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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Strabo, Geography, 7.1.5

nanThe 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.

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1. Hesiod, Theogony, 339 (8th cent. BCE - 7th cent. BCE)

339. Consumed raw flesh within a cave below
2. Herodotus, Histories, 4.45, 4.93-4.143 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

4.45. But it is plain that none have obtained knowledge of Europe's eastern or northern regions, so as to be able say if it is bounded by seas; its length is known to be enough to stretch along both Asia and Libya. ,I cannot guess for what reason the earth, which is one, has three names, all women's, and why the boundary lines set for it are the Egyptian Nile river and the Colchian Phasis river (though some say that the Maeetian Tanaïs river and the Cimmerian Ferries are boundaries); and I cannot learn the names of those who divided the world, or where they got the names which they used. ,For Libya is said by most Greeks to be named after a native woman of that name, and Asia after the wife of Prometheus; yet the Lydians claim a share in the latter name, saying that Asia was not named after Prometheus' wife Asia, but after Asies, the son of Cotys, who was the son of Manes, and that from him the Asiad clan at Sardis also takes its name. ,But as for Europe, no men have any knowledge whether it is bounded by seas or not, or where it got its name, nor is it clear who gave the name, unless we say that the land took its name from the Tyrian Europa, having been (it would seem) before then nameless like the rest. ,But it is plain that this woman was of Asiatic birth, and never came to this land which the Greeks now call Europe, but only from Phoenicia to Crete and from Crete to Lycia. Thus much I have said of these matters, and let it suffice; we will use the names established by custom. 4.93. But before he came to the Ister, he first took the Getae, who pretend to be immortal. The Thracians of Salmydessus and of the country above the towns of Apollonia and Mesambria, who are called Cyrmianae and Nipsaei, surrendered without a fight to Darius; but the Getae resisted stubbornly, and were enslaved at once, the bravest and most just Thracians of all. 4.94. Their belief in their immortality is as follows: they believe that they do not die, but that one who perishes goes to the deity Salmoxis, or Gebeleïzis, as some of them call him. ,Once every five years they choose one of their people by lot and send him as a messenger to Salmoxis, with instructions to report their needs; and this is how they send him: three lances are held by designated men; others seize the messenger to Salmoxis by his hands and feet, and swing and toss him up on to the spear-points. ,If he is killed by the toss, they believe that the god regards them with favor; but if he is not killed, they blame the messenger himself, considering him a bad man, and send another messenger in place of him. It is while the man still lives that they give him the message. ,Furthermore, when there is thunder and lightning these same Thracians shoot arrows skyward as a threat to the god, believing in no other god but their own. 4.95. I understand from the Greeks who live beside the Hellespont and Pontus, that this Salmoxis was a man who was once a slave in Samos, his master being Pythagoras son of Mnesarchus; ,then, after being freed and gaining great wealth, he returned to his own country. Now the Thracians were a poor and backward people, but this Salmoxis knew Ionian ways and a more advanced way of life than the Thracian; for he had consorted with Greeks, and moreover with one of the greatest Greek teachers, Pythagoras; ,therefore he made a hall, where he entertained and fed the leaders among his countrymen, and taught them that neither he nor his guests nor any of their descendants would ever die, but that they would go to a place where they would live forever and have all good things. ,While he was doing as I have said and teaching this doctrine, he was meanwhile making an underground chamber. When this was finished, he vanished from the sight of the Thracians, and went down into the underground chamber, where he lived for three years, ,while the Thracians wished him back and mourned him for dead; then in the fourth year he appeared to the Thracians, and thus they came to believe what Salmoxis had told them. Such is the Greek story about him. 4.96. Now I neither disbelieve nor entirely believe the tale about Salmoxis and his underground chamber; but I think that he lived many years before Pythagoras; ,and as to whether there was a man called Salmoxis or this is some deity native to the Getae, let the question be dismissed. 4.97. Such were the ways of the Getae, who were subdued by the Persians and followed their army. When Darius and the land army with him had come to the Ister, and all had crossed, he had the Ionians break the bridge and follow him in his march across the mainland, together with the men of the fleet. ,So the Ionians were preparing to break the bridge and do Darius' bidding; but Cöes son of Erxander, the general of the Mytilenaeans, after first asking if Darius were willing to listen to advice from one who wanted to give it, said, ,“Since, O King, you are about to march against a country where you will not find tilled lands or inhabited cities, let this bridge stay where it is, leaving those who made it to guard it. ,Thus, if we find the Scythians and do what we want, we have a way of return; and even if we do not find them, at least our way back is safe; for my fear has never been that we shall be overcome by the Scythians in the field, but rather that we may not be able to find them, and so go astray to our harm. ,Now it may perhaps be said that I say this for my own sake, because I want to remain behind; but it is not so; I only declare publicly the opinion that I think best for you, and I will follow you and do not want to be left here.” ,Darius was very pleased with this advice, and he answered Cöes thus: “My friend from Lesbos, do not fail to show yourself to me when I return to my house safe, so that I may make you a good return for your good advice.” 4.98. After saying this, he tied sixty knots in a thong, and summoning the Ionian sovereigns to an audience said to them: ,“Gentlemen of Ionia, I take back the decision which I delivered before about the bridge; now, take this thong and do as follows. Begin to reckon from the day when you see me march away against the Scythians, and untie one knot each day: and if the days marked by the knots have all passed and I have not returned, embark for your own homes. ,But until then, since the plan is changed, guard the bridge, making every effort to keep and watch it. You will please me very much if you do this.” Having said this, Darius hastened to march further. 4.99. Thrace runs farther out into the sea than Scythia; and Scythia begins where a bay is formed in its coast, and the mouth of the Ister, facing southeast, is in that country. ,Now I am going to describe the coast of the true Scythia from the Ister, and give its measurements. The ancient Scythian land begins at the Ister and faces south and the south wind, as far as the city called Carcinitis. ,Beyond this place, the country fronting the same sea is hilly and projects into the Pontus; it is inhabited by the Tauric nation as far as what is called the Rough Peninsula; and this ends in the eastern sea. ,For the sea to the south and the sea to the east are two of the four boundary lines of Scythia, just as seas are boundaries of Attica; and the Tauri inhabit a part of Scythia like Attica, as though some other people, not Attic, were to inhabit the heights of Sunium from Thoricus to the town of Anaphlystus, if Sunium jutted farther out into the sea. ,I mean, so to speak, to compare small things with great. Such a land is the Tauric country. But those who have not sailed along that part of Attica may understand from this other analogy: it is as though in Calabria some other people, not Calabrian, were to live on the promontory within a line drawn from the harbor of Brundisium to Tarentum. I am speaking of these two countries, but there are many others of a similar kind that Tauris resembles. 4.100. Beyond the Tauric country the Scythians begin, living north of the Tauri and beside the eastern sea, west of the Cimmerian Bosporus and the Maeetian lake, as far as the Tanaïs river, which empties into the end of that lake. ,Now it has been seen that on its northern and inland side, running from the Ister, Scythia is bounded first by the Agathyrsi, next by the Neuri, next by the Man-eaters, and last by the Black-cloaks. 4.101. Scythia, then, is a four-sided country, two of whose sides are coastline, the frontiers running inland and those that are by the sea making it a perfect square; ,for it is a ten days' journey from the Ister to the Borysthenes, and the same from the Borysthenes to the Maeetian lake; and it is a twenty days' journey from the sea inland to the country of the Black-cloaks who live north of Scythia. ,Now, as I reckon a day's journey at two hundred stades, the cross-measurement of Scythia would be a distance of five hundred miles, and the line drawn straight up inland the same. Such then is the extent of this land. 4.102. Convinced that they alone were not able to repel Darius' army in open warfare, the Scythians sent messengers to their neighbors, whose kings had already gathered and were deliberating on the presumption that a great army was marching against them. ,The assembled kings were those of the Tauri, Agathyrsi, Neuri, Maneaters, Black-cloaks, Geloni, Budini, and Sauromatae. 4.103. Among these, the Tauri have the following customs: all ship-wrecked men, and any Greeks whom they capture in their sea-raids, they sacrifice to the Virgin goddess as I will describe: after the first rites of sacrifice, they strike the victim on the head with a club; ,according to some, they then place the head on a pole and throw the body off the cliff on which their temple stands; others agree as to the head, but say that the body is buried, not thrown off the cliff. The Tauri themselves say that this deity to whom they sacrifice is Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia. ,As for enemies whom they defeat, each cuts his enemy's head off and carries it away to his house, where he places it on a tall pole and stands it high above the dwelling, above the smoke-vent for the most part. These heads, they say, are set up to guard the whole house. The Tauri live by plundering and war. 4.104. The Agathyrsi are the most refined of men and especially given to wearing gold. Their intercourse with women is promiscuous, so that they may be consanguine with one another and, all being relations, not harbor jealousy or animosity toward one another. In the rest of their customs they are like the Thracians. 4.105. The Neuri follow Scythian customs; but one generation before the advent of Darius' army, they happened to be driven from their country by snakes; for their land produced great numbers of these, and still more came down on them out of the desolation on the north, until at last the Neuri were so afflicted that they left their own country and lived among the Budini. It may be that these people are wizards; ,for the Scythians, and the Greeks settled in Scythia, say that once a year every one of the Neuri becomes a wolf for a few days and changes back again to his former shape. Those who tell this tale do not convince me; but they tell it nonetheless, and swear to its truth. 4.106. The Man-eaters are the most savage of all men in their way of life; they know no justice and obey no law. They are nomads, wearing a costume like the Scythian, but speaking a language of their own; of all these, they are the only people that eat men. 4.107. The Black-cloaks all wear black clothing, from which they get their name; their customs are Scythian. 