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Title: The Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6)
       by Pliny, the Elder

Author: Pliny the Elder

Translator: John Bostock
            Henry T. Riley

Release Date: July 12, 2018 [EBook #57493]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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H. T. RILEY, Esq., B.A.,





The only translation of Pliny’s Natural History which has hitherto appeared in the English language is that by Philemon Holland, published in the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth. It is no disparagement to Holland’s merits, as a diligent and generally faithful translator, to say that his work is unsuited to the requirements of the nineteenth century.

In the present translation, the principal editions of Pliny have been carefully consulted, and no pains have been spared, as a reference to the Notes will show, to present to the reader the labours of recent Commentators, among whom stands pre-eminent the celebrated Cuvier. It has been a primary object to bring to the illustration of the work whatever was afforded by the progress of knowledge and modern discoveries in science and art. Without ample illustration, Pliny’s valuable work would want much of the interest which belongs to it, and present difficulties scarcely surmountable by any one who has not made the Author his especial study.

In the first two Books, the text of Hardouin, as given in Lemaire’s edition (Paris, 1827), has been followed; in thevi remainder that of Sillig (Gotha, 1851-3), excepting in some few instances, where, for reasons given in the Notes, it has been deemed advisable to depart from it. The first two Books, and portions of others, are the performance of the late Dr. Bostock, who contemplated a translation of the entire work; but, unfortunately for the interests of science, he was not permitted to carry his design into execution.

Upwards of a hundred pages had been printed off before the present Translator entered on his duties; and as they had not the advantage of Dr. Bostock’s superintendence through the press, some trifling oversights have occurred. These are, for the most part, corrected in a short Appendix.



Caius Plinius Secundus was born either at Verona or Novum Comum1, now Como, in Cisalpine Gaul, in the year A.U.C. 776, and A.D. 23. It is supposed that his earlier years were spent in his native province; and that he was still a youth when he removed to Rome, and attended the lectures of the grammarian Apion. It was in about his sixteenth year that he there saw Lollia Paulina2, as in the following she was divorced by Caligula, and it was probably in his twentieth that he witnessed the capture of a large fish at Ostia, by Claudius and his attendants3, and in his twenty-second that he visited Africa4, Egypt, and Greece.

In his twenty-third year Pliny served in Germany under the legatus Pomponius Secundus, whose friendship he soon acquired, and was in consequence promoted to the command of an ala, or troop of cavalry. During his military career he wrote a treatise (now lost) “On the Use of the Javelin by Cavalry,” and travelled over that country5 as far as the shores of the German Ocean, besides visiting Belgic Gaul. In his twenty-ninth year he returned to Rome, and applied himself for a time to forensic pursuits, which however he appears soon to have abandoned. About this time he wrote the life of his friend Pomponius, and an account of the “Wars in Germany,” in twenty books, neither of which are extant. Though employed in writing aviii continuation of the “Roman History” of Aufidius Bassus, from the time of Tiberius, he judiciously suspended its publication during the reign of Nero, who appointed him his procurator in Nearer Spain, and not improbably honoured him with equestrian rank. It was during his sojourn in Spain that the death of his brother-in-law, C. Cæcilius, left his nephew C. Plinius Cæcilius Secundus (the author of the Letters) an orphan; whom immediately upon his return to Rome, A.D. 70, he adopted, receiving him and his widowed mother under his roof.

Having been previously known to Vespasian in the German wars, he was admitted into the number of his most intimate friends, and obtained an appointment at court, the nature of which is not known, but Rezzonico conjectures that it was in connexion with the imperial treasury. Though Pliny was on intimate terms also with Titus, to whom he dedicated his Natural History, there is little ground for the assertion, sometimes made, that he served under him in the Jewish wars. His account of Palestine clearly shows that he had never visited that country. It was at this period that he published his Continuation of the History of Aufidius Bassus.

From the titles which he gives to Titus in the dedicatory preface, it is pretty clear that his Natural History was published A.D. 77, two years before his death.

In A.D. 73 or 74, he had been appointed by Vespasian præfect of the Roman fleet at Misenum, on the western coast of Italy. It was to this elevation that he owed his romantic death, somewhat similar, it has been remarked, to that of Empedocles, who perished in the crater of Mount Ætna. The closing scene of his active life, simultaneously with the destruction of Herculaneum and Pompeii, cannot be better described than in the language employed by his nephew in an Epistle to his friend Tacitus the historian6:—“My uncle was at Misenum, where he was in personal command of the fleet. On the ninth7 day before the calends of September, at about the seventh hour, 1 P.M., my mother, observing the appearance of a cloud of unusual size and shape, mentioned it to him. After reclining in the sun he had taken his cold bath; he had then again lain down and, after a slight repast, applied himself to his studies. Immediately upon hearingix this, he called for his shoes, and ascended a spot from which he could more easily observe this remarkable phænomenon. The cloud was to be seen gradually rising upwards; though, from the great distance, it was uncertain from which of the mountains it arose; it was afterwards, however, ascertained to be Vesuvius. In appearance and shape it strongly resembled a tree; perhaps it was more like a pine than anything else, with a stem of enormous length reaching upwards to the heavens, and then spreading out in a number of branches in every direction. I have little doubt that either it had been carried upwards by a violent gust of wind, and that the wind dying away, it had lost its compactness, or else, that being overcome by its own weight, it had decreased in density and become extended over a large surface: at one moment it was white, at another dingy and spotted, just as it was more or less charged with earth or with ashes.

“To a man so eager as he was in the pursuit of knowledge, this appeared to be a most singular phænomenon, and one that deserved to be viewed more closely; accordingly he gave orders for a light Liburnian vessel to be got ready, and left it at my option to accompany him. To this however I made answer, that I should prefer continuing my studies; and as it so happened, he himself had just given me something to write. Taking his tablets with him, he left the house. The sailors stationed at Retina, alarmed at the imminence of the danger—for the village lay at the foot of the mountain, and the sole escape was by sea—sent to entreat his assistance in rescuing them from this frightful peril. Upon this he instantly changed his plans, and what he had already begun from a desire for knowledge, he determined to carry out as a matter of duty. He had the gallies put to sea at once, and went on board himself, with the intention of rendering assistance, not only to Retina, but to many other places as well; for the whole of this charming coast was thickly populated. Accordingly he made all possible haste towards the spot, from which others were flying, and steered straight onwards into the very midst of the danger: so far indeed was he from every sensation of fear, that he remarked and had noted down every movement and every change that was to be observed in the appearance of this ominous eruption.x The ashes were now falling fast upon the vessels, hotter and more and more thickly the nearer they approached the shore; showers of pumice too, intermingled with black stones, calcined and broken by the action of the flames: the sea suddenly retreated from the shore, where the debris of the mountain rendered landing quite impossible. After hesitating for a moment whether or not to turn back, upon the pilot strongly advising him to do so:—“Fortune favours the bold8,” said he, “conduct me to Pomponianus.” Pomponianus was then at Stabiæ, a place that lay on the other side of the bay, for in those parts the shores are winding, and as they gradually trend away, the sea forms a number of little creeks. At this spot the danger at present was not imminent, but still it could be seen, and as it appeared to be approaching nearer and nearer, Pomponianus had ordered his baggage on board the ships, determined to take to flight, if the wind, which happened to be blowing the other way, should chance to lull. The wind, being in this quarter, was extremely favourable to his passage, and my uncle soon arriving at Stabiæ, embraced his anxious friend, and did his best to restore his courage; and the better to re-assure him by evidence of his own sense of their safety, he requested the servants to conduct him to the bath. After bathing he took his place at table, and dined, and that too in high spirits, or at all events, what equally shows his strength of mind, with every outward appearance of being so. In the mean time vast sheets of flame and large bodies of fire were to be seen arising from Mount Vesuvius; the glare and brilliancy of which were beheld in bolder relief as the shades of night came on apace. My uncle however, in order to calm their fears, persisted in saying that this was only the light given by some villages which had been abandoned by the rustics in their alarm to the flames: after which he retired to rest, and soon fell fast asleep: for his respiration, which with him was heavy and loud, in consequence of his corpulence, was distinctly heard by the servants who were keeping watch at the door of the apartment. The courtyard which led to his apartment had now become filled with cinders and pumice-stones, to such a degree, that if he had remained any longer in the room, it would have been quite impossible for him toxi leave it. On being awoke he immediately arose, and rejoined Pomponianus and the others who had in the meanwhile been sitting up. They then consulted together whether it would be better to remain in the house or take their chance in the open air; as the building was now rocking to and fro from the violent and repeated shocks, while the walls, as though rooted up from their very foundations, seemed to be at one moment carried in this direction, at another in that. Having adopted the latter alternative, they were now alarmed at the showers of light calcined pumice-stones that were falling thick about them, a risk however to which as a choice of evils they had to submit. In taking this step I must remark that, while with my uncle it was reason triumphing over reason, with the rest it was only one fear getting the better of the other. Taking the precaution of placing pillows on their heads, they tied them on with towels, by way of protection against the falling stones and ashes. It was now day in other places, though there it was still night, more dark and more profound than any ordinary night; torches however and various lights in some measure served to dispel the gloom. It was then determined to make for the shore, and to ascertain whether the sea would now admit of their embarking; it was found however to be still too stormy and too boisterous to allow of their making the attempt. Upon this my uncle lay down on a sail which had been spread for him, and more than once asked for some cold water, which he drank; very soon however, they were alarmed by the flames and the sulphurous smell which announced their approach, upon which the others at once took to flight, while my uncle arose leaning upon two of the servants for support. Upon making this effort, he instantly fell to the ground; the dense vapour having, I imagine, stopped the respiration and suffocated him; for his chest was naturally weak and contracted, and often troubled with violent palpitations. When day was at last restored, the third after the closing one of his existence, his body was found untouched and without a wound; there was no change to be perceived in the clothes, and its appearance was rather that of a person asleep than of a corpse. In the meantime my mother and myself were at Misenum—that however has nothing to do with the story, as it was only your wish to know thexii details connected with his death. I shall therefore draw to a conclusion. The only thing that I shall add is the assurance that I have truthfully related all these facts, of which I was either an eye-witness myself, or heard them at the time of their occurrence, a period when they were most likely to be correctly related. You of course will select such points as you may think the most important. For it is one thing to write a letter, another to write history;—one thing to write for a friend, another to write for the public. Farewell.”

Of the mode of life pursued by Pliny, and of the rest of his works, an equally interesting account has been preserved by his nephew, in an Epistle addressed to Macer9. We cannot more appropriately conclude than by presenting this Epistle to the reader:—“I am highly gratified to find that you read the works of my uncle with such a degree of attention as to feel a desire to possess them all, and that with this view you inquire, What are their names? I will perform the duties of an index then: and not content with that, will state in what order they were written: for even that is a kind of information which is by no means undesirable to those who are devoted to literary pursuits. His first composition was a treatise ‘on the use of the Javelin by Cavalry,’ in one Book. This he composed, with equal diligence and ingenuity, while he was in command of a troop of horse. His second work was the ‘Life of Q. Pomponius Secundus,’ in two Books, a person by whom he had been particularly beloved.—These books he composed as a tribute which was justly due to the memory of his deceased friend. His next work was twenty Books on ‘the Wars in Germany,’ in which he has compiled an account of all the wars in which we have been engaged with the people of that country. This he had begun while serving in Germany, having been recommended to do so in a dream. For in his sleep he thought that the figure of Drusus Nero10 stood by him—the same Drusus, who after the most extensive conquests in that country, there met hisxiii death. Commending his memory to Pliny’s attentive care, Drusus conjured him to rescue it from the decaying effect of oblivion. Next to these came his three books entitled ‘The Student’11, divided, on account of their great size, into six volumes. In these he has given instructions for the training of the orator, from the cradle to his entrance on public life. In the latter years of Nero’s reign, he wrote eight books, ‘On Difficulties in the Latin Language12;’ that being a period at which every kind of study, in any way free-spoken or even of elevated style, would have been rendered dangerous by the tyranny that was exercised. His next work was his ‘Continuation of the History of Aufidius Bassus,’ in thirty-one books; after which came his ‘Natural History,’ in thirty-seven books, a work remarkable for its comprehensiveness and erudition, and not less varied than Nature herself. You will wonder how a man so occupied with business could possibly find time to write such a number of volumes, many of them on subjects of a nature so difficult to be treated of. You will be even more astonished when you learn, that for some time he pleaded at the bar as an advocate, that he was only in his fifty-sixth year at the time of his death, and that the time that intervened was equally trenched upon and frittered away by the most weighty duties of business, and the marks of favour shewn him by princes. His genius, however, was truly quite incredible, his zeal indefatigable, and his power of application wonderful in the extreme. At the festival of the Vulcanalia13, he began to sit up to a late hour by candle-light, not for the purpose of consulting14 the stars, but with the object of pursuing his studies; while, in the winter, he would set to work at the seventh hour of the night, or the eighth at the very latest, often indeed at the sixth15. By nature he had the faculty of being able to fall asleep in a moment; indeed, slumber would sometimes overtake him in his studies, and then leave him just as suddenly. Before daybreak, he was in the habit of attending the Emperor Vespasian,—for he, too, was one who made an excellent use of his nights,—and then betook himselfxiv to the duties with which he was charged. On his return home, he devoted all the time which was still remaining to study. Taking an early repast, after the old fashion, light, and easy of digestion, in the summer time, if he had any leisure to spare, he would lie down in the sun-shine, while some book was read to him, he himself making notes and extracts in the meanwhile; for it was his habit never to read anything without making extracts, it being a maxim of his, that there is no book so bad but that some good may be got out of it. After thus enjoying the sunshine, he generally took a cold bath; after which he would sit down to a slight repast, and then take a short nap. On awaking, as though another day had now commenced, he would study till the hour for the evening meal, during which some book was generally read to him, he making comments on it in a cursory manner. I remember, on one occasion, a friend of his interrupting the reader, who had given the wrong pronunciation to some words, and making him go over them again. “You understood him, didn’t you?” said my uncle. “Yes,” said the other. “Why, then, did you make him go over it again? Through this interruption of yours, we have lost more than ten lines.” So thrifty a manager was he of time! In summer he rose from the evening meal by daylight; and, in winter, during the first hour of the night16, just as though there had been some law which made it compulsory on him to do so. This is how he lived in the midst of his employments, and the bustle of the city. When in retirement in the country, the time spent in the bath was the only portion that was not allotted by him to study. When I say in the bath, I mean while he was in the water; for while his body was being scraped with the strigil and rubbed, he either had some book read to him, or else would dictate himself. While upon a journey, as though relieved from every other care, he devoted himself to study, and nothing else. By his side was his secretary, with a book and tablets; and, in the winter time, the secretary’s hands were protected by gloves, that the severity of the weather might not deprive his master for a single moment of his services. It was for this reason also that, when at Rome, he would never move about except in a litter. I remember that onxv one occasion he found fault with me for walking—“You might have avoided losing all those hours,” said he; for he looked upon every moment as lost which was not devoted to study. It was by means of such unremitting industry as this that he completed so many works, and left me 160 volumes of notes17, written extremely small on both sides, which in fact renders the collection doubly voluminous. He himself used to relate, that when he was procurator in Spain, he might have parted with his common-place book to Largius Licinius for 400,000 sesterces; and at that time the collection was not so extensive as afterwards. When you come to think of how much he must have read, of how much he has written, would you not really suppose that he had never been engaged in business, and had never enjoyed the favour of princes? And yet, on the other hand, when you hear what labour he expended upon his studies, does it not almost seem that he has neither written nor read enough? For, in fact, what pursuits are those that would not have been interrupted by occupations such as his? While, again, what is there that such unremitting perseverance as his could not have effected? I am in the habit, therefore, of laughing at it when people call me a studious man,—me who, in comparison with him, am a downright idler; and yet I devote to study as much time as my public engagements on the one hand, and my duties to my friends on the other, will admit of. Who is there, then, out of all those who have devoted their whole life to literature, that ought not, when put in comparison with him, to quite blush at a life that would almost appear to have been devoted to slothfulness and inactivity? But my letter has already exceeded its proper limits, for I had originally intended to write only upon the subject as to which you made inquiry, the books of his composition that he left. I trust, however, that these particulars will prove no less pleasing to you than the writings themselves; and that they will not only induce you to peruse them, but excite you, by a feeling of generous emulation, to produce some work of a similar nature.—Farewell.”

Of all the works written by Pliny, one only, the ‘Historia Naturalis’ has survived to our times. This work, however, xvi is not a ‘Natural History’ in the modern acceptation of the term, but rather a vast Encyclopædia of ancient knowledge and belief upon almost every known subject—“not less varied than Nature herself,” as his nephew says. It comprises, within the compass of thirty-seven books, 20,000 matters of importance, collected from about 2000 volumes (nearly all of which have now perished), the works, as Pliny himself states, of 100 writers of authority; together with a vast number of additional matters unknown to those authorities, and many of them the results of his own experience and observation. Hardouin has drawn up a catalogue of the authors quoted by Pliny; they amount in number to between 400 and 500.

The following is a brief sketch of the plan of this wonderful monument of human industry. After a dedicatory Epistle to Titus, followed by a table of contents of the other Books, which together form the First Book, the author proceeds to give an account of the prevailing notions as to the universe, the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the more remarkable properties of the elements (partes naturæ). He then passes on to a geographical description of the face of the earth as known to the ancients. After the Geography comes what may in strict propriety be termed “Natural History,” including a history of man, replete indeed with marvels, but interesting in the highest degree. Having mentioned at considerable length the land, animals, fishes, birds, and insects, he passes on to Botany, which in its various aspects occupies the larger portion of the work. At the same time, in accordance with his comprehensive plan, this part includes a vast amount of information on numerous subjects, the culture of the cereals and the manufacture of oil, wine, paper (papyrus), and numerous other articles of daily use. After treating at considerable length of Medical Botany, he proceeds to speak of medicaments derived from the human body, from which he branches off into discussions on the history of medicine, and magic, which last he looks upon as an offshoot from the medical art; and he takes this opportunity of touching upon many of the then current superstitions and notions on astrology. He concludes this portion of his work with an account of the medicinal properties of various waters, and of those of fishes and other aquatic animals.xvii He then presents us with a treatise on Mineralogy, in which he has accumulated every possible kind of information relative to the use of gold, silver, bronze, and other metals; a subject which not unnaturally leads him into repeated digressions relative to money, jewels, plate, statues, and statuaries. Mineral pigments next occupy his attention, with many interesting notices of the great painters of Greece; from which he passes on to the various kinds of stone and materials employed in building, and the use of marble for the purposes of sculpture, including a notice of that art and of the most eminent sculptors. The last Book is devoted to an account of gems and precious stones, and concludes with an eulogium on his native country, as alike distinguished for its fertility, its picturesque beauties, and the natural endowments and high destinies of its people.

