such instances as the following that the mediocrity of his genius shows itself. Although at Athens he became a disciple of Zeno of Citium, he makes no mention of his followers; while those who opposed that philosopher, and of whose sect not a trace remains, he thinks fit to set down amongst the [great characters] who flourished in his time. His real character appears in his Treatise on Moral Philosophy, his Meditations, and some similar productions. He seems to have held a middle course between the man who devotes himself to philosophy, and the man who cannot make up his mind to dedicate himself to it: and to have studied the science merely as a relief from his other pursuits, or as a pleasing and instructive recreation. In his other writings he is just the same; but let these things pass. We will now proceed as well as we can to the task of rectifying his geography. First, then, let us return to the point which we lately deferred.,3. Eratosthenes says that the poet directs his whole attention to the amusement of the mind, and not at all to its instruction. In opposition to his idea, the ancients define poesy as a primitive philosophy, guiding our life from infancy, and pleasantly regulating our morals, our tastes, and our actions. The [Stoics] of our day affirm that the only wise man is the poet. On this account the earliest lessons which the citizens of Greece convey to their children are from the poets; certainly not alone for the purpose of amusing their minds, but for their instruction. Nay, even the professors of music, who give lessons on the harp, lyre, and pipe, lay claim to our consideration on the same account, since they say that [the accomplishments which they teach] are calculated to form and improve the character. It is not only among the Pythagoreans that one hears this claim supported, for Aristoxenus is of that opinion, and Homer too regarded the bards as amongst the wisest of mankind. Of this number was the guardian of Clytemnestra, to whom the son of Atreus, when he set out for Troy, gave earnest charge to preserve his wife, whom Aegisthus was unable to seduce, until leading the bard to a desert island, he left him, and then The queen he led, not willing less than he, To his own mansion. Ib. iii. 272. But apart from all such considerations, Eratosthenes contradicts himself; for a little previously to the sentence which we have quoted, at the commencement of his Essay on Geography, he says, that all the ancient poets took delight in showing their knowledge of such matters. Homer inserted into his poetry all that he knew about the Ethiopians, Egypt, and Libya. Of all that related to Greece and the neighbouring places he entered even too minutely into the details, describing Thisbe as abounding in doves, Haliartus, grassy, Anthedon, the far distant, Lilaea, situated on the sources of the Cephissus, and none of his epithets are without their meaning. But in pursuing this method, what object has he in view, to amuse [merely], or to instruct? The latter, doubtless. Well, perhaps he has told the truth in these instances, but in what was beyond his observation both he and the other writers have indulged in all the marvels of fable. If such be the case the statement should have been, that the poets relate some things for mere amusement, others for instruction; but he affirms that they do it altogether for amusement, without any view to information; and by way of climax, inquires, What can it add to Homer's worth to be familiar with many lands, and skilled in strategy, agriculture, rhetoric, and similar information, which some persons seem desirous to make him possessed of. To seek to invest him with all this knowledge is most likely the effect of too great a zeal for his honour. Hipparchus observes, that to assert he was acquainted with every art and science, is like saying that an Attic eiresione bears pears and apples. As far as this goes, Eratosthenes, you are right enough; not so, however, when you not only deny that Homer was possessed of these vast acquirements, but represent poetry in general as a tissue of old wives' fables, where, to use your own expression, every thing thought likely to amuse is cooked up. I ask, is it of no value to the auditors of the poets to be made acquainted with [the history of] different countries, with strategy, agriculture, and rhetoric, and suchlike things, which the lecture generally contains.,4. One thing is certain, that the poet has bestowed all these gifts upon Ulysses, whom beyond any of his other [heroes] he loves to adorn with every virtue. He says of him, that he Discover'd various cities, and the mind And manners learn'd of men in lands remote. [Od. i 3.] That he was Of a piercing wit and deeply wise. Iliad iii. 202. He is continually described as the destroyer of cities, and as having vanquished Troy, by his counsels, his advice, and his deceptive art. Diomedes says of him, Let him attend me, and through fire itself We shall return; for none is wise as he. Ib. x. 246. He prides himself on his skill in husbandry, for at the harvest [he says], I with my well-bent sickle in my hand, Thou arm'd with one as keen. [Od. xviii. 367.] And also in tillage, Then shouldst thou see How straight my furrow should be cut and true. Ib. xviii. 374. And Homer was not singular in his opinion regarding these matters, for all educated people appeal to him in favour of the idea that such practical knowledge is one of the chief means of acquiring understanding.,5. That eloquence is regarded as the wisdom of speech, Ulysses manifests throughout the whole poem, both in the Trial, the Petitions, and the Embassy. Of him it is said by Antenor, But when he spake, forth from his breast did flow A torrent swift as winter's feather'd snow. Iliad iii. 221. Who can suppose that a poet capable of effectively introducing into his scenes rhetoricians, generals, and various other characters, each displaying some peculiar excellence, was nothing more than a droll or juggler, capable only of cheating or flattering his hearer, and not of instructing him. Are we not all agreed that the chief merit of a poet consists in his accurate representation of the affairs of life? Can this be done by a mere driveller, unacquainted with the world? The excellence of a poet is not to be measured by the same standard as that of a mechanic or a blacksmith, where honour and virtue have nothing to do with our estimate. But the poet and the individual are connected, and he only can become a good poet, who is in the first instance a worthy man.,6. To deny that our poet possesses the Graces of oratory is using us hardly indeed. What is so befitting an orator, what so poetical as eloquence, and who so sweetly eloquent as Homer? But, by heaven! you'll say, there are other styles of eloquence than those peculiar to poetry. Of course [I admit this]; in poetry itself there is the tragic and the comic style; in prose, the historic and the forensic. But is not language a generality, of which poetry and prose are forms? Yes, language is; but are not the rhetorical, the eloquent, and the florid styles also? I answer, that flowery prose is nothing but an imitation of poetry. Ornate poetry was the first to make its appearance, and was well received. Afterwards it was closely imitated by writers in the time of Cadmus, Pherecydes, and Hecataeus. The metre was the only thing dispensed with, every other poetic grace being carefully preserved. As time advanced, one after another of its beauties was discarded, till at last it came down from its glory into our common prose. In the same way we may say that comedy took its rise from tragedy, but descended from its lofty grandeur into what we now call the common parlance of daily life. And when [we find] the ancient writers making use of the expression to sing, to designate eloquence of style, this in itself is an evidence that poetry is the source and origin of all ornamented and rhetorical language. Poetry in ancient days was on every occasion accompanied by melody. The song or ode was but a modulated speech, from whence the words rhapsody, tragedy, comedy, are derived; and since originally eloquence was the term made use of for the poetical effusions which were always of the nature of a song, it soon happened [that in speaking of poetry] some said, to sing, others, to be eloquent; and as the one term was early misapplied to prose compositions, the other also was soon applied in the same way. Lastly, the very term prose, which is applied to language not clothed in metre, seems to indicate, as it were, its descent from an elevation or chariot to the ground.,7. Homer accurately describes many distant countries, and not only Greece and the neighbouring places, as Eratosthenes asserts. His romance, too, is in better style than that of his successors. He does not make up wondrous tales on every occasion, but to instruct us the better often, and especially in the Odyssey, adds to the circumstances which have come under his actual observation, allegories, wise harangues, and enticing narrations. Concerning which, Eratosthenes is much mistaken when he says that both Homer and his commentators are a pack of fools. But this subject demands a little more of our attention.,8. To begin. The poets were by no means the first to avail themselves of myths. States and lawgivers had taken advantage of them long before, having observed the constitutional bias of mankind. Man is eager after knowledge, and the love of legend is but the prelude thereto. This is why children begin to listen [to fables], and are acquainted with them before any other kind of knowledge; the cause of this is that the myth introduces them to a new train of ideas, relating not to every-day occurrences, but something in addition to these. A charm hangs round whatever is new and hitherto unknown, inspiring us with a desire to become acquainted with it, but when the wonderful and the marvellous are likewise present, our delight is increased until at last it becomes a philtre of study. To children we are obliged to hold out such enticements, in order that in riper years, when the mind is powerful, and no longer needs such stimulants, it may be prepared to enter on the study of actual realities. Every illiterate and uninstructed man is yet a child, and takes delight in fable. With the partially informed it is much the same; reason is not all-powerful within him, and he still possesses the tastes of a child. But the marvellous, which is capable of exciting fear as well as pleasure, influences not childhood only, but age as well. As we relate to children pleasing tales to incite them [to any course] of action, and frightful ones to deter them, such as those of Lamia, Gorgo, Ephialtes, and Mormolyca. So numbers of our citizens are incited to deeds of virtue by the beauties of fable, when they hear the poets in a strain of enthusiasm recording noble actions, such as the labours of Hercules or Theseus, and the honours bestowed on them by the gods, or even when they see paintings, sculptures, or figures bearing their romantic evidence to such events. In the same way they are restrained from vicious courses, when they think they have received from the gods by oracles or some other invisible intimations, threats, menaces, or chastisements, or even if they only believe they have befallen others. The great mass of women and common people, cannot be induced by mere force of reason to devote themselves to piety, virtue, and honesty; superstition must therefore be employed, and even this is insufficient without the aid of the marvellous and the terrible. For what are the thunderbolts, the aegis, the trident, the torches, the dragons, the barbed thyrses, the arms of the gods, and all the paraphernalia of antique theology, but fables employed by the founders of states, as bugbears to frighten timorous minds. Such was mythology; and when our ancestors found it capable of subserving the purposes of social and political life, and even contributing to the knowledge of truth, they continued the education of childhood to maturer years, and maintained that poetry was sufficient to form the understanding of every age. In course of time history and our present philosophy were introduced; these, however, suffice but for the chosen few, and to the present day poetry is the main agent which instructs our people and crowds our theatres. Homer here stands pre-eminent, but in truth all the early historians and natural philosophers were mythologists as well.,9. Thus it is that our poet, though he sometimes employs fiction for the purposes of instruction, always gives the preference to truth; he makes use of what is false, merely tolerating it in order the more easily to lead and govern the multitude. As a man Binds with a golden verge Bright silver, so Homer, heightening by fiction actual occurrences, adorns and embellishes his subject; but his end is always the same as that of the historian, who relates nothing but facts. In this manner he undertook the narration of the Trojan war, gilding it with the beauties of fancy and the wanderings of Ulysses; but we shall never find Homer inventing an empty fable apart from the inculcation of truth. It is ever the case that a person lies most successfully, when he intermingles [into the falsehood] a sprinkling of truth. Such is the remark of Polybius in treating of the wanderings of Ulysses; such is also the meaning of the verse, He fabricated many falsehoods, relating them like truths: [Od. xix. 203.] not all, but many falsehoods, otherwise it would not have looked like the truth. Homer's narrative is founded on history. He tells us that king Aeolus governed the Lipari Islands, that around Mount Aetna and Leontini dwelt the Cyclopae, and certain Laestrygonians inhospitable to strangers. That at that time the districts surrounding the strait were unapproachable; and Scylla and Charybdis were infested by banditti. In like manner in the writings of Homer we are informed of other freebooters, who dwelt in divers regions. Being aware that the Cimmerians dwelt on the Cimmerian Bosphorus, a dark northern country, he felicitously locates them in a gloomy region close by Hades, a fit theatre for the scene in the wanderings of Ulysses. That he was acquainted with these people we may satisfy ourselves from the chroniclers, who report an incursion made by the Cimmerians either during his life-time or just before.,10. Being acquainted with Colchis, and the voyage of Jason to Aea, and also with the historical and fabulous relations concerning Circe and Medea, their enchantments and their various other points of resemblance, he feigns there was a relationship between them, notwithstanding the vast distance by which they were separated, the one dwelling in an inland creek of the Euxine, and the other in Italy, and both of them beyond the ocean. It is possible that Jason himself wandered as far as Italy, for traces of the Argonautic expedition are pointed out near the Ceraunian mountains, by the Adriatic, at the Posidonian Gulf, and the isles adjacent to Tyrrhenia. The Cyaneae, called by some the Symplegades, or Jostling Rocks, which render the passage through the Strait of Constantinople so difficult, also afforded matter to our poet. The actual existence of a place named Aea, stamped credibility upon his Aeaea; so did the Symplegades upon the Planctae, (the Jostling Rocks upon the Wandering Rocks) and the passage of Jason through the midst of them; in the same way Scylla and Charybdis accredited the passage [of Ulysses] past those rocks. In his time people absolutely regarded the Euxine as a kind of second ocean, and placed those who had crossed it in the same list with navigators who had passed the Pillars. It was looked upon as the largest of our seas, and was therefore par excellence styled the Sea, in the same way as Homer [is called] the Poet. In order therefore to be well received, it is probable he transferred the scenes from the Euxine to the ocean, so as not to stagger the general belief. And in my opinion those Solymi who possess the highest ridges of Taurus, lying between Lycia and Pisidia, and those who in their southern heights stand out most conspicuously to the dwellers on this side Taurus, and the inhabitants of the Euxine by a figure of speech, he describes as being beyond the ocean. For narrating the voyage of Ulysses in his ship, he says, But Neptune, traversing in his return From Ethiopia's sons, the mountain heights Of Solyme, descried him from afar. [Od. v. 282.] It is probable he took his account of the one-eyed Cyclopae from Scythian history, for the Arimaspi, whom Aristaeus of Proconnesus describes in his Tales of the Arimaspi, are said to be distinguished by this peculiarity.,11. Having premised thus much, we must now take into consideration the reasons of those who assert that Homer makes Ulysses wander to Sicily or Italy, and also of those who denied this. The truth is, he may be equally interpreted on this subject either way, according as we take a correct or incorrect view of the case. Correct, if we understand that he was convinced of the reality of Ulysses' wanderings there, and taking this truth as a foundation, raised thereon a poetical superstructure. And so far this description of him is right; for not about Italy only, but to the farthest extremities of Spain, traces of his wanderings and those of similar adventurers may still be found. Incorrect, if the scene-painting is received as fact, his Ocean, and Hades, the oxen of the sun, his hospitable reception by the goddesses, the metamorphoses, the gigantic size of the Cyclopae and Laestrygonians, the monstrous appearance of Scylla, the distance of the voyage, and other similar particulars, all alike manifestly fabulous. It is as idle to waste words with a person who thus openly maligns our poet, as it would be with one who should assert as true all the particulars of Ulysses' return to Ithaca, the slaughter of the suitors, and the pitched battle between him and the Ithacans in the field. But nothing can be said against the man who understands the words of the poet in a rational way.,12. Eratosthenes, though on no sufficient grounds for so doing, rejects both these opinions, endeavouring in his attack on the latter, to refute by lengthened arguments what is manifestly absurd and unworthy of consideration, and in regard to the former, maintaining a poet to be a mere gossip, to whose worth an acquaintance with science or geography could not add in the least degree: since the scenes of certain of Homer's fables are cast in actual localities, as Ilium, Pelion, and Ida; others in purely imaginary regions, such as those of the Gorgons and Geryon. Of this latter class, he says, are the places mentioned in the wanderings of Ulysses, and those who pretend that they are not mere fabrications of the poet, but have an actual existence, are proved to be mistaken by the differences of opinion existing among themselves: for some of them assert that the Sirenes of Homer are situated close to Pelorus, and others that they are more than two thousand stadia distant, near the Sirenussae, a three-peaked rock which separates the Gulfs of Cumaea and Posidonium. Now, in the first place, this rock is not three-peaked, nor does it form a crest at the summit at all, but a long and narrow angle reaching from the territory of Surrentum to the Strait of Capria, having on one side of the mountain the sanctuary of the Sirens, and on the other side, next the Gulf of Posidonium, three little rocky and uninhabited islands, named the Sirenes; upon the strait, is situated the Athenaion, from which the rocky angle itself takes its name.,13. Further, if those who describe the geography of certain places do not agree in every particular, are we justified in at once rejecting their whole narration? Frequently this is a reason why it should receive the greater credit. For example, in the investigation whether the scene of Ulysses' wanderings were Sicily or Italy, and the proper position of the Sirenes, they differ in so far that one places them at Pelorus, and the other at Sirenussae, but neither of them dissents from the idea that it was some where near Sicily or Italy. They add thereby strength to this view, inasmuch as though they are not agreed as to the exact locality, neither of them makes any question but that it was some where contiguous to Italy or Sicily. If a third party should add, that the monument of Parthenope, who was one of the Sirens, is shown at Naples, this only confirms us the more in our belief, for though a third place is introduced to our notice, still as Naples is situated in the gulf called by Eratosthenes the Cumaean, and which is formed by the Sirenussae, we are more confident still that the position of the Sirenes was some where close by. That the poet did not search for accuracy in every minor detail we admit, but neither ought we to expect this of him; at the same time we are not to believe that he composed his poem without inquiring into the history of the Wandering, nor where and how it occurred.,14. Eratosthenes thinks it probable that Hesiod, having heard of the wanderings of Ulysses, and of their having taken place near to Sicily and Italy, embraced this view of the case, and not only describes the places spoken of by Homer, but also Aetna, the Isle of Ortygia, near to Syracuse, and Tyrrhenia. As for Homer, he was altogether unacquainted with these places, and further, had no wish to lay the scene of the wanderings in any well-known locality. What! are then Aetna and Tyrrhenia such well-known places, and Scyllaion, Charybdis, Circaion, and the Sirenussae, so obscure? Or is Hesiod so correct as never to write nonsense, but always follow in the wake of received opinions, while Homer blurts out whatever comes uppermost? Without taking into consideration our remarks on the character and aptitude of Homer's myths, a large array of writers who bear evidence to his statements, and the additional testimony of local tradition, are sufficient proof that his are not the inventions of poets or contemporary scribblers, but the record of real actors and real scenes.,15. The conjecture of Polybius in regard to the particulars of the wandering of Ulysses is excellent. He says that Aeolus instructed sailors how to navigate the strait, a difficult matter on account of the currents occasioned by the ebb and flow. and was therefore called the dispenser of the winds, and reputed their king. In like manner Danaus for pointing out the springs of water that were in Argos, and Atreus for showing the retrograde movement of the sun in the heavens, from being mere soothsayers and diviners, were raised to the dignity of kings. And the priests of the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and Magi, distinguished for their wisdom above those around them, obtained from our predecessors honour and authority; and so it is that in each of the gods, we worship the discoverer of some useful art. Having thus introduced his subject, he does not allow us to consider the account of Aeolus, nor yet the rest of the Odyssey, as altogether mythical. There is a spice of the fabulous here, as well as in the Trojan War, but as respects Sicily, the poet accords entirely with the other historians who have written on the local traditions of Sicily and Italy. He altogether denies the justness of Eratosthenes' dictum, that we may hope to discover the whereabout of Ulysses' wanderings, when we can find the cobbler who sewed up the winds in the leathern sack. And [adds Polybius] his description of the hunt of the galeotes at Scylla, 'Plunged to her middle in the horrid den She lurks, protruding from the black abyss Her heads, with which the ravening monster dives In quest of dolphins, Dogfish, or of prey More bulky, [Od. xii. 95.] accords well with what takes place around Scyllaion: for the tunny-fish, carried in shoals by Italy, and not being able to reach Sicily, fall into [the Strait], where they become the prey of larger fish, such as dolphins, Dogfish, and other cetacea, and it is by this means that the galeotes (which are also called sword-fish) and dogs fatten themselves. For the same thing occurs here, and at the rising of the Nile and other rivers, as takes place when a forest is on fire. Vast crowds of animals, in flying from the fire or the water, become the prey of beasts more powerful than themselves.,16. He then goes on to describe the manner in which they catch the sword-fish at Scyllaion. One look-out directs the whole body of fishers, who are in a vast number of small boats, each furnished with two oars, and two men to each boat. One man rows, the other stands on the prow, spear in hand, while the look-out has to signal the appearance of a sword-fish. (This fish, when swimming, has about a third of its body above water.) As it passes the boat, the fisher darts the spear from his hand, and when this is withdrawn, it leaves the sharp point with which it is furnished sticking in the flesh of the fish: this point is barbed, and loosely fixed to the spear for the purpose; it has a long end fastened to it; this they pay out to the wounded fish, till it is exhausted with its struggling and endeavours at escape. Afterwards they trail it to the shore, or, unless it is too large and full-grown, haul it into the boat. If the spear should fall into the sea, it is not lost, for it is jointed of oak and pine, so that when the oak sinks on account of its weight, it causes the other end to rise, and thus is easily recovered. It sometimes happens that the rower is wounded, even through the boat, and such is the size of the sword with which the galeote is armed, such the strength of the fish, and the method of the capture, that [in danger] it is not surpassed by the chase of the wild boar. From these facts (he says) we may conclude that Ulysses' wanderings were close to Sicily, since Homer describes Scylla as engaging in a pursuit exactly similar to that which is carried on at Scyllaion. As to Charybdis, he describes just what takes place at the Strait of Messina: Each day she thrice disgorges, [Od. xii. 105.] instead of twice, being only a mistake, either of the scribe or the historian.,17. The customs of the inhabitants of Meninx closely correspond to the description of the Lotophagi. If any thing does not correspond, it should be attributed to change, or to misconception, or to poetical licence, which is made up of history, rhetoric, and fiction. Truth is the aim of the historical portion, as for instance in the Catalogue of Ships, where the poet informs us of the peculiarities of each place, that one is rocky, another the furthest city, that this abounds in doves. and that is maritime. A lively interest is the end of the rhetorical, as when he points to us the combat; and of the fiction, pleasure and astonishment. A mere fabrication would neither be persuasive nor Homeric; and we know that his poem is generally considered a scientific treatise, notwithstanding what Eratosthenes may say, when he bids us not to judge poems by the standard of intellect, nor yet look to them for history. It is most probable that the line Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne Athwart the fishy deep, [Od. ix. 82.] should be understood of merely a short distance, (for cruel storms do not blow in a right course,) and not of being carried beyond the ocean, as if impelled by favourable winds. And, says Polybius, allowing the distance from Malea to the Pillars to be 22,500 stadia, and supposing the rate of passage was the same throughout the nine days, the voyage must have been accomplished at the speed of 2500 stadia per diem: now who has ever recorded that the passage from Lycia or Rhodes to Alexandria, a distance of 4000 stadia, has been made in two days? To those who demand how it was that Ulysses, though he journeyed thrice to Sicily, never once navigated the Strait, we reply that, long after his time, voyagers always sedulously avoided that route.,18. Such are the sentiments of Polybius; and in many respects they are correct enough; but when he discusses the voyage beyond the ocean, and enters on minute calculations of the proportion borne by the distance to the number of days, he is greatly mistaken. He alleges perpetually the words of the poet, Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne; but at the same time he takes no notice of this expression, which is his as well, And now borne sea-ward from the river stream Of the Oceanus; and this, In the island of Ogygia, the centre of the sea, and that the daughter of Atlas dwells there. And the following concerning the Phaeacians, Remote amid the billowy deep, we hold Our dwelling, utmost of all human kind, And free from mixture with a foreign race. These passages clearly refer to the Atlantic Ocean, but though so plainly expressed, Polybius slily manages to overlook them. Here he is altogether wrong, though quite correct about the wandering of Ulysses having taken place round Sicily and Italy, a fact which Homer establishes himself. Otherwise, what poet or writer could have persuaded the Neapolitans to assert that they possessed the tomb of Parthenope the Siren, or the inhabitants of Cumae, Dicaearchia, and Vesuvius [to bear their testimony] to Pyriphlegethon, the Marsh of Acherusia, to the oracle of the dead which was near Aornus, and to Baius and Misenus, the companions of Ulysses. The same is the case with the Sirenussae, and the Strait of Messina, and Scylla, and Charybdis, and Aeolus, all which things should neither be examined into too rigorously, nor yet [despised] as groundless and without foundation, alike remote from truth and historic value.,19. Eratosthenes seems to have had something like this view of the case himself, when he says, Any one would believe that the poet intended the western regions as the scene of Ulysses' wanderings, but that he has departed from fact, sometimes through want of perfect information, at other times because he wished to give to scenes a more terrific and marvellous appearance than they actually possessed. So far this is true, but his idea of the object which the poet had in view while composing, is false; real advantage, not trifling, being his aim. We may justly reprehend his assertion on this point, as also where he says, that Homer places the scene of his marvels in distant lands that he may lie the more easily. Remote localities have not furnished him with near so many wonderful narrations as Greece, and the countries thereto adjacent; witness the labours of Hercules, and Theseus, the fables concerning Crete, Sicily, and the other islands; besides those connected with Cithaerum, Helicon, Parnassus, Pelion, and the whole of Attica and the Peloponnesus. Let us not therefore tax the poets with ignorance on account