Pliny,   Natural History

-   Book 4 ,   sections 62-122

Translated by H.Rackham (1952), with some minor alterations. Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each chapter.

In this web version, many of the place names have been altered to reproduce the Latin spellings - for instance, 'Massilia' instead of 'Marseilles'. Wherever possible, links are provided to further information about the places.

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L   [62] Forming part of Hellas but still in the Aegean Sea are the Lichades, Scarphia, Corese, Phocasia, and a number of other islands facing Attica that have no towns on them and are consequently unimportant. Opposite Eleusis is the famous island of Salamis. In front of it is Psyttalea, and, at a distance of 5 miles from Sunium, Helene. Then at the same distance from Helene is Ceos, called by some Romans Cea and by the Greeks also Hydrusa. This is an island that has been torn away from Euboea; it was formerly 64 miles long, but more recently about four-fifths of it lying in the direction of Boeotia has also been swallowed up by the sea, leaving the towns of Iulis and Carthaea, while Coresus and Grassy Island have disappeared. Varro states that this island used to export an exceptionally fine kind of cloth used for ladies' dresses.

[63] Euboea itself also is sundered from Boeotia by so moderate a channel, the Euripus, that it is joined to the mainland by a bridge. At the south end it has two marked promontories, Geraestus pointing towards Attica and Capereus towards the Hellespont; at the north it has Cape Cenaeum. Its breadth nowhere exceeds 40 miles and nowhere contracts below two miles; its length stretches along the whole of Boeotia from Attica to Thessaly and measures 150 miles, while its circumference is 365 miles. [64] At its south-easternmost point its distance from the Hellespont is 225 miles. Its notable cities were formerly Pyrrha, Porthmos, Nesos, Cerinthos, Oreus, Dium, Aedepsos, Ocha and Oechalia; those now noteworthy are Chalcis ( opposite which on the mainland is Aulis ), Geraestus, Eretria, Carystus, Oritanum and Artemisium, as well as the Spring of Arethusa, the river Lelantus and the warm springs known as the Hellopiae. Euboea is, however, still better known for the marble of Carystus. It used formerly to be called Chalcodontis or according to Dionysius and Ephorus Macris, but Macra according to Aristides, and according to Callidemus Chalcis, because copper was first discovered there; according to Menaechmus its name was Abantias, while in poetry it is commonly called Asopis.

[65] In the Myrtoan Sea besides Euboea are many islands, the best known being Glauconnesus and the Aegila islands, and off the promontory of Geraestus the Cyclades, lying round Delos in a circle which has given them their name. The first of these is Andros with a town of the same name, 10 miles from Geraestus and 38 from Ceos. Myrsilus tells us that Ceos was once called Cauros, and later Antandros; Callimachus says it had the name of Lasia, others Nonagria or Hydrusa or Epagris. Its circuit measures 93 miles. At a distance of a mile from Andros and 15 miles from Delos is Tenos, with a city of the same name; this island is 15 miles in length. Aristotle says that owing to its abundance of springs it once was called Hydrusa; others give its old name as Ophiusa. [66] The other islands are: Myconos, with Mount Dimastus, 15 miles from Delos; Siphnos, previously called Meropia and Acis, 28 miles round; Seriphos 15 miles round; Prepesinthos; Cythnos; and by far the most famous of the Cyclades and lying in the middle of them, Delos, celebrated for its temple of Apollo and for its commerce. According to the story, Delos for a long time floated adrift; also it was the only island that down to the time of Marcus Varro had never felt an earthquake shock; Mucianus however states that it has suffered twice from earthquake. Aristotle has recorded that it owes its name to its having suddenly appeared emerging from the water; Aglaosthenes, however, calls it the Isle of Cynthus, and others Quail Island, Star Island, Hare Island, Cloak Island, Dog Island, and Fiery Island because fire was first discovered there. It measures five miles in circumference. Its only eminence is Mount Cynthius.

[67] Next to Delos is Rhene, which Anticlides calls Celadusa, and also Artemites and Celadine; Syros, stated by old writers to measure 20 miles in circuit, but by Mucianus 160 miles; Olearos; Paros, with the town of that name, 38 miles from Delos, famous for its marble, and originally called Platea and afterwards Minois. Seven and a half miles from Paros and 18 from Delos is Naxos with its town, which was called Strongyle and then Dia and afterwards the Island of Dionysus because of the fertility of its vineyards, and by others Little Sicily or Callipolis. Its circuit measures 75 miles and it is half as large again as Paros.

[68] So far the islands are regarded as belonging to the Cyclades, but the remainder that follow are called the Sporades. They are Helene, Phacusa, Nicasia, Schinusa, Pholegandros and 38 miles from Naxos and the same number of miles in length, Icaros, which has given its name to the surrounding sea; it has two towns, a third having disappeared; it was formerly called Doliche or Long Island, also Fish Island. It lies 50 miles north-east of Delos and 35 miles from Samos; between Euboea and Andros there is a channel 10 miles wide, and the distance from Icaros to Geraestus is 112 miles.