From the writings of Pliny we gather of course a large amount of information as to his opinions and the constitution of his mind. His credulity, it must be admitted, is great in the extreme; though, singularly enough, he severely taxes the Greeks with the same failing18. Were we not assured from other sources that he was eminently successful in life, was in the enjoyment of opulence, and honoured with the favour and confidence of princes19, the remarks which he frequently makes on human life, in the Seventh Book more especially, would have led us to the conclusion that he was a disappointed man, embittered against his fellow-creatures, and dissatisfied with the terms on which the tenure of life is granted to us. He opens that Book with a preface replete with querulous dissatisfaction and repinings at the lot of man—the only ‘tearful’ animal—he says20. He repines at the helpless and wretched condition of the infant at the moment it is ushered into life, and the numerous pains andxviii vices to which it is doomed to be subject.—Man’s liability to disease is with him a blemish in the economy of nature:—“life,” he says, “this gift of nature, however long it may be, is but too uncertain and too frail; to those even to whom it is most largely granted, it is dealt out with a sparing and niggardly hand, if we only think of eternity21.” As we cannot have life on our own terms, he does not think it worthy of our acceptance, and more than once expresses his opinion that the sooner we are rid of it the better. Sudden death he looks upon as a remarkable phænomenon, but, at the same time, as the greatest blessing that can be granted to us22: and when he mentions cases of resuscitation, it is only to indulge in the querulous complaint, that, “exposed as he is by his birth to the caprices of fortune, man can be certain of nothing; no, not even his own death23.” Though anything but24 an Epicurean, in the modern acceptation of the word, he seems to have held some, at least, of the tenets of Epicurus, in reference to the immortality of the soul. Whether he supposed that the soul, at the moment of death, is resolved into its previous atoms or constituent elements, he does not inform us; but he states it as his belief, that after death the soul has no more existence than it had before birth; that all notions of immortality are a mere delusion25; and that the very idea of a future existence is ridiculous, and spoils that greatest26 blessing of nature—death. He certainly speaks of ghosts or apparitions, seen after death; but these he probably looked upon as exceptional cases, if indeed he believed27 in the stories which he quotes, of which we have no proofs, or rather, indeed, presumptive proofs to the contrary; for some of them he calls “magna28 fabulosetas,” “most fabulous tales.”

In relation to human inventions, it is worthy of remark, xix that he states that the first29 thing in which mankind agreed, was the use of the Ionian alphabet; the second, the practice of shaving30 the beard, and the employment of barbers; and the third, the division of time into hours.

We cannot more appropriately conclude this review of the Life and Works of Pliny, than by quoting the opinions of two of the most eminent philosophers of modern times, Buffon and Cuvier; though the former, it must be admitted, has spoken of him in somewhat too high terms of commendation, and in instituting a comparison between Pliny’s work and those of Aristotle, has placed in juxtaposition the names of two men who, beyond an ardent thirst for knowledge, had no characteristics in common.

“Pliny,” says Buffon31, “has worked upon a plan which is much more extensive than that of Aristotle, and not improbably too extensive. He has made it his object to embrace every subject; indeed he would appear to have taken the measure of Nature, and to have found her too contracted for his expansive genius. His ‘Natural History,’ independently of that of animals, plants, and minerals, includes an account of the heavens and the earth, of medicine, commerce, navigation, the liberal and mechanical arts, the origin of usages and customs, in a word, the history of all the natural sciences and all the arts of human invention. What, too, is still more astonishing, in each of these departments Pliny shows himself equally great. The grandeur of his ideas and the dignity of his style confer an additional lustre on the profoundness of his erudition; not only did he know all that was known in his time, but he was also gifted with that comprehensiveness of view which in some measure multiplies knowledge. He had all that delicacy of perception upon which depend so materially both elegance and taste, and he communicates to his readers that freedom of thought and that boldness of sentiment, which constitute the true germ of philosophy. His work, as varied as Nature herself, always paints her in her most attractive colours. It is, so to say, a compilation from all that had been written before hisxx time: a record of all that was excellent or useful; but this record has in it features so grand, this compilation contains matter grouped in a manner so novel, that it is preferable to most of the original works that treat upon similar subjects.”

The judgment pronounced by Cuvier on Pliny’s work, though somewhat less highly coloured, awards to it a high rank among the most valuable productions of antiquity. “The work of Pliny32,” says he, “is one of the most precious monuments that have come down to us from ancient times, and affords proof of an astonishing amount of erudition in one who was a warrior and a statesman. To appreciate with justice this vast and celebrated composition, it is necessary to regard it in several points of view—with reference to the plan proposed, the facts stated, and the style employed. The plan proposed by the writer is of immense extent—it is his object to write not merely a Natural History in our restricted sense of the term, not an account merely, more or less detailed, of animals, plants, and minerals, but a work which embraces astronomy, physics, geography, agriculture, commerce, medicine, and the fine arts—and all these in addition to natural history properly so called; while at the same time he continually interweaves with his narrative information upon the arts which bear relation to man considered metaphysically, and the history of nations,—so much so indeed, that in many respects this work was the Encyclopædia of its age. It was impossible in running over, however cursorily, such a prodigious number of subjects, that the writer should not have made us acquainted with a multitude of facts, which, while remarkable in themselves, are the more precious from the circumstance that at the present day he is the only author extant who relates them. It is to be regretted however that the manner in which he has collected and grouped this mass of matter, has caused it to lose some portion of its value, from his mixture of fable with truth, and more especially from the difficulty, and in some cases, the impossibility, of discovering exactly of what object33 he is speaking. But if Pliny possesses little merit as a critic, it is far otherwisexxi with his talent as a writer, and the immense treasury which he opens to us of Latin terms and forms of expression: these, from the very abundance of the subjects upon which he treats, render his work one of the richest repositories of the Roman language. Wherever he finds it possible to give expression to general ideas or to philosophical views, his language assumes considerable energy and vivacity, and his thoughts present to us a certain novelty and boldness which tend in a very great degree to relieve the dryness of his enumerations, and, with the majority of his readers, excuse the insufficiency of his scientific indications. He is always noble and serious, full of the love of justice and virtue, detestation of cruelty and baseness, of which he had such frightful instances before his eyes, and contempt for that unbridled luxury which in his time had so deeply corrupted the Roman people. For these great merits Pliny cannot be too highly praised, and despite the faults which we are obliged to admit in him when viewed as a naturalist, we are bound to regard him as one of the most meritorious of the Roman writers, and among those most worthy to be reckoned in the number of the classics who wrote after the reign of Augustus.”




C. Plinius Secundus to his friend Titus Vespasian




Whether the world be finite, and whether there be more than one world


Of the form of the world


Of its nature; whence the name is derived


Of the elements and the planets


Of God


Of the nature of the stars; of the motion of the planets


Of the eclipses of the moon and the sun


Of the magnitude of the stars


An account of the observations that have been made on the heavens by different individuals


On the recurrence of the eclipses of the sun and the moon


Of the motion of the moon


Of the motions of the planets and the general laws of their aspects


Why the same stars appear at some times more lofty and at other times more near


Why the same stars have different motions


General laws of the planets


The reason why the stars are of different colours


Of the motion of the sun and the cause of the irregularity of the days


Why thunder is ascribed to Jupiter


Of the distances of the stars


Of the harmony of the stars


Of the dimensions of the world


Of the stars which appear suddenly, or of comets


Their nature, situation, and species

xxiv 24.

The doctrine of Hipparchus about the stars


Examples from history of celestial prodigies; Faces, Lampades, and Bolides


Trabes Cælestes; Chasma Cæli


Of the colours of the sky and of celestial flame


Of celestial coronæ


Of sudden circles


Of unusually long eclipses of the sun


Many suns


Many moons


Daylight in the night


Burning shields


An ominous appearance in the heavens, that was seen once only


Of stars which move about in various directions


Of the stars which are named Castor and Pollux


Of the air, and on the cause of the showers of stones


Of the stated seasons


Of the rising of the dog-star


Of the regular influence of the different seasons


Of uncertain states of the weather


Of thunder and lightning


The origin of winds


Various observations respecting winds


The different kinds of winds


The periods of the winds


Nature of the winds


Ecnephias and Typhon


Tornadoes; blasting winds; whirlwinds, and other wonderful kinds of tempests


Of thunder; in what countries it does not fall, and for what reason


Of the different kinds of lightning and their wonderful effects


The Etrurian and the Roman observations on these points


Of conjuring up thunder


General laws of lightning


Objects which are never struck


Showers of milk, blood, flesh, iron, wool, and baked tiles


Rattling of arms and the sound of trumpets heard in the sky


Of stones that have fallen from the clouds. The opinion of Anaxagoras respecting them


The rainbow


The nature of hail, snow, hoar, mist, dew; the forms of clouds


The peculiarities of the weather in different places


Nature of the earth


Of the form of the earth


Whether there be antipodes?


How the water is connected with the earth. Of the navigation of the sea and the rivers


Whether the ocean surrounds the earth

xxv 68.

What part of the earth is inhabited


That the earth is in the middle of the world


Of the obliquity of the zones


Of the inequality of climates


In what places eclipses are invisible, and why this is the case


What regulates the daylight on the earth


Remarks on dials, as connected with this subject


When and where there are no shadows


Where this takes place twice in the year and where the shadows fall in opposite directions


Where the days are the longest and where the shortest


Of the first dial


Of the mode in which the days are computed


Of the difference of nations as depending on the nature of the world


Of earthquakes


Of clefts of the earth


Signs of an approaching earthquake


Preservatives against future earthquakes


Prodigies of the earth which have occurred once only


Wonderful circumstances attending earthquakes


In what places the sea has receded


The mode in which islands rise up


What islands have been formed, and at what periods


Lands which have been separated by the sea


Islands which have been united to the main land


Lands which have been totally changed into seas


Lands which have been swallowed up


Cities which have been absorbed by the sea


Of vents in the earth


Of certain lands which are always shaking, and of floating islands


Places in which it never rains


The wonders of various countries collected together


Concerning the cause of the flowing and ebbing of the sea


Where the tides rise and fall in an unusual manner


Wonders of the sea


The power of the moon over the land and the sea


The power of the sun


Why the sea is salt


Where the sea is the deepest


The wonders of fountains and rivers


The wonders of fire and water united


Of Maltha


Of naphtha


Places which are always burning


Wonders of fire alone


The dimensions of the earth


The harmonical proportion of the universe

xxvi BOOK III.





The boundaries and gulfs of Europe first set forth in a general way


Of Spain generally


Of Bætica


Of Nearer Spain


Of the province of Gallia Narbonensis


Of Italy


Of the ninth region of Italy


The seventh region of Italy


The first region of Italy; the Tiber; Rome


The third region of Italy


Sixty-four islands, among which are the Baleares








Magna Græcia, beginning at Locri


The second region of Italy


The fourth region of Italy


The fifth region of Italy


The sixth region of Italy


The eighth region of Italy; the Padus


The eleventh region of Italy; Italia Transpadana


The tenth region of Italy


Istria, its people and locality


The Alps, and the Alpine nations


Liburnia and Illyricum




The Norici






Islands of the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic









xxvii 4.

Locris and Phocis


The Peloponnesus




















Thessaly Proper






Thrace; the Ægean Sea


The islands which lie before the lands already mentioned






The Cyclades


The Sporades


The Hellespont.—The lake Mæotis


Dacia, Sarmatia




The islands of the Euxine. The islands of the northern ocean




Ninety-six islands of the Gallic ocean




Gallia Belgica


Gallia Lugdunensis


Gallia Aquitanica


Nearer Spain, its coast along the Gallic ocean




The islands in the Atlantic ocean


The general measurement of Europe




The two Mauritanias






The Syrtes




Libya Mareotis


The islands in the vicinity of Africa


Countries on the other side of Africa


Egypt and Thebais

xxviii 10.

The River Nile


The cities of Egypt


The coasts of Arabia, situate on the Egyptian Sea




Idumæa, Palæstina, and Samaria








Syria Antiochia


The remaining parts of Syria


The Euphrates


Syria upon the Euphrates


Cilicia and the adjoining nations


Isauria and the Homonades








Mount Taurus












Troas and the adjoining nations


The islands which lie in front of Asia












The Hellespont and Mysia




Galatia and the adjoining nations




The islands of the Propontis






This treatise on Natural History, a novel work in Roman literature, which I have just completed, I have taken the liberty to dedicate to you, most gracious35 Emperor, an appellation peculiarly suitable to you, while, on account of his age, that of great is more appropriate to your Father;—

“For still thou ne’er wouldst quite despise
The trifles that I write36;”

if I may be allowed to shelter myself under the example of Catullus, my fellow-countryman37, a military term, which you well understand. For he, as you know, when his napkins had been changed38, expressed himself a little harshly, from2 his anxiety to show his friendship for his dear little Veranius and Fabius39. At the same time this my importunity may effect, what you complained of my not having done in another too forward epistle of mine; it will put upon record, and let all the world know, with what kindness you exercise the imperial dignity. You, who have had the honour of a triumph, and of the censorship, have been six times consul, and have shared in the tribunate; and, what is still more honourable, whilst you held them in conjunction with your Father, you have presided over the Equestrian order, and been the Prefect of the Prætorians40: all this you have done for the service of the Republic, and, at the same time, have regarded me as a fellow-soldier and a messmate. Nor has the extent of your prosperity produced any change in you, except that it has given you the power of doing good to the utmost of your wishes. And whilst all these circumstances increase the veneration which other persons feel for you, with respect to myself, they have made me so bold, as to wish to become more familiar. You must, therefore, place this to your own account, and blame yourself for any fault of this kind that I may commit.

But, although I have laid aside my blushes41, I have not gained my object; for you still awe me, and keep me at a distance, by the majesty of your understanding. In no one does the force of eloquence and of tribunitian oratory blaze out more powerfully! With what glowing language do you thunder forth the praises of your Father! How dearly do you love your Brother! How admirable is your talent for poetry! What a fertility of genius do you possess, so as to3 enable you to imitate your Brother42! But who is there that is bold enough to form an estimate on these points, if he is to be judged by you, and, more especially, if you are challenged to do so? For the case of those who merely publish their works is very different from that of those who expressly dedicate them to you. In the former case I might say, Emperor! why do you read these things? They are written only for the common people, for farmers or mechanics, or for those who have nothing else to do; why do you trouble yourself with them? Indeed, when I undertook this work, I did not expect that you would sit in judgement upon me43; I considered your situation much too elevated for you to descend to such an office. Besides, we possess the right of openly rejecting the opinion of men of learning. M. Tullius himself, whose genius is beyond all competition, uses this privilege; and, remarkable as it may appear, employs an advocate in his own defence:—“I do not write for very learned people; I do not wish my works to be read by Manius Persius, but by Junius Congus44.” And if Lucilius, who first introduced the satirical style45, applied such a remark to himself, and if Cicero thought proper to borrow it, and that more especially in his treatise “De Republica,” how much reason have I to do so, who have such a judge to defend myself against! And by this dedication I have deprived myself of the benefit of challenge46; for it is a very different thing whether a person has a judge given him by lot, or whether he voluntarily selects one; and we always make more preparation for an invited guest, than for one that comes in unexpectedly.


When the candidates for office, during the heat of the canvass, deposited the fine47 in the hands of Cato, that determined opposer of bribery, rejoicing as he did in his being rejected from what he considered to be foolish honours, they professed to do this out of respect to his integrity; the greatest glory which a man could attain. It was on this occasion that Cicero uttered the noble ejaculation, “How happy are you, Marcus Porcius, of whom no one dares to ask what is dishonourable48!” When L. Scipio Asiaticus appealed to the tribunes, among whom was Gracchus, he expressed full confidence that he should obtain an acquittal, even from a judge who was his enemy. Hence it follows, that he who appoints his own judge must absolutely submit to the decision; this choice is therefore termed an appeal49.

I am well aware, that, placed as you are in the highest station, and gifted with the most splendid eloquence and the most accomplished mind, even those who come to pay their respects to you, do it with a kind of veneration: on this account I ought to be careful that what is dedicated to you should be worthy of you. But the country people, and, indeed, some whole nations offer milk to the Gods50, and those who cannot procure frankincense substitute in its place salted cakes; for the Gods are not dissatisfied when they are worshiped by every one to the best of his ability. But my temerity will appear the greater by the consideration, that these volumes, which I dedicate to you, are of such inferior importance. For they do not admit of the display of genius, nor, indeed, is mine one of the highest order; they admit of no excursions, nor orations, nor discussions, nor of any wonderful adventures, nor any variety of transactions, nor, from the barrenness of the matter, of anything particularly pleasant in the narration, or agreeable to the reader. The nature5 of things, and life as it actually exists, are described in them; and often the lowest department of it; so that, in very many cases, I am obliged to use rude and foreign, or even barbarous terms, and these often require to be introduced by a kind of preface. And, besides this, my road is not a beaten track, nor one which the mind is much disposed to travel over. There is no one among us who has ever attempted it, nor is there any one individual among the Greeks who has treated of all the topics. Most of us seek for nothing but amusement in our studies, while others are fond of subjects that are of excessive subtilty, and completely involved in obscurity. My object is to treat of all those things which the Greeks include in the Encyclopædia51, which, however, are either not generally known or are rendered dubious from our ingenious conceits. And there are other matters which many writers have given so much in detail that we quite loathe them. It is, indeed, no easy task to give novelty to what is old, and authority to what is new; brightness to what is become tarnished, and light to what is obscure; to render what is slighted acceptable, and what is doubtful worthy of our confidence; to give to all a natural manner, and to each its peculiar nature. It is sufficiently honourable and glorious to have been willing even to make the attempt, although it should prove unsuccessful. And, indeed, I am of opinion, that the studies of those are more especially worthy of our regard, who, after having overcome all difficulties, prefer the useful office of assisting others to the mere gratification of giving pleasure; and this is what I have already done in some of my former works. I confess it surprises me, that T. Livius, so celebrated an author as he is, in one of the books of his history of the city from its origin, should begin with this remark, “I have now obtained a sufficient reputation, so that I might put an end to my work, did not my restless mind require to be supported by employment52.” Certainly he ought to have composed this work, not for his own glory, but for that of the Roman name, and6 of the people who were the conquerors of all other nations. It would have been more meritorious to have persevered in his labours from his love of the work, than from the gratification which it afforded himself, and to have accomplished it, not for his own sake, but for that of the Roman people.

I have included in thirty-six53 books 20,000 topics, all worthy of attention, (for, as Domitius Piso54 says, we ought to make not merely books, but valuable collections,) gained by the perusal of about 2000 volumes, of which a few only are in the hands of the studious, on account of the obscurity of the subjects, procured by the careful perusal of 100 select authors55; and to these I have made considerable additions of things, which were either not known to my predecessors, or which have been lately discovered. Nor can I doubt but that there still remain many things which I have omitted; for I am a mere mortal, and one that has many occupations. I have, therefore, been obliged to compose this work at interrupted intervals, indeed during the night, so that you will find that I have not been idle even during this period. The day I devote to you, exactly portioning out my sleep to the necessity of my health, and contenting myself with this reward, that while we are musing56 on these subjects (according to the remark of Varro), we are adding to the length of our lives; for life properly consists in being awake.

In consideration of these circumstances and these difficulties, I dare promise nothing; but you have done me the most essential service in permitting me to dedicate my work to you. Nor does this merely give a sanction to it, but it determines its value; for things are often conceived to be of great value, solely because they are consecrated in temples.

