Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Strabo, Geography, 17.1.46

nanNext to the city of Apollo is Thebes, now called Diospolis, with her hundred gates, through each of which issue two hundred men, with horses and chariots, according to Homer, who mentions also its wealth; not all the wealth the palaces of Egyptian Thebes contain.Other writers use the same language, and consider Thebes as the metropolis of Egypt. Vestiges of its magnitude still exist, which extend 80 stadia in length. There are a great number of temples, many of which Cambyses mutilated. The spot is at present occupied by villages. One part of it, in which is the city, lies in Arabia; another is in the country on the other side of the river, where is the Memnonium. Here are two colossal figures near one another, each consisting of a single stone. One is entire; the upper parts of the other, from the chair, are fallen down, the effect, it is said, of an earthquake. It is believed, that once a day a noise as of a slight blow issues from the part of the statue which remains in the seat and on its base. When I was at those places with Aelius Gallus, and numerous friends and soldiers about him, I heard a noise at the first hour (of the day), but whether proceeding from the base or from the colossus, or produced on purpose by some of those standing around the base, I cannot confidently assert. For from the uncertainty of the cause, I am disposed to believe anything rather than that stones disposed in that manner could send forth sound.Above the Memnonium are tombs of kings in caves, and hewn out of the stone, about forty in number; they are executed with singular skill, and are worthy of notice. Among the tombs are obelisks with inscriptions, denoting the wealth of the kings of that time, and the extent of their empire, as reaching to the Scythians, Bactrians, Indians, and the present Ionia; the amount of tribute also, and the number of soldiers, which composed an army of about a million of men.The priests there are said to be, for the most part, astronomers and philosophers. The former compute the days, not by the moon, but by the sun, introducing into the twelve months of thirty days each five days every year. But in order to complete the whole year, because there is (annually) an excess of a part of a day, they form a period from out of whole days and whole years, the supernumerary portions of which in that period, when collected together, amount to a day. They ascribe to Mercury all knowledge of this kind. To Jupiter, whom they worship above all other deities, a virgin of the greatest beauty and of the most illustrious family (such persons the Greeks call pallades) is dedicated. She prostitutes herself with whom she pleases, until the time occurs for the natural purification of the body; she is afterwards married; but before her marriage, and after the period of prostitution, they mourn for her as for one dead.

Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

11 results
1. Hesiod, Theogony, 985 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

985. Graces, fair-cheeked, Aglaea, Euphrosyne
2. Herodotus, Histories, 4.197, 5.53-5.54, 7.151 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

4.197. These are all the Libyans whom we can name, and the majority of their kings cared nothing for the king of the Medes at the time of which I write, nor do they care for him now. ,I have this much further to say of this country: four nations and no more, as far as we know, inhabit it, two of which are aboriginal and two not; the Libyans in the north and the Ethiopians in the south of Libya are aboriginal; the Phoenicians and Greeks are later settlers. 5.53. Thus the sum total of stages is one hundred and eleven. So many resting-stages, then, are there in the journey up from Sardis to Susa. If I have accurately counted the parasangs of the royal road, and the parasang is of thirty furlongs' length, which assuredly it is, then between Sardis and the king's abode called Memnonian there are thirteen thousand and five hundred furlongs, the number of parasangs being four hundred and fifty. If each day's journey is one hundred and fifty furlongs, then the sum of days spent is ninety, neither more nor less. 5.54. Aristagoras of Miletus accordingly spoke the truth to Cleomenes the Lacedaemonian when he said that the journey inland was three months long. If anyone should desire a more exact measurement, I will give him that too, for the journey from Ephesus to Sardis must be added to the rest. ,So, then, from the Greek sea to Susa, which is the city called Memnonian, it is a journey of fourteen thousand and forty stages, for there are five hundred and forty furlongs from Ephesus to Sardis. The three months' journey is accordingly made longer by three days. 7.151. This is borne out, some of the Greeks say, by the tale of a thing which happened many years afterwards. It happened that while Athenian envoys, Callias son of Hipponicus, and the rest who had come up with him, were at Susa, called the Memnonian, about some other business, the Argives also had at this same time sent envoys to Susa, asking of Xerxes' son Artoxerxes whether the friendship which they had forged with Xerxes still held good, as they desired, or whether he considered them as his enemies. Artoxerxes responded to this that it did indeed hold good and that he believed no city to be a better friend to him than Argos.”
3. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 2.22.1-2.22.3, 3.2.1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.22.1.  There is no special need of giving all the names of the kings and the number of years which each of them reigned because nothing was done by them which merits mentioning. For the only event which has been recorded is the despatch by the Assyrians to the Trojans of an allied force, which was under the command of Memnon the son of Tithonus. 2.22.2.  For when Teutamus, they say, was ruler of Asia, being the twentieth in succession from Ninyas the son of Semiramis, the Greeks made an expedition against Troy with Agamemnon, at a time when the Assyrians had controlled Asia for more than a thousand years. And Priam, who was king of the Troad and a vassal of the king of the Assyrians, being hard pressed by the war, sent an embassy to the king requesting aid; and Teutamus despatched ten thousand Ethiopians and a like number of the men of Susiana along with two hundred chariots, having appointed as general Memnon the son of Tithonus. 2.22.3.  Now Tithonus, who was at that time general of Persis, was the most highly esteemed of the governors at the king's court, and Memnon, who was in the bloom of manhood, was distinguished both for his bravery and for his nobility of spirit. He also built the palace in the upper city of Susa which stood until the time of the Persian Empire and was called after him Memnonian; moreover, he constructed through the country a public highway which bears the name Memnonian to this time. 3.2.1.  Now the Ethiopians, as historians relate, were the first of all men and the proofs of this statement, they say, are manifest. For that they did not come into their land as immigrants from abroad but were natives of it and so justly bear the name of "autochthones" is, they maintain, conceded by practically all men; furthermore, that those who dwell beneath the noon-day sun were, in all likelihood, the first to be generated by the earth, is clear to all; since, inasmuch as it was the warmth of the sun which, at the generation of the universe, dried up the earth when it was still wet and impregnated it with life, it is reasonable to suppose that the region which was nearest the sun was the first to bring forth living creatures.
4. Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.764 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

5. Lucan, Pharsalia, 8.609 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Tacitus, Annals, 1.76, 2.47, 2.59-2.61, 4.13 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.76.  In the same year, the Tiber, rising under the incessant rains, had flooded the lower levels of the city, and its subsidence was attended by much destruction of buildings and life. Accordingly, Asinius Gallus moved for a reference to the Sibylline Books. Tiberius objected, preferring secrecy as in earth so in heaven: still, the task of coercing the stream was entrusted to Ateius Capito and Lucius Arruntius. Since Achaia and Macedonia protested against the heavy taxation, it was decided to relieve them of their proconsular government for the time being and transfer them to the emperor. A show of gladiators, given in the name of his brother Germanicus, was presided over by Drusus, who took an extravagant pleasure in the shedding of blood however vile — a trait so alarming to the populace that it was said to have been censured by his father. Tiberius' own absence from the exhibition was variously explained. Some ascribed it to his impatience of a crowd; others, to his native morosity and his dread of comparisons; for Augustus had been a good-humoured spectator. I should be slow to believe that he deliberately furnished his son with an occasion for exposing his brutality and arousing the disgust of the nation; yet even this was suggested. 2.47.  In the same year, twelve important cities of Asia collapsed in an earthquake, the time being night, so that the havoc was the less foreseen and the more devastating. Even the usual resource in these catastrophes, a rush to open ground, was unavailing, as the fugitives were swallowed up in yawning chasms. Accounts are given of huge mountains sinking, of former plains seen heaved aloft, of fires flashing out amid the ruin. As the disaster fell heaviest on the Sardians, it brought them the largest measure of sympathy, the Caesar promising ten million sesterces, and remitting for five years their payments to the national and imperial exchequers. The Magnesians of Sipylus were ranked second in the extent of their losses and their indemnity. In the case of the Temnians, Philadelphenes, Aegeates, Apollonideans, the so‑called Mostenians and Hyrcanian Macedonians, and the cities of Hierocaesarea, Myrina, Cyme, and Tmolus, it was decided to exempt them from tribute for the same term and to send a senatorial commissioner to view the state of affairs and administer relief. Since Asia was held by a consular governor, an ex-praetor — Marcus Ateius — was selected, so as to avoid the difficulties which might arise from the jealousy of two officials of similar standing. 