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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10496
Strabo, Geography, 17.1.6-17.1.10


nan1. Now that I have described Iberia and the Celtic and Italian tribes, along with the islands near by, it will be next in order to speak of the remaining parts of Europe, dividing them in the approved manner. The remaining parts are: first, those towards the east, being those which are across the Rhenus and extend as far as the Tanais and the mouth of Lake Maeotis, and also all those regions lying between the Adrias and the regions on the left of the Pontic Sea that are shut off by the Ister and extend towards the south as far as Greece and the Propontis;5 for this river divides very nearly the whole of the aforesaid land into two parts. It is the largest of the European rivers, at the outset flowing towards the south and then turning straight from the west towards the east and the Pontus. It rises in the western limits of Germany, as also near the recess of the Adriatic (at a distance from it of about one thousand stadia), and comes to an end at the Pontus not very far from the outlets of the Tyras and the Borysthenes, bending from its easterly course approximately towards the north. Now the parts that are beyond the Rhenus and Celtica are to the north of the Ister; these are the territories of the Galatic and the Germanic tribes, extending as far as the Bastarnians and the Tyregetans and the River Borysthenes. And the territories of all the tribes between this river and the Tanais and the mouth of Lake Maeotis extend up into the interior as far as the ocean and are washed by the Pontic Sea. But both the Illyrian and the Thracian tribes, and all tribes of the Celtic or other peoples that are mingled with these, as far as Greece, are to the south of the Ister. But let me first describe the parts outside the Ister, for they are much simpler than those on the other side.,2. Now the parts beyond the Rhenus, immediately after the country of the Celti, slope towards the east and are occupied by the Germans, who, though they vary slightly from the Celtic stock in that they are wilder, taller, and have yellower hair, are in all other respects similar, for in build, habits, and modes of life they are such as I have said the Celti are. And I also think that it was for this reason that the Romans assigned to them the name Germani, as though they wished to indicate thereby that they were genuine Galatae, for in the language of the Romans germani means genuine.,3. The first parts of this country are those that are next to the Rhenus, beginning at its source and extending a far as its outlet; and this stretch of river-land taken as a whole is approximately the breadth of the country on its western side. Some of the tribes of this river-land were transferred by the Romans to Celtica, whereas the others anticipated the Romans by migrating deep into the country, for instance, the Marsi; and only a few people, including a part of the Sugambri, are left. After the people who live along the river come the other tribes that live between the Rhenus and the River Albis, and traverses no less territory than the former. Between the two are other navigable rivers also (among them the Amasias, on which Drusus won a naval victory over the Bructeri), which likewise flow from the south towards the north and the ocean; for the country is elevated towards the south and forms a mountain chain that connects with the Alps and extends towards the east as though it were a part of the Alps; and in truth some declare that they actually are a part of the Alps, both because of their aforesaid position and of the fact that they produce the same timber; however, the country in this region does not rise to a sufficient height for that. Here, too, is the Hercynian Forest, and also the tribes of the Suevi, some of which dwell inside the forest, as, for instance, the tribes of the Coldui, in whose territory is Boihaemum, the domain of Marabodus, the place whither he caused to migrate, not only several other peoples, but in particular the Marcomanni, his fellow-tribesmen; for after his return from Rome this man, who before had been only a private citizen, was placed in charge of the affairs of state, for, as a youth he had been at Rome and had enjoyed the favor of Augustus, and on his return he took the rulership and acquired, in addition to the peoples aforementioned, the Lugii (a large tribe), the Zumi, the Butones, the Mugilones, the Sibini, and also the Semnones, a large tribe of the Suevi themselves. However, while some of the tribes of the Suevi dwell inside the forest, as I was saying, others dwell outside of it, and have a common boundary with the Getae. Now as for the tribe of the Suevi, it is the largest, for it extends from the Rhenus to the Albis; and a part of them even dwell on the far side of the Albis, as, for instance, the Hermondori and the Langobardi; and at the present time these latter, at least, have, to the last man, been driven in flight out of their country into the land on the far side of the river. It is a common characteristic of all the peoples in this part of the world that they migrate with ease, because of the meagerness of their livelihood and because they do not till the soil or even store up food, but live in small huts that are merely temporary structures; and they live for the most part off their flocks, as the Nomads do, so that, in imitation of the Nomads, they load their household belongings on their wagons and with their beasts turn whithersoever they think best. But other German tribes are still more indigent. I mean the Cherusci, the Chatti, the Gamabrivii and the Chattuarii, and also, near the ocean, the Sugambri, the Chaubi, the Bructeri, and the Cimbri, and also the Cauci, the Caulci, the Campsiani, and several others. Both the Visurgis and the Lupias Rivers run in the same direction as the Amasias, the Lupias being about six hundred stadia distant from the Rhenus and flowing through the country of the Lesser Bructeri. Germany has also the Salas River; and it was between the Salas and the Rhenus that Drusus Germanicus, while he was successfully carrying on the war, came to his end. He had subjugated, not only most of the tribes, but also the islands along the coast, among which is Burchanis, which he took by siege.,4. These tribes have become known through their wars with the Romans, in which they would either yield and then later revolt again, or else quit their settlements; and they would have been better known if Augustus had allowed his generals to cross the Albis in pursuit of those who emigrated thither. But as a matter of fact he supposed that he could conduct the war in hand more successfully if he should hold off from those outside the Albis, who were living in peace, and should not incite them to make common cause with the others in their enmity against him. It was the Sugambri, who live near the Rhenus, that began the war, Melo being their leader; and from that time on different peoples at different times would cause a breach, first growing powerful and then being put down, and then revolting again, betraying both the hostages they had given and their pledges of good faith. In dealing with these peoples distrust has been a great advantage, whereas those who have been trusted have done the greatest harm, as, for instance, the Cherusci and their subjects, in whose country three Roman legions, with their general Quintilius Varus, were destroyed by ambush in violation of the treaty. But they all paid the penalty, and afforded the younger Germanicus a most brilliant triumph — that triumph in which their most famous men and women were led captive, I mean Segimuntus, son of Segestes and chieftain of the Cherusci, and his sister Thusnelda, the wife of Armenius, the man who at the time of the violation of the treaty against Quintilius Varus was commander-in-chief of the Cheruscan army and even to this day is keeping up the war, and Thusnelda's three-year-old son Thumelicus; and also Sesithacus, the son of Segimerus and chieftain of the Cherusci, and Rhamis, his wife, and a daughter of Ucromirus chieftain of the Chatti, and Deudorix, a Sugambrian, the son of Baetorix the brother of Melo. But Segestes, the father-in-law of Armenius, who even from the outset had opposed the purpose of Armenius, and, taking advantage of an opportune time, had deserted him, was present as a guest of honor at the triumph over his loved ones. And Libes too, a priest of the Chatti, marched in the procession, as also other captives from the plundered tribes — the Caulci, Campsani, Bructeri, Usipi, Cherusci, Chatti, Chattuarii, Landi, Tubattii. Now the Rhenus is about three thousand stadia distant from the Albis, if one had straight roads to travel on, but as it is one must go by a circuitous route, which winds through a marshy country and forests.,5. The Hercynian Forest is not only rather dense, but also has large trees, and comprises a large circuit within regions that are fortified by nature; in the center of it, however, lies a country (of which I have already spoken) that is capable of affording an excellent livelihood. And near it are the sources of both the Ister and the Rhenus, as also the lake between the two sources, and the marshes into which the Rhenus spreads. The perimeter of the lake is more than three hundred stadia, while the passage across it is nearly two hundred. There is also an island in it which Tiberius used as a base of operations in his naval battle with the Vindelici. This lake is south of the sources of the Ister, as is also the Hercynian Forest, so that necessarily, in going from Celtica to the Hercynian Forest, one first crosses the lake and then the Ister, and from there on advances through more passable regions — plateaus — to the forest. Tiberius had proceeded only a day's journey from the lake when he saw the sources of the Ister. The country of the Rhaeti adjoins the lake for only a short distance, whereas that of the Helvetii and the Vindelici, and also the desert of the Boii, adjoin the greater part of it. All the peoples as far as the Pannonii, but more especially the Helvetii and the Vindelici, inhabit plateaus. But the countries of the Rhaeti and the Norici extend as far as the passes over the Alps and verge toward Italy, a part thereof bordering on the country of the Insubri and a part on that of the Carni and the legions about Aquileia. And there is also another large forest, Gabreta; it is on this side of the territory of the Suevi, whereas the Hercynian Forest, which is also held by them, is on the far side.,1. As for the Cimbri, some things that are told about them are incorrect and others are extremely improbable. For instance, one could not accept such a reason for their having become a wandering and piratical folk as this — that while they were dwelling on a Peninsula they were driven out of their habitations by a great flood-tide; for in fact they still hold the country which they held in earlier times; and they sent as a present to Augustus the most sacred kettle in their country, with a plea for his friendship and for an amnesty of their earlier offences, and when their petition was granted they set sail for home; and it is ridiculous to suppose that they departed from their homes because they were incensed on account of a phenomenon that is natural and eternal, occurring twice every day. And the assertion that an excessive flood-tide once occurred looks like a fabrication, for when the ocean is affected in this way it is subject to increases and diminutions, but these are regulated and periodical. And the man who said that the Cimbri took up arms against the flood-tides was not right, either; nor yet the statement that the Celti, as a training in the virtue of fearlessness, meekly abide the destruction of their homes by the tides and then rebuild them, and that they suffer a greater loss of life as the result of water than of war, as Ephorus says. Indeed, the regularity of the flood-tides and the fact that the part of the country subject to inundations was known should have precluded such absurdities; for since this phenomenon occurs twice every day, it is of course improbable that the Cimbri did not so much as once perceive that the reflux was natural and harmless, and that it occurred, not in their country alone, but in every country that was on the ocean. Neither is Cleitarchus right; for he says that the horsemen, on seeing the onset of the sea, rode away, and though in full flight came very near being cut off by the water. Now we know, in the first place, that the invasion of the tide does not rush on with such speed as that, but that the sea advances imperceptibly; and, secondly, that what takes place daily and is audible to all who are about to draw near it, even before they behold it, would not have been likely to prompt in them such terror that they would take to flight, as if it had occurred unexpectedly.,2. Poseidonius is right in censuring the historians for these assertions, and his conjecture is not a bad one, that the Cimbri, being a piratical and wandering folk, made an expedition even as far as the region of Lake Maeotis, and that also the Cimmerian Bosporus was named after them, being equivalent to Cimbrian, the Greeks naming the Cimbri Cimmerii. And he goes off to say that in earlier times the Boii dwelt in the Hercynian Forest, and that the Cimbri made a sally against this place, but on being repulsed by the Boii, went down to the Ister and the country of the Scordiscan Galatae, then to the country of the Teuristae and Taurisci (these, too, Galatae), and then to the country of the Helvetii — men rich in gold but peaceable; however, when the Helvetii saw that the wealth which the Cimbri had got from their robberies surpassed that of their own country, they, and particularly their tribes of Tigyreni and of Toygeni, were so excited that they sallied forth with the Cimbri. All, however, were subdued by the Romans, both the Cimbri themselves and those who had joined their expeditions, in part after they had crossed the Alps into Italy and in part while still on the other side of the Alps.,3. Writers report a custom of the Cimbri to this effect: Their wives, who would accompany them on their expeditions, were attended by priestesses who were seers; these were grey-haired, clad in white, with flaxen cloaks fastened on with clasps, girt with girdles of bronze, and bare-footed; now sword in hand these priestesses would meet with the prisoners of war throughout the camp, and having first crowned them with wreaths would lead them to a brazen vessel of about twenty amphorae; and they had a raised platform which the priestess would mount, and then, bending over the kettle, would cut the throat of each prisoner after he had been lifted up; and from the blood that poured forth into the vessel some of the priestesses would draw a prophecy, while still others would split open the body and from an inspection of the entrails would utter a prophecy of victory for their own people; and during the battles they would beat on the hides that were stretched over the wicker-bodies of the wagons and in this way produce an unearthly noise.,4. Of the Germans, as I have said, those towards the north extend along the ocean; and beginning at the outlets of the Rhenus, they are known as far as the Albis; and of these the best known are the Sugambri and the Cimbri; but those parts of the country beyond the Albis that are near the ocean are wholly unknown to us. For of the men of earlier times I know of no one who has made this voyage along the coast to the eastern parts that extend as far as the mouth of the Caspian Sea; and the Romans have not yet advanced into the parts that are beyond the Albis; and likewise no one has made the journey by land either. However, it is clear from the climata and the parallel distances that if one travels longitudinally towards the east, one encounters the regions that are about the Borysthenes and that are to the north of the Pontus; but what is beyond Germany and what beyond the countries which are next after Germany — whether one should say the Bastarnae, as most writers suspect, or say that others lie in between, either the Iazyges, or the Roxolani, or certain other of the wagon-dwellers — it is not easy to say; nor yet whether they extend as far as the ocean along its entire length, or whether any part is uninhabitable by reason of the cold or other cause, or whether even a different race of people, succeeding the Germans, is situated between the sea and the eastern Germans. And this same ignorance prevails also in regard to the rest of the peoples that come next in order on the north; for I know neither the Bastarnae, nor the Sauromatae, nor, in a word, any of the peoples who dwell above the Pontus, nor how far distant they are from the Atlantic Sea, nor whether their countries border upon it.,1. Getae As for the southern part of Germany beyond the Albis, the portion which is just contiguous to that river is occupied by the Suevi; then immediately adjoining this is the land of the Getae, which, though narrow at first, stretching as it does along the Ister on its southern side and on the opposite side along the mountain-side of the Hercynian Forest (for the land of the Getae also embraces a part of the mountains), afterwards broadens out towards the north as far as the Tyregetae; but I cannot tell the precise boundaries. It is because of men's ignorance of these regions that any heed has been given to those who created the mythical Rhipaean Mountains and Hyperboreans, and also to all those false statements made by Pytheas the Massalian regarding the country along the ocean, wherein he uses as a screen his scientific knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. So then, those men should be disregarded; in fact, if even Sophocles, when in his role as a tragic poet he speaks of Oreithyia, tells how she was snatched up by Boreas and carried over the whole sea to the ends of the earth and to the sources of night and to the unfoldings of heaven and to the ancient garden of Phoebus, his story can have no bearing on the present inquiry, but should be disregarded, just as it is disregarded by Socrates in the Phaedrus. But let us confine our narrative to what we have learned from history, both ancient and modern.,2. Now the Greeks used to suppose that the Getae were Thracians; and the Getae lived on either side the Ister, as did also the Mysi, these also being Thracians and identical with the people who are now called Moesi; from these Mysi sprang also the Mysi who now live between the Lydians and the Phrygians and Trojans. And the Phrygians themselves are Brigians, a Thracian tribe, as are also the Mygdonians, the Bebricians, the Medobithynians, the Bithynians, and the Thynians, and, I think, also the Mariandynians. These peoples, to be sure, have all utterly quitted Europe, but the Mysi have remained there. And Poseidonius seems to me to be correct in his conjecture that Homer designates the Mysi in Europe (I mean those in Thrace) when he says, But back he turned his shining eyes, and looked far away towards the land of the horsetending Thracians, and of the Mysi, hand-to-hand fighters for surely, if one should take Homer to mean the Mysi in Asia, the statement would not hang together. Indeed, when Zeus turns his eyes away from the Trojans towards the land of the Thracians, it would be the act of a man who confuses the continents and does not understand the poet's phraseology to connect with Thrace the land of the Asiatic Mysi, who are not far away, but have a common boundary with the Troad and are situated behind it and on either side of it, and are separated from Thrace by the broad Hellespont; for back he turned generally means to the rear, and he who transfers his gaze from the Trojans to the people who are either in the rear of the Trojans or on their flanks, does indeed transfer his gaze rather far, but not at all to the rear. Again, the appended phrase is testimony to this very view, because the poet connected with the Mysi the Hippemolgi and Galactophagi and Abii, who are indeed the wagon-dwelling Scythians and Sarmatians. For at the present time these tribes, as well as the Bastarnian tribes, are mingled with the Thracians (more indeed with those outside the Ister, but also with those inside). And mingled with them are also the Celtic tribes — the Boii, the Scordisci, and the Taurisci. However, the Scordisci are by some called Scordistae; and the Taurisci are called also Ligurisci and Tauristae.,3. Poseidonius goes on to say of the Mysians that in accordance with their religion they abstain from eating any living thing, and therefore from their flocks as well; and that they use as food honey and milk and cheese, living a peaceable life, and for this reason are called both god-fearing and capnobatae; and there are some of the Thracians who live apart from woman-kind; these are called Ctistae, and because of the honor in which they are held, have been dedicated to the gods and live with freedom from every fear; accordingly, Homer speaks collectively of all these peoples as proud Hippemolgi, Galactophagi and Abii, men most just, but he calls them Abii more especially for this reason, that they live apart from women, since he thinks that a life which is bereft of woman is only half-complete (just as he thinks the house of Protesilaus is only half complete, because it is so bereft); and he speaks of the Mysians as hand-to-hand fighters because they were indomitable, as is the case with all brave warriors; and Poseidonius adds that in the Thirteenth Book one should read Moesi, hand-to-hand fighters instead of Mysi, hand-to-hand fighters.,4. However, it is perhaps superfluous to disturb the reading that has had approval for so many years; for it is much more credible that the people were called Mysi at first and that later their name was changed to what it is now. And as for the term Abii, one might interpret it as meaning those who are without hearth: and live on wagons quite as well as those who are bereft; for since, in general, injustices arise only in connection with contracts and a too high regard for property, so it is reasonable that those who, like the Abii, live cheaply, on slight resources, should have been called most just. In fact, the philosophers who put justice next to self-restraint strive above all things for frugality and personal independence; and consequently extreme self-restraint diverts some of them to the Cynical mode of life. But as for the statement that they live bereft of women, the poet suggests nothing of the sort, and particularly in the country of the Thracians and of those of their number who are Getae. And see the statement of Menander about them, which, as one may reasonably suppose, was not invented by him but taken from history: All the Thracians, and most of all we Getae (for I too boast that I am of this stock) are not very continent; and a little