[69] After these no regular order can be kept, so the remaining islands shall be given in a group: Scyros; Ios, 18 miles from Naxos, venerable as the burial-place of Homer, 22 miles long, previously called Phoenice; Odia; Oletandros; Gyaros, with a town of the same name, 15 miles in circumference, 62 miles distant from Andros; 80 miles from Gyaros, Syrnos; Cynethos; Telos, noted for its unguent, and called by Callimachus Agathusa; Donusa; Patmos, 30 miles in circumference; [70] the Corassiae, Lebinthos, Gyros, Cinara; Sicinos, previously Oenoe; Heraclia or Onus; Casos or Astrabe; Cimolos or Echinusa; Melos, with the town of that name, called by Aristides Mimblis, by Aristotle Zephyria, by Callimachus, Mimallis and by Heraclides Siphis and Acytasthe most circular in shape of all the islands; Buporthmos; Machia; Hypere, formerly called Patage, or by others Platage, Amorgos; Polyaegas; Sapyle; Thera, called Fair Island when it first emerged from the water; Therasia subsequently detached from it, and Automate or Hiera, which soon afterwards arose between the two, and Thia, which emerged near the same islands in our own day. The distance between Thera and Ios is 25 miles.

[71] There follow Lea, Ascania, Namphi, and Hippuris. Astypalaea, a free state, measuring 88 miles in circumference, is 125 miles from Cadistus in Crete; Platea 60 miles from Astypalaea, and Caminia 38 miles from Platea; Azibintha, Lamse, Atragia, Pharmacusa, Thetaedia, Karki, Calymna with its town, Coos, Eulimna, and at a distance of 25 miles from it Carpathos, which has given its name to the Carpathian Sea. From there to Rhodes, a southwest course, is 50 miles; from Carpathos to Casos is 7 miles, from Casos to Cape Samonium in Crete 30. In the Euripus between Euboea and the mainland, almost at the first entrance, are the four Petaliae Islands, and at its outlet Atalante. The Cyclades and the Sporades are bounded on the east by the Asiatic coasts of the Icarian Sea, on the west by the Attic coasts of the Myrtoan Sea, on the north by the Aegean Sea and on the south by the Cretan and Carpathian coasts; these islands occupy an area 700 miles long and 200 miles broad.

[72] Across the mouth of the Pagasetic Gulf lie Euthia, Trikeri, Scyros, previously mentioned, and in fact the outermost of the Cyclades and Sporades, Gerontia and Scandira; across the Thermaic Gulf Iresia Solymnia, Eudemia and Nea, the last an island sacred to Minerva; across the Gulf of Athos lie four islands, Peparethos with the town of that name and formerly called Euoenus, 9 miles off, Sciathos 15 miles, and Imbros with its town 88 miles; the distance between Imbros and Mastusia on the Chersonese is 22 miles. Imbros is 62 miles in circuit; it is watered by the river Ilissus. [73] Twenty-two miles from Imbros is Lemnos, which lies 87 miles from Mount Athos; its circuit measures 115 miles, and on it are the towns of Hephaestia and Myrina - the market place of the latter is reached by the shadow of Mount Athos at midsummer. Six miles from Lemnos is Thasos, a free state, formerly called Aeria or Aethria; Abdera on the mainland is 22 miles from Thasos, and Athos 62½ miles, and the island of Samothrace, a free state, off the river Hebrus, is the same distance from Thasos, 32 miles from Imbros, 22 from Lemnos, and 38 from the coast of Thrace; its circuit measures 35 miles, and on it rises Mount Saos, which is ten miles high. Imbros gives the worst anchorage for vessels of all the islands. It is mentioned by Callimachus under its ancient name of Dardania.

[74] Between the Chersonese and Samothrace, about 15 miles from each, is the island of Halonesos, and beyond it are Gethone, Lamponia, Alopeconnesus, which is not far from Coelos the port of the Chersonese, and some others of no importance. We may also specify the names of uninhabited islands in the Gulf so far as we have been able to ascertain them: Avesticos, Sarnos, Cissyros, Charbrusa, Calathusa, Scyllia, Dialeon, Dictaea, Melanthia, Dracanon, Arconesus, Diethusa, Ascapos, Capheris, Mesate, Aeantion, Pateronnesus, Pateria, Calathe, Neriphus, Pelendos.

[75] The fourth of the great Gulfs of Europe begins at the Hellespont and ends at the entrance of the Maeotis. But in order more easily to indicate the divisions of the Black Sea we must give a brief description of its shape as a whole. It is a vast body of water lying in front of Asia and shut out from Europe by the Chersonese; but it forces an entrance into the interior by a narrow winding channel, and separates Europe from Asia, as has been said, by a strait that is less than a mile wide. The first part of the narrows is called the Hellespont; here the Persian king Xerxes made the bridge of boats across which he led his army. From there a narrow channel 86 miles long extends to the Asiatic city of Priapus; it was here that Alexander the Great crossed. [76] From this point the water begins to widen out, and afterwards narrows again. The wide part is called the Propontis and the narrows the Thracian Bosporus; at the point where Darius the father of Xerxes conveyed his forces across by means of a bridge it is 500 yards wide, and its entire length from the Hellespont is 239 miles.