2.60.  Not yet aware, however, that his itinerary was disapproved, Germanicus sailed up the Nile, starting from the town of Canopus — founded by the Spartans in memory of the helmsman so named, who was buried there in the days when Menelaus, homeward bound for Greece, was blown to a distant sea and the Libyan coast. From Canopus he visited the next of the river-mouths, which is sacred to Hercules (an Egyptian born, according to the local account, and the eldest of the name, the others of later date and equal virtue being adopted into the title); then, the vast remains of ancient Thebes. On piles of masonry Egyptian letters still remained, embracing the tale of old magnificence, and one of the senior priests, ordered to interpret his native tongue, related that "once the city contained seven hundred thousand men of military age, and with that army King Rhamses, after conquering Libya and Ethiopia, the Medes and the Persians, the Bactrian and the Scyth, and the lands where the Syrians and Armenians and neighbouring Cappadocians dwell, had ruled over all that lies between the Bithynian Sea on the one hand and the Lycian on the other." The tribute-lists of the subject nations were still legible: the weight of silver and gold, the number of weapons and horses, the temple-gifts of ivory and spices, together with the quantities of grain and other necessaries of life to be paid by the separate countries; revenues no less imposing than those which are now exacted by the might of Parthia or by Roman power. 2.61.  But other marvels, too, arrested the attention of Germanicus: in especial, the stone colossus of Memnon, which emits a vocal sound when touched by the rays of the sun; the pyramids reared mountain high by the wealth of emulous kings among wind-swept and all but impassable sands; the excavated lake which receives the overflow of Nile; and, elsewhere, narrow gorges and deeps impervious to the plummet of the explorer. Then he proceeded to Elephantine and Syene, once the limits of the Roman Empire, which now stretches to the Persian Gulf. 4.13.  Meanwhile Tiberius had in no way relaxed his attention to public business, but, accepting work as a consolation, was dealing with judicial cases at Rome and petitions from the provinces. On his proposal, senatorial resolutions were passed to relieve the towns of Cibyra in Asia and Aegium in Achaia, both damaged by earthquake, by remitting their tribute for three years. Vibius Serenus, too, the proconsul of Further Spain, was condemned on a charge of public violence, and deported, as the result of his savage character, to the island of Amorgus. Carsidius Sacerdos, accused of supplying grain to a public enemy in the person of Tacfarinas, was acquitted; and the same charge failed against Gaius Gracchus. Gracchus had been taken in earliest infancy by his father Sempronius to share his banishment in the company of landless men, destitute of all liberal achievements; later, he eked out a livelihood by mean trading transactions in Africa and Sicily: yet even so he failed to escape the hazards reserved for rank and fortune. Indeed, had not Aelius Lamia and Lucius Apronius, former governors of Africa, come to the rescue of his innocence, he would have been swept to ruin by the fame of his calamitous house and the disasters of his father.
7. Tacitus, Histories, 5.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.2.  However, as I am about to describe the last days of a famous city, it seems proper for me to give some account of its origin. It is said that the Jews were originally exiles from the island of Crete who settled in the farthest parts of Libya at the time when Saturn had been deposed and expelled by Jove. An argument in favour of this is derived from the name: there is a famous mountain in Crete called Ida, and hence the inhabitants were called the Idaei, which was later lengthened into the barbarous form Iudaei. Some hold that in the reign of Isis the superfluous population of Egypt, under the leadership of Hierosolymus and Iuda, discharged itself on the neighbouring lands; many others think that they were an Egyptian stock, which in the reign of Cepheus was forced to migrate by fear and hatred. Still others report that they were Assyrian refugees, a landless people, who first got control of a part of Egypt, then later they had their own cities and lived in the Hebrew territory and the nearer parts of Syria. Still others say that the Jews are of illustrious origin, being the Solymi, a people celebrated in Homer's poems, who founded a city and gave it the name Hierosolyma, formed from their own.