below he sets down the proofs of their incontinence in their relations with women: For every man of us marries ten or eleven women, and some, twelve or more; but if anyone meets death before he has married more than four or five, he is lamented among the people there as a wretch without bride and nuptial song. Indeed, these facts are confirmed by the other writers as well. Further, it is not reasonable to suppose that the same people regard as wretched a life without many women, and yet at the same time regard as pious and just a life that is wholly bereft of women. And of course to regard as both god-fearing and capnobatae those who are without women is very much opposed to the common notions on that subject; for all agree in regarding the women as the chief founders of religion, and it is the women who provoke the men to the more attentive worship of the gods, to festivals, and to supplications, and it is a rare thing for a man who lives by himself to be found addicted to these things. See again what the same poet says when he introduces as speaker the man who is vexed by the money spent by the women in connection with the sacrifices: The gods are the undoing of us, especially us married men, for we must always be celebrating some festival; and again when he introduces the Woman-hater, who complains about these very things: we used to sacrifice five times a day, and seven female attendants would beat the cymbals all round us, while others would cry out to the gods. So, then, the interpretation that the wifeless men of the Getae are in a special way reverential towards the gods is clearly contrary to reason, whereas the interpretation that zeal for religion is strong in this tribe, and that because of their reverence for the gods the people abstain from eating any living thing, is one which, both from what Poseidonius and from what the histories in general tell us, should not be disbelieved.,5. In fact, it is said that a certain man of the Getae, Zamolxis by name, had been a slave to Pythagoras, and had learned some things about the heavenly bodies from him, as also certain other things from the Egyptians, for in his wanderings he had gone even as far as Egypt; and when he came on back to his home-land he was eagerly courted by the rulers and the people of the tribe, because he could make predictions from the celestial signs; and at last he persuaded the king to take him as a partner in the government, on the ground that he was competent to report the will of the gods; and although at the outset he was only made a priest of the god who was most honored in their country, yet afterwards he was even addressed as god, and having taken possession of a certain cavernous place that was inaccessible to anyone else he spent his life there, only rarely meeting with any people outside except the king and his own attendants; and the king cooperated with him, because he saw that the people paid much more attention to himself than before, in the belief that the decrees which he promulgated were in accordance with the counsel of the gods. This custom persisted even down to our own time, because some man of that character was always to be found, who, though in fact only a counsellor to the king, was called god among the Getae. And the people took up the notion that the mountain was sacred and they so call it, but its name is Cogaeonum, like that of the river which flows past it. So, too, at the time when Byrebistas, against whom already the Deified Caesar had prepared to make an expedition, was reigning over the Getae, the office in question was held by Decaeneus, and somehow or other the Pythagorean doctrine of abstention from eating any living thing still survived as taught by Zamolxis.,6. Now although such difficulties as these might fairly be raised concerning what is found in the text of Homer about the Mysians and the proud Hippemolgi, yet what Apollodorus states in the preface to the Second Book of his work On Ships can by no means be asserted; for he approves the declaration of Eratosthenes, that although both Homer and the other early authors knew the Greek places, they were decidedly unacquainted with those that were far away, since they had no experience either in making long journeys by land or in making voyages by sea. And in support of this Apollodorus says that Homer calls Aulis rocky (and so it is), and Eteonus place of many ridges, and Thisbe haunt of doves, and Haliartus grassy, but, he says, neither Homer nor the others knew the places that were far away. At any rate, he says, although about forty rivers now into the Pontus, Homer mentions not a single one of those that are the most famous, as, for example, the Ister, the Tanais, the Borysthenes, the Hypanis, the Phasis, the Thermodon, the Halys; and, besides, he does not mention the Scythians, but invents certain proud Hippemolgi and Galactophagi and Abii; and as for the Paphlagonians of the interior, he reports what he has learned from those who have approached the regions afoot, but he is ignorant of the seaboard, and naturally so, for at that time this sea was not navigable, and was called Axine because of its wintry storms and the ferocity of the tribes that lived around it, and particularly the Scythians, in that they sacrificed strangers, ate their flesh, and used their skulls as drinking-cups; but later it was called Euxine, when the Ionians founded cities on the seaboard. And, likewise, Homer is also ignorant of the facts about Egypt and Libya, as, for example, about the risings of the Nile and the silting up of the sea, things which he nowhere mentions; neither does he mention the isthmus between the Erythraean Sea and the Egyptian Seas, nor the regions of Arabia and Ethiopia and the ocean, unless one should give heed to Zeno the philosopher when he writes, And I came to the Ethiopians and Sidonians and Arabians. 9 But this ignorance in Homer's case is not amazing, for those who have lived later than he have been ignorant of many things and have invented marvellous tales: Hesiod, when he speaks of men who are half-dog, of long-headed men, and of Pygmies; and Alcman, when he speaks of web footed men; and Aeschylus, when he speaks of dog-headed men, of men with eyes in their breasts, and of one-eyed men (in his Prometheus it is said); and a host of other tales. From these men he proceeds against the historians who speak of the Rhipaean Mountains, and of Mt. Ogyium, and of the settlement of the Gorgons and Hesperides, and of the Land of Meropis in Theopompus, and the City of Cimmeris in Hecataeus, and the Land of Panchaea in Euhemerus, and in Aristotle the river-stones, which are formed of sand but are melted by the rains. And in Libya, Apollodorus continues, there is a City of Dionysus which it is impossible for the same man ever to find twice. He censures also those who speak of the Homeric wanderings of Odysseus as having been in the neighborhood of Sicily; for in that case, says he, one should go on and say that, although the wanderings took place there, the poet, for the sake of mythology, placed them out in Oceanus. And, he adds, the writers in general can be pardoned, but Callimachus cannot be pardoned at all, because he makes a pretence of being a scholar; for he calls Gaudos the Isle of Calypso and Corcyra Scheria. And others he charges with falsifying about Gerena, and Aeacesium, and Demus in Ithaca, and about Pelethronium in Pelion, and about Glaucopium in Athens. To these criticisms Apollodorus adds some petty ones of like sort and then stops, but he borrowed most of them from Eratosthenes, and as I have remarked before they are wrong. For while one must concede to Eratosthenes and Apollodorus that the later writers have shown themselves better acquainted with such matters than the men of early times, yet to proceed beyond all moderation as they do, and particularly in the case of Homer, is a thing for which, as it seems to me, one might justly rebuke them and make the reverse statement: that where they are ignorant themselves, there they reproach the poet with ignorance. However, what remains to be said on this subject meets with appropriate mention in my detailed descriptions of the several countries, as also in my general description.,7. Just now I was discussing the Thracians, and the Mysians, hand-to-hand fighters, and the proud Hippemolgi, Galactophagi, and Abii, men most just, because I wished to make a comparison between the statements made by Poseidonius and myself and those made by the two men in question. Take first the fact that the argument which they have attempted is contrary to the proposition which they set out to prove; for although they set out to prove that the men of earlier times were more ignorant of regions remote from Greece than the men of more recent times, they showed the reverse, not only in regard to regions remote, but also in regard to places in Greece itself. However, as I was saying, let me put off everything else and look to what is now before me: they say that the poet through ignorance fails to mention the Scythians, or their savage dealings with strangers, in that they sacrifice them, eat their flesh, and use their skulls as drinking-cups, although it was on account of the Scythians that the Pontus was called Axine, but that he invents certain proud Hippemolgi, Galactophagi, and Abii, men most just — people that exist nowhere on earth, How, then, could they call the sea Axine if they did not know about the ferocity or about the people who were most ferocious? And these, of course, are the Scythians. And were the people who lived beyond the Mysians and Thracians and Getae not also Hippemolgi, not also Galactophagi and Abii? In fact, even now there are Wagon-dwellers and Nomads, so called, who live off their herds, and on milk and cheese, and particularly on cheese made from mare's milk, and know nothing about storing up food or about peddling merchandise either, except the exchange of wares for wares. How, then, could the poet be ignorant of the Scythians if he called certain people Hippemolgi and Galactophagi? For that the people of his time were wont to call the Scythians Hippemolgi, Hesiod, too, is witness in the words cited by Eratosthenes: The Ethiopians, the Ligurians, and also the Scythians, Hippemolgi. Now wherein is it to be wondered at that, because of the widespread injustice connected with contracts in our country, Homer called most just and proud those who by no means spend their lives on contracts and money-getting but actually possess all things in common except sword and drinking-cup, and above all things have their wives and their children in common, in the Platonic way? Aeschylus, too, is clearly pleading the cause of the poet when he says about the Scythians: But the Scythians, law-abiding, eaters of cheese made of mare's milk. And this assumption even now still persists among the Greeks; for we regard the Scythians the most straightforward of men and the least prone to mischief, as also far more frugal and independent of others than we are. And yet our mode of life has spread its change for the worse to almost all peoples, introducing amongst them luxury and sensual pleasures and, to satisfy these vices, base artifices that lead to innumerable acts of greed. So then, much wickedness of this sort has fallen on the barbarian peoples also, on the Nomads as well as the rest; for as the result of taking up a seafaring life they not only have become morally worse, indulging in the practice of piracy and of slaying strangers, but also, because of their intercourse with many peoples, have partaken of the luxury and the peddling habits of those peoples. But though these things seem to conduce strongly to gentleness of manner, they corrupt morals and introduce cunning instead of the straightforwardness which I just now mentioned.,8. Those, however, who lived before our times, and particularly those who lived near the time of Homer, were — and among the Greeks were assumed to be — some such people as Homer describes. And see what Herodotus says concerning that king of the Scythians against whom Dareius made his expedition, and the message which the king sent back to him. See also what Chrysippus says concerning the kings of the Bosporus, the house of Leuco. And not only the Persian letters are full of references to that straightforwardness of which I am speaking but also the memoirs written by the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Indians. And it was on this account that Anacharsis, Abaris, and other men of the sort were in fair repute among the Greeks, because they displayed a nature characterized by complacency, frugality, and justice. But why should I speak of the men of olden times? For when Alexander, the son of Philip, on his expedition against the Thracians beyond the Haemus, invaded the country of the Triballians and saw that it extended as far as the Ister and the island of Peuce in the Ister, and that the parts on the far side were held by the Getae, he went as far as that, it is said, but could not disembark upon the island because of scarcity of boats (for Syrmus, the king of the Triballi had taken refuge there and resisted his attempts); he did, however, cross over to the country of the Getae, took their city, and returned with all speed to his home-land, after receiving gifts from the tribes in question and from Syrmus. And Ptolemaeus, the son of Lagus, says that on this expedition the Celti who lived about the Adriatic joined Alexander for the sake of establishing friendship and hospitality, and that the king received them kindly and asked them when drinking what it was that they most feared, thinking they would say himself, but that they replied they feared no one, unless it were that Heaven might fall on them, although indeed they added that they put above everything else the friendship of such a man as he. And the following are signs of the straightforwardness of the barbarians: first, the fact that Syrmus refused to consent to the debarkation upon the island and yet sent gifts and made a compact of friendship; and, secondly, that the Celti said that they feared no one, and yet valued above everything else the friendship of great men. Again, Dromichaetes was king of the Getae in the time of the successors of Alexander. Now he, when he captured Lysimachus alive, who had made an expedition against him, first pointed out the poverty both of himself and of his tribe and likewise their independence of others, and then bade him not to carry on war with people of that sort but rather to deal with them as friends; and after saying this he first entertained him as a guest, and made a compact of friendship, and then released him. Moreover, Plato in his Republic thinks that those who would have a well-governed city should flee as far as possible from the sea, as being a thing that teaches wickedness, and should not live near it.,9. Ephorus, in the fourth book of his history, the book entitled Europe (for he made the circuit of Europe as far as the Scythians), says towards the end that the modes of life both of the Sauromatae and of the other Scythians are unlike, for, whereas some are so cruel that they even eat human beings, others abstain from eating any living creature whatever. Now the other writers, he says, tell only about their savagery, because they know that the terrible and the marvellous are startling, but one should tell the opposite facts too and make them patterns of conduct, and he himself, therefore, will tell only about those who follow most just habits, for there are some of the Scythian Nomads who feed only on mare's milk, and excel all men in justice; and they are mentioned by the poets: by Homer, when he says that Zeus espies the land of the Galactophagi and Abii, men most just, and by Hesiod, in what is called his Circuit of the Earth, when he says that Phineus is carried by the Storm Winds to the land of the Galactophagi, who have their dwellings in wagons. Then Ephorus reasons out the cause as follows: since they are frugal in their ways of living and not money-getters, they not only are orderly towards one another, because they have all things in common, their wives, children, the whole of their kin and everything, but also remain invincible and unconquered by outsiders, because they have nothing to be enslaved for. And he cites Choerilus also, who, in his The Crossing of the Pontoon-Bridge which was constructed by Dareius, says, the sheep-tending Sacae, of Scythian stock; but they used to live in wheat-producing Asia; however, they were colonists from the Nomads, law-abiding people. And when he calls Anacharsis wise, Ephorus says that he belongs to this race, and that he was considered also one of Seven Wise Men because of his perfect self-control and good sense. And he goes on to tell the inventions of Anacharsis — the bellows, the two-fluked anchor and the potter's wheel. These things I tell knowing full well that Ephorus himself does not tell the whole truth about everything; and particularly in his account of Anacharsis (for how could the wheel be his invention, if Homer, who lived in earlier times, knew of it? As when a potter his wheel that fits in his hands, and so on); but as for those other things, I tell them because I wish to make my point clear that there actually was a common report, which was believed by the men of both early and of later times, that a part of the Nomads, I mean those who had settled the farthest away from the rest of mankind, were galactophagi, abii, and most just, and that they were not an invention of Homer.,10. It is but fair, too, to ask Apollodorus to account for the Mysians that are mentioned in the verses of Homer, whether he thinks that these too are inventions (when the poet says, and the Mysians, hand-to-hand fighters and the proud Hippemolgi), or takes the poet to mean the Mysians in Asia. Now if he takes the poet to mean those in Asia, he will misinterpret him, as I have said before, but if he calls them an invention, meaning that there were no Mysians in Thrace, he will contradict the facts; for at any rate, even in our own times, Aelius Catus transplanted from the country on the far side of the Ister into Thrace fifty thousand persons from among the Getae, a tribe with the same tongue as the Thracians. And they live there in Thrace now and are called Moesi — whether it be that their people of earlier times were so called and that in Asia the name was changed to Mysi, or (what is more apposite to history and the declaration of the poet) that in earlier times their people in Thrace were called Mysi. Enough, however, on this subject. I shall now go back to the next topic in the general description.,11. As for the Getae, then, their early history must be left untold, but that which pertains to our own times is about as follows: Boerebistas a Getan, on setting himself in authority over the tribe, restored the people, who had been reduced to an evil plight by numerous wars, and raised them to such a height through training, sobriety, and obedience to his commands that within only a few years he had established a great empire and subordinated to the Getae most of the neighboring peoples. And he began to be formidable even to the Romans, because he would cross the Ister with impunity and plunder Thrace as far as Macedonia and the Illyrian country; and he not only laid waste the country of the Celti who were intermingled with the Thracians and the Illyrians, but actually caused the complete disappearance of the Boii who were under the rule of Critasirus, and also of the Taurisci. To help him secure the complete obedience of his tribe he had as his coadjutor Decaeneus, a wizard, a man who not only had wandered through Egypt, but also had thoroughly learned certain prognostics through which he would pretend to tell the divine will; and within a short time he was set up as god (as I said when relating the story of Zamolxis). The following is an indication of their complete obedience: they were persuaded to cut down their vines and to live without wine. However, certain men rose up against Boerebistas and he was deposed before the Romans sent an expedition against him; and those who succeeded him divided the empire into several parts. In fact, only recently, when Augustus Caesar sent an expedition against them, the number of parts into which the empire had been divided was five, though at the time of the insurrection it had been four. Such divisions, to be sure, are only temporary and vary with the times.,12. But there is also another division of the country which has endured from early times, for some of the people are called Daci, whereas others are called Getae — Getae, those who incline towards the Pontus and the east, and Daci, those who incline in the opposite direction towards Germany and the sources of the Ister. The Daci, I think, were called Dai in early times; whence the slave names Geta and Daus which prevailed among the Attic people; for this is more probable than that Daus is from those Scythians who are called Daae, for they live far away in the neighborhood of Hyrcania, and it is not reasonable to suppose that slaves were brought into Attica from there; for the Attic people were wont either to call their slaves by the same names as those of the nations from which they were brought (as Lydus or Syrus ), or addressed them by names that were prevalent in their countries (as Manesor else Midas for the Phrygian, or Tibius for the Paphlagonian). But though the tribe was raised to such a height by Boerebistas, it has been completely humbled by its own seditions and by the Romans; nevertheless, they are capable, even today, of sending forth an army of forty thousand men.,13. The Marisus River flows through their country into the Danuvius, on which the Romans used to convey their equipment for war; the Danuvius I say, for so they used to call the upper part of the river from near its sources on to the cataracts, I mean the part which in the main flows through the country, of the Daci, although they give the name Ister to the lower part, from the cataracts on to the Pontus, the part which flows past the country of the Getae. The language of the Daci is the same as that of the Getae. Among the Greeks, however, the Getae are better known because the migrations they make to either side of the Ister are continuous, and because they are intermingled with the Thracians and Mysians. And also the tribe of the Triballi, likewise Thracian, has had this same experience, for it has admitted migrations into this country, because the neighboring peoples force them to emigrate into the country of those who are weaker; that is, the Scythians and Bastarnians and Sauromatians on the far side of the river often prevail to the extent that they actually cross over to attack those whom they have already driven out, and some of them remain there, either in the islands or in Thrace, whereas those on the other side are generally overpowered by the Illyrians. Be that as it may, although the Getae and Daci once