I have given a full account of all your family—your7 Father, yourself, and your Brother, in a history of our own times, beginning where Aufidius Bassus concludes57. You will ask, Where is it? It has been long completed and its accuracy confirmed58; but I have determined to commit the charge of it to my heirs, lest I should have been suspected, during my lifetime, of having been unduly influenced by ambition. By this means I confer an obligation on those who occupy the same ground with myself; and also on posterity, who, I am aware, will contend with me, as I have done with my predecessors.

You may judge of my taste from my having inserted, in the beginning of my book, the names of the authors that I have consulted. For I consider it to be courteous and to indicate an ingenuous modesty, to acknowledge the sources whence we have derived assistance, and not to act as most of those have done whom I have examined. For I must inform you, that in comparing various authors with each other, I have discovered, that some of the most grave and of the latest writers have transcribed, word for word, from former works, without making any acknowledgement; not avowedly rivalling them, in the manner of Virgil, or with the candour of Cicero, who, in his treatise “De Republica59,” professes to coincide in opinion with Plato, and in his Essay on Consolation for his Daughter, says that he follows Crantor, and, in his Offices60, Panæcius; volumes, which, as you well know, ought not merely to be always in our hands, but to be learned by heart. For it is indeed the mark of a perverted mind and a bad disposition, to prefer being caught in8 a theft to returning what we have borrowed, especially when we have acquired capital, by usurious interest61.

The Greeks were wonderfully happy in their titles. One work they called Κηρίον, which means that it was as sweet as a honeycomb; another Κέρας Ἀμαλθείας, or Cornu copiæ, so that you might expect to get even a draught of pigeon’s milk from it62. Then they have their Flowers, their Muses, Magazines, Manuals, Gardens, Pictures, and Sketches63, all of them titles for which a man might be tempted even to forfeit his bail. But when you enter upon the works, O ye Gods and Goddesses! how full of emptiness! Our duller countrymen have merely their Antiquities, or their Examples, or their Arts. I think one of the most humorous of them has his Nocturnal Studies64, a term employed by Bibaculus; a name which he richly deserved65. Varro, indeed, is not much behind him, when he calls one of his satires A Trick and a Half, and another Turning the Tables66. Diodorus was the first among the Greeks who laid aside this trifling manner and named his history The Library67. Apion, the grammarian, indeed—he whom Tiberius Cæsar called the Trumpeter of the World, but would rather seem to be the Bell of the Town-crier68,—supposed that every one to whom he inscribed any work would thence acquire immortality. I do not regret not having given my work a more fanciful title.

That I may not, however, appear to inveigh so completely against the Greeks, I should wish to be considered under the same point of view with those inventors of the arts of9 painting and sculpture, of whom you will find an account in these volumes, whose works, although they are so perfect that we are never satisfied with admiring them, are inscribed with a temporary title69, such as “Apelles, or Polycletus, was doing this;” implying that the work was only commenced and still imperfect, and that the artist might benefit by the criticisms that were made on it and alter any part that required it, if he had not been prevented by death. It is also a great mark of their modesty, that they inscribed their works as if they were the last which they had executed, and as still in hand at the time of their death. I think there are but three works of art which are inscribed positively with the words “such a one executed this;” of these I shall give an account in the proper place. In these cases it appears, that the artist felt the most perfect satisfaction with his work, and hence these pieces have excited the envy of every one.

I, indeed, freely admit, that much may be added to my works; not only to this, but to all which I have published. By this admission I hope to escape from the carping critics70, and I have the more reason to say this, because I hear that there are certain Stoics and Logicians71, and also Epicureans (from the Grammarians72 I expected as much), who are big with something against the little work I published on Grammar73; and that they have been carrying these abortions for ten years together—a longer pregnancy this than the elephant’s74. But I well know, that even a woman once wrote against Theophrastus, a man so eminent for his eloquence that he obtained his name, which signifies the10 Divine speaker75, and that from this circumstance originated the proverb of choosing a tree to hang oneself76.

I cannot refrain from quoting the words of Cato the censor, which are so pertinent to this point. It appears from them, that even Cato, who wrote commentaries on military discipline77, and who had learned the military art under Africanus, or rather under Hannibal (for he could not endure Africanus78, who, when he was his general, had borne away the triumph from him), that Cato, I say, was open to the attacks of such as caught at reputation for themselves by detracting from the merits of others. And what does he say in his book? “I know, that when I shall publish what I have written, there will be many who will do all they can to depreciate it, and, especially, such as are themselves void of all merit; but I let their harangues glide by me.” Nor was the remark of Plancus79 a bad one, when Asinius Pollio80 was said to be preparing an oration against him, which was to be published either by himself or his children, after the death of Plancus, in order that he might not be able to answer it: “It is only ghosts that fight with the dead.” This gave such a blow to the oration, that in the opinion of11 the learned generally, nothing was ever thought more scandalous. Feeling myself, therefore, secure against these vile slanderers81, a name elegantly composed by Cato, to express their slanderous and vile disposition (for what other object have they, but to wrangle and breed quarrels?), I will proceed with my projected work.

And because the public good requires that you should be spared as much as possible from all trouble, I have subjoined to this epistle the contents of each of the following books82, and have used my best endeavours to prevent your being obliged to read them all through. And this, which was done for your benefit, will also serve the same purpose for others, so that any one may search for what he wishes, and may know where to find it. This has been already done among us by Valerius Soranus, in his work which he entitled “On Mysteries83.”

The 1st book is the Preface of the Work, dedicated to Titus Vespasian Cæsar.

The 2nd is on the World, the Elements, and the Heavenly Bodies84.

The 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th books are on Geography, in which is contained an account of the situation of the different countries, the inhabitants, the seas, towns, harbours, mountains, rivers, and dimensions, and the various tribes, some of which still exist and others have disappeared.

The 7th is on Man, and the Inventions of Man.

The 8th on the various kinds of Land Animals.

The 9th on Aquatic Animals.

The 10th on the various kinds of Birds.


The 11th on Insects.

The 12th on Odoriferous Plants.

The 13th on Exotic Trees.

The 14th on Vines.

The 15th on Fruit Trees.

The 16th on Forest Trees.

The 17th on Plants raised in nurseries or gardens.

The 18th on the nature of Fruits and the Cerealia, and the pursuits of the Husbandman.

The 19th on Flax, Broom85, and Gardening.

The 20th on the Cultivated Plants that are proper for food and for medicine.

The 21st on Flowers and Plants that are used for making Garlands.

The 22nd on Garlands, and Medicines made from Plants.

The 23rd on Medicines made from Wine and from cultivated Trees.

The 24th on Medicines made from Forest Trees.

The 25th on Medicines made from Wild Plants.

The 26th on New Diseases, and Medicines made, for certain Diseases, from Plants.

The 27th on some other Plants and Medicines.

The 28th on Medicines procured from Man and from large Animals.

The 29th on Medical Authors, and on Medicines from other Animals.

The 30th on Magic, and Medicines for certain parts of the Body.

The 31st on Medicines from Aquatic Animals.

The 32nd on the other properties of Aquatic Animals.

The 33rd on Gold and Silver.

The 34th on Copper and Lead, and the workers of Copper.

The 35th on Painting, Colours, and Painters.

The 36th on Marbles and Stones.

The 37th on Gems.




[I have adopted the division of the chapters from Hardouin, as given in the editions of Valpy, Lemaire, Ajasson, and Sillig; the Roman figures, enclosed between brackets, are the numbers of the chapters in Dalechamps, De Laët, Gronovius, Holland, and Poinsinet. The titles of the chapters are nearly the same with those in Valpy, Lemaire, and Ajasson.]


The world86, and whatever that be which we otherwise14 call the heavens87, by the vault of which all things are enclosed,15 we must conceive to be a Deity88, to be eternal, without bounds, neither created, nor subject, at any time, to destruction89. To inquire what is beyond it is no concern of man, nor can the human mind form any conjecture respecting it. It is sacred, eternal, and without bounds, all in all; indeed including everything in itself; finite, yet like what is infinite; the most certain of all things, yet like what is uncertain, externally and internally embracing all things in itself; it is the work of nature, and itself constitutes nature90.

It is madness to harass the mind, as some have done, with attempts to measure the world, and to publish these attempts; or, like others, to argue from what they have made out, that there are innumerable other worlds, and that we must believe there to be so many other natures, or that, if only one nature produced the whole, there will be so many suns and so many moons, and that each of them will have immense trains of other heavenly bodies. As if the same question would not recur at every step of our inquiry, anxious as we must be to arrive at some termination; or, as if this infinity, which we ascribe to nature, the former of all things, cannot be more easily comprehended by one single formation,16 especially when that is so extensive. It is madness, perfect madness, to go out of this world and to search for what is beyond it, as if one who is ignorant of his own dimensions could ascertain the measure of any thing else, or as if the human mind could see what the world itself cannot contain.


That it has the form of a perfect globe we learn from the name which has been uniformly given to it, as well as from numerous natural arguments. For not only does a figure of this kind return everywhere into itself92 and sustain itself, also including itself, requiring no adjustments, not sensible of either end or beginning in any of its parts, and is best fitted for that motion, with which, as will appear hereafter, it is continually turning round; but still more, because we perceive it, by the evidence of the sight, to be, in every part, convex and central, which could not be the case were it of any other figure.


The rising and the setting of the sun clearly prove, that this globe is carried round in the space of twenty-four hours, in an eternal and never-ceasing circuit, and with incredible17 swiftness93. I am not able to say, whether the sound caused by the whirling about of so great a mass be excessive, and, therefore, far beyond what our ears can perceive, nor, indeed, whether the resounding of so many stars, all carried along at the same time and revolving in their orbits, may not produce a kind of delightful harmony of incredible sweetness94. To us, who are in the interior, the world appears to glide silently along, both by day and by night.

Various circumstances in nature prove to us, that there are impressed on the heavens innumerable figures of animals and of all kinds of objects, and that its surface is not perfectly polished like the eggs of birds, as some celebrated authors assert95. For we find that the seeds of all bodies fall down from it, principally into the ocean, and, being mixed together, that a variety of monstrous forms are in this way frequently produced. And, indeed, this is evident to the eye; for, in one part, we have the figure of a wain, in another of a bear, of a bull, and of a letter96; while, in the middle of them, over our heads, there is a white circle97.

(4.) With respect to the name, I am influenced by the unanimous opinions of all nations. For what the Greeks, from its being ornamented, have termed κόσμος, we, from its perfect and complete elegance, have termed mundus. The name cœlum, no doubt, refers to its being engraven, as it18 were, with the stars, as Varro suggests98. In confirmation of this idea we may adduce the Zodiac99, in which are twelve figures of animals; through them it is that the sun has continued its course for so many ages.


I do not find that any one has doubted that there are four elements. The highest of these is supposed to be fire, and hence proceed the eyes of so many glittering stars. The next is that spirit, which both the Greeks and ourselves call by the same name, air102. It is by the force of this vital principle, pervading all things and mingling with all, that the earth, together with the fourth element, water, is balanced in19 the middle of space. These are mutually bound together, the lighter being restrained by the heavier, so that they cannot fly off; while, on the contrary, from the lighter tending upwards, the heavier are so suspended, that they cannot fall down. Thus, by an equal tendency in an opposite direction, each of them remains in its appropriate place, bound together by the never-ceasing revolution of the world, which always turning on itself, the earth falls to the lowest part and is in the middle of the whole, while it remains suspended in the centre103, and, as it were, balancing this centre, in which it is suspended. So that it alone remains immoveable, whilst all things revolve round it, being connected with every other part, whilst they all rest upon it.

(6.) Between this body and the heavens there are suspended, in this aërial spirit, seven stars104, separated by determinate spaces, which, on account of their motion, we call wandering,20 although, in reality, none are less so105. The sun is carried along in the midst of these, a body of great size and power, the ruler, not only of the seasons and of the different climates, but also of the stars themselves and of the heavens106. When we consider his operations, we must regard him as the life, or rather the mind of the universe, the chief regulator and the God of nature; he also lends his light to the other stars107. He is most illustrious and excellent, beholding all things and hearing all things, which, I perceive, is ascribed to him exclusively by the prince of poets, Homer108.

CHAP. 5. (7.)—OF GOD109.

I consider it, therefore, an indication of human weakness to inquire into the figure and form of God. For whatever God be, if there be any other God110, and wherever he exists, he is all sense, all sight, all hearing, all life, all mind111, and all within himself. To believe that there are a number of Gods, derived from the virtues and vices of man112, as Chastity, Concord, Understanding, Hope, Honour, Clemency,21 and Fidelity; or, according to the opinion of Democritus, that there are only two, Punishment and Reward113, indicates still greater folly. Human nature, weak and frail as it is, mindful of its own infirmity, has made these divisions, so that every one might have recourse to that which he supposed himself to stand more particularly in need of114. Hence we find different names employed by different nations; the inferior deities are arranged in classes, and diseases and plagues are deified, in consequence of our anxious wish to propitiate them. It was from this cause that a temple was dedicated to Fever, at the public expense, on the Palatine Hill115, and to Orbona116, near the Temple of the Lares, and that an altar was elected to Good Fortune on the Esquiline. Hence we may understand how it comes to pass that there is a greater population of the Celestials than of human beings, since each individual makes a separate God for himself, adopting his own Juno and his own Genius117. And there are nations who make Gods of certain animals, and even certain obscene things118, which are not to be spoken of, swearing by stinking meats and such like. To suppose that marriages are contracted between the Gods, and that, during so long a period, there should have been no issue22 from them, that some of them should be old and always grey-headed and others young and like children, some of a dark, complexion, winged, lame, produced from eggs, living and dying on alternate days, is sufficiently puerile and foolish. But it is the height of impudence to imagine, that adultery takes place between them, that they have contests and quarrels, and that there are Gods of theft and of various crimes119. To assist man is to be a God; this is the path to eternal glory. This is the path which the Roman nobles formerly pursued, and this is the path which is now pursued by the greatest ruler of our age, Vespasian Augustus, he who has come to the relief of an exhausted empire, as well as by his sons. This was the ancient mode of remunerating those who deserved it, to regard them as Gods120. For the names of all the Gods, as well as of the stars that I have mentioned above121, have been derived from their services to mankind. And with respect to Jupiter and Mercury, and the rest of the celestial nomenclature, who does not admit that they have reference to certain natural phenomena122?

But it is ridiculous to suppose, that the great head of all things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs123.23 Can we believe, or rather can there be any doubt, that it is not polluted by such a disagreeable and complicated office? It is not easy to determine which opinion would be most for the advantage of mankind, since we observe some who have no respect for the Gods, and others who carry it to a scandalous excess. They are slaves to foreign ceremonies; they carry on their fingers the Gods and the monsters whom they worship124; they condemn and they lay great stress on certain kinds of food; they impose on themselves dreadful ordinances, not even sleeping quietly. They do not marry or adopt children, or indeed do anything else, without the sanction of their sacred rites. There are others, on the contrary, who will cheat in the very Capitol, and will forswear themselves even by Jupiter Tonans125, and while these thrive in their crimes, the others torment themselves with their superstitions to no purpose.

Among these discordant opinions mankind have discovered for themselves a kind of intermediate deity, by which our scepticism concerning God is still increased. For all over the world, in all places, and at all times, Fortune is the only god whom every one invokes; she alone is spoken of, she alone is accused and is supposed to be guilty; she alone is in our thoughts, is praised and blamed, and is loaded with reproaches; wavering as she is, conceived by the generality of mankind to be blind, wandering, inconstant, uncertain, variable, and often favouring the unworthy. To her are referred all our losses and all our gains, and in casting up the accounts of mortals she alone balances the two pages of our sheet126. We are so much in the power of chance, that chance itself is considered as a God, and the existence of God becomes doubtful.

But there are others who reject this principle and assign events to the influence of the stars127, and to the laws of our24 nativity; they suppose that God, once for all, issues his decrees and never afterwards interferes. This opinion begins to gain ground, and both the learned and the unlearned vulgar are falling into it. Hence we have the admonitions of thunder, the warnings of oracles, the predictions of soothsayers, and things too trifling to be mentioned, as sneezing and stumbling with the feet reckoned among omens128. The late Emperor Augustus129 relates, that he put the left shoe on the wrong foot, the day when he was near being assaulted by his soldiers130. And such things as these so embarrass improvident mortals, that among all of them this alone is certain, that there is nothing certain, and that there is nothing more proud or more wretched than man. For other animals have no care but to provide for their subsistence, for which the spontaneous kindness of nature is all-sufficient; and this one circumstance renders their lot more especially preferable, that they never think about glory, or money, or ambition, and, above all, that they never reflect on death.

The belief, however, that on these points the Gods superintend human affairs is useful to us, as well as that the punishment of crimes, although sometimes tardy, from the Deity being occupied with such a mass of business, is never entirely remitted, and that the human race was not made the next in rank to himself, in order that they might be degraded like brutes. And indeed this constitutes the great comfort in this imperfect state of man, that even the Deity25 cannot do everything. For he cannot procure death for himself, even if he wished it, which, so numerous are the evils of life, has been granted to man as our chief good. Nor can he make mortals immortal, or recall to life those who are dead; nor can he effect, that he who has once lived shall not have lived, or that he who has enjoyed honours shall not have enjoyed them; nor has he any influence over past events but to cause them to be forgotten. And, if we illustrate the nature of our connexion with God by a less serious argument, he cannot make twice ten not to be twenty, and many other things of this kind. By these considerations the power of Nature is clearly proved, and is shown to be what we call God. It is not foreign to the subject to have digressed into these matters, familiar as they are to every one, from the continual discussions that take place respecting God131.


Let us return from this digression to the other parts of nature. The stars which are described as fixed in the heavens132, are not, as the vulgar suppose, attached each of them to different individuals133, the brighter to the rich, those that are less so to the poor, and the dim to the aged, shining according to the lot of the individual, and separately assigned to mortals; for they have neither come into existence, nor26 do they perish in connexion with particular persons, nor does a falling star indicate that any one is dead. We are not so closely connected with the heavens as that the shining of the stars is affected by our death134. When they are supposed to shoot or fall135, they throw out, by the force of their fire, as if from an excess of nutriment, the superabundance of the humour which they have absorbed, as we observe to take place from the oil in our lamps, when they are burning136. The nature of the celestial bodies is eternal, being interwoven, as it were, with the world, and, by this union, rendering it solid; but they exert their most powerful influence on the earth. This, notwithstanding its subtilty, may be known by the clearness and the magnitude of the effect, as we shall point out in the proper place137. The account of the circles of the heavens will be better understood when we come to speak of the earth, since they have all a reference to it; except what has been discovered respecting the Zodiac, which I shall now detail.

Anaximander the Milesian, in the 58th olympiad138, is said to have been the first who understood its obliquity, and thus opened the road to a correct knowledge of the subject139.27 Afterwards Cleostratus made the signs in it, first marking those of Aries and Sagittarius; Atlas had formed the sphere long before this time140. But now, leaving the further consideration of this subject, we must treat of the bodies that are situated between the earth and the heavens141.