8. Cassius Dio, Roman History, 57.17.7-57.17.8, 69.11.1-69.11.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

57.17.7.  So it was that the life of Archelaus was spared for the time being; but he died shortly afterward from some other cause. After this Cappadocia fell to the Romans and was put in charge of a knight as governor. The cities in Asia which had been damaged by the earthquake were assigned to an ex-praetor with five lictors; and large sums of money were remitted from taxes and large sums were also given them by Tiberius. 57.17.8.  For not only did he refrain scrupulously from the possessions of others — so long, that is, as he practised any virtue at all — and would not even accept the inheritances that were left to him by testators who had relatives, but he actually contributed vast sums both to cities and to private individuals, and would not accept any honour or praise for these acts. 69.11.1.  On coming to Greece he was admitted to the highest grade at the Mysteries. After this he passed through Judaea into Egypt and offered sacrifice to Pompey, concerning whom he is said to have uttered this verse: "Strange lack of tomb for one with shrines o'erwhelmed!" Antinous: a bust in the Vatican Museums. And he restored his monument, which had fallen in ruin.
9. Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Hadrian, 14.5-14.7 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

10. Strabo, Geography, 1.1.4, 1.1.21, 2.5.34, 4.4.4, 15.1.59, 15.1.70, 15.3.2, 16.1.6, 17.1.3, 17.1.53

1.1.4. He portrays the happiness of the people of the West, and the salubrity of their climate, having no doubt heard of the abundance of Iberia, which had attracted the arms of Hercules, afterwards of the Phoenicians, who acquired there an extended rule, and finally of the Romans. There the airs of Zephyr breathe, there the poet feigned the fields of Elysium, when he tells us Menelaus was sent thither by the gods: Thee the gods Have destined to the blest Elysian isles, Earth's utmost boundaries. Rhadamanthus there For ever reigns, and there the human kind Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there, No biting winter, and no drenching shower, But Zephyr always gently from the sea Breathes on them, to refresh the happy race. [Od. iv. 563] 1.1.21. 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. 2.5.34. It now remains for us to speak of the climata. of these too we shall give but a general description, commencing with those lines which we have denominated elementary, namely, those which determine the greatest length and breadth of the [habitable earth], but especially its breadth. To enter fully into this subject is the duty of astronomers. This has been done by Hipparchus, who has noted down (as he says) the differences of the heavenly appearances for every degree of that quarter of the globe in which our habitable earth is situated, namely, from the equator to the north pole. What is beyond our habitable earth it is not however the business of the geographer to consider. Nor yet even in regard to the various parts of the habitable earth must too minute and numerous differences be noticed, since to the man of the world they are perplexing; it will suffice to give the most striking and simple of the statements of Hipparchus. Assuming, as he does himself after the assertion of Eratosthenes, that the circumference of the earth is 252,000 stadia, the differences of the [celestial] phenomena will not be great for each [degree] within the limits between which the habitable earth is contained. Supposing we cut the grand circle of the earth into 360 divisions, each of these divisions will consist of 700 stadia. This is the calculation adopted by [Hipparchus] to fix the distances, which [as we said] should be taken under the before-mentioned meridian of Meroe. He commences at the regions situated under the equator, and stopping from time to time at every 700 stadia along the whole length of the meridian above mentioned, proceeds to describe the celestial phenomena as they appear from each. But the equator is not the place for us to start from. For even if there be there a habitable region, as some suppose, it forms a habitable earth to itself, a narrow slip enclosed by the regions uninhabitable on account of the heat; and can be no part of our habitable earth. Now the geographer should attend to none but our own habitable earth, which is confined by certain boundaries; on the south by the parallel which passes over the Cinnamon Country; on the north by that which passes over Ierna. But keeping in mind the scheme of our geography, we have no occasion to mark all the places comprehended within this distance, nor yet all the celestial phenomena. We must however commence, as Hipparchus does, with the southern regions. 4.4.4. Amongst [the Gauls] there are generally three divisions of' men especially reverenced, the Bards, the Vates, and the Druids. The Bards composed and chanted hymns; the Vates occupied themselves with the sacrifices and the study of nature; while the Druids joined to the study of nature that of moral philosophy. The belief in the justice [of the Druids] is so great that the decision both of public and private disputes is referred to them; and they have before now, by their decision, prevented armies from engaging when drawn up in battle-array against each other. All cases of murder are particularly referred to them. When there is plenty of these they imagine there will likewise be a plentiful harvest. Both these and the others assert that the soul is indestructible, and likewise the world, but that sometimes fire and sometimes water have prevailed in making great changes. 