attained to very great power, so that they actually could send forth an expedition of two hundred thousand men, they now find themselves reduced to as few as forty thousand, and they have come close to the point of yielding obedience to the Romans, though as yet they are not absolutely submissive, because of the hopes which they base on the Germans, who are enemies to the Romans.,14. In the intervening space, facing that part of the Pontic Sea which extends from the Ister to the Tyras, lies the Desert of the Getae, wholly flat and waterless, in which Dareius the son of Hystaspis was caught on the occasion when he crossed the Ister to attack the Scythians and ran the risk of perishing from thirst, army and all; however, he belatedly realized his error and turned back. And, later on, Lysimachus, in his expedition against the Getae and King Dromichaetes, not only ran the risk but actually was captured alive; but he again came off safely, because he found the barbarian kind-hearted, as I said before.,15. Near the outlets of the Ister River is a great island called Peuce; and when the Bastarnians took possession of it they received the appellation of Peucini. There are still other islands which are much smaller; some of these are farther inland than Peuce, while others are near the sea, for the river has seven mouths. The largest of these mouths is what is called the Sacred Mouth, on which one can sail inland a hundred and twenty stadia to Peuce. It was at the lower part of Peuce that Dareius made his pontoon-bridge, although the bridge could have been constructed at the upper part also. The Sacred Mouth is the first mouth on the left as one sails into the Pontus; the others come in order thereafter as one sails along the coast towards the Tyras; and the distance from it to the seventh mouth is about three hundred stadia. Accordingly, small islands are formed between the mouths. Now the three mouths that come next in order after the Sacred Mouth are small, but the remaining mouths are much smaller than it, but larger than any one of the three. According to Ephorus, however, the Ister has only five months. Thence to the Tyras, a navigable river, the distance is nine hundred stadia. And in the interval are two large lakes one of them opening into the sea, so that it can also be used as a harbor, but the other mouthless.,16. At the mouth of the Tyras is what is called the Tower of Neoptolemus, and also what is called the village of Hermonax. And on sailing inland one hundred and forty stadia one comes to two cities, one on each side, Niconia on the right and Ophiussa on the left. But the people who live near the river speak of a city one hundred and twenty stadia inland. Again, at a distance of five hundred stadia from the mouth is the island called Leuce, which lies in the high sea and is sacred to Achilles.,17. Then comes the Borysthenes River, which is navigable for a distance of six hundred stadia; and, near it, another river, the Hypanis, and off the mouth of the Borysthenes, an island with a harbor. On sailing up the Borysthenes two hundred stadia one comes to a city of the same name as the river, but the same city is also called Olbia; it is a great trading center and was founded by Milesians. Now the whole country that lies above the said seaboard between the Borysthenes and the Ister consists, first, of the Desert of the Getae; then the country of the Tyregetans; and after it the country of the Iazygian Sarmatians and that of the people called the Basileians and that of the Urgi, who in general are nomads, though a few are interested also in farming; these people, it is said, dwell also along the Ister, often on both sides. In the interior dwell, first, those Bastarnians whose country borders on that of the Tyregetans and Germans — they also being, one might say, of Germanic stock; and they are divided up into several tribes, for a part of them are called Atmoni and Sidoni, while those who took possession of Peuce, the island in the Ister, are called Peucini, whereas the Roxolani (the most northerly of them all) roam the plains between the Tanais and the Borysthenes. In fact, the whole country towards the north from Germany as far as the Caspian Sea is, so far as we know it, a plain, but whether any people dwell beyond the Roxolani we do not know. Now the Roxolani, under the leadership of Tasius, carried on war even with the generals of Mithridates Eupator; they came for the purpose of assisting Palacus, the son of Scilurus, as his allies, and they had the reputation of being warlike; yet all barbarian races and light-armed peoples are weak when matched against a well-ordered and well-armed phalanx. At any rate, those people, about fifty thousand strong, could not hold out against the six thousand men arrayed with Diophantus, the general of Mithridates, and most of them were destroyed. They use helmets and corselets made of raw ox-hides, carry wicker shields, and have for weapons spears, bow, and sword; and most of the other barbarians are armed in this way. As for the Nomads, their tents, made of felt, are fastened on the wagons in which they spend their lives; and round about the tents are the herds which afford the milk, cheese, and meat on which they live; and they follow the grazing herds, from time to time moving to other places that have grass, living only in the marsh-meadows about Lake Maeotis in winter, but also in the plains in summer.,18. The whole of the country has severe winters as far as the regions by the sea that are between the Borysthenes and the mouth of Lake Maeotis; but of the regions themselves that are by the sea the most northerly are the mouth of the Maeotis and, still more northerly, the mouth of the Borysthenes, and the recess of the Gulf of Tamyraces, or Carcinites, which is the isthmus of the Great Chersonesus. The coldness of these regions, albeit the people live in plains, is evident, for they do not breed asses, an animal that is very sensitive to cold; and as for their cattle, some are born without horns, while the horns of others are filed off, for this part of the animal is sensitive to cold; and the horses are small, whereas the sheep are large; and bronze water-jars burst and their contents freeze solid. But the severity of the frosts is most clearly evidenced by what takes place in the region of the mouth of Lake Maeotis: the waterway from Panticapaion across to Phanagoria is traversed by wagons, so that it is both ice and roadway. And fish that become caught in the ice are obtained by digging with an implement called the gangame, and particularly the antacaei, which are about the size of dolphins. It is said of Neoptolemus, the general of Mithridates, that in the same strait he overcame the barbarians in a naval engagement in summer and in a cavalry engagement in winter. And it is further said that the vine in the Bosporus region is buried during the winter, the people heaping quantities of earth upon it. And it is said that the heat too becomes severe, perhaps because the bodies of the people are unaccustomed to it, or perhaps because no winds blow on the plains at that time, or else because the air, by reason of its density, becomes superheated (like the effect of the parhelia in the clouds). It appears that Ateas, who waged war with Philip the son of Amyntas, ruled over most of the barbarians in this part of the world.,19. After the island that lies off the Borysthenes, and next towards the rising sun, one sails to the cape of the Racecourse of Achilles, which, though a treeless place, is called Alsos and is sacred to Achilles. Then comes the Racecourse of Achilles, a peninsula that lies flat on the sea; it is a ribbon-like stretch of land, as much as one thousand stadia in length, extending towards the east; its maximum breadth is only two stadia, and its minimum only four plethra, and it is only sixty stadia distant from the mainland that lies on either side of the neck. It is sandy, and water may be had by digging. The neck of the isthmus is near the center of the peninsula and is about forty stadia wide. It terminates in a cape called Tamyrace, which has a mooring-place that faces the mainland. And after this cape comes the Carcinites Gulf. It is a very large gulf, reaching up towards the north as far as one thousand stadia; some say, however, that the distance to its recess is three times as much. The people there are called Taphrians. The gulf is also called Tamyrace, the same name as that of the cape.,1. Chersonese Here is the isthmus which separates what is called Lake Sapra from the sea; it is forty stadia in width and forms what is called the Tauric, or Scythian, Chersonese. Some, however, say that the breadth of the isthmus is three hundred and sixty stadia. But though Lake Sapra is said to be as much as four thousand stadia, it is only a part, the western part, of Lake Maeotis, for it is connected with the latter by a wide mouth. It is very marshy and is scarcely navigable for sewn boats, for the winds readily uncover the shallow places and then cover them with water again, and therefore the marshes are impassable for the larger boats. The gulf contains three small islands, and also some shoals and a few reefs along the coast.,2. As one sails out of the gulf, one comes, on the left, to a small city and another harbor belonging to the Chersonesites. For next in order as one sails along the coast is a great cape which projects towards the south and is a part of the Chersonesus as a whole; and on this cape is situated a city of the Heracleotae, a colony of the Heracleotae who live on the Pontus, and this place itself is called Chersonesus, being distant as one sails along the coast four thousand four hundred stadia from the Tyras. In this city is the sanctuary of Parthenos, a certain daimon; and the cape which is in front of the city, at a distance of one hundred stadia, is also named after this daimon, for it is called the Parthenium, and it has a temple and xoanon of her. Between the city and the cape are three harbors. Then comes the Old Chersonesus, which has been razed to the ground; and after it comes a narrow-mouthed harbor, where, generally speaking, the Tauri, a Scythian tribe, used to assemble their bands of pirates in order to attack all who fled thither for refuge. It is called Symbolon Limen. This harbor forms with another harbor called Ctenus Limen an isthmus forty stadia in width; and this is the isthmus that encloses the Little Chersonesus, which, as I was saying, is a part of the Great Chersonesus and has on it the city of Chersonesus, which bears the same name as the peninsula.,3. This city was at first self-governing, but when it was sacked by the barbarians it was forced to choose Mithridates Eupator as protector. He was then leading an army against the barbarians who lived beyond the isthmus as far as the Borysthenes and the Adrias; this, however, was preparatory to a campaign against the Romans. So, then, in accordance with these hopes of his he gladly sent an army to Chersonesus, and at the same time carried on war against the Scythians, not only against Scilurus, but also the sons of Scilurus — Palacus and the rest — who, according to Poseidonius were fifty in number, but according to Apollonides were eighty. At the same time, also, he not only subdued all these by force, but also established himself as lord of the Bosporus, receiving the country as a voluntary gift from Parisades who held sway over it. So from that time on down to the present the city of the Chersonesites has been subject to the potentates of the Bosporus. Again, Ctenus Limen is equidistant from the city of the Chersonesites and Symbolon Limen. And after Symbolon Limen, as far as the city Theodosia, lies the Tauric seaboard, which is about one thousand stadia in length. It is rugged and mountainous, and is subject to furious storms from the north. And in front of it lies a promontory which extends far out towards the high sea and the south in the direction of Paphlagonia and the city Amastris; it is called Criumetopon. And opposite it lies that promontory of the Paphlagonians, Carambis, which, by means of the strait, which is contracted on both sides, divides the Euxine Pontus into two seas. Now the distance from Carambis to the city of the Chersonesites is two thousand five hundred stadia, but the number to Criumetopon is much less; at any rate, many who have sailed across the strait say that they have seen both promontories, on either side, at the same time. In the mountainous district of the Taurians is also the mountain, which has the same name as the city in the neighborhood of Tibarania and Colchis. And near the same mountainous district is also another mountain, Cimmerius, so called because the Cimmerians once held sway in the Bosporus; and it is because of this fact that the whole of the strait which extends to the mouth of Lake Maeotis is called the Cimmerian Bosporus.,4. After the aforesaid mountainous district is the city Theodosia. It is situated in a fertile plain and has a harbor that can accommodate as many as a hundred ships; this harbor in earlier times was a boundary between the countries of the Bosporians and the Taurians. And the country that comes next after that of Theodosia is also fertile, as far as Panticapaion. Panticapaion is the metropolis of the Bosporians and is situated at the mouth of Lake Maeotis. The distance between Theodosia and Panticapaion is about five hundred and thirty stadia; the district is everywhere productive of grain, and it contains villages, as well as a city called Nymphaion, which possesses a good harbor. Panticapaion is a hill inhabited on all sides in a circuit of twenty stadia. To the east it has a harbor, and docks for about thirty ships; and it also has an acropolis. It is a colony of the Milesians. For a long time it was ruled as a monarchy by the dynasty of Leuco, Satyrus, and Parisades, as were also all the neighboring settlements near the south of Lake Maeotis on both sides, until Parisades gave over the sovereignty to Mithridates. They were called tyrants, although most of them, beginning with Parisades and Leuco, proved to be equitable rulers. And Parisades was actually held in honor as god. The last of these monarchs also bore the name Parisades, but he was unable to hold out against the barbarians, who kept exacting greater tribute than before, and he therefore gave over the sovereignty to Mithridates Eupator. But since the time of Mithridates the kingdom has been subject to the Romans. The greater part of it is situated in Europe, although a part of it is situated in Asia.,5. The mouth of Lake Maeotis is called the Cimmerian Bosporus. It is rather wide at first — about seventy stadia — and it is here that people cross over from the regions of Panticapaion to Phanagoria, the nearest city of Asia; but it ends in a much narrower channel. This strait separates Asia from Europe; and so does the Tanais River, which is directly opposite and flows from the north into the lake and then into the mouth of it. The river has two outlets into the lake which are about sixty stadia distant from one another. There is also a city which has the same name as the river, and next to Panticapaion is the greatest emporium of the barbarians. On the left, as one sails into the Cimmerian Bosporus, is a little city, Myrmecium, at a distance of twenty stadia from Panticapaion. And twice this distance from Myrmecium is the village of Parthenium; here the strait is narrowest — about twenty stadia — and on the opposite side, in Asia, is situated a village called Achilleium. Thence, if one sails straight to the Tanais and the islands near its outlets, the distance is two thousand two hundred stadia, but if one sails along the coast of Asia, the distance slightly exceeds this; if, however, one sails on the left as far as the Tanais, following the coast where the isthmus is situated, the distance is more than three times as much. Now the whole of the seaboard along this coast, I mean on the European side, is desert, but the seaboard on the right is not desert; and, according to report, the total circuit of the lake is nine thousand stadia. The Great Chersonesus is similar to the Peloponnesus both in shape and in size. It is held by the potentates of the Bosporus, though the whole of it has been devastated by continuous wars. But in earlier times only a small part of it — that which is close to the mouth of Lake Maeotis and to Panticapaion and extends as far as Theodosia — was held by the tyrants of the Bosporians, whereas most of it, as far as the isthmus and the Gulf of Carcinites, was held by the Taurians, a Scythian tribe. And the whole of this country, together with about all the country outside the isthmus as far as the Borysthenes, was called Little Scythia. But on account of the large number of people who left Little Scythia and crossed both the Tyras and the Ister and took up their abode in the land beyond, no small portion of Thrace as well came to be called Little Scythia; the Thracians giving way to them partly as the result of force and partly because of the bad quality of the land, for the greater part of the country is marshy.,6. But the Chersonesus, except for the mountainous district that extends along the sea as far as Theodosia, is everywhere level and fertile, and in the production of grain it is extremely fortunate. At any rate, it yields thirty-fold if furrowed by any sort of a digging-instrument. Further, the people of this region, together with those of the Asiatic districts round about Sindice, used to pay as tribute to Mithridates one hundred and eighty thousand medimni and also two hundred talents of silver. And in still earlier times the Greeks imported their supplies of grain from here, just as they imported their supplies of salt-fish from the lake. Leuco, it is said, once sent from Theodosia to Athens two million one hundred thousand medimni. These same people used to be called Georgi, in the literal sense of the term, because of the fact that the people who were situated beyond them were Nomads and lived not only on meats in general but also on the meat of horses, as also on cheese made from mare's milk, on mare's fresh milk, and on mare's sour milk, which last, when prepared in a particular way, is much relished by them. And this is why the poet calls all the people in that part of the world Galactophagi. Now although the Nomads are warriors rather than brigands, yet they go to war only for the sake of the tributes due them; for they turn over their land to any people who wish to till it, and are satisfied if they receive in return for the land the tribute they have assessed, which is a moderate one, assessed with a view, not to an abundance, but only to the daily necessities of life; but if the tenants do not pay, the Nomads go to war with them. And so it is that the poet calls these same men at the same time both just and resourceless; for if the tributes were paid regularly, they would never resort to war. But men who are confident that they are powerful enough either to ward off attacks easily or to prevent any invasion do not pay regularly; such was the case with Asander, who, according to Hypsicrates, walled off the isthmus of the Chersonesus which is near Lake Maeotis and is three hundred and sixty stadia in width, and set up ten towers for every stadium. But though the Georgi of this region are considered to be at the same time both more gentle and civilized, still, since they are money-getters and have to do with the sea, they do not hold aloof from acts of piracy, nor yet from any other such acts of injustice and greed.,7. In addition to the places in the Chersonesus which I have enumerated, there were also the three forts which were built by Scilurus and his sons — the forts which they used as bases of operations against the generals of Mithridates — I mean Palacium, Chabum, and Neapolis. There was also a Fort Eupatorium, founded by Diophantus when he was leading the army for Mithridates. There is a cape about fifteen stadia distant from the wall of the Chersonesites; it forms a very large gulf which inclines towards the city. And above this gulf is situated a lagoon which has salt-works. And here, too, was the Ctenus Harbor. Now it was in order that they might hold out that the besieged generals of the king fortified the place, established a garrison on the cape aforesaid, and filled up that part of the mouth of the gulf which extends as far as the city, so that there was now an easy journey on foot and, in a way, one city instead of two. Consequently, they could more easily beat off the Scythians. But when the Scythians made their attack, near Ctenus, on the fortified wall that extends across the isthmus, and daily filled up the trench with straw, the generals of the king set fire by night to the part thus bridged by day, and held out until they finally prevailed over them. And today everything is subject to whatever kings of the Bosporians the Romans choose to set up.,8. It is a peculiarity of the whole Scythian and Sarmatian race that they castrate their horses to make them easy to manage; for although the horses are small, they are exceedingly quick and hard to manage. As for game, there are deer and wild boars in the marshes, and wild asses and roe deer in the plains. Another peculiar thing is the fact that the eagle is not found in these regions. And among the quadrupeds there is what is called the colos; it is between the deer and ram in size, is white, is swifter than they, and drinks through its nostrils into its head, and then from this storage supplies itself for several days, so that it can easily live in the waterless country. Such, then, is the nature of the whole of the country which is outside the Ister between the Rhenus and the Tanais Rivers as far as the Pontic Sea and Lake Maeotis.,1. The remainder of Europe consists of the country which is between the Ister and the encircling sea, beginning at the recess of the Adriatic and extending as far as the Sacred Mouth of the Ister. In this country are Greece and the tribes of the Macedonians and of the Epeirotes, and all those tribes above them whose countries reach to the Ister and to the seas on either side, both the Adriatic and the Pontic — to the Adriatic, the Illyrian tribes, and to the other sea as far as the Propontis and the Hellespont, the Thracian tribes and whatever Scythian or Celtic tribes are intermingled with them. But I must make my beginning at the Ister, speaking of the parts that come next in order after the regions which I have already encompassed in my description. These are the parts that border on Italy, on the Alps, and on the counties of the Germans, Dacians, and Getans. This country also might be divided into two parts, for, in a way, the Illyrian, Paeonian, and Thracian mountains are parallel to the Ister, thus completing what is almost a straight line that reaches from the Adrias as far as the Pontus; and to the north of this line are the parts that are between the Ister and the