It is certain that the star called Saturn is the highest, and therefore appears the smallest, that he passes through the largest circuit, and that he is at least thirty years in completing it142. The course of all the planets, and among others of the Sun, and the Moon, is in the contrary direction to that of the heavens143, that is towards the left, while the heavens28 are rapidly carried about to the right144. And although, by the stars constantly revolving with immense velocity, they are raised up, and hurried on to the part where they set, yet they are all forced, by a motion of their own, in an opposite direction145; and this is so ordered, lest the air, being always moved in the same direction, by the constant whirling of the heavens, should accumulate into one mass, whereas now it is divided and separated and beaten into small pieces, by the opposite motion of the different stars. Saturn is a star of a cold and rigid nature, while the orbit of Jupiter is much lower, and is carried round in twelve years146. The next star, Mars, which some persons call Hercules147, is of a fiery and burning nature, and from its nearness to the sun is carried round in little less than two years148. In consequence of the excessive heat of this star and the rigidity of Saturn, Jupiter, which is interposed between the two, is tempered by both of them, and is thus rendered salutary. The path of the Sun consists of 360 degrees; but, in order that the shadow may return to the same point of the dial149, we are obliged to add, in each year, five days and the fourth part of a day. On this account an intercalary day is given to every fifth year150, that the period of the seasons may agree with that of the Sun.


Below the Sun151 revolves the great star called Venus, wandering with an alternate motion152, and, even in its surnames, rivalling the Sun and the Moon. For when it precedes the day and rises in the morning, it receives the name of Lucifer, as if it were another sun, hastening on the day. On the contrary, when it shines in the west, it is named Vesper, as prolonging the light, and performing the office of the moon. Pythagoras, the Samian, was the first who discovered its nature153, about the 62nd olympiad, in the 222nd year of the City154. It excels all the other stars in size, and its brilliancy is so considerable, that it is the only star which produces a shadow by its rays. There has, consequently, been great interest made for its name; some have called it the star of30 Juno155, others of Isis, and others of the Mother of the Gods. By its influence everything in the earth is generated. For, as it rises in either direction, it sprinkles everything with its genial dew, and not only matures the productions of the earth, but stimulates all living things156. It completes the circuit of the zodiac in 348 days, never receding from the sun more than 46 degrees, according to Timæus157.

Similarly circumstanced, but by no means equal in size and in power, next to it, is the star Mercury, by some called Apollo158; it is carried in a lower orbit, and moves in a course which is quicker by nine days, shining sometimes before the rising of the sun, and at other times after its setting, but never going farther from it than 23 degrees159, as we learn from Timæus and Sosigenes160. The nature of these two stars is peculiar, and is not the same with those mentioned above, for those are seen to recede from the sun through one-third or one-fourth part of the heavens, and are often seen opposite to it. They have also other larger circuits, in which they31 make their complete revolutions, as will be described in the account of the great year161.

(9.) But the Moon162, which is the last of the stars, and the one the most connected with the earth, the remedy provided by nature for darkness, excels all the others in its admirable qualities. By the variety of appearances which it assumes, it puzzles the observers, mortified that they should be the most ignorant concerning that star which is the nearest to them. She is always either waxing or waning; sometimes her disc is curved into horns, sometimes it is divided into two equal portions, and at other times it is swelled out into a full orb; sometimes she appears spotted163 and suddenly becomes very bright; she appears very large with her full orb and suddenly becomes invisible; now continuing during all the night, now rising late, and now aiding the light of the sun during a part of the day; becoming eclipsed and yet being visible while she is eclipsed; concealing herself at the end of the month and yet not supposed to be eclipsed164. Sometimes she is low down, sometimes she is high up, and that not according to one uniform course, being at one time raised up32 to the heavens, at other times almost contiguous to the mountains; now elevated in the north, now depressed in the south; all which circumstances having been noticed by Endymion, a report was spread about, that he was in love with the moon165. We are not indeed sufficiently grateful to those, who, with so much labour and care, have enlightened us with this light166; while, so diseased is the human mind, that we take pleasure in writing the annals of blood and slaughter, in order that the crimes of men may be made known to those who are ignorant of the constitution of the world itself.

Being nearest to the axis167, and therefore having the smallest orbit, the Moon passes in twenty-seven days and the one-third part of a day168, through the same space for which Saturn, the highest of the planets, as was stated above, requires thirty years. After remaining for two days in conjunction with the sun, on the thirtieth day she again very slowly emerges to pursue her accustomed course169. I know not whether she ought not to be considered as our instructress in everything that can be known respecting the heavens; as that the year is divided into the twelve divisions of the months, since she follows the sun for the same number of times, until he returns to the commencement of his course; and that her brightness, as well as that of the other stars, is regulated by that of the sun, if indeed they all of them shine by light borrowed from him, such as we see floating about, when it is reflected from the surface of water.33 On this account it is that she dissolves so much moisture, by a gentle and less perfect force, and adds to the quantity of that which the rays of the sun consume170. On this account she appears with an unequal light, because being full only when she is in opposition, on all the remaining days she shows only so much of herself to the earth as she receives light from the sun171. She is not seen in conjunction, because, at that time, she sends back the whole stream of light to the source whence she has derived it. That the stars generally are nourished by the terrestrial moisture is evident, because, when the moon is only half visible she is sometimes seen spotted, her power of absorbing moisture not having been powerful enough; for the spots are nothing else than the dregs of the earth drawn up along with the moisture172. (10.) But her eclipses and those of the sun, the most wonderful of all the phenomena of nature, and which are like prodigies, serve to indicate the magnitude of these bodies and the shadow173 which they cast.



For it is evident that the sun is hid by the intervention174 of the moon, and the moon by the opposition174 of the earth, and that these changes are mutual, the moon, by her interposition174, taking the rays of the sun from the earth, and the earth from the moon. As she advances darkness is suddenly produced, and again the sun is obscured by her shade; for night is nothing more than the shade of the earth. The figure of this shade is like that of a pyramid or an inverted top175; and the moon enters it only near its point, and it does not exceed the height of the moon, for there is no other star which is obscured in the same manner, while a figure of this kind always terminates in a point. The flight of birds, when very lofty, shows that shadows do not extend beyond a certain distance; their limit appears to be the termination of the air and the commencement of the æther. Above the moon everything is pure and full of an eternal light. The stars are visible to us in the night, in the same way that other luminous bodies are seen in the dark. It is from these causes that the moon is eclipsed during the night176. The two kinds of eclipses are not, however, at the stated monthly periods, on account of the obliquity of the zodiac, and the irregularly wandering course of the moon, as stated above; besides that the motions of these stars do not always occur exactly at the same points177.



This kind of reasoning carries the human mind to the heavens, and by contemplating the world as it were from thence, it discloses to us the magnitude of the three greatest bodies in nature178. For the sun could not be entirely concealed from the earth, by the intervention of the moon, if the earth were greater than the moon179. And the vast size of the third body, the sun, is manifest from that of the other two, so that it is not necessary to scrutinize its size, by arguing from its visible appearance, or from any conjectures of the mind; it must be immense, because the shadows of rows of trees, extending for any number of miles, are disposed in right lines180, as if the sun were in the middle of space. Also, because, at the equinox, he is vertical to all the inhabitants of the southern districts at the same time181; also, because the shadows of all the people who live on this side of the tropic fall, at noon, towards the north, and, at sunrise, point to the west. But this could not be the case unless the sun were much greater than the earth; nor, unless it much exceeded Mount Ida in breadth, could he be seen when he rises, passing considerably beyond it to the right and to the left, especially, considering that it is separated by so great an interval182.


The eclipse of the moon affords an undoubted argument of the sun’s magnitude, as it also does of the small size of the earth183. For there are shadows of three figures, and it is evident, that if the body which produces the shadow be equal to the light, then it will be thrown off in the form of a pillar, and have no termination. If the body be greater than the light, the shadow will be in the form of an inverted cone184 the bottom being the narrowest part, and being, at the same time, of an infinite length. If the body be less than the light, then we shall have the figure of a pyramid185, terminating in a point. Now of this last kind is the shadow which produces the eclipse of the moon, and this is so manifest that there can be no doubt remaining, that the earth is exceeded in magnitude by the sun, a circumstance which is indeed indicated by the silent declaration of nature herself. For why does he recede from us at the winter half of the year186? That by the darkness of the nights the earth may be refreshed, which otherwise would be burned up, as indeed it is in certain parts; so great is his size.


The first among the Romans, who explained to the people at large the cause of the two kinds of eclipses, was Sulpicius Gallus, who was consul along with Marcellus; and37 when he was only a military tribune he relieved the army from great anxiety the day before king Perseus was conquered by Paulus187; for he was brought by the general into a public assembly, in order to predict the eclipse, of which he afterwards gave an account in a separate treatise. Among the Greeks, Thales the Milesian first investigated the subject, in the fourth year of the forty-eighth olympiad, predicting the eclipse of the sun which took place in the reign of Alyattes, in the 170th year of the City188. After them Hipparchus calculated the course of both these stars for the term of 600 years189, including the months, days, and hours, the situation of the different places and the aspects adapted to each of them; all this has been confirmed by experience, and could only be acquired by partaking, as it were, in the councils of nature. These were indeed great men, superior to ordinary mortals, who having discovered the laws of these divine bodies, relieved the miserable mind of man from the fear which he had of eclipses, as foretelling some dreadful38 events or the destruction of the stars. This alarm is freely acknowledged in the sublime strains of Stesichorus and Pindar, as being produced by an eclipse of the sun190. And with respect to the eclipse of the moon, mortals impute it to witchcraft, and therefore endeavour to aid her by producing discordant sounds. In consequence of this kind of terror it was that Nicias, the general of the Athenians, being ignorant of the cause, was afraid to lead out the fleet, and brought great distress on his troops191. Hail to your genius, ye interpreters of heaven! ye who comprehend the nature of things, and who have discovered a mode of reasoning by which ye have conquered both gods and men192! For who is there, in observing these things and seeing the labours193 which the stars are compelled to undergo (since we have chosen to apply this term to them), that would not cheerfully submit to his fate, as one born to die? I shall now, in a brief and summary manner, touch on those points in which we are agreed, giving the reasons where it is necessary to do so; for this is not a work of profound argument, nor is it less wonderful to be able to suggest a probable cause for everything, than to give a complete account of a few of them only.


It is ascertained that the eclipses complete their whole revolution in the space of 223 months194, that the eclipse of the sun takes place only at the conclusion or the commencement of a lunation, which is termed conjunction195,39 while an eclipse of the moon takes place only when she is at the full, and is always a little farther advanced than the preceding eclipse196. Now there are eclipses of both these stars in every year, which take place below the earth, at stated days and hours; and when they are above it197 they are not always visible, sometimes on account of the clouds, but more frequently, from the globe of the earth being opposed to the vault of the heavens198. It was discovered two hundred years ago, by the sagacity of Hipparchus, that the moon is sometimes eclipsed after an interval of five months, and the sun after an interval of seven199; also, that he becomes invisible, while above the horizon, twice in every thirty days, but that this is seen in different places at different times. But the most wonderful circumstance is, that while it is admitted that the moon is darkened by the shadow of the earth, this occurs at one time on its western, and at another time on its eastern side. And farther, that although, after the rising of the sun, that darkening shadow ought to be below the earth, yet it has once happened, that the moon has been eclipsed in the west, while both the luminaries have been above the horizon200. And as to their both being invisible in the space of fifteen days, this very thing happened while the Vespasians were emperors, the father being consul for the third time, and the son for the second201.



It is certain that the moon, having her horns always turned from the sun, when she is waxing, looks towards the east; when she is waning, towards the west. Also, that, from the second day after the change, she adds 4712 minutes202 each day, until she is full, and again decreases at the same rate, and that she always becomes invisible when she is within 14 degrees of the sun. This is an argument of the greater size of the planets than of the moon, since these emerge when they are at the distance of 7 degrees only203. But their altitude causes them to appear much smaller, as we observe that, during the day, the brightness of the sun prevents those bodies from being seen which are fixed in the firmament, although they shine then as well as in the night: that this is the case is proved by eclipses, and by descending into very deep wells.


The three planets, which, as we have said, are situated above the sun205, are visible when they come into conjunction with him. They rise visibly206 in the morning, when they are not more than 11 degrees from the sun207; they are afterwards directed by the contact of his rays208, and when they attain the trine aspect, at the distance of 120 degrees, they take their morning stationary positions209, which are termed primary;41 afterwards, when they are in opposition to the sun, they rise at the distance of 180 degrees from him. And again advancing on the other side to the 120th degree, they attain their evening stations, which are termed secondary, until the sun having arrived within 12 degrees of them, what is called their evening setting becomes no longer visible210. Mars, as being nearer to the sun, feels the influence of his rays in the quadrature, at the distance of 90 degrees, whence that motion receives its name, being termed, from the two risings, respectively the first and the second nonagenarian211. This planet passes from one station to another in six months, or is two months in each sign; the two other planets do not spend more than four months in passing from station to station.

The two inferior planets are, in like manner, concealed in their evening conjunction, and, when they have left the sun, they rise in the morning the same number of degrees distant from him. After having arrived at their point of greatest elongation212, they then follow the sun, and having overtaken42 him at their morning setting, they become invisible and pass beyond him. They then rise in the evening, at the distances which were mentioned above. After this they return back to the sun and are concealed in their evening setting. The star Venus becomes stationary when at its two points of greatest elongation, that of the morning and of the evening, according to their respective risings. The stationary points of Mercury are so very brief, that they cannot be correctly observed.


The above is an account of the aspects and the occultations of the planets, a subject which is rendered very complicated by their motions, and is involved in much that is wonderful; especially, when we observe that they change their size and colour, and that the same stars at one time approach the north, and then go to the south, and are now seen near the earth, and then suddenly approach the heavens. If on this subject I deliver opinions different from my predecessors, I acknowledge that I am indebted for them to those individuals who first pointed out to us the proper mode of inquiry; let no one then ever despair of benefiting future ages.

But these things depend upon many different causes. The first cause is the nature of the circles described by the stars, which the Greeks term apsides213, for we are obliged to use Greek terms. Now each of the planets has its own circle, and this a different one from that of the world214; because the earth is placed in the centre of the heavens, with respect to the two extremities, which are called the poles, and also in43 that of the zodiac, which is situated obliquely between them. And all these things are made evident by the infallible results which we obtain by the use of the compasses215. Hence the apsides of the planets have each of them different centres, and consequently they have different orbits and motions, since it necessarily follows, that the interior apsides are the shortest.

(16.) The apsides which are the highest from the centre of the earth are, for Saturn, when he is in Scorpio, for Jupiter in Virgo, for Mars in Leo, for the Sun in Gemini, for Venus in Sagittarius, and for Mercury in Capricorn, each of them in the middle of these signs; while in the opposite signs, they are the lowest and nearest to the centre of the earth216. Hence it is that they appear to move more slowly when they are carried along the highest circuit; not that their actual motions are accelerated or retarded, these being fixed and determinate for each of them; but because it necessarily follows, that lines drawn from the highest apsis must approach nearer to each other at the centre, like the spokes of a wheel; and that the same motion seems to be at one time greater, and at another time less, according to the distance from the centre.

Another cause of the altitudes of the planets is, that their highest apsides, with relation to their own centres, are in different signs from those mentioned above217. Saturn is in the 20th degree of Libra, Jupiter in the 15th of Cancer, Mars in the 28th of Capricorn, the Sun in the 19th of Aries, Venus in the 27th of Pisces, Mercury in the 15th of Virgo, and the Moon in the 3rd of Taurus.

The third cause of the altitude depends on the form of the heavens, not on that of the orbits; the stars appearing to the eye to mount up and to descend through the depth of the air218. With this cause is connected that which depends44 on the latitude of the planets and the obliquity of the zodiac. It is through this belt that the stars which I have spoken of are carried, nor is there any part of the world habitable, except what lies under it219; the remainder, which is at the poles, being in a wild desert state. The planet Venus alone exceeds it by 2 degrees, which we may suppose to be the cause why some animals are produced even in these desert regions of the earth. The moon also wanders the whole breadth of the zodiac, but never exceeds it. Next to these the planet Mercury moves through the greatest space; yet out of the 12 degrees (for there are so many degrees of latitude in the zodiac220), it does not pass through more than 8, nor does it go equally through these, 2 of them being in the middle of the zodiac, 4 in the upper part, and 2 in the lower part221. Next to these the Sun is carried through the middle of the zodiac, winding unequally through the two parts of his tortuous circuit222. The star Mars occupies the four middle degrees; Jupiter the middle degree and the two above it; Saturn, like the45 sun, occupies two223. The above is an account of the latitudes as they descend to the south or ascend to the north224. Hence it is plain that the generality of persons are mistaken in supposing the third cause of the apparent altitude to depend on the stars rising from the earth and climbing up the heavens. But to refute this opinion it is necessary to consider the subject with very great minuteness, and to embrace all the causes.

It is generally admitted, that the stars225, at the time of their evening setting, are nearest to the earth, both with respect to latitude and altitude226, that they are at the commencement of both at their morning risings, and that they become stationary at the middle points of their latitudes, what are called the ecliptics227. It is, moreover, acknowledged, that their motion is increased when they are in the vicinity of the earth, and diminished when they are removed to a greater altitude228; a point which is most clearly proved by the different altitudes of the moon. There is no doubt that it is also increased at the morning risings229, and that the three superior planets are retarded, as they advance from the first station to the second. And since this is the case, it46 is evident, that the latitudes are increased from the time of their morning risings, since the motions afterwards appear to receive less addition; but they gain their altitude in the first station, since the rate of their motion then begins to diminish230, and the stars to recede.

And the reason of this must be particularly set forth. When the planets are struck by the rays of the sun, in the situation which I have described, i. e. in their quadrature, they are prevented from holding on their straight forward course, and are raised on high by the force of the fire231. This cannot be immediately perceived by the eye, and therefore they seem to be stationary, and hence the term station is derived. Afterwards the violence of the rays increases, and the vapour being beaten back forces them to recede.

This exists in a greater degree in their evening risings, the sun being then turned entirely from them, when they are drawn into the highest apsides; and they are then the least visible, since they are at their greatest altitude and are carried along with the least motion, as much less indeed as this takes place in the highest signs of the apsides. At the time of the evening rising the latitude decreases and becomes less as the motion is diminished, and it does not increase again until they arrive at the second station, when the altitude is also diminished; the sun’s rays then coming from the other side, the same force now therefore propels them towards the earth which before raised them into the heavens, from their former triangular aspect232. So different is the effect whether the rays strike the planets from below or come to them from above. And all these circumstances produce much more effect when they occur in the evening setting. This is the doctrine of the superior planets; that47 of the others is more difficult, and has never been laid down by any one before me233.