15.1.59. Megasthenes divides the philosophers again into two kinds, the Brachmanes and the Garmanes. The Brachmanes are held in greater repute, for they agree more exactly in their opinions. Even from the time of their conception in the womb they are under the care and guardianship of learned men, who go to the mother, and seem to perform some incantation for the happiness and welfare of the mother and the unborn child, but in reality they suggest prudent advice, and the mothers who listen to them most willingly are thought to be the most fortunate in their offspring. After the birth of the children, there is a succession of persons who have the care of them, and as they advance in years, masters more able and accomplished succeed.The philosophers live in a grove in front of the city within a moderate-sized enclosure. Their diet is frugal, and they lie upon straw pallets and on skins. They abstain from animal food, and from sexual intercourse with women; their time is occupied in grave discourse, and they communicate with those who are inclined to listen to them; but the hearer is not permitted to speak or cough, or even to spit on the ground; otherwise, he is expelled that very day from their society, on the ground of having no control over himself. After living thirty-seven years in this manner, each individual retires to his own possessions, and lives with less restraint, wearing robes of fine linen, and rings of gold, but without profuseness, upon the hands and in the ears. They eat the flesh of animals, of those particularly which do not assist man in his labour, and abstain from hot and seasoned food. They have as many wives as they please with a view to numerous offspring, for from many wives greater advantages are derived.As they have no slaves, they require more the services, which are at hand, of their children.The Brachmanes do not communicate their philosophy to their wives, for fear they should divulge to the profane, if they became depraved, anything which ought to be concealed or lest they should abandon their husbands in case they became good (philosophers) themselves. For no one who despises alike pleasure and pain, life and death, is willing to be subject to the authority of another; and such is the character of a virtuous man and a virtuous woman.They discourse much on death, for it is their opinion that the present life is the state of one conceived in the womb, and that death to philosophers is birth to a real and a happy life. They therefore discipline themselves much to prepare for death, and maintain that nothing which happens to man is bad or good, for otherwise the same things would not be the occasion of sorrow to some and of joy to others, opinions being merely dreams, nor that the same persons could be affected with sorrow and joy by the same things, on different occasions.With regard to opinions on physical phenomena, they display, says Megasthenes, great simplicity, their actions being better than their reasoning, for their belief is chiefly founded on fables. On many subjects their sentiments are the same as those of the Greeks. According to the Brachmanes, the world was created, and is liable to corruption; it is of a spheroidal figure; the god who made and governs it pervades the whole of it; the principles of all things are different, but the principle of the world's formation was water; in addition to the four elements there is a fifth nature, of which the heavens and the stars are composed; the earth is situated in the centre of the universe. Many other peculiar things they say of the principle of generation and of the soul. They invent fables also, after the manner of Plato, on the immortality of the soul, and on the punishments in Hades, and other things of this kind. This is the account which Megasthenes gives of the Brachmanes. 15.1.70. Opposed to the Brachmanes there are philosophers, called Pramnae, contentious people, and fond of argument. They ridicule the Brachmanes as boasters and fools for occupying themselves with physiology and astronomy. Some of the Pramnae are called Pramnae of the mountains, others Gymnetae, others again are called Townsmen and Countrymen. The Pramnae of the mountains wear deer-skins, and carry scrips filled with roots and drugs; they profess to practise medicine by means of incantations, charms, and amulets.The Gymnetae, as their name imports, are naked and live chiefly in the open air, practising fortitude for the space of thirty-seven years; this I have before mentioned; women live in their society, but without cohabitation. The Gymnetae are held in singular estimation. 15.3.2. Susis also is almost a part of Persis. It lies between Persis and Babylonia, and has a very considerable city, Susa. For the Persians and Cyrus, after the conquest of the Medes, perceiving that their own country was situated towards the extremities, but Susis more towards the interior, nearer also to Babylon and the other nations, there placed the royal seat of the empire. They were pleased with its situation on the confines of Persis, and with the importance of the city; besides the consideration that it had never of itself undertaken any great enterprise, had always been in subjection to other people, and constituted a part of a greater body, except, perhaps, anciently in the heroic times.It is said to have been founded by Tithonus, the father of Memnon. Its compass was 120 stadia. Its shape was oblong. The acropolis was called Memnonium. The Susians have the name also of Cissii. Aeschylus calls the mother of Memnon, Cissia. Memnon is said to be buried near Paltus in Syria, by the river Badas, as Simonides says in his Memnon, a dithyrambic poem among the Deliaca. The wall of the city, the temples and palaces, were constructed in the same manner as those of the Babylonians, of baked brick and asphaltus, as some writers relate. Polycletus however says, that its circumference was 200 stadia, and that it was without walls. 