Then comes the vast extent of the Black Sea, formerly the Axenus, which encroaches on a large area of the continent, and with a great bend of its coasts curves back into horns and from them stretches out on either side, producing exactly the shape of a Scythian bow. In the middle of the curve it is joined by the mouth of Lake Maeotis; this aperture is called the Cimmerian Bosporus, and measures two and a half miles across. [77] The distance in a straight line between the two straits, the Thracian Bosportus and the Cimmerian Bosporus, measures according to Polybius 500 miles. The whole circumference of the Black Sea according to Varro and the old authorities generally is 2150 miles, but Cornelius Nepos adds 350 miles, while Artemidorus makes it 2119 miles, Agrippa 2540, and Mucianus 2425. There is a similar difference of opinion as to the measurement of the European shore, some fixing it at 1479 miles and others at 1100. [78] Marcus Varro gives the measurement as follows: from the mouth of the Black Sea to Apollonia 1871 miles; from there to Callatis the same; to the month of the Danube 125; to Borysthenes 250; to the town of Chersonesus a colony of the Heraeleotes 375 miles; to Panticapaeum, by some called Bosporus, the last point on the coast of Europe, 2121 miles - the total making 13371 miles. Agrippa makes it 540 miles from Byzantium to the river Danube and 635 miles from the Danube to Panticapaeum.

The actual Lake Maeotis, which receives the Tanais flowing down from the Ripaean Mountains, the river being the extreme boundary between Europe and Asia, is said to measure 1406, or according to other authorities 1125, miles in circumference. The distance in a straight line between the entrance of Lake Maeotis and the mouth of the Tanais is agreed to be 375 miles. The inhabitants of the coasts of this great Gulf as far as Histropolis have been mentioned in our account of Thrace.

[79] We then come to the mouths of the Danube. It rises in Germany in the range of Mount Abnoua, opposite to the Gallic town of Rauricum, and flows for a course of many miles beyond the Alps, and through innumerable tribes, under the name of Danube; then its volume of water increases enormously and from the point where it first enters Illyria it is called the Hister; after receiving 60 tributary rivers, nearly half of which are navigable, it is discharged into the Black Sea by six vast channels. The first of these is the mouth of Peuces, close to the island of that name, at which the nearest channel, called the Holy River, is swallowed up in a marsh 19 miles in extent. Opening from the same channel and above Histropolis spreads a lake measuring 63 miles round, named Halmyris. The second is called Naracustoma; the third, next the island of Sarmatica, Fair Mouth; the fourth, False Mouth; then comes the island of Conopon Diabasis, afterwards the North Mouth and the Barren Mouth. These mouths are each of them so large that for a distance of forty miles, so it is said, the sea is overpowered and the water tastes fresh.

[80] From this point all the races in general are Scythian, though various sections have occupied the lands adjacent to the coast, in one place the Getae, called by the Romans Dacians, at another the Sarmatae, called by the Greeks Sauromatae, and the section of them called Hamaxobii or Aorsi, at another the base-born Scythians, descended from slaves, or else the Cave-dwellers, and then the Alani and Rhoxolani. The higher parts between the Danube and the Hercynian Forest as far as the winter quarters of Pannonia at Carnuntum and the plains and level country of the German frontiers There are occupied by the Sarmatian Iazyges, while the Dacians whom they have driven out hold the mountains and forests as far as the river Pathissus. [81] From the river Maros, or else the Dora if it is that which separates them from the Suebi and the Kingdom of Vannius, the opposite side of the country is occupied by the Basternae and then other German tribes. Agrippa describes the whole of this area from the Danube to the sea as being 1200 miles in length by 396 in breadth, as far as the river Vistla in the direction of the Sarmatian desert. The name of Scythians has spread in every direction, as far as the Sarmatae and the Germans, but this old designation has not continued for any except the most outlying sections of these races, living almost unknown to the rest of mankind.

[82] After the Danube come the towns of Cremniscoi and Aepolium, the Macrocremni Mountains, and the famous river Tyras, which gives its name to the town on the site which previously was called Ophiusa. A large island in the Tyras, inhabited by the Tyragetae, is 130 miles from the False Mouth of the Danube. Then come the Axiacae named from the river Axiaces, and beyond them the Crobyzi, the river Rhode, the Sangarian Gulf, the port of Ordesus, and 120 miles from the Tyras the river Borysthenes and the lake and tribe of the same name, and the town 15 miles inland from the sea, the old names of which were Olbiopolis and Miletopolis. [83] Returning to the coast, we come to the Port of the Achaeans and the Isle of Achilles, famous for the tomb of that hero, and 125 miles from it a peninsula stretching out at a slant in the shape of a sword, and called the Racecourse of Achilles from having been his exercising ground; its length is given by Agrippa as 80 miles. The whole of this stretch is occupied by the Scythian Sardi and Siraci. Then there is a wooded region that has given its name to the Forest Sea that washes its coast; the inhabitants are called the tribe of the Enoecadioe. Beyond is the river Panticapes, which forms the boundary between the Nomad and Georgic tribes, and then the Acesinus. Some authorities say that below Olbia the Panticapes flows into the Borysthenes, but the more accurate make the Hypanis a tributary of the Borysthenes - so erroneous it is to put the latter in a region of Asia.