I must first state the cause, why the star Venus never recedes from the sun more than 46 degrees, nor Mercury more than 23234, while they frequently return to the sun within this distance235. As they are situated below the sun, they have both of them their apsides turned in the contrary direction; their orbits are as much below the earth as those of the stars above mentioned are above it, and therefore they cannot recede any farther, since the curve of their apsides has no greater longitude236. The extreme parts of their apsides therefore assign the limits to each of them in the same manner, and compensate, as it were, for the small extent of their longitudes, by the great divergence of their latitudes237. It may be asked, why do they not always proceed as far as the 46th and the 23rd degrees respectively? They in reality do so, but the theory fails us here. For it would appear that the apsides are themselves moved, as they never pass over the sun238. When therefore they have arrived at the48 extremities of their orbits on either side, the stars are then supposed to have proceeded to their greatest distance; when they have been a certain number of degrees within their orbits, they are then supposed to return more rapidly, since the extreme point in each is the same. And on this account it is that the direction of their motion appears to be changed. For the superior planets are carried along the most quickly in their evening setting, while these move the most slowly; the former are at their greatest distance from the earth when they move the most slowly, the latter when they move the most quickly. The former are accelerated when nearest to the earth, the latter when at the extremity of the circle; in the former the rapidity of the motion begins to diminish at their morning risings, in the latter it begins to increase; the former are retrograde from their morning to their evening station, while Venus is retrograde from the evening to the morning station. She begins to increase her latitude from her morning rising, her altitude follows the sun from her morning station, her motion being the quickest and her altitude the greatest in her morning setting. Her latitude decreases and her altitude diminishes from her evening rising, she becomes retrograde, and at the same time decreases in her altitude from her evening station.

Again, the star Mercury, in the same way, mounts up in both directions239 from his morning rising, and having followed the sun through a space of 15 degrees, he becomes almost stationary for four days. Presently he diminishes his altitude, and recedes from his evening setting to his morning rising. Mercury and the Moon are the only planets which descend for the same number of days that they ascend. Venus ascends for fifteen days and somewhat more; Saturn and Jupiter descend in twice that number of days, and Mars in four times. So great is the variety of nature! The reason of it is, however, evident; for those planets which are forced up by the vapour of the sun likewise descend with difficulty.


There are many other secrets of nature in these points, as49 well as the laws to which they are subject, which might be mentioned. For example, the planet Mars, whose course is the most difficult to observe241, never becomes stationary when Jupiter is in the trine aspect, very rarely when he is 60 degrees from the sun, which number is one-sixth of the circuit of the heavens242; nor does he ever rise in the same sign with Jupiter, except in Cancer and Leo. The star Mercury seldom has his evening risings in Pisces, but very frequently in Virgo, and his morning risings in Libra; he has also his morning rising in Aquarius, very rarely in Leo. He never becomes retrograde either in Taurus or in Gemini, nor until the 25th degree of Cancer. The Moon makes her double conjunction with the sun in no other sign except Gemini, while Sagittarius is the only sign in which she has sometimes no conjunction at all. The old and the new moon are visible on the same day or night in no other sign except Aries, and indeed it has happened very seldom to any one to have witnessed it. Prom this circumstance it was that the tale of Lynceus’s quick-sightedness originated243. Saturn and Mars are invisible at most for 170 days; Jupiter for 36, or, at the least, for 10 days less than this; Venus for 69, or, at the least, for 52; Mercury for 13, or, at the most, for 18244.


The difference of their colour depends on the difference in their altitudes; for they acquire a resemblance to those planets into the vapour of which they are carried, the orbit of each tinging those that approach it in each direction. A colder planet renders one that approaches it paler, one more hot50 renders it redder, a windy planet gives it a lowering aspect, while the sun, at the union of their apsides, or the extremity of their orbits, completely obscures them. Each of the planets has its peculiar colour245; Saturn is white, Jupiter brilliant, Mars fiery, Lucifer is glowing, Vesper refulgent, Mercury sparkling, the Moon mild; the Sun, when he rises, is blazing, afterwards he becomes radiating. The appearance of the stars, which are fixed in the firmament, is also affected by these causes. At one time we see a dense cluster of stars around the moon, when she is only half-enlightened, and when they are viewed in a serene evening; while, at another time, when the moon is full, there are so few to be seen, that we wonder whither they are fled; and this is also the case when the rays of the sun, or of any of the above-mentioned bodies246, have dazzled our sight. And, indeed, the moon herself is, without doubt, differently affected at different times by the rays of the sun; when she is entering them, the convexity of the heavens247 rendering them more feeble than when they fall upon her more directly248. Hence, when she is at a right angle to the sun, she is half-enlightened; when in the trine aspect, she presents an imperfect orb249, while, in opposition, she is full. Again, when she is waning, she goes through the same gradations, and in the same order, as the three stars that are superior to the sun250.


The Sun himself is in four different states; twice the night51 is equal to the day, in the Spring and in the Autumn, when he is opposed to the centre of the earth251, in the 8th degree of Aries and Libra252. The length of the day and the night is then twice changed, when the day increases in length, from the winter solstice in the 8th degree of Capricorn, and afterwards, when the night increases in length from the summer solstice in the 8th degree of Cancer253. The cause of this inequality is the obliquity of the zodiac, since there is, at every moment of time, an equal portion of the firmament above and below the horizon. But the signs which mount directly upwards, when they rise, retain the light for a longer space, while those that are more oblique pass along more quickly.


It is not generally known, what has been discovered by men who are the most eminent for their learning, in consequence of their assiduous observations of the heavens, that the fires which fall upon the earth, and receive the name of thunder-bolts, proceed from the three superior stars254, but principally from the one which is situated in the middle. It may perhaps depend on the superabundance of moisture from the superior orbit communicating with the heat from the inferior, which are expelled in this manner255; and hence it is commonly said, the thunder-bolts are darted by Jupiter. And as, in burning wood, the burnt part is cast off with a crackling noise, so does the star throw off this celestial fire, bearing the omens of future events, even the part which is52 thrown off not losing its divine operation. And this takes place more particularly when the air is in an unsettled state, either because the moisture which is then collected excites the greatest quantity of fire, or because the air is disturbed, as if by the parturition of the pregnant star.


Many persons have attempted to discover the distance of the stars from the earth, and they have published as the result, that the sun is nineteen times as far from the moon, as the moon herself is from the earth256. Pythagoras, who was a man of a very sagacious mind, computed the distance from the earth to the moon to be 126,000 furlongs, that from her to the sun is double this distance, and that it is three times this distance to the twelve signs257; and this was also the opinion of our countryman, Gallus Sulpicius258.


Pythagoras, employing the terms that are used in music, sometimes names the distance between the Earth and the Moon a tone; from her to Mercury he supposes to be half this space, and about the same from him to Venus. From her to the Sun is a tone and a half; from the Sun to Mars is a tone, the same as from the Earth to the Moon; from him there is half a tone to Jupiter, from Jupiter to Saturn also53 half a tone, and thence a tone and a half to the zodiac. Hence there are seven tones, which he terms the diapason harmony259, meaning the whole compass of the notes. In this, Saturn is said to move in the Doric time, Jupiter in the Phrygian260, and so forth of the rest; but this is a refinement rather amusing than useful.


The stadium is equal to 125 of our Roman paces, or 625 feet261. Posidonius262 supposes that there is a space of not less than 40 stadia around the earth, whence mists263, winds and clouds263 proceed; beyond this he supposes that the air is pure and liquid, consisting of uninterrupted light; from the clouded region to the moon there is a space of 2,000,000 of stadia,54 and thence to the sun of 500,000,000264. It is in consequence of this space that the sun, notwithstanding his immense magnitude, does not burn the earth. Many persons have imagined that the clouds rise to the height of 900 stadia. These points are not completely made out, and are difficult to explain; but we have given the best account of them that has been published, and if we may be allowed, in any degree, to pursue these investigations, there is one infallible geometrical principle, which we cannot reject. Not that we can ascertain the exact dimensions (for to profess to do this would be almost the act of a madman), but that the mind may have some estimate to direct its conjectures. Now it is evident that the orbit through which the sun passes consists of nearly 366 degrees, and that the diameter is always the third part and a little less than the seventh of the circumference265. Then taking the half of this (for the earth is placed in the centre) it will follow, that nearly one-sixth part of the immense space, which the mind conceives as constituting the orbit of the sun round the earth, will compose his altitude. That of the moon will be one-twelfth part, since her course is so much shorter than that of the sun; she is therefore carried along midway between the sun and the earth266. It is astonishing to what an extent the weakness of the mind will proceed, urged on by a little success, as in the above-mentioned instance, to give full scope to its impudence! Thus, having ventured to guess at the space between the sun and the earth, we do the same with respect to the heavens, because he is situated midway between them; so that we may come to know the measure of the whole world in inches. For if the diameter consist of seven parts, there will be twenty-two of the same parts in the circumference; as if we could measure the heavens by a plumb-line!

The Egyptian calculation, which was made out by Petosiris55 and Necepsos, supposes that each degree of the lunar orbit (which, as I have said, is the least) consists of little more than 33 stadia; in the very large orbit of Saturn the number is double; in that of the sun, which, as we have said, is in the middle267, we have the half of the sum of these numbers. And this is indeed a very modest calculation268, since if we add to the orbit of Saturn the distance from him to the zodiac, we shall have an infinite number of degrees269.


A few things still remain to be said concerning the world; for stars are suddenly formed in the heavens themselves; of these there are various kinds.

(25.) The Greeks name these stars comets271; we name them Crinitæ, as if shaggy with bloody locks, and surrounded with bristles like hair. Those stars, which have a mane hanging down from their lower part, like a long beard, are named Pogoniæ272. Those that are named Acontiæ273 vibrate like a dart with a very quick motion. It was one of this kind which the Emperor Titus described in his very excellent poem, as having been seen in his fifth consulship; and this was the last of these bodies which has been observed. When they are short and pointed they are named Xiphiæ274; these are the56 pale kind; they shine like a sword and are without any rays; while we name those Discei275, which, being of an amber colour, in conformity with their name, emit a few rays from their margin only. A kind named Pitheus276 exhibits the figure of a cask, appearing convex and emitting a smoky light. The kind named Cerastias277 has the appearance of a horn; it is like the one which was visible when the Greeks fought at Salamis. Lampadias278 is like a burning torch; Hippias279 is like a horse’s mane; it has a very rapid motion, like a circle revolving on itself. There is also a white comet, with silver hair, so brilliant that it can scarcely be looked at, exhibiting, as it were, the aspect of the Deity in a human form. There are some also that are shaggy, having the appearance of a fleece, surrounded by a kind of crown. There was one, where the appearance of a mane was changed into that of a spear; it happened in the 109th olympiad, in the 398th year of the City280. The shortest time during which any one of them has been observed to be visible is 7 days, the longest 180 days.


Some of them move about in the manner of planets281, others remain stationary. They are almost all of them seen towards the north282, not indeed in any particular portion of it, but57 generally in that white part of it which has obtained the name of the Milky Way. Aristotle informs us that several of them are to be seen at the same time283, but this, as far as I know, has not been observed by any one else; also that they prognosticate high winds and great heat284. They are also visible in the winter months, and about the south pole, but they have no rays proceeding from them. There was a dreadful one observed by the Æthiopians and the Egyptians, to which Typhon, a king of that period, gave his own name; it had a fiery appearance, and was twisted like a spiral; its aspect was hideous, nor was it like a star, but rather like a knot of fire285. Sometimes there are hairs attached to the planets and the other stars. Comets are never seen in the western part of the heavens. It is generally regarded as a terrific star, and one not easily expiated; as was the case with the civil commotions in the consulship of Octavius, and also in the war of Pompey and Cæsar286. And in our own age, about the time when Claudius Cæsar was poisoned and left the Empire to Domitius Nero, and afterwards, while the latter was Emperor287, there was one which was almost constantly seen and was very frightful. It is thought important to notice towards what part it darts its beams, or from what star it receives its influence, what it resembles, and in what places it shines. If it resembles a flute, it portends something58 unfavourable respecting music; if it appears in the parts of the signs referred to the secret members, something respecting lewdness of manners; something respecting wit and learning, if they form a triangular or quadrangular figure with the position of some of the fixed stars; and that some one will be poisoned, if they appear in the head of either the northern or the southern serpent.

Rome is the only place in the whole world where there is a temple dedicated to a comet; it was thought by the late Emperor Augustus to be auspicious to him, from its appearing during the games which he was celebrating in honour of Venus Genetrix, not long after the death of his father Cæsar, in the College which was founded by him288. He expressed his joy in these terms: “During the very time of these games of mine, a hairy star was seen during seven days, in the part of the heavens which is under the Great Bear. It rose about the eleventh hour of the day289, was very bright, and was conspicuous in all parts of the earth. The common people supposed the star to indicate, that the soul of Cæsar was admitted among the immortal Gods; under which designation it was that the star was placed on the bust which was lately consecrated in the forum290.” This is what he proclaimed in public, but, in secret, he rejoiced at this auspicious omen, interpreting it as produced for himself; and, to confess the truth, it really proved a salutary omen for the world at large291.

Some persons suppose that these stars are permanent, and that they move through their proper orbits, but that they are only visible when they recede from the sun. Others suppose that they are produced by an accidental vapour together with the force of fire, and that, from this circumstance, they are liable to be dissipated292.



This same Hipparchus, who can never be sufficiently commended, as one who more especially proved the relation of the stars to man, and that our souls are a portion of heaven, discovered a new star that was produced in his own age, and, by observing its motions on the day in which it shone, he was led to doubt whether it does not often happen, that those stars have motion which we suppose to be fixed. And the same individual attempted, what might seem presumptuous even in a deity, viz. to number the stars for posterity and to express their relations by appropriate names; having previously devised instruments294, by which he might mark the places and the magnitudes of each individual star. In this way it might be easily discovered, not only whether they were destroyed or produced, but whether they changed their relative positions, and likewise, whether they were increased or diminished; the heavens being thus left as an inheritance to any one, who might be found competent to complete his plan.


The faces shine brilliantly, but they are never seen excepting when they are falling296; one of these darted across the 60 heavens, in the sight of all the people, at noon-day, when Germanicus Cæsar was exhibiting a show of gladiators297. There are two kinds of them; those which are called lampades and those which are called bolides, one of which latter was seen during the troubles at Mutina298. They differ from each other in this respect, that the faces produce a long train of light, the fore-part only being on fire; while the bolides, being entirely in a state of combustion, leave a still longer track behind them.


The trabes also, which are named δοκοὶ299, shine in the same manner; one of these was seen at the time when the Lacedæmonians, by being conquered at sea, lost their influence in Greece. An opening sometimes takes place in the firmament, which is named chasma300.


There is a flame of a bloody appearance (and nothing is61 more dreaded by mortals) which falls down upon the earth301, such as was seen in the third year of the 103rd olympiad, when King Philip was disturbing Greece. But my opinion is, that these, like everything else, occur at stated, natural periods, and are not produced, as some persons imagine, from a variety of causes, such as their fine genius may suggest. They have indeed been the precursors of great evils, but I conceive that the evils occurred, not because the prodigies took place, but that these took place because the evils were appointed to occur at that period302. Their cause is obscure in consequence of their rarity, and therefore we are not as well acquainted with them as we are with the rising of the stars, which I have mentioned, and with eclipses and many other things.


Stars are occasionally seen along with the sun, for whole days together, and generally round its orb, like wreaths made of the ears of corn, or circles of various colours303; such as occurred when Augustus, while a very young man, was entering the city, after the death of his father, in order to take upon himself the great name which he assumed304. (29.) The same coronæ occur about the moon and also about the principal stars, which are stationary in the heavens.



A bow appeared round the sun in the consulship of L. Opimius and L. Fabius305, and a circle in that of C. Porcius and M. Acilius. (30.) There was a little circle of a red colour in the consulship of L. Julius and P. Rutilius.


Eclipses of the sun also take place which are portentous and unusually long, such as occurred when Cæsar the Dictator was slain, and in the war against Antony, the sun remained dim for almost a whole year306.

CHAP. 31. (31.)—MANY SUNS.

And again, many suns have been seen at the same time307; not above or below the real sun, but in an oblique direction, never near nor opposite to the earth, nor in the night, but either in the east or in the west. They are said to have been seen once at noon in the Bosphorus, and to have continued from morning until sunset. Our ancestors have frequently seen three suns at the same time308, as was the case in the consulship of Sp. Postumius and L. Mucius, of L. Marcius and M. Portius, that of M. Antony and Dolabella, and that of M. Lepidus and L. Plancus. And we have ourselves seen one during the reign of the late Emperor Claudius, when he63 was consul along with Corn. Orfitus. We have no account transmitted to us of more than three having been seen at the same time.

CHAP. 32. (32.)—MANY MOONS.

Three moons have also been seen, as was the case in the consulship of Cn. Domitius and C. Fannius; they have generally been named nocturnal suns309.


A bright light has been seen proceeding from the heavens in the night time, as was the case in the consulship of C. Cæcilius and Cn. Papirius, and at many other times, so that there has been a kind of daylight in the night310.


A burning shield darted across at sunset, from west to east, throwing out sparks, in the consulship of L. Valerius and C. Marius312.


We have an account of a spark falling from a star, and increasing as it approached the earth, until it became of the size of the moon, shining as through a cloud313; it afterwards returned into the heavens and was converted into a lampas; this occurred in the consulship of Cn. Octavius and C. Scribonius.64 It was seen by Silanus, the proconsul, and his attendants314.


Stars are seen to move about in various directions, but never without some cause, nor without violent winds proceeding from the same quarter315.


These stars occur both at sea and at land. I have seen, during the night-watches of the soldiers, a luminous appearance, like a star, attached to the javelins on the ramparts. They also settle on the yard-arms and other parts of ships while sailing, producing a kind of vocal sound, like that of birds flitting about. When they occur singly they are mischievous, so as even to sink the vessels, and if they strike on the lower part of the keel, setting them on fire317. When there are two of them they are considered auspicious, and are thought to predict a prosperous voyage, as it is said that they drive away that dreadful and terrific meteor named Helena. On this account their efficacy is ascribed to Castor and Pollux, and they are invoked as gods. They also occasionally shine round the heads of men in the evening318, which is considered65 as predicting something very important. But there is great uncertainty respecting the cause of all these things, and they are concealed in the majesty of nature.


So far I have spoken of the world itself and of the stars. I must now give an account of the other remarkable phænomena of the heavens. For our ancestors have given the name of heavens, or, sometimes, another name, air, to all the seemingly void space, which diffuses around us this vital spirit. It is situated beneath the moon, indeed much lower, as is admitted by every one who has made observations on it, and is composed of a great quantity of air from the upper regions, mixed with a great quantity of terrestrial vapour, the two forming a compound. Hence proceed clouds, thunder and lightning of all kinds; hence also hail, frost, showers, storms and whirlwinds; hence proceed many of the evils incident to mortals, and the mutual contests of the various parts of nature. The force of the stars keeps down all terrestrial things which tend towards the heavens, and the same force attracts to itself those things which do not go there spontaneously. The showers fall, mists rise up, rivers are dried up, hail-storms rush down, the rays of the sun parch the earth, and impel it from all quarters towards the centre. The same rays, still unbroken, dart back again, and carry with them whatever they can take up. Vapour falls from on high and returns again to the same place. Winds arise which contain nothing, but which return loaded with spoils. The breathing of so many animals draws down the spirit from the higher regions; but this tends to go in a contrary direction, and the earth pours out its spirit into the void space of the heavens. Thus nature moving to and fro, as if impelled by some machine319, discord is kindled by the rapid motion of the world. Nor is the contest allowed to cease, for she is continually whirled round and lays open the causes of all things, forming an immense globe about the earth, while she again, from time to time, covers this other firmament66 with clouds320. This is the region of the winds. Here their nature principally originates, as well as the causes of almost all other things321; since most persons ascribe the darting of thunder and lightning to their violence. And to the same cause are assigned the showers of stones, these having been previously taken up by the wind, as well as many other bodies in the same way. On this account we must enter more at large on this subject.