mountains, whereas to the south are Greece and the barbarian country which borders thereon and extends as far as the mountainous country. Now the mountain called Haemus is near the Pontus; it is the largest and highest of all mountains in that part of the world, and cleaves Thrace almost in the center. Polybius says that both seas are visible from the mountain, but this is untrue, for the distance to the Adrias is great and the things that obscure the view are many. On the other hand, almost the whole of Ardia is near the Adrias. But Paeonia is in the middle, and the whole of it too is high country. Paeonia is bounded on either side, first, towards the Thracian parts, by Rhodope, a mountain next in height to the Haemus, and secondly, on the other side, towards the north, by the Illyrian parts, both the country of the Autariatae and that of the Dardanians. So then, let me speak first of the Illyrian parts, which join the Ister and that part of the Alps which lies between Italy and Germany and begins at the lake which is near the country of the Vindelici, Rhaeti, and Toenii.,2. A part of this country was laid waste by the Dacians when they subdued the Boii and Taurisci, Celtic tribes under the rule of Critasirus. They alleged that the country was theirs, although it was separated from theirs by the River Parisus, which flows from the mountains to the Ister near the country of the Scordisci who are called Galatae, for these too lived intermingled with the Illyrian and the Thracian tribes. But though the Dacians destroyed the Boii and Taurisci, they often used the Scordisci as allies. The remainder of the country in question is held by the Pannonii as far as Segestica and the Ister, on the north and east, although their territory extends still farther in the other directions. The city Segestica, belonging to the Pannonians, is at the confluence of several rivers, all of them navigable, and is naturally fitted to be a base of operations for making war against the Dacians; for it lies beneath that part of the Alps which extends as far as the country of the Iapodes, a tribe which is at the same time both Celtic and Illyrian. And thence, too, flow rivers which bring down into Segestica much merchandise both from other countries and from Italy. For if one passes over Mount Ocra from Aquileia to Nauportus, a settlement of the Taurisci, whither the wagons are brought, the distance is three hundred and fifty stadia, though some say five hundred. Now the Ocra is the lowest part of that portion of the Alps which extends from the country of the Rhaeti to that of the Iapodes. Then the mountains rise again, in the country of the Iapodes, and are called Albian. In like manner, also, there is a pass which leads over Ocra from Tergeste, a Carnic village, to a marsh called Lugeum. Near Nauportus there is a river, the Corcoras, which receives the cargoes. Now this river empties into the Saus, and the Saus into the Dravus, and the Dravus into the Noarus near Segestica. Immediately below Nauportus the Noarus is further increased in volume by the Colapis, which flows from the Albian Mountain through the country of the Iapodes and meets the Danuvius near the country of the Scordisci. The voyage on these rivers is, for the most part, towards the north. The road from Tergeste to the Danuvius is about one thousand two hundred stadia. Near Segestica, and on the road to Italy, are situated both Siscia, a fort, and Sirmium.,3. The tribes of the Pannonii are: the Breuci, the Andisetii, the Ditiones, the Peirustae, the Mazaei, and the Daesitiatae, whose leader is Bato, and also other small tribes of less significance which extend as far as Dalmatia and, as one goes south, almost as far as the land of the Ardiaei. The whole of the mountainous country that stretches alongside Pannonia from the recess of the Adriatic as far as the Rhizonic Gulf and the land of the Ardiaei is Illyrian, falling as it does between the sea and the Pannonian tribes. But this is about where I should begin my continuous geographical circuit — though first I shall repeat a little of what I have said before. I was saying in my geographical circuit of Italy that the Istrians were the first people on the Illyrian seaboard; their country being a continuation of Italy and the country of the Carni; and it is for this reason that the present Roman rulers have advanced the boundary of Italy as far as Pola, an Istrian city. Now this boundary is about eight hundred stadia from the recess, and the distance from the promontory in front of Pola to Ancona, if one keeps the Henetic country on the right, is the same. And the entire distance along the coast of Istria is one thousand three hundred stadia.,4. Next in order comes the voyage of one thousand stadia along the coast of the country of the Iapodes; for the Iapodes are situated on the Albian Mountain, which is the last mountain of the Alps, is very lofty, and reaches down to the country of the Pannonians on one side and to the Adrias on the other. They are indeed a war-mad people, but they have been utterly worn out by Augustus. Their cities are Metulum, Arupini, Monetium, and Vendo. Their lands are poor, the people living for the most part on spelt and millet. Their armor is Celtic, and they are tattooed like the rest of the Illyrians and the Miracians. After the voyage along the coast of the country of the Iapodes comes that along the coast of the country of the Liburni, the latter being five hundred stadia longer than the former; on this voyage is a river, which is navigable inland for merchant-vessels as far as the country of the Dalmatians, and also a Liburnian city, Scardo.,5. There are islands along the whole of the aforesaid seaboard: first, the Apsyrtides, where Medeia is said to have killed her brother Apsyrtus who was pursuing her; and then, opposite the country of the Iapodes, Cyrictica, then the Liburnides, about forty in number; then other islands, of which the best known are Issa, Tragurium (founded by the people of Issa), and Pharos (formerly Paros, founded by the Parians), the native land of Demetrius the Pharian. Then comes the seaboard of the Dalmatians, and also their sea-port, Salona. This tribe is one of those which carried on war against the Romans for a long time; it had as many as fifty noteworthy settlements; and some of these were cities — Salona, Priamo, Ninia, and Sinotium (both the Old and the New), all of which were set on fire by Augustus. And there is Andretium, a fortified place; and also Dalmium (whence the name of the tribe), which was once a large city, but because of the greed of the people Nasica reduced it to a small city and made the plain a mere sheep pasture. The Dalmatians have the peculiar custom of making a redistribution of land every seven years; and that they make no use of coined money is peculiar to them as compared with the other peoples in that part of the world, although as compared with many other barbarian peoples it is common. And there is Mount Adrium, which cuts the Dalmatian country through the middle into two parts, one facing the sea and the other in the opposite direction. Then come the River Naro and the people who live about it — the Daorisi, the Ardiaei, and the Pleraei. An island called the Black Corcyra and also a city founded by the Cnidians are close to the Pleraei, while Pharos (formerly called Paros, for it was founded by Parians) is close to the Ardiaei.,6. The Ardiaei were called by the men of later times Vardiaei. Because they pestered the sea through their piratical bands, the Romans pushed them back from it into the interior and forced them to till the soil. But the country is rough and poor and not suited to a farming population, and therefore the tribe has been utterly ruined and in fact has almost been obliterated. And this is what befell the rest of the peoples in that part of the world; for those who were most powerful in earlier times were utterly humbled or were obliterated, as, for example, among the Galatae the Boii and the Scordistae, and among the Illyrians the Autariatae, Ardiaei, and Dardanii, and among the Thracians the Triballi; that is, they were reduced in warfare by one another at first and then later by the Macedonians and the Romans.,7. Be this as it may, after the seaboard of the Ardiaei and the Pleraei come the Rhisonic Gulf, and the city Rhizo, and other small towns and also the River Drilo, which is navigable inland towards the east as far as the Dardanian country. This country borders on the Macedonian and the Paeonian tribes on the south, as do also the Autariatae and the Dassaretii — different peoples on different sides being contiguous to one another and to the Autariatae. To the Dardaniatae belong also the Galabrii, among whom is an ancient city, and the Thunatae, whose country joins that of the Medi, a Thracian tribe on the east. The Dardanians are so utterly wild that they dig caves beneath their dung-hills and live there, but still they care for music, always making use of musical instruments, both flutes and stringed instruments. However, these people live in the interior, and I shall mention them again later.,8. After the Rhizonic Gulf comes the city of Lissus, and Acrolissus, and Epidamnus, founded by the Corcyraeans, which is now called Dyrrachium, like the peninsula on which it is situated. Then comes the Apsus River; and then the Aous, on which is situated Apollonia, an exceedingly well-governed city, founded by the Corinthians and the Corcyraeans, and ten stadia distant from the river and sixty from the sea. The Aous is called Aeas by Hecataeus, who says that both the Inachus and the Aeas flow from the same place, the region of Lacmus, or rather from the same subterranean recess, the former towards the south into Argos and the latter towards the west and towards the Adrias. In the country of the Apolloniates is a place called Nymphaion; it is a rock that gives forth fire; and beneath it flow springs of warm water and asphalt — probably because the clods of asphalt in the earth are burned by the fire. And near by, on a hill, is a mine of asphalt; and the part that is trenched is filled up again in the course of time, since, as Poseidonius says, the earth that is poured into the trenches changes to asphalt. He also speaks of the asphaltic vine-earth which is mined at the Pierian Seleuceia as a cure for the infested vine; for, he says, if it is smeared on together with olive oil, it kills the insects before they can mount the sprouts of the roots; and, he adds, earth of this sort was also discovered in Rhodes when he was in office there as Prytanis, but it required more olive oil. After Apollonia comes Bylliaca, and Oricum and its seaport Panormus, and the Ceraunian Mountains, where the mouth of the Ionian Sea and the Adrias begins.,9. Now the mouth is common to both, but the Ionian is different in that it is the name of the first part of this sea, whereas Adrias is the name of the inside part of the sea as far as the recess; at the present time, however, Adrias is also the name of the sea as a whole. According to Theopompus, the first name came from a man, a native of Issa, who once ruled over the region, whereas the Adrias was named after a river. The distance from the country of the Liburnians to the Ceraunian Mountains is slightly more than two thousand stadia Theopompus states that the whole voyage from the recess takes six days, and that on foot the length of the Illyrian country is as much as thirty days, though in my opinion he makes the distance too great. And he also says other things that are incredible: first, that the seas are connected by a subterranean passage, from the fact that both Chian and Thasian pottery are found in the Naro River; secondly, that both seas are visible from a certain mountain; and thirdly, when he puts down a certain one of the Liburnides islands as large enough to have a circuit of five hundred stadia; and fourthly, that the Ister empties by one of its mouths into the Adrias. In Eratosthenes, also, are some false hearsay statements of this kind — popular notions, as Polybius calls them when speaking of him and the other historians.,10. Now the whole Illyrian seaboard is exceedingly well supplied with harbors, not only on the continuous coast itself but also in the neighboring islands, although the reverse is the case with that part of the Italian seaboard which lies opposite, since it is harborless. But both seaboards in like manner are sunny and good for fruits, for the olive and the vine flourish there, except, perhaps, in places here or there that are utterly rugged. But although the Illyrian seaboard is such, people in earlier times made but small account of it — perhaps in part owing to their ignorance of its fertility, though mostly because of the wildness of the inhabitants and their piratical habits. But the whole of the country situated above this is mountainous, cold, and subject to snows, especially the northerly part, so that there is a scarcity of the vine, not only on the heights but also on the levels. These latter are the mountain-plains occupied by the Pannonians; on the south they extend as far as the country of the Dalmatians and the Ardiaei, on the north they end at the Ister, while on the east they border on the country of the Scordisci, that is, on the country that extends along the mountains of the Macedonians and the Thracians.,11. Now the Autariatae were once the largest and best tribe of the Illyrians. In earlier times they were continually at war with the Ardiaei over the salt-works on the common frontiers. The salt was made to crystallize out of water which in the spring-time flowed at the foot of a certain mountain-glen, for if they drew off the water and stowed it away for five days the salt would become thoroughly crystallized. They would agree to use the salt-works alternately, but would break the agreements and go to war. At one time when the Autariatae had subdued the Triballi, whose territory extended from that of the Agrianes as far as the Ister, a journey of fifteen days, they held sway also over the rest of the Thracians and the Illyrians; but they were overpowered, at first by the Scordisci, and later on by the Romans, who also subdued the Scordisci themselves, after these had been in power for a long time.,12. The Scordisci lived along the Ister and were divided into two tribes called the Great Scordisci and the Little Scordisci. The former lived between two rivers that empty into the Ister — the Noarus, which flows past Segestica, and the Margus (by some called the Bargus), whereas the Little Scordisci lived on the far side of this river, and their territory bordered on that of the Triballi and the Mysi. The Scordisci also held some of the islands; and they increased to such an extent that they advanced as far as the Illyrian, Paeonian, and Thracian mountains; accordingly, they also took possession of most of the islands in the Ister. And they also had two cities — Heorta and Capedunum. After the country of the Scordisci, along the Ister, comes that of the Triballi and the Mysi (whom I have mentioned before), and also the marshes of that part of what is called Little Scythia which is this side the Ister (these too I have mentioned). These people, as also the Crobyzi and what are called the Troglodytae, live above the region round about Callatis, Tomis, and Ister. Then come the peoples who live in the neighborhood of the Haemus Mountain and those who live at its base and extend as far as the Pontus — I mean the Coralli, the Bessi, and some of the Medi and Dantheletae. Now these tribes are very brigandish themselves, but the Bessi, who inhabit the greater part of the Haemus Mountain, are called brigands even by the brigands. The Bessi live in huts and lead a wretched life; and their country borders on Mount Rhodope, on the country of the Paeonians, and on that of two Illyrian peoples — the Autariatae, and the Dardanians. Between these and the Ardiaei are the Dassaretii, the Hybrianes, and other insignificant tribes, which the Scordisci kept on ravaging until they had depopulated the country and made it full of trackless forests for a distance of several days' journey.,1. Pontic seaboard The remainder of the country between the Ister and the mountains on either side of Paeonia consists of that part of the Pontic seaboard which extends from the Sacred Mouth of the Ister as far as the mountainous country in the neighborhood of the Haemus and as far as the mouth at Byzantium. And just as, in traversing the Illyrian seaboard, I proceeded as far as the Ceraunian Mountains, because, although they fall outside the mountainous country of Illyria, they afford an appropriate limit, and just as I determined the positions of the tribes of the interior by these mountains, because I thought that marks of this kind would be more significant as regards both the description at hand and what was to follow, so also in this case the seaboard, even though it falls beyond the mountain-line, will nevertheless end at an appropriate limit — the mouth of the Pontus — as regards both the description at hand and that which comes next in order. So, then, if one begins at the Sacred Mouth of the Ister and keeps the continuous seaboard on the right, one comes, at a distance of five hundred stadia, to a small town, Ister, founded by the Milesians; then, at a distance of two hundred and fifty stadia, to a second small town, Tomis; then, at two hundred and eighty stadia, to a city Callatis, a colony of the Heracleotae; then, at one thousand three hundred stadia, to Apollonia, a colony of the Milesians. The greater part of Apollonia was founded on a certain isle, where there is a sanctuary of Apollo, from which Marcus Lucullus carried off the colossal statue of Apollo, a work of Calamis, which he set up in the Capitolium. In the interval between Callatis and Apollonia come also Bizone, of which a considerable part was engulfed by earthquakes, Cruni, Odessus, a colony of the Milesians, and Naulochus, a small town of the Mesembriani. Then comes the Haemus Mountain, which reaches the sea here; then Mesembria, a colony of the Megarians, formerly called Menebria (that is, city of Menas, because the name of its founder was Menas, while bria is the word for city in the Thracian language. In this way, also, the city of Selys is called Selybria and Aenus was once called Poltyobria). Then come Anchiale, a small town belonging to the Apolloniatae, and Apollonia itself. On this coast-line is Cape Tirizis, a stronghold, which Lysimachus once used as a treasury. Again, from Apollonia to the Cyaneae the distance is about one thousand five hundred stadia; and in the interval are Thynias, a territory belonging to the Apolloniatae (Anchiale, which also belongs to the Apolloniatae), and also Phinopolis and Andriake, which border on Salmydessus. Salmydessus is a desert and stony beach, harborless and wide open to the north winds, and in length extends as far as the Cyaneae, a distance of about seven hundred stadia; and all who are cast ashore on this beach are plundered by the Astae, a Thracian tribe who are situated above it. The Cyaneae are two islets near the mouth of the Pontus, one close to Europe and the other to Asia; they are separated by a channel of about twenty stadia and are twenty stadia distant both from the sanctuary of the Byzantines and from the sanctuary of the Chalcedonians. And this is the narrowest part of the mouth of the Euxine, for when one proceeds only ten stadia farther one comes to a headland which makes the strait only five stadia in width, and then the strait opens to a greater width and begins to form the Propontis.,2. Now the distance from the headland that makes the strait only five stadia wide to the harbor which is called Under the Fig-tree is thirty-five stadia; and thence to the Horn of the Byzantines, five stadia. The Horn, which is close to the wall of the Byzantines, is a gulf that extends approximately towards the west for a distance of sixty stadia; it resembles a stag's horn, for it is split into numerous gulfs — branches, as it were. The pelamydes rush into these gulfs and are easily caught — because of their numbers, the force of the current that drives them together, and the narrowness of the gulfs; in fact, because of the narrowness of the area, they are even caught by hand. Now these fish are hatched in the marshes of Lake Maeotis, and when they have gained a little strength they rush out through the mouth of the lake in schools and move along the Asian shore as far as Trapezus and Pharnacia. It is here that the catching of the fish first takes place, though the catch is not considerable, for the fish have not yet grown to their normal size. But when they reach Sinope, they are mature enough for catching and salting. Yet when once they touch the Cyaneae and pass by these, the creatures take such fright at a certain white rock which projects from the Chalcedonian shore that they forthwith turn to the opposite shore. There they are caught by the current, and since at the same time the region is so formed by nature as to turn the current of the sea there to Byzantium and the Horn at Byzantium, they naturally are driven together thither and thus afford the Byzantines and the Roman people considerable revenue. But the Chalcedonians, though situated near by, on the opposite shore, have no share in this abundance, because the pelamydes do not approach their harbors; hence the saying that Apollo, when the men who founded Byzantium at a time subsequent to the founding of Chalcedon by the Megarians consulted the oracle, ordered them to make their settlement opposite the blind, thus calling the Chalcedonians blind, because, although they sailed the regions in question at an earlier time, they failed to take possession of the country on the far side, with all its wealth, and chose the poorer country. I have now carried my description as far as Byzantium, because a famous city, lying as it does very near to the mouth, marked a better-known limit to the coasting-voyage from the Ister. And above Byzantium is situated the tribe of the Astae, in whose territory is a city Calybe, where Philip the son of Amyntas settled the most villainous people of his kingdom.,1. EpirusThese alone, then, of all the tribes that are marked off by the Ister and by the Illyrian and Thracian mountains, deserve to be mentioned, occupying as they do the whole of the Adriatic seaboard beginning at the recess, and also the sea-board that is called the left parts of the Pontus, and extends from the Ister River as far as Byzantium. But there remain to be described the southerly parts of the aforesaid mountainous country and next thereafter the districts that are situated below them, among which are both Greece and the adjacent barbarian country as far as the mountains. Now Hecataeus of Miletus says of the Peloponnesus that before the time of the Greeks it was inhabited by barbarians. Yet one might say that in the ancient times the whole of Greece was a settlement of barbarians, if