of the myths which they employ, and since, so far from myth being the staple, they for the most part avail themselves of actual occurrences, (and Homer does this in a remarkable degree,) the inquirer who will seek how far these ancient writers have wandered into fiction, ought not to scrutinize to what extent the fiction was carried, but rather what is the truth concerning those places and persons to which the fictions have been applied; for instance, whether the wanderings of Ulysses did actually occur, and where.,20. On the whole, however, it is not proper to place the works of Homer in the common catalogue of other poets, without challenging for him a superiority both in respect of his other [excellences] and also for the geography on which our attention is now engaged. If any one were to do no more than merely read through the Triptolemus of Sophocles, or the prologue to the Bacchae of Euripides, and then compare them with the care taken by Homer in his geographical descriptions, he would at once perceive both the difference and superiority of the latter, for wherever there is necessity for arrangement in the localities he has immortalized, he is careful to preserve it as well in regard to Greece, as to foreign countries. They On the Olympian summit thought to fix Huge Ossa, and on Ossa's towering head Pelion with all his forests. And Juno starting from the Olympian height O'erflew Pieria and the lovely plains Of broad Emathia; soaring thence she swept The snow-clad summit of the Thracian hills Steed-famed, nor printed, as she pass'd, the soil, From Athos the foaming billows borne. In the Catalogue he does not describe his cities in regular order, because here there was no necessity, but both the people and foreign countries he arranges correctly. Having wandered to Cyprus, and Phoenice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians, and Sidonians, and Erembi, and Libya. Hipparchus has drawn attention to this. But the two tragedians where there was great necessity for proper arrangement, one where he introduces Bacchus visiting the nations, the other Triptolemus sowing the earth, have brought in juxta-position places far remote, and separated those which were near. And having left the wealthy lands of the Lydians and Phrygians, and the sunny plains of the Persians and the Bactrian walls, and having come over the stormy land of the Medes, and the Happy Arabia. And the Triptolemus is just as inaccurate. Further, in respect to the winds and climates, Homer shows the wide extent of his geographical knowledge, for in his topographical descriptions he not unfrequently informs us of both these matters. Thus, My abode Is sun-burnt Ithaca. Flat on the deep she lies, farthest removed Toward the west, while situate apart, Her sister islands face the rising day. [Od. ix. 25.] And, It has a two-fold entrance, One towards the north, the other south. [Od. xiii.] 109, 111. And again, Which I alike despise, speed they their course With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east, Or leftward down into the shades of eve. Iliad xii. 239. Ignorance of such matters he reckons no less than confusion. Alas! my friends, for neither west Know we, nor east; where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun. [Od. x. 190.] Where the poet has said properly enough, As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace, Boreas and Zephyrus, Iliad ix.5. Eratosthenes ill-naturedly misrepresents him as saying in an absolute sense, that the west wind blows from Thrace; whereas he is not speaking in an absolute sense at all, but merely of the meeting of contrary winds near the bay of Melas, on the Thracian sea, itself a part of the Aegean. For where Thrace forms a kind of promontory, where it borders on Macedonia, it takes a turn to the south-west, and projects into the ocean, and from this point it seems to the inhabitants of Thasos, Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace, and the surrounding sea, that the west winds blow. So in regard to Attica, they seem to come from the rocks of Sciros, and this is the reason why all the westerly winds, the north-west more particularly, are called the Scirones. Of this Eratosthenes was not aware, though he suspected as much, for it was he who described this bending of the land [towards the south-west] which we have mentioned. But he interprets our poet in an absolute sense, and then taxes him with ignorance, because, says he, Zephyr blows from the west, and off Spain, and Thrace does not extend so far. Does he then think that Homer was not aware that Zephyr came from the west, notwithstanding the careful manner in which he distinguishes its position when he writes as follows: The east, the south, the heavy-blowing Zephyr, And the cold north-wind clear. (Odyssey v. 295). Or was he ignorant that Thrace did not extend beyond the Paeonian and Thessalian mountains. To be sure he was well acquainted with the position of the countries adjoining Thrace in that direction, and does he not mention by name both the maritime and inland districts, and tells us of the Magnetae, the Malians, and other Grecian [territories], all in order, as far as Thesprotis; also of the Dolopes bordering on Paeonia, and the Sellae who inhabit the territory around Dodona as far as the [river] Achelous, but he never mentions Thrace, as being beyond these. He has evidently a predilection for the sea which is nearest to him, and with which he is most familiar, as where he says, Commotion shook The whole assembly, such as heaves the flood Of the Icarian deep. Iliad ii. 144.,21. Some writers tell us there are but two principal winds, the north and south, and that the other winds are only a slight difference in the direction of these two. That is, (supposing only two winds, the north and south,) the south wind from the commencement of the summer quarter blows in a south-easterly direction; and from the commencement of the winter quarter from the east. The north wind from the decline of the summer, blows in a westerly direction, and from the decline of the winter, in a north-westerly direction. In support of this opinion of the two winds they adduce Thrasyalces and our poet himself, forasmuch as he mentions the north-west with the south, From the north-west south, Iliad xi. 306, xxi. 334. and the west with the north, As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace, Boreas and Zephyrus. Iliad ix. 5. But Posidonius remarks that none of those who are really acquainted with these subjects, such as Aristotle, Timosthenes, and Bion the astronomer, entertain so mistaken an opinion in regard to the winds. They say that the north-east (Caecias) blows from the commencement of summer, and that the southwest wind (Libs), which is exactly opposite to this, blows from the decline of winter. And again, the south-east wind (Eurus), which is opposite to the north-west wind (Argestes), from the commencement of winter. The east and west winds being intermediate. When our poet makes use of the expression stormy zephyr, he means the wind which is now called by us the north-west; and by the clear-blowing zephyr our west wind; our Leuconotus is his Argestes-notus, or clearing south wind, for this wind brings but few clouds, all the other southern winds bringing clouds and rain, As when whirlwinds of the west A storm encounter from the clearing south. Iliad xi. 305. Here he alludes to the stormy zephyr, which very frequently scatters the feathery clouds brought up by the Leuconotus, or, as it is called by way of epithet, the clearing south. The statements made by Eratosthenes in the first book of his Geography, require some such correction as this.,22. Persisting in his false views in relation to Homer, he goes on to say, He was ignorant that the Nile separated into many mouths, nay, he was not even acquainted with the name of the river, though Hesiod knew it well, for he even mentions it. In respect of the name, it is probable that it had not then been given to the river, and as to the mouths, if they were obscure and little known, will not every one excuse him for not being aware whether there were several or merely one? At that time, the river, its rising, and its mouths were considered, as they are at the present day, amongst the most remarkable, the most wonderful, and most worthy of recording of all the peculiarities of Egypt: who can suppose that those who told our poet of the country and river of Egypt, of Egyptian Thebes, and of Pharos, were unaware of the many embouchures of the Nile; or that being aware, they would not have described them, were it not that they were too generally known? But is it not inconceivable that Homer should describe Ethiopia, and the Sidonians, the Erembi, and the Exterior Sea, — should tell us that Ethiopia was divided into two parts, and yet nothing about those things which were nearer and better known? Certainly not, his not describing these things is no proof that he was not acquainted with them. He does not tell us of his own country, nor yet many other things. The most probable reason is, they were so generally known that they did not appear to him worth recording.,23. Again, they are entirely wrong when they allege as a mark of Homer's ignorance, that he describes the island of Pharos as entirely surrounded by the sea. On the contrary, it might be taken advantage of as a proof that our poet was not unacquainted with a single one of the points concerning Egypt which we have just been speaking of: and thus we demonstrate it: — Every one is prone to romance a little in narrating his travels, and Menelaus was no exception to the rule. He had been to Ethiopia, and there heard much discussion concerning the sources of the Nile, and the alluvium which it deposited, both along its course, and also at its mouths, and the large additions which it had thereby made to the main-land, so as fully to justify the remark of Herodotus that the whole of Egypt was a gift from the river; or if not the whole, at all events that part of it below the Delta, called Lower Egypt. He had heard too that Pharos was entirely surrounded by sea, and therefore misrepresented it as entirely surrounded by the sea, although it had long ago ceased so to be. Now the author of all this was Homer, and we therefore infer that he was not ignorant concerning either the sources or the mouths of the Nile.,24. They are again mistaken when they say that he was not aware of the isthmus between the sea of Egypt and the Arabian Gulf, and that his description is false, The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those toward the west. [Od. i. 23.] Nevertheless he is correct, and the criticism of the moderns is quite out of place: indeed, there is so little truth in the assertion that Homer was ignorant of this isthmus, that I will venture to affirm he was not only acquainted with it, but has also accurately defined it. But none of the grammarians, not even the chiefs of their number, Aristarchus and Crates, have understood the words of our poet on this subject. For they disagree as to the words which follow this expression of Homer, The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind, These eastward situate, those towards the west, [Od. i. 23.] Aristarchus writing, These towards the west, and those towards the east, and Crates, As well in the west as also in the east. However, in regard to their hypotheses, it makes no difference whether the passage were written this way or that. One of them, in fact, takes what he considers the mathematical view of the case, and says that the torrid zone is occupied by the ocean, and that on each side of this there is a temperate zone, one inhabited by us and another opposite thereto. And as we call the Ethiopians, who are situated to the south, and dwell along the shores of the ocean, the most distant on the face of the inhabited globe; so he supposed that on the other side of the ocean, there were certain Ethiopians dwelling along the shores, who would in like manner be considered the most distant by the inhabitants of the other temperate zone; and thus that the Ethiopians were double, separated into two divisions by the ocean. He adds, as well in the west as also in the east, because as the celestial zodiac always corresponds to the terrestrial, and never exceeds in its obliquity the space occupied by the two Ethiopias, the sun's entire course must necessarily be within this space, and also his rising and setting, as it appears to different nations according to the sign which he may be in. He (Crates) adopted this version, because he considered it the more astronomical. But it would have maintained his opinion of the division of the Ethiopians into two parts, and at the same time have been much more simple, had he said that the Ethiopians dwelt on either side of the ocean from the rising to the setting of the sun. In this case what difference does it make whether we follow his version, or adopt the reading of Aristarchus, These towards the west, and those towards the east? which also means, that whether east or west, on either side of the ocean, Ethiopians dwell. But Aristarchus rejects this hypothesis. He says, The Ethiopians with whom we are acquainted, and who are farthest south from the Greeks, are those described by the poet as being separated into two divisions. But Ethiopia is not so separated as to form two countries, one situated towards the west, the other towards the east, but only one, that which lies south of the Greeks and adjoins Egypt; but of this the poet was ignorant, as well as of other matters enumerated by Apollodorus, which he has falsely stated concerning various places in his second book, containing the catalogue of the ships.,25. To refute Crates would require a lengthened argument, which here perhaps may be considered out of place. Aristarchus we commend for rejecting the hypothesis of Crates, which is open to many objections, and for referring the expression of the poet to our Ethiopia. But the remainder of his statement we must discuss. First, his minute examination of the reading is altogether fruitless, for whichever way it may have been written, his interpretation is equally applicable to both; for what difference is there whether you say thus — In our opinion there are two Ethiopias, one towards the east, the other to the west; or thus — For they are as well towards the east as the west? Secondly, He makes false assumptions. For admitting that the poet was ignorant of the isthmus, and that he alludes to the Ethiopia contiguous to Egypt, when he says, The Ethiopians separated into two divisions; [Od. i. 23.] what then? Are they not separated into two divisions, and could the poet have thus expressed himself if he had been in ignorance? Is not Egypt, nay, are not the Egyptians, separated into two divisions by the Nile from the Delta to Syene, These towards the west, those towards the east? And what else is Egypt, with the exception of the island formed by the river and overflowed by its waters; does it not lie on either side of the river both east and west? Ethiopia runs in the same direction as Egypt, and resembles it both in its position with respect to the Nile, and in its other geographical circumstances. It is narrow, long, and subject to inundation; beyond the reach of this inundation it is desolate and parched, and unfitted for the habitation of man; some districts lying to the east and some to the west of [the river]. How then can we deny that it is separated into two divisions? Shall the Nile, which is looked upon by some people as the proper boundary line between Asia and Libya, and which extends southward in length more than 10,000 stadia, embracing in its breadth islands which contain populations of above ten thousand men, the largest of these being Meroe, the seat of empire and metropolis of the Ethiopians, be regarded as too insignificant to divide Ethiopia into two parts? The greatest obstacle which they who object to the river being made the line of demarcation between the two continents are able to allege, is, that Egypt and Ethiopia are by this means divided, one part of each being assigned to Libya, and the other to Asia, or, if this will not suit, the continents cannot be divided at all, or at least not by the river.,26. But besides these there is another method of dividing Ethiopia. All those who have sailed along the coasts of Libya, whether starting from the Arabian Gulf, or the Pillars, after proceeding a certain distance, have been obliged to turn back again on account of a variety of accidents; and thus originated a general belief that it was divided midway by some isthmus, although the whole of the Atlantic Ocean is confluent, more especially towards the south. Besides, all of these navigators called the final country which they reached, Ethiopia, and described it under that name. Is it therefore at all incredible, that Homer, misled by such reports, separated them into two divisions, one towards the east and the other west, not knowing whether there were any intermediate countries or not? But there is another ancient tradition related by Ephorus, which Homer had probably fallen in with. He tells us it is reported by the Tartessians, that some of the Ethiopians, on their arrival in Libya, penetrated into the extreme west, and settled down there, while the rest occupied the greater part of the sea-coast; and in support of this statement he quotes the passage of Homer, The Ethiopians, the farthest removed of men, separated into two divisions.,27. These and other more stringent arguments may be urged against Aristarchus and those of his school, to clear our poet from the charge of such gross ignorance. I assert that the ancient Greeks, in the same way as they classed all the northern nations with which they were familiar under the one name of Scythians, or, according to Homer, Nomades, and afterwards becoming acquainted with those towards the west, styled them Kelts and Iberians; sometimes compounding the names into Keltiberians, or Keltoscythians, thus ignorantly uniting various distinct nations; so I affirm they designated as Ethiopia the whole of the southern countries towards the ocean. Of this there is evidence, for Aeschylus, in the Prometheus Loosed, thus speaks: There [is] the sacred wave, and the coralled bed of the Erythraean Sea, and [there] the luxuriant marsh of the Ethiopians, situated near the ocean, glitters like polished brass; where daily in the soft and tepid stream, the all-seeing sun bathes his undying self, and refreshes his weary steeds. And as the ocean holds the same position in respect to the sun, and serves the same purpose throughout the whole southern region, he therefore concludes that the Ethiopians inhabited the whole of the region. And Euripides in his Phaeton says that Clymene was given To Merops, sovereign of that land Which from his four-horsed chariot first The rising sun strikes with his golden rays; And which its swarthy neighbours call The radiant stable of the Morn and Sun. Here the poet merely describes them as the common stables of the Morning and of the Sun; but further on he tells us they were near to the dwellings of Merops, and in fact the whole plot of the piece has reference to this. This does not therefore refer alone to the [land] next to Egypt, but rather to the whole southern country extending along the sea-coast.,28. Ephorus likewise shows us the opinion of the ancients respecting Ethiopia, in his Treatise on Europe. He says, If the whole celestial and terrestrial globe were divided into four parts, the Indians would possess that towards the east, the Ethiopians towards the south, the Kelts towards the west, and the Scythians towards the north. He adds that Ethiopia is larger than Scythia; for, says he, it appears that the country of the Ethiopians extends from the rising to the setting of the sun in winter; and Scythia is opposite to it. It is evident this was the opinion of Homer, since he places Ithaca Towards the gloomy region, that is, towards the north, but the others apart, Towards the morning and the sun, by which he means the whole southern hemisphere: and again when he says, speed they their course With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east, Or leftward down into the shades of eve. Iliad xii. 239. And again, Alas! my friends, for neither west Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets The all-enlightening sun. [Od. x. 190.] Which we shall explain more fully when we come to speak of Ithaca. When therefore he says, For to the banks of the Oceanus, Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove, He journey'd yesterday, Iliad i. 423. we should take this in a general sense, and understand by it the whole of the ocean which washes Ethiopia and the southern region, for to whatever part of this region you direct your attention, you will there find both the ocean and Ethiopia. It is in a similar style he says, But Neptune, traversing in his return From Ethiopia's sons the mountain heights Of Solyme, descried him from afar. [Od. v. 282.] which is equal to saying, in his return from the southern regions, meaning by the Solymi, as I remarked before, not those of Pisidia, but certain others merely imaginary, having the same name, and bearing the like relation to the navigators in [Ulysses'] ship, and the southern inhabitants there called Ethiopians, as those of Pisidia do in regard to Pontus and the inhabitants of Egyptian Ethiopia. What he says about the cranes must likewise be understood in a general sense. Such clang is heard Along the skies, when from incessant showers Escaping, and from winter's cold, the cranes Take wing, and over ocean speed away. Woe to the land of dwarfs! prepared they fly For slaughter of the small Pygmaean race. Iliad iii. 3. For it is not in Greece alone that the crane is observed to emigrate to more southern regions, but likewise from Italy and Iberia, from [the shores of] the Caspian, and from Bactriana. But since the ocean extends along the whole southern coast, and the cranes fly to all parts of it indiscriminately at the approach of winter, we must likewise believe that the Pygmies were equally considered to inhabit the whole of it. And if the moderns have confined the term of Ethiopians to those only who dwell near to Egypt, and have also restricted the Pygmies in like manner, this must not be allowed to interfere with the meaning of the ancients. We do not speak of all the people who fought against Troy as merely Achaeans and Argives, though Homer describes the whole under those two names. Similar to this is my remark concerning the separation of the Ethiopians into two divisions, that under that designation we should understand the whole of the nations inhabiting the sea-board from east to west. The Ethiopians taken in this sense are naturally separated into two parts by the Arabian Gulf, which occupies a considerable portion of a meridian circle, and resembles a river, being in length nearly 15,000 stadia, and in breadth not above 1000 at the widest point. In addition to the length, the recess of the Gulf is distant from the sea at Pelusium only three or four days' journey across the isthmus. On this account those who are most felicitous in their division of Asia and Africa, prefer the Gulf as a better boundary line for the two continents than the Nile, since it extends almost entirely from sea to sea, whereas the Nile is so remote from the ocean that it does not by any means divide the whole of Asia from Africa. On this account I believe it was the Gulf which the poet looked upon as dividing into two portions the whole southern regions of the inhabited earth. Is it possible, then, that he was unacquainted with the isthmus which separates this Gulf from the Egyptian Sea?,29. It is quite irrational to suppose that he could be accurately acquainted with Egyptian Thebes, which is separated from our sea by a little less than 5000 stadia; and yet ignorant of the recess of the Arabian Gulf, and of the isthmus there, whose breadth is not more than 1000 stadia. Still more, would it not be ridiculous to believe that Homer was aware the Nile was called by the same name as the vast country [of Egypt], and yet unacquainted with the reason why? Especially since the saying of Herodotus would occur to him, that the country was a gift from the river, and it ought therefore to bear its name. Further, the best known peculiarities of a country are those which have something of the nature of a paradox, and are likely to arrest general attention. Of this kind are the rising of the Nile, and the alluvial deposition at its mouth. There is nothing in the whole country to which travellers in Egypt so immediately direct their inquiries, as the character of the Nile; nor do the inhabitants possess anything else equally wonderful and curious, of which to inform foreigners; for in fact, to give them a description of the river, is to lay open to their view every main characteristic of the country. It is the question put before every other by those who have never seen Egypt themselves. To these considerations we must add Homer's thirst after knowledge, and his delight in visiting foreign lands, (tastes which we are assured both by those who have written histories of his life, and also by innumerable testimonies throughout his own poems, he possessed in an eminent degree,) and we shall have abundant evidence both of the extent of his information, and the felicity with which he described objects he deemed important, and passed over altogether, or with slight allusion, matters which were generally known.,30. These Egyptians and Syrians whom we have been criticising fill one with amazement. They do not understand [Homer], even when he is describing their own countries, but accuse him of ignorance where, as our argument proves, they are open to the charge themselves. Not to mention a thing is clearly no evidence that a person is not acquainted with it. Homer does not tell us of the change in the current of the Euripus, nor of Thermopylae, nor of many other remarkable things well known to the Greeks; but was he therefore unacquainted with them? He describes to us, although these men, who are obstinately deaf, will not hear: they have themselves to blame. Our poet applies to rivers the epithet of heaven-sent. And this not only to mountain torrents, but to all rivers alike, since they are all replenished by the showers. But even what is general becomes particular when it is bestowed on any object par excellence. Heaven-sent, when applied to a mountain torrent, means something else than when it is the epithet of the ever-flowing river; but the force of the term is doubly felt when attributed to the Nile. For as there are hyperboles of hyperboles, for instance, to be lighter than the shadow of a cork, more timid than a Phrygian hare, to possess an estate shorter than a Lacedemonian epistle; so excellence becomes more excellent, when the title of heaven-sent is given to the Nile. The mountain torrent has a better claim to be called heaven-sent than other rivers, but the Nile exceeds the mountain torrents, both in its size and the lengthened period of its overflow. Since, then, the wonders of this river were known to our poet, as we have shown in this defence, when he applies this epithet to the Nile, it must only be understood in the way we have explained. Homer did not think it worth mentioning, especially to those who were acquainted with the fact, that the Nile had many mouths, since this is a common feature of numerous other rivers. Alcaeus does not mention it, although he tells us he had been in Egypt. One might infer the fact of its alluvial deposit, both From the rising [of the river] and what Homer tells us concerning Pharos. For his account, or rather the vulgar report concerning Pharos, that it was distant from the mainland a whole day's voyage, ought not to be looked upon as a downright falsehood. It is clear that Homer was only acquainted with the rising and deposit of the river in a general way, and concluding from what he heard that the island had been further removed in the time of Menelaus from the mainland, than it was in his own, he magnified the distance, simply that he might heighten the fiction. Fictions however are not the offspring of ignorance, as is sufficiently plain from those concerning Proteus, the Pygmies, the efficacy of charms, and many others similar to these fabricated by the poets. They narrate these things not through ignorance of the localities, but for the sake of giving pleasure and enjoyment. But [some one may inquire], how could he describe [Pharos], which is without water as possessed of that necessary? The haven there is good, and many a ship Finds watering there from rivulets on the coast. [Od. iv. 358.] [I answer, ] It is not impossible that the sources of water may since have failed. Besides, he does not say that the water was procured from the island, but that they went thither on account of the safety of the harbour; the water was probably obtained from the mainland, and by the expression the poet seems to admit that what he had before said of its being wholly surrounded by sea was not the actual fact, but a hyperbole or fiction.,31. As his description of the wanderings of Menelaus may seem to authenticate the charge of ignorance made against him in respect to those regions, it will perhaps be best to point out the difficulties of the narrative, and their explanation, and at the same time enter into a fuller defence of our poet. Menelaus thus addresses Telemachus, who is admiring the splendour of his palace: After numerous toils And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep, In the eighth year at last I brought them home. Cyprus, Phoenicia, Sidon, and the shores Of Egypt, roaming without hope, I reach'd, In distant Ethiopia thence arrived, And Libya. [Od. iv. 81.] It is asked, What Ethiopians could he have met with on his voyage from Egypt? None are to be found dwelling by our sea, and with his vessels he could never have reached the cataracts of the Nile. Next, who are the Sidonians? Certainly not the inhabitants of Phoenicia; for leaving mentioned the genus, he would assuredly not particularize the species. And then the Erembi; this is altogether a new name. Our contemporary Aristonicus, the grammarian, in his [observations] on the wanderings of Menelaus, has recorded the opinions of numerous writers on each of the heads under discussion. It will be sufficient for us to refer to them very briefly. They who assert that Menelaus went by sea to Ethiopia, tell us he directed his course past Cadiz into the Indian Ocean; with which, say they, the long duration of his wanderings agrees, since he did not arrive there till the eighth year. Others, that he passed through