[84] Here the sea runs in, forming a large gulf, until there is only a space of five miles separating it from the Maeotis, and it forms the coastline of vast tracts of land and numerous races; this is called the Carcinitis Gulf. Here is the river Pacyris, the towns of Navarum and Carcine, and behind them Lake Buces, which discharges into the sea by an artificial channel. Lake Buces itself is shut off by a rocky ridge from the Bay of Coretus in the Maeotis. Into it run the rivers Buces, Gerrhus and Hypanis, coming from different directions: for the Gerrhus separates the Nomads and the Basilides, while the Hypanis flows through the Nomads and Hylaei and discharges by an artificially made channel into the Buces and by a natural channel into the Coretus: this region has the name of Scythia Sindica.

[85] At the river Carcinitis begins Taurica, itself also formerly surrounded by the sea where there are now low-lying stretches of land, though afterwards it rises in huge mountain ridges. The population includes 30 tribes; of these 23 live in the interior, 6 towns are occupied by the Orgocyni, Characeni, Assyrani, Stactari, Acisalitae and Caliordi, and the Scythotauri occupy the actual ridge. On the west side they are adjoined by the New Peninsula and on the east by the Satauci Scythians. The towns on the coast after Carcine are Taphrae at the actual neck of the peninsula, and then Heraclea Chersonesus, a place on which Rome has recently bestowed freedom; it was formerly called Megarice, and is the most highly cultured community in all this region owing to its having preserved the manners of Greece; it is encircled by a wall measuring five miles. [86] Then come Cape Parthenium, Placia a city of the Tauri, the port of Symbolon, Criu Metopon, jutting out into the middle of the Black Sea opposite to Cape Carambis in Asia with a space between them of 170 miles, which is chiefly the reason that produces the shape of a Scythian bow! After this come a number of harbours and lakes belonging to the Tauri. The town of Theodosia is 125 miles from Criu Metopon and 165 from Chersonesus. Beyond it there were in former times the towns of Cytae, Zephyrium, Acrae, Nymphaeum and Dia; [87] while by far the strongest of them all, the Milesian city of Panticapaeum, at the actual mouth of the Bosporus, still stands; it is 84 miles from Theodosia and 4 miles, as we have said, from the town of Cimmerium situated across the straits - this is the width that here separates Asia from Europe, and even this can usually be crossed on foot when the straits are frozen over. On the Cimmerian Bosporus, the length of which is 12 miles, are the towns of Hermisium and Myrmecium, and inside the straits is the island of Alopece. The coast of the the Maeotis, from the place called Taphrae at the end of the isthmus to the mouth of the Bosporus measures altogether 260 miles.

[88] After Taphrae, the interior of the mainland is occupied by the Auchetai and the Neuri, in whose territories respectively are the sources of the Hypanis and the Borysthenes, the Geloni, Thyssagetae, Budini, Basilidae and Agathyrsi, the last a dark-haired people; above them are the Nomads and then the Man-eaters, and after Lake Buces above the Maeotis the Sauromatae and Essedones. Along the coast, as far as the river Tanais, are the Maeotae from whom the lake receives its name, and last of all in the rear of the Maeotae are the Arimaspi. Then come the Ripaean Mountains and the region called Pterophorus, because of the feather-like snow continually falling there; it is a part of the world that lies under the condemnation of nature and is plunged in dense darkness, and occupied only by the work of frost and the chilly lurking-places of the north wind. [89] Behind these mountains and beyond the north wind there dwells (if we can believe it) a happy race of people called the Hyperboreans, who live to extreme old age and are famous for legendary marvels. Here are believed to be the hinges on which the firmament turns and the extreme limits of the revolutions of the stars, with six months' daylight and a single day of the sun in retirement, not as the ignorant have said, from the spring equinox till autumn: for these people the sun rises once in the year, at midsummer, and sets once, at midwinter. It is a genial region, with a delightful climate and exempt from every harmful blast. The homes of the natives are the woods and groves; they worship the gods severally and in congregations; all discord and all sorrow is unknown. Death comes to them only when, owing to satiety of life, after holding a banquet and anointing their old age with luxury, they leap from a certain rock into the sea: this mode of burial is the most blissful. [90] Some authorities have placed these people not in Europe but on the nearest part of the coasts of Asia, because there is a race there with similar customs and a similar location, named the Attaci; others have put them midway between the two suns, the sunsets of the antipodes and our sunrise, but this is quite impossible because of the enormous expanse of sea that comes between. Those who locate them merely in a region having six months of daylight have recorded that they sow in the morning periods, reap at midday, pluck the fruit from the trees at sunset, and retire into caves for the night. [91] Nor is it possible to doubt about this race, as so many authorities state that they regularly send the first fruits of their harvests to Delos as offerings to Apollo, whom they specially worship. These offerings used to be brought by virgins, who for many years were held in veneration and hospitably entertained by the nations on the route, until because of a violation of good faith they instituted the custom of depositing their offerings at the nearest frontiers of the neighbouring people, and these of passing them on to their neighbours, and so till they finally reached Delos. Later this practice itself also passed out of use.