It is obvious that there are causes of the seasons and of other things which have been stated, while there are some things which are casual, or of which the reason has not yet been discovered. For who can doubt that summer and winter, and the annual revolution of the seasons are caused by the motion of the stars322? As therefore the nature of the sun is understood to influence the temperature of the year, so each of the other stars has its specific power, which produces its appropriate effects. Some abound in a fluid retaining its liquid state, others, in the same fluid concreted into hoar frost, compressed into snow, or frozen into hail; some are prolific in winds, some in heat, some in vapours, some in dew, some in cold. But these bodies must not be supposed to be actually of the size which they appear, since the consideration of their immense height clearly proves, that none of them are less than the moon. Each of them exercises its influence over us by its own motions; this is particularly observable with respect to Saturn, which produces a great quantity of rain in its transits. Nor is this power confined to the stars which change their situations, but is found to exist in many of the fixed stars, whenever67 they are impelled by the force of any of the planets, or excited by the impulse of their rays; as we find to be the case with respect to the Suculæ323, which the Greeks, in reference to their rainy nature, have termed the Hyades324. There are also certain events which occur spontaneously, and at stated periods, as the rising of the Kids325. The star Arcturus scarcely ever rises without storms of hail occurring.


Who is there that does not know that the vapour of the sun is kindled by the rising of the Dog-star? The most powerful effects are felt on the earth from this star. When it rises, the seas are troubled, the wines in our cellars ferment, and stagnant waters are set in motion. There is a wild beast, named by the Egyptians Oryx, which, when the star rises, is said to stand opposite to it, to look steadfastly at it, and then to sneeze, as if it were worshiping it326. There is no doubt that dogs, during the whole of this period, are peculiarly disposed to become rabid327.


There is moreover a peculiar influence in the different degrees of certain signs, as in the autumnal equinox, and also in the winter solstice, when we find that a particular star is connected with the state of the weather328. It is not so much the recurrence of showers and storms, as of various circumstances, which act both upon animals and vegetables. Some are planet-struck329, and others, at stated times, are affected in the bowels, the sinews, the head, or the intellect.68 The olive, the white poplar, and the willow turn their leaves round at the summer solstice. The herb pulegium, when dried and hanging up in a house, blossoms on the very day of the winter solstice, and bladders burst in consequence of their being distended with air330. One might wonder at this, did we not observe every day, that the plant named heliotrope always looks towards the setting sun, and is, at all hours, turned towards him, even when he is obscured by clouds331. It is certain that the bodies of oysters and of whelks332, and of shell-fish generally, are increased in size and again diminished by the influence of the moon. Certain accurate observers have found out, that the entrails of the field-mouse333 correspond in number to the moon’s age, and that the very small animal, the ant, feels the power of this luminary, always resting from her labours at the change of the moon. And so much the more disgraceful is our ignorance, as every one acknowledges that the diseases in the eyes of certain beasts of burden increase and diminish according to the age of the moon. But the immensity of the heavens, divided as they are into seventy-two334 constellations, may serve as an excuse. These are the resemblances of certain things, animate and inanimate, into which the learned have divided the heavens. In these they have announced 1600 stars, as being remarkable either for their effects or their appearance; for example, in the tail of the Bull there are seven stars, which are named Vergiliæ335; in his forehead69 are the Suculæ; there is also Bootes, which follows the seven northern stars336.


But I would not deny, that there may exist showers and winds, independent of these causes, since it is certain that an exhalation proceeds from the earth, which is sometimes moist, and at other times, in consequence of the vapours, like dense smoke; and also, that clouds are formed, either from the fluid rising up on high, or from the air being compressed into a fluid337. Their density and their substance is very clearly proved from their intercepting the sun’s rays, which are visible by divers, even in the deepest waters338.


It cannot therefore be denied, that fire proceeding from the stars which are above the clouds, may fall on them, as we frequently observe on serene evenings, and that the air is agitated by the impulse, as darts when they are hurled whiz through the air. And when it arrives at the cloud, a discordant kind of vapour is produced, as when hot iron is plunged into water, and a wreath of smoke is evolved. Hence arise squalls. And if wind or vapour be struggling in the cloud, thunder is discharged; if it bursts out with a flame, there is a thunderbolt; if it be long in forcing out its way, it is simply a flash of lightning339. By the latter the cloud is simply rent, by the former it is shattered. Thunder is produced70 by the stroke given to the condensed air, and hence it is that the fire darts from the chinks of the clouds. It is possible also that the vapour, which has risen from the earth, being repelled by the stars, may produce thunder, when it is pent up in a cloud; nature restraining the sound whilst the vapour is struggling to escape, but when it does escape, the sound bursting forth, as is the case with bladders that are distended with air. It is possible also that the spirit, whatever it be, may be kindled by friction, when it is so violently projected. It is possible that, by the dashing of the two clouds, the lightning may flash out, as is the case when two stones are struck against each other. But all these things appear to be casual. Hence there are thunderbolts which produce no effect, and proceed from no immediate actual cause; by these mountains and seas are struck, and no injury is done. Those which prognosticate future events proceed from on high and from stated causes, and they come from their peculiar stars340.


In like manner I would not deny that winds, or rather sudden gusts, are produced by the arid and dry vapours of the earth; that air may also be exhaled from water, which can neither be condensed into a mist, nor compressed into a cloud; that it may be also driven forward by the impulse of the sun, since by the term ‘wind’ we mean nothing more than a current of air, by whatever means it may be produced341. For we observe winds to proceed from rivers and bays, and from the sea, even when it is tranquil; while others, which are named Altani, rise up from the earth; when they come back from the sea they are named Tropæi, but if they go straight on, Apogæi342.


(44.) The windings and the numerous peaks of mountains, their ridges, bent into angles or broken into defiles, with the hollow valleys, by their irregular forms, cleaving the air which rebounds from them (which is also the cause why voices are, in many cases, repeated several times in succession), give rise to winds.

(45.) There are certain caves, such as that on the coast of Dalmatia, with a vast perpendicular chasm, into which, if a light weight only be let down, and although the day be calm, a squall issues from it like a whirlwind. The name of the place is Senta. And also, in the province of Cyrenaica, there is a certain rock, said to be sacred to the south wind, which it is profane for a human hand to touch, as the south wind immediately rolls forwards clouds of sand343. There are also, in many houses, artificial cavities, formed in the walls344, which produce currents of air; none of these are without their appropriate cause.


But there is a great difference between a gale and a wind345. The former are uniform and appear to rush forth346; they are felt, not in certain spots only, but over whole countries, not forming breezes or squalls, but violent storms347. Whether they be produced by the constant revolution of the world and the opposite motion of the stars, or whether they both of them depend on the generative spirit of the nature of72 things, wandering, as it were, up and down in her womb, or whether the air be scourged by the irregular strokes of the wandering stars348, or the various projections of their rays, or whether they, each of them, proceed from their own stars, among which are those that are nearest to us, or whether they descend from those that are fixed in the heavens, it is manifest that they are all governed by a law of nature, which is not altogether unknown, although it be not completely ascertained.

(46.) More than twenty old Greek writers have published their observations upon this subject. And this is the more remarkable, seeing that there is so much discord in the world, and that it is divided into different kingdoms, that is into separate members, that there should have been so many who have paid attention to these subjects, which are so difficult to investigate. Especially when we consider the wars and the treachery which everywhere prevail; while pirates, the enemies of the human race, have possession of all the modes of communication, so that, at this time, a person may acquire more correct information about a country from the writings of those who have never been there, than from the inhabitants themselves. Whereas, at this day, in the blessed peace which we enjoy, under a prince who so greatly encourages the advancement of the arts, no new inquiries are set on foot, nor do we even make ourselves thoroughly masters of the discoveries of the ancients. Not that there were greater rewards held out, from the advantages being distributed to a greater number of persons, but that there were more individuals who diligently scrutinized these matters, with no other prospect but that of benefiting posterity. It is that the manners of men are degenerated, not that the advantages are diminished. All the seas, as many as there are, being laid open, and a hospitable reception being given us at every shore, an immense number of people undertake voyages; but it is for the sake of gain, not of science. Nor does their understanding, which is blinded and bent only on avarice, perceive that this very thing might be more safely done by means of science. Seeing, therefore, that there are so many thousands of persons on the seas, I will treat of the73 winds with more minuteness than perhaps might otherwise appear suitable to my undertaking.


The ancients reckoned only four winds (nor indeed does Homer mention more350) corresponding to the four parts of the world; a very poor reason, as we now consider it. The next generation added eight others, but this was too refined and minute a division; the moderns have taken a middle course, and, out of this great number, have added four to the original set. There are, therefore, two in each of the four quarters of the heavens. From the equinoctial rising of the sun351 proceeds Subsolanus352, and, from his brumal rising, Vulturnus353; the former is named by the Greeks Apeliotes354, the latter Eurus. From the south we have Auster, and from the brumal setting of the sun, Africus; these were named Notos74 and Libs. From the equinoctial setting proceeds Favonius355, and from the solstitial setting, Corus356; these were named Zephyrus and Argestes. From the seven stars comes Septemtrio, between which and the solstitial rising we have Aquilo, named Aparctias and Boreas357. By a more minute subdivision we interpose four others, Thrascias, between Septemtrio and the solstitial setting; Cæcias, between Aquilo and the equinoctial rising; and Phœnices, between the brumal rising and the south. And also, at an equal distance from the south and the winter setting, between Libs and Notos, and compounded of the two, is Libonotos. Nor is this all. For some persons have added a wind, which they have named Meses, between Boreas and Cæcias, and one between Eurus and Notos, named Euronotus358.

There are also certain winds peculiar to certain countries, which do not extend beyond certain districts, as Sciron in Attica, deviating a little from Argestes, and not known in the other parts of Greece. In other places it is a little higher on the card and is named Olympias; but all these75 have gone by the name of Argestes. In some places Cæcias is named Hellespontia, and the same is done in other cases. In the province of Narbonne the most noted wind is Circius; it is not inferior to any of the winds in violence, frequently driving the waves before it, to Ostia359, straight across the Ligurian sea. Yet this same wind is unknown in other parts, not even reaching Vienne, a city in the same province; for meeting with a high ridge of hills, just before it arrives at that district, it is checked, although it be the most violent of all the winds. Fabius also asserts, that the south winds never penetrate into Egypt. Hence this law of nature is obvious, that winds have their stated seasons and limits.


The spring opens the seas for the navigators. In the beginning of this season the west winds soften, as it were, the winter sky, the sun having now gained the 25th degree of Aquarius; this is on the sixth day before the Ides of February361. This agrees, for the most part, with all the remarks that I shall subsequently make, only anticipating the period by one day in the intercalary year, and again, preserving the same order in the succeeding lustrum362. After the eighth day before the Calends of March363, Favonius is called by some Chelidonias364, from the swallows making their appearance. The wind, which blows for the space of nine days, from the seventy-first day after the winter solstice365, is sometimes called Ornithias, from the arrival of the birds366. In the contrary direction to Favonius is the wind which we name Subsolanus, and76 this is connected with the rising of the Vergiliæ, in the 25th degree of Taurus, six days before the Ides of May367, which is the time when south winds prevail: these are opposite to Septemtrio. The dog-star rises in the hottest time of the summer, when the sun is entering the first degree of Leo368; this is fifteen days before the Calends of August. The north winds, which are called Prodromi369, precede its rising by about eight days. But in two days after its rising, the same north winds, which are named Etesiæ370, blow more constantly during this period; the vapour from the sun, being increased twofold by the heat of this star, is supposed to render these winds more mild; nor are there any which are more regular. After these the south winds become more frequent, until the appearance of Arcturus371, which rises eleven days before the autumnal equinox. At this time Corus sets in; Corus is an autumnal wind, and is in the opposite direction to Vulturnus. After this, and generally for forty-four days after the equinox, at the setting of the Vergiliæ, the winter commences, which usually happens on the third of the Ides of November372. This is the period of the winter north wind, which is very unlike the summer north wind, and which is in the opposite direction to Africus. For seven days before the winter solstice, and for the same length of time after it, the sea becomes calm, in order that the king-fishers may rear their young; from this circumstance they have obtained the name of the halcyon days373; the rest of the season is winterly374. Yet the77 severity of the storms does not entirely close up the sea. In former times, pirates were compelled, by the fear of death, to rush into death, and to brave the winter ocean; now we are driven to it by avarice375.


Those are the coldest winds which are said to blow from the seven stars, and Corus, which is contiguous to them; these also restrain the others and dispel the clouds. The moist winds are Africus, and, still more, the Auster of Italy. It is said that, in Pontus, Cæcias attracts the clouds. The dry winds are Corus and Vulturnus, especially when they are about to cease blowing. The winds that bring snow are Aquilo and Septemtrio; Septemtrio brings hail, and so does Corus; Auster is sultry, Vulturnus and Zephyrus are warm. These winds are more dry than Subsolanus, and generally those which blow from the north and west are more dry than those which blow from the south and east. Aquilo is the most healthy of them all; Auster is unhealthy, and more so when dry; it is colder, perhaps because it is moist. Animals are supposed to have less appetite for food when this wind is blowing. The Etesiæ generally cease during the night, and spring up at the third hour of the day377. In Spain and in Asia these winds have an easterly direction, in Pontus a northerly, and in other places a southerly direction. They blow also after the winter solstice, when they are called Ornithiæ378, but they are more gentle and continue only for a few days. There are two winds which change their nature with their situation; in Africa Auster is attended with a clear sky, while Aquilo collects the clouds379. Almost all78 winds blow in their turn, so that when one ceases its opposite springs up. When winds which are contiguous succeed each other, they go from left to right, in the direction of the sun. The fourth day of the moon generally determines their direction for the whole of the monthly period380. We are able to sail in opposite directions by means of the same wind, if we have the sails properly set; hence it frequently happens that, in the night, vessels going in different directions run against each other. Auster produces higher winds than Aquilo, because the former blows, as it were, from the bottom of the sea, while the latter blows on the surface; it is therefore after south winds that the most mischievous earthquakes have occurred. Auster is more violent during the night, Aquilo during the day; winds from the east continue longer than from the west. The north winds generally cease blowing on the odd days, and we observe the prevalence of the odd numbers in many other parts of nature; the male winds are therefore regulated by the odd numbers381. The sun sometimes increases and sometimes restrains winds; when rising and setting it increases them; while, when on the meridian, it restrains them during the summer. They are, therefore, generally lulled during the middle of the day and of the night, because they are abated either by excessive cold or heat; winds are also lulled by showers. We generally expect them to come from that quarter where the clouds open and allow the clear sky to be seen. Eudoxus382 supposes that the same succession of changes occurs in them after a period of four years, if we observe their minute revolutions; and this applies not only to winds, but to whatever concerns the state of the weather. He begins his lustrum at the rising of the dog-star, in the intercalary year. So far concerning winds in general.



And now respecting the sudden gusts383, which arising from the exhalations of the earth, as has been said above, and falling down again, being in the mean time covered by a thin film of clouds, exist in a variety of forms. By their wandering about, and rushing down like torrents, in the opinion of some persons, they produce thunder and lightning384. But if they be urged on with greater force and violence, so as to cause the rupture of a dry cloud, they produce a squall385, which is named by the Greeks Ecnephias386. But, if these are compressed, and rolled up more closely together, and then break without any discharge of fire, i. e. without thunder, they produce a squall, which is named Typhon387, or an Ecnephias in a state of agitation. It carries along a portion of the cloud which it has broken off, rolling it and turning it round, aggravating its own destruction by the weight of it, and whirling it from place to place. This is very much dreaded by sailors, as it not only breaks their sail-yards, but the vessels themselves, bending them about in various ways. This may be in a slight degree counteracted by sprinkling it with vinegar, when it comes near us, this substance being of a very cold nature388. This wind, when it rebounds after the stroke, absorbs and carries up whatever it may have seized on.



But if it burst from the cavity of a cloud which is more depressed, but less capacious than what produces a squall, and is accompanied by noise, it is called a whirlwind, and throws down everything which is near it. The same, when it is more burning and rages with greater heat, is called a blasting wind390, scorching and, at the same time, throwing down everything with which it comes in contact. (49.) Typhon never comes from the north, nor have we Ecnephias when it snows, or when there is snow on the ground. If it breaks the clouds, and, at the same time, catches fire or burns, but not until it has left the cloud, it forms a thunder-bolt. It differs from Prester as flame does from fire; the former is diffused in a gust, the latter is condensed with a violent impulse391. The whirlwind, when it rebounds, differs from the tornado in the same manner as a loud noise does from a dash.

The squall differs from both of them in its extent, the clouds being more properly rent asunder than broken into pieces. A black cloud is formed, resembling a great animal, an appearance much dreaded by sailors. It is also called a pillar, when the moisture is so condensed and rigid as to be able to support itself. It is a cloud of the same kind, which, when drawn into a tube, sucks up the water392.


Thunder is rare both in winter and in summer394, but from81 different causes; the air, which is condensed in the winter, is made still more dense by a thicker covering of clouds, while the exhalations from the earth, being all of them rigid and frozen, extinguish whatever fiery vapour it may receive. It is this cause which exempts Scythia and the cold districts round it from thunder. On the other hand, the excessive heat exempts Egypt; the warm and dry vapours of the earth being very seldom condensed, and that only into light clouds. But, in the spring and autumn, thunder is more frequent, the causes which produce summer and winter being, in each season, less efficient. From this cause thunder is more frequent in Italy, the air being more easily set in motion, in consequence of a milder winter and a showery summer, so that it may be said to be always spring or autumn. Also in those parts of Italy which recede from the north and lie towards the south, as in the district round our city, and in Campania, it lightens equally both in winter and in summer, which is not the case in other situations.


We have accounts of many different kinds of thunder-storms. Those which are dry do not burn objects, but dissipate them; while those which are moist do not burn, but blacken them. There is a third kind, which is called bright lightning396, of a very wonderful nature, by which casks are emptied, without the vessels themselves being injured, or there being any other trace left of their operation397. Gold, copper, and silver are melted, while the bags which contain them are not in the least burned, nor even the wax seal much defaced. Marcia, a lady of high rank at Rome, was struck while pregnant; the fœtus was destroyed, while she herself survived without82 suffering any injury398. Among the prognostics which took place at the time of Catiline’s conspiracy, M. Herennius, a magistrate of the borough of Pompeii, was struck by lightning when the sky was without clouds399.


The Tuscan books inform us, that there are nine Gods who discharge thunder-storms, that there are eleven different kinds of them, and that three of them are darted out by Jupiter. Of these the Romans retained only two, ascribing the diurnal kind to Jupiter, and the nocturnal to Summanus401; this latter kind being more rare, in consequence of the heavens being colder, as was mentioned above. The Etrurians also suppose, that those which are named Infernal burst out of the ground; they are produced in the winter and are particularly fierce and direful, as all things are which proceed from the earth, and are not generated by or proceeding from the stars, but from a cause which is near at hand, and of a more disorderly nature. As a proof of this it is said, that all those which proceed from the higher regions strike obliquely, while those which are termed terrestrial strike in a direct line. And because these fall from matter which is nearer to us, they are supposed to proceed from the earth, since they leave no traces of a rebound; this being the effect of a stroke coming not from below, but from an opposite quarter. Those who have searched into the subject83 more minutely suppose, that these come from the planet Saturn, as those that are of a burning nature do from Mars. In this way it was that Volsinium, the most opulent town of the Tuscans, was entirely consumed by lightning402. The first of these strokes that a man receives, after he has come into possession of any property, is termed Familiar403, and is supposed to prognosticate the events of the whole of his life. But it is not generally supposed that they predict events of a private nature for a longer space than ten years, unless they happen at the time of a first marriage or a birth-day; nor that public predictions extend beyond thirty years404, unless with respect to the founding of colonies405.