the isthmus which enters the Arabian Gulf; and others again, through one of the canals. At the same time the idea of this circumnavigation, which owes its origin to Crates, is not necessary; we do not mean it was impossible, (for the wanderings of Ulysses are not impossible,) but neither the mathematical hypothesis, not yet the duration of the wandering, require such an explanation; for he was both retarded against his will by accidents in the voyage, as by [the tempest] which he narrates five only of his sixty ships survived; and also by voluntary delays for the sake of amassing wealth. Nestor says [of him], Thus he, provision gathering as he went, And gold abundant, roam'd to distant lands. [Od. iii. 301.] [And Menelaus himself], Cyprus, Phoenicia, and the Egyptians' land I wandered through. [Od. iv. 83.] As to the navigation of the isthmus, or one of the canals, if it had been related by Homer himself, we should have counted it a myth; but as he does not relate it, we regard it as entirely extravagant and unworthy of belief. We say unworthy of belief, because at the time of the Trojan war no canal was in existence. It is recorded that Sesostris, who had planned the formation of one, apprehending that the level of the sea was too high to admit of it, desisted from the undertaking. Moreover the isthmus itself was not passable for ships, and Eratosthenes is unfortunate in his conjecture, for he considers that the strait at the Pillars was not then formed, so that the Atlantic should by that channel communicate with the Mediterranean, and that this sea being higher than the Isthmus [of Suez], covered it; but when the Strait [of Gibraltar] was formed, the sea subsided considerably; and left the land about Casium and Pelusium dry as far over as the Red Sea. But what account have we of the formation of this strait, supposing it were not in existence prior to the Trojan war? Is it likely that our poet would make Ulysses sail out through the Strait [of Gibraltar] into the Atlantic Ocean, as if that strait already existed, and at the same time describe Menelaus conducting his ships from Egypt to the Red Sea, as if it did not exist. Further, the poet introduces Proteus as saying to him, Thee the gods Have destined to the blest Elysian Isles, Earth's utmost boundaries. [Od. iv. 563.] And what this place was, namely, some far western region, is evident from [the mention of] the Zephyr in connexion with it: But Zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them. [Od. iv. 567.] This, however, is very enigmatical.,32. But if our poet speaks of the Isthmus of Suez as ever having been the strait of confluence between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea s, how much more credit may we attribute to his division of the Ethiopians into two portions, being thus separated by so grand a strait! And what commerce could he have carried on with the Ethiopians who dwelt by the shores of the exterior sea and the ocean? Telemachus and his companions admire the multitude of ornaments that were in the palace, Of gold, electrum, silver, ivory. [Od. iv. 73.] Now the Ethiopians are possessed of none of these productions in any abundance, excepting ivory, being for the most part a needy and nomad race. True, [you say, ] but adjoining them is Arabia, and the whole country as far as India. One of these is distinguished above all other lands by the title of Felix, and the other, though not dignified by that name, is both generally believed and also said to be preeminently Blessed. But [we reply], Homer was not acquainted with India, or he would have described it. And though he knew of the Arabia which is now named Felix, at that time it was by no means wealthy, but a wild country, the inhabitants of which dwelt for the most part in tents. It is only a small district which produces the aromatics from which the whole territory afterwards received its name, owing to the rarity of the commodity amongst us, and the value set upon it. That the Arabians are now flourishing and wealthy is due to their vast and extended traffic, but formerly it does not appear to have been considerable. A merchant or camel-driver might attain to opulence by the sale of these aromatics and similar commodities; but Menelaus could only become so either by plunder, or presents conferred on him by kings and nobles, who had the means at their disposal, and wished to gratify one so distinguished by glory and renown. The Egyptians, it is true, and the neighbouring Ethiopians and Arabians, were not so entirely destitute of the luxuries of civilization, nor so unacquainted with the fame of Agamemnon, especially after the termination of the Trojan war, but that Menelaus might have expected some benefits from their generosity, even as the breastplate of Agamemnon is said to be The gift Of Cinyras long since; for rumour loud Had Cyprus reached. Iliad xi. 20. And we are told that the greater part of his wanderings were in Phoenicia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, around Cyprus, and, in fact, the whole of our coasts and islands. Here, indeed, he might hope to enrich himself both by the gifts of friendship and by violence, and especially by the plunder of those who had been the allies of Troy. They however who dwelt on the exterior ocean, and the distant barbarians, held out no such encouragement: and when Menelaus is said to have been in Ethiopia, it is because he had reached the frontiers of that country next Egypt. But perhaps at that time the frontiers lay more contiguous to Thebes than they do now. At the present day the nearest are the districts adjacent to Syene and Philae, the former town being entirely in Egypt, while Philae is inhabited by a mixed population of Ethiopians and Egyptians. Supposing therefore he had arrived at Thebes, and thus reached the boundary-line of Ethiopia, where he experienced the munificence of the king, we must not be surprised if he is described as having passed through the country. On no better authority Ulysses declares he has been to the land of the Cyclops, although he merely left the sea to enter a cavern which he himself tells us was situated on the very borders of the country: and, in fact, wherever he came to anchor, whether at Aeolia, Laestrygonia, or elsewhere, he is stated to have visited those places. In the same manner Menelaus is said to have been to Ethiopia and Libya, because here and there he touched at those places, and the port near Ardania above Paraetonium is called after him the port of Menelaus.,33. When, after mentioning Phoenicia, he talks of Sidon, its metropolis, he merely employs a common form of expression, for example, He urged the Trojans and Hector to the ships. (Iliad xiii.1) For the sons of magnanimous Oeneus were no more, nor was he himself surviving; moreover, fair-haired Meleager was dead. He came to Ida — and to Gargarus. Iliad viii.47 He possessed Euboea, Chalcis, and Eretria. Iliad ii. 536. Sappho likewise [says], Whether Cyprus, or the well-harboured Paphos. But he had some other cause besides this for mentioning Sidon immediately after having spoken of the Phoenicians: for had he merely desired to recount the nations in order, it would have been quite sufficient to say, Having wandered to Cyprus, Phoenice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians. But that he might record his sojourn amongst the Sidonians, which was considerably prolonged, he thought it well to refer to it repeatedly. Thus he praises their prosperity and skill in the arts, and alludes to the hospitality the citizens had shown to Helen and Alexander. Thus he tells us of the many [treasures]of this nature laid up in store by Alexander. There his treasures lay, Works of Sidonian women, whom her son, The godlike Paris, when he crossed the seas With Jove-begotten Helen, brought to Troy. Iliad vi. 289. And also by Menelaus, who says to Telemachus, 'I give thee this bright beaker, argent all, But round encircled with a lip of gold. It is the work of Vulcan, which to me The hero Phaedimus presented, king Of the Sidonians, when on my return Beneath his roof I lodged. I make it thine.' [Od. xv. 115.] Here the expression, work of Vulcan, must be looked upon as a hyperbole: in the same way all elegant productions are said to be the work of Minerva, of the Graces, or of the Muses. But that the Sidonians were skilful artists, is clear from the praises bestowed [by Homer] on the bowl which Euneos gave in exchange for Lycaon: Earth Own'd not its like for elegance of form. Skilful Sidonian artists had around Embellish'd it, and o'er the sable deep Phoenician merchants into Lemnos' port Had borne it. Iliad xxiii.742.,34. Many conjectures have been hazarded as to who the Erembi were: they who suppose the Arabs are intended, seem to deserve the most credit. Our Zeno reads the passage thus: — I came to the Ethiopians, the Sidonians, and the Arabians. But there is no occasion to tamper with the text, which is of great antiquity; it is a far preferable course to suppose a change in the name itself, which is of frequent and ordinary occurrence in every nation: and in fact certain grammarians establish this view by a comparison of the radical letters. Posidonius seems to me to adopt the better plan after all, in looking for the etymology of names in nations of one stock and community; thus between the Armenians, Syrians, and Arabians there is a strong affinity both in regard to dialect, mode of life, peculiarities of physical conformation, and above all in the contiguity of the countries. Mesopotamia, which is a motley of the three nations, is a proof of this; for the similarity amongst these three is very remarkable. And though in consequence of the various latitudes there may be some difference between those who dwell in the north and those of the south, and again between each of these and the inhabitants of the middle region, still the same characteristics are dominant in all. Also the Assyrians and Arians have a great affinity both to these people and to each other. And [Posidonius] believes there is a similarity in the names of these different nations. Those whom we call Syrians style themselves Armenians and Arammaeans, names greatly like those of the Armenians, Arabs, and Erembi. Perhaps this [last] term is that by which the Greeks anciently designated the Arabs; the etymon of the word certainly strengthens the idea. Many deduce the etymology of the Erembi from ἔραν ἐμβαίνειν, (to go into the earth,) which [they say] was altered by the people of a later generation into the more intelligible name of Troglodytes, by which are intended those Arabs who dwell on that side of the Arabian Gulf next to Egypt and Ethiopia. It is probable then that the poet describes Menelaus as having visited these people in the same way that he says he visited the Ethiopians; for they are likewise near to the Thebaid; and he mentions them not on account of any commerce or gain, (for of these there was not much,) but probably to enhance the length of the journey and his meed of praise: for such distant travelling was highly thought of. For example, — Discover'd various cities, and the mind And manners learn'd of men in lands remote. [Od. i. 3.] And again: After numerous toils And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep, In the eighth year at last I brought them home. [Od. iv. 81.] Hesiod, in his Catalogue, writes, And the daughter of Arabus, whom gracious Hermes and Thronia, descended from king Belus, brought forth. Thus, too, says Stesichorus. Whence it seems that at that time the country was from him named Arabia, though it is not likely this was the case in the heroic period.,35. There are many who would make the Erembi a tribe of the Ethiopians, or of the Cephenes, or again of the Pygmies, and a thousand other fancies. These ought to be regarded with little trust; since their opinion is not only incredible, but they evidently labour under a certain confusion as to the different characters of history and fable. In the same category must be reckoned those who place the Sidonians and Phoenicians in the Persian Gulf, or somewhere else in the Ocean, and make the wanderings of Menelaus to have happened there. Not the least cause for mistrusting these writers is the manner in which they contradict each other. One half would have us believe that the Sidonians are a colony from the people whom they describe as located on the shores of the [Indian] Ocean, and who they say were called Phoenicians from the colour of the Erythraean Sea, while the others declare the opposite. Some again would transport Ethiopia into our Phoenicia, and make Joppa the scene of the adventures of Andromeda; and this not from any ignorance of the topography of those places, but by a kind of mythic fiction similar to those of Hesiod and other writers censured by Apollodorus, who, however, couples Homer with them, without, as it appears, any cause. He cites as instances what Homer relates of the Euxine and Egypt, and accuses him of ignorance for pretending to speak the actual truth, and then recounting fable, all the while ignorantly mistaking it for fact. Will anyone then accuse Hesiod of ignorance on account of his Hemicynes, his Macrocephali, and his Pygmies; or Homer for his like fables, and amongst others the Pygmies themselves; or Alcman for describing the Steganopodes; or Aeschylus for his Cynocephali, Sternophthalmi, and Monommati; when amongst prose writers, and in works bearing the appearance of veritable history, we frequently meet with similar narrations, and that without any admission of their having inserted such myths. Indeed it becomes immediately evident that they have woven together a tissue of myths not through ignorance of the real facts, but merely to amuse by a deceptive narration of the impossible and marvellous. If they appear to do this in ignorance, it is because they can romance more frequently and with greater plausibility on those things which are uncertain and unknown. This Theopompus plainly confesses in the announcement of his intention to relate the fables in his history in a better style than Herodotus, Ctesias, Hellanicus, and those who had written on the affairs of India.,36. Homer has described to us the phenomena of the ocean under the form of a myth; this [art] is very desirable in a poet; the idea of his Charybdis was taken from the ebb and flow of the tide, and was by no means a pure invention of his own, but derived from what he knew concerning the Strait of Sicily. And although he states that the ebb and flow occurred thrice during the four and twenty hours, instead of twice, (Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day Thrice swallows it) we must suppose that he said this not through any ignorance of the fact, but for tragic effect, and to excite the fear which Circe endeavours to infuse into her arguments to deter Ulysses from departing, even at a little expense of truth. The following is the language Circe makes use of in her speech to him: Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day Thrice swallows it. Ah! well-forewarn'd beware What time she swallows, that thou come not nigh, For not himself, Neptune, could snatch thee thence. [Od. xii. 105.] And yet when Ulysses was ingulfed in the eddy he was not lost. He tells us himself, 'It was the time when she absorb'd profound The briny flood, but by a wave upborne, I seized the branches fast of the wild fig, To which bat-like I clung. And then having waited for the timbers of the wreck he seized hold of them, and thus saved himself. Circe, therefore, had exaggerated both the peril, and also the fact of its vomiting forth thrice a day instead of twice. However, this latter is a hyperbole which every one makes use of; thus we say thricehappy and thrice-miserable. So the poet, Thrice-happy Greeks! [Od. v. 306.] Again, O delightful, thrice-wished for! Iliad viii. 488. And again, O thrice and four times. Iliad iii. 363. Any one, too, might conclude from the passage itself that Homer even here hinted at the truth, for the long time which the remains of the wreck lay under water, which Ulysses, who was all the while hanging suspended to the branches, so anxiously desired to rise, accords much better with the ebb and flow taking place but twice during the night and day instead of thrice. Therefore hard I clench'd the boughs, till she disgorged again Both keel and mast. Not undesired by me They came, though late; for at what hour the judge, After decision made of numerous strifes Between young candidates for honour, leaves The forum, for refreshment's sake at home, Then was it that the mast and keel emerged. [Od. xii. 437.] Every word of this indicates a considerable length of time, especially when he prolongs it to the evening, not merely saying at that time when the judge has risen, but having adjudicated on a vast number of cases, and therefore detained longer than usual. Otherwise his account of the return of the wreck would not have appeared likely, if he had brought it back again with the return of the wave, before it had been first carried a long way off.,37. Apollodorus, who agrees with Eratosthenes, throws much blame upon Callimachus for asserting, in spite of his character as a grammarian, that Gaudus and Corcyra were among the scenes of Ulysses' wandering, such an opinion being altogether in defiance of Homer's statement, and his description of the places as situated in the exterior ocean. This criticism is just if we suppose the wandering to have never actually occurred, and to be merely the result of Homer's imagination; but if it did take place, although in other regions, Apollodorus ought plainly to have stated which they were, and thus set right the mistake of Callimachus. Since, however, after such evidence as we have produced, we cannot believe the whole account to be a fiction, and since no other more likely places have as yet been named, we hold that the grammarian is absolved from blame.,38. Demetrius of Skepsis is also wrong, and, in fact, the cause of some of the mistakes of Apollodorus. He eagerly objects to the statement of Neanthes of Cyzicus, that the Argonauts, when they sailed to the Phasis, instituted at Cyzicus the rites of the Idaean Mother. Though their voyage is attested both by Homer and other writers, he denies that Homer had any knowledge whatever of the departure of Jason to the Phasis. In so doing, he not only contradicts the very words of Homer, but even his own assertions. The poet informs us that Achilles, having ravaged Lesbos and other districts, spared Lemnos and the adjoining islands, on account of his relationship with Jason and his son Euneos, who then had possession of the island. How should he know of a relationship, identity of race, or other connexion existing between Achilles and Jason, which, after all, was nothing else than that they were both Thessalians, one being of Iolcos, the other of the Achaean Phthiotis, and yet was not aware how it happened that Jason, who was a Thessalian of Iolcos, should leave no descendants in the land of his nativity, but establish his son as ruler of Lemnos? Homer then was familiar with the history of Pelias and the daughters of Pelias, of Alcestis, who was the most charming of them all, and of her son Eumelus, whom Alcestis, praised For beauty above all her sisters fair, In Thessaly to king Admetus bore, Iliad ii. 714. and was yet ignorant of all that befell Jason, and Argo, and the Argonauts, matters on the actual occurrence of which all the world is agreed. The tale then of their voyage in the ocean from Aeeta, was a mere fiction, for which he had no authority in history.,39. If, however, the expedition to the Phasis, fitted out by Pelias, its return, and the conquest of several islands, have at the bottom any truth whatever, as all say they have, so also has the account of their wanderings, no less than those of Ulysses and Menelaus; monuments of the actual occurrence of which remain to this day elsewhere than in the writings of Homer. The city of Aea, close by the Phasis, is still pointed out. Aeetes is generally believed to have reigned in Colchis, the name is still common throughout the country, tales of the sorceress Medea are yet abroad, and the riches of the country in gold, silver, and iron, proclaim the motive of Jason's expedition, as well as of that which Phrixus had formerly undertaken. Traces both of one and the other still remain. Such is Phrixium, midway between Colchis and Iberia, and the Jasonia, or towns of Jason, which are everywhere met with in Armenia, Media, and the surrounding countries. Many are the witnesses to the reality of the expeditions of Jason and Phrixus at Sinope and its shore, at Propontis, at the Hellespont, and even at Lemnos. Of Jason and his Colchian followers there are traces even as far as Crete, Italy, and the Adriatic. Callimachus himself alludes to it where he says, Aigleten Anaphe, Near to Laconian Thera. In the verses which commence, I sing how the heroes from Cytaean Aeeta, Return'd again to ancient Aemonia. And again concerning the Colchians, who, Ceasing to plough with oars the Illyrian Sea,Near to the tomb of fair Harmonia,Who was transform'd into a dragon's shape,Founded their city, which a Greek would callThe Town of Fugitives, but in their tongueIs Pola named. Some writers assert that Jason and his companions sailed high up the Ister, others say he sailed only so far as to be able to gain the Adriatic: the first statement results altogether from ignorance; the second, which supposes there is a second Ister having its source from the larger river of the same name, and discharging its waters into the Adriatic, is neither incredible nor even improbable.,40. Starting from these premises, the poet, in conformity both with general custom and his own practice, narrates some circumstances as they actually occurred, and paints others in the colours of fiction. He follows history when he tells us of Aeetes and Jason also, when he talks of Argo, and on the authority of [the actual city of Aea], feigns his city of Aeaea, when he settles Euneos in Lemnos, and makes that island friendly to Achilles, and when, in imitation of Medea, he makes the sorceress Circe Sister by birth of the all-wise Aeetes, [Od. x. 137.] he adds the fiction of the entrance of the Argonauts into the exterior ocean as the sequel to their wanderings on their return home. Here, supposing the previous statements admitted, the truth of the phrase the renowned Argo, is evident, since, in that case, the expedition was directed to a populous and well-known country. But if, as [Demetrius] the Skepsian asserts, on the authority of Mimnermus, Aeetes dwelt by the Ocean, and Jason was sent thither far east by Pelias, to bring back the fleece, it neither seems probable that such an expedition would have been undertaken into unknown and obscure countries after the Fleece, nor could a voyage to lands desert, uninhabited, and so far remote from us, be considered either glorious or renowned. [Here follow the words of Demetrius.] Nor as yet had Jason, having accomplished the arduous journey, carried off the splendid fleece from Aea, fulfilling the dangerous mission of the insolent Pelias, nor had they ploughed the glorious wave of the ocean. And again: The city of Aeetes, where the rays of the swift sun recline on their golden bed by the shore of the ocean, which the noble Jason visited.,1. ERATOSTHENES is guilty of another fault in so frequently referring to the works of men beneath his notice, sometimes for the purpose of refuting them; at others, when he agrees with them, in order to cite them as authorities. I allude to Damastes, and such as him, who even when they speak the truth, are utterly unworthy of being appealed to as authorities, or vouchers for the credibility of a statement. For such purposes the writings of trustworthy men should only be employed, who have accurately described much; and though perhaps they may have omitted many points altogether, and barely touched on others, are yet never guilty of wilfully falsifying their statements. To cite Damastes as an authority is little better than to quote the Bergaean, or Euemerus the Messenian, and those other scribblers whom Eratosthenes himself sneers at for their absurdities. Why, he even points out as one of the follies of this Damastes, his observation that the Arabian Gulf was a lake; likewise the statement that Diotimus, the son of Strombicus and chief of the Athenian legation, sailed through Cilicia up the Cydnus into the river Choaspes, which flows by Susa, and so arrived at that capital after forty days' journey. This particular he professes to state on the authority of Diotimus himself, and then expresses his wonder whether the Cydnus could actually cross the Euphrates and Tigris in order to disgorge itself into the Choaspes.,2. However, this is not all we have to say against him. Of many places he tells us that nothing is known, when in fact they have every one been accurately described. Then he warns us to be very cautious in believing what we are told on such matters, and endeavours by long and tedious arguments to show the value of his advice; swallowing at the same time the most ridiculous absurdities himself concerning the Euxine and Adriatic. Thus he believed the Gulf of Issos to be the most easterly point of the Mediterranean, though Dioscurias, which is nearly at the bottom of the Pontus Euxinus, is, according to his own calculations, farther east by a distance of 3000 stadia. In describing the northern and farther parts of the Adriatic he cannot refrain from similar romancing, and gives credit to many strange narrations concerning what lies beyond the Pillars of Hercules, informing us of an Isle of Kerne there, and other places now nowhere to be found, which we shall speak of presently. Having remarked that the ancients, whether out on piratical excursions, or for the purposes of commerce, never ventured into the high seas, but crept along the coast, and instancing Jason, who leaving his vessels at Colchis penetrated into Armenia and Media on foot, he proceeds to tell us that formerly no one dared to navigate either the Euxine or the seas by Libya, Syria, and Cilicia. If by formerly he means periods so long past that we possess no record of them, it is of little consequence to us whether they navigated those seas or not, but if [he speaks] of times of which we know any thing, and if we are to place any trust in the accounts which have come down to us, every one will admit that the ancients appear to have made longer journeys both by sea and land than their successors; witness Bacchus, Hercules, nay Jason himself, and again Ulysses and Menelaus, of whom Homer tells us. It seems most probable that Theseus and Pirithous are indebted to some long voyages for the credit they afterwards obtained of having visited the infernal regions; and in like manner the Dioscuri gained the appellation of guardians of the sea, and the deliverers of sailors. The sovereignty of the seas exercised by Minos, and the navigation carried on by the Phoenicians, is well known. A little after the period of the Trojan war they had penetrated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and founded cities as well there as to the midst of the African coast. Is it not correct to number amongst the ancients Aeneas, Antenor, the Heneti, and all the crowd of warriors, who, after the destruction of Troy, wandered over the face of the whole earth? For at the conclusion of the war both the Greeks and Barbarians found themselves deprived, the one of their livelihood at home, the other of the fruits of their expedition; so that when Troy was overthrown, the victors, and still more the vanquished, who had survived the conflict, were compelled by want to a life of piracy; and we learn that they became the founders of many cities along the sea-coast beyond Greece, besides several inland settlements.,3. Again, having discoursed on the advance of knowledge respecting the Geography of the inhabited earth, between the time of Alexander and the period when he was writing, Eratosthenes goes into a description of the figure of the earth; not merely of the habitable earth, an account of which would have been very suitable, but of the whole earth, which should certainly have been given too, but not in this disorderly manner. He proceeds to tell us that the earth is spheroidal, not however perfectly so, inasmuch as it has certain irregularities, he then enlarges on the successive changes of its form, occasioned by water, fire, earthquakes, eruptions, and the like; all of which is entirely out of place, for the spheroidal form of the whole earth is the result of the system of the universe, and the phenomena which he mentions do not in the least change its general form; such little matters being entirely lost in the great mass of the earth. Still they cause various peculiarities in different parts of our globe, and result from a variety of causes.,4. He points out as a most interesting subject for disquisition the fact of our finding, often quite inland, two or three thousand stadia from the sea, vast numbers of muscle, oyster, and scallop-shells, and salt-water lakes. He gives as an instance, that about the sanctuary of Ammon, and along the road to it for the space of 3000 stadia, there are yet found a vast amount of oyster shells, many salt-beds, and salt springs bubbling up, besides which are pointed out numerous fragments of wreck which they say have been cast up through some opening, and dolphins placed on pedestals with the inscription, Of the delegates from Cyrene. Herein he agrees with the opinion of Strato the natural philosopher, and Xanthus of Lydia. Xanthus mentioned that in the reign of Artaxerxes there was so great a drought, that every river, lake, and well was dried up: and that in many places he had seen a long way from the sea fossil shells, some like cockles, others resembling scallop shells, also salt lakes in Armenia, Matiana, and Lower Phrygia, which induced him to believe that sea had formerly been where the land now was. Strato, who went more deeply into the causes of these phenomena, was of opinion that formerly there was no exit to the Euxine as now at Byzantium, but that the rivers running into it had forced a way through, and thus let the waters escape into the Propontis, and thence to the Hellespont. And that a like change had occurred in the Mediterranean. For the sea being overflowed by the rivers, had opened for itself a passage by the Pillars of Hercules, and thus, much that was formerly covered by water, had been left dry. He gives as the cause of this, that anciently the levels of the Mediterranean and Atlantic were not the same, and states that a bank of earth, the remains of the ancient separation of