The territories of Sarmatia, Scythia and Taurica, and the whole region from the river Borysthenes are stated by Marcus Agrippa to measure 980 miles in length and 716 in breadth; but for my own part I consider that in this part of the world estimates of measurement are uncertain.

But in conformity with the plan set out the remaining features of this gulf must be stated. Its seas we have specified.

{13.} L   [92] In the Hellespont there are no islands that deserve mention belonging to Europe. There are two in the Black Sea, 1½ miles from the European coast and 14 miles from the mouth of the straits, the Cyaneae, called by others the Symplegades, these being the islands about which there is the tradition that they once clashed together: the story is due to the fact that they are separated by so small a gap that by persons entering the Black Sea directly facing them they were seen as two, and then when the line of sight became slightly oblique they gave the appearance of coming together. On this side of the Danube there is one of the islands called Apollonia, 80 miles from the Thracian Bosporus; from this island Marcus Lucullus brought the statue of Apollo on the Capitolium. We have stated the places in the Delta of the Danube. [93] Off the mouth of the Borysthenes is the Island of Achilles mentioned above, which also has the Greek names of Leuke Island and Island of the Blest. Modern investigation shows the position of this island to be 140 miles from the Borysthenes, 120 from the Tyras, and 50 from the island of Peuce. It is about 10 miles in circuit. The remaining islands in the Gulf of Carcinitis are Cephalonnesus, Spodusa and Macra. Before we leave the Black Sea, we must not omit the opinion held by many persons that all the waters of the Mediterranean are derived from this source, and not from the Straits of Gades; the reason that they give for this view is not an improbable one - viz, that the tide is always flowing out of the Black Sea and never ebbing in the other direction.

[94] Next we must leave the Black Sea to describe the outer regions of Europe, and crossing the Ripaean Mountains must coast to the left along the shore of the northern ocean until we reach Cadiz. In this direction a number of islands are reported to exist that have no names, but according to the account of Timaeus there is one named Baunonia, lying off Scythia, at a distance of a day's voyage from the coast, on the beach of which in spring time amber is cast up by the waves. The rest of these coasts are only known in detail by reports of doubtful authority. To the north is the ocean; beyond the river Parapanisus where it washes the coast of Scythia Hecataeus calls it the Amalchian Sea, a name that in the language of the natives means 'frozen'; [95] Philemon says that the Cimbrian name for it is Morimarusa (that is, Dead Sea) from the Parapanisus to Cape Rusbeae, and from that point onward Cronium. Xenophon of Lampsacus reports that three days' sail from the Scythian coast there is an island of enormous size called Balcia; Pytheas gives its name as Basilia. Also some islands called the Oeonae are reported of which the inhabitants live on birds' eggs and oats, and others on which people are born with horses' feet, which gives them their Greek name Hippopodes; there are others called the Islands of the Phanesii in which the natives have very large ears covering the whole of their bodies, which are otherwise left naked.

[96] From this point more definite information begins to open up, beginning with the race of the Ingvaeones, the first that we come to in Germany. Here there is an enormous mountain, the Saevo, as big as those of the Ripaean Mountains, which forms an enormous bay reaching to the Cimbrian promontory; it is named the Gulf of Codanus, and is studded with islands. The most famous of these is Scatinavia; its size has not been ascertained, and so far as is known, only part of it is inhabited, its natives being the Hilleviones, who dwell in 500 villages, and call their island a second world. Aeningia is thought to be equally big. [97] Some authorities report that these regions as far as the river Vistla are inhabited by the Sarmati, Venedi, Sciri and Hirri, and that there is a gulf named Cylipenusm with the island of Latris at its mouth, and then another gulf, that of Lagnum, at which is the frontier of the Cimbri. The Cimbrian promontory projects a long way into the sea, forming a peninsula called Tastris. Then there are twenty-three islands known to the armed forces of Rome; the most noteworthy of these are Burcana, called by our people Bean Island from the quantity of wild beans growing there, and the island which by the soldiery is called Glaesaria from its amber, but by the barbarians Austeravia, and also Actania.

[98] The whole of the sea-coast as far as the German river Scaldis is inhabited by races the extent of whose territories it is impossible to state, so unlimited is the disagreement among the writers who report about them.