It is related in our Annals, that by certain sacred rites and imprecations, thunder-storms may be compelled or invoked406. There is an old report in Etruria, that thunder was invoked when the city of Volsinium had its territory laid waste by a monster named Volta407. Thunder was also invoked84 by King Porsenna. And L. Piso408, a very respectable author, states in the first book of his Annals, that this had been frequently done before his time by Numa, and that Tullus Hostilius, imitating him, but not having properly performed the ceremonies, was struck with the lightning409. We have also groves, and altars, and sacred places, and, among the titles of Jupiter, as Stator, Tonans, and Feretrius, we have a Jupiter Elicius410. The opinions entertained on this point are very various, and depend much on the dispositions of different individuals. To believe that we can command nature is the mark of a bold mind, nor is it less the mark of a feeble one to reject her kindness411. Our knowledge has been so far useful to us in the interpretation of thunder, that it enables us to predict what is to happen on a certain day, and we learn either that our fortune is to be entirely changed, or it discloses events which are concealed from us; as is proved by an infinite number of examples, public and private. Wherefore let these things remain, according to the order of nature, to some persons certain, to others doubtful, by some approved, by others condemned. I must not, however, omit the other circumstances connected with them which deserve to be related.


It is certain that the lightning is seen before the thunder is heard, although they both take place at the same time. Nor is this wonderful, since light has a greater velocity than sound. Nature so regulates it, that the stroke and the sound coincide412; the sound is, however, produced by the discharge of the thunder, not by its stroke. But the air is impelled85 quicker than the lightning413, on which account it is that everything is shaken and blown up before it is struck, and that a person is never injured when he has seen the lightning and heard the thunder. Thunder on the left hand is supposed to be lucky, because the east is on the left side of the heavens414. We do not regard so much the mode in which it comes to us, as that in which it leaves us, whether the fire rebounds after the stroke, or whether the current of air returns when the operation is concluded and the fire is consumed. In relation to this object the Etrurians have divided the heavens into sixteen parts415. The first great division is from north to east; the second to the south; the third to the west, and the fourth occupies what remains from west to north. Each of these has been subdivided into four parts, of which the eight on the east have been called the left, and those on the west the right divisions. Those which extend from the west to the north have been considered the most unpropitious. It becomes therefore very important to ascertain from what quarter the thunder proceeds, and in what direction it falls. It is considered a very favourable omen when it returns into the eastern divisions. But it prognosticates the greatest felicity when the thunder proceeds from the first-mentioned part of the heavens and falls back into it; it was an omen of this kind which, as we have heard, was given to Sylla, the Dictator. The remaining quarters of the heavens are less propitious, and also less to be dreaded. There are some kinds of thunder which it is not thought right to speak of, or even to listen to, unless when they have been disclosed to the master of a family or to a parent. But the futility of this observation was detected when the temple of Juno was struck at Rome, during86 the consulship of Scaurus, he who was afterwards the Prince of the Senate416.

It lightens without thunder more frequently in the night than in the day417. Man is the only animal that is not always killed by it, all other animals being killed instantly, nature having granted to him this mark of distinction, while so many other animals excel him in strength. All animals fall down on the opposite side to that which has been struck; man, unless he be thrown down on the parts that are struck, does not expire. Those who are struck directly from above sink down immediately. When a man is struck while he is awake, he is found with his eyes closed; when asleep, with them open. It is not considered proper that a man killed in this way should be burnt on the funeral pile; our religion enjoins us to bury the body in the earth418. No animal is consumed by lightning unless after having been previously killed. The parts of the animal that have been wounded by lightning are colder than the rest of the body.


Among the productions of the earth, thunder never strikes the laurel419, nor does it descend more than five feet into the earth. Those, therefore, who are timid consider the deepest caves as the most safe; or tents made of the skins of the animal called the sea-calf, since this is the only marine animal which is never struck420; as is the case, among birds, with the eagle; on this account it is represented as the bearer of87 this weapon421. In Italy, between Terracina and the temple of Feronia, the people have left off building towers in time of war, every one of them having been destroyed by thunderbolts.


Besides these, we learn from certain monuments, that from the lower part of the atmosphere423 it rained milk and blood, in the consulship of M’ Acilius and C. Porcius, and frequently at other times424. This was the case with respect to flesh, in the consulship of P. Volumnius and Servius Sulpicius, and it is said, that what was not devoured by the birds did not become putrid. It also rained iron among the Lucanians, the year before Crassus was slain by the Parthians, as well as all the Lucanian soldiers, of whom there was a great number in this army. The substance which fell had very much the appearance of sponge425; the augurs warned the people against88 wounds that might come from above. In the consulship of L. Paulus and C. Marcellus it rained wool, round the castle of Carissanum, near which place, a year after, T. Annius Milo was killed. It is recorded, among the transactions of that year, that when he was pleading his own cause, there was a shower of baked tiles.


We have heard, that during the war with the Cimbri, the rattling of arms and the sound of trumpets were heard through the sky, and that the same thing has frequently happened before and since426. Also, that in the third consulship of Marius, armies were seen in the heavens by the Amerini and the Tudertes, encountering each other, as if from the east and west, and that those from the east were repelled427. It is not at all wonderful for the heavens themselves to be in flames428, and it has been more frequently observed when the clouds have taken up a great deal of fire.


The Greeks boast that Anaxagoras430, the Clazomenian, in the second year of the 78th Olympiad, from his knowledge of what relates to the heavens, had predicted, that at a certain89 time, a stone would fall from the sun431. And the thing accordingly happened, in the daytime, in a part of Thrace, at the river Ægos. The stone is now to be seen, a waggon-load in size and of a burnt appearance; there was also a comet shining in the night at that time432. But to believe that this had been predicted would be to admit that the divining powers of Anaxagoras were still more wonderful, and that our knowledge of the nature of things, and indeed every thing else, would be thrown into confusion, were we to suppose either that the sun is itself composed of stone, or that there was even a stone in it; yet there can be no doubt that stones have frequently fallen from the atmosphere. There is a stone, a small one indeed, at this time, in the Gymnasium of Abydos, which on this account is held in veneration, and which the same Anaxagoras predicted would fall in the middle of the earth. There is another at Cassandria, formerly called Potidæa433, which from this circumstance was built in that place. I have myself seen one in the country of the Vocontii434, which had been brought from the fields only a short time before.


CHAP. 60. (59.)—THE RAINBOW.

What we name Rainbows frequently occur, and are not considered either wonderful or ominous; for they do not predict, with certainty, either rain or fair weather. It is obvious, that the rays of the sun, being projected upon a hollow cloud, the light is thrown back to the sun and is refracted435, and that the variety of colours is produced by a mixture of clouds, air, and fire436. The rainbow is certainly never produced except in the part opposite to the sun, nor even in any other form except that of a semicircle. Nor are they ever formed at night, although Aristotle asserts that they are sometimes seen at that time; he acknowledges, however, that it can only be on the 14th day of the moon437. They are seen in the winter the most frequently, when the days are shortening, after the autumnal equinox438. They are not seen when the days increase again, after the vernal equinox, nor on the longest days, about the summer solstice, but frequently at the winter solstice, when the days are the shortest. When the sun is low they are high, and when the sun is high they are low; they are smaller when in the east or west, but are spread out wider; in the south they are small, but of a greater span. In the summer they are not seen at noon, but after the autumnal equinox at any hour: there are never more than two seen at once.


I do not find that there is any doubt entertained respecting the following points. (60.) Hail is produced by frozen rain, and snow by the same fluid less firmly concreted, and hoar91 by frozen dew439. During the winter snow falls, but not hail; hail itself falls more frequently during the day than the night, and is more quickly melted than snow. There are no mists either in the summer or during the greatest cold of winter. There is neither dew nor hoar formed during great heat or winds, nor unless the night be serene. Fluids are diminished in bulk by being frozen, and, when the ice is melted, we do not obtain the same quantity of fluid as at first440.

(61.) The clouds are varied in their colour and figure according as the fire which they contain is in excess or is absorbed by them.


There are, moreover, certain peculiarities in certain places. In Africa dew falls during the night in summer. In Italy, at Locri, and at the Lake Velinum, there is never a day in which a rainbow is not seen441. At Rhodes and at Syracuse the sky is never so covered with clouds, but that the sun is visible at one time or another; these things, however, will be better detailed in their proper place. So far respecting the air.


Next comes the earth, on which alone of all parts of nature we have bestowed the name that implies maternal veneration. It is appropriated to man as the heavens are to God. She receives us at our birth, nourishes us when born, and ever afterwards supports us; lastly, embracing us in her bosom when we are rejected by the rest of nature, she then covers us with especial tenderness; rendered sacred to us, inasmuch as she renders us sacred, bearing our monuments92 and titles, continuing our names, and extending our memory, in opposition to the shortness of life. In our anger we imprecate her on those who are now no more442, as if we were ignorant that she is the only being who can never be angry with man. The water passes into showers, is concreted into hail, swells into rivers, is precipitated in torrents; the air is condensed into clouds, rages in squalls; but the earth, kind, mild, and indulgent as she is, and always ministering to the wants of mortals, how many things do we compel her to produce spontaneously! What odours and flowers, nutritive juices, forms and colours! With what good faith does she render back all that has been entrusted to her! It is the vital spirit which must bear the blame of producing noxious animals; for the earth is constrained to receive the seeds of them, and to support them when they are produced. The fault lies in the evil nature which generates them. The earth will no longer harbour a serpent after it has attacked any one443, and thus she even demands punishment in the name of those who are indifferent about it themselves444. She pours forth a profusion of medicinal plants, and is always producing something for the use of man. We may even suppose, that it is out of compassion to us that she has ordained certain substances to be poisonous, in order that when we are weary of life, hunger, a mode of death the most foreign to the kind disposition of the earth445, might not consume us by a slow decay, that precipices might not lacerate our mangled bodies, that the unseemly punishment of the halter may not torture us, by stopping the breath of one who seeks93 his own destruction, or that we may not seek our death in the ocean, and become food for our graves, or that our bodies may not be gashed by steel. On this account it is that nature has produced a substance which is very easily taken, and by which life is extinguished, the body remaining undefiled and retaining all its blood, and only causing a degree of thirst. And when it is destroyed by this means, neither bird nor beast will touch the body, but he who has perished by his own hands is reserved for the earth.

But it must be acknowledged, that everything which the earth has produced, as a remedy for our evils, we have converted into the poison of our lives. For do we not use iron, which we cannot do without, for this purpose? But although this cause of mischief has been produced, we ought not to complain; we ought not to be ungrateful to this one part of nature446. How many luxuries and how many insults does she not bear for us! She is cast into the sea, and, in order that we may introduce seas into her bosom, she is washed away by the waves. She is continually tortured for her iron, her timber, stone, fire, corn, and is even much more subservient to our luxuries than to our mere support. What indeed she endures on her surface might be tolerated, but we penetrate also into her bowels, digging out the veins of gold and silver, and the ores of copper and lead; we also search for gems and certain small pebbles, driving our trenches to a great depth. We tear out her entrails in order to extract the gems with which we may load our fingers. How many hands are worn down that one little joint may be ornamented! If the infernal regions really existed, certainly these burrows of avarice and luxury would have penetrated into them. And truly we wonder that this same earth should have produced anything noxious! But, I suppose, the savage beasts protect her and keep off our sacrilegious hands447. For do we not dig among serpents and handle poisonous plants along with those veins of gold? But the Goddess shows herself more propitious to us, inasmuch as all this wealth ends in crimes,94 slaughter, and war, and that, while we drench her with our blood, we cover her with unburied bones; and being covered with these and her anger being thus appeased, she conceals the crimes of mortals448. I consider the ignorance of her nature as one of the evil effects of an ungrateful mind.


Every one agrees that it has the most perfect figure449. We always speak of the ball of the earth, and we admit it to be a globe bounded by the poles. It has not indeed the form of an absolute sphere, from the number of lofty mountains and flat plains; but if the termination of the lines be bounded by a curve450, this would compose a perfect sphere. And this we learn from arguments drawn from the nature of things, although not from the same considerations which we made use of with respect to the heavens. For in these the hollow convexity everywhere bends on itself, and leans upon the earth as its centre. Whereas the earth rises up solid and dense, like something that swells up and is protruded outwards. The heavens bend towards the centre, while the earth goes from the centre, the continual rolling of the heavens about it forcing its immense globe into the form of a sphere451.


On this point there is a great contest between the learned95 and the vulgar. We maintain, that there are men dispersed over every part of the earth, that they stand with their feet turned towards each other, that the vault of the heavens appears alike to all of them, and that they, all of them, appear to tread equally on the middle of the earth. If any one should ask, why those situated opposite to us do not fall, we directly ask in return, whether those on the opposite side do not wonder that we do not fall. But I may make a remark, that will appear plausible even to the most unlearned, that if the earth were of the figure of an unequal globe, like the seed of a pine452, still it may be inhabited in every part.

But of how little moment is this, when we have another miracle rising up to our notice! The earth itself is pendent and does not fall with us; it is doubtful whether this be from the force of the spirit which is contained in the universe453, or whether it would fall, did not nature resist, by allowing of no place where it might fall. For as the seat of fire is nowhere but in fire, nor of water except in water, nor of air except in air, so there is no situation for the earth except in itself, everything else repelling it. It is indeed wonderful that it should form a globe, when there is so much flat surface of the sea and of the plains. And this was the opinion of Dicæarchus, a peculiarly learned man, who measured the heights of mountains, under the direction of the kings, and estimated Pelion, which was the highest, at 1250 paces perpendicular, and considered this as not affecting the round figure of the globe. But this appears to me to be doubtful, as I well know that the summits of some of the Alps rise up by a long space of not less than 50,000 paces454. But what96 the vulgar most strenuously contend against is, to be compelled to believe that the water is forced into a rounded figure455; yet there is nothing more obvious to the sight among the phænomena of nature. For we see everywhere, that drops, when they hang down, assume the form of small globes, and when they are covered with dust, or have the down of leaves spread over them, they are observed to be completely round; and when a cup is filled, the liquid swells up in the middle. But on account of the subtile nature of the fluid and its inherent softness, the fact is more easily ascertained by our reason than by our sight. And it is even more wonderful, that if a very little fluid only be added to a cup when it is full, the superfluous quantity runs over, whereas the contrary happens if we add a solid body, even as much as would weigh 20 denarii. The reason of this is, that what is dropt in raises up the fluid at the top, while what is poured on it slides off from the projecting surface. It is from the same cause456 that the land is not visible from the body of a ship when it may be seen from the mast; and that when a vessel is receding, if any bright object be fixed to the mast, it seems gradually to descend and finally to become invisible. And the ocean, which we admit to be without limits, if it had any other figure, could it cohere and exist without falling, there being no external margin to contain it? And the same wonder still recurs, how is it that the extreme parts of the sea, although it be in the form of a globe, do not fall down? In opposition to which doctrine, the Greeks, to their great joy and glory, were the first to teach us, by their subtile geometry, that this could not happen, even if the seas were flat, and of the figure which they appear to be. For since water always runs from a higher to97 a lower level, and this is admitted to be essential to it, no one ever doubted that the water would accumulate on any shore, as much as its slope would allow it. It is also certain, that the lower anything is, so much the nearer is it to the centre, and that all the lines which are drawn from this point to the water which is the nearest to it, are shorter than those which reach from the beginning of the sea to its extreme parts457. Hence it follows, that all the water, from every part, tends towards the centre, and, because it has this tendency, does not fall.


We must believe, that the great artist, Nature, has so arranged it, that as the arid and dry earth cannot subsist by itself and without moisture, nor, on the other hand, can the water subsist unless it be supported by the earth, they are connected by a mutual union. The earth opens her harbours, while the water pervades the whole earth, within, without, and above; its veins running in all directions, like connecting links, and bursting out on even the highest ridges; where, forced up by the air, and pressed out by the weight of the earth, it shoots forth as from a pipe, and is so far from being in danger of falling, that it bounds up to the highest and most lofty places. Hence the reason is obvious, why the seas are not increased by the daily accession of so many rivers458.

(66.) The earth has, therefore, the whole of its globe girt, on every side, by the sea flowing round it. And this is not a98 point to be investigated by arguments, but what has been ascertained by experience.


The whole of the western ocean is now navigated, from Gades and the Pillars of Hercules, round Spain and Gaul. The greater part of the northern ocean has also been navigated, under the auspices of the Emperor Augustus, his fleet having been carried round Germany to the promontory of the Cimbri459; from which spot they descried an immense sea, or became acquainted with it by report, which extends to the country of the Scythians, and the districts that are chilled by excessive moisture460. On this account it is not at all probable, that the ocean should be deficient in a region where moisture so much abounds. In like manner, towards the east, from the Indian sea, all that part which lies in the same latitude461, and which bends round towards the Caspian462, has been explored by the Macedonian arms, in the reigns of Seleucus and Antiochus, who wished it to be named after themselves, the Seleucian or Antiochian Sea. About the Caspian, too, many parts of the shores of the ocean have been explored, so that nearly the whole of the north has been sailed over in one direction or another. Nor can our argument be much affected by the point that has been so much discussed, respecting the Palus Mæotis, whether it be a bay of the same ocean463, as is, I understand, the opinion of some persons, or whether it be the overflowing of a narrow channel connected with a different ocean464. On the other side of Gades, proceeding from the same western point, a great part of the southern ocean,99 along Mauritania, has now been navigated. Indeed the greater part of this region, as well as of the east, as far as the Arabian Gulf, was surveyed in consequence of Alexander’s victories. When Caius Cæsar, the son of Augustus465, had the conduct of affairs in that country, it is said that they found the remains of Spanish vessels which had been wrecked there. While the power of Carthage was at its height, Hanno published an account of a voyage which he made from Gades to the extremity of Arabia466; Himilco was also sent, about the same time, to explore the remote parts of Europe. Besides, we learn from Corn. Nepos, that one Eudoxus, a contemporary of his467, when he was flying from king Lathyrus, set out from the Arabian Gulf, and was carried as far as Gades468. And long before him, Cælius Antipater469 informs us, that he had seen a person who had sailed from Spain to Æthiopia for the purposes of trade. The same Cornelius Nepos, when speaking of the northern circumnavigation, tells us that Q. Metellus Celer, the colleague of L. Afranius in the consulship, but then a proconsul in Gaul470, had a present made to him by the king of the Suevi, of certain Indians, who sailing from India for the purpose of commerce, had been driven by tempests into Germany471. Thus it appears, that the seas which flow completely100 round the globe, and divide it, as it were, into two parts472, exclude us from one part of it, as there is no way open to it on either side. And as the contemplation of these things is adapted to detect the vanity of mortals, it seems incumbent on me to display, and lay open to our eyes, the whole of it, whatever it be, in which there is nothing which can satisfy the desires of certain individuals.