4.108. The Budini are a great and populous nation; the eyes of them all are very bright, and they are ruddy. They have a city built of wood, called Gelonus. The wall of it is three and three quarters miles in length on each side of the city; this wall is high and all of wood; and their houses are wooden, and their temples; ,for there are temples of Greek gods among them, furnished in Greek style with images and altars and shrines of wood; and they honor Dionysus every two years with festivals and revelry. For the Geloni are by their origin Greeks, who left their trading ports to settle among the Budini; and they speak a language half Greek and half Scythian. But the Budini do not speak the same language as the Geloni, nor is their manner of life the same. 4.109. The Budini are indigenous; they are nomads, and the only people in these parts that eat fir-cones; the Geloni are farmers, eating grain and cultivating gardens; they are altogether unlike the Budini in form and in coloring. Yet the Greeks call the Budini too Geloni; but this is wrong. ,Their whole country is thickly wooded with every kind of tree; in the depth of the forest there is a great, wide lake and a marsh surrounded by reeds; otter is trapped in it, and beaver, besides certain square-faced creatures whose skins are used to trim mantles, and their testicles are used by the people to heal sicknesses of the womb. 4.110. About the Sauromatae, the story is as follows. When the Greeks were at war with the Amazons (whom the Scythians call Oiorpata, a name signifying in our tongue killers of men, for in Scythian a man is “oior” and to kill is “pata”), the story runs that after their victory on the Thermodon they sailed away carrying in three ships as many Amazons as they had been able to take alive; and out at sea the Amazons attacked the crews and killed them. ,But they knew nothing about ships, or how to use rudder or sail or oar; and with the men dead, they were at the mercy of waves and winds, until they came to the Cliffs by the Maeetian lake; this place is in the country of the free Scythians. The Amazons landed there, and set out on their journey to the inhabited country, and seizing the first troop of horses they met, they mounted them and raided the Scythian lands. 4.111. The Scythians could not understand the business; for they did not recognize the women's speech or their dress or their nation, but wondered where they had come from, and imagined them to be men all of the same age; and they met the Amazons in battle. The result of the fight was that the Scythians got possession of the dead, and so came to learn that their foes were women. ,Therefore, after deliberation they resolved by no means to slay them as before, but to send their youngest men to them, of a number corresponding (as they guessed) to the number of the women. They directed these youths to camp near the Amazons and to imitate all that they did; if the women pursued them, not to fight, but to flee; and when the pursuit stopped, to return and camp near them. This was the plan of the Scythians, for they desired that children be born of the women. The young men who were sent did as they were directed. 4.112. When the Amazons perceived that the youths meant them no harm, they let them be; but every day the two camps drew nearer to each other. Now the young men, like the Amazons, had nothing but their arms and their horses, and lived as did the women, by hunting and plunder. 4.113. At midday the Amazons would scatter and go apart from each other singly or in pairs, roaming apart for greater comfort. The Scythians noticed this and did likewise; and as the women wandered alone, a young man laid hold of one of them, and the woman did not resist but let him do his will; ,and since they did not understand each other's speech and she could not speak to him, she signed with her hand that he should come the next day to the same place and bring another youth with him (showing by signs that there should be two), and she would bring another woman with her. ,The youth went away and told his comrades; and the next day he came himself with another to the place, where he found the Amazon and another with her awaiting them. When the rest of the young men learned of this, they had intercourse with the rest of the Amazons. 4.114. Presently they joined their camps and lived together, each man having for his wife the woman with whom he had had intercourse at first. Now the men could not learn the women's language, but the women mastered the speech of the men; ,and when they understood each other, the men said to the Amazons, “We have parents and possessions; therefore, let us no longer live as we do, but return to our people and be with them; and we will still have you, and no others, for our wives.” To this the women replied: ,“We could not live with your women; for we and they do not have the same customs. We shoot the bow and throw the javelin and ride, but have never learned women's work; and your women do none of the things of which we speak, but stay in their wagons and do women's work, and do not go out hunting or anywhere else. ,So we could never agree with them. If you want to keep us for wives and to have the name of fair men, go to your parents and let them give you the allotted share of their possessions, and after that let us go and live by ourselves.” The young men agreed and did this. 4.115. So when they had been given the allotted share of possessions that fell to them, and returned to the Amazons, the women said to them: ,“We are worried and frightened how we are to live in this country after depriving you of your fathers and doing a lot of harm to your land. ,Since you propose to have us for wives, do this with us: come, let us leave this country and live across the Tanaïs river.” 4.116. To this too the youths agreed; and crossing the Tanaïs, they went a three days' journey east from the river, and a three days' journey north from lake Maeetis; and when they came to the region in which they now live, they settled there. ,Ever since then the women of the Sauromatae have followed their ancient ways; they ride out hunting, with their men or without them; they go to war, and dress the same as the men. 4.117. The language of the Sauromatae is Scythian, but not spoken in its ancient purity, since the Amazons never learned it correctly. In regard to marriage, it is the custom that no maiden weds until she has killed a man of the enemy; and some of them grow old and die unmarried, because they cannot fulfill the law. 4.118. The kings of the aforesaid nations having gathered, then, the Scythian messengers came and laid everything before them, explaining how the Persian, now that the whole of the other continent was subject to him, had crossed over to their continent by a bridge thrown across the neck of the Bosporus, and how having crossed it and subjugated the Thracians he was now bridging the Ister, so as to make that whole region subject to him like the others. ,“By no means stand aside and let us be destroyed,” they said; “rather, let us unite and oppose this invader. If you will not, then we shall either be driven out of our country or stay and make terms. ,For what is to become of us if you will not help us? And afterward it will not be easy for you, either; for the Persian has come to attack you no less than us, and when he has subjugated us he will not be content to leave you alone. ,We will give you a convincing proof of what we say: if indeed the Persian were marching against us alone, wanting vengeance for our former enslavement of his country, he ought to leave others alone and make straight for us, and would show everyone that Scythia and no other country was his goal. ,But as it is, from the day he crossed over to this continent, he has been taming all that come in his way, and he holds in subjection not only the rest of Thrace, but also our neighbors the Getae.” 4.119. After the Scythians had made this speech, the kings who had come from the nations deliberated, and their opinions were divided. The kings of the Geloni and the Budini and the Sauromatae were of one mind and promised to help the Scythians; but the kings of the Agathyrsi and Neuri and Maneaters and Black-cloaks and Tauri gave this answer to the messengers: ,“Had it not been you who wronged the Persians first and began the war, what you now ask would seem to us right, and we would listen and act together with you. ,But as it is, you invaded their land without us and ruled the Persians for as long as god granted; and the Persians, urged on by the same god, are only repaying you in kind. ,But we did these men no wrong at that former time, nor do we intend now to wrong them first; but if the Persian comes against our land too and begins the wrong-doing, then we will not accept it, either; but until we see that, we shall keep to ourselves. For in our judgment the Persians have not come for us but for those who were the agents of wrong.” 4.120. When this answer was brought back to the Scythians, they determined not to meet their enemy in the open field, since they could not get the allies that they sought, but rather to fall back driving off their herds, choking the wells and springs on their way and destroying the grass from the earth; and they divided themselves into two companies. ,It was their decision that to one of their divisions, which Scopasis ruled, the Sauromatae be added; if the Persian marched that way, this group was to retire before him and fall back toward the Tanaïs river, by the Maeetian lake, and if the Persian turned to go back, then they were to pursue and attack him. This was one of the divisions of the royal people, and it was appointed to follow this course; ,their two other divisions, namely, the greater whose ruler was Idanthyrsus, and the third whose king was Taxakis, were to unite, and taking with them also the Geloni and Budini, to draw off like the others at the Persian approach, always keeping one day's march ahead of the enemy, avoiding a confrontation and doing what had been determined. ,First, then, they were to retreat in a straight line toward the countries which refused their alliance, so as to involve these, too, in the war; for if they did not of their own accord support the war against the Persians, they must be involved against their will; and after that, the division was to turn back to its own country, and attack the enemy, if in deliberation they thought this best. 4.121. Determined on this plan, the Scythians sent an advance guard of their best horsemen to meet Darius' army. As for the wagons in which their children and wives lived, all these they sent forward, with instructions to drive always northward; and they sent all their flocks with the wagons, keeping none back except what was required for their food. 4.122. After this convoy was first sent on its way, the advance guard of the Scythians found the Persians about a three days' march distant from the Ister; and having found them they camped a day's march ahead of the enemy and set about scorching the earth of all living things. ,When the Persians saw the Scythian cavalry appear, they marched on its track, the horsemen always withdrawing before them; and then, making for the one Scythian division, the Persians held on in pursuit toward the east and the Tanaïs river; ,when the horsemen crossed this, the Persians crossed also, and pursued until they had marched through the land of the Sauromatae to the land of the Budini. 4.123. As long as the Persians were traversing the Scythian and Sauromatic territory there was nothing for them to harm, as the land was dry and barren. But when they entered the country of the Budini, they found themselves before the wooden-walled town; the Budini had abandoned it and left nothing in it, and the Persians burnt the town. ,Then going forward still on the horsemen's track, they passed through this country into desolation, which is inhabited by no one; it lies to the north of the Budini and its breadth is a seven days' march. ,Beyond this desolation live the Thyssagetae; four great rivers flow from their country through the land of the Maeetians, and issue into the lake called the Maeetian; their names are Lycus, Oarus, Tanaïs, Syrgis. 