The Greek writers and some of our own have given the coast of Germany as measuring 2500 miles, while Agrippa makes the length of Germany including Raetia and Noricum 686 miles and the breadth 248 miles,   {14.} L   whereas the breadth of Raetia alone almost exceeds that figure; though to be sure it was only conquered about the time of Agrippa's death - for Germany was explored many years after, and that not fully. [99] If one may be allowed to conjecture, the coast will be found to be not much shorter than the Greek idea of it and the length given by Agrippa.

There are five German races: the Vandals, who include the Burgodiones, Varinnae, Charini and Gutones; the second race the Ingvaeones, including Cimbri, Teutoni and the tribes of the Chauci; [100] nearest to the Rhine the Istvaeones, including the Sicambri; inland the Hermiones, including the Suebi, Hermunduri, Chatti and Cherusci; and the fifth section the Peucini, and the Basternae who march with the Dacians above mentioned. Notable rivers that flow into the Ocean are the Guthalus, the Visculus or Vistla, the Albis, the Visurgis, the Amisis, the Rhine and the Mosa. In the interior stretches the Hercynian range of mountains, which is inferior to none in grandeur.

{15.} L   [101] In the Rhine itself, the most notable island is that of the Batavi and Cannenefates, which is almost a hundred miles in length, and others are those of the Frisii, Chauci, Frisiavones, Sturii and Marsacii, which lie between Helinium and Flevum. The latter give their names to the mouths into which the Rhine divides, discharging itself on the north into the lakes there and on the west into the river Mosa, while at the middle mouth between these two it keeps a small channel for its own name.

{16.} L   [102] Opposite to this region lies the island of Britain, famous in the Greek records and in our own; it lies to the north-west, facing, across a wide channel, Germany, Gaul and Spain, countries which constitute by far the greater part of Europe. It was itself named Albion, while all the islands about which we shall soon briefly speak were called the Britains. Its distance from Gesoriacum on the coast of the Morini tribe by the shortest passage is 50 miles. Its circumference is reported by Pytheas and Isidorus to measure 4875 miles; nearly thirty years ago, its exploration was carried by the armed forces of Rome to a point not beyond the neighbourhood of the Caledonian Forest. Agrippa believes the length of the island to be 800 miles and its breadth 300, and the breadth of Hibernia the same but its length 200 miles less. [103] Hibernia lies beyond Britain, the shortest crossing being from the district of the Silures, a distance of 30 miles. Of the remaining islands it is said that none has a circumference of more than 125 miles. There are the 40 Orcades separated by narrow channels from each other, the 7 Haemodae, the 30 Hebudes, and between Hibernia and Britain the Islands of Mona, Monapia, Riginia, Vectis, Silumnus and Andros; south of Britain are Sian and Axanthos, and opposite, scattered about in the direction of the German Sea, are the Glaesiae which the Greeks in more modern times have called the Electrides, from the Greek word for amber, which is produced there. [104] The most remote of all those recorded is Tyle, in which as we have pointed out there are no nights at midsummer when the sun is passing through the sign of Cancer, and on the other hand no days at midwinter; indeed some writers think this is the case for periods of six months at a time without a break. The historian Timaeus says there is an island named Mictis lying inward six days' sail from Britain where tin is found, and to which the Britons cross in boats of osier covered with stitched hides. Some writers speak of other islands as well, Scandia, Dumna, Bergos, and Nerigos the largest of all, from which the crossing to Tyle starts. One day's sail from Tyle is the frozen ocean, called by some the Cronian Sea.

{17.} L   [105] The whole of Gaul included under the general name of Comata divides into three races of people, which are chiefly separated by the rivers: from the Scaldis to the Sequana is Belgic Gaul, from the Sequana to the Garunna Celtic Gaul, also called Lugdunensis, and from the Garunna to the projection of the Pyrenees Aquitanian Gaul, previously called Armorica. Agrippa reckoned the entire length of the coast at 1750 miles, and the dimensions of the Gauls between the Rhine and the Pyrenees and the ocean and the mountains of Cebenna and Jura, which exclude the Narbonensis division of Gaul, as length 420 miles, breadth 318 miles.

[106] The part beginning at the Scaldis is inhabited by the Texuandri, who have several names, and then the Menapii, the Morini, adjacent to Marsaci on the coast with the town called Gesoriacus, the Britanni, the Ambiani, the Bellovaci and the Bassi; and more in the interior the Catoslugi, Atrebates, Nervii (a free people), Veromandui, Suaeuconi, Suessiones (free), Ulmancctes (free), Tungri, Sunici, Frisiavones, Baetasii, Leuci (free), Treveri (formerly free), Lingones (federated), Remi (federated), Mediomatrici, Sequani, Raurici, Helvetii; and the colonies Equestris and Raurica. The races of Germany living on the banks of the Rhine in the same province are the Nemetes, Triboci and Vangiones, and among the Ubii the colony Agrippinensis, the Guberni, the Batavi and the people whom we have already mentioned as dwelling on the islands of the Rhine.