one reasons from the traditions themselves: Pelops brought over peoples from Phrygia to the Peloponnesus that received its name from him; and Danaus from Egypt; whereas the Dryopes, the Caucones, the Pelasgi, the Leleges, and other such peoples, apportioned among themselves the parts that are inside the isthmus — and also the parts outside, for Attica was once held by the Thracians who came with Eumolpus, Daulis in Phocis by Tereus, Cadmeia by the Phoenicians who came with Cadmus, and Boeotia itself by the Aones and Temmices and Hyantes. According to Pindar, there was a time when the Boeotian tribe was called Syes. Moreover, the barbarian origin of some is indicated by their names — Cecrops, Godrus, Aiclus, Cothus, Drymas, and Crinacus. And even to the present day the Thracians, Illyrians, and Epeirotes live on the flanks of the Greeks (though this was still more the case formerly than now); indeed most of the country that at the present time is indisputably Greece is held by the barbarians — Macedonia and certain parts of Thessaly by the Thracians, and the parts above Acarnania and Aitolia by the Thesproti, the Cassopaei, the Amphilochi, the Molossi, and the Athamanes — Epeirotic tribes.,2. As for the Pelasgi, I have already discussed them. As for the Leleges, some conjecture that they are the same as the Carians, and others that they were only fellow-inhabitants and fellow-soldiers of these; and this, they say, is why, in the territory of Miletus, certain settlements are called settlements of the Leleges, and why, in many places in Caria, tombs of the Leleges and deserted forts, known as Lelegian forts, are so called. However, the whole of what is now called Ionia used to be inhabited by Carians and Leleges; but the Ionians themselves expelled them and took possession of the country, although in still earlier times the captors of Troy had driven the Leleges from the region about Ida that is near Pedasus and the Satniois River. So then, the very fact that the Leleges made common cause with the Carians might be considered a sign that they were barbarians. And Aristotle, in his Polities, also clearly indicates that they led a wandering life, not only with the Carians, but also apart from them, and from earliest times; for instance, in the Polity of the Acarnanians he says that the Curetes held a part of the country, whereas the Leleges, and then the Teleboae, held the westerly part; and in the Polity of the Aitolians (and likewise in that of the Opuntii and the Megarians) he calls the Locri of today Leleges and says that they took possession of Boeotia too; again, in the Polity of the Leucadians he names a certain indigenous Lelex, and also Teleboas, the son of a daughter of Lelex, and twenty-two sons of Teleboas, some of whom, he says, dwelt in Leucas. But in particular one might believe Hesiod when he says concerning them: For verily Locrus was chieftain of the peoples of the Leleges, whom once Zeus the son of Cronus, who knoweth devices imperishable, gave to Deucalion — peoples picked out of earth; for by his etymology he seems to me to hint that from earliest times they were a collection of mixed peoples and that this was why the tribe disappeared. And the same might be said of the Caucones, since now they are nowhere to be found, although in earlier times they were settled in several places.,3. Now although in earlier times the tribes in question were small, numerous, and obscure, still, because of the density of their population and because they lived each under its own king, it was not at all difficult to determine their boundaries; but now that most of the country has become depopulated and the settlements, particularly the cities, have disappeared from sight, it would do no good, even if one could determine their boundaries with strict accuracy, to do so, because of their obscurity and their disappearance. This process of disappearing began a long time ago, and has not yet entirely ceased in many regions because the people keep revolting; indeed, the Romans, after being set up as masters by the inhabitants, encamp in their very houses. Be this as it may, Polybius says that Paulus, after his subjection of Perseus and the Macedonians, destroyed seventy cities of the Epeirotes (most of which, he adds, belonged to the Molossi), and reduced to slavery one hundred and fifty thousand people. Nevertheless, I shall attempt, in so far as it is appropriate to my description and as my knowledge reaches, to traverse the several different parts, beginning at the seaboard of the Ionian Sea — that is, where the voyage out of the Adrias ends.,4. Of this seaboard, then, the first parts are those about Epidamnus and Apollonia. From Apollonia to Macedonia one travels the Egnatian Road, towards the east; it has been measured by Roman miles and marked by pillars as far as Cypsela and the Hebrus River — a distance of five hundred and thirty-five miles. Now if one reckons as most people do, eight stadia to the mile, there would be four thousand two hundred and eighty stadia, whereas if one reckons as Polybius does, who adds two plethra, which is a third of a stadium, to the eight stadia, one must add one hundred and seventy-eight stadia — the third of the number of miles. And it so happens that travellers setting out from Apollonia and Epidamnus meet at an equal distance from the two places on the same road. Now although the road as a whole is called the Egnatian Road, the first part of it is called the Road to Candavia (an Illyrian mountain) and passes through Lychnidus, a city, and Pylon, a place on the road which marks the boundary between the Illyrian country and Macedonia. From Pylon the road runs to Barnus through Heracleia and the country of the Lyncestae and that of the Eordi into Edessa and Pella and as far as Thessaloniceia; and the length of this road in miles, according to Polybius, is two hundred and sixty-seven. So then, in travelling this road from the region of Epidamnus and Apollonia, one has on the right the Epeirotic tribes whose coasts are washed by the Sicilian Sea and extend as far as the Ambracian Gulf, and, on the left, the mountains of Illyria, which I have already described in detail, and those tribes which live along them and extend as far as Macedonia and the country of the Paeonians. Then, beginning at the Ambracian Gulf, all the districts which, one after another, incline towards the east and stretch parallel to the Peloponnesus belong to Greece; they then leave the whole of the Peloponnesus on the right and project into the Aegean Sea. But the districts which extend from the beginning of the Macedonian and the Paeonian mountains as far as the Strymon River are inhabited by the Macedonians, the Paeonians, and by some of the Thracian mountaineers; whereas the districts beyond the Strymon, extending as far as the mouth of the Pontus and the Haemus, all belong to the Thracians, except the seaboard. This seaboard is inhabited by Greeks, some being situated on the Propontis, others on the Hellespont and the Gulf of Melas, and others on the Aegean. The Aegean Sea washes Greece on two sides: first, the side that faces towards the east and stretches from Sounion, towards the north as far as the Thermaean Gulf and Thessaloniceia, a Macedonian city, which at the present time is more populous than any of the rest; and secondly, the side that faces towards the south, I mean the Macedonian country, extending from Thessaloniceia as far as the Strymon. Some, however, also assign to Macedonia the country that extends from the Strymon as far as the Nestus River, since Philip was so specially interested in these districts that he appropriated them to himself, and since he organized very large revenues from the mines and the other natural resources of the country. But from Sounion to the Peloponnesus lie the Myrtoan, the Cretan, and the Libyan Seas, together with their gulfs, as far as the Sicilian Sea; and this last fills out the Ambracian, the Corinthian, and the Crisaean Gulfs.,5. Now as for the Epeirotes, there are fourteen tribes of them, according to Theopompus, but of these the Chaones and the Molossi are the most famous, because of the fact that they once ruled over the whole of the Epeirote country — the Chaones earlier and later the Molossi; and the Molossi grew to still greater power, partly because of the kinship of their kings, who belonged to the family of the Aeacidae, and partly because of the fact that the oracle at Dodona was in their country, an oracle both ancient and renowned. Now the Chaones and the Thesproti and, next in order after these, the Cassopaei (these, too, are Thesproti) inhabit the seaboard which extends from the Ceraunian Mountains as far as the Ambracian Gulf, and they have a fertile country. The voyage, if one begins at the country of the Chaones and sails towards the rising sun and towards the Ambracian Gulf and Corinthian Gulf, keeping the Ausonian Sea on the right and Epeirus on the left, is one thousand three hundred stadia, that is, from the Ceraunian Mountains to the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf. In this interval is Panormus, a large harbor at the center of the Ceraunian Mountains, and after these mountains one comes to Onchesmus, another harbor, opposite which lie the western extremities of Corcyraea, and then still another harbor, Cassiope, from which the distance to Brentesium is one thousand seven hundred stadia. And the distance to Taras from another cape, which is farther south than Cassiope and is called Phalacrum, is the same. After Onchesmus comes Poseidium, and also Buthrotum (which is at the mouth of what is called Pelodes Harbor, is situated on a place that forms a peninsula, and has alien settlers consisting of Romans), and the Sybota. The Sybota are small islands situated only a short distance from the mainland and opposite Leucimma, the eastern headland of Corcyraea. And there are still other small islands as one sails along this coast, but they are not worth mentioning. Then comes Cape Cheimerium, and also Glycys Limen, into which the River Acheron empties. The Acheron flows from the Acherusian Lake and receives several rivers as tributaries, so that it sweetens the waters of the gulf. And also the Thyamis flows near by. Cichyrus, the Ephyra of former times, a city of the Thesprotians, lies above this gulf, whereas Phoinike lies above that gulf which is at Buthrotum. Near Cichyrus is Buchetium, a small town of the Cassopaeans, which is only a short distance above the sea; also Elatria, Pandosia, and Batiae, which are in the interior, though their territory reaches down as far as the gulf. Next in order after Glycys Limen come two other harbors — Comarus, the nearer and smaller of the two, which forms an isthmus of sixty stadia with the Ambracian Gulf, and Nicopolis, a city founded by Augustus Caesar, and the other, the more distant and larger and better of the two, which is near the mouth of the gulf and is about twelve stadia distant from Nicopolis.,6. Next comes the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf. Although the mouth of this gulf is but slightly more than four stadia wide, the circumference is as much as three hundred stadia; and it has good harbors everywhere. That part of the country which is on the right as one sails in is inhabited by the Greek Acarnanians. Here too, near the mouth, is the sacred precinct of the Actian Apollo — a hill on which the sanctuary stands; and at the foot of the hill is a plain which contains a sacred grove and a naval station, the naval station where Caesar dedicated as first fruits of his victory the squadron of ten ships — from vessel with single bank of oars to vessel with ten; however, not only the boats, it is said, but also the boat-houses have been wiped out by fire. On the left of the mouth are Nicopolis and the country of the Epeirote Cassopaeans, which extends as far as the recess of the gulf near Ambracia. Ambracia lies only a short distance above the recess; it was founded by Gorgus, the son of Cypselus. The River Aracthus flows past Ambracia; it is navigable inland for only a few stadia, from the sea to Ambracia, although it rises in Mount Tymphe and the Paroraea. Now this city enjoyed an exceptional prosperity in earlier times (at any rate the gulf was named after it), and it was adorned most of all by Pyrrhus, who made the place his royal residence. In later times, however, the Macedonians and the Romans, by their continuous wars, so completely reduced both this and the other Epeirote cities because of their disobedience that finally Augustus, seeing that the cities had utterly failed, settled what inhabitants were left in one city together the city on this gulf which was called by him Nicopolis; and he so named it after the victory which he won in the naval battle before the mouth of the gulf over Antonius and Cleopatra the queen of the Egyptians, who was also present at the fight. Nicopolis is populous, and its numbers are increasing daily, since it has not only a considerable territory and the adornment taken from the spoils of the battle, but also, in its suburbs, the thoroughly equipped sacred precinct — one part of it being in a sacred grove that contains a gymnasium and a stadium for the celebration of the quinquennial games, the other part being on the hill that is sacred to Apollo and lies above the grove. These games — the Actia, sacred to Actian Apollo — have been designated as Olympian, and they are superintended by the Lacedemonians. The other settlements are dependencies of Nicopolis. In earlier times also the Actian Games were wont to be celebrated in honor of the god by the inhabitants of the surrounding country — games in which the prize was a wreath — but at the present time they have been set in greater honor by Caesar.,7. After Ambracia comes Argos Amphilochicum, founded by Alcmaeon and his children. According to Ephorus, at any rate, Alcmaeon, after the expedition of the Epigoni against Thebes, on being invited by Diomedes, went with him into Aitolia and helped him acquire both this country and Acarnania; and when Agamemnon summoned them to the Trojan war, Diomedes went, but Alcmaeon stayed in Acarnania, founded Argos, and named it Amphilochicum after his brother; and he named the river which flows through the country into the Ambracian Gulf Inachus, after the river in the Argeian country. But according to Thucydides, Amphilochus himself, after his return from Troy, being displeased with the state of affairs at Argos, passed on into Acarnania, and on succeeding to his brother's dominion founded the city that is named after him.,8. The Amphilochians are Epeirotes; and so are the peoples who are situated above them and border on the Illyrian mountains, inhabiting a rugged country — I mean the Molossi, the Athamanes, the Aethices, the Tymphaei, the Orestae, and also the Paroraei and the Atintanes, some of them being nearer to the Macedonians and others to the Ionian Sea. It is said that Orestes once took possession of Orestias — when is, exile on account of the murder of his mother — and left the country bearing his name; and that he also founded a city and called it Argos Oresticum. But the Illyrian tribes which are near the southern part of the mountainous country and those which are above the Ionian Sea are intermingled with these peoples; for above Epidamnus and Apollonia as far as the Ceraunian Mountains dwell the Bylliones, the Taulantii, the Parthini, and the Brygi. Somewhere nearby are also the silver mines of Damastion, where the Perisadyes and the Encheleii (also called Sesarethii) together established their dominion; and near these people are also the Lyncestae, the territory Deuriopus, the Pelagonian Tripolitis, the Eordi, Elimeia, and Eratyra. In earlier times these peoples were ruled separately, each by its own dynasty. For instance, it was the descendants of Cadmus and Harmonia who ruled over the Encheleii; and the scenes of the stories told about them are still pointed out there. These people, I say, were not ruled by men of native stock; and the Lyncestae became subject to Arrabaeus, who was of the stock of the Bacchiads (Eurydice, the mother of Philip, Amyntas' son, was Arrabaeus' daughter's daughter and Sirra was his daughter); and again, of the Epeirotes, the Molossi became subject to Pyrrhus, the son of Neoptolemus the son of Achilles, and to his descendants, who were Thessalians. But the rest were ruled by men of native stock. Then, because one tribe or another was always getting the mastery over others, they all ended in the Macedonian empire, except a few who dwelt above the Ionian Sea. And in fact the regions about Lyncus, Pelagonia, Orestias, and Elimeia, used to be called Upper Macedonia, though later on they were by some also called Free Macedonia. But some go so far as to call the whole of the country Macedonia, as far as Corcyra, at the same time stating as their reason that in tonsure, language, short cloak, and other things of the kind, the usages of the inhabitants are similar, although, they add, some speak both languages. But when the empire of the Macedonians was broken up, they fell under the power of the Romans. And it is through the country of these tribes that the Egnatian Road runs, which begins at Epidamnus and Apollonia. Near the Road to Candavia are not only the lakes which are in the neighborhood of Lychnidus, on the shores of which are salt-fish establishments that are independent of other waters, but also a number of rivers, some emptying into the Ionian Sea and others flowing in a southerly direction — I mean the Inachus, the Aratthus, the Achelous and the Evenus (formerly called the Lycormas); the Aratthus emptying into the Ambracian Gulf, the Inachus into the Achelous, the Achelous itself and the Evenus into the sea — the Achelous after traversing Acarnania and the Evenus after traversing Aitolia. But the Erigon, after receiving many streams from the Illyrian mountains and from the countries of the Lyncestae, Brygi, Deuriopes, and Pelagonians, empties into the Axius.,9. In earlier times there were also cities among these tribes; at any rate, Pelagonia used to be called Tripolitis, one of which was Azorus; and all the cities of the Deuriopes on the Erigon River were populous, among which were Bryanium, Alalcomenae, and Stybara. And Cydrae belonged to the Brygians, while Aiginium, on the border of Aethicia and Tricca, belonged to the Tymphaei. When one is already near to Macedonia and to Thessaly, and in the neighborhood of the Poeus and the Pindus Mountains, one comes to the country of the Aethices and to the sources of the Peneius River, the possession of which is disputed by the Tymphaei and those Thessalians who live at the foot of the Pindus, and to the city Oxyneia, situated on the Ion River one hundred and twenty stadia from Azorus in Tripolitis. Near by are Alalcomenae, Aiginium, Europus, and the confluence of the Ion River with the Peneius. Now although in those earlier times, as I have said, all Epeirus and the Illyrian country were rugged and full of mountains, such as Tomarus and Polyanus and several others, still they were populous; but at the present time desolation prevails in most parts, while the parts that are still inhabited survive only in villages and in ruins. And even the oracle at Dodona, like the rest, is virtually extinct.,10. This oracle, according to Ephorus, was founded by the Pelasgi. And the Pelasgi are called the earliest of all peoples who have held dominion in Greece. And the poet speaks in this way: O Lord Zeus, Dodonaean, Pelasgian; and Hesiod: He came to Dodona and the oak-tree, seat of the Pelasgi. The Pelasgi I have already discussed in my description of Tyrrhenia; and as for the people who lived in the neighborhood of the sanctuary of Dodona, Homer too makes it perfectly clear from their mode of life, when he calls them men with feet unwashen, men who sleep upon the ground, that they were barbarians; but whether one should call them Helli, as Pindar does, or Selli, as is conjectured to be the true reading in Homer, is a question to which the text, since it is doubtful, does not permit a positive answer. Philochorus says that the region round about Dodona, like Euboea, was called Hellopia, and that in fact Hesiod speaks of it in this way: There is a land called Hellopia, with many a corn-field and with goodly meadows; on the edge of this land a city called Dodona hath been built. It is thought, Apollodorus says, that the land was so called from the marshes around the sanctuary; as for the poet, however, Apollodorus takes it for granted that he did not call the people who lived about the sanctuary Helli, but Selli, since (Apollodorus adds) the poet also named a certain river Selleeis. He names it, indeed, when he says, From afar, out of Ephyra, from the River Selleeis; however, as Demetrius of Scepsis says, the poet is not referring to the Ephyra among the Thesprotians, but to that among the Eleians, for the Selleeis is among the Eleians, he adds, and there is no Selleeis among the Thesprotians, nor yet among the Molossi. And as for the myths that are told about the oak-tree and the doves, and any other myths of the kind, although they, like those told about Delphi, are in part more appropriate to poetry, yet they also in part properly belong to the present geographical description.,11. In ancient times, then, Dodona was under the rule of the Thesprotians; and so was Mount Tomarus, or Tmarus (for it is called both ways), at the base of which the sanctuary is situated. And both the tragic poets and Pindar have called Dodona Thesprotian Dodona. But later on it came under the rule of the Molossi. And it is after the Tomarus, people say, that those whom the poet calls interpreters of Zeus — whom he also calls men with feet unwashen, men who sleep upon the ground — were called tomouroi; and in the Odyssey some so write the words of Amphinomus, when he counsels the wooers not to attack Telemachus until they inquire of Zeus: If the tomouroi of great Zeus approve, I myself shall slay, and I shall bid all the rest to aid, whereas if god averts it, I bid you stop. For it is better, they argue, to write tomouroi than themistes; at any rate, nowhere in the poet are the oracles called themistes, but it is the decrees, statutes, and laws that are so called; and the people have been called tomouroi because tomouroi is a contraction of tomarouroi, the equivalent of tomarophylakes. Now although the more recent critics say tomouroi, yet in Homer one should interpret themistes (and also boulai) in a simpler way, though in a way that is a misuse of the term, as meaning those orders and decrees that are oracular, just as one also interprets themistes as meaning those that are made by law. For example, such is the case in the following: to give ear to the decree of Zeus from the oak-tree of lofty foliage.,12. At the outset, it is true, those who uttered the prophecies were men (this too perhaps the poet indicates, for he calls them hypophetae, and the prophets