4.124. When Darius came into the desolate country, he halted in his pursuit and camped on the Oarus river, where he built eight great forts, the ruins of which were standing even in my lifetime, all at an equal distance of about seven miles from one another. ,While he was occupied with these, the Scythians whom he was pursuing doubled north and turned back into Scythia. Then, when they had altogether vanished and were no longer within the Persians' sight, Darius left those forts only half finished, and he too doubled about and marched west, thinking that those Scythians were the whole army, and that they were fleeing toward the west. 4.125. But when he came by forced marches into Scythia, he met the two divisions of the Scythians, and pursued them, who always kept a day's march away from him; ,and because Darius would not stop pursuing them, the Scythians, according to the plan they had made, fell back before him to the countries of those who had refused their alliance, to the land of the Black-cloaks first. ,The Scythians and Persians burst into their land, agitating them; and from there, the Scythians led the Persians into the country of the Man-eaters, agitating them too; from there, they drew off into the country of the Neuri and, agitating them also, fled to the Agathyrsi. ,But the Agathyrsi, seeing their neighbors fleeing panic-stricken at the Scythians' approach, before the Scythians could break into their land sent a herald to forbid them to set foot across their borders, warning the Scythians that if they tried to break through they would have to fight with the Agathyrsi first. ,With this warning, the Agathyrsi mustered on their borders, intending to stop the invaders. When the Persians and the Scythians broke into their lands, the Blackcloaks and Man-eaters and Neuri put up no resistance, but forgot their threats and fled panic-stricken north into the desolate country. ,But warned off by the Agathyrsi, the Scythians made no second attempt on that country, but led the Persians from the lands of the Neuri into Scythia. 4.126. As this went on for a long time and did not stop, Darius sent a horseman to Idanthyrsus the Scythian king, with this message: “You crazy man, why do you always run, when you can do otherwise? If you believe yourself strong enough to withstand my power, stand and fight and stop running; but if you know you are the weaker, then stop running like this and come to terms with your master, bringing gifts of earth and water.” 4.127. Idanthyrsus the Scythian king replied: “It is like this with me, Persian: I never ran from any man before out of fear, and I am not running from you now; I am not doing any differently now than I am used to doing in time of peace, too. ,As to why I do not fight with you at once, I will tell you why. We Scythians have no towns or cultivated land, out of fear for which, that the one might be taken or the other wasted, we would engage you sooner in battle. But if all you want is to come to that quickly, we have the graves of our fathers. ,Come on, find these and try to destroy them: you shall know then whether we will fight you for the graves or whether we will not fight. Until then, unless we have reason, we will not engage with you. ,As to fighting, enough; as to masters, I acknowledge Zeus my forefather and Hestia queen of the Scythians only. As for you, instead of gifts of earth and water I shall send such as ought to come to you; and for your boast that you are my master, I say ‘Weep!’” Such is the proverbial “Scythian speech.” 4.129. Very strange to say, what aided the Persians and thwarted the Scythians in their attacks on Darius' army was the braying of the asses and the appearance of the mules. ,For, as I have before indicated, Scythia produces no asses or mules; and there is not in most of Scythia an ass or a mule, because of the cold. Therefore the asses frightened the Scythian horses when they brayed loudly; ,and often, when they were in the act of charging the Persians, the horses would shy in fear if they heard the asses bray or would stand still with ears erect, never having heard a noise like it or seen a like creature. 4.131. After such a thing had happened several times, Darius was finally at a loss; and when they perceived this, the Scythian kings sent a herald to Darius with the gift of a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows. ,The Persians asked the bearer of these gifts what they meant; but he said that he had only been told to give the gifts and then leave at once; he told the Persians to figure out what the presents meant themselves, if they were smart enough. 4.132. When they heard this, the Persians deliberated. Darius' judgment was that the Scythians were surrendering themselves and their earth and their water to him; for he reasoned that a mouse is a creature found in the earth and eating the same produce as men, and a frog is a creature of the water and a bird particularly like a horse; and the arrows signified that the Scythians surrendered their fighting power. ,This was the opinion declared by Darius; but the opinion of Gobryas, one of the seven who had slain the Magus, was contrary to it. He reasoned that the meaning of the gifts was, ,“Unless you become birds, Persians, and fly up into the sky, or mice and hide in the earth, or frogs and leap into the lakes, you will be shot by these arrows and never return home.” 4.133. The Persians reasoned thus about the gifts. But when the first division of the Scythians came to the bridge—the division that had first been appointed to stand on guard by the Maeetian lake and had now been sent to the Ister to speak with the Ionians—they said, ,“Ionians, we have come to bring you freedom, if you will only listen to us. We understand that Darius has directed you to guard the bridge for sixty days only, and if he does not come within that time, then to go away to your homes. ,Now then, do what will leave you guiltless in his eyes as in ours: stay here for the time appointed; and after that, leave.” So the Ionians promised to do this, and the Scythians made their way back with all haste. 4.134. But after sending the gifts to Darius, the Scythians who had remained there came out with foot and horse and offered battle to the Persians. But when the Scythian ranks were set in order, a rabbit ran out between the armies; and every Scythian that saw it gave chase. So there was confusion and shouting among the Scythians; Darius asked about the clamor among the enemy; and when he heard that they were chasing a rabbit, he said to those with whom he was accustomed to speak, ,“These men hold us in deep contempt; and I think now that Gobryas' opinion of the Scythian gifts was true. Since, then, my own judgment agrees with his, we need to consider carefully how we shall return safely.” To this Gobryas said : “O King, I understood almost by reason alone how difficult it would be to deal with these Scythians; but when I came here, I understood even better, watching them toying with us. ,Now then, my advice is that at nightfall we kindle our campfires in the usual way, deceive those in our army who are least fit to endure hardship, and tether all our asses here, and ourselves depart, before the Scythians can march straight to the Ister to break up the bridge, or the Ionians take some action by which we may well be ruined.” 4.135. This was Gobryas' advice, and at nightfall Darius followed it. He left the men who were worn out, and those whose loss mattered least to him, there in the camp, and all the asses, too, tethered. ,His reasons for leaving the asses, and the infirm among his soldiers, were the following: the asses, so that they would bray; the men, who were left because of their infirmity, he pretended were to guard the camp while he attacked the Scythians with the fit part of his army. ,Giving this order to those who were left behind, and lighting campfires, Darius made all haste to reach the Ister. When the asses found themselves deserted by the multitude, they brayed the louder for it; and the Scythians heard them and assumed that the Persians were in the place. 4.136. But when it was day, the men left behind perceived that Darius had betrayed them, and they held out their hands to the Scythians and explained the circumstances; they, when they heard this, assembled their power in haste, the two divisions of their horde and the one division that was with the Sauromatae and Budini and Geloni, and made straight for the Ister in pursuit of the Persians. ,And as the Persian army was for the most part infantry and did not know the roads (which were not marked), while the Scythians were horsemen and knew the short cuts, they went wide of each other, and the Scythians reached the bridge long before the Persians. ,There, perceiving that the Persians had not yet come, they said to the Ionians, who were in their ships, “Ionians, the days have exceeded the number, and you are wrong to be here still. ,Since it was fear that kept you here, now break the bridge in haste and go, free and happy men, thanking the gods and the Scythians. The one that was your master we shall impress in such a way that he will never lead an army against anyone again.” 4.137. Then the Ionians held a council. Miltiades the Athenian, general and sovereign of the Chersonesites of the Hellespont, advised that they do as the Scythians said and set Ionia free. ,But Histiaeus of Miletus advised the opposite. He said, “It is owing to Darius that each of us is sovereign of his city; if Darius' power is overthrown, we shall no longer be able to rule, I in Miletus or any of you elsewhere; for all the cities will choose democracy rather than despotism.” ,When Histiaeus explained this, all of them at once inclined to his view, although they had first sided with Miltiades. 4.138. Those high in Darius' favor who gave their vote were Daphnis of Abydos, Hippoclus of Lampsacus, Herophantus of Parium, Metrodorus of Proconnesus, Aristagoras of Cyzicus, Ariston of Byzantium,,all from the Hellespont and sovereigns of cities there; and from Ionia, Strattis of Chios, Aiaces of Samos, Laodamas of Phocaea, and Histiaeus of Miletus who opposed the plan of Miltiades. As for the Aeolians, their only notable man present was Aristagoras of Cymae. 4.139. When these accepted Histiaeus' view, they decided to act upon it in the following way: to break as much of the bridge on the Scythian side as a bowshot from there carried, so that they seem to be doing something when in fact they were doing nothing, and that the Scythians not try to force their way across the bridge over the Ister; and to say while they were breaking the portion of the bridge on the Scythian side, that they would do all that the Scythians desired. ,This was the plan they adopted; and then Histiaeus answered for them all, and said, “You have come with good advice, Scythians, and your urgency is timely: you guide us well and we do you a convenient service; for, as you see, we are breaking the bridge, and will be diligent about it, as we want to be free. ,But while we are breaking the bridge, this is your opportunity to go and find the Persians, and when you have found them, punish them as they deserve on our behalf and on your own.” 4.140. So the Scythians, trusting the Ionians' word once more, turned back to look for the Persians; but they missed the way by which their enemies returned. The Scythians themselves were to blame for this, because they had destroyed the horses' pasturage in that region and blocked the wells. ,Had they not done, they could, if they had wished, easily have found the Persians. But as it was, that part of their plan which they had thought the best was the very cause of their going astray. ,So the Scythians went searching for their enemies through the parts of their own country where there was forage for the horses and water, supposing that they, too, were heading for such places in their flight; but the Persians kept to their own former tracks, and so with much trouble they found the crossing. ,But as they arrived at night and found the bridge broken, they were in great alarm lest the Ionians had abandoned them. 4.141. There was an Egyptian with Darius whose voice was the loudest in the world; Darius had this man stand on the bank of the Ister and call to Histiaeus the Milesian. This the Egyptian did; Histiaeus heard and answered the first shout, and sent all the ships to ferry the army over, and repaired the bridge. 4.142. Thus the Persians escaped. The Scythians sought the Persians, but missed them again. Their judgment of the Ionians is that if they are regarded as free men they are the basest and most craven in the world; but if they are reckoned as slaves, none love their masters more, or desire less to escape. Thus have the Scythians taunted the Ionians.
3. Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico, 6.25 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

4. Strabo, Geography, 1.1.1, 2.1.3, 2.1.22, 2.1.31, 2.3.5, 2.5.11-2.5.12, 3.3.8, 4.1.1, 4.6.9, 5.1.2-5.1.3, 6.4.1-6.4.2, 7.3.1, 7.3.8, 7.3.15, 8.1.3, 11.1.1, 11.1.5, 12.1.4, 13.2.3, 13.4.8, 16.2.24, 17.1.54, 17.3.1, 17.3.24 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.1.1. IF the scientific investigation of any subject be the proper avocation of the philosopher, Geography, the science of which we propose to treat, is certainly entitled to a high place; and this is evident from many considerations. They who first ventured to handle the matter were distinguished men. Homer, Anaximander the Milesian, and Hecataeus, (his fellow-citizen according to Eratosthenes,) Democritus, Eudoxus, Dicaearchus, Ephorus, with many others, and after these Erastosthenes, Polybius, and Posidonius, all of them philosophers. Nor is the great learning, through which alone this subject can be approached, possessed by any but a person acquainted with both human and divine things, and these attainments constitute what is called philosophy. In addition to its vast importance in regard to social life, and the art of government, Geography unfolds to us the celestial phenomena, acquaints us with the occupants of the land and ocean, and the vegetation, fruits, and peculiarities of the various quarters of the earth, a knowledge of which marks him who cultivates it as a man earnest in the great problem of life and happiness. 2.1.3. But there is another method (says Eratosthenes) of proving this. The distance from the Gulf of Issos to the Euxine, proceeding in a northerly direction towards Amisus and Sinope, is about 3000 stadia, which is as much as the supposed extent of the mountains [of the Taurus]. The traveller who directs his course from Amisus due east, arrives first at Colchis, then at the high lands by the Hyrcanian Sea, afterwards at the road leading to Bactra, and beyond to the Scythians; having the mountains always on the right. The same line drawn through Amisus westward, crosses the Propontis and Hellespont. From Meroe to the Hellespont there are not more than 18,000 stadia. The distance is just the same from the southern extremity of India to the land of Bactria, if we add to the 15,000 stadia of that country the 3000 which its mountains occupy in breadth. 2.1.22. Again, Hipparchus, ever anxious to defend the [accuracy of the] ancient charts, instead of fairly stating the words of Eratosthenes concerning his third section of the habitable earth, wilfully makes him the author of an assertion easy of disproof. For Eratosthenes, following the opinion we before mentioned, that a line drawn from the Pillars of Hercules across the Mediterranean, and the length of the Taurus, would run due west and east, divides, by means of this line, the habitable earth into two portions, which he calls the northern and southern divisions; each of these he again essays to subdivide into as many smaller partitions as practicable, which he denominates sections. He makes India the first section of the southern part, and Ariana the second; these two countries possessing a good outline, he has been able not only to give us an accurate statement of their length and breadth, but an almost geometrically exact description of their figure. He tells us that the form of India is rhomboidal, being washed on two of its sides by the southern and eastern oceans [respectively], which do not deeply indent its shores, The two remaining sides are contained by its mountains and the river [Indus], so that it presents a kind of rectilinear figure. As to Ariana, he considered three of its sides well fitted to form a parallelogram; but of the western side he could give no regular definition, as it was inhabited by various nations; nevertheless he attempts an idea of it by a line drawn from the Caspian Gates to the limits of Carmania, which border on the Persian Gulf. This side he calls western, and that next the Indus eastern, but he does not tell us they are parallel to each other; neither does he say this of the other sides, one bounded by the mountains, and the other by the sea; he simply calls them north and south. 2.1.31. [In the system of Eratosthenes], the habitable earth has been admirably divided into two parts by the Taurus and the Mediterranean Sea, which reaches to the Pillars. On the southern side, the limits of India have been described by a variety of methods; by its mountains, its river, its seas, and its name, which seems to indicate that it is inhabited only by one people. It is with justice too that he attributes to it the form of a quadrilateral or rhomboid. Ariana is not so accurately described, on account of its western side being interwoven with the adjacent land. Still it is pretty well distinguished by its three other sides, which are formed by three nearly straight lines, and also by its name, which shows it to be only one nation. As to the Third Section of Eratosthenes, it cannot be considered to be defined or circumscribed at all; for that side of it which is common to Ariana is but ill defined, as before remarked. The southern side, too, is most negligently taken: it is, in fact, no boundary to the section at all, for it passes right through its centre, leaving entirely outside of it many of the southern portions. Nor yet does it represent the greatest length of the section, for the northern side is the longest. Nor, lastly, can the Euphrates be its western boundary, not even if it flowed in a right line, since its two extremes do not lie under the same meridian. How then is it the western rather than the southern boundary? Apart from this, the distance to the Seas of Cilicia and Syria is so inconsiderable, that there can be no reason why he should not have enlarged the third section, so as to include the kingdoms of Semiramis and Ninus, who are both of them known as Syrian monarchs; the first built Babylon, which he made his royal residence; the second Ninus, the capital of Syria; and the same dialect still exists on both sides of the Euphrates. The idea of thus dismembering so renowned a nation, and allotting its portions to strange nations with which it had no connexion, is as peculiarly unfortunate. Eratosthenes cannot plead that he was compelled to do this on account of its size, for had it extended as far as the sea and the frontiers of Arabia Felix and Egypt, even then it would not have been as large as India, or even Ariana. It would have therefore been much better to have enlarged the third section, making it comprehend the whole space as far as the Sea of Syria; but if this were done, the southern side would not be as he represents it, nor yet in a straight line, but starting from Carmania would follow the right side of the sea-shore from the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the Euphrates; it would then approach the limits of Mesene and Babylon, where the isthmus commences which separates Arabia Felix from the rest of the continent. Traversing the isthmus, it would continue its course to the recess of the Arabian Gulf and Pelusium, thence to the mouth of the Nile at Canopus. Such would be the southern side. The west would be traced by the sea-shore from the [river's] mouth at Canopus to Cilicia. 2.3.5. Thus far, says Posidonius, I have followed the history of Eudoxus. What happened afterwards is probably known to the people of Gades and Iberia; but, says he, all these things only demonstrate more clearly the fact, that the inhabited earth is entirely surrounded by the ocean. By no continent fettered in, But boundless in its flow, and free from soil. Posidonius is certainly a most strange writer; he considers that the voyage of the Magus, related by Heraclides, wants sufficient evidence, and also the account given by Herodotus of those sent out [to explore] by Darius. But this Bergaean nonsense, either the coinage of his own brain, or of some other story-teller, in whom he trusts, he pretends to be worthy of our belief. But in the first place, what is there credible in this tale of the Indian missing his way? The Arabian Gulf, which resembles a river, is narrow, and in length is from 5000 to 10,000 stadia up to its mouth, where it is narrowest of all. It is not likely that the Indians in their voyage out would have entered this Gulf by mistake. The extreme narrowness of the mouth must have warned them of their error. And if they entered it voluntarily, then there was no excuse for introducing the pretext of mistake and uncertain winds. And how did they suffer all of themselves but one to perish through hunger? And how was it that this surviver was able to manage the ship, which could not have been a small one either, fitted as it was for traversing such vast seas? What must have been his aptitude in learning the language of the country, and thus being able to persuade the king of his competence, as leader of the expedition? And how came it that Euergetes was in want of such guides, so many being already acquainted with this sea? How was it that he who was sent by the inhabitants of Cyzicus to carry libations and sacrifices, should forsake his city and sail for India? How was it that so great an affair was intrusted to him? And how came it that on his return, after being deprived of every thing contrary to expectation, and disgraced, a yet larger cargo of goods was intrusted to him? And when he had again returned into Ethiopia, what cause induced him to write down the words, or to inquire whence came the portion of the prow of the boat? For to learn that it was a ship of some sailing from the west, would have been no information to him, as he himself would have to sail from the west on his voyage back. When, on his return to Alexandria, he was detected in having appropriated to himself much of the merchandise, how came it that he was not punished, but allowed to go about interrogating the pilots, and exhibiting his bit of prow? And that one of these fellows actually recognised the relic, is it not delicious! Eudoxus too believed it, this is still richer; and inspired by the hope, hastens home, and then starts on a voyage beyond the Pillars of Hercules! But he could never have left Alexandria without a passport, still less after having stolen the royal property. To set sail on the sly was impossible, as the port and every other exit was kept by a numerous guard, which still exists, as we very well know who have lived in Alexandria for a long time, although it is not so strict since the Romans have had possession, but under the kings the guards were infinitely more alert. But allowing that he reached Gades, that he there constructed ships, and sailed thence with quite a royal fleet, when his vessel was shattered, by what means was he able to construct a third boat in a desert land? And when, being again on his voyage, he found that the Ethiopians of the West spoke the same language as those of the East, how came it that he, so proud of his travelling propensities, forgot the completion of his voyage, when he must have had so good an expectation that there was but little now left unexplored, but relinquishing these prospects, set his mind on the expedition being undertaken by Bogus? How did he