the two seas, is still stretched under water from Europe to Africa. He adds, that the Euxine is the most shallow, and the seas of Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia much deeper, which is occasioned by the number of large rivers flowing into the Euxine both from the north and east, and so filling it up with mud, whilst the others preserve their depth. This is the cause of the remarkable sweetness of the Euxine Sea, and of the currents which regularly set towards the deepest part. He gives it as his opinion, that should the rivers continue to flow in the same direction, the Euxine will in time be filled up [by the deposits], since already the left side of the sea is little else than shallows, as also Salmydessus, and the shoals at the mouth of the Ister, and the desert of Scythia, which the sailors call the Breasts. Probably too the sanctuary of Ammon was originally close to the sea, though now, by the continual deposit of the waters, it is quite inland: and he conjectures that it was owing to its being so near the sea that it became so celebrated and illustrious, and that it never would have enjoyed the credit it now possesses had it always been equally remote from the sea. Egypt too [he says] was formerly covered by sea as far as the marshes near Pelusium, Mount Casius, and the Lake Sirbonis. Even at the present time, when salt is being dug in Egypt, the beds are found under layers of sand and mingled with fossil shells, as if this district had formerly been under water, and as if the whole region about Casium and Gerrha had been shallows reaching to the Arabian Gulf. The sea afterwards receding left the land uncovered, and the Lake Sirbonis remained, which having afterwards forced itself a passage, became a marsh. In like manner the borders of the Lake Moeris resemble a sea-beach rather than the banks of a river. Every one will admit that formerly at various periods a great portion of the mainland has been covered and again left bare by the sea. Likewise that the land now covered by the sea is not all on the same level, any more than that whereon we dwell; which is now uncovered and has experienced so many changes, as Eratosthenes has observed. Consequently in the reasoning of Xanthus there does not appear to be any thing out of place.,5. In regard to Strato, however, we must remark that, leaving out of the question the many arguments he has properly stated, some of those which he has brought forward are quite inadmissible. For first he is inaccurate in stating that the beds of the interior and the exterior seas have not the same level, and that the depth of those two seas is different: whereas the cause why the sea is at one time raised, at another depressed, that it inundates certain places and again retreats, is not that the beds have different levels, some higher and some lower, but simply this, that the same beds are at one time raised, at another depressed, causing the sea to rise or subside with them; for having risen they cause an inundation, and when they subside the waters return to their former places. For if it is so, an inundation will of course accompany every sudden increase of the waters of the sea, [as in the spring-tides, ] or the periodical swelling of rivers, in the one instance the waters being brought together from distant parts of the ocean, in the other, their volume being increased. But the risings of rivers are not violent and sudden, nor do the tides continue any length of time, nor occur irregularly; nor yet along the coasts of our sea do they cause inundations, nor any where else. Consequently we must seek for an explanation of the cause either in the stratum composing the bed of the sea, or in that which is overflowed; we prefer to look for it in the former, since by reason of its humidity it is more liable to shiftings and sudden changes of position, and we shall find that in these matters the wind is the great agent after all. But, I repeat it, the immediate cause of these phenomena, is not in the fact of one part of the bed of the ocean being higher or lower than another, but in the upheaving or depression of the strata on which the waters rest. Strato's hypothesis evidently originated in the belief that that which occurs in rivers is also the case in regard to the sea; viz. that there is a flow of water from the higher places. Otherwise he would not have attempted to account for the current he observed at the Strait of Byzantium in the manner he does, attributing it to the bed of the Euxine being higher than that of the Propontis and adjoining ocean, and even attempting to explain the cause thereof: viz. that the bed of the Euxine is filled up and choked by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it; and its waters in consequence driven out into the neighbouring sea. The same theory he would apply in respect to the Mediterranean and Atlantic, alleging that the bed of the former is higher than that of the latter, in consequence of the number of rivers which flow into it, and the alluvium they carry along with them. In that case there ought to be a like influx at the Pillars and Calpe, as there is at Byzantium. But I waive this objection, as it might be asserted that the influx was the same in both places, but owing to the interference of the ebb and flow of the sea, became imperceptible.,6. I rather make this inquiry: — If there were any reason why, before the outlet was opened at Byzantium, the bed of the Euxine (being deeper than either that of the Propontis or of the adjoining sea) should not gradually have become more shallow by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it, allowing it formerly either to have been a sea, or merely a vast lake greater than the Palus Maeotis? This proposition being conceded, I would next ask, whether before this the bed of the Euxine would not have been brought to the same level as the Propontis, and in that case, the pressure being counterpoised, the overflowing of the water have been thus avoided; and if after the Euxine had been filled up, the superfluous waters would not naturally have forced a passage and flowed off, and by their commingling and power have caused the Euxine and Propontis to flow into each other, and thus become one sea? no matter, as I said above, whether formerly it were a sea or a lake, though latterly certainly a sea. This also being conceded, they must allow that the present efflux depends neither upon the elevation nor the inclination of the bed, as Strato's theory would have us consider it.,7. We would apply the same arguments to the whole of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, and account for the efflux of the former, not by any [supposed] difference between the elevation and inclination of its bed and of that of the Atlantic, but attribute it to the number of rivers which empty themselves into it. Since, according to this supposition, it is not incredible that, had the whole of the Mediterranean Sea in times past been but a lake filled by the rivers, and having overflowed, it might have broken through the Strait at the Pillars, as through a cataract; and still continuing to swell more and more, the Atlantic in course of time would have become confluent by that channel, and have run into one level, the Mediterranean thus becoming a sea. In fine, the Physician did wrong in comparing the sea to rivers, for the latter are borne down as a descending stream, but the sea always maintains its level. The currents of straits depend upon other causes, not upon the accumulation of earth formed by the alluvial deposit from rivers, filling up the bed of the sea. This accumulation only goes on at the mouths of rivers. Such are what are called the Stethe or Breasts at the mouth of the Ister, the desert of the Scythians, and Salmydessus, which are partially occasioned by other winter-torrents as well; witness the sandy, low, and even coast of Colchis, at the mouth of the Phasis, the whole of the coast of Themiscyra, named the plain of the Amazons, near the mouths of the Thermodon and Iris, and the greater part of Sidene. It is the same with other rivers, they all resemble the Nile in forming an alluvial deposit at their mouths, some more, some less than others. Those rivers which carry but little soil with them deposit least, while others, which traverse an extended and soft country, and receive many torrents in their course, deposit the greatest quantity. Such for example is the river Pyramus, by which Cilicia has been considerably augmented, and concerning which an oracle has declared, This shall occur when the wide waters of the Pyramus have enlarged their banks as far as sacred Cyprus. This river becomes navigable from the middle of the plains of Cataonia, and entering Cilicia by the defiles of the Taurus, discharges itself into the sea which flows between that country and the island of Cyprus.,8. These river deposits are prevented from advancing further into the sea by the regularity of the ebb and flow, which continually drive them back. For after the manner of living creatures, which go on inhaling and exhaling their breath continually, so the sea in a like way keeps up a constant motion in and out of itself. Any one may observe who stands on the sea-shore when the waves are in motion, the regularity with which they cover, then leave bare, and then again cover up his feet. This agitation of the sea produces a continual movement on its surface, which even when it is most tranquil has considerable force, and so throws all extraneous matters on to the land, and Flings forth the salt weed on the shore. Iliad ix. 7. This effect is certainly most considerable when the wind is on the water, but it continues when all is hushed, and even when it blows from land the swell is still carried to the shore against the wind, as if by a peculiar motion of the sea itself. To this the verses refer — O'er the rocks that breast the flood Borne turgid, scatter far the showery spray, Iliad iv. 425. and, Loud sounds the roar of waves ejected wide. Iliad xvii. 265.,9. The wave, as it advances, possesses a kind of power, which some call the purging of the sea, to eject all foreign substances. It is by this force that dead bodies and wrecks are cast on shore. But on retiring it does not possess sufficient power to carry back into the sea either dead bodies, wood, or even the lightest substances, such as cork, which may have been cast out by the waves. And by this means when places next the sea fall down, being undermined by the wave, the earth and the water charged with it are cast back again; and the weight [of the mud] working at the same time in conjunction with the force of the advancing tide, it is the sooner brought to settle at the bottom, instead of being carried out far into the sea. The force of the river current ceases at a very little distance beyond its mouth. Otherwise, supposing the rivers had an uninterrupted flow, by degrees the whole ocean would be filled in from the beach onwards, by the alluvial deposits. And this would be inevitable even were the Euxine deeper than the sea of Sardinia, than which a deeper sea has never been sounded, measuring, as it does, according to Posidonius, about 1000 fathoms.,10. Some, however, may be disinclined to admit this explanation, and would rather have proof from things more manifest to the senses, and which seem to meet us at every turn. Now deluges, earthquakes, eruptions of wind, and risings in the bed of the sea, these things cause the rising of the ocean, as sinking of the bottom causes it to become lower. It is not the case that small volcanic or other islands can be raised up from the sea, and not large ones, nor that all islands can, but not continents, since extensive sinkings of the land no less than small ones have been known; witness the yawning of those chasms which have ingulfed whole districts no less than their cities, as is said to have happened to Bura, Bizone, and many other towns at the time of earthquakes: and there is no more reason why one should rather think Sicily to have been disjoined from the main-land of Italy than cast up from the bottom of the sea by the fires of Aetna, as the Lipari and Pithecussan Isles have been.,11. However, so nice a fellow is Eratosthenes, that though he professes himself a mathematician, he rejects entirely the dictum of Archimedes, who, in his work On Bodies in Suspension, says that all liquids when left at rest assume a spherical form, having a centre of gravity similar to that of the earth. A dictum which is acknowledged by all who have the slightest pretensions to mathematical sagacity. He says that the Mediterranean, which, according to his own description, is one entire sea, has not the same level even at points quite close to each other; and offers us the authority of engineers for this piece of folly, notwithstanding the affirmation of mathematicians that engineering is itself only one division of the mathematics. He tells us that Demetrius intended to cut through the Isthmus of Corinth, to open a passage for his fleet, but was prevented by his engineers, who, having taken measurements, reported that the level of the sea at the Gulf of Corinth was higher than at Cenchreae, so that if he cut through the isthmus, not only the coasts near Aigina, but even Aigina itself, with the neighbouring islands, would be laid completely under water, while the passage would prove of little value. According to Eratosthenes, it is this which occasions the current in straits, especially the current in the Strait of Sicily, where effects similar to the flow and ebb of the tide are remarked. The current there changes twice in the course of a day and night, like as in that period the tides of the sea flow and ebb twice. In the Tyrrhenian sea the current which is called descendent, and which runs towards the sea of Sicily, as if it followed an inclined plane, corresponds to the flow of the tide in the ocean. We may remark, that this current corresponds to the flow both in the time of its commencement and cessation. For it commences at the rising and setting of the moon, and recedes when that satellite attains its meridian, whether above [in the zenith] or below the earth [in the nadir]. In the same way occurs the opposite or ascending current, as it is called. It corresponds to the ebb of the ocean, and commences as soon as the moon has reached either zenith or nadir, and ceases the moment she reaches the point of her rising or setting. [So far Eratosthenes.],12. The nature of the ebb and flow has been sufficiently treated of by Posidonius and Athenodorus. Concerning the flux and reflux of the currents, which also may be explained by physics, it will suffice our present purpose to observe, that in the various straits these do not resemble each other, but each strait has its own peculiar current. Were they to resemble each other,. the current at the Strait of Sicily would not change merely twice during the day, (as Eratosthenes himself tells us it does,) and at Chalcis seven times; nor again that of Constantinople, which does not change at all, but runs always in one direction from the Euxine to the Propontis, and, as Hipparchus tells us, sometimes ceases altogether. However, if they did all depend on one cause, it would not be that which Eratosthenes has assigned, namely, that the various seas have different levels. The kind of inequality he supposes would not even be found in rivers only for the cataracts; and where these cataracts occur, they occasion no ebbing, but have one continued downward flow, which is caused by the inclination both of the flow and the surface; and therefore though they have no flux or reflux they do not remain still, on account of a principle of flowing which is inherent in them; at the same time they cannot be on the same level, but one must be higher and one lower than another. But who ever imagined the surface of the ocean to be on a slope, especially those who follow a system which supposes the four bodies we call elementary, to be spherical. For water is not like the earth, which being of a solid nature is capable of permanent depressions and risings, but by its force of gravity spreads equally over the earth, and assumes that kind of level which Archimedes has assigned it.,13. To what we cited before concerning the sanctuary of Ammon and Egypt, Eratosthenes adds, that to judge from appearances, Mount Casius was formerly covered by sea, and the whole district now known as Gerra lay under shoal water touching the bay of the Erythraean Sea, but was left dry on the union of the [Mediterranean] Sea [with the ocean]. A certain amphibology lurks here under this description of the district lying under shoal water and touching the bay of the Erythraean Sea; for to touch both means to be close to, and also to be in actual contact with, so that when applied to water it would signify that one flows into the other. I understand him to mean, that so long as the strait by the Pillars of Hercules remained closed, these marshes covered with shoalwater extended as far as the Arabian Gulf, but on that passage being forced open, the Mediterranean, discharging itself by the strait, became lower, and the land was left dry. On the other hand, Hipparchus understands by the term touching, that the Mediterranean, being over-full, flowed into the Erythraean Sea, and he inquires how it could happen, that as the Mediterranean flowed out by this new vent at the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythraean Sea, which was all one with it, did not flow away too, and thus become lower, but has always retained the same level? and since Eratosthenes supposes the whole exterior sea to be confluent, it follows that the Western Ocean and the Erythraean Sea are all one; and thus [remarks Hipparchus] as a necessary consequence, the sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythraean Sea, and that also which is confluent with it, have all the same level.,14. But, Eratosthenes would reply, I never said that, in consequence of the repletion of the Mediterranean, it actually flowed into the Erythraean Sea, but only that it approached very near thereto: besides, it does not follow, that in one and the self-same sea, the level of its surface must be all the same; to instance the Mediterranean itself, no one, surely, will say it is of the same height at Lechaion and at Cenchreae. This answer Hipparchus anticipated in his Critique; and being aware of the opinion of Eratosthenes, was justified in attacking his arguments. But he ought not to have taken it for granted, that when Eratosthenes said the exterior sea was all one, he necessarily implied that its level was every where the same.,15. Hipparchus rejects as false the [account] of the inscription on the dolphins by the delegates from Cyrene, but the reason he assigns for this is insufficient, viz. that though Cyrene was built in times of which we have record, no one mentions the oracle, as being situated on the sea-shore. But what matters it that no historian has recorded this, when amongst the other proofs from which we infer that this place was formerly on the sea-shore, we number this of the dolphins which were set up, and the inscription, by the delegates from Cyrene? Hipparchus agrees that if the bottom of the sea were raised up, it would lift the water with it, and might therefore overflow the land as far as the locality of the oracle, or more than 3000 stadia from the shore; but he will not allow that the rising would be sufficient to overflow the Island of Pharos and the major portion of Egypt, since [he says] the elevation would not be sufficient to submerge these. He alleges that if before the opening of the passage at the Pillars of Hercules, the Mediterranean had been swollen to such an extent as Eratosthenes affirms, the whole of Libya, and the greater part of Europe and Asia, must long ago have been buried beneath its waves. Besides, he adds, in this case the Euxine would in certain places have been connected with the Adriatic, since in the vicinity of the Euxine, [near to its source,) the Ister is divided in its course, and flows into either sea, owing to the peculiarities of the ground. To this we object, that the Ister does not take its rise at all in the vicinity of the Euxine, but, on the contrary, beyond the mountains of the Adriatic; neither does it flow into both the seas, but into the Euxine alone, and only becomes divided just above its mouths. This latter, however, was an error into which he fell in common with many of his predecessors. They supposed that there was another river in addition to the former Ister, bearing the same name, which emptied itself into the Adriatic, and from which the country of Istria, through which it flowed, gained that appellation. It was by this river they believed Jason returned on his voyage from Colchis.,16. In order to lessen surprise at such changes as we have mentioned as causes of the inundations and other similar phenomena which are supposed to have produced Sicily, the islands of Aeolus, and the Pithecussae, it may be as well to compare with these others of a similar nature, which either now are, or else have been observed in other localities. A large array of such facts placed at once before the eye would serve to allay our astonishment; while that which is uncommon startles our perception, and manifests our general ignorance of the occurrences which take place in nature and physical existence. For instance, supposing any one should narrate the circumstances concerning Thera and the Therasian Islands, situated in the strait between Crete and the Cyrenaic, Thera being itself the metropolis of Cyrene; or those [in connexion with] Egypt, and many parts of Greece. For midway between Thera and Therasia flames rushed forth from the sea for the space of four days; causing the whole of it to boil and be all on fire; and after a little an island twelve stadia in circumference, composed of the burning mass, was thrown up, as if raised by machinery. After the cessation of this phenomenon, the Rhodians, then masters of the sea, were the first who dared to sail to the place, and they built there on the island a sanctuary to the Asphalian Neptune. Posidonius remarks, that during an earthquake which occurred in Phoenicia, a city situated above Sidon was swallowed up, and that nearly two-thirds of Sidon also fell, but not suddenly, and therefore with no great loss of life. That the same occurred, though in a lighter form, throughout nearly the whole of Syria, and was felt even in some of the Cyclades and the Island of Euboea, so that the fountains of Arethusa, a spring in Chalcis, were completely obstructed, and after some time forced for themselves another opening, and the whole island ceased not to experience shocks until a chasm was rent open in the earth in the plain of Lelanto, from which poured a river of burning mud.,17. Many writers have recorded similar occurrences, but it will suffice us to narrate those which have been collected by Demetrius of Skepsis. Apropos of that passage of Homer: — And now they reach'd the running rivulets clear, Where from Scamander's dizzy flood arise Two fountains, tepid one, from which a smoke Issues voluminous as from a fire, The other, even in summer heats, like hail For cold, or snow, or crystal stream frost-bound: Iliad xxii. 147. this writer tells us we must not be surprised, that although the cold spring still remains, the hot cannot be discovered; and says we must reckon the failing of the hot spring as the cause. He goes on to relate certain catastrophes recorded by Democles, how formerly in the reign of Tantalus there were great earthquakes in Lydia and Ionia as far as the Troad, which swallowed up whole villages and overturned Mount Sipylus; marshes then became lakes, and the city of Troy was covered by the waters. Pharos, near Egypt, which anciently was an island, may now be called a peninsula, and the same may be said of Tyre and Clazomenae. During my stay at Alexandria in Egypt the sea rose so high near Pelusium and Mount Casius as to overflow the land, and convert the mountain into an island, so that a journey from Casius into Phoenicia might have been undertaken by water. We should not be surprised therefore if in time to come the isthmus which separates the Egyptian sea from the Erythraean Sea, should part asunder or subside, and becoming a strait, connect the outer and inner seas, similarly to what has taken place at the strait of the Pillars. At the commencement of this work will be found some other narrations of a similar kind, which should be considered at the same time, and which will greatly tend to strengthen our belief both in these works of nature and also in its other changes.,18. The Piraeus having been formerly an island, and lying πέραν, or off the shore, is said to have thus received its name. Leucas, on the contrary, has been made an island by the Corinthians, who cut through the isthmus which connected it with the shore [of the mainland]. It is concerning this place that Laertes is made to say, Oh that I possessed Such vigour now as when in arms I took Nericus, continental city fair. Here man devoted his labour to make a separation, in other instances to the construction of moles and bridges. Such is that which connects the island opposite to Syracuse with the mainland. This junction is now effected by means of a bridge, but formerly, according to Ibycus, by a pier of picked stones, which he calls elect. Of Bura and Helice, one has been swallowed by an earthquake, the other covered by the waves. Near to Methone, which is on the Hermionic Gulf, a mountain seven stadia in height was cast up during a fiery eruption; during the day it could not be approached on account of the heat and sulphureous smell; at night it emitted an agreeable odour, appeared brilliant at a distance, and was so hot that the sea boiled all around it to a distance of five stadia, and appeared in a state of agitation for twenty stadia, the heap being formed of fragments of rock as large as towers. Both Arne and Mideia have been buried in the waters of Lake Copais. These towns the poet in his Catalogue thus speaks of; Arne claims a record next for her illustrious sons, Vine-bearing Arne. Thou wast also there Mideia. Iliad 2.507. It seems that several Thracian cities have been submerged by the Lake Bistonis, and that now called Aphnitis. Some also affirm that certain cities of Trerus were also overwhelmed, in the neighbourhood of Thrace. Artemita, formerly one of the Echinades, is now part of the mainland; the same has happened to some other of the islets near the Achelous, occasioned, it is said, in the same way, by the alluvium carried into the sea by that river, and Hesiod assures us that a like fate awaits them all. Some of the Aetolian promontories were formerly islands. Asteria, called by Homer Asteris, is no longer what it was. There is a rocky isle In the mid-sea, between Samos the rude And Ithaca, not large, named Asteris. It hath commodious havens, into which A passage clear opens on either side. [Odyssey 4.844] There is no good anchorage there now. Neither is there in Ithaca the cavern, nor yet the sanctuary of the nymphs described to us by Homer. It seems more correct to attribute this to change having come over the places, than either to the ignorance or the romancing of the poet. This however, being uncertain, must be left to every man's opinion.,19. Myrsilus tells us that Antissa was formerly an island, and so called because it was opposite to Lesbos, then named Issa. Now, however, it forms one of the towns of Lesbos. Some have believed that Lesbos itself has been disjoined from Mount Ida in the same way as Prochytas and Pithecussa from Misenum, Capreae from the Athenaion, Sicily from Rhegium, and Ossa from Olympus. Many changes similar to these have occurred elsewhere. The river Ladon in Arcadia ceased for some time its flow. Duris informs us that the Rhagae in Media gained that appellation from chasms made in the ground near the Caspian Gates by earthquakes, in which many cities and villages were destroyed, and the rivers underwent various changes. Ion, in his satirical composition of Omphale, has said of Euboea, The light wave of the Euripus has divided the land of Euboea from Boeotia; separating the projecting land by a strait.,20. Demetrius of Callatis, speaking of the earthquakes which formerly occurred throughout the whole of Greece, states that a great portion of the Lichadian Islands and of Kenaion were submerged; that the hot springs of Aedepsus and Thermopylae were suppressed for three days, and that when they commenced to run again those of Aedepsus gushed from new fountains. That at Oreus on the sea-coast the wall and nearly seven hundred houses fell at once. That the greater part of Echinus, Phalara, and Heraclaea of Trachis were thrown down, Phalara being overturned from its very foundations. That almost the same misfortune occurred to the Lamians and inhabitants of Larissa; that Scarpheia was overthrown from its foundations, not less than one thousand seven hundred persons being swallowed up, and at Thronium more than half that number. That a torrent of water gushed forth taking three directions, one to Scarphe and Thronium, another to Thermopylae, and a third to the plains of Daphnus in Phocis. That the springs of [many] rivers were for several days dried up; that the course of the Sperchius was changed, thus rendering navigable what formerly were highways; that the Boagrius flowed through another channel; that many parts of Alope, Cynus, and Opus were injured, and the castle of Oeum, which commands the latter city, entirely overturned. That part of the wall of Elateia was thrown down; and that at Alponus, during the celebration of the games in honour of Ceres, twenty-five maidens, who had mounted a tower to enjoy the show exhibited in the port, were precipitated into the sea by the falling of the tower. They also record that a large fissure was made [by the water] through the midst of the island of Atalanta, opposite Euboea, sufficient for ships to sail in; that the course of the channel was in places as broad as twenty stadia between the plains; and that a trireme being raised [thereby] out of the docks, was carried over the walls.,21. Those who desire to instill into us that more perfect freedom from [ignorant] wonder, which Democritus and all other philosophers so highly extol, should add the changes which have been produced by the migrations of various tribes: we should thus be inspired with courage, steadiness, and composure. For instance, the Western Iberians, removed to the regions beyond the Euxine and Colchis, being separated from Armenia, according to Apollodorus, by the Araxes, but rather by the Cyrus and Moschican