16.1.6. In Babylon a residence was set apart for the native philosophers called Chaldaeans, who are chiefly devoted to the study of astronomy. Some, who are not approved of by the rest, profess to understand genethlialogy, or the casting of nativities. There is also a tribe of Chaldaeans, who inhabit a district of Babylonia, in the neighbourhood of the Arabians, and of the sea called the Persian Sea. There are several classes of the Chaldaean astronomers. Some have the name of Orcheni, some Borsippeni, and many others, as if divided into sects, who disseminate different tenets on the same subjects. The mathematicians make mention of some individuals among them, as Cidenas, Naburianus, and Sudinus. Seleucus also of Seleuceia is a Chaldaean, and many other remarkable men. 17.1.3. We must, however, enter into a further detail of particulars. And first, we must speak of the parts about Egypt, proceeding from those that are better known to those which follow next in order.The Nile produces some common effects in this and the contiguous tract of country, namely, that of the Ethiopians above it, in watering them at the time of its rise, and leaving those parts only habitable which have been covered by the inundation; it intersects the higher lands, and all the tract elevated above its current on both sides, which however are uninhabited and a desert, from an absolute want of water. But the Nile does not traverse the whole of Ethiopia, nor alone, nor in a straight line, nor a country which is well inhabited. But Egypt it traverses both alone and entirely, and in a straight line, from the lesser cataract above Syene and Elephantine, (which are the boundaries of Egypt and Ethiopia,) to the mouths by which it discharges itself into the sea. The Ethiopians at present lead for the most part a wandering life, and are destitute of the means of subsistence, on account of the barrenness of the soil, the disadvantages of climate, and their great distance from us.Now the contrary is the case with the Egyptians in all these respects. For they have lived from the first under a regular form of government, they were a people of civilized manners, and were settled in a well-known country; their institutions have been recorded and mentioned in terms of praise, for they seemed to have availed themselves of the fertility of their country in the best possible manner by the partition of it (and by the classification of persons) which they adopted, and by their general care.When they had appointed a king, they divided the people into three classes, into soldiers, husbandmen, and priests. The latter had the care of everything relating to sacred things (of the gods), the others of what related to man; some had the management of warlike affairs, others attended to the concerns of peace, the cultivation of the ground, and the practice of the arts, from which the king derived his revenue.The priests devoted themselves to the study of philosophy and astronomy, and were companions of the kings.The country was at first divided into nomes. The Thebais contained ten, the Delta ten, and the intermediate tract sixteen. But according to some writers, all the nomes together amounted to the number of chambers in the Labyrinth. Now these were less than thirty [six]. The nomes were again divided into other sections. The greater number of the nomes were distributed into toparchies, and these again into other sections ; the smallest portions were the arourae.An exact and minute division of the country was required by the frequent confusion of boundaries occasioned at the time of the rise of the Nile, which takes away, adds, and alters the various shapes of the bounds, and obliterates other marks by which the property of one person is distinguished from that of another. It was consequently necessary to measure the land repeatedly. Hence it is said geometry originated here, as the art of keeping accounts and arithmetic originated with the Phoenicians, in consequence of their commerce.As the whole population of the country, so the separate population in each nome, was divided into three classes ; the territory also was divided into three equal portions.The attention and care bestowed upon the Nile is so great as to cause industry to triumph over nature. The ground by nature, and still more by being supplied with water, produces a great abundance of fruits. By nature also a greater rise of the river irrigates a larger tract of land; but industry has completely succeeded in rectifying the deficiency of nature, so that in seasons when the rise of the river has been less than usual, as large a portion of the country is irrigated by means of canals and embankments, as in seasons when the rise of the river has been greater.Before the times of Petronius there was the greatest plenty, and the rise of the river was the greatest when it rose to the height of fourteen cubits; but when it rose to eight only, a famine ensued. During the government of Petronius, however, when the Nile rose twelve cubits only, there was a most abundant crop; and once when it mounted to eight only, no famine followed. Such then is the nature of this provision for the physical state of the country. We shall now proceed to the next particulars. 