become acquainted with the snare spread for him by that king? And what advantage would have accrued to Bogus by making away with the man, rather than by dismissing him? When Eudoxus learned the plot against himself, what means had he to escape to safer quarters? It is true that not one of these situations was actually impossible, but still they were difficult circumstances, such as one rarely escapes from by any prosperous fortune. However, he always came off with good luck, notwithstanding he was never out of danger. Besides this, how did it happen, that having escaped from Bogus, he was not afraid to sail round Africa a second time, with all the requisites for taking up his abode on the island? All this too closely resembles the falsehoods of Pytheas, Euhemerus, and Antiphanes. They however may be pardoned; for their only aim was that of the juggler. But who can forgive a demonstrator and philosopher, and one too striving to be at the head of their order? it is really too bad! 2.5.11. In what follows we shall suppose the chart drawn on a plane-surface; and our descriptions shall consist of what we ourselves have observed in our travels by land and sea, and of what we conceive to be credible in the statements and writings of others. For ourselves, in a westerly direction we have travelled from Armenia to that part of Tyrrhenia which is over against Sardinia; and southward, from the Euxine to the frontiers of Ethiopia. of all the writers on Geography, not one can be mentioned who has travelled over a wider extent of the countries described than we have. Some may have gone farther to the west, but then they have never been so far east as we have; again, others may have been farther east, but not so far west; and the same with respect to north and south. However, in the main, both we and they have availed ourselves of the reports of others, from which to describe the form, the size, and the other peculiarities of the country, what they are and how many, in the same way that the mind forms its conceptions from the information of the senses. The figure, colour, and size of an apple, its scent, feel to the touch, and its flavour, are particulars communicated by the senses, from which the mind forms its conception of an apple. So in large figures, the senses observe the various parts, while the mind combines into one conception what is thus seen. And in like manner, men eager after knowledge, trusting to those who have been to various places, and to [the descriptions of] travellers in this or that country, gather into one sketch a view of the whole habitable earth. In the same way, the generals perform every thing, nevertheless, they are not present every where, but most of their success depends on others, since they are obliged to trust to messengers, and issue their commands in accordance with the reports of others. To pretend that those only can know who have themselves seen, is to deprive hearing of all confidence, which, after all, is a better servant of knowledge than sight itself. 2.5.12. Writers of the present day can describe with more certainty [than formerly] the Britons, the Germans, and the dwellers on either side of the Danube, the Getae, the Tyrigetae, the Bastarnae, the tribes dwelling by the Caucasus, such as the Albanians and Iberians. We are besides possessed of a description of Hyrcania and Bactriana in the Histories of Parthia written by such men as Apollodorus of Artemita, who leave detailed the boundaries [of those countries] with greater accuracy than other geographers. The entrance of a Roman army into Arabia Felix under the command of my friend and companion Aelius Gallus, and the traffic of the Alexandrian merchants whose vessels pass up the Nile and Arabian Gulf to India, have rendered us much better acquainted with these countries than our predecessors were. I was with Gallus at the time he was prefect of Egypt, and accompanied him as far as Syene and the frontiers of Ethiopia, and I found that about one hundred and twenty ships sail from Myos-hormos to India, although, in the time of the Ptolemies, scarcely any one would venture on this voyage and the commerce with the Indies. 3.3.8. The rough and savage manners of these people is not alone owing to their wars, but likewise to their isolated position, it being a long distance to reach them, whether by sea or land. Thus the difficulty of communication has deprived them both of generosity of manners and of courtesy. At the present time, however, they suffer less from this both on account of their being at peace and the intermixture of Romans. Wherever these [influences] are not so much experienced people are harsher and more savage. It is probable that this ruggedness of character is increased by the barrenness of the mountains and some of the places which they inhabit. At the present day, as I have remarked, all warfare is put an end to, Augustus Caesar having subdued the Cantabrians and the neighbouring nations, amongst whom the system of pillage was mainly carried on in our day. So that at the present time, instead of plundering the allies of the Romans, the Coniaci and those who dwell by the sources of the Ebro, with the exception of the Tuisi, bear arms for the Romans. Tiberius, who succeeded Augustus Caesar, carried out his intention of placing a military force of three legions in these parts, by which means he has not only preserved peace, but introduced amongst some of them a civil polity. 4.1.1. NEXT in order [after Iberia] comes Keltica beyond the Alps, the configuration and size of which has been already mentioned in a general manner; we are now to describe it more particularly. Some divide it into the three nations of the Aquitani, Belge, and Kelte. of these the Aquitani differ completely from the other nations, not only in their language but in their figure, which resembles more that of the Iberians than the Galatae. The others are Galatae in countece, although they do not all speak the same language, but some make a slight difference in their speech; neither is their polity and mode of life exactly the same. These writers give the name of Aquitani and Keltae to the dwellers near the Pyrenees, which are bounded by the Cevennes. For it has been stated that this Keltica is bounded on the west by the mountains of the Pyrenees, which extend to either sea, both the Mediterranean and the ocean; on the east by the Rhine, which is parallel to the Pyrenees; on the north by the ocean, from the northern extremities of the Pyrenees to the mouths of the Rhine; on the south by the sea of Marseilles, and Narbonne, and by the Alps from Liguria to the sources of the Rhine. The Cevennes lie at right angles to the Pyrenees, and traverse the plains for about 2000 stadia, terminating in the middle near Lugdunum. They call those people Aquitani who inhabit the northern portions of the Pyrenees, and the Cevennes extending as far as the ocean, and bounded by the river Garonne; and Keltae, those who dwell on the other side of the Garonne, towards the sea of Marseilles and Narbonne, and touching a portion of the Alpine chain. This is the division adopted by divus Caesar in his Commentaries. But Augustus Caesar, when dividing the country into four parts, united the Keltae to the Narbonnaise; the Aquitani he preserved the same as Julius Caesar, but added thereto fourteen other nations of those who dwelt between the Garonne and the river Loire, and dividing the rest into two parts, the one extending to the upper districts of the Rhine he made dependent upon Lugdunum, the other [he assigned] to the Belgae. However, it is the duty of the Geographer to describe the physical divisions of each country, and those which result from diversity of nations, when they seem worthy of notice; as to the limits which princes, induced by a policy which circumstances dictate, have variously imposed, it will be sufficient for him to notice them summarily, leaving others to furnish particular details. 5.1.2. It is not easy to describe the whole of Italy under any one geometrical figure; although some say that it is a promontory of triangular form, extending towards the south and winter rising, with its apex towards the Strait of Sicily, and its base formed by the Alps. . . . . . [No one can allow this definition either for the base or one of the sides, ] although it is correct for the other side which terminates at the Strait, and is washed by the Tyrrhenian sea. But a triangle, properly so called, is a rectilinear figure, whereas in this instance both the base and the sides are curved. So that, if I agree, I must add that the base and the sides are of a curved figure, and it must be conceded to me that the eastern side deviates, as well; otherwise they have not been sufficiently exact in describing as one side that which extends from the head of the Adriatic to the Strait [of Sicily ]. For we designate as a side a line without any angle; now a line without any angle is one which does not incline to either side, or but very little; whereas the line from Ariminum to the Iapygian promontory, and that from the Strait [of Sicily ] to the same promontory, incline very considerably. The same I consider to be the case with regard to the lines drawn from the head of the Adriatic and Iapygia, for meeting about the neighbourhood of Ariminum and Ravenna, they form an angle, or if not an angle, at least a strongly defined curve. Consequently, if the coast from the head [of the Adriatic] to Iapygia be considered as one side, it cannot be described as a right line; neither can the remainder of the line from hence to the Strait [of Sicily ], though it may be considered another side, be said to form a right line. Thus the figure [of Italy] may be said to be rather quadrilateral than trilateral, and can never without impropriety be called a triangle. It is better to confess that you cannot define exactly ungeometrical figures. 