mountains. The expedition of the Egyptians into Ethiopia and Colchis. The migration of the Heneti, who passed from Paphlagonia into the country bordering on the Adriatic Gulf. Similar emigrations were also undertaken by the nations of Greece, the Ionians, Dorians, Achaians, and Aeolians; and the Aenians, now next neighbours to the Aetolians, formerly dwelt near Dotium and Ossa, beyond the Perrhaebi; the Perrhaebi too are but wanderers here themselves. Our present work furnishes numerous instances of the same kind. Some of these are familiar to most readers, but the migrations of the Carians, the Treres, the Teucrians, and the Galatae or Gauls, are not so generally known. Nor yet for the most part are the expeditions of their chiefs, for instance, Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus of Trerus, Sesostris and Psammeticus the Egyptians; nor are those of the Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes familiar to every one. The Kimmerians, or a separate tribe of them, called the Treres, have frequently overrun the countries to the right of the Euxine and those adjacent to them, bursting now into Paphlagonia, now into Phrygia, as they did when, according to report, Midas came to his death by drinking bull's blood. Lygdamis led his followers into Lydia, passed through Ionia, took Sardis, but was slain in Cilicia. The Kimmerians and Treres frequently made similar incursions, until at last, as it is reported, these latter, together with [their chief] Cobus, were driven out by Madys, king of the Scythians. But enough has been said in this place on the general history of the earth, as each country will have a particular account.,22. We must now return to the point whence we digressed. Herodotus having observed that there could be no such people as Hyperborean, inasmuch as there were no Hypernotii, Eratosthenes calls this argument ridiculous, and compares it to the sophism, that there are no epichaerekaki, inasmuch as there are no epichaeragathi; [adding] perhaps there are Hypernotii; since at all events in Ethiopia Notus does not blow, although lower down it does. It would indeed be strange, since winds blow under every latitude, and especially the southern wind called Notus, if any region could be found where this latter was not felt. On the contrary, not only does Ethiopia experience our Notus, but also the whole country which lies above as far as the equator. If Herodotus must be blamed at all, it is for supposing that the Hyperboreans were so named in consequence of Boreas, or the north wind, not blowing upon them. The poets are allowed much licence in their modes of expression; but their commentators, who endeavour always to give us the correct view, tell us that the people who dwelt in the extreme north, were styled Hyperboreans. The pole is the boundary of the northern winds, and the equator of the southern; these winds have no other limit.,23. Eratosthenes next finds fault with the writers who fill their narrative with stories evidently feigned and impossible; some as mere fable, but others as history, which did not deserve mention. In the discussion of a subject like his, he should not have wasted his time about such trifles. Such is the way in which this writer completes the First Book of his Memoirs.,1. IN his Second Book Eratosthenes endeavours to correct some errors in geography, and offers his own views on the subject, any mistakes in which we shall endeavour in our turn to set right. He is correct in saying that the inductions of mathematics and natural philosophy should be employed, and that if the earth is spheroidal like the universe, it is inhabited in all parts; together with some other things of this nature. Later writers do not agree with him as to the size of the earth, nor admit his measurement. However Hipparchus, when noting the celestial appearances for each particular locality, adopts his admeasurements, saying that those taken for the meridian of Meroe, Alexandria, and the Dnieper, differ but very slightly from the truth. Eratosthenes then enters into a long discussion concerning the figure of the globe, proving that the form of the earth together with the water is spheroidal, as also the heavens. This however we imagine was foreign to his purpose, and should have been disposed of in the compass of a few words.,2. After this he proceeds to determine the breadth of the habitable earth: he tells us, that measuring from the meridian of Meroe to Alexandria, there are 10,000 stadia. From thence to the Hellespont about 8100. Again; from thence to the Dnieper, 5000; and thence to the parallel of Thule, which Pytheas says is six days' sail north from Britain, and near the Frozen Sea, other 11,500. To which if we add 3400 stadia above Meroe in order to include the Island of the Egyptians, the Cinnamon country, and Taprobane, there will be in all 38,000 stadia.,3. We will let pass the rest of his distances, since they are something near, — but that the Dnieper is under the same parallel as Thule, what man in his senses could ever agree to this? Pytheas, who has given us the history of Thule, is known to be a man upon whom no reliance can be placed, and other writers who have seen Britain and Ierne, although they tell us of many small islands round Britain, make no mention whatever of Thule. The length of Britain itself is nearly the same as that of Keltica, opposite to which it extends. Altogether it is not more than 5000 stadia in length, its outermost points corresponding to those of the opposite continent. In fact the extreme points of the two countries lie opposite to each other, the eastern extremity to the eastern, and the western to the western: the eastern points are situated so close as to be within sight of each other, both at Kent and at the mouths of the Rhine. But Pytheas tells us that the island [of Britain] is more than 20,000 stadia in length, and that Kent is some days' sail from France. With regard to the locality of the Ostimii, and the countries beyond the Rhine, as far as Scythia, he is altogether mistaken. The veracity of a writer who has been thus false in describing countries with which we are well acquainted, should not be too much trusted in regard to unknown places.,4. Further, Hipparchus and many others are of opinion that the parallel of latitude of the Dnieper does not differ from that of Britain; since that of Byzantium and Marseilles are the same. The degree of shadow from the gnomon which Pytheas states he observed at Marseilles being exactly equal to that which Hipparchus says he found at Byzantium; the periods of observation being in both cases similar. Now from Marseilles to the centre of Britain is not more than 5000 stadia; and if from the centre of Britain we advance north not more than 4000 stadia, we arrive at a temperature in which it is scarcely possible to exist. Such indeed is that of Ierne. Consequently the far region in which Eratosthenes places Thule must be totally uninhabitable. By what guesswork he arrived at the conclusion that between the latitude of Thule and the Dnieper there was a distance of 11,500 stadia I am unable to divine.,5. Eratosthenes being mistaken as to the breadth [of the habitable earth], is necessarily wrong as to its length. The most accurate observers, both ancient and modern, agree that the known length of the habitable earth is more than twice its breadth. Its length I take to be from the [eastern] extremity of India to the [westernmost] point of Spain; and its breadth from [the south of] Ethiopia to the latitude of Ierne. Eratosthenes, as we have said, reckoning its breadth from the extremity of Ethiopia to Thule, was forced to extend its length beyond the true limits, that he might make it more than twice as long as the breadth he had assigned to it. He says that India, measured where it is narrowest, is 16,000 stadia to the river Indus. If measured from its most prominent capes it extends 3000 more. Thence to the Caspian Gates, 14,000. From the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates, 10,000. From the Euphrates to the Nile, 5000. Thence to the Canopic mouth, 1300. From the Canopic mouth to Carthage, 13,500. From thence to the Pillars at least 8000. Which make in all 70,800 stadia. To these [he says] should be added the curvature of Europe beyond the Pillars of Hercules, fronting the Iberians, and inclining west, not less than 3000 stadia, and the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, named Cabaion, and the adjoining islands, the last of which, named Uxisama, is distant, according to Pytheas, a three days' sail. But he added nothing to its length by enumerating these last, viz. the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, the island of Uxisama, and the rest; they are not situated so as affect the length of the earth, for they all lie to the north, and belong to Keltica, not to Iberia; indeed it seems but an invention of Pytheas. Lastly, to fall in with the general opinion that the breadth ought not to exceed half the length, he adds to the stated measure of its length 2000 stadia west, and as many east.,6. Further, endeavouring to support the opinion that it is in accordance with natural philosophy to reckon the greatest dimension of the habitable earth from east to west, he says that, according to the laws of natural philosophy, the habitable earth ought to occupy a greater length from east to west, than its breadth from north to south. The temperate zone, which we have already designated as the longest zone, is that which the mathematicians denominate a continuous circle returning upon itself. So that if the extent of the Atlantic Ocean were not an obstacle, we might easily pass by sea from Iberia to India, still keeping in the same parallel; the remaining portion of which parallel, measured as above in stadia, occupies more than a third of the whole circle: since the parallel drawn through Athens, on which we have taken the distances from India to Iberia, does not contain in the whole 200,000 stadia. Here too his reasoning is incorrect. For this speculation respecting the temperate zone which we inhabit, and whereof the habitable earth is a part, devolves properly on those who make mathematics their study. But it is not equally the province of one treating of the habitable earth. For by this term we mean only that portion of the temperate zone where we dwell, and with which we are acquainted. But it is quite possible that in the temperate zone there may be two or even more habitable earths, especially near the circle of latitude which is drawn through Athens and the Atlantic Ocean. After this he returns to the form of the earth, which he again declares to be spheroidal. Here he exhibits the same churlishness we have previously pointed out, and goes on abusing Homer in his old style. He proceeds:,7. There has been much argument respecting the continents. Some, considering them to be divided by the rivers Nile and Tanais, have described them as islands; while others suppose them to be peninsulas connected by the isthmuses between the Caspian and the Euxine Seas, and between the Erythraean Sea and Ecregma. He adds, that this question does not appear to him to be of any practical importance, but rather, as Democritus observed, a bone of contention for angry litigants. Where there are no precise boundary marks, columns, or walls, as at Colyttus and Melite, it is easy for us to say such a place is Colyttus, and such another Melite, but not so easy to show the exact limits: thus disputes have frequently arisen concerning certain districts; that, for instance, between the Argives and Lacedemonians concerning [the possession of] Thyrea, and that between the Athenians and Boeotians relative to Oropus. Further, in giving names to the three continents, the Greeks did not take into consideration the whole habitable earth, but merely their own country and the land exactly opposite, namely, Caria, which is now inhabited by the Ionians and other neighbouring tribes. In course of time, as they advanced further and daily became acquainted with new countries, this their division came to be general. I take this last part first, and (to use Eratosthenes' own words, not those of Democritus) willing to pick my bone of contention, inquire, whether they who first made the division of the three continents were the same persons as those who first desired to distinguish their own land from that of the Carians opposite, or whether they were only acquainted with Greece, Caria, and some few other adjoining countries, and not with Europe, Asia, or Africa; but that others who followed them, and were able to write a description of the habitable earth, were the real authors of the division into three continents. How did he know that these were not the men who made this division of the habitable earth? And he who divided the earth into three parts, giving to each portion the name of continent, could he not form in his mind a just idea of that taken as a whole, which he had so parcelled out. But if indeed he were not acquainted with the whole habitable earth, but merely made a division of some part thereof, pray what portion of that part did he denominate Asia, or Europe, or simply continent? Such talk is altogether nonsense.,8. The reasoning of Eratosthenes, however, is still more absurd, when he declares that he sees no advantage in being acquainted with the exact boundaries of countries, and then cites the example of Colyttus and Melite, which prove just the contrary of his assertion. Surely if a want of certainty respecting the boundaries of Thyrea and Oropus gave rise to war, a knowledge of the limits of different districts must be of practical importance. Will he tell us that the boundaries of districts, or the limits of kingdoms, may be of some service, but when applied to continents it is carrying the matter too far. We reply, it is of equal consequence here. Suppose a dispute between two powerful princes, one claiming the possession of Asia and the other of Africa, to which of these should Egypt, I mean the country called Lower Egypt, appertain. Will any one paws over such cases on account of their rarity? By no means. It is acknowledged by every one that the limits of each continent ought to be defined by some notable boundary, indicated by the configuration of the whole habitable earth. In following out this principle, we should not be very particular if they who determine boundaries by the rivers leave some districts undefined, since the rivers do not reach from sea to sea, nor leave the continents altogether as islands.,9. At the close of the book Eratosthenes blames the system of those who would divide all mankind into Greeks and Barbarians, and likewise those who recommended Alexander to treat the Greeks as friends, but the Barbarians as enemies. He suggests, as a better course, to distinguish them according to their virtues and their vices, since amongst the Greeks there are many worthless characters, and many highly civilized are to be found amongst the Barbarians; witness the Indians and Ariani, or still better the Romans and Carthaginians, whose political system is so beautifully perfect. Alexander, considering this, disregarded the advice which had been offered him, and patronized without distinction any man he considered to be deserving. But we would inquire whether those men who thus divided the human race, abandoning one portion to contempt, and exalting to dignity the other, were not actuated to this because they found that on one side justice, knowledge, and the force of reason reigned supreme, but their contraries on the other. Alexander did not disregard the advice tendered him, but gladly embraced and followed it, respecting the wisdom of those who gave it; and so far from taking the opposite course, he closely pursued that which they pointed out.


nan1. HAVING thus given a general view of Geography, it will now be proper to describe each separate country in detail, as we engaged to do. We fancy that the method which we have adopted in the division of our subject, up to this point, has been correct; and we now re-commence with Europe and the various countries into which it is divided, on the same principles as formerly, and induced by the same reasons.,2. The first division of this continent towards the west is Iberia, as we before stated. The greater part of this country is but little fitted for habitation; consisting chiefly of mountains, woods, and plains covered with a light meagre soil, the irrigation of which is likewise uncertain The part next the north, which borders on the ocean, is extremely cold, and besides its rugged character, has no communication or intercourse with other [countries], and thus to dwell there is attended with peculiar hardship. Such is the character of this portion; on the other hand, almost the whole of the south is fertile, especially what is beyond the Pillars [of Hercules]. This however will be shown more in detail, but we must first describe the figure and extent [of the country].,3. In shape it resembles a hide stretched out in length from west to east, the forepart towards the east, its breadth being from north to south. Its length is about 6000 stadia; the greatest breadth is 5000; while there are parts considerably less than 3000, particularly in the vicinity of the Pyrenees, which form the eastern side. This chain of mountains stretches without interruption from north to south, and divides Keltica from Iberia. The breadth both of Keltica and Iberia is irregular, the narrowest part in both of them from the Mediterranean to the [Atlantic] Ocean being near the Pyrenees, particularly on either side of that chain; this gives rise to gulfs both on the side of the Ocean, and also of the Mediterranean; the largest of these are denominated the Keltic or Galatic Gulfs, and they render the [Keltic] isthmus narrower than that of Iberia. The Pyrenees form the eastern side of Iberia, and the Mediterranean the southern from the Pyrenees to the Pillars of Hercules, thence the exterior [ocean] as far as the Sacred Promontory. The third or western side runs nearly parallel to the Pyrenees from the Sacred Promontory to the promontory of the Artabri, called [Cape] Nerium. The fourth side extends hence to the northern extremity of the Pyrenees.,4. We will now commence our detailed account, beginning from the Sacred Promontory. This is the most western point not only of Europe, but of the whole habitable earth. For the habitable earth is bounded to the west by two continents, namely, the extremities of Europe and Libya, which are inhabited respectively by the Iberians and the Maurusians. But the Iberian extremity, at the promontory we have mentioned, juts out beyond the other as much as 1500 stadia. The region adjacent to this cape they call in the Latin tongue Cuneum, which signifies a wedge. The promontory which projects into the sea, Artemidorus (who states that he has himself been at the place) compares to a ship; three little islands, [he says, ] each having a small harbour, contribute to give it this form; the former island resembling the beak of the ship, and the two latter the beams on each side of the ship's bows. [He adds] that there is no sanctuary of Hercules shown there, as Ephorus falsely states, nor yet any altar [to him] nor to any other divinity; but in many parts there are three or four stones placed together, which are turned by all travellers who arrive there, in accordance with a certain local custom, and are changed in position by such as turn them incorrectly. It is not lawful to offer sacrifice there, nor yet to approach the place during the night, for it is said that then the gods take up their abode at the place. Those who go thither to view it stay at a neighbouring village over-night, and proceed to the place on the morrow, carrying water with them, as there is none to be procured there.,5. It is quite possible that these things are so, and we ought not to disbelieve them. Not so however with regard to the other common and vulgar reports; for Posidonius tells us the common people say that in the countries next the ocean the sun appears larger as he sets, and makes a noise resembling the sound of hot metal in cold water, as though the sea were hissing as the sun was submerged in its depths. The statement [of Artemidorus] is also false, that night follows immediately on the setting of the sun: it does not follow immediately, although certainly the interval is short, as in other great seas. For when he sets behind mountains the agency of the false light continues the day for a long period; over the sea the twilight is shorter, still darkness does not immediately supervene. The same thing may be remarked in large plains. The image of the sun is enlarged on the seas at its rising as well as at its setting, because at these times a larger mass of exhalations rises from the humid element; and the eye looking through these exhalations, sees images refracted into larger forms, as observed through tubes. The same thing happens when the setting sun or moon is seen through a dry and thin cloud, when those bodies likewise appear reddish. Posidonius tells us that, having himself passed thirty days at Gades, during which time he carefully observed the setting of the sun, he is convinced of the falsity of Artemidorus's account. This latter writer tells us, that at the time of its setting the sun appears a hundred times larger than its ordinary size, and that night immediately succeeds. If we attend to his account, we cannot believe that he himself remarked this phenomenon at the Sacred Promontory, for he tells us that no one can approach during the night; therefore they cannot approach at sunset, since night immediately supervenes thereupon. Neither did he observe it from any other part of the coast washed by the ocean, for Gades is upon the ocean, and both Posidonius and many others testify that there such is not the case.,6. The sea-coast next the Sacred Promontory forms on one side the commencement of the western coast of Spain as far as the outlet of the river Tagus; and on the other forms the southern coast as far as the outlet of another river, named the Ana. Both of these rivers descend from the eastern parts [of Spain]; but the former, which is much larger than the other, pursues a straight course towards the west, while the Ana bends its course towards the south. They enclose an extent of country peopled for the most part by Kelts and certain Lusitanians, whom the Romans caused to settle here from the opposite side of the Tagus. Higher up, the country is inhabited by the Carpetani, the Oretani, and a large number of Vettones. This district is moderately fertile, but that which is beyond it to the east and south, does not give place in superiority to any part of the habitable earth with which it may be compared, in the excellence of its productions both of land and sea. This is the country through which the river Baetis flows. This river takes its rise from the same parts as the Ana and the Tagus, and is between these two in size. Like the Ana, the commencement of its course flows towards the west, but it afterwards turns to the south, and discharges itself at the same side of the coast as that river. From this river the country has received the name of Baetica; it is called Turdetania by the inhabitants, who are themselves denominated Turdetani, and Turduli. Some think these two names refer to one nation, while others believe that they designate two distinct people. Of this latter opinion is Polybius, who imagines that the Turduli dwell more to the north than the Turdetani. At the present day however there does not appear to be any distinction between them. These people are esteemed to be the most intelligent of all the Iberians; they have an alphabet, and possess ancient writings, poems, and metrical laws six thousand years old, as they say. The other Iberians are likewise furnished with an alphabet, although not of the same form, nor do they speak the same language. Their country, which is on this side the Ana, extends eastward as far as Oretania, and southward along the sea-coast from the outlets of the Ana to the Pillars. But it is necessary that I should enter into further particulars concerning this and the neighbouring places, in order to illustrate their excellence and fertility.,7. Between this coast, where the Baetis and Ana discharge themselves, and the extremities of Maurusia, the Atlantic Ocean forms the strait at the Pillars [of Hercules] by which it is connected with the Mediterranean. Here is situated Calpe, the mountain of the Iberians who are denominated Bastetani, by others Bastuli. Its circumference is not large, but it is so high and steep as to resemble an island in the distance. Sailing from the Mediterranean into the Atlantic, it is left on the right hand. At a distance of 40 stadia from this [mountain] is the considerable and ancient city of Carteia, formerly a marine arsenal of the Iberians. Some assert that it was founded by Hercules; of this number is Timosthenes, who tells us it was anciently called Heraclaea, and that vast walls and ship-sheds are still shown.,8. Next to these is Mellaria, where they make salted provisions. After this the city and river of Belo. Here the merchandise and salted provisions for Tingis in Maurusia are principally shipped. There was a city named Zelis near to Tingis, but the Romans transferred it to the opposite coast [of Spain], and having placed there in addition some of the inhabitants of Tingis, and sent over also some of their own people, they then gave to the city the name of Julia Joza. Beyond this is Gadeira, an island separated from Turdetania by a narrow strait, and distant from Calpe about 750 stadia, or, as others say, 800. This island has nothing to distinguish it above others, but owing to the boldness of its people in their expeditions by sea, and their friendship with the Romans, has attained to that pitch of good fortune, that although situated at the farthest extremities of the earth, it possesses a greater celebrity than any other island. But we will describe it when we come to speak of the other islands.,9. Next after [Cadiz ] is the port of Menestheus, and the estuary near to Asta and Nebrissa. These estuaries are valleys filled by the sea during its flood-tides, up which you may sail into the interior, and to the cities built on them, in the same way as you sail up a river. Immediately after are the two outlets of the Baetis. The island embraced by these mouths has a coast of a hundred stadia, or rather more according to others. Hereabouts is the Oracle of Menestheus, and the tower of Caepio, built upon a rock and washed on all sides by the sea. This is an admirable work, resembling the Pharos, and constructed for the safety of vessels. For the mud carried out by the river forms shallows, and sunken rocks are also scattered before it, so that a beacon was greatly needed. Thence sailing up the river is the city of Ebura and the sanctuary of Phosphorus, which they call Lux Dubia. You then pass up the other estuaries; and after these the river Ana, which has also two mouths, up either of which you may sail. Lastly, beyond is the Sacred Promontory, distant from Gadeira less than 2000 stadia. Some say that from the Sacred Promontory to the mouth of the Ana there are 60 miles; thence to the mouth of the Baetis 100; and from this latter place to Gadeira 70.,1. TURDETANIA lies above the coast on this side the Ana, and is intersected by the river Baetis. It is bounded on the west and north by the river Ana; on the east by certain of the Carpetani and the Oretani; on the south by those of the Bastetani who inhabit the narrow slip of coast between Calpe and Gadeira, and by the sea beyond as far as the Ana. The Bastetani whom I have mentioned, together with the people on the other side the Ana, and many of the places adjacent, belong to Turdetania. The size of this country in its length and breadth does not exceed two thousand stadia, still it contains a vast number of towns; two hundred, it is said. Those best known are situated on the rivers, estuaries, and sea; but the two which have acquired the greatest name and importance are, Corduba, founded by Marcellus, and the city of the Gaditanians. The latter for its naval importance, and its alliance with the Romans; and the former on account of its fertility and extent, a considerable portion of the Baetis flowing by it; in addition to this it has been from its commencement inhabited by picked men, whether natives or Romans; and it was the first colony planted by the Romans in these parts. After this city and that of the Gaditanians, Hispalis is the most noted. This also is a Roman colony. Commerce is still carried on here, although at the present moment the city of Baetis though not so finely built, is outshining it, on account of the honour it has received from the soldiers of Caesar taking up their quarters there.,2. After these are Italica, and Ilipa, situated on the Baetis; farther on are Astygis, Carmo, and Obulco; and besides these Munda, Ategua, Urso, Tukkis, Julia, and Aegua, where the sons of Pompey were defeated. None of these places are far from Corduba. Munda is in some sort regarded as the metropolis of the whole district. This place is distant from Carteia 1400 stadia, and it was here that Cnaeus fled after his defeat, and sailing thence landed on a rocky height overlooking the sea, where he was murdered. His brother Sextus, having escaped from Corduba, after carrying on the war for a short time in Spain, caused a revolt in Sicily. Flying thence into Asia he was seized at Miletus by the generals of Antony, and executed. Amongst the Kelts the most famous place is Conistorgis. Upon the estuaries is Asta, in which the Gaditani mostly hold their assemblies; it is opposite the sea-port of the island, at a distance of not more than 100 stadia.,3. A vast number of people dwell along the Baetis; and you may sail up it almost 1200 stadia from the sea to Corduba, and the places a little higher up. The banks and little islets of this river are cultivated with the greatest diligence. The eye is also delighted with groves and gardens, which in this district are met with in the highest perfection. As far as Hispalis, which is a distance of not less than 500 stadia, the river is navigable for ships of considerable size; but for the cities higher up, as far as Ilipas, smaller vessels are employed, and thence to Corduba river-boats. These are now constructed of planks joined together, but they were formerly made out of a single trunk. Above this to Castlon the river is no longer navigable. A chain of mountains, rich in metal, runs parallel to the Baetis, approaching the river sometimes more, sometimes less, towards the