{18.} L   [107] To Gallia Lugdunensis belong the Lexovii, Veliocasses, Caleti, Veneti, Abrincatui, Ossismi, the famous river Liger, and also the still more remarkable peninsula that runs out into the ocean from the boundary of the Ossismi and measures 625 miles round and 125 miles across at its neck. Beyond that neck are the Namnetes, and in the interior the Aedui (federated), Carnuteni (federated), Boii, Senones, Aulerci ( both those named Eburovices and those named Cenomani ), Meldi (free), Parisii, Tricasses, Andicavi, Viducasses, Bodiocasses, Venelli, Coriosvelites, Diablinti, Rhedones, Turones, Atesui, and Segusiavi (free), in whose territory is the colony of Lugdunum.

{19.} L   [108] To Aquitania belong the Ambilatri, Anagnutes, Pictones, Santoni (free), Bituriges, also named Vivisci (free), Aquitani (who give their name to the province), Sediboviates; then the Convenae together forming one town, the Begerri, the Tarbelli Quattuorsignani, Cocosates Sexsignani, Venami, Onobrisates, Belendi; the Pyrenean pass; and below the Monesi, Mountain Oscidates, Sybillates, Camponi, Bercorcates, Pinpedunni, Lassunni, Vellates, Toruates, Consoranni, Ausei, Elusates, Sottiates, Oscidates of the Plain, Succasses, Latusates, Basaboiates, Vassei, Sennates and the Cambolectri Agessinates. [109] Joining on to the Pictones are the Bituriges called Cubi (free), then the Lemovices, Arverni (free), Gabales, and again, marching with the province of Gallia Narbonensis, the Ruteni, Cadurci, Nitiobroges, and separated by the river Tarnis from the people of Tolosa, the Petrocorii.

The seas round the coast are: as far as the Rhine the Northern ocean, between the Rhine and the Sequana the British Sea, and between the Sequana and the Pyrenees the Gallic Sea. There are a number of islands of the Veneti, both those called the Veneticae and Uliaros in the Gulf of Aquitania.

{20.} L   [110] At the promontory of the Pyrenees begins Spain, which is narrower not only than Gaul but even than itself, as we have said, seeing how enormously it is pressed together on one side by the ocean and on the other by the Iberian Sea. The actual chain of the Pyrenees, spreading from due east to southwest, makes the Spanish provinces shorter on the northern side than on the southern. On the nearest coast is situated Hither Spain or Tarraconensis; along the sea-coast from the Pyrenees are the forest of the Vascones, Olarso, the towns of the Varduli, Morogi, Menosca, Vesperies and the port of Amanum, the present site of the colony of Flaviobrica; [111] then the district of the nine states of the Cantabri, the river Sauga, the port of Victory of the Juliobrigenses (from this place the sources of the Ebro are 40 miles distant), the port of Blendium, the Orgenomesci ( a branch of the Cantabrians ), their port Veseiasueca, the district of the Astures, the town of Noega, the Pesici on a peninsula; and then, belonging to the jurisdiction of Lucus, starting from the river Navia, the Albiones, the Cibarci, the Egi, the Varri surnamed Namarini, Adovi, Arroni, Arrotrebae; the Celtic Promontory, the rivers Florius and Nelo, the Celts surnamed Neri, and above them the Tamarci, on whose peninsula are the three Altars of Sestius dedicated to Augustus, the Copori, the town of Noeta, the Celts surnamed Praestamarci, the Cileni. Of the islands must be specified Corticata and Aunios. [112] After the Cileni, in the jurisdiction of Bracae are the Helleni, the Grovi and the castle of Tyde, all people of Greek stock; the Siccae Islands, the town of Abobrica, the river Minius four miles wide at its mouth, the Leuni, the Surbi, Augusta, the town of the Bracae, above whom is Gallaecia; the Limia stream and the river Durius, one of the largest in Spain, which rises in the district of the Pelendones and passing by Numantia then flows through the Arevaci and Vaccaei, separating the Vettones from Asturia and the Gallaeci from Lusitania, and at this point also separating the Turduli from the Bracari. The whole of the district mentioned, from the Pyrenees onward, is full of mines of gold, silver, iron, lead and tin.

{21.} L   [113] From the Durius begins Lusitania: the old Turduli, the Paesuri, the river Vagia, the town of Talabrica, the town and river Aeminium, the towns of Conimbriga, Collippo and Eburobrittium. Then there runs out into the sea a promontory shaped like a vast horn, called by some people Artabrum, by others the Great Cape, and by many Cape Olisipo after the town; this headland sharply divides the land and sea and climate. This cape ends the side of Spain, and after rounding it the front of Spain begins.