5.1.3. [Italy], however, may be described in the following manner. The roots of the Alps are curved, and in the form of a gulf, the head turned towards Italy; the middle of the gulf in the country of the Salassi, and its extremities turned, the one towards Ocra and the head of the Adriatic, the other towards the coast of Liguria as far as Genoa, a mercantile city of the Ligurians, where the Apennines fall in with the Alps. Immediately under [the Alps] there is a considerable plain, of about an equal extent of 2100 stadia both in breadth and length; its southern side is closed by the coast of the Heneti and the Apennines, which extend to Ariminum and Ancona; for these mountains, commencing at Liguria, enter Tyrrhenia, leaving but a narrow sea-coast; they afterwards retire by degrees into the interior, and having reached the territory of Pisa, turn towards the east in the direction of the Adriatic as far as the country about Ariminum and Ancona, where they approach the sea-coast of the Heneti at right angles. Cisalpine Keltica is enclosed within these limits, and the length of the coast joined to that of the mountains is 6300 stadia; its breadth rather less than 2000. The remainder of Italy is long and narrow, and terminates in two promontories, one extending to the Strait of Sicily, the other to Iapygia. It is embraced on one side by the Adriatic, on the other by the Tyrrhenian sea. The form and size of the Adriatic resembles that portion of Italy bounded by the Apennines and the two seas, and extending as far as Iapygia and the isthmus which separates the Gulf of Taranto from that of Posidonium. The greatest breadth of both is about 1300 stadia, and the length not much less than 6000. The remainder of the country is possessed by the Bruttii, and certain of the Leucani. Polybius tells us, that traversing the sea-coast on foot from Iapygia to the Strait [of Sicily ] there are 3000 stadia, the coast being washed by the Sea of Sicily; but that going by water it is 500 stadia less. The Apennines, after approaching the country about Ariminum and Ancona, and determining the breadth of Italy at this point from sea to sea, change their direction and divide the whole country throughout its length. As far as the Peucetii and Leucani they do not recede much from the Adriatic, but on arriving at the Leucani they decline considerably towards the other sea, and traversing the remainder of the distance through the Leucani and Bruttii, terminate at Leucopetra, in Reggio. Such is a general description of the whole of present Italy. We will now endeavour to undertake a description of its various parts. And, first, of those situated below the Alps. 6.4.1. Such, indeed, is the size and such the character of Italy. And while I have already mentioned many things which have caused the Romans at the present time to be exalted to so great a height, I shall now indicate the most important things. One is, that, like an island, Italy is securely guarded by the seas on all sides, except in a few regions, and even these are fortified by mountains that are hardly passable. A second is that along most of its coast it is harborless and that the harbors it does have are large and admirable. The former is useful in meeting attacks from the outside, while the latter is helpful in making counter-attacks and in promoting an abundant commerce. A third is that it is characterized by many differences of air and temperature, on which depend the greater variation, whether for better or for worse, in animals, plants, and, in short, everything that is useful for the support of life. Its length extends from north to south, generally speaking, and Sicily counts as an addition to its length, already so great. Now mild temperature and harsh temperature of the air are judged by heat, cold, and their intermediates; and so from this it necessarily follows that what is now Italy, situated as it is between the two extremes and extending to such a length, shares very largely in the temperate zone and in a very large number of ways. And the following is still another advantage which has fallen to the lot of Italy; since the Apennine Mountains extend through the whole of its length and leave on both sides plains and hills which bear fine fruits, there is no part of it which does not enjoy the blessings of both mountain and plain. And add also to this the size and number of its rivers and its lakes, and, besides these, the fountains of water, both hot and cold, which in many places nature has provided as an aid to health, and then again its good supply of mines of all sorts. Neither can one worthily describe Italy's abundant supply of fuel, and of food both for men and beast, and the excellence of its fruits. Further, since it lies intermediate between the largest races on the one hand, and Greece and the best parts of Libya on the other, it not only is naturally well-suited to hegemony, because it surpasses the countries that surround it both in the valor of its people and in size, but also can easily avail itself of their services, because it is close to them. 6.4.2. Now if I must add to my account of Italy a summary account also of the Romans who took possession of it and equipped it as a base of operations for the universal hegemony, let me add as follows: After the founding of Rome, the Romans wisely continued for many generations under the rule of kings. Afterwards, because the last Tarquinius was a bad ruler, they ejected him, framed a government which was a mixture of monarchy and aristocracy, and dealt with the Sabini and Latini as with partners. But since they did not always find either them or the other neighboring peoples well intentioned, they were forced, in a way, to enlarge their own country by the dismemberment of that of the others. And in this way, while they were advancing and increasing little by little, it came to pass, contrary to the expectation of all, that they suddenly lost their city, although they also got it back contrary to expectation. This took place, as Polybius says, in the nineteenth year after the naval battle at Aegospotami, at the time of the Peace of Antalcidas. After having rid themselves of these enemies, the Romans first made all the Latini their subjects; then stopped the Tyrrheni and the Celti who lived about the Padus from their wide and unrestrained licence; then fought down the Samnitae, and, after them, the Tarantini and Pyrrhus; and then at last also the remainder of what is now Italy, except the part that is about the Padus. And while this part was still in a state of war, the Romans crossed over to Sicily, and on taking it away from the Carthaginians came back again to attack the peoples who lived about the Padus; and it was while that war was still in progress that Hannibal invaded Italy. This latter is the second war that occurred against the Carthaginians; and not long afterwards occurred the third, in which Carthage was destroyed; and at the same time the Romans acquired, not only Libya, but also as much of Iberia as they had taken away from the Carthaginians. But the Greeks, the Macedonians, and those peoples in Asia who lived this side the Halys River and the Taurus Mountains joined the Carthaginians in a revolution, and therefore at the same time the Romans were led on to a conquest of these peoples, whose kings were Antiochus, Philip, and Perseus. Further, those of the Illyrians and Thracians who were neighbors to the Greeks and the Macedonians began to carry on war against the Romans and kept on warring until the Romans had subdued all the tribes this side the Ister and this side the Halys. And the Iberians, Celti, and all the remaining peoples which now give ear to the Romans had the same experience. As for Iberia, the Romans did not stop reducing it by force of arms until they had subdued the of it, first, by driving out the Nomantini, and, later on, by destroying Viriathus and Sertorius, and, last of all, the Cantabri, who were subdued by Augustus Caesar. As for Celtica (I mean Celtica as a whole, both the Cisalpine and Transalpine, together with Liguria), the Romans at first brought it over to their side only part by part, from time to time, but later the Deified Caesar, and afterwards Augustus Caesar, acquired it all at once in a general war. But at the present time the Romans are carrying on war against the Germans, setting out from the Celtic regions as the most appropriate base of operations, and have already glorified the fatherland with some triumphs over them. As for Libya, so much of it as did not belong to the Carthaginians was turned over to kings who were subject to the Romans, and, if they ever revolted, they were deposed. But at the present time Juba has been invested with the rule, not only of Maurusia, but also of many parts of the rest of Libya, because of his loyalty and his friendship for the Romans. And the case of Asia was like that of Libya. At the outset it was administered through the agency of kings who were subject to the Romans, but from that time on, when their line failed, as was the case with the Attalic, Syrian, Paphlagonian, Cappadocian, and Egyptian kings, or when they would revolt and afterwards be deposed, as was the case with Mithridates Eupator and the Egyptian Cleopatra, all parts of it this side the Phasis and the Euphrates, except certain parts of Arabia, have been subject to the Romans and the rulers appointed by them. As for the Armenians, and the peoples who are situated above Colchis, both Albanians and Iberians, they require the presence only of men to lead them, and are excellent subjects, but because the Romans are engrossed by other affairs, they make attempts at revolution — as is the case with all the peoples who live beyond the Ister in the neighborhood of the Euxine, except those in the region of the Bosporus and the Nomads, for the people of the Bosporus are in subjection, whereas the Nomads, on account of their lack of intercourse with others, are of no use for anything and only require watching. Also the remaining parts of Asia, generally speaking, belong to the Tent-dwellers and the Nomads, who are very distant peoples. But as for the Parthians, although they have a common border with the Romans and also are very powerful, they have nevertheless yielded so far to the preeminence of the Romans and of the rulers of our time that they have sent to Rome the trophies which they once set up as a memorial of their victory over the Romans, and, what is more, Phraates has entrusted to Augustus Caesar his children and also his children's children, thus obsequiously making sure of Caesar's friendship by giving hostages; and the Parthians of today have often gone to Rome in quest of a man to be their king, and are now about ready to put their entire authority into the hands of the Romans. As for Italy itself, though it has often been torn by factions, at least since it has been under the Romans, and as for Rome itself, they have been prevented by the excellence of their form of government and of their rulers from proceeding too far in the ways of error and corruption. But it were a difficult thing to administer so great a dominion otherwise than by turning it over to one man, as to a father; at all events, never have the Romans and their allies thrived in such peace and plenty as that which was afforded them by Augustus Caesar, from the time he assumed the absolute authority, and is now being afforded them by his son and successor, Tiberius, who is making Augustus the model of his administration and decrees, as are his children, Germanicus and Drusus, who are assisting their father. 7.3.1. 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. 7.3.8. 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. 7.3.15. 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. 