north. There is much silver found in the parts about Ilipas and Sisapo, both in that which is called the old town and the new. There are copper and gold about the Cotinae. These mountains are on the left as you sail up the river; on the right there is a vast and elevated plain, fertile, full of large trees, and containing excellent pasturage. The Ana is likewise navigable, but not for vessels equally large, nor yet so far up. It is also bordered by mountains containing metal, and extends as far as the Tagus. Districts which contain metals must, of necessity, be rugged and poor, as indeed are those adjoining Carpetania, and still more those next the Keltiberians. The same is the case with Baeturia, the plains of which, bordering on the Ana, are arid.,4. Turdetania, on the other hand, is marvellously fertile, and abounds in every species of produce. The value of its productions is doubled by means of exportation, the surplus products finding a ready sale amongst the numerous ship-owners. This results from its rivers and estuaries, which, as we have said, resemble rivers, and by which you may sail from the sea to the inland towns, not only in small, but even in large-sized skiffs. For the whole country above the coast, and situated between the Sacred Promontory and the Pillars, consists of an extended plain. Here in many places are hollows running inland from the sea, which resemble moderately-sized ravines or the beds of rivers, and extend for many stadia. These are filled by the approach of the sea at high tide, and may be navigated as easily, or even more so than rivers. They are navigated much the same as rivers the sea, meeting with no obstacle, enters like the flow of a river at flood-tide. The sea comes in here with greater force than in the other places; for being forced from the wide ocean into the narrow strait, formed by the coast of Maurusia and Iberia, it experiences recoils, and thus is borne full into the retiring parts of the land. Some of these shallows are left dry as the tide ebbs, while others are never destitute of water; others again contain islands, of this kind are the estuaries between the Sacred Promontory and the Pillars, where the tide comes in with more violence than at other places. Such a tide is of considerable advantage to sailors, since it makes the estuaries both fuller and more spacious, frequently swelling them to a breadth of eight stadia, so that the whole land, so to speak, is rendered navigable, thus giving wonderful facility both for the export and import of merchandise. Nevertheless there is some inconvenience. For in the navigation of the rivers, the sailors run considerable danger both in ascending and descending, owing to the violence with which the flood-tide encounters the current of the stream as it flows down. The ebb-tides are likewise the cause of much damage in these estuaries, for resulting as they do from the same cause as the flood-tides, they are frequently so rapid as to leave the vessel on dry land; and herds in passing over to the islands that are in these estuaries are sometimes drowned [in the passage] and sometimes surprised in the islands, and endeavouring to cross back again to the continent, are unable, and perish in the attempt. They say that certain of the cattle, having narrowly observed what takes place, wait till the sea has retired, and then cross over to the main-land.,5. The men [of the country], being well acquainted with the nature of these places, and that the estuaries would very well answer the same purpose as rivers, founded cities and other settlements along them the same as along rivers. Of this number are Asta, Nebrissa, Onoba, Ossonoba, Maenoba, besides many others. The canals which have been cut in various directions are also found useful in the traffic which is carried on between place and place, both amongst the people themselves and with foreigners. The conflux of water at the flood-tides is also valuable, as rendering navigable the isthmuses which separate the different pieces of water, thus making it possible to ferry over from the rivers into the estuaries, and from the estuaries into the rivers. Their trade is wholly carried on with Italy and Rome. The navigation is excellent as far as the Pillars, (excepting perhaps some little difficulties at the Strait,) and equally so on the Mediterranean, where the voyages are very calm, especially to those who keep the high seas. This is a great advantage to merchant-vessels. The winds on the high seas blow regularly; and peace reigns there now, the pirates having been put down, so that in every respect the voyage is facile. Posidonius tells us he observed the singular phenomenon in his journey from Iberia, that in this sea, as far as the Gulf of Sardinia, the south-east winds blow periodically. And on this account he strove in vain for three whole months to reach Italy, being driven about by the winds against the Gymnesian islands, Sardinia, and the opposite coasts of Libya.,6. Large quantities of corn and wine are exported from Turdetania, besides much oil, which is of the first quality; also wax, honey, pitch, large quantities of the kermesberry, and vermilion not inferior to that of Sinope. The country furnishes the timber for their shipbuilding. They have likewise mineral salt, and not a few salt streams. A considerable quantity of salted fish is exported, not only from hence, but also from the remainder of the coast beyond the Pillars, equal to that of Pontus. Formerly they exported large quantities of garments, but they now send the [unmanufactured] wool, which is superior even to that of the Coraxi, and remarkable for its beauty. Rams for the purpose of covering fetch a talent. The stuffs manufactured by the Saltiatae are of incomparable texture. There is a superabundance of cattle, and a great variety of game: while, on the other hand, of destructive animals there are scarcely any, with the exception of certain little hares which burrow in the ground, and are called by some leberides. These creatures destroy both seeds and trees by gnawing their roots. They are met with throughout almost the whole of Iberia, and extend to Marseilles, infesting likewise the islands. It is said that formerly the inhabitants of the Gymnesian islands sent a deputation to the Romans soliciting that a new land might be given them, as they were quite driven out of their country by these animals, being no longer able to stand against their vast multitudes. It is possible that people should be obliged to have recourse to such an expedient for help in waging war in so great an extremity, which however but seldom happens, and is a plague produced by some pestilential state of the atmosphere, which at other times has produced serpents and rats in like abundance; but for the ordinary increase of these little hares, many ways of hunting have been devised, amongst others by wild cats from Africa, trained for the purpose. Having muzzled these, they turn them into the holes, when they either drag out the animals they find there with their claws, or compel them to fly to the surface of the earth, where they are taken by people standing by for that purpose. The large amount of the exports from Turdetania is evinced by the size and number of their ships. Merchant vessels of the greatest size sail thence to Dicaearchia and Ostia, a Roman port; they are in number nearly equal to those which arrive from Libya.,7. Such is the wealth of the inland part of Turdetania, and its maritime portions are found fully to equal it in the richness of their sea-productions. In fact, oysters and every variety of shell-fish, remarkable both for their number and size, are found along the whole of the exterior sea, but here in particular. It is probable that the flow and ebb tides, which are particularly strong here, contribute both to their quantity and size, on count of the great number of pools and standing waters which they form. The same is the case with regard to all kinds of cetacea, narwhals, whales, and physeteri, which when they blow [up the water from their snouts] appear to observers from a distance to resemble a cloud shaped like a column. The congers are quite monstrous, far surpassing in size those of our [sea]; so are the lampreys, and many other fish of the same kind. It is said that in Carteia there are kerukae and cuttle-fish which would contain as much as ten cotylae. In the parts more exterior there are lampreys and congers weighing 80 minae, and polypesa talent, also teuthidae two cubits in length, with other fish in proportion. Shoals of rich fat tunny are driven hither from the sea-coast beyond. They feed on the fruit of a species of stunted oak, which grows at the bottom of the sea, and produces very large acorns. The same oaks grow in large numbers throughout the land of Iberia, their roots are of the same size as those of the full-grown oak, although the tree itself never attains the height of a low shrub. So great is the quantity of fruit which it produces, that at the season when they are ripe, the whole coast on either side of the Pillars is covered with acorns which have been thrown up by the tides: the quantity however is always less on this side the Pillars [than on the other]. Polybius states that these acorns are ejected [by the sea] as far as [the shores of] Latium, unless, he adds, Sardo and the neighbouring districts also produce them. The tunny-fish become gradually thinner, owing to the failure of their food, as they approach the Pillars from the outer sea. This fish, in fact, may be regarded as a kind of sea-hog, being fond of the acorn, and growing marvellously fat upon it; and whenever acorns are abundant, tunny-fish are abundant likewise.,8. Of the various riches of the aforenamed country, not the least is its wealth in metals: this every one will particularly esteem and admire. Of metals, in fact, the whole country of the Iberians is full, although it is not equally fertile and flourishing throughout, especially in those parts where the metals most abound. It is seldom that any place is blessed with both these advantages, and likewise seldom that the different kinds of metals abound in one small territory. Turdetania, however, and the surrounding districts surpass so entirely in this respect, that however you may wish, words cannot convey their excellence. Gold, silver, copper, and iron, equal in amount and of similar quality, not having been hitherto discovered in any other part of the world. Gold is not only dug from the mines, but likewise collected; sand containing gold being washed down by the rivers and torrents. It is frequently met with in arid districts, but here the gold is not visible to the sight, whereas in those which are overflowed the grains of gold are seen glittering. On this account they cause water to flow over the arid places in order to make the grains shine; they also dig pits, and make use of other contrivances for washing the sand, and separating the gold from it; so that at the present day more gold is procured by washing than by digging it from the mines. The Galatae affirm that the mines along the Kemmenus mountains and their side of the Pyrenees are superior; but most people prefer those on this side. They say that sometimes amongst the grains of gold lumps have been found weighing half a pound, these they call paloe; they need but little refining. They also say that in splitting open stones they find small lumps, resembling paps. And that when they have melted the gold, and purified it by means of a kind of aluminous earth, the residue left is electrum. This, which contains a mixture of silver and gold, being again subjected to the fire, the silver is separated and the gold left [pure]; for this metal is easily dissipated and fat, and on this account gold is most easily melted by straw, the flame of which is soft, and bearing a similarity [to the gold], causes it easily to dissolve: whereas coal, besides wasting a great deal, melts it too much by reason of its vehemence, and carries it off [in vapour]. In the beds of the rivers the sand is either collected and washed in boats close by, or else a pit is dug to which the earth is carried and there washed. The furnaces for silver are constructed lofty, in order that the vapour, which is dense and pestilent, may be raised and carried off. Certain of the copper mines are called gold mines, which would seem to show that formerly gold was dug from them.,9. Posidonius, in praising the amount and excellence of the metals, cannot refrain from his accustomed rhetoric, and becomes quite enthusiastic in exaggeration. He tells us we are not to disbelieve the fable, that formerly the forests having been set on fire, the earth, which was loaded with silver and gold, melted, and threw up these metals to the surface, forasmuch as every mountain and wooded hill seemed to be heaped up with money by a lavish fortune. Altogether (he remarks) any one seeing these places, could only describe them as the inexhaustible treasuries of nature, or the unfailing exchequer of some potentate; for not only, he tells us, is this land rich itself, but riches abound beneath it. So that amongst these people the subterraneous regions should not be regarded as the realms of Pluto, but of Plutus. Such is the flourished style in which he speaks on this subject, that you would fancy his turgid language had been dug from a mine itself. Discoursing on the diligence of the miners, he applies to them the remark [of Demetrius] of Phalaris, who, speaking of the silver mines of Attica, said that the men there dug with as much energy as if they thought they could grub up Plutus himself. He compares with these the activity and diligence of the Turdetani, who are in the habit of cutting tortuous and deep tunnels, and draining the streams which they frequently encounter by means of Egyptian screws. As for the rest, they are quite different from the Attic miners, whose mining (he remarks) may be justly compared to that enigma, What I have taken up I have not kept, and what I have got I have thrown away. Whereas the Turdetanians make a good profit, since a fourth part of the ore which they extract from the copper mines is [pure] copper, while from the silver mines one person has taken as much as a Euboean talent. He says that tin is not found upon the surface, as authors commonly relate, but that it is dug up; and that it is produced both in places among the barbarians who dwell beyond the Lusitanians and in the islands Cassiterides; and that from the Britannic Islands it is carried to Marseilles. Amongst the Artabri, who are the last of the Lusitanians towards the north and west, he tells us that the earth is powdered with silver, tin, and white gold, that is, mixed with silver, the earth having been brought down by the rivers: this the women scrape up with spades, and wash in sieves, woven after the fashion of baskets. Such is the substance of what [Posidonius] tells us concerning the mines [of Iberia].,10. Polybius, speaking of the silver mines of New Carthage, tells us that they are extremely large, distant from the city about 20 stadia, and occupy a circuit of 400 stadia, that there are 40,000 men regularly engaged in them, and that they yield daily to the Roman people [a revenue of] 25,000 drachmae. The rest of the process I pass over, as it is too long, but as for the silver ore collected, he tells us that it is broken up, and sifted through sieves over water; that what remains is to be again broken, and the water having been strained off, it is to be sifted and broken a third time. The dregs which remain after the fifth time are to be melted, and the lead being poured off, the silver is obtained pure. These silver mines still exist; however they are no longer the property of the state, neither these nor those elsewhere, but are possessed by private individuals. The gold mines, on the contrary, nearly all belong to the state. Both at Castlon and other places there are singular lead mines worked. They contain a small proportion of silver, but not sufficient to pay for the expense of refining.,11. Not far from Castlon is the mountain in which they report that the [river] Baetis takes its rise. They call it silver mountain on account of the silver mines which it contains. Polybius asserts that both the Ana and this river have their sources in Keltiberia, notwithstanding they are separated from each other by a distance of 900 stadia; [this we are to attribute to] the Keltiberians having increased in power, and having consequently conferred their name on the surrounding country. It appears the ancients knew the Baetis under the name of the Tartessus, and Gades with the neighbouring islands under that of Erythia; and it is thought that we should understand in this sense the words of Stesichorus concerning the pastoral poet Geryon, that he was born almost opposite to the renowned Erythia, in a rocky cave near to the abundant springs of the silver-bedded river Tartessus. They say that on the piece of land enclosed between the two outlets of this river there formerly stood a city named, like the river, Tartessus, and that the district was called Tartessis, which the Turduli now inhabit. Eratosthenes likewise tells us that the [country] near to Calpe was called Tartessis, and also Erythia the Fortunate Island. This Artemidorus contradicts, and says that it is as false as his other statements, that the Sacred Promontory is distant from Gades five days' sail, when in fact they are [distant from each other] not more than 1700 stadia. Likewise that the tide ceased at this point, whereas it passes round the whole circuit of the habitable earth. That it is easier to pass from the northern parts of Iberia into Keltica, than to proceed thither by sea; with many other things which he asserted on the faith of that charlatan Pytheas.,12. Our poet [Homer] being very explicit, and possessing great experience, gives one cause to believe that he was not unfamiliar with these localities. Of this any one may be convinced who will examine carefully what has been written on these points, both the incorrect [comments], and likewise those which are better and more truthful. One amongst these incorrect ideas is, that he considered [Tartessis] to be the farthest country towards the west, where, as he himself expresses it, The radiant sun in ocean sank, Drawing night after him o'er all the earth. Iliad viii. 485. Now, since it is evident that night is ominous, and near to Hades, and Hades to Tartarus, it seems probable that [Homer], having heard of Tartessus, took thence the name of Tartarus to distinguish the farthest of the places beneath the earth, also embellishing it with fable in virtue of the poetic licence. In the same way, knowing that the Cimmerians dwelt in northern and dismal territories near to the Bosphorus, he located them in the vicinity of Hades; perhaps also on account of the common hatred of the Ionians against this people. For they say that in the time of Homer, or a little before, the Cimmerians made an incursion as far as Aeolia and Ionia. Always drawing his fables from certain real facts, his Planetae are modelled on the Cyaneae. He describes them as dangerous rocks, as they tell us the Cyaneaean rocks are, [and] on which account [in fact] they are called Symplegades. He adds to this [the account of] Jason's navigating through the midst of them. The Straits of the Pillars and Sicily, likewise, suggested to him the fable of the Planetae. Thus, even according to the worst comments, from the fiction of Tartarus any one might gather that Homer was acquainted with the regions about Tartessus.,13. Of these facts, notwithstanding, there are better proofs. For instance, the expeditions of Hercules and the Phoenicians to this country were evidence to him of the wealth and luxury of the people. They fell so entirely under the dominion of the Phoenicians, that at the present day almost the whole of the cities of Turdetania and the neighbouring places are inhabited by them. It also seems to me that the expedition of Ulysses hither, as it took place and was recorded, was the foundation both of his Odyssey and Iliad, which he framed upon facts collected into a poem, and embellished as usual with poetical mythology. It is not only in Italy, Sicily, and a few other places that vestiges of these [events] occur; even in Iberia a city is shown named Odysseia, also a sanctuary of Minerva, and a myriad other traces both of the wandering of Ulysses and also of other survivors of the Trojan war, which was equally fatal to the vanquished and those who took Troy. These latter in fact gained a Cadmean victory, for their homes were destroyed, and the portion of booty which fell to each was exceedingly minute. Consequently not only those who had survived the perils [of their country], but the Greeks as well, betook themselves to piracy, the former because they had been pillaged of every thing; the latter, on account of the shame which each one anticipated to himself: The shame That must attend us, after absence long Returning unsuccessful, who can bear? Iliad ii. 298. In the same way is related the wandering of Aeneas, of Antenor, and of the Heneti; likewise of Diomedes, of Menelaus, of Ulysses, and of many others. Hence the poet, knowing of similar expeditions to the extremities of Iberia, and having heard of its wealth and other excellencies, (which the Phoenicians had made known,) feigned this to be the region of the Blessed, and the Plain of Elysium, where Proteus informs Menelaus that he is to depart to: But far hence the gods Will send thee to Elysium, and the earth's Extremest bounds; there Rhadamanthus dwells, The golden-haired, and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there, No biting winter, and no drenching shower, But zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them to refresh the happy race. [Od. iv. 563.] Now the purity of the air, and the gentle breathing of the zephyr, are both applicable to this country, as well as the softness of the climate, its position in the west, and its place at the extremities of the earth, where, as we have said, he feigned that Hades was. By coupling Rhadamanthus with it, he signifies that the place was near to Minos, of whom he says, There saw I Minos, offspring famed of Jove; His golden sceptre in his hand, he sat Judge of the dead. [Od. xi. 567.] Bohn's edition. Similar to these are the fables related by later poets; such, for instance, as the expeditions after the oxen of Geryon, and the golden apples of the Hesperides, the Islands of the Blessed they speak of, which we know are still pointed out to us not far distant from the extremities of Maurusia, and opposite to Gades.,14. I repeat that the Phoenicians were the discoverers [of these countries], for they possessed the better part of Iberia and Libya before the time of Homer, and continued masters of those places until their empire was overthrown by the Romans. This also is an evidence of the wealth of Iberia: in the expedition of the Carthaginians under Barcas, they found, according to historians, that the people of Turdetania used silver goblets and casks. One might guess too that it was on account of this great opulence that the men of the country, and their chiefs in particular, were styled long-lived. Wherefore Anacreon thus sings, Neither would I desire the horn of Amalthea, nor to reign over Tartessus one hundred and fifty years. Herodotus too has preserved the name of the king, whom he calls Arganthonius. The passage of Anacreon must therefore either be understood [of this king], or some other like him; or else more generally thus, nor to reign for a lengthened period in Tartessus. Some writers are of opinion that Tartessus is the present Carteia.,15. The Turdetani not only enjoy a salubrious climate, but their manners are polished and urbane, as also are those of the people of Keltica, by reason of their vicinity [to the Turdetani], or, according to Polybius, on account of their being of the same stock, but not to so great a degree, for they live for the most part scattered in villages. The Turdetani, on the other hand, especially those who dwell about the Baetis, have so entirely adopted the Roman mode of life, as even to have forgotten their own language. They have for the most part become Latins, and received Roman colonists; so that a short time only is wanted before they will be all Romans. The very names of many of the towns at present, such as Pax Augusta amongst the Keltici, Augusta-Emerita amongst the Turduli, Caesaraugusta amongst the Keltiberians and certain other colonies, are proof of the change of manners I have spoken of. Those of the Iberians who adopt these new modes of life are styled togati. Amongst their number are the Keltiberians, who formerly were regarded as the most uncivilized of them all. So much for these.,1. STARTING again from the Sacred Promontory, and continuing along the other side of the coast, we come to the gulf near the Tagus, afterwards Cape Barbarium, and near to this the outlets of the Tagus, which may be reached by sailing in a straight course for a distance of 10 stadia. Here are estuaries, one of them more than 400 stadia from the said tower, on a part of which Laccaea is situated. The breadth of the mouth of the Tagus is about 20 stadia, its depth is so great as to be capable of navigation by vessels of the greatest burden. At the flood-tide the Tagus forms two estuaries in the plains which lie above it, so that the plain is inundated and rendered navigable for a distance of 150 stadia. In the upper estuary an island is formed about 30 stadia in length, and nearly equal in breadth, which is fertile, and has excellent vines. The island lies near to Moro, a city happily situated on a mountain close to the river, and about 500 stadia from the sea. The country surrounding it is very fine, and the ascent [of the Tagus] for a considerable way practicable for vessels of a large size, the remainder is performed in riverboats. Above Moro it is navigable for a yet longer distance. Brutus, surnamed the Gallician, made use of this city as a military station, when fighting against the Lusitanians, whom he subdued. On the sides of the river he fortified Olysipo, in order that the passage up the river and the carriage of necessaries might be preserved unimpeded. These therefore are the finest cities near the Tagus. The river contains much fish, and is full of oysters. It takes its rise amongst the Keltiberians, and flows through the [country of the] Vettones, Carpetani, and Lusitani, towards the west; to a certain distance it runs parallel with the Ana and Baetis, but parts from them as they decline towards the southern coast.,2. Of those who dwell above the aforesaid mountains, the Oretani are the most southern, extending in part as far as the sea-coast on this side the Pillars. Next these towards the north are the Carpetani, then the Vettones and Vaccaei, through whose [country] the Douro flows as it passes Acontia, a city of the Vaccaei. The Gallicians are the last, and inhabit for the most part a mountainous country: on this account they were the most difficult to subdue, and furnished his surname to the conqueror of the Lusitanians; in fact, at the present day the greater part of the Lusitanians are beginning to call themselves Gallicians. The finest cities of Oretania are Castulo and Oria.,3. North of the Tagus is Lusitania, the principal of the nations of Iberia, and the one which has most frequently encountered the arms of the Romans. On the southern side this country is bounded by the Tagus, on the west and north by the ocean, on the east by the well-known nations of the Carpetani, the Vettones, the Vaccaei, the Gallicians, and by others not worthy to be mentioned on account of their insignificance and obscurity. On the other hand, certain historians of the present day give the name of Lusitanians to all of these nations. To the east the Gallicians border on the nation of the Astures and Keltiberians, the others [border] on the Keltiberians. In length Lusitania is 3000 stadia; its breadth, which is comprised between the eastern side and the opposite seacoast, is much less. The eastern part is mountainous and rugged, while the country beyond, as far as the sea, consists entirely of plains, with the exception of a few inconsiderable mountains. On this account Posidonius remarks that Aristotle was not correct in supposing that the ebb and flow of the tide was occasioned by the sea-coast of Iberia and Maurusia. For Aristotle asserted that the tides of the sea were caused by the extremities of the land being mountainous and rugged, and therefore both receiving the wave violently and also casting it back. Whereas Posidonius truly remarks that they are for the most part low and sandy.,4. The country which we are describing is fertile, and irrigated by rivers both large and small, all of which flow from the eastern parts parallel with the Tagus: most of them are navigable and full of gold dust. After the Tagus, the most noted rivers are the Mondego and the Vouga, which are navigable but for a short distance. After these is the Douro, which flows from afar by Numantia, and many other colonies of the Keltiberians and Vaccaei; it is capable of being navigated in large vessels for a distance of nearly 800 stadia. Besides these there are other rivers, after which is the [river] of Lethe, which some call the Limaea, others the Belio, it likewise rises amongst the Keltiberians and Vaccaei. After this is the Baenis, (some call it the Minius,) by far the largest river of Lusitania, being navigable for a distance of 800 stadia. Posidonius says this too rises amongst the Cantabrians. An island lies before its outlet, and two moles affording anchorage for vessels. A natural advantage [of this country] well deserving of commendation is, that the banks of the rivers are so lofty as to be capable of containing the entire of the water raised by the high tides of the sea, without either being overfilled, or overflowing the plains. This was the limit of Brutus's expedition. Beyond there are many other rivers parallel to those I have named.,5. The Artabri are the last of the people [on this coast]. They inhabit the promontory called Nerium, which is the boundary [of Iberia] on its western and northern sides. Around it dwell the Keltici, a kindred race to those who are situated along the Ana. They say that these latter, together with the Turduli, having undertaken an expedition thither, quarrelled after they had crossed the river Lima, and, besides the sedition, their leader having also died, they remained scattered there, and from this circumstance the river was called the Lethe. The Artabri have besides many cities established round the Gulf, which mariners and