{22.} L   [114] On one side of it is the north and the Gallic Ocean, and on the other the west and the Atlantic. The distance to which this promontory projects has been given as 60 miles, and by others as 90 miles; the distance from here to the Pyrenees many give as 1250 miles, and place here a race of Artabres, which never existed, the error being obvious; they have put here, with an alteration in the spelling of the name, the Arrotrebae, whom we spoke of before we came to the Celtic Promontory.

[115] Mistakes have also been made in regard to the important rivers. From the Minius, which we spoke of above, the distance to the Aeminius according to Varro is 200 miles, though others place the latter elsewhere and call it the Limaea; in early times it was called the River of Lethe, and a great many stories were told about it. Two hundred miles from the Durius is the Tagus, the Munda coming between them; the Tagus is famous for its auriferous sands. At a distance of nearly 160 miles from the Tagus is the Sacred Cape, projecting from nearly the middle of the front of Spain. The distance from the Sacred Cape to the middle of the Pyrenees is stated by Varro to amount to 1400 miles; from the Sacred Cape to the Anas, which we indicated as the boundary between Lusitania and Baetica, he puts at 126 miles, the distance from the Anas to Gades adding another 102 miles.

[116] The peoples are the Celtici, the Turduli, and on the Tagus the Vettones; and between the Anas and the Sacred Cape the Lusitanians. The notable towns on the coast, beginning at the Tagus, are: Olisipo, famous for its mares which conceive from the west wind; Salacia, called the Imperial City; Merobrica; the Sacred Cape, and the other promontory called Cuneus; and the towns of , Balsa and Myrtilis.

[117] The whole province is divided into three associations, centred at Emerita, Pax and Scalabis. It consists of 45 peoples in all, among whom there are five colonies, one municipality of Roman citizens, three with the old Latin rights and 36 that pay tribute. The colonies are Emerita on the river Anas, Metellinum, Pax, and Norba Caesarina (to this Trucillo and Castra Caecilia are assigned); and the fifth is that of Scalabis, which is called Praesidium Julium. The municipality of Roman citizens is Olisipo, surnamed Felicitas Julia. The towns with the old Latin rights are Ebora, which is also called Liberalitas Julia, and Myrtilis and Salacia which we have mentioned. [118] Of the tributary towns that deserve mention, besides those already specified in the list of names of those belonging to Baetica, are Augustobriga, Aeminium, Arandita, Axabrica, Balsa, Caesarobrica, Capera, Coria, Colarna, Cibilita, Concordia, Elbocorium, Interamnium, Lancia, Merobriga surnamed Celtic, Medubriga surnamed Plumbaria, Ocelum, the Turduli also called Bardili, and the Tapori.

The dimensions of Lusitania combined with Astiria and Gallaecia are given by Agrippa as: length 540 miles, breadth 536 miles. The provinces of Spain taken all together, measured from the two promontories of the Pyrenees along the sea line, are estimated to cover by the circumference of the whole coast 2924 miles, or by others 2600 miles.

[119] Opposite to Celtiberia are a number of islands called by the Greeks the Cassiterides {"Tin Islands"} in consequence of their abundance of that metal; and facing the promuntory of the Arrotrebae are the six Islands of the Gods, which some people have designated the Fortunate Isles. But immediately at the beginning of Baetica comes Gades, 25 miles from the mouth of the Strait, an island according to the account of Polybius measuring 12 miles in length and 3 miles in breadth. Its distance from the mainland at the nearest point is less than 233 yards, but at other places it is more than 7 miles; the circuit of the island is 15 miles. It has a town whose population have the Roman citizenship and are called Augustans, the title of their city being Julia Gaditana. [120] On the side facing Spain at a distance of about 100 yards is another island one mile long and one mile broad, on which the town of Gades was previously situated; Ephorus and Philistus call this island Erythea, and Timaeus and Silenus call it Aphrodisias, but its native name is the Isle of Juno. The larger island according to Timaeus is known as Potimusa from its wells, but our people call it Tartesos and the Carthaginians call it Gadir, which is the Punic name for a fence; it was called Erythea, because the original ancestors of the Carthaginians, the Tyrians, were said to have come from the Red Sea. This island is believed by some people to have been the home of the Geryones whose cattle were carried off by Hercules; but others hold that that was another island, lying off Lusitania, and that an island there was once called by the same name.

{23.} L   [121] Having completed the circuit of Europe we must now give its complete dimensions, in order that those who desire this information may not be left at a loss. Its length from the Tanais to Gades is given by Artemidorus and Isidorus as 7714 miles. Polybius stated the breadth of Europe from Italy to the ocean as 1150 miles, but its exact magnitude had not been ascertained even in his day. [122] The length of Italy itself up to the Alps is 1020 miles, as we stated; and from the Alps through Lugdunum to the harbour of the Morini, the port on the British channel, the line of measurement that Polybius appears to take, is 1169 miles, but a better ascertained measurement and a longer one is that starting also from the Alps but going north-west through the Camp of the Legions in Germany to the mouth of the Rhine 1243 miles.

Next after this we shall speak of Africa and Asia.

Book 5

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