17.1.53. Egypt was from the first disposed to peace, from having resources within itself, and because it was difficult of access to strangers. It was also protected on the north by a harbourless coast and the Egyptian Sea; on the east and west by the desert mountains of Libya and Arabia, as I have said before. The remaining parts towards the south are occupied by Troglodytae, Blemmyes, Nubae, and Megabari, Ethiopians above Syene. These are nomads, and not numerous nor warlike, but accounted so by the ancients, because frequently, like robbers, they attacked defenceless persons. Neither are the Ethiopians, who extend towards the south and Meroe, numerous nor collected in a body; for they inhabit a long, narrow, and winding tract of land on the riverside, such as we have before described; nor are they well prepared either for war or the pursuit of any other mode of life.At present the whole country is in the same pacific state, a proof of which is, that the upper country is sufficiently guarded by three cohorts, and these not complete. Whenever the Ethiopians have ventured to attack them, it has been at the risk of danger to their own country. The rest of the forces in Egypt are neither very numerous, nor did the Romans ever once employ them collected into one army. For neither are the Egyptians themselves of a warlike disposition, nor the surrounding nations, although their numbers are very large.Cornelius Gallus, the first governor of the country appointed by (Augustus) Caesar, attacked the city Heroopolis, which had revolted, and took it with a small body of men. He suppressed also in a short time an insurrection in the Thebais, which originated as to the payment of tribute. At a later period Petronius resisted, with the soldiers about his person, a mob of myriads of Alexandrines, who attacked him by throwing stones. He killed some, and compelled the rest to desist.We have before related how Aelius Gallus, when he invaded Arabia with a part of the army stationed in Egypt, exhibited a proof of the unwarlike disposition of the people; and if Syllaeus had not betrayed him, he would have conquered the whole of Arabia Felix.
11. Vergil, Aeneis, 1.489

1.489. her husband's tombless ghost before her came

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
achaia Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
achilles Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
alexander the great,mausoleum in egypt Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
alexander the great,model for viri militares Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
alexander the great Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
amenhotep iii Rojas(2019), The Remains of the Past and the Invention of Archaeology in Roman Anatolia: Interpreters, Traces, Horizons, 213
andromeda Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
asia Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
autochthony,of ethiopians Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
coins with egypt themes Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
colossus of memnon Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
cosmopolitanism,antonine and severan Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
diodorus siculus Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243
egypt Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
elites Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
emperors and egypt,caracalla Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
emperors and egypt,hadrian Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
emperors and egypt,marcus aurelius Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
emperors and egypt,octavian-augustus Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
emperors and egypt,septimius severus Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
estates,private Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
estates,public Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
homer Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243
imperial patron Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
india Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243
italy Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
landowners,tenants Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
macedonia Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
memnon Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
nile,mystery Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
nilus,god of the nile river Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
perseus,and andromeda Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
polymatheia Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243
pompey (gnaeus pompeius magnus),defines egypt and the nile Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
rent Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
skin color,textual images Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
strabo,geography Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243
strabo Pinheiro et al. (2015), Philosophy and the Ancient Novel, 146
susa Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
taxation,capitation tax Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
taxation,land tribute Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
taxation,rates' Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
taxation Keddie (2019), Class and Power in Roman Palestine: The Socioeconomic Setting of Judaism and Christian Origins, 130
tombs,of alexander the great Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
tombs,of pompey Manolaraki (2012), Noscendi Nilum Cupido: Imagining Egypt from Lucan to Philostratus, 232
vergil Gruen (2011), Rethinking the Other in Antiquity, 200
vitruvius Konig and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243; König and Wiater (2022), Late Hellenistic Greek Literature in Dialogue, 243