those familiar with the places designate as the Port of the Artabri. At the present day the Artabri are denominated the Arotrebae. About thirty different nations occupy the country between the Tagus and the Artabri. Notwithstanding the fertility of the country in corn, cattle, gold, silver, and numerous other similar productions, the majority of its inhabitants, neglecting to gain their subsistence from the ground, passed their lives in pillage and continual warfare, both between themselves and their neighbours, whom they used to cross the Tagus [to plunder]. To this the Romans at length put a stop by subduing them, and changing many of their cities into villages, besides colonizing some of them better. The mountaineers, as was natural, were the first to commence this lawless mode of life: for living but scantily, and possessing little, they coveted the goods of others, who being obliged to repulse them, of necessity relinquished their proper employments, and instead of pursuing agriculture took up arms. Thus it happened that their country, being neglected, became barren notwithstanding its natural advantages, and inhabited by bandits.,6. The Lusitanians are reported to be clever in laying ambushes, sharp, swift of foot, light, and easily disciplined as soldiers. The small shield they make use of is two feet in diameter, its outer surface concave, and suspended by leather thongs; it neither has rings nor handles. They have in addition a poignard or dagger. Their corselets are for the most part made of linen; a few have chain-coats and helmets with triple crests, but the others use helmets composed of sinews. The infantry wear greaves, each man is furnished with a number of javelins; some also use spears pointed with brass. They report that some of those who dwell near to the river Douro imitate the Lacedemonians in anointing their bodies with oil, using hot air-baths made of heated stones, bathing in cold water, and taking but one tidy and frugal meal a day. The Lusitanians are frequent in the performance of sacrifice; they examine the entrails, but without cutting them out of the body; they also examine the veins of the side, and practise augury by the touch. They likewise divine by the entrails of captive enemies, whom they first cover with a military cloak, and when stricken under the entrails by the haruspex, they draw their first auguries from the fall [of the victim]. They cut off the right hands of their prisoners, and consecrate them to the gods.,7. All the mountaineers are frugal, their beverage is water, they sleep on the ground, and wear a profuse quantity of long hair after the fashion of women, which they bind around the forehead when they go to battle. They subsist principally on the flesh of the goat, which animal they sacrifice to Mars, as also prisoners taken in war, and horses. They likewise offer hecatombs of each kind after the manner of the Greeks, described by Pindar, To sacrifice a hundred of every [species]. They practise gymnastic exercises, both as heavy-armed soldiers, and cavalry, also boxing, running, skirmishing, and fighting in bands. For two-thirds of the year the mountaineers feed on the acorn, which they dry, bruise, and afterwards grind and make into a kind of bread, which may be stored up for a long period. They also use beer; wine is very scarce, and what is made they speedily consume in feasting with their relatives. In place of oil they use butter. Their meals they take sitting, on seats put up round the walls, and they take place on these according to their age and rank. The supper is carried round, and whilst drinking they dance to the sound of the flute and trumpet, springing up and sinking upon the knees. In Bastetania the women dance promiscuously with the men, each holding the other's hand. They all dress in black, the majority of them in cloaks called saga, in which they sleep on beds of straw. They make use of wooden vessels like the Kelts. The women wear dresses and embroidered garments. Instead of money, those who dwell far in the interior exchange merchandise, or give pieces of silver cut off from plates of that metal. Those condemned to death are executed by stoning; parricides are put to death without the frontiers or the cities. They marry according to the customs of the Greeks. Their sick they expose upon the highways, in the same way as the Egyptians did anciently, in the hope that some one who has experienced the malady may be able to give them advice. Up to the time of [the expedition of] Brutus they made use of vessels constructed of skins for crossing the lagoons formed by the tides; they now have them formed out of the single trunk of a tree, but these are scarce. Their salt is purple, but becomes white by pounding. The life of the mountaineers is such as I have described, I mean those bordering the northern side of Iberia, the Gallicians, the Asturians, and the Cantabrians, as far as the Vascons and the Pyrenees. The mode of life amongst all these is similar. But I am reluctant to fill my page with their names, and would fain escape the disagreeable task of writing them, unless perchance the Pleutauri, the Bardyetae, the Allotriges, and other names still worse and more out of the way than these might be grateful to the ear of some one.,8. The rough and savage manners of these people is not alone owing to their wars, but likewise to their isolated position, it being a long distance to reach them, whether by sea or land. Thus the difficulty of communication has deprived them both of generosity of manners and of courtesy. At the present time, however, they suffer less from this both on account of their being at peace and the intermixture of Romans. Wherever these [influences] are not so much experienced people are harsher and more savage. It is probable that this ruggedness of character is increased by the barrenness of the mountains and some of the places which they inhabit. At the present day, as I have remarked, all warfare is put an end to, Augustus Caesar having subdued the Cantabrians and the neighbouring nations, amongst whom the system of pillage was mainly carried on in our day. So that at the present time, instead of plundering the allies of the Romans, the Coniaci and those who dwell by the sources of the Ebro, with the exception of the Tuisi, bear arms for the Romans. Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus Caesar, carried out his intention of placing a military force of three legions in these parts, by which means he has not only preserved peace, but introduced amongst some of them a civil polity.,1. WHAT remains [to be described] of Iberia, is the seacoast of the Mediterranean from the Pillars to the Pyrenees, and the whole of the inland country which lies above. The breadth of this is irregular, its length a little above 4000 stadia. It has been remarked that the sea-coast is above 2000 stadia, and they say that from Mount Calpe, which is near the Pillars, to New Carthage, there are 2200 stadia. This coast is inhabited by the Bastetani, also called the Bastuli, and in part by the Oretani. Thence to the Ebro the distance is nearly as great. This [region] is inhabited by the Edetani. On this side the Ebro to the Pyrenees and the Trophies of Pompey there are 1600 stadia. It is peopled by a small portion of the Edetani, and the rest by a people named the Indicetes, divided into four cantons.,2. Commencing our particular description from Calpe, there is [first] the mountain-chain of Bastetania and the Oretani. This is covered with thick woods and gigantic trees, and separates the sea-coast from the interior. In many places it also contains gold and other mines. The first city along the coast is Malaca, which is about as far distant from Calpe as Calpe is from Gades. It is a market for the nomad tribes from the opposite coast, and there are great stores of salt-fish there. Some suppose it to be the same as Maenaca, which tradition reports to be the farthest west of the cities of the Phocaei; but this is not the case, for Maenaca, which was situated at a greater distance from Calpe, is in ruins, and preserves traces of having been a Grecian city, whereas Malaca is nearer, and Phoenician in its configuration. Next in order is the city of the Exitani, from which the salted fish bearing that name takes its appellation.,3. After these comes Abdera, founded likewise by the Phoenicians. Above these places, in the mountains, the city of Odysseia is shown, containing a sanctuary of Athena, according to the testimony of Posidonius, Artemidorus, and Asclepiades the Myrlean, a man who taught literature in Turdetania, and published a description of the nations dwelling there. He says that in the sanctuary of Athena were hung up spears and prows of vessels, monuments of the wanderings of Ulysses. That some of those who followed Teucer in his expedition settled among the Gallicians; and that two cities were there, the one called Hellenes, the other Amphilochi; but Amphilochus having died, his followers wandered into the interior. He adds, that it is said, that some of the followers of Hercules, and certain also of the inhabitants of Messene, settled in Iberia. Both he and others assert that a portion of Cantabria was occupied by Laconians. Here is the city named Opsicella, founded by Ocela, who passed into Italy with Antenor and his children. Some believe the account of the merchants of Gades, asserted by Artemidorus, that in Libya there are people living above Maurusia, near to the Western Ethiopians, named Lotophagi, because they feed on the leaves and root of the lotus without wanting to drink; for they possess [no drink], being without water. These people they say extend as far as the regions above Cyrene. There are others also called Lotophagi, who inhabit Meninx, one of the islands situated opposite the Lesser Syrtes.,4. No one should be surprised that the poet, in his fiction descriptive of the wanderings of Ulysses, should have located the majority of the scenes which he narrates without the Pillars, in the Atlantic. For historical events of a similar character did actually occur near to the places, so that the other circumstances which he feigned did not make his fiction incredible; nor [should any one be surprised] if certain persons, putting faith in the historical accuracy and extensive knowledge of the poet, should have attempted to explain the poem of Homer on scientific principles; a proceeding undertaken by Crates of Mallos, and some others. On the other hand, there have been those who have treated the undertaking of Homer so contemptuously, as not only to deny any such knowledge to the poet, as though he were a ditcher or reaper, but have stigmatized as fools those who commented on his writings. And not one either of the grammarians, or of those skilled in the mathematics, has dared to undertake their defence, or to set right any mistakes in what they have advanced, or any thing else; although it seems to me possible both to prove correct much that they have said, and also to set right other points, especially where they have been misled by putting faith in Pytheas, who was ignorant of the countries situated along the ocean, both to the west and north. But we must let these matters pass, as they require a particular and lengthened discussion.,5. The settlement of the Grecians amongst these barbarous nations may be regarded as the result of the division of these latter into small tribes and sovereignties, having on account of their moroseness no union amongst themselves, and therefore powerless against attacks from without. This moroseness is remarkably prevalent amongst the Iberians, who are besides crafty in their manner, devoid of sincerity, insidious, and predatory in their mode of life; they are bold in little adventures, but never undertake any thing of magnitude, inasmuch as they have never formed any extended power or confederacy. If they had had but the will to assist each other, neither could the Carthaginians by making an incursion have so easily deprived them of the greater part of their country, nor before them the Tyrians, then the Kelts, now called the Keltiberians and Berones, nor after these the brigand Viriathus, and Sertorius, nor any others who desired power. On this account the Romans, having carried the war into Iberia, lost much time by reason of the number of different sovereignties, having to conquer first one, then another; in fact, it occupied nearly two centuries, or even longer, before they had subdued the whole. — I return to my description.,6. After Abdera is New Carthage, founded by Asdrubal, who succeeded Bareas, the father of Hannibal. It is by far the most powerful city of this country, being impregnable, and furnished with a noble wall, harbours, and a lake, besides the silver mines already mentioned. The places in the vicinity have an abundance of salted fish, and it is besides the great emporium of the sea merchandise for the interior, and likewise for the merchandise from the interior for exportation. About midway along the coast between this city and the Ebro, we meet with the outlet of the river Sucro, and a city bearing the same name. It rises in a mountain belonging to the chain which overlooks Malaca, and the regions around Carthage, and may be forded on foot; it is nearly parallel to the Ebro, but not quite so far distant from Carthage as from the Ebro. Between the Sucro and Carthage are three small towns of the people of Marseilles, not far from the river. Of these the best known is Hemeroscopium. On the promontory there is a sanctuary to Diana of Ephesus, held in great veneration. Sertorius used it as an arsenal, convenient to the sea, both on account of its being fortified and fitted for piratical uses, and because it is visible from a great distance to vessels approaching. It is called Dianium, from Diana. Near to it are some fine iron-works, and two small islands, Planesia and Plumbaria, with a sea-water lake lying above, of 400 stadia in circumference. Next is the island of Hercules, near to Carthage, and called Scombraria, on account of the mackerel taken there, from which the finest garum is made. It is distant 24 stadia from Carthage. On the other side of the Sucro, going towards the outlet of the Ebro, is Saguntum, founded by the Zacynthians. The destruction of this city by Hannibal, contrary to his treaties with the Romans, kindled the second Punic war. Near to it are the cities of Cherronesus, Oleastrum, and Cartalia, and the colony of Dertossa, on the very passage of the Ebro. The Ebro takes its source amongst the Cantabrians; it flows through an extended plain towards the south, running parallel with the Pyrenees.,7. The first city between the windings of the Ebro and the extremities of the Pyrenees, near to where the Trophies of Pompey are erected, is Tarraco; it has no harbour, but is situated on a bay, and possessed of many other advantages. At the present day it is as well peopled as Carthage; for it is admirably suited for the stay of the prefects, and is as it were the metropolis, not only of [the country lying] on this side the Ebro, but also of a great part of what lies beyond. The near vicinity of the Gymnesian Islands, and Ebusus, which are all of considerable importance, are sufficient to inform one of the felicitous position of the city. Eratosthenes tells us that it has a naval station, but Artemidorus contradicts this, and affirms that it scarcely possesses an anchorage.,8. The whole coast from the Pillars up to this place wants harbours, but all the way from here to Emporium, the countries of the Leetani, the Lartolaeetae, and others, are both furnished with excellent harbours and fertile. Emporium was founded by the people of Marseilles, and is about 4000 stadia distant from the Pyrenees, and the confines of Iberia and Keltica. This is a very fine region, and possesses good ports. Here also is Rhode, a small town of the Emporitae, but some say it was founded by the Rhodians. Both here and in Emporium they reverence the Ephesian Diana. The cause of this we will explain when we come to speak of Massalia. in former times the Emporitae dwelt on a small island opposite, now called the old city, but at the present day they inhabit the mainland. The city is double, being divided by a wall, for in past times some of the Indiceti dwelt close by, who, although they had a separate polity to themselves, desired, for the sake of safety, to be shut in by a common enclosure with the Greeks; but at the same time that this enclosure should be two-fold, being divided through its middle by a wall. In time, however, they came to have but one government, a mixture of Barbarian and Greek laws; a result which has taken place in many other [states].,9. A river flows near to it, which has its sources in the Pyrenees; its outlet forms a port for the Emporitae, who are skilful workers in flax. Of the interior of their country some parts are fertile, others covered with spartum, a rush which flourishes in marshes, and is entirely useless: they call this the Iugarium Plain. There are some who inhabit the Pyrenean mountains as far as the Trophies of Pompey, on the route which leads from Italy into Ulterior Iberia, and particularly into Baetica. This road runs sometimes close to the sea, sometimes at a distance therefrom, particularly in the western parts. From the Trophies of Pompey it leads to Tarraco, through the Iugarium Plain, the Betteres, and the plain called in the Latin tongue [the plain] of Marathon, on account of the quantity of fennel growing there. From Tarraco [the road runs] towards the passage of the Ebro at the city of Dertossa; from thence having traversed the city of Saguntum, and Setabis, it follows a course more and more distant from the sea, till it approaches the Plain of Spartarium, which signifies the Plain of Rushes. This is a vast arid plain, producing the species of rush from which cords are made, and which are exported to all parts, but particularly to Italy. Formerly the road passed on through the midst of the plain, and [the city of] Egelastae, which was both difficult and long, but they have now constructed a new road close to the sea, which merely touches upon the Plain of Rushes, and leads to the same places as the former, [viz.] Castlon, and Obulco, through which runs the road to Corduba and Gades, the two greatest emporia [of Iberia]. Obulco is distant about 300 stadia from Corduba. Historians report that Caesar came from Rome to Obulco, and to his army there, within the space of twenty-seven days, when about to fight the battle of Munda.,10. Such is the whole sea-coast from the Pillars to the confines of the Iberians and Kelts. The interior of the country lying above, and included between the mountains of the Pyrenees and the northern side [of Iberia], as far as the Astures, is principally divided by two mountain chains; the one of these is parallel to the Pyrenees, and takes its commencement from the country of the Cantabri, terminating at the Mediterranean. This is called the Idubeda. The second, springing from the middle [of this first], runs towards the west, inclining however to the south and the sea-coast towards the Pillars. At the commencement it consists of bare hills, but after traversing the Plain of Spartarium, falls in with the forest lying above Carthage, and the regions round Malaca. It is named Orospeda. The river Ebro flows between the Pyrenees and Idubeda, and parallel to both these mountains. It is fed by the rivers and other waters carried down from [the mountains]. Situated on the Ebro is the city of Caesar Augusta, and the colony of Celsa, where there is a stone bridge across the river. This country is inhabited by many nations, the best known being that of the Iaccetani. Commencing at the foot of the Pyrenees, it widens out into the plains, and reaches to the districts around Ilerda and Osca, [cities] of the Ilergetes not far distant from the Ebro. It was in these cities, and in Calaguris, a city of the Gascons, as well as those of Tarraco and Hemeroscopium, situated on the coast, that Sertorius sustained the last efforts of the war, after being ejected from the country of the Keltiberians. He died at Osca, and it was near to Ilerda that Afranius and Petreius, Pompey's generals, were afterwards defeated by divus Caesar. Ilerda is distant 160 stadia from the Ebro, which is on its west, about 460 from Tarraco, which is on the south, and 540 from Osca, which lies to the north. Passing through these places from Tarraco to the extremities of the Vascons who dwell by the ocean, near Pompelon and the city of Oeaso situated on the ocean, the route extends 2400 stadia, to the very frontiers of Aquitaine and Iberia. It was in the country of the Iaccetani that Sertorius fought against Pompey, and here afterwards Sextus, Pompey's son, fought against the generals of Caesar. The nation of the Vascons, in which is Pompelon, or Pompey's city, lies north of Iaccetania.,11. The side of the Pyrenees next Iberia is covered with forests containing numerous kinds of trees and evergreens, whilst the side next Keltica is bare: in the midst [the mountains] enclose valleys admirably fitted for the habitation of man. These are mainly possessed by the Kerretani, a people of the Iberians. The hams they cure are excellent, fully equal to those of the Cantabrians, and they realize no inconsiderable profit to the inhabitants.,12. Immediately after passing Idubeda, you enter on Keltiberia, a large and irregular country. It is for the most part rugged, and watered by rivers, being traversed by the Ana, the Tagus, and many other of the rivers which flow into the western sea, but have their sources in Keltiberia. Of their number is the Douro, which flows by Numantia and Serguntia. The Baetis rises in Orospeda, and after passing through Oretania, enters Baetica. The Berones inhabit the districts north of the Keltiberians, and are neighbours of the Conish Cantabrians. They likewise had their origin in the Keltic expedition. Their city is Varia, situated near to the passage of the Ebro. They are adjacent to the Bardyitae, now called the Bardyli. To the west [of the Keltiberians] are certain of the Astures, Gallicians, and Vaccaei, besides Vettones and Carpetani. On the south are the Oretani, and the other inhabitants of Orospeda, both Bastetani and Edetani, and to the east is Idubeda.,13. Of the four divisions into which the Keltiberians are separated, the most powerful are the Aruaci, situated to the east and south, near to the Carpetani and the sources of the Tagus. Their most renowned city is Numantia. They showed their valour in the war of twenty years, waged by the Keltiberians against the Romans; for many armies of the Romans, together with their generals, were destroyed; and in the end the Numantians, besieged within their city, endured the famine with constancy, till, reduced to a very small number, they were compelled to surrender the place. The Lusones are also situated to the east, and likewise border on the sources of the Tagus. Segeda and Pallantia are cities of the Aruaci. Numantia is distant from Caesar Augusta, situated as we have said upon the Ebro, about 800 stadia. Near to Segobriga and Bilbilis, likewise cities of the Keltiberians, was fought the battle between Metellus and Sertorius. Polybius, describing the people and countries of the Vaccaei and Keltiberians, enumerates Segesama and Intercatia amongst their other cities. Posidonius tells us that Marcus Marcellus exacted of Keltiberia a tribute of 600 talents, which proves that the Keltiberians were a numerous and wealthy people, notwithstanding the little fertility of their country. Polybius narrates that Tiberius Gracchus destroyed 300 cities of the Keltiberians. This Posidonius ridicules, and asserts that to flatter Gracchus, Polybius described as cities the towers such as are exhibited in the triumphal processions. This is not incredible; for both generals and historians easily fall into this species of deception, by exaggerating their doings. Those who assert that Iberia contained more than a thousand cities, seem to me to have been carried away in a similar manner, and to have denominated as cities what were merely large villages; since, from its very nature, this country is incapable of maintaining so many cities, on account of its sterility, wildness, and its out-of-the-way position. Nor, with the exception of those who dwell along the shores of the Mediterranean, is any such statement confirmed by the mode of life or actions of the inhabitants. The inhabitants of the villages, who constitute the majority of the Iberians, are quite uncivilized. Even the cities cannot very easily refine the manners [of their inhabitants], as the neighbouring woods are full of robbers, waiting only an opportunity to inflict injury on the citizens.,14. Beyond the Keltiberians to the south are the inhabitants of Orospeda and the country about the Sucro, the Sidetani, [who extend] as far as Carthage, and the Bastetani and Oretani, [who extend] almost as far as Malaca.,15. All the Iberians, so to speak, were peltastae, furnished with light arms for the purposes of robbery, and, as we described the Lusitanians, using the javelin, the sling, and the sword. They have some cavalry interspersed amongst the foot-soldiers, the horses are trained to traverse the mountains, and to sink down on their knees at the word of command, in case of necessity. Iberia produces abundance of antelopes and wild horses. In many places the lakes are stocked. They have fowl, swans, and birds of similar kind, and vast numbers of bustards. Beavers are found in the rivers, but the castor does not possess the same virtue as that from the Euxine, the drug from that place having peculiar properties of its own, as is the case in many other instances. Thus Posidonius tells us that the Cyprian copper alone produces the cadmian stone, copperas-water, and oxide of copper. He likewise informs us of the singular fact, that in Iberia the crows are not black; and that the horses of Keltiberia which are spotted, lose that colour when they pass into Ulterior Iberia. He compares them to the Parthian horses, for indeed they are superior to all other breeds, both in fleetness and their ease in speedy travelling.,16. Iberia produces a large quantity of roots used in dyeing. In olives, vines, figs, and every kind of similar fruit trees, the Iberian coast next the Mediterranean abounds, they are likewise plentiful beyond. Of the coasts next the ocean, that towards the north is destitute of them, on account of the cold, and the remaining portion generally on account of the apathy of the men, and because they do not lead a civilized life, but pass their days in poverty, only acting on the animal impulse, and living most corruptly. They do not attend to ease or luxury, unless any one considers it can add to the happiness of their lives to wash themselves and their wives in stale urine kept in tanks, and to rinse their teeth with it, which they say is the custom both with the Cantabrians and their neighbours. This practice, as well as that of sleeping on the ground, is common both among the Iberians and Kelts. Some say that the Gallicians are atheists, but that the Keltiberians, and their neighbours to the north, [sacrifice] to a nameless god, every full moon, at night, before their doors, the whole family passing the night in dancing and festival. The Vettones, the first time they came to a Roman camp, and saw certain of the officers walking up and down the roads for the mere pleasure of walking, supposed that they were mad, and offered to show them the way to their tents. For they thought, when not fighting, one should remain quietly seated at ease.,17. What Artemidorus relates concerning the adornment of certain of their women, must likewise be attributed to their barbarous customs. He says that they wear iron collars having crows fixed to them which bend over the head, and fall forward considerably over the forehead. When they wish they draw their veil over these crows, so as to shade the whole face: this they consider an ornament. Others wear a tympanium surrounding the occiput, and fitting tight to the head as far as the ears, turning over [and increasing] little by little in height and breadth. Others again make bald the front of the head, in order to display the forehead to greater advantage. Some twist their flowing hair round a small style, a foot high, and afterwards cover it with a black veil. Of singularities like these many have been observed and recorded as to all the Iberian nations in common, but particularly those towards the north not only concerning their bravery, but likewise their cruelty and brutal madness. For in the war against the Cantabrians, mothers have slain their children sooner than suffer them to be captured; and a young boy, having obtained a sword, slew, at the command of his father, both his parents and brothers, who had been made prisoners and were bound, and a woman those who had been taken together with her. A man being invited by a party of drunken [soldiers] to their feast, threw himself into a fire. These feelings are common both to the Keltic, Thracian, and Scythian nations, as well as the valour not only of their men, but likewise of their women. These till the ground, and after parturition, having put their husbands instead of themselves to bed, they wait upon them. Frequently in their employment they wash and swathe their infants, sitting down by some stream. Posidonius tells us that in Liguria, his host Charmoleon, a man who came from Marseilles, related to him, that having hired some men and women to dig his land, one of the women was seized with the pains of labour, and going to a little distance from where they were at work, she brought forth, and returned immediately to her work, for fear she might lose her pay. He observed that she was evidently working in considerable pain, but was not aware of the cause till towards evening, when he ascertained it, and sent her away, having given her her wages. She then carried her infant to a small spring, and having washed it, wrapped it up in as good swaddling clothes as she could get, and made the best of her way home.,18. Another practice, not restricted to the Iberians alone, is for two to mount on one horse, so that in the event of a conflict, one may be there to fight on foot. Neither are they the only sufferers in being tormented with vast swarms of mice, from which pestilential diseases have frequently ensued. This occurred to the Romans in Cantabria, so that they caused it to be proclaimed, that whoever would catch the mice should receive rewards according to the number taken, and [even with this] they were scarcely preserved, as they were suffering besides from want of corn