8.1.3. Ephorus says that, if one begins with the western parts, Acaria is the beginning of Greece; for, he adds, Acaria is the first to border on the tribes of the Epeirotes. But just as Ephorus, using the seacoast as his measuring-line, begins with Acaria (for he decides in favor of the sea as a kind of guide in his description of places, because otherwise he might have represented parts that border on the land of the Macedonians and the Thessalians as the beginning), so it is proper that I too, following the natural character of the regions, should make the sea my counsellor. Now this sea, issuing forth out of the Sicilian Sea, on one side stretches to the Corinthian Gulf, and on the other forms a large peninsula, the Peloponnesus, which is closed by a narrow isthmus. Thus Greece consists of two very large bodies of land, the part inside the Isthmus, and the part outside, which extends through Pylae as far as the outlet of the Peneius (this latter is the Thessalian part of Greece); but the part inside the Isthmus is both larger and more famous. I might almost say that the Peloponnesus is the acropolis of Greece as a whole; for, apart from the splendor and power of the tribes that have lived in it, the very topography of Greece, diversified as it is by gulfs, many capes, and, what are the most significant, large peninsulas that follow one another in succession, suggests such hegemony for it. The first of the peninsulas is the Peloponnesus which is closed by an isthmus forty stadia in width. The second includes the first; and its isthmus extends in width from Pagae in Megaris to Nisaea, the naval station of the Megarians, the distance across being one hundred and twenty stadia from sea to sea. The third likewise includes the second; and its isthmus extends in width from the recess of the Crisaean Gulf as far as Thermopylae — the imaginary straight line, about five hundred and eight stadia in length, enclosing within the peninsula the whole of Boeotia and cutting obliquely Phocis and the country of the Epicnemidians. The fourth is the peninsula whose isthmus extends from the Ambracian Gulf through Oita and Trachinia to the Maliac Gulf and Thermopylae — the isthmus being about eight hundred stadia in width. But there is another isthmus, more than one thousand stadia in width, extending from the same Ambracian Gulf through the countries of the Thessalians and the Macedonians to the recess of the Thermaean Gulf. So then, the succession of the peninsulas suggests a kind of order, and not a bad one, for me to follow in my description; and I should begin with the smallest, but most famous, of them. 11.1.1. Overview of AsiaAsia is adjacent to Europe, bordering thereon along the Tanais River. I must therefore describe this country next, first dividing it, for the sake of clearness, by means of certain natural boundaries. That is, I must do for Asia precisely what Eratosthenes did for the inhabited world as a whole. 11.1.5. As we pass from Europe to Asia in our geography, the northern division is the first of the two divisions to which we come; and therefore we must begin with this. of this division the first portion is that in the region of the Tanais River, which I have taken as the boundary between Europe and Asia. This portion forms, in a way, a peninsula, for it is surrounded on the west by the Tanais River and Lake Maeotis as far as the Bosporus and that part of the coast of the Euxine Sea which terminates at Colchis; and then on the north by the Ocean as far as the mouth of the Caspian Sea; and then on the east by this same sea as far as the boundary between Albania and Armenia, where empty the rivers Cyrus and Araxes, the Araxes flowing through Armenia and the Cyrus through Iberia and Albania; and lastly, on the south by the tract of country which extends from the outlet of the Cyrus River to Colchis, which is about three thousand stadia from sea to sea, across the territory of the Albanians and the Iberians, and therefore is described as an isthmus. But those writers who have reduced the width of the isthmus as much as Cleitarchus has, who says that it is subject to inundation from either sea, should not be considered even worthy of mention. Poseidonius states that the isthmus is fifteen hundred stadia across, as wide as the isthmus from Pelusium to the Red Sea. And in my opinion, he says, the isthmus from Lake Maeotis to the Ocean does not differ much therefrom. 12.1.4. Cappadocia was divided into two satrapies by the Persians at the time when it was taken over by the Macedonians; the Macedonians willingly allowed one part of the country, but unwillingly the other, to change to kingdoms instead of satrapies; and one of these kingdoms they named Cappadocia Proper and Cappadocia near Taurus, and even Greater Cappadocia, and the other they named Pontus, though others named it Cappadocia Pontica. As for Greater Cappadocia, we at present do not yet know its administrative divisions, for after the death of king Archelaus, Caesar and the senate decreed that it was a Roman province. But when, in the reign of Archelaus and of the kings who preceded him, the country was divided into ten prefectures, those near the Taurus were reckoned as five in number, I mean Melitene, Cataonia, Cilicia, Tyanitis, and Garsauritis; and Laviansene, Sargarausene, Saravene, Chamanene, and Morimene as the remaining five. The Romans later assigned to the predecessors of Archelaus an eleventh prefecture, taken from Cilicia, I mean the country round Castabala and Cybistra, extending to Derbe, which last had belonged to Antipater the pirate; and to Archelaus they further assigned the part of Cilicia Tracheia round Elaeussa, and also all the country that had organized the business of piracy. 13.2.3. Mitylene has produced famous men: in early times, Pittacus, one of the Seven Wise Men; and the poet Alcaeus, and his brother Antimenidas, who, according to Alcaeus, won a great struggle when fighting on the side of the Babylonians, and rescued them from their toils by killing a warrior, the royal wrestler (as he says), who was but one short of five cubits in height. And along with these flourished also Sappho, a marvellous woman; for in all the time of which we have record I do not know of the appearance of any woman who could rival Sappho, even in a slight degree, in the matter of poetry. The city was in those times ruled over by several tyrants because of the dissensions among the inhabitants; and these dissensions are the subject of the Stasiotic poems, as they are called, of Alcaeus. And also Pittacus was one of the tyrants. Now Alcaeus would rail alike at both Pittacus and the rest, Myrsilus and Melanchrus and the Cleanactidae and certain others, though even he himself was not innocent of revolutionary attempts; but even Pittacus himself used monarchy for the overthrow of the oligarchs, and then, after overthrowing them, restored to the city its independence. Diophanes the rhetorician was born much later; but Potamon, Lesbocles, Crinagoras, and Theophanes the historian in my time. Theophanes was also a statesman; and he became a friend to Pompey the Great, mostly through his very ability, and helped him to succeed in all his achievements; whence he not only adorned his native land, partly through Pompey and partly through himself, but also rendered himself the most illustrious of all the Greeks. He left a son, Marcus Pompey, whom Augustus Caesar once set up as Procurator of Asia, and who is now counted among the first of the friends of Tiberius. The Athenians were in danger of suffering an irreparable disgrace when they voted that all Mitylenaeans from youth upwards should be slain, but they changed their minds and their counter-decree reached the generals only one day before the order was to be executed. 13.4.8. Callisthenes says that Sardeis was captured first by the Cimmerians, and then by the Treres and the Lycians, as is set forth by Callinus the elegiac poet, and lastly in the time of Cyrus and Croesus. But when Callinus says that the incursion of the Cimmerians was against the Esioneis, at the time of which Sardeis was captured, the Scepsian and his followers surmise that the Asioneis were by Callinus called the Esioneis, in the Ionic dialect; for perhaps Meionia, he says, was called Asia, and accordingly Homer likewise says,on the Asian mead about the streams of the Cayster. The city was later restored in a notable way because of the fertility of its territory, and was inferior to none of its neighbors, though recently it has lost many of its buildings through earthquakes. However, the forethought of Tiberius, our present ruler, has, by his beneficence, restored not only this city but many others — I mean all the cities that shared in the same misfortune at about the same time. 16.2.24. The Sidonians are said by historians to excel in various kinds of art, as the words of Homer also imply. Besides, they cultivate science and study astronomy and arithmetic, to which they were led by the application of numbers (in accounts) and night sailing, each of which (branches of knowledge) concerns the merchant and seaman; in the same manner the Egyptians were led to the invention of geometry by the mensuration of ground, which was required in consequence of the Nile confounding, by its overflow, the respective boundaries of the country. It is thought that geometry was introduced into Greece from Egypt, and astronomy and arithmetic from Phoenicia. At present the best opportunities are afforded in these cities of acquiring a knowledge of these, and of all other branches of philosophy.If we are to believe Poseidonius, the ancient opinion about atoms originated with Mochus, a native of Sidon, who lived before the Trojan times. Let us, however, dismiss subjects relating to antiquity. In my time there were distinguished philosophers, natives of Sidon, as Boethus, with whom I studied the philosophy of Aristotle, and Diodotus his brother. Antipater was of Tyre, and a little before my time Apollonius, who published a table of the philosophers of the school of Zeno, and of their writings.Tyre is distant from Sidon not more than 200 stadia. Between the two is situated a small town, called Ornithopolis, (the city of birds); next a river which empties itself near Tyre into the sea. Next after Tyre is Palae-tyrus (ancient Tyre), at the distance of 30 stadia. 17.1.54. The Ethiopians, emboldened in consequence of a part of the forces in Egypt being drawn off by Aelius Gallus, who was engaged in war with the Arabs, invaded the Thebais, and attacked the garrison, consisting of three cohorts, near Syene; surprised and took Syene, Elephantine, and Philae, by a sudden inroad; enslaved the inhabitants, and threw down the statues of Caesar. But Petronius, marching with less than 10,000 infantry and 800 horse against an army of 30,000 men, first compelled them to retreat to Pselchis, an Ethiopian city. He then sent deputies to demand restitution of what they had taken, and the reasons which had induced them to begin the war. On their alleging that they had been ill treated by the nomarchs, he answered, that these were not the sovereigns of the country, but Caesar. When they desired three days for consideration, and did nothing which they were bound to do, Petronius attacked and compelled them to fight. They soon fled, being badly commanded, and badly armed; for they carried large shields made of raw hides, and hatchets for offensive weapons; some, however, had pikes, and others swords. Part of the insurgents were driven into the city, others fled into the uninhabited country; and such as ventured upon the passage of the river escaped to a neighbouring island, where there were not many crocodiles on account of the current. Among the fugitives, were the generals of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians in our time, a masculine woman, and who had lost an eye. Petronius, pursuing them in rafts and ships, took them all and despatched them immediately to Alexandreia. He then attacked Pselchis and took it. If we add the number of those who fell in battle to the number of prisoners, few only could have