might be ranked among these), but later on three old women were designated as prophets, after Dione also had been designated as temple-sharer of Zeus. Suidas, however, in his desire to gratify the Thessalians with mythical stories, says that the sanctuary was transferred from Thessaly, from the part of Pelasgia which is about Scotussa (and Scotussa does belong to the territory called Thessalia Pelasgiotis), and also that most of the women whose descendants are the prophetesses of today went along at the same time; and it is from this fact that Zeus was also called Pelasgian. But Cineas tells a story that is still more mythical.,1. fragments. Cineas says that there was a city in Thessaly, and that an oak-tree and the oracle of Zeus were transferred from there to Epeirus. [1a] In earlier times the oracle was in the neighborhood of Scotussa, a city of Pelasgiotis; but when the tree was set on fire by certain people the oracle was transferred in accordance with an oracle which Apollo gave out at Dodona. However, he gave out the oracle, not through words, but through certain symbols, as was the case at the oracle of Zeus Ammon in Libya. Perhaps there was something exceptional about the flight of the three pigeons from which the priestesses were wont to make observations and to prophesy. It is further said that in the language of the Molossians and the Thesprotians old women are called peliai and old men pelioi. And perhaps the much talked of Peleiades were not birds, but three old women who busied themselves about the sanctuary. [1b] I mentioned Scotussa also in my discussion of Dodona and of the oracle in Thessaly, because the oracle was originally in the latter region. [1c] According to the Geographer, a sacred oak tree is revered in Dodona, because it was thought to be the earliest plant created and the first to supply men with food. And the same writer also says in reference to the oracular doves there, as they are called, that the doves are observed for the purposes of augury, just as there were some seers who divined from ravens.,2. Among the Thesprotians and the Molossians old women are called peliai and old men pelioi, as is also the case among the Macedonians; at any rate, those people call their dignitaries peligones (compare the gerontes among the Laconians and the Massaliotes). And this, it is said, is the origin of the myth about the pigeons in the Dodonaean oak-tree.,3. The proverbial phrase, the copper vessel in Dodona, originated thus: In the sanctuary was a copper vessel with a statue of a man situated above it and holding a copper scourge, dedicated by the Corcyraeans; the scourge was three-fold and wrought in chain fashion, with bones strung from it; and these bones, striking the copper vessel continuously when they were swung by the winds, would produce tones so long that anyone who measured the time from the beginning of the tone to the end could count to four hundred. Whence, also, the origin of the proverbial term, the scourge of the Corcyraeans.,4. Paeonia is on the east of these tribes and on the west of the Thracian mountains, but it is situated on the north of the Macedonians; and, by the road that runs through the city Gortynium and Stobi, it affords a passage to . . . (through which the Axius flows, and thus makes difficult the passage from Paeonia to Macedonia — just as the Peneius flows through Tempe and thus fortifies Macedonia on the side of Greece). And on the south Paeonia borders on the countries of the Autariatae, the Dardanii, and the Ardiaei; and it extends as far as the Strymon.,5. The Haliacmon flows into the Thermaean Gulf.,6. Orestis is of considerable extent, and has a large mountain which reaches as far as Mount Corax in Aitolia and Mount Parnassus, About this mountain dwell the Orestae themselves, the Tymphaei, and the Greeks outside the isthmus that are in the neighborhood of Parnassus, Oita, and Pindus. As a whole the mountain is called by a general name, Boeum, but taken part by part it has many names. People say that from the highest peaks one can see both the Aegean Sea and the Ambracian and Ionian Sea, but they exaggerate, I think. Mount Pteleum, also, is fairly high; it is situated around the Ambracian Gulf, extending on one side as far as the Corcyraean country and on the other to the sea at Leucas.,7. Corcyra is proverbially derided as a joke because it was humbled by its many wars.,8. Corcyra in early times enjoyed a happy lot and had a very large naval force, but was ruined by certain wars and tyrants. And later on, although it was set free by the Romans, it got no commendation, but instead, as an object of reproach, got a proverb: Corcyra is free, dung where thou wilt.,9. There remain of Europe, first, Macedonia and the parts of Thrace that are contiguous to it and extend as far as Byzantium; secondly, Greece; and thirdly, the islands that are close by. Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece, yet now, since I am following the nature and shape of the places geographically, I have decided to classify it apart from the rest of Greece and to join it with that part of Thrace which borders on it and extends as far as the mouth of the Euxine and the Propontis. Then, a little further on, Strabo mentions Cypsela and the Nebrus River, and also describes a sort of parallelogram in which the whole of Macedonia lies.,10. Macedonia is bounded, first, on the west, by the coastline of the Adrias; secondly, on the east, by the meridian line which is parallel to this coastline and runs through the outlets of the Nebrus River and through the city Cypsela; thirdly, on the north, by the imaginary straight line which runs through the Bertiscus Mountain, the Scardus, the Orbelus, the Rhodope, and the Haemus; for these mountains, beginning at the Adrias, extend on a straight line as far as the Euxine, thus forming towards the south a great peninsula which comprises Thrace together with Macedonia, Epeirus, and Achaea; and fourthly, on the south, by the Egnatian Road, which runs from the city Dyrrhachium towards the east as far as Thessaloniceia. And thus the shape of Macedonia is very nearly that of a parallelogram.,11. What is now called Macedonia was in earlier times called Emathia. And it took its present name from Macedon, one of its early chieftains. And there was also a city Emathia close to the sea. Now a part of this country was taken and held by certain of the Epeirotes and the Illyrians, but most of it by the Bottiaei and the Thracians. The Bottiaei came from Brete originally, so it is said, along with Botton as chieftain. As for the Thracians, the Pieres inhabited Pieria and the region about Olympus; the Paeones, the region on both sides of the Axius River, which on that account is called Amphaxitis; the Edoni, and Bisaltae, the rest of the country as far as the Strymon. Of these two peoples the latter are called Bisaltae alone, whereas a part of the Edoni are called Mygdones, a part Edones, and a part Sithones. But of all these tribes the Argeadae, as they are called, established themselves as masters, and also the Chalcidians of Euboea; for the Chalcidians of Euboea also came over to the country of the Sithones and jointly peopled about thirty cities in it, although later on the majority of them were ejected and came together into one city, Olynthus; and they were named the Thracian Chalcidians. [11a] The ethnic of Botteia is spelled with the i, according to Strabo in his Seventh Book. And the city is called after Botton the Cretan. [11b] Amphaxion. Two parts of speech. A city. The ethnic of Amphaxion is Amphaxites.,12. The Peneius forms the boundary between Lower Macedonia, or that part of Macedonia which is close to the sea, and Thessaly and Magnesia; the Haliacmon forms the boundary of Upper Macedonia; and the Haliacmon also, together with the Erigon and the Axius and another set of rivers, form the boundary of the Epeirotes and the Paeonians. [12a] For if, according to the Geographer, Macedonia stretches from the Thessalian Pelion and Peneius towards the interior as far as Paeonia and the Epeirote tribes, and if the Greeks had at Troy an allied force from Paeonia, it is difficult to conceive that an allied force came to the Trojans from the aforesaid more distant part of Paeonia.,13. Of the Macedonian coastline, beginning at the recess of the Thermaean Gulf and at Thessaloniceia, there are two parts — one extending towards the south as far as Sounion and the other towards the east as far as the Thracian Chersonese, thus forming at the recess a sort of angle. Since Macedonia extends in both directions, I must begin with the part first mentioned. The first portion, then, of this part — I mean the region of Sounion — has above it Attica together with the Megarian country as far as the Crisaean Gulf; after this is that Boeotian coastline which faces Euboea, and above this coast-line lies the rest of Boeotia, extending in the direction of the west, parallel to Attica. And he says that the Egnatian Road, also, beginning at the Ionian Sea, ends at Thessalonike.,14. As for the ribbon-like stretches of land, he says, I shall first mark off the boundary of the peoples who live in the one which is beside the sea near the Peneius and the Haliacmon. Now the Peneius flows from the Pindus Mountain through the middle of Thessaly towards the east; and after it passes through the cities of the Lapithae and some cities of the Perrhaebians, it reaches Tempe, after having received the waters of several rivers, among which is the Europus, which the poet called Titaresius, since it has its sources in the Titarius Mountain; the Titarius Mountain joins Olympus, and thence Olympus begins to mark the boundary between Macedonia and Thessaly; for Tempe is a narrow glen between Olympus and Ossa, and through these narrows the Peneius flows for a distance of forty stadia with Olympus, the loftiest mountain in Macedonia, on the left, and with Ossa, near the outlets of the river, on the right. So then, Gyrton, the Perrhaebian and Magnetan city in which Peirithous and Ixion reigned, is situated near the outlets of the Peneius on the right; and the city of Crannon lies at a distance of as much as one hundred stadia from Gyrton; and writers say that when the poet says, Verily these twain from Thrace and what follows, he means by Ephyri the Crannonians and by Phlegyae the Gyrtonians. But Pieria is on the other side of the Peneius.,15. The Peneius River rises in the Pindus Mountain and flows through Tempe and through the middle of Thessaly and of the countries of the Lapithae and the Perrhaebians, and also receives the waters of the Europus River, which Homer called Titaresius; it marks the boundary between Macedonia on the north and Thessaly on the south. But the source-waters of the Europus rise in the Titarius Mountain, which is continuous with Olympus. And Olympus belongs to Macedonia, whereas Ossa and Pelion belong to Thessaly. [15a] The Peneius rises, according to the Geographer, in that part of the Pindus Mountain about which the Perrhaebians live. . . . And Strabo also makes the following statements concerning the Peneius: The Peneius rises in the Pindus; and leaving Tricca on the left it flows around Atrax and Larissa, and after receiving the rivers in Thessaly passes on through Tempe. And he says that the Peneius flows through the center of Thessaly, receiving many rivers, and that in its course it keeps Olympus on the left and Ossa on the right. And at its outlets, on the right, is a Magnetan city, Gyrton, in which Peirithous and Ixion reigned; and not far from Gyrton is a city Crannon, whose citizens were called by a different name, Ephyri, just' as the citizens of Gyrton were called Phlegyae.,16. Below the foot-hills of Olympus, along the Peneius River, lies Gyrton, the Perrhaebian and Magnetan city, in which Peirithous and Ixion ruled; and Crannon is at a distance of one hundred stadia from Gyrton, and writers say that when the poet says, Verily these twain from Thrace, he means by Ephyri the Crannonians and by Phlegyae the Gyrtonians. [16a] The city of Crannon is at a distance of one hundred stadia from Gyrton, according to Strabo. [16b] Homolium, a city of Macedonia and Magnesia. Strabo in his Seventh Book. [16c] I have said in my description of Macedonia that Homolium is close to Ossa and is where the Peneius, flowing through Tempe, begins to discharge its waters. [16d] There were several different Ephyras, if indeed the Geographer counts as many as nine. [16e] He (the Geographer) speaks of a city Gyrton, a Magnetan city near the outlets of the Peneius.,17. The city Dium, in the foot-hills of Olympus, is not on the shore of the Thermaean Gulf, but is at a distance of as much as seven stadia from it. And the city Dium has a village near by, Pimpleia, where Orpheus lived.,18. At the base of Olympus is a city Dium. And it has a village near by, Pimpleia. Here lived Orpheus, the Ciconian, it is said — a wizard who at first collected money from his music, together with his soothsaying and his celebration of the orgies connected with the mystic initiatory rites, but soon afterwards thought himself worthy of still greater things and procured for himself a throng of followers and power. Some, of course, received him willingly, but others, since they suspected a plot and violence, combined against him and killed him. And near here, also, is Leibethra.,19. In the early times the soothsayers also practised music.,20. After Dium come the outlets of the Haliacmon; then Pydna, Methone, Alorus, and the Erigon and Ludias Rivers. The Erigon flows from the country of the Triclari through that of the Orestae and through Pellaea, leaves the city on the left, and meets the Axius; the Ludias is navigable inland to Pella, a distance of one hundred and twenty stadia. Methone, which lies between the two cities, is about forty stadia from Pydna and seventy from Alorus. Alorus is in the inmost recess of the Thermaean Gulf, and it is called Thessaloniceia because of its fame. Now Alorus is regarded as a Bottiaean city, whereas Pydna is regarded as a Pierian. Pella belongs to lower Macedonia, which the Bottiaei used to occupy; in early times the treasury of Macedonia was here. Philip enlarged it from a small city, because he was reared in it. It has a headland in what is called Lake Ludias; and it is from this lake that the Ludias River issues, and the lake itself is supplied by an offshoot of the Axius. The Axius empties between Chalastra and Therma; and on this river lies a fortified place which now is called Abydon, though Homer calls it Amydon, and says that the Paeonians went to the aid of Troy from there, from afar, out of Amydon, from wide-flowing Axius. The place was destroyed by the Argeadae.,21. The Axius is a muddy stream; but Homer calls it water most fair, perhaps on account of the spring called Aea, which, since it empties purest water into the Axius, proves that the present current reading of the passage in the poet is faulty. After the Axius, at a distance of twenty stadia, is the Echedorus; then, forty stadia farther on, Thessaloniceia, founded by Cassander, and also the Egnatian Road. Cassander named the city after his wife Thessalonice, daughter of Philip son of Amyntas, after he had razed to the ground the towns in Crusis and those on the Thermaean Gulf, about twenty-six in number, and had settled all the inhabitants together in one city; and this city is the metropolis of what is now Macedonia. Among those included in the settlement were Apollonia, Chalastra, Therma, Garescus, Aenea, and Cissus; and of these one might suspect that Cissus belonged to Cisses, whom the poet mentions in speaking of Iphidamas, whom Cisses reared.,22. After the city Dium comes the Haliacmon River, which empties into the Thermaean Gulf. And the part after this, the seaboard of the gulf towards the north as far as the Axius River, is called Pieria, in which is the city Pydna, now called Citrum. Then come the cities Methone and Alorus. Then the Rivers Erigon and Ludias; and from Ludias to the city of Pella the river is navigable, a distance of one hundred and twenty stadia. Methone is forty stadia distant from Pydna and seventy stadia from Alorus. Now Pydna is a Pierian city, whereas Alorus is Bottiaean. Now it was in the plain before Pydna that the Romans defeated Perseus in war and destroyed the kingdom of the Macedonians, and it was in the plain before Methone that Philip the son of Amyntas, during the siege of the city, had the misfortune to have his right eye knocked out by a bolt from a catapult.,23. As for Pella, though it was formerly small, Philip greatly enlarged it, because he was reared in it. It has a lake before it; and it is from this lake that the Ludias River flows, and the lake is supplied by an offshoot of the Axius. Then the Axius, dividing both Bottiaea and the land called Amphaxitis, and receiving the Erigon River, discharges its waters between Chalastra and Therma. And on the Axius River lies the place which Homer calls Amydon, saying that the Paeonians went to the aid of Troy from there, from afar, out of Amydon, from wide-flowing Axius. But since the Axius is muddy and since a certain spring rises in Amydon and mingles water most fair with it, therefore the next line, Axius, whose water most fair is spread o'er Aea, is changed to read thus, Axius, o'er which is spread Aea's water most fair; for it is not the water most fair of the Axius that is spread over the face of the earth, but that of the spring o'er the Axius.,24. After the Axius River comes Thessalonica, a city which in earlier times was called Therma. It was founded by Cassander, who named it after his wife, the daughter of Philip the son of Amyntas. And he transferred to it the towns in the surrounding country, as, for instance, Chalastra, Aenea, Cissus, and also some others. And one might suspect that it was from this Cissus that Homer's Iphidamas came, whose grandfather Cisseus reared him, Homer says, in Thrace, which now is called Macedonia.,25. Mt. Bermium, also, is somewhere in this region; in earlier times it was occupied by Briges, a tribe of Thracians; some of these crossed over into Asia and their name was changed to Phryges. After Thessaloniceia come the remaining parts of the Thermaean Gulf as far as Canastraion; this is a headland which forms a peninsula and rises opposite to Magnetis. The name of the peninsula is Pallene; and it has an isthmus five stadia in width, through which a canal is cut. On the isthmus is situated a city founded by the Corinthians, which in earlier times was called Potidaea, although later on it was called Cassandreia, after the same King Cassander, who restored it after it had been destroyed. The distance by sea around this peninsula is five hundred and seventy stadia. And further, writers say that in earlier times the giants lived here and that the country was named Phlegra; the stories of some are mythical, but the account of others is more plausible, for they tell of a certain barbarous and impious tribe which occupied the place but was broken up by Heracles when, after capturing Troy, be sailed back to his home-land. And here, too, the Trojan women were guilty of their crime, it is said, when they set the ships on fire in order that they might not be slaves to the wives of their captors.,26. The city Beroea lies in the foot-hills of Mt. Bermium.,27. The peninsula Pallene, on whose isthmus is situated the city formerly called Potidaea and now Cassandreia, was called Phlegra in still earlier times. It used to be inhabited by the giants of whom the myths are told, an impious and lawless tribe, whom Heracles destroyed. It has four cities, Aphytis, Mende, Scione, Sane. [27a] The Scepsian apparently accepts the opinion neither of this man nor of those who suppose them to be the Halizoni near Pallene, whom I have mentioned in my description of Macedonia.,28. Olynthus was seventy stadia distant from Potidaea.,29. The naval station of Olynthus is Macyperna, on the Toronaean Gulf.,30. Near Olynthus is a hollow place which is called Cantharolethron from what happens there; for when the insect called the Cantharos, which is found all over the country, touches that place, it dies.,31. After Cassandreia, in order, comes the remainder of the seaboard of the Toronaean Gulf, extending as far as Derrhis. Derrhis is a headland that rises opposite to Canastraion and forms the gulf; and directly opposite Derrhis, towards the east, are the capes of Athos; and between is the Singitic Gulf, which is named after Singus, the ancient city that was on it, now in ruins. After this city comes Acanthus, a city situated on the isthmus of Athos; it was founded by the Andrii, and from it many call the gulf the Acanthian Gulf.,32. Opposite Canastrum, a cape of Pallene, is Derrhis, a headland near Cophus Harbor; and these two mark off the limits of the Toronaean Gulf . And towards the east, again, lies the cape of Athos, which marks off the limit of the Singitic Gulf. And so the gulfs of the Aegean Sea lie in order, though at some distance from one another, towards the north, as follows: the Maliac, the Pagasitic, the Thermaean, the Toronaean, the Singitic, the Strymonic. The capes are, first, Poseidium, the one between the Maliac and the Pagasitic; secondly, the next one towards the north, Sepias; then the one on Pallene, Canastrum; then Derrhis; then come Nymphaion, on Athos on the Singitic Gulf, and Acrathos, the cape that is on the Strymonic Gulf (Mt. Athos is between these two capes, and Lemnos is to the east of Mt. Athos); on the north, however, the limit of the Strymonic Gulf is marked by Neapolis.,33. Acanthus, a city on the Singitic Gulf, is on the coast near the canal of Xerxes. Athos has five cities, Dium, Kleonai, Thyssus, Olophyxis, Acrothoi; and Acrothoi is near the crest of Athos. Mt. Athos is breast-shaped, has a very sharp crest, and is very high, since those who live on the crest see the sun rise three hours before it rises on the seaboard. And the distance by sea around the peninsula from the city Acanthus as far as Stageirus, the city of Aristotle, is four hundred stadia. On this coast is a harbor, Caprus by name, and also an isle with the same name as the harbor. Then come the outlets of the Strymon; then Phagres, Galepsus, Apollonia, all cities; then the mouth of the Nestus, which is the boundary between Macedonia and Thrace as fixed by Philip and his son Alexander in their times. There is also another set of cities about the Strymonic Gulf, as, for instance, Myrcinus, Argilus, Drabescus, and Datum. The last named has not only excellent and fruitful soil but also dock-yards and gold mines; and hence the proverb, a Datum of good things, like that other proverb, spools of good things.,34. There are very many gold mines in Crenides, where the city Philippi now is situated, near Mt. Pangaion. And Mt. Pangaion as well has gold and silver mines, as also the country across, and the country this side, the Strymon River as far as Paeonia. And it is further said that the people