and other necessaries, it being difficult to get supplies of corn from Aquitaine on account of the rugged nature of the country. It is a proof of the ferocity of the Cantabrians, that a number of them having been taken prisoners and fixed to the cross, they chanted songs of triumph. Instances such as these are proofs of the ferocity of their manners. There are others which, although not showing them to be polished, are certainly not brutish. For example, amongst the Cantabrians, the men give dowries to their wives, and the daughters are left heirs, but they procure wives for their brothers. These things indicate a degree of power in the woman, although they are no proof of advanced civilization. It is also a custom with the Iberians to furnish themselves with a poison, which kills without pain, and which they procure from a herb resembling parsley. This they hold in readiness in case of misfortune, and to devote themselves for those whose cause they have joined, thus dying for their sake.,19. Some, as I have said, state that this country is separated into four divisions; others, into five. It is not easy to state any thing precisely on these points, both on account of the changes which the places have undergone, and by reason of their obscurity. In well-known and notable countries both the migrations are known, and the divisions of the land, and the changes of their names, and every thing else of the same kind. Such matters being the common topics with everybody, and especially with the Greeks, who are more talkative than any other people. But in barbarous and out-of-the-way countries, and such as are cut up into small divisions, and lie scattered, the remembrance of such occurrences is not nearly so certain, nor yet so full. If these countries are far removed from the Greeks [our] ignorance is increased. For although the Roman historians imitate the Greeks, they fall far short of them. What they relate is taken from the Greeks, very little being the result of their own ardour in acquiring information. So that whenever any thing has been omitted by the former there is not much supplied by the latter. Add to this, that the names most celebrated are generally Grecian. Formerly the name of Iberia was given to the whole country between the Rhone and the isthmus formed by the two Galatic gulfs; whereas now they make the Pyrenees its boundary, and call it indifferently Iberia or Hispania; others have restricted Iberia to the country on this side the Ebro. Still earlier it bore the name of the Igletes, who inhabited but a small district, according to Asclepiades the Myrlean. The Romans call the whole indifferently Iberia and Hispania, but designate one portion of it Ulterior, and the other Citerior. However, at different periods they have divided it differently, according to its political aspect at various times.,20. At the present time some of the provinces having been assigned to the people and senate of the Romans, and the others to the emperor, Baetica appertains to the people, and a praetor has been sent into the country, having under him a quaestor and a lieutenant. Its eastern boundary has been fixed near to Castlon. The remainder belongs to the emperor, who deputes two lieutenants, a praetor, and a consul. The praetor with a lieutenant administers justice amongst the Lusitanians, who are situated next Baetica, and extend as far as the outlets of the river Douro, for at the present time this district is called Lusitania by the inhabitants. Here is [the city of] Augusta Emerita. What remains, which is [indeed] the greater part of Iberia, is governed by the consul, who has under him a respectable force, consisting of about three legions, with three lieutenants, one of whom with two legions guards the whole country north of the Douro, the inhabitants of which formerly were styled Lusitanians, but are now called Gallicians. The northern mountains, together with the Asturian and Cantabrian, border on these. The river Melsus flows through the country of the Asturians, and at a little distance is the city of Nougat, close to an estuary formed by the ocean, which separates the Asturians from the Cantabrians. The second lieutenant with the remaining legion governs the adjoining district as far as the Pyrenees. The third oversees the midland district, and governs the cities inhabited by the togati, whom we have before alluded to as inclined to peace, and who have adopted the refined manners and mode of life of the Italians, together with the toga. These are the Keltiberians, and those who dwell on either side of the Ebro, as far as the sea-coast. The consul passes the winter in the maritime districts, mostly administering justice either in [the city of] Carthage, or Tarraco. During the summer he travels through the country, observing whatever may need reform. There are also the procurators of the emperor, men of the equestrian rank, who distribute the pay to the soldiers for their maintenance.,1. OF the islands which are situated in front of Iberia, two named the Pityussae, and two the Gymnasiae, (also called the Baleares,) are situated on the sea-coast between Tarraco and [the river] Sucro, on which Saguntum is built. The Pityussae are situated farther in the high seas and more to the West than the Gymnasiae. One of the Pityussae is called Ebusus, having a city of the same name. This island is 400 stadia in circumference, and nearly equal in its breadth and length. The other, [named] Orpheus, is situated near to this, but is desert, and much smaller. The larger of the Gymnasiae contains two cities, Palma, and Polentia; the latter lying towards the east, the former towards the west. The length of this island is scarcely less than 600 stadia, its breadth 200; although Artemidorus asserts it is twice this size both in breadth and length. The smaller island is about [2]70 stadia distant from Polentia; in size it is far surpassed by the larger island, but in excellence it is by no means inferior, for both of them are very fertile, and furnished with harbours. At the mouths of these however there are rocks rising but a little out of the water, which renders attention necessary in entering them. The fertility of these places inclines the inhabitants to peace, as also the people of Ebusus. But certain malefactors, though few in number, having associated with the pirates in those seas, they all got a bad name, and Metellus, surnamed Balearicus, marched against them. He it was who built the cities. But owing to the great fertility of the country, these people have always had enemies plotting against them. Although naturally disposed to peace, they bear the reputation of being most excellent slingers, which art they have been proficient in since the time that the Phoenicians possessed the islands. It is said that these were the first who introduced amongst the men [of the Baleares] the custom of wearing tunics with wide borders. They were accustomed to go into battle naked, having a shield covered with goat-skin in their hand, and a javelin hardened by fire at the point, very rarely with an iron tip, and wearing round the head three slings of black rush, hair, or sinew. The long sling they use for hitting at far distances, the short one for near marks, and the middle one for those between. From childhood they were so thoroughly practised in the use of slings, that bread was never distributed to the children till they had won it by the sling. On this account Metellus, when he was approaching the islands, spread pelts over the decks as a shelter from the slings. He introduced into the country 3000 Roman colonists from Spain.,2. In addition to the fruitfulness of the land, noxious animals are rarely to be met with. Even the rabbits, they say, were not indigenous, but that a male and female having been introduced by some one from the opposite continent, from thence the whole stock sprung, which formerly was so great a nuisance that even houses and trees were overturned, [being undermined] by their warrens, and the inhabitants were compelled, as we have related, to resort for refuge to the Romans. However, at the present day the facility with which these animals are taken, prevents them from doing injury, consequently those who possess land cultivate it with advantage. These [islands] are on this side of what are called the Pillars of Hercules.,3. Near to them are two small islands, one of which is called the Island of Juno: some call these the Pillars. Beyond the Pillars is Gades, concerning which all that we have hitherto remarked is, that it is distant from Calpe about 750 stadia, and is situated near to the outlet of the Baetis. Notwithstanding there is much can be said about it. For its inhabitants equip the greatest number of ships, and the largest in size, both for our sea, and the exterior [ocean], although the island they inhabit is by no means large, nor yet do they possess much of the mainland, nor are masters of other islands. They dwell for the most part on the sea, only a few staying at home or passing their time in Rome. Still, in amount of population, their city does not seem to be surpassed by any with the exception of Rome. I have heard that in a census taken within our own times, there were enumerated five hundred citizens of Gades of the equestrian order, a number equalled by none of the Italian cities excepting that of the Patavini. However, notwithstanding their vast number, its inhabitants possess an island, in length not much above 100 stadia, and in some places only one stadium in breadth. Originally the city in which they dwelt was extremely small, but Balbus the Gaditanian, who received the honours of a triumph, added another to it which they call the New Town. These two form the city of Didyme, which is not above twenty stadia in circumference. In it, however, they are not pressed for room, because few live at home, the majority passing their lives on the sea, some too dwelling on the opposite continent, and particularly on a little island adjacent on account of its excellence. They have such a liking for this place as almost to have made it a rival city to Didyme. However, few in comparison inhabit either this or the sea-port which Balbus constructed for them on the opposite continent. Their city is situated in the western parts of the island. Near to it is the sanctuary of Saturn, which terminates [Gades to the west], and is opposite the smaller island. The sanctuary of Hercules is on the other side, to the east, where the island approaches nearest to the mainland, being only separated therefrom by a strait of a stadium [in breadth]. They say that this sanctuary is twelve miles from the city, thus making the number of miles and the number of [Hercules'] labours equal: but this is too great, being almost equal to the length of the island. Now the length of the island runs from west to east.,4. Pherecydes appears to have given to Gades the name of Erythia, the locality of the myths concerning Geryon: others suppose it to have been the island situated near to this city, and separated from it by a strait of merely one stadium. This they do on account of the excellence of its pasturage. For the milk of the cattle which feed there does not yield any whey, and they are obliged to mix it with large quantities of water when they make cheese on account of its richness. After fifty days the beasts [pasturing there] would be choked unless they were let blood. The pasturage of the country is dry, but it fattens wonderfully: and it is thought that from this the myth concerning the oxen of Geryon took its rise. The whole sea-shore however is possessed in common.,5. Concerning the foundation of Gades, the Gaditanians report that a certain oracle commanded the Tyrians to found a colony by the Pillars of Hercules. Those who were sent out for the purpose of exploring, when they had arrived at the strait by Calpe, imagined that the capes which form the strait were the boundaries of the habitable earth, as well as of the expedition of Hercules, and consequently they were what the oracle termed the Pillars. They landed on the inside of the straits, at a place where the city of the Exitani now stands. Here they offered sacrifices, which however not being favourable, they returned. After a time others were sent, who advanced about 1500 stadia beyond the strait, to an island consecrated to Hercules, and lying opposite to Onoba, a city of Iberia: considering that here were the Pillars, they sacrificed to the god, but the sacrifices being again unfavourable, they returned home. In the third voyage they reached Gades, and founded the sanctuary in the eastern part of the island, and the city in the west. On this account some consider that the capes in the strait are the Pillars, others suppose Gades, while others again believe that they lie still farther, beyond Gades. There are also some who think that the Pillars are Calpe, and the mountain of Libya which is opposite, named Abilyx, and situated, according to Eratosthenes, amongst the Metagonians, a wandering race. Others fancy that they are two small islands near to the former, one of which is named the Island of Juno. Artemidorus speaks both of the Island of Juno and the sanctuary there, but makes no mention either of mount Abilyx, or the nation of the Metagonians. Some have transported hither the Planctae and the Symplgades, supposing them to be the Pillars, which Pindar calls the Gates of Gades, when he says that they were the farthest limits at which Hercules arrived. Dicaearchus, Eratosthenes, and Polybius, with most of the Grecians, represent the Pillars as being close to the strait, while the Iberians and Libyans place them at Gades, alleging that there is nothing at all resembling pillars close by the strait. Others pretend that they are the pillars of brass eight cubits high in the sanctuary of Hercules at Gades, on which is inscribed the cost of erecting that edifice; and that the sailors coming there on the completion of their voyage and sacrificing to Hercules, rendered the place so famous that it came to be regarded as the termination of the land and sea. Posidonius thinks this view the most probable of all, and looks upon the oracle and the several expeditions as a Phoenician invention. As for the expeditions, what matters it whether any one should vehemently deny or credit the account, as neither the one nor the other would be inconsistent with reason: but the assertion that neither the little islands, nor yet the mountains, bear much resemblance to pillars, and that we should seek for pillars, strictly so called, [set up] either as the termination of the habitable earth, or of the expedition of Hercules, has at all events some reason in it; it being an ancient usage to set up such boundary marks. As for instance the small column which the inhabitants of Rhegium erected by the Strait of Sicily, which is indeed a little tower; and the tower called after Pelorus, which is situated opposite to this small column; also the structures called altars of the Philaeni, about midway in the land between the Syrtes; likewise it is recorded, that a certain pillar was formerly erected on the Isthmus of Corinth, which the Ionians who took possession of Attica and Megaris when they were driven out of the Peloponnesus, and those who settled in the Peloponnesus, set up in common, and inscribed on the side next Megaris, This is no longer Peloponnesus, but Ionia, and on the opposite, This is Peloponnesus, not Ionia. Alexander too erected altars as boundaries of his Indian campaign in those parts of the Indies he arrived at, which were situated farthest towards the east, in imitation of Hercules and Bacchus. That this custom existed, then, cannot be doubted.,6. It is probable that the places themselves took the same name [as the monuments], especially after time had destroyed the boundary marks which had been placed there. For instance, at the present day the altars of the Philaeni no longer exist, but the place itself bears that designation. Similarly they say that in India neither the pillars of Hercules or Bacchus are to be seen, nevertheless certain localities being described and pointed out to the Macedonians, they believed that those places were the pillars in which they discovered any trace either of the adventures of Bacchus or Hercules. In the instance before us, it is not improbable that they who first [visited these regions], set up boundary marks fashioned by the hand of man, such as altars, towers, and pillars, in the most remarkable situations, to indicate the farthest distance they had reached, (and straits, the surrounding mountains, and little islands, are indubitably the most remarkable situations for pointing out the termination or commencement of places,) and that after these human monuments had decayed, their names descended to the places [where they had stood]; whether that were the little islands or the capes forming the strait. This latter point it would not be easy now to determine; the name would suit either place, as they both bear some resemblance to pillars; I say bear some resemblance, because they are placed in such situations as might well indicate boundaries. Now this strait is styled a mouth, as well as many others, but the mouth is at the beginning to those sailing into the strait, and to those who are quitting it at the end. The little islands at the mouth having a contour easy to describe, and being remarkable, one might not improperly compare to pillars. In like manner the mountains overlooking the strait are prominent, resembling columns or pillars. So too Pindar might very justly have said, The Gaditanian Gates, if he had in mind the pillars at the mouth; for these mouths are very similar to gates. On the other hand, Gades is not in a position to indicate an extremity, but is situated about the middle of a long coast forming a kind of gulf. The supposition that the pillars of the sanctuary of Hercules in Gades are intended, appears to me still less probable. It seems most likely that the name was originally conferred not by merchants, but generals, its celebrity afterwards became universal, as was the case with the Indian pillars. Besides, the inscription recorded refutes this idea, since it contains no religious dedication, but a mere list of expenses; whereas the pillars of Hercules should have been a record of the hero's wonderful deeds, not of Phoenician expenditure.,7. Polybius relates that there is a spring within the sanctuary of Hercules at Gades, having a descent of a few steps to fresh water, which is affected in a manner the reverse of the sea tides, subsiding at the flow of the tide, and springing at the ebb. He assigns as the cause of this phenomenon, that air rises from the interior to the surface of the earth; when this surface is covered by the waves, at the rising of the sea, the air is deprived of its ordinary vents, and returns to the interior, stopping up the passages of the spring, and causing a want of water, but when the surface is again laid bare, the air having a direct exit liberates the channels which feed the spring, so that it gushes freely. Artemidorus rejects this explanation, and substitutes one of his own, recording at the same time the opinion of the historian Silanus; but neither one or other of their views seems to me worth relating, since both he and Silanus were ignorant in regard to these matters. Posidonius asserts that the entire account is false, and adds that there are two wells in the sanctuary of Hercules, and a third in the city. That the smaller of the two in the sanctuary of Hercules, if drawn from frequently, will become for a time exhausted, but that on ceasing to draw from it, it fills again: while in regard to the larger, it may be drawn from during the whole day; that it is true it becomes lower, like all other wells, but that it fills again during the night when drawing ceases. [He adds] that the ebb tide frequently happening to occur during the period of its re-filling, gave rise to the groundless belief of the inhabitants as to its being affected in an opposite manner [to the tides of the ocean]. However it is not only related by him that it is a commonly believed fact, but we have received it from tradition as much referred to amongst paradoxes. We have likewise heard that there are wells both within the city and also in the gardens without, but that on account of the inferiority of this water, tanks are generally constructed throughout the city for the supply of water: whether likewise any of these reservoirs give any signs of being affected in an opposite manner to the tides, we know not. If such be the case, the causes thereof should be received as amongst phenomena hard to be explained. It is likely that Polybius may have assigned the proper reason; but it is also likely that certain of the channels of the springs being damped outside become relaxed, and so let the water run out into the surrounding land, instead of forcing it along its ancient passage to the spring; and there will of course be moisture when the tide overflows. But if, as Athenodorus asserts, the ebb and flow resemble the inspiration and expiration of the breath, it is possible that some of the currents of water which naturally have an efflux on to the surface of the earth, through various channels, the mouths of which we denominate springs and fountains, are by other channels drawn towards the depths of the sea, and raise it, so as to produce a flood-tide; when the expiration is sufficient, they leave off the course in which they are then flowing, and again revert to their former direction, when that again takes a change.,8. I cannot tell how it is that Posidonius, who describes the Phoenicians as sagacious in other things, should here attribute to them folly rather than shrewdness. The sun completes his revolution in the space of a day and night, being a portion of the time beneath the earth, and a portion of the time shining upon it. Now he asserts that the motion of the sea corresponds with the revolution of the heavenly bodies, and experiences a diurnal, monthly, and annual change, in strict accordance with the changes of the moon. For [he continues] when the moon is elevated one sign of the zodiac above the horizon, the sea begins sensibly to swell and cover the shores, until she has attained her meridian; but when that satellite begins to decline, the sea again retires by degrees, until the moon wants merely one sign of the zodiac from setting; it then remains stationary until the moon has set, and also descended one sign of the zodiac below the horizon, when it again rises until she has attained her meridian below the earth; it then retires again until the moon is within one sign of the zodiac of her rising above the horizon, when it remains stationary until the moon has risen one sign of the zodiac above the earth, and then begins to rise as before. Such he describes to be the diurnal revolution. In respect to the monthly revolution, [he says] that the spring-tides occur at the time of the new moon, when they decrease until the first quarter; they then increase until full moon, when they again decrease until the last quarter, after which they increase till the new moon; [he adds] that these increases ought to be understood both of their duration and speed. In regard to the annual revolution, he says that he learned from the statements of the Gaditanians, that both the ebb and flow tides were at their extremes at the summer solstice: and that hence he conjectured that they decreased until the [autumnal] equinox; then increased till the winter solstice; then decreased again until the vernal equinox; and [finally] increased until the summer solstice. But since these revolutions occur twice in the four-and-twenty hours, the sea rising twice and receding twice, and that regularly every day and night, how is it that the filling and failing of the well do not frequently occur during the ebb and flow of the tide? or if it be allowed that this does often occur, why does it not do so in the same proportion? and if it does so in the same proportion, how comes it that the Gaditanians are not competent to observe what is of daily occurrence, while they are nevertheless competent to the observing of revolutions which occur but once in the year. That Posidonius himself credited these reports is evident from his own conjecture respecting the decrease and increase [of the sea] from solstice to solstice. However, it is not likely, being an observant people, that they should be ignorant of what actually occurred, whilst giving credit to imaginary phenomena.,9. Posidonius tells us that Seleucus, a native of the country next the Erythraean Sea, states that the regularity and irregularity of the ebb and flow of the sea follow the different positions of the moon in the zodiac; that when she is in the equinoctial signs the tides are regular, but that when she is in the signs next the tropics, the tides are irregular both in their height and force; and that for the remaining signs the irregularity is greater or less, according as they are more or less removed from the signs before mentioned. Posidonius adds, that during the summer solstice and whilst the moon was full, he himself passed many days in the sanctuary of Hercules at Gades, but could not observe any thing of these annual irregularities. However, about the new moon of the same month he observed at Ilipa a great change in the reflux of the water of the Baetis, as compared with previous flood-tides, in which the water did not rise half as high as the banks, and that then the water poured in so copiously, that the soldiers there dipped their supply without difficulty, although Ilipa is about 700 stadia from the sea. He says, that the plains next the sea were covered by the tides to a distance of 30 stadia, and to such a depth as to form islands, while the basement of the sanctuary in the enclosure dedicated to Hercules, and the top of the mole in front of the harbour of Gades, were not covered higher than 10 cubits, as observed by actual soundings; but if any one should add the double of that for the occasional risings of the tide which occur, [neither] thus would he be able to estimate the violence with which the full force of the high tide rushes over the plains. Posidonius informs us that this violence [of the tide] is common to all the coasts of Spain on the Atlantic, but what he relates concerning the Ebro is unusual and peculiar to itself, for he says that it sometimes overflows after continued north winds, although there may have been neither rains nor snows. The cause of this [he supposes] to be the lake through which the Ebro flows, its waters being driven by the winds into the current of the river.,10. The same writer mentions a tree at Gades, which had boughs reaching to the ground; its sword-shaped leaves often measuring a cubit long, and four fingers broad. Also that about Carthagena there was a tree whose thorns produced a bark from which most beautiful stuffs were woven. As for the tree [he saw] at Gades, we ourselves have observed a similar in Egypt, so far as the inclination of the boughs is concerned, but with a differently shaped leaf, and producing no fruit, which according to him the other did. In Cappadocia there are stuffs made from thorns, but it is not a tree which produces the thorn from which the bark is taken, but a low plant; he also tells us of a tree at Gades, from which if a branch be broken off a milk will flow, and if the root be cut a red fluid runs. Thus much for Gades.,11. The Cassiterides are ten in number, and lie near each other in the ocean towards the north from the haven of the Artabri. One of them is desert, but the others are inhabited by men in black cloaks, clad in tunics reaching to the feet, girt about the breast, and walking with staves, thus resembling the Furies we see in tragic representations. They subsist by their cattle, leading for the most part a wandering life. Of the metals they have tin and lead; which with skins they barter with the merchants for earthenware, salt, and brazen vessels. Formerly the Phoenicians alone carried on this traffic from Gades, concealing the passage from every one; and when the Romans followed a certain ship-master, that they also might find the market, the shipmaster of jealousy purposely ran his vessel upon a shoal, leading on those who followed him into the same destructive disaster; he himself escaped by means of a fragment of the ship, and received from the state the value of the cargo he had lost. The Romans nevertheless by frequent efforts discovered the passage, and as soon as Publius Crassus, passing over to them, perceived that the metals were dug out at a little depth, and that the men were peaceably disposed, he declared it to those who already wished to traffic in this sea for profit, although the passage was longer than that to Britain. Thus far concerning Iberia and the adjacent islands.


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agriculture Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 7
architecture, temples (structure only), hellenistic age Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
cult of gods, goddesses, and heroes, of mother goddess Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
ephesus Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
epigoni, age of Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
eumenes i of pergamon Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
eunuchs Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
italy/italians Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
jünd dağ Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
mamurt kale Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
mediterranean, climate Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 7
mother goddess, aspordene Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
neolithic/chalcolithic age (ca. Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
olives Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 7
pergamon, attalids Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
pergamon, polis and royal residence Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
philetairos of pergamon Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
poseidonius Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
stoicism Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
strabo, heuristics Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
strabo Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8
temple, demeter of pergamon Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
temple, meter aspordene (near pergamon) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 209
travel' Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 8