escaped.From Pselchis Petronius went to Premnis, a strong city, travelling over the hills of sand, beneath which the army of Cambyses was overwhelmed by the setting in of a whirlwind. He took the fortress at the first onset, and afterwards advanced to Napata. This was the royal seat of Candace ; and her son was there, but she herself was in a neighbouring stronghold. When she sent ambassadors to treat of peace, and to offer the restitution of the prisoners brought from Syene, and the statues, Petronius attacked and took Napata, from which her son had fled, and then razed it. He made prisoners of the inhabitants, and returned back again with the booty, as he judged any farther advance into the country impracticable on account of the roads. He strengthened, however, the fortifications of Premnis, and having placed a garrison there, with two years' provisions for four hundred men, returned to Alexandreia. Some of the prisoners were publicly sold as booty, and a thousand were sent to Caesar, who had lately returned from the Cantabrians, others died of various diseases.In the mean time Candace attacked the garrison with an army of many thousand men. Petronius came to its assistance, and entering the fortress before the approach of the enemy, secured the place by many expedients. The enemy sent ambassadors, but he ordered them to repair to Caesar: on their replying, that they did not know who Caesar was, nor where they were to find him, Petronius appointed persons to conduct them to his presence. They arrived at Samos, where Caesar was at that time, and from whence he was on the point of proceeding into Syria, having already despatched Tiberius into Armenia. The ambassadors obtained all that they desired, and Caesar even remitted the tribute which he had imposed. 17.3.1. WE shall next describe Africa, which is the remaining portion of the whole description of the earth.We have before said much respecting it; but at present I shall further describe what suits my purpose, and add what has not been previously mentioned.The writers who have divided the habitable world according to continents, divide it unequally. But a threefold division denotes a division into three equal parts. Africa, however, wants so much of being a third part of the habitable world, that, even if it were united to Europe, it would not be equal to Asia; perhaps it is even less than Europe; in resources it is very much inferior, for a great part of the inland and maritime country is desert. It is spotted over with small habitable parts, which are scattered about, and mostly belonging to nomad tribes. Besides the desert state of the country, its being a nursery of wild beasts is a hindrance to settlement in parts which could be inhabited. It comprises also a large part of the torrid zone.All the sea-coast in our quarter, situated between the Nile and the Pillars, particularly that which belonged to the Carthaginians, is fertile and inhabited. And even in this tract, some spots destitute of water intervene, as those about the Syrtes, the Marmaridae, and the Catabathmus.The shape of Africa is that of a right-angled triangle, if we imagine its figure to be drawn on a plane surface. Its base is the coast opposite to us, extending from Egypt and the Nile to Mauretania and the Pillars; at right angles to this is a side formed by the Nile to Ethiopia, which side we continue to the ocean; the hypothenuse of the right angle is the whole tract of sea-coast lying between Ethiopia and Mauretania.As the part situated at the vertex of the above-mentioned figure, and lying almost entirely under the torrid zone, is inaccessible, we speak of it from conjecture, and therefore cannot say what is the greatest breadth of the country. In a former part of this work we have said, that the distance proceeding from Alexandreia southwards to Meroe, the royal seat of the Ethiopians, is about 10,000 stadia; thence in a straight line to the borders of the torrid zone and the habitable country, 3000 stadia. The sum, therefore, may be assumed as the greatest breadth of Africa, which is 13,000 or 14,000 stadia: its length may be a little less than double this sum. So much then on the subject of Africa in general. I am now to describe its several parts, beginning from the most celebrated on the west. 17.3.24. Such, then, is the disposition of the parts of the world which we inhabit. But since the Romans have surpassed (in power) all former rulers of whom we have any record, and possess the choicest and best known parts of it, it will be suitable to our subject briefly to refer to their Empire.It has been already stated how this people, beginning from the single city of Rome, obtained possession of the whole of Italy, by warfare and prudent administration; and how, afterwards, following the same wise course, they added the countries all around it to their dominion.of the three continents, they possess nearly the whole of Europe, with the exception only of the parts beyond the Danube, (to the north,) and the tracts on the verge of the ocean, comprehended between the Rhine and the Tanais.of Africa, the whole sea-coast on the Mediterranean is in their power; the rest of that country is uninhabited, or the inhabitants only lead a miserable and nomad life.of Asia likewise, the whole sea-coast in our direction (on the west) is subject to them, unless indeed any account is to be taken of the Achei, Zygi, and Heniochi, who are robbers and nomads, living in confined and wretched districts. of the interior, and of the parts far inland, the Romans possess one portion, and the Parthians, or the barbarians beyond them, the other; on the east and north are Indians, Bactrians, and Scythians; then (on the south) Arabians and Ethiopians; but territory is continually being abstracted from these people by the Romans.of all these countries some are governed by (native) kings, but the rest are under the immediate authority of Rome, under the title of provinces, to which are sent governors and collectors of tribute; there are also some free cities, which from the first sought the friendship of Rome, or obtained their freedom as a mark of honour. Subject to her also are some princes, chiefs of tribes, and priests, who (are permitted) to live in conformity with their national laws.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aemilia, via Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
ager gallicus Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
alps, cottian Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
anartes Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
ancona Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
apennines Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
asia, continent and region, boundaries of Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
boians, boii Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
bononia Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
caspian gates Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245
celtica Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
celts, in italy Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
cilician gate Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245
comum Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
cottian alps Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
daci Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
danube Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
danube (danubius, danuvius) river, romans and Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
danube (danubius, danuvius) river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
darius i of persia Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
drusus (brother of tiberius) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
eratosthenes of cyrene Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245
eridanus river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
europe, boundaries of Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
europe, central Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167, 226
euxinus pontus (black sea) Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
helvetii Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
hercynian forest Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
hister river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
histropolis Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
ister/danube Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
istros river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
italy (italia) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
julius caesar, c. Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
maeotic marsh or lake Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
mutina Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
nemetes Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
nile, underground course of Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
padus river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
parma Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
phasis river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
pliny the elder Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245
pomponius mela Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39; Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245
porcius cato, m., the censor Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
poseidonius Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 7
ptolemy, claudius (geographer) Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245
rauraci Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
rhenus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
ripaei mtns. Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
rivers, underground Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
sahara desert Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
scythia, scythae (scythians) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
sena river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
senones Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
silk' Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
sinope Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
strabo, heuristics Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 7
strabo, philosophical education Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 7
strabo Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39; Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245; Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 7
tanais (town and river) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
taurus Bianchetti et al., Brill’s Companion to Ancient Geography: The Inhabited World in Greek and Roman Tradition (2015) 245
tiberius, emperor Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 7
tiberius Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
tiberius (emperor), alpine expedition of Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 226
vesulus, mt. Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
vibi forum Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167
vindelici Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 39
vistula river Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 167