who plough the Paeonian land find nuggets of gold.,35. Mt. Athos is high and breast-shaped; so high that on its crests the sun is up and the people are weary of ploughing by the time cock-crow begins among the people who live on the shore. It was on this shore that Phamyris the Thracian reigned, who was a man of the same pursuits as Orpheus. Here, too, is to be seen a canal, in the neighborhood of Acanthus, where Xerxes dug a canal across Athos, it is said, and, by admitting the sea into the canal, brought his fleet across from the Strymonic Gulf through the isthmus. Demetrius of Scepsis, however, does not believe that this canal was navigable, for, he says, although as far as ten stadia the ground is deep-soiled and can be dug, and in fact a canal one plethrum in width has been dug, yet after that it is a flat rock, almost a stadium in length, which is too high and broad to admit of being quarried out through the whole of the distance as far as the sea; but even if it were dug thus far, certainly it could not be dug deep enough to make a navigable passage; this, he adds, is where Alexarchus, the son of Antipater, laid the foundation of Ouranopolis, with its circuit of thirty stadia. Some of the Pelasgi from Lemnos took up their abode on this peninsula, and they were divided into five cities, Kleonai, Olophyxis, Acrothoi, Dium, Thyssus. After Athos comes the Strymonic Gulf extending as far as the Nestus, the river which marks off the boundary of Macedonia as fixed by Philip and Alexander; to be accurate, however, there is a cape which with Athos forms the Strymonic Gulf, I mean the cape which has had on it a city called Apollonia. The first city on this gulf after the harbor of the Acanthians is Stageira, the native city of Aristotle, now deserted; this too belongs to the Chalcidians and so do its harbor, Caprus, and an isle bearing the same name as the harbor. Then come the Strymon and the inland voyage of twenty stadia to Amphipolis. Amphipolis was founded by the Athenians and is situated in that place which is called Ennea Hodoi. Then come Galepsus and Apollonia, which were razed to the ground by Philip.,36. From the Peneius, he says, to Pydna is one hundred and twenty stadia. Along the seaboard of the Strymon and the Dateni are, not only the city Neapolis, but also Datum itself, with its fruitful plains, lake, rivers, dock-yards, and profitable gold mines; and hence the proverb, a Datum of good things, like that other proverb, spools of good things. Now the country that is on the far side of the Strymon, I mean that which is near the sea and those places that are in the neighborhood of Datum, is the country of the Odomantes and the Edoni and the Bisaltae, both those who are indigenous and those who crossed over from Macedonia, amongst whom Rhesus reigned. Above Amphipolis, however, and as far as the city Heracleia, is the country of the Bisaltae, with its fruitful valley; this valley is divided into two parts by the Strymon, which has its source in the country of the Agrianes who live round about Rhodope; and alongside this country lies Parorbelia, a district of Macedonia, which has in its interior, along the valley that begins at Eidomene, the cities Callipolis, Orthopolis, Philippopolis, Garescus. If one goes up the Strymon, one comes to Berge; it, too, is situated in the country of the Bisaltae, and is a village about two hundred stadia distant from Amphipolis. And if one goes from Heracleia towards the north and the narrows through which the Strymon flows, keeping the river on the right, one has Paeonia and the region round about Doberus, Rhodope, and the Haemus Mountain on the left, whereas on the right one has the region round about the Haemus. This side the Strymon are Scotussa, near the river itself, and Arethusa, near lake Bolbe. Furthermore, the name Mygdones is applied especially to the people round about the lake. Not only the Axius flows out of the country of the Paeonians, but also the Strymon, for it flows out of the country of the Agrianes through that of the Medi and Sinti and empties into the parts that are between the Bisaltae and the Odomantes.,37. The Strymon River rises in the country of the Agrianes who live round about Rhodope.,38. Some represent the Paeonians as colonists from the Phrygians, while others represent them as independent founders. And it is said that Paeonia has extended as far as Pelagonia and Pieria; that Pelagonia was called Orestia in earlier times, that Asteropaeus, one of the leaders who made the expedition from Paeonia to Troy, was not without good reason called son of Pelegon, and that the Paeonians themselves were called Pelagonians.,39. The Homeric Asteropaeus son of Pelegon was, as history tells us, from Paeonia in Macedonia; wherefore son of Pelegon, for the Paeonians were called Pelagonians.,40. Since the paeanismos of the Thracians is called titanismos by the Greeks, in imitation of the cry uttered in paeans, the Titans too were called Pelagonians.,41. It is clear that in early times, as now, the Paeonians occupied much of what is now Macedonia, so that they could not only lay siege to Perinthus but also bring under their power all Crestonia and Mygdonis and the country of the Agrianes as far as Pangaeurum. Philippi and the region about Philippi lie above that part of the seaboard of the Strymonic Gulf which extends from Galepsus as far as Nestus. In earlier times Philippi was called Crenides, and was only a small settlement, but it was enlarged after the defeat of Brutus and Cassius.,42. What is now the city Philippi was called Crenides in early times.,43. Off this seaboard lie two islands, Lemnos and Thasos. And after the strait of Thasos one comes to Abdera and the scene of the myths connected with Abderus. It was inhabited by the Bistonian Thracians over whom Diomedes ruled. The Nestus River does not always remain in the same bed, but oftentimes floods the country. Then come Dicaea, a city situated on a gulf, and a harbor. Above these lies the Bistonis, a lake which has a circuit of about two hundred stadia. It is said that, because this plain was altogether a hollow and lower than the sea, Heracles, since he was inferior in horse when he came to get the mares of Diomedes, dug a canal through the shore and let in the water of the sea upon the plain and thus mastered his adversaries. One is shown also the royal residence of Diomedes, which, because of its naturally strong position and from what is actually the case, is called Cartera Come. After the lake, which is midway between, come Xantheia, Maroneia, and Ismarus, the cities of the Cicones. Ismarus, however, is now called Ismara; it is near Maroneia. And near here, also, Lake Ismaris sends forth its stream; this stream is called Odysseium. And here, too, are what are called the Thasion Cephalae. But the people situated in the interior are Sapaei.,44. Topeira is near Abdera and Maroneia. [44a] The aforesaid Ismarus, in later times called Ismara, is, they say, a city of the Cicones; it is near Maroneia, where is also a lake, the stream of which is called Odysseium; here too is a hero-sanctuary of Maron, as the Geographer records.,45. The Sinti, a Thracian tribe, inhabit the island Lemnos; and from this fact Homer calls them Sinties, when he says, where me the Sinties . . . [45a] Lemnos: first settled by the Thracians who were called Sinties, according to Strabo.,46. After the Nestus River, towards the east, is the city Abdera, named after Abderus, whom the horses of Diomedes devoured; then, near by, the city Picaea, above which lies a great lake, Bistonis; then the city Maroneia.,47. Thrace as a whole consists of twenty-two tribes. But although it has been devastated to an exceptional degree, it can send into the field fifteen thousand cavalry and also two hundred thousand infantry. After Maroneia one comes to the city Orthagoria and to the region about Serrhium (a rough coasting voyage) and to Tempyra, the little town of the Samothracians, and to Caracoma, another little town, off which lies the island Samothrace, and to Imbros, which is not very far from Samothrace; Thasos, however, is more than twice as far from Samothrace as Imbros is. From Caracoma one comes to Doriscus, where Xerxes enumerated his army; then to the Hebrus, which is navigable inland to Cypsela, a distance of one hundred and twenty stadia. This, he says, was the boundary of the Macedonia which the Romans first took away from Perseus and afterwards from the Pseudo-Philip. Now Paulus, who captured Perseus, annexed the Epeirotic tribes to Macedonia, divided the country into four parts for purposes of administration, and apportioned one part to Amphipolis, another to Thessaloniceia, another to Pella, and another to the Pelagonians. Along the Hebrus live the Corpili, and, still farther up the river, the Brenae, and then, farthermost of all, the Bessi, for the river is navigable thus far. All these tribes are given to brigandage, but most of all the Bessi, who, He says, are neighbors to the Odrysae and the Sapaei. Bizye was the royal residence of the Astae. The term Odrysae is applied by some to all the peoples living above the seaboard from the Hebrus and Cypsela as far as Odessus — the peoples over whom Amadocus, Cersobleptes, Berisades, Seuthes, and Cotys reigned as kings. [47a] Odrysae: a tribe of Thrace; Strabo in his Seventh Book. [47b] The Geographer, in pointing out the great extent of Thrace, says also that Thrace as a whole consists of twenty-two tribes.,48. The river in Thrace that is now called Rheginia used to be called Erigon.,49. Iasion and Dardanus, two brothers, used to live in Samothrace. But when Iasion was struck by a thunderbolt because of his sin against Demeter, Dardanus sailed away from Samothrace, went and took up his abode at the foot of Mount Ida, calling the city Dardania, and taught the Trojans the Samothracian Mysteries. In earlier times, however, Samothrace was called Samos.,50. Many writers have identified the gods that are worshipped in Samothrace with the Cabeiri, though they cannot say who the Cabeiri themselves are, just as the Cyrbantes and Corybantes, and likewise the Curetes and the Idaean Dactyli, are identified with them. This Thracian island, according to the Geographer, is called Samos because of its height; for samoi, he says, means heights. . . . And the Geographer says that in olden times Samians from Mycale settled in the island, which had been deserted because of a dearth of crops, and that in this way it was called Samos. . . . And the Geographer records also that in earlier times Samothrace was called Melite, as also that it was rich; for Cilician pirates, he says, secretly broke into the sanctuary in Samothrace, robbed it, and carried off more than a thousand talents.,51. Near the outlet of the Hebrus, which has two mouths, lies the city Aenus, on the Melas Gulf; it was founded by Mitylenaeans and Cumaeans, though in still earlier times by Alopeconnesians. Then comes Cape Sarpedon; then what is called the Thracian Chersonesus, which forms the Propontis and the Melas Gulf and the Hellespont; for it is a cape which projects towards the south-east, thus connecting Europe with Asia by the strait, seven stadia wide, which is between Abydus and Sestus, and thus having on the left the Propontis and on the right the Melas Gulf — so called, just as Herodotus and Eudoxus say, from the Melas River which empties into it. But Herodotus, he says, states that this stream was not sufficient to supply the army of Xerxes. The aforesaid cape is closed in by an isthmus forty stadia wide. Now in the middle of the isthmus is situated the city Lysimacheia, named after the king who founded it; and on either side of it lies a city — on the Melas Gulf, Cardia, the largest of the cities on the Chersonesus, founded by Milesians and Clazomenians but later refounded by Athenians, and on the Propontis, Pactye. And after Cardia come Drabus and Limnae; then Alopeconnesus, in which the Melas Gulf comes approximately to an end; then the large headland, Mazusia; then, on a gulf, Eleus, where is the sanctuary of Protesilaus, opposite which, forty stadia distant, is Sigeium, a headland of the Troad; and this is about the most southerly extremity of the Chersonesus, being slightly more than four hundred stadia from Cardia; and if one sails around the rest of the circuit, towards the other side of the isthmus, the distance is slightly more than this. [51a] Aenus; a city of Thrace, called Apsinthus. Strabo in his Seventh Book. The city Aenus is in the outlet of the Hebrus, which has two mouths, and was founded by Cumaeans; and it was so called because there was an Aenius River and also a village of the same name near Ossa.,52. The Thracian Chersonesus forms three seas: the Propontis in the north, the Hellespont in the east, and the Melas Gulf in the south, into which empties the Melas River, which bears the same name as the gulf.,53. On the isthmus of the Chersonesus are situated three cities: near the Melas Gulf, Cardia, and near the Propontis, Pactye, and near the middle, Lysimachia. The length of the isthmus is forty stadia.,54. The name of the city Eleus is masculine; and perhaps also that of the city Trapezus.,55. On this voyage along the coast of the Chersonesus after leaving Eleus, one comes first to the entrance which leads through the narrows into the Propontis; and this entrance is called the beginning of the Hellespont. And here is the cape called the Cynossema; though some call it Hecabe's Sema, and in fact her tomb is pointed out after one has doubled the cape. Then one comes to Madytus, and to Cape Sestias, where the pontoon bridge of Xerxes was built; and, after these, to Sestus. The distance from Eleus to the place of the pontoon-bridge is one hundred and seventy stadia. After Sestus one comes to Aegospotami, eighty stadia, a town which has been razed to the ground, where it is said, the stone fell at the time of the Persian war. Then comes Callipolis, from which the distance across to Lampsacus in Asia is forty stadia; then Crithote, a little town which has been razed to the ground; then Pactye; then Macron Teichos, Leuce Acte, Hieron Oros, and Perinthus, founded by the Samians: then Selybria. Above these places lies Silta; and the Hieron Oros is revered by all the natives and is a sort of acropolis of the country. The Hieron Oros discharges asphalt into the sea, near the place where the Proconnesus, only one hundred and twenty stadia distant, is nearest to the land; and the quarry of white marble in the Proconnesus is both large and excellent. After Selybria come the Rivers Athyras and Bathynias; and then, Byzantium and the places which come in order thereafter as far as the Cyanean Rocks. [55a] As for Sestus and the whole of the Chersonesus, I have already discussed them in my description of the regions of Thrace. [55b] Sestus, a colony of the Lesbians, as is also Madytus, as the Geographer says, is a Chersonesian city thirty stadia distant from Abydus, from harbor to harbor.,56. The distance from Perinthus to Byzantium is six hundred and thirty stadia; but from the Hebrus and Cypsela to Byzantium, as far as the Cyanean Rocks, three thousand one hundred, as Artemidorus says; and the entire distance from the Ionian Gulf at Apollonia as far as Byzantium is seven thousand three hundred and twenty stadia, though Polybius adds one hundred and eighty more, since he adds a third of a stadium to the eight stadia in the mile. Demetrius of Scepsis, however, in his work On the Marshalling of the Trojan Forces calls the distance from Perinthus to Byzantium six hundred stadia and the distance to Parium equal thereto; and he represents the Propontis as one thousand four hundred stadia in length and five hundred in breadth; while as for the Hellespont, he calls its narrowest breadth seven stadia and its length four hundred.,57. There is no general agreement in the definition of the term Hellespont: in fact, there are several opinions concerning it. For some writers call Hellespont the whole of the Propontis; others, that part of the Propontis which is this side Perinthus; others go on to add that part of the outer sea which faces the Melas Gulf and the open waters of the Aegean Sea, and these writers in turn each comprise different sections in their definitions, some the part from Sigeium to Lampsacus and Cysicus, or Parium, or Priapus, another going on to add the part which extends from Sigrium in the Lesbian Isle. And some do not shrink even from applying the name Hellespont to the whole of the high sea as far as the Myrtoan Sea, since, as Pindar says in his hymns, those who were sailing with Heracles from Troy through Helle's maidenly strait, on touching the Myrtoan Sea, ran back again to Cos, because Zephyrus blew contrary to their course. And in this way, also, they require that the whole of the Aegean Sea as far as the Thermaean Gulf and the sea which is about Thessaly and Macedonia should be called Hellespont, invoking Homer also as witness; for Homer says, thou shalt see, if thou dost wish and hast a care therefor, my ships sailing o'er the fishy Hellespont at very early morn


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.


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

13 results
1. Pindar, Olympian Odes, 2.83-2.88 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2. Plato, Apology of Socrates, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

22c. that what they composed they composed not by wisdom, but by nature and because they were inspired, like the prophets and givers of oracles; for these also say many fine things, but know none of the things they say; it was evident to me that the poets too had experienced something of this same sort. And at the same time I perceived that they, on account of their poetry, thought that they were the wisest of men in other things as well, in which they were not. So I went away from them also thinking that I was superior to them in the same thing in which I excelled the public men.Finally then I went to the hand-workers.
3. Plato, Republic, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

364e. And incense and libation turn their wills Praying, whenever they have sinned and made transgression. Hom. Il. 9.497 And they produce a bushel of books of Musaeus and Orpheus, the offspring of the Moon and of the Muses, as they affirm, and these books they use in their ritual, and make not only ordinary men but states believe that there really are remissions of sins and purifications for deeds of injustice, by means of sacrifice and pleasant sport for the living
4. Theophrastus, Characters, 16.11 (4th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

5. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.23.6, 4.25.3 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.23.6.  The fatherhood of the child he attributed to Zeus, in this way magnifying Osiris and averting slander from his violated daughter; and this is the reason why the tale was given out among the Greeks to the effect that Semelê, the daughter of Cadmus, was the mother of Osiris by Zeus. Now at a later time Orpheus, who was held in high regard among the Greeks for his singing, initiatory rites, and instructions on things divine, was entertained as a guest by the descendants of Cadmus and accorded unusual honours in Thebes. 4.25.3.  And after he had devoted his entire time to his education and had learned whatever the myths had to say about the gods, he journeyed to Egypt, where he further increased his knowledge and so became the greatest man among the Greeks both for his knowledge of the gods and for their rites, as well as for his poems and songs.
6. Livy, History, 39.8-39.16 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

7. Strabo, Geography, 10.3.16, 10.3.18, 10.3.23 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

10.3.16. Also resembling these rites are the Cotytian and the Bendideian rites practiced among the Thracians, among whom the Orphic rites had their beginning. Now the Cotys who is worshipped among the Edonians, and also the instruments used in her rites, are mentioned by Aeschylus; for he says,O adorable Cotys among the Edonians, and ye who hold mountain-ranging instruments; and he mentions immediately afterwards the attendants of Dionysus: one, holding in his hands the bombyces, toilsome work of the turner's chisel, fills full the fingered melody, the call that brings on frenzy, while another causes to resound the bronze-bound cotylae and again,stringed instruments raise their shrill cry, and frightful mimickers from some place unseen bellow like bulls, and the semblance of drums, as of subterranean thunder, rolls along, a terrifying sound; for these rites resemble the Phrygian rites, and it is at least not unlikely that, just as the Phrygians themselves were colonists from Thrace, so also their sacred rites were borrowed from there. Also when they identify Dionysus and the Edonian Lycurgus, they hint at the homogeneity of their sacred rites. 10.3.18. Just as in all other respects the Athenians continue to be hospitable to things foreign, so also in their worship of the gods; for they welcomed so many of the foreign rites that they were ridiculed therefore by comic writers; and among these were the Thracian and Phrygian rites. For instance, the Bendideian rites are mentioned by Plato, and the Phrygian by Demosthenes, when he casts the reproach upon Aeschines' mother and Aeschines himself that he was with her when she conducted initiations, that he joined her in leading the Dionysiac march, and that many a time he cried out evoe saboe, and hyes attes, attes hyes; for these words are in the ritual of Sabazius and the Mother. 10.3.23. I have been led on to discuss these people rather at length, although I am not in the least fond of myths, because the facts in their case border on the province of theology. And theology as a whole must examine early opinions and myths, since the ancients expressed enigmatically the physical notions which they entertained concerning the facts and always added the mythical element to their accounts. Now it is not easy to solve with accuracy all the enigmas, but if the multitude of myths be set before us, some agreeing and others contradicting one another, one might be able more readily to conjecture out of them what the truth is. For instance, men probably speak in their myths about the mountain-roaming of religious zealots and of gods themselves, and about their religious frenzies, for the same reason that they are prompted to believe that the gods dwell in the skies and show forethought, among their other interests, for prognostication by signs. Now seeking for metals, and hunting, and searching for the things that are useful for the purposes of life, are manifestly closely related to mountain-roaming, whereas juggling and magic are closely related to religious frenzies, worship, and divination. And such also is devotion to the arts, in particular to the Dionysiac and Orphic arts. But enough on this subject.
8. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation To The Greeks, 9.87, 12.120 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

9. Arnobius, Against The Gentiles, 5.19 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

10. Origen, Against Celsus, 1.32, 2.49, 2.55, 3.16, 4.10, 4.23, 5.14, 7.9-7.11, 8.48-8.49, 8.51 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.32. But let us now return to where the Jew is introduced, speaking of the mother of Jesus, and saying that when she was pregt she was turned out of doors by the carpenter to whom she had been betrothed, as having been guilty of adultery, and that she bore a child to a certain soldier named Panthera; and let us see whether those who have blindly concocted these fables about the adultery of the Virgin with Panthera, and her rejection by the carpenter, did not invent these stories to overturn His miraculous conception by the Holy Ghost: for they could have falsified the history in a different manner, on account of its extremely miraculous character, and not have admitted, as it were against their will, that Jesus was born of no ordinary human marriage. It was to be expected, indeed, that those who would not believe the miraculous birth of Jesus would invent some falsehood. And their not doing this in a credible manner, but (their) preserving the fact that it was not by Joseph that the Virgin conceived Jesus, rendered the falsehood very palpable to those who can understand and detect such inventions. Is it at all agreeable to reason, that he who dared to do so much for the human race, in order that, as far as in him lay, all the Greeks and Barbarians, who were looking for divine condemnation, might depart from evil, and regulate their entire conduct in a manner pleasing to the Creator of the world, should not have had a miraculous birth, but one the vilest and most disgraceful of all? And I will ask of them as Greeks, and particularly of Celsus, who either holds or not the sentiments of Plato, and at any rate quotes them, whether He who sends souls down into the bodies of men, degraded Him who was to dare such mighty acts, and to teach so many men, and to reform so many from the mass of wickedness in the world, to a birth more disgraceful than any other, and did not rather introduce Him into the world through a lawful marriage? Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons (I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names), is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say all), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities. 2.49. Jesus, accordingly, in turning away the minds of His disciples, not merely from giving heed to sorcerers in general, and those who profess in any other manner to work miracles- for His disciples did not need to be so warned - but from such as gave themselves out as the Christ of God, and who tried by certain apparent miracles to gain over to them the disciples of Jesus, said in a certain passage: Then, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. And in another passage: Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not eaten and drunk in Your name, and by Your name have cast out demons, and done many wonderful works? And then will I say unto them, Depart from Me, because you are workers of iniquity. But Celsus, wishing to assimilate the miracles of Jesus to the works of human sorcery, says in express terms as follows: O light and truth! He distinctly declares, with his own voice, as you yourselves have recorded, that there will come to you even others, employing miracles of a similar kind, who are wicked men, and sorcerers; and he calls him who makes use of such devices, one Satan. So that Jesus himself does not deny that these works at least are not at all divine, but are the acts of wicked men; and being compelled by the force of truth, he at the same time not only laid open the doings of others, but convicted himself of the same acts. Is it not, then, a miserable inference, to conclude from the same works that the one is God and the other sorcerers? Why ought the others, because of these acts, to be accounted wicked rather than this man, seeing they have him as their witness against himself? For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature, but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men. Observe, now, whether Celsus is not clearly convicted of slandering the Gospel by such statements, since what Jesus says regarding those who are to work signs and wonders is different from what this Jew of Celsus alleges it to be. For if Jesus had simply told His disciples to be on their guard against those who professed to work miracles, without declaring what they would give themselves out to be, then perhaps there would have been some ground for his suspicion. But since those against whom Jesus would have us to be on our guard give themselves out as the Christ - which is not a claim put forth by sorcerers - and since He says that even some who lead wicked lives will perform miracles in the name of Jesus, and expel demons out of men, sorcery in the case of these individuals, or any suspicion of such, is rather, if we may so speak, altogether banished, and the divinity of Christ established, as well as the divine mission of His disciples; seeing that it is possible that one who makes use of His name, and who is wrought upon by some power, in some way unknown, to make the pretence that he is the Christ, should seem to perform miracles like those of Jesus, while others through His name should do works resembling those of His genuine disciples. Paul, moreover, in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, shows in what manner there will one day be revealed the man of sin, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. And again he says to the Thessalonians: And now you know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way: and then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: even him, whose cunning is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. And in assigning the reason why the man of sin is permitted to continue in existence, he says: Because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Let any one now say whether any of the statements in the Gospel, or in the writings of the apostle, could give occasion for the suspicion that there is therein contained any prediction of sorcery. Any one, moreover, who likes may find the prophecy in Daniel respecting antichrist. But Celsus falsities the words of Jesus, since He did not say that others would come working similar miracles to Himself, but who are wicked men and sorcerers, although Celsus asserts that He uttered such words. For as the power of the Egyptian magicians was not similar to the divinely-bestowed grace of Moses, but the issue clearly proved that the acts of the former were the effect of magic, while those of Moses were wrought by divine power; so the proceedings of the antichrists, and of those who feign that they can work miracles as being the disciples of Christ, are said to be lying signs and wonders, prevailing with all deceivableness of unrighteousness among them that perish; whereas the works of Christ and His disciples had for their fruit, not deceit, but the salvation of human souls. And who would rationally maintain that an improved moral life, which daily lessened the number of a man's offenses, could proceed from a system of deceit? 2.55. The Jew continues his address to those of his countrymen who are converts, as follows: Come now, let us grant to you that the prediction was actually uttered. Yet how many others are there who practise such juggling tricks, in order to deceive their simple hearers, and who make gain by their deception?- as was the case, they say, with Zamolxis in Scythia, the slave of Pythagoras; and with Pythagoras himself in Italy; and with Rhampsinitus in Egypt (the latter of whom, they say, played at dice with Demeter in Hades, and returned to the upper world with a golden napkin which he had received from her as a gift); and also with Orpheus among the Odrysians, and Protesilaus in Thessaly, and Hercules at Cape T narus, and Theseus. But the question is, whether any one who was really dead ever rose with a veritable body. Or do you imagine the statements of others not only to be myths, but to have the appearance of such, while you have discovered a becoming and credible termination to your drama in the voice from the cross, when he breathed his last, and in the earthquake and the darkness? That while alive he was of no assistance to himself, but that when dead he rose again, and showed the marks of his punishment, and how his hands were pierced with nails: who beheld this? A half-frantic woman, as you state, and some other one, perhaps, of those who were engaged in the same system of delusion, who had either dreamed so, owing to a peculiar state of mind, or under the influence of a wandering imagination had formed to himself an appearance according to his own wishes, which has been the case with numberless individuals; or, which is most probable, one who desired to impress others with this portent, and by such a falsehood to furnish an occasion to impostors like himself. Now, since it is a Jew who makes these statements, we shall conduct the defense of our Jesus as if we were replying to a Jew, still continuing the comparison derived from the accounts regarding Moses, and saying to him: How many others are there who practise similar juggling tricks to those of Moses, in order to deceive their silly hearers, and who make gain by their deception? Now this objection would be more appropriate in the mouth of one who did not believe in Moses (as we might quote the instances of Zamolxis and Pythagoras, who were engaged in such juggling tricks) than in that of a Jew, who is not very learned in the histories of the Greeks. An Egyptian, moreover, who did not believe the miracles of Moses, might credibly adduce the instance of Rhampsinitus, saying that it was far more credible that he had descended to Hades, and had played at dice with Demeter, and that after stealing from her a golden napkin he exhibited it as a sign of his having been in Hades, and of his having returned thence, than that Moses should have recorded that he entered into the darkness, where God was, and that he alone, above all others, drew near to God. For the following is his statement: Moses alone shall come near the Lord; but the rest shall not come near. We, then, who are the disciples of Jesus, say to the Jew who urges these objections: While assailing our belief in Jesus, defend yourself, and answer the Egyptian and the Greek objectors: what will you say to those charges which you brought against our Jesus, but which also might be brought against Moses first? And if you should make a vigorous effort to defend Moses, as indeed his history does admit of a clear and powerful defense, you will unconsciously, in your support of Moses, be an unwilling assistant in establishing the greater divinity of Jesus. 3.16. But what the legends are of every kind which we gather together, or the terrors which we invent, as Celsus without proof asserts, he who likes may show. I know not, indeed, what he means by inventing terrors, unless it be our doctrine of God as Judge, and of the condemnation of men for their deeds, with the various proofs derived partly from Scripture, partly from probable reason. And yet - for truth is precious - Celsus says, at the close, Forbid that either I, or these, or any other individual should ever reject the doctrine respecting the future punishment of the wicked and the reward of the good! What terrors, then, if you except the doctrine of punishment, do we invent and impose upon mankind? And if he should reply that we weave together erroneous opinions drawn from ancient sources, and trumpet them aloud, and sound them before men, as the priests of Cybele clash their cymbals in the ears of those who are being initiated in their mysteries; we shall ask him in reply, Erroneous opinions from what ancient sources? For, whether he refers to Grecian accounts, which taught the existence of courts of justice under the earth, or Jewish, which, among other things, predicted the life that follows the present one; he will be unable to show that we who, striving to believe in grounds of reason, regulate our lives in conformity with such doctrines, have failed correctly to ascertain the truth. 4.10. In the next place, Celsus, as is his custom, having neither proved nor established anything, proceeds to say, as if we talked of God in a manner that was neither holy nor pious, that it is perfectly manifest that they babble about God in a way that is neither holy nor reverential; and he imagines that we do these things to excite the astonishment of the ignorant, and that we do not speak the truth regarding the necessity of punishments for those who have sinned. And accordingly he likens us to those who in the Bacchic mysteries introduce phantoms and objects of terror. With respect to the mysteries of Bacchus, whether there is any trustworthy account of them, or none that is such, let the Greeks tell, and let Celsus and his boon-companions listen. But we defend our own procedure, when we say that our object is to reform the human race, either by the threats of punishments which we are persuaded are necessary for the whole world, and which perhaps are not without use to those who are to endure them; or by the promises made to those who have lived virtuous lives, and in which are contained the statements regarding the blessed termination which is to be found in the kingdom of God, reserved for those who are worthy of becoming His subjects. 4.23. In the next place, ridiculing after his usual style the race of Jews and Christians, he compares them all to a flight of bats or to a swarm of ants issuing out of their nest, or to frogs holding council in a marsh, or to worms crawling together in the corner of a dunghill, and quarrelling with one another as to which of them were the greater sinners, and asserting that God shows and announces to us all things beforehand; and that, abandoning the whole world, and the regions of heaven, and this great earth, he becomes a citizen among us alone, and to us alone makes his intimations, and does not cease sending and inquiring, in what way we may be associated with him forever. And in his fictitious representation, he compares us to worms which assert that there is a God, and that immediately after him, we who are made by him are altogether like God, and that all things have been made subject to us - earth, and water, and air, and stars - and that all things exist for our sake, and are ordained to be subject to us. And, according to his representation, the worms - that is, we ourselves - say that now, since certain among us commit sin, God will come or will send his Son to consume the wicked with fire, that the rest of us may have eternal life with him. And to all this he subjoins the remark, that such wranglings would be more endurable among worms and frogs than between Jews and Christians. 5.14. The following, then, are his words: It is folly on their part to suppose that when God, as if He were a cook, introduces the fire (which is to consume the world), all the rest of the human race will be burnt up, while they alone will remain, not only such of them as are then alive, but also those who are long since dead, which latter will arise from the earth clothed with the self-same flesh (as during life); for such a hope is simply one which might be cherished by worms. For what sort of human soul is that which would still long for a body that had been subject to corruption? Whence, also, this opinion of yours is not shared by some of the Christians, and they pronounce it to be exceedingly vile, and loathsome, and impossible; for what kind of body is that which, after being completely corrupted, can return to its original nature, and to that self-same first condition out of which it fell into dissolution? Being unable to return any answer, they betake themselves to a most absurd refuge, viz., that all things are possible to God. And yet God cannot do things that are disgraceful, nor does He wish to do things that are contrary to His nature; nor, if (in accordance with the wickedness of your own heart) you desired anything that was evil, would God accomplish it; nor must you believe at once that it will be done. For God does not rule the world in order to satisfy inordinate desires, or to allow disorder and confusion, but to govern a nature that is upright and just. For the soul, indeed, He might be able to provide an everlasting life; while dead bodies, on the contrary, are, as Heraclitus observes, more worthless than dung. God, however, neither can nor will declare, contrary to all reason, that the flesh, which is full of those things which it is not even honourable to mention, is to exist forever. For He is the reason of all things that exist, and therefore can do nothing either contrary to reason or contrary to Himself. 7.9. But as Celsus promises to give an account of the manner in which prophecies are delivered in Phœnicia and Palestine, speaking as though it were a matter with which he had a full and personal acquaintance, let us see what he has to say on the subject. First he lays it down that there are several kinds of prophecies, but he does not specify what they are; indeed, he could not do so, and the statement is a piece of pure ostentation. However, let us see what he considers the most perfect kind of prophecy among these nations. There are many, he says, who, although of no name, with the greatest facility and on the slightest occasion, whether within or without temples, assume the motions and gestures of inspired persons; while others do it in cities or among armies, for the purpose of attracting attention and exciting surprise. These are accustomed to say, each for himself, 'I am God; I am the Son of God; or, I am the Divine Spirit; I have come because the world is perishing, and you, O men, are perishing for your iniquities. But I wish to save you, and you shall see me returning again with heavenly power. Blessed is he who now does me homage. On all the rest I will send down eternal fire, both on cities and on countries. And those who know not the punishments which await them shall repent and grieve in vain; while those who are faithful to me I will preserve eternally.' Then he goes on to say: To these promises are added strange, fanatical, and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning: for so dark are they, as to have no meaning at all; but they give occasion to every fool or impostor to apply them to suit his own purposes. 7.10. But if he were dealing honestly in his accusations, he ought to have given the exact terms of the prophecies, whether those in which the speaker is introduced as claiming to be God Almighty, or those in which the Son of God speaks, or finally those under the name of the Holy Spirit. For thus he might have endeavoured to overthrow these assertions, and have shown that there was no divine inspiration in those words which urged men to forsake their sins, which condemned the past and foretold the future. For the prophecies were recorded and preserved by men living at the time, that those who came after might read and admire them as the oracles of God, and that they might profit not only by the warnings and admonitions, but also by the predictions, which, being shown by events to have proceeded from the Spirit of God, bind men to the practice of piety as set forth in the law and the prophets. The prophets have therefore, as God commanded them, declared with all plainness those things which it was desirable that the hearers should understand at once for the regulation of their conduct; while in regard to deeper and more mysterious subjects, which lay beyond the reach of the common understanding, they set them forth in the form of enigmas and allegories, or of what are called dark sayings, parables, or similitudes. And this plan they have followed, that those who are ready to shun no labour and spare no pains in their endeavours after truth and virtue might search into their meaning, and having found it, might apply it as reason requires. But Celsus, ever vigorous in his denunciations, as though he were angry at his inability to understand the language of the prophets, scoffs at them thus: To these grand promises are added strange, fanatical, and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning; for so dark are they as to have no meaning at all; but they give occasion to every fool or impostor to apply them so as to suit his own purposes. This statement of Celsus seems ingeniously designed to dissuade readers from attempting any inquiry or careful search into their meaning. And in this he is not unlike certain persons, who said to a man whom a prophet had visited to announce future events, Wherefore came this mad fellow to you? 7.11. I am convinced, indeed, that much better arguments could be adduced than any I have been able to bring forward, to show the falsehood of these allegations of Celsus, and to set forth the divine inspiration of the prophecies; but we have according to our ability, in our commentaries on Isaiah, Ezekiel, and some of the twelve minor prophets, explained literally and in detail what he calls those fanatical and utterly unintelligible passages. And if God give us grace in the time that He appoints for us, to advance in the knowledge of His word, we shall continue our investigation into the parts which remain, or into such at least as we are able to make plain. And other persons of intelligence who wish to study Scripture may also find out its meaning for themselves; for although there are many places in which the meaning is not obvious, yet there are none where, as Celsus affirms, there is no sense at all. Neither is it true that any fool or impostor can explain the passages so as to make them suit his own purposes. For it belongs only to those who are wise in the truth of Christ (and to all them it does belong) to unfold the connection and meaning of even the obscure parts of prophecy, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, and interpreting each passage according to the usage of Scripture writers. And Celsus is not to be believed when he says that he has heard such men prophesy; for no prophets bearing any resemblance to the ancient prophets have appeared in the time of Celsus. If there had been any, those who heard and admired them would have followed the example of the ancients, and have recorded the prophecies in writing. And it seems quite clear that Celsus is speaking falsely, when he says that those prophets whom he had heard, on being pressed by him, confessed their true motives, and acknowledged that the ambiguous words they used really meant nothing. He ought to have given the names of those whom he says he had heard, if he had any to give, so that those who were competent to judge might decide whether his allegations were true or false. 8.48. In the next place, Celsus, after referring to the enthusiasm with which men will contend unto death rather than abjure Christianity, adds strangely enough some remarks, in which he wishes to show that our doctrines are similar to those delivered by the priests at the celebration of the heathen mysteries. He says, Just as you, good sir, believe in eternal punishments, so also do the priests who interpret and initiate into the sacred mysteries. The same punishments with which you threaten others, they threaten you. Now it is worthy of examination, which of the two is more firmly established as true; for both parties contend with equal assurance that the truth is on their side. But if we require proofs, the priests of the heathen gods produce many that are clear and convincing, partly from wonders performed by demons, and partly from the answers given by oracles, and various other modes of divination. He would, then, have us believe that we and the interpreters of the mysteries equally teach the doctrine of eternal punishment, and that it is a matter for inquiry on which side of the two the truth lies. Now I should say that the truth lies with those who are able to induce their hearers to live as men who are convinced of the truth of what they have heard. But Jews and Christians have been thus affected by the doctrines they hold about what we speak of as the world to come, and the rewards of the righteous, and the punishments of the wicked. Let Celsus then, or any one who will, show us who have been moved in this way in regard to eternal punishments by the teaching of heathen priests and mystagogues. For surely the purpose of him who brought to light this doctrine was not only to reason upon the subject of punishments, and to strike men with terror of them, but to induce those who heard the truth to strive with all their might against those sins which are the causes of punishment. And those who study the prophecies with care, and are not content with a cursory perusal of the predictions contained in them, will find them such as to convince the intelligent and sincere reader that the Spirit of God was in those men, and that with their writings there is nothing in all the works of demons, responses of oracles, or sayings of soothsayers, for one moment to be compared. 8.49. Let us see in what terms Celsus next addresses us: Besides, is it not most absurd and inconsistent in you, on the one hand, to make so much of the body as you do - to expect that the same body will rise again, as though it were the best and most precious part of us; and yet, on the other, to expose it to such tortures as though it were worthless? But men who hold such notions, and are so attached to the body, are not worthy of being reasoned with; for in this and in other respects they show themselves to be gross, impure, and bent upon revolting without any reason from the common belief. But I shall direct my discourse to those who hope for the enjoyment of eternal life with God by means of the soul or mind, whether they choose to call it a spiritual substance, an intelligent spirit, holy and blessed, or a living soul, or the heavenly and indestructible offspring of a divine and incorporeal nature, or by whatever name they designate the spiritual nature of man. And they are rightly persuaded that those who live well shall be blessed, and the unrighteous shall all suffer everlasting punishments. And from this doctrine neither they nor any other should ever swerve. Now, as he has often already reproached us for our opinions on the resurrection, and as we have on these occasions defended our opinions in what seemed to us a reasonable way, we do not intend, at each repetition of the one objection, to go into a repetition of our defense. Celsus makes an unfounded charge against us when he ascribes to us the opinion that there is nothing in our complex nature better or more precious than the body; for we hold that far beyond all bodies is the soul, and especially the reasonable soul; for it is the soul, and not the body, which bears the likeness of the Creator. For, according to us, God is not corporeal, unless we fall into the absurd errors of the followers of Zeno and Chrysippus. 8.51. In the next place, he expresses his approval of those who hope that eternal life shall be enjoyed with God by the soul or mind, or, as it is variously called, the spiritual nature, the reasonable soul, intelligent, holy, and blessed; and he allows the soundness of the doctrine, that those who had a good life shall be happy, and the unrighteous shall suffer eternal punishments. And yet I wonder at what follows, more than at anything that Celsus has ever said; for he adds, And from this doctrine let not them or any one ever swerve. For certainly in writing against Christians, the very essence of whose faith is God, and the promises made by Christ to the righteous, and His warnings of punishment awaiting the wicked, he must see that, if a Christian were brought to renounce Christianity by his arguments against it, it is beyond doubt that, along with his Christian faith, he would cast off the very doctrine from which he says that no Christian and no man should ever swerve. But I think Celsus has been far surpassed in consideration for his fellow-men by Chrysippus in his treatise, On the Subjugation of the Passions. For when he sought to apply remedies to the affections and passions which oppress and distract the human spirit, after employing such arguments as seemed to himself to be strong, he did not shrink from using in the second and third place others which he did not himself approve of. For, says he, if it were held by any one that there are three kinds of good, we must seek to regulate the passions in accordance with that supposition; and we must not too curiously inquire into the opinions held by a person at the time that he is under the influence of passion, lest, if we delay too long for the purpose of overthrowing the opinions by which the mind is possessed, the opportunity for curing the passion may pass away. And he adds, Thus, supposing that pleasure were the highest good, or that he was of that opinion whose mind was under the dominion of passion, we should not the less give him help, and show that, even on the principle that pleasure is the highest and final good of man, all passion is disallowed. And Celsus, in like manner, after having embraced the doctrine, that the righteous shall be blessed, and the wicked shall suffer eternal punishments, should have followed out his subject; and, after having advanced what seemed to him the chief argument, he should have proceeded to prove and enforce by further reasons the truth that the unjust shall surely suffer eternal punishment, and those who lead a good life shall be blessed.
11. Heraclitus Lesbius, Fragments, 14

12. Orphic Hymns., Fragments, 584, 653-655, 577

13. Papyri, Derveni Papyrus, 7.5-7.6, 13.6, 20.2



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
amphipolis, city Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
celsus deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 235
derveni author Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
derveni papyrus deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 254
dionysiac and orphic τέχναι Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
dionysus deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 68, 266
dium, city Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
divination Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
eleusis deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 68, 266
euhemerism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 235
gods Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
goes / goeteia deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 235, 254
goths Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
heraclitus deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 235
initiators deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 235
knowledge, acquired in the initiation Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
macedonia, climate Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
macedonia, geography Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
macedonia, history Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
maenadism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 266
magic Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132; deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 254, 266
music deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 266
officiants (in the mysteries) Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
omophagy deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 266
orpheus Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
orpheus / david / christ deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 254
paganism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 254, 266
persephone / core deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 68
philippi, city Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
plato Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
plato / (neo-)platonism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 235, 254
plutarch Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
priestesses Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
priests, begging priests (ἀγύρται) Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
priests Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
pythagoras / (neo-)pythagoreanism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 68
riddles Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
rites, rituals Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
rites deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 68, 235, 266
rome deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 68
stobi, city' Ogereau, Early Christianity in Macedonia: From Paul to the Late Sixth Century (2023) 36
truth Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132
zeus deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 68, 235, 254, 266
λεγόμενα Alvarez, The Derveni Papyrus: Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (2018) 132