In the first place, then, it appears, that this should be estimated at half the globe473, as if no portion of this half was encroached upon by the ocean. But surrounding as it does the whole of the land, pouring out and receiving all the other waters, furnishing whatever goes to the clouds, and feeding the stars themselves, so numerous and of such great size as they are, what a great space must we not suppose it to occupy! This vast mass must fill up and occupy an infinite extent. To this we must add that portion of the remainder which the heavens474 take from us. For the globe is divided into five parts475, termed zones, and all that portion is subject to severe cold and perpetual frost which is under the two extremities, about each of the poles, the nearer of which is called the north, and the opposite the south, pole. In all these regions there is perpetual darkness, and, in consequence of the aspect of the milder stars being turned from them, the light is malignant, and only like the whiteness which is produced by hoar frost. The middle of the earth, over which is the orbit of the sun, is parched and burned by the flame, and is consumed by being so near the heat. There are only two of the zones which are temperate, those which lie between the torrid and the frigid zones, and these are separated from each other, in consequence of the scorching heat of the heavenly bodies.101 It appears, therefore, that the heavens take from us three parts of the earth; how much the ocean steals is uncertain.

And with respect to the part which is left us, I do not know whether that is not even in greater danger. This same ocean, insinuating itself, as I have described it, into a number of bays, approaches with its roaring476 so near to the inland seas, that the Arabian Gulf is no more than 115 miles from the Egyptian Sea477, and the Caspian only 375 miles from the Euxine. It also insinuates itself into the numerous seas by which it separates Africa, Europe, and Asia; hence how much space must it occupy? We must also take into account the extent of all the rivers and the marshes, and we must add the lakes and the pools. There are also the mountains, raised up to the heavens, with their precipitous fronts; we must also subtract the forests and the craggy valleys, the wildernesses, and the places, which, from various causes, are desert. The vast quantity which remains of the earth478, or rather, as many persons have considered it, this speck of a world479 (for the earth is no more in regard to the universe), this is the object, the seat of our glory—here we bear our honours, here we exercise our power, here we covet wealth, here we mortals create our disturbances, here we continually carry on our wars, aye, civil wars, even, and unpeople the earth by mutual slaughter. And not to dwell on public feuds, entered into by nations against each other, here it is that we drive away our neighbours, and enclose the land thus seized upon within our own fence480; and yet the man who has most extended his boundary, and has expelled the inhabitants for ever so great a distance, after all, what mighty portion of the earth is he master of? And even when his avarice has been the most completely satisfied, what part of it can he take with him into the grave?



It is evident from undoubted arguments, that the earth is in the middle of the universe481, but it is the most clearly proved by the equality of the days and the nights at the equinox482. It is demonstrated by the quadrant483, which affords the most decisive confirmation of the fact, that unless the earth was in the middle, the days and nights could not be equal; for, at the time of the equinox, the rising and setting of the sun are seen on the same line, and the rising of the sun, at the summer solstice, is on the same line with its setting at the winter solstice; but this could not happen if the earth was not situated in the centre.


The three circles485, which are connected with the above-mentioned zones, distinguish the inequalities of the seasons; these are, the solstitial circle, which proceeds from the part of the Zodiac the highest to us and approaching the nearest to the district of the north; on the other side, the brumal, which is towards the south pole; and the equinoctial, which traverses the middle of the Zodiac.


The cause of the other things which are worthy of our admiration depends on the figure of the earth itself, which, together with all its waters, is proved, by the same arguments, to be a globe. This certainly is the cause why the stars of the northern portion of the heavens never set to us, and why, on the other hand, those in the south never rise, and again, why the latter can never be seen by the former, the globe of the earth rising up and concealing them. The103 Northern Wain is never seen in Troglodytice486, nor in Egypt, which borders on it487; nor can we, in Italy, see the star Canopus488, or Berenice’s Hair489; nor what, under the Emperor Augustus, was named Cæsar’s Throne, although they are, there490, very brilliant stars. The curved form of the earth is so obvious, rising up like a ridge, that Canopus appears to a spectator at Alexandria to rise above the horizon almost the quarter of a sign; the same star at Rhodes appears, as it were, to graze along the earth, while in Pontus it is not seen at all; where the Northern Wain appears considerably elevated. This same constellation cannot be seen at Rhodes, and still less at Alexandria. In Arabia, in the month of November, it is concealed during the first watch of the night, but may be seen during the second491; in Meroë it is seen, for a short time, in the evening, at the solstice, and it is visible at day-break, for a few days before the rising of Arcturus492. These facts have been principally ascertained by the expeditions of navigators; the sea appearing more elevated or depressed in certain parts493; the stars suddenly coming into view, and, as it were, emerging from the water, after having been concealed by the bulging out of the globe494. But the heavens do not, as some suppose, rise higher at one104 pole, otherwise495 its stars would be seen from all parts of the world; they indeed are supposed to be higher by those who are nearest to them, but the stars are sunk below the horizon to those who are more remote. As this pole appears to be elevated to those who are beneath it; so, when we have passed along the convexity of the earth, those stars rise up, which appear elevated to the inhabitants of those other districts; all this, however, could not happen unless the earth had the shape of a globe.


Hence it is that the inhabitants of the east do not see those eclipses of the sun or of the moon which occur in the evening, nor the inhabitants of the west those in the morning, while such as take place at noon are more frequently visible496. We are told, that at the time of the famous victory of Alexander the Great, at Arbela497, the moon was eclipsed at the second hour of the night, while, in Sicily, the moon was rising at the same hour. The eclipse of the sun which occurred the day before the calends of May, in the consulship of Vipstanus and Fonteius498, not many years ago, was seen in Campania between the seventh and eighth hour of the day; the general Corbulo informs us, that it was seen105 in Armenia, between the eleventh and twelfth hour499; thus the curve of the globe both reveals and conceals different objects from the inhabitants of its different parts. If the earth had been flat, everything would have been seen at the same time, from every part of it, and the nights would not have been unequal; while the equal intervals of twelve hours, which are now observed only in the middle of the earth, would in that case have been the same everywhere.


Hence it is that there is not any one night and day the same, in all parts of the earth, at the same time; the intervention of the globe producing night, and its turning round producing day500. This is known by various observations. In Africa and in Spain it is made evident by the Towers of Hannibal501, and in Asia by the beacons, which, in consequence of their dread of pirates, the people erected for their protection; for it has been frequently observed, that the signals, which were lighted at the sixth hour of the day, were seen at the third hour of the night by those who were the most remote502. Philonides, a106 courier of the above-mentioned Alexander, went from Sicyon to Elis, a distance of 1200 stadia, in nine hours, while he seldom returned until the third hour of the night, although the road was down-hill503. The reason is, that, in going, he followed the course of the sun, while on his return, in the opposite direction, he met the sun and left it behind him. For the same reason it is, that those who sail to the west, even on the shortest day, compensate for the difficulty of sailing in the night and go farther504, because they sail in the same direction with the sun.


The same dial-plates505 cannot be used in all places, the shadow of the sun being sensibly different at distances of 300, or at most of 500 stadia506. Hence the shadow of the dial-pin, which is termed the gnomon, at noon and at the summer solstice, in Egypt, is a little more than half the length of the gnomon itself. At the city of Rome it is only 19 less than the gnomon, at Ancona not more than 135 less, while in the part of Italy which is called Venetia, at the same hour, the shadow is equal to the length of the gnomon507.



It is likewise said, that in the town of Syene, which is 5000 stadia south of Alexandria508, there is no shadow at noon, on the day of the solstice; and that a well, which was sunk for the purpose of the experiment, is illuminated by the sun in every part. Hence it appears that the sun, in this place, is vertical, and Onesicritus informs us that this is the case, about the same time, in India, at the river Hypasis509. It is well known, that at Berenice, a city of the Troglodytæ, and 4820 stadia beyond that city, in the same country, at the town of Ptolemais, which was built on the Red Sea, when the elephant was first hunted, this same thing takes place for forty-five days before the solstice and for an equal length of time after it, and that during these ninety days the shadows are turned towards the south510. Again, at Meroë, an island in the Nile and the metropolis of the Æthiopians, which is 5000 stadia511 from Syene, there are no shadows at two periods of the year, viz. when the sun is in the 18th degree of Taurus and in the 14th of Leo512. The Oretes, a people of India, have a mountain named Maleus513, near which the shadows in summer108 fall towards the south and in winter towards the north. The seven stars of the Great Bear are visible there for fifteen nights only. In India also, in the celebrated sea-port Patale514, the sun rises to the right hand and the shadows fall towards the south. While Alexander was staying there it was observed, that the seven northern stars were seen only during the early part of the night515. Onesicritus, one of his generals, informs us in his work, that in those places in India where there are no shadows, the seven stars are not visible516; these places, he says, are called “Ascia517,” and the people there do not reckon the time by hours518.


Eratosthenes informs us, that in the whole of Troglodytice, for twice forty-five days in the year, the shadows fall in the contrary direction519.


Hence it follows, that in consequence of the daylight increasing in various degrees, in Meroë the longest day109 consists of twelve æquinoctial hours and eight parts of an hour520, at Alexandria of fourteen hours, in Italy of fifteen, in Britain of seventeen; where the degree of light, which exists in the night, very clearly proves, what the reason of the thing also obliges us to believe, that, during the solstitial period, as the sun approaches to the pole of the world, and his orbit is contracted, the parts of the earth that lie below him have a day of six months long, and a night of equal length when he is removed to the south pole. Pytheas, of Marseilles521, informs us, that this is the case in the island of Thule522, which is six days’ sail from the north of Britain. Some persons also affirm that this is the case in Mona, which is about 200 miles from Camelodunum523, a town of Britain.


Anaximenes the Milesian, the disciple of Anaximander, of whom I have spoken above524, discovered the theory of shadows and what is called the art of dialling, and he was the first who exhibited at Lacedæmon the dial which they call sciothericon525.



The days have been computed by different people in different ways. The Babylonians reckoned from one sunrise to the next; the Athenians from one sunset to the next; the Umbrians from noon to noon; the multitude, universally, from light to darkness; the Roman priests and those who presided over the civil day, also the Egyptians and Hipparchus, from midnight to midnight526. It appears that the interval from one sunrise to the next is less near the solstices than near the equinoxes, because the position of the zodiac is more oblique about its middle part, and more straight near the solstice527.


To these circumstances we must add those that are connected with certain celestial causes. There can be no doubt, that the Æthiopians are scorched by their vicinity to the sun’s heat, and they are born, like persons who have been burned, with the beard and hair frizzled528; while, in the opposite and frozen parts of the earth, there are nations with white skins and long light hair. The latter are savage from the inclemency of the climate, while the former are dull from its variableness529. We learn, from the form of the111 legs, that in the one, the fluids, like vapour, are forced into the upper parts of the body, while in the other, being a gross humour, it is drawn downwards into the lower parts530. In the cold regions savage beasts are produced, and in the others, various forms of animals, and many kinds of birds531. In both situations the body grows tall, in the one case by the force of fire, and in the other by the nutritive moisture.

In the middle of the earth there is a salutary mixture of the two, a tract fruitful in all things, the habits of the body holding a mean between the two, with a proper tempering of colours; the manners of the people are gentle, the intellect clear532, the genius fertile and capable of comprehending every part of nature. They have formed empires, which has never been done by the remote nations; yet these latter have never been subjected by the former, being severed from them and remaining solitary, from the effect produced on them by their savage nature.


According to the doctrine of the Babylonians, earthquakes and clefts of the earth, and occurrences of this kind, are supposed to be produced by the influence of the stars, especially of the three to which they ascribe thunder533; and to be caused by the stars moving with the sun, or being in conjunction with it, and, more particularly, when they are in the quartile aspect534. If we are to credit the report, a112 most admirable and immortal spirit, as it were of a divine nature, should be ascribed to Anaximander the Milesian, who, they say, warned the Lacedæmonians to beware of their city and their houses535. For he predicted that an earthquake was at hand, when both the whole of their city was destroyed and a large portion of Mount Taygetus, which projected in the form of a ship, was broken off, and added farther ruin to the previous destruction. Another prediction is ascribed to Pherecydes, the master of Pythagoras, and this was divine; by a draught of water from a well, he foresaw and predicted that there would be an earthquake in that place536. And if these things be true, how nearly do these individuals approach to the Deity, even during their lifetime! But I leave every one to judge of these matters as he pleases. I certainly conceive the winds to be the cause of earthquakes; for the earth never trembles except when the sea is quite calm, and when the heavens are so tranquil that the birds cannot maintain their flight, all the air which should support them being withdrawn537; nor does it ever happen until after great winds, the gust being pent up, as it were, in the fissures and concealed hollows. For the trembling of the earth resembles thunder in the clouds; nor does the yawning of the earth differ from the bursting of the lightning; the enclosed air struggling and striving to escape538.


The earth is shaken in various ways, and wonderful effects are produced539; in one place the walls of cities being thrown113 down, and in others swallowed up by a deep cleft540; sometimes great masses of earth are heaped up, and rivers forced out, sometimes even flame and hot springs541, and at others the course of rivers is turned. A terrible noise precedes and accompanies the shock542; sometimes a murmuring, like the lowing of cattle, or like human voices, or the clashing of arms. This depends on the substance which receives the sound, and the shape of the caverns or crevices through which it issues; it being more shrill from a narrow opening, more hoarse from one that is curved, producing a loud reverberation from hard bodies, a sound like a boiling fluid543 from moist substances, fluctuating in stagnant water, and roaring when forced against solid bodies. There is, therefore, often the sound without any motion. Nor is it a simple motion, but one that is tremulous and vibratory. The cleft sometimes remains, displaying what it has swallowed up; sometimes concealing it, the mouth being closed and the soil being brought over it, so that no vestige is left; the city being, as it were, devoured, and the tract of country engulfed. Maritime districts are more especially subject to shocks. Nor are mountainous tracts exempt from them; I have found, by my inquiries, that the Alps and the Apennines are frequently shaken. The shocks happen more frequently in the autumn and in the spring, as is the case also with thunder. There are seldom shocks in Gaul and in Egypt; in the latter it depends on the prevalence of summer, in the former, of winter. They also happen more frequently in the night than in the day. The greatest shocks are in the morning and the evening; but they often take place at day-break, and sometimes at noon. They also take place during eclipses of the sun and of the moon, because at that time storms are lulled. They are most frequent when great heat succeeds to showers, or showers succeed to great heat544.



There is no doubt that earthquakes are felt by persons on shipboard, as they are struck by a sudden motion of the waves, without these being raised by any gust of wind. And things that are in the vessels shake as they do in houses, and give notice by their creaking; also the birds, when they settle upon the vessels, are not without their alarms. There is also a sign in the heavens; for, when a shock is near at hand, either in the daytime or a little after sunset, a cloud is stretched out in the clear sky, like a long thin line545. The water in wells is also more turbid than usual, and it emits a disagreeable odour546.


These same places547, however, afford protection, and this is also the case where there is a number of caverns, for they give vent to the confined vapour, a circumstance which has been remarked in certain towns, which have been less shaken where they have been excavated by many sewers. And, in the same town, those parts that are excavated548 are safer than the other parts, as is understood to be the case at Naples in Italy, the part of it which is solid being more liable to injury. Arched buildings are also the most safe, also the angles of walls, the shocks counteracting each other; walls made of brick also suffer less from the shocks549. There is also a great115 difference in the nature of the motions550, where various motions are experienced. It is the safest when it vibrates and causes a creaking in the building, and where it swells and rises upwards, and settles with an alternate motion. It is also harmless when the buildings coming together butt against each other in opposite directions, for the motions counteract each other. A movement like the rolling of waves is dangerous, or when the motion is impelled in one direction. The tremors cease when the vapour bursts out551; but if they do not soon cease, they continue for forty days; generally, indeed, for a longer time: some have lasted even for one or two years.


A great prodigy of the earth, which never happened more than once, I have found mentioned in the books of the Etruscan ceremonies, as having taken place in the district of Mutina, during the consulship of Lucius Martius and Sextus Julius552. Two mountains rushed together, falling upon each other with a very loud crash, and then receding; while in the daytime flame and smoke issued from them; a great crowd of Roman knights, and families of people, and travellers on the Æmilian way, being spectators of it. All the farm-houses were thrown down by the shock, and a great number of animals that were in them were killed; it was in the year before the Social war; and I am in doubt whether this event or the civil commotions were more fatal to the territory of Italy. The prodigy which happened in our own age was no less wonderful; in the last year of the emperor Nero553, as I have related in my history of his times554, when certain fields and olive grounds in the district of Marrucinum, belonging to Vectius Marcellus, a Roman knight, the steward of Nero,116 changed places with each other555, although the public highway was interposed.


Inundations of the sea take place at the same time with earthquakes556; the water being impregnated with the same spirit557, and received into the bosom of the earth which subsides. The greatest earthquake which has occurred in our memory was in the reign of Tiberius558, by which twelve cities of Asia were laid prostrate in one night. They occurred the most frequently during the Punic war, when we had accounts brought to Rome of fifty-seven earthquakes in the space of a single year. It was during this year559 that the Carthaginians and the Romans, who were fighting at the lake Thrasimenus, were neither of them sensible of a very great shock during the battle560. Nor is it an evil merely consisting in the danger which is produced by the motion; it is an equal or a greater evil when it is considered as a prodigy561. The city of Rome never experienced a shock, which was not the forerunner of some great calamity.


The same cause produces an increase of the land; the vapour, when it cannot burst out forcibly lifting up the117 surface562. For the land is not merely produced by what is brought down the rivers, as the islands called Echinades are formed by the river Achelous, and the greater part of Egypt by the Nile, where, according to Homer, it was a day and a night’s journey from the main land to the island of Pharos563; but, in some cases, by the receding of the sea, as, according to the same author, was the case with the Circæan isles564. The same thing also happened in the harbour of Ambracia, for a space of 10,000 paces, and was also said to have taken place for 5000 at the Piræus of Athens565, and likewise at Ephesus, where formerly the sea washed the walls of the temple of Diana. Indeed, if we may believe Herodotus566, the sea came beyond Memphis, as far as the mountains of Æthiopia, and also from the plains of Arabia. The sea also surrounded Ilium and the whole of Teuthrania, and covered the plain through which the Mæander flows567.


Land is sometimes formed in a different manner, rising suddenly out of the sea, as if nature was compensating the earth for its losses568, restoring in one place what she had swallowed up in another.



Delos and Rhodes569, islands which have now been long famous, are recorded to have risen up in this way. More lately there have been some smaller islands formed; Anapha, which is beyond Melos; Nea, between Lemnos and the Hellespont; Halone, between Lebedos and Teos; Thera570 and Therasia, among the Cyclades, in the fourth year of the 135th Olympiad571. And among the same islands, 130 years afterwards, Hiera, also called Automate572, made its appearance; also Thia, at the distance of two stadia from the former, 110 years afterwards, in our own times, when M. Junius Silanus and L. Balbus were consuls, on the 8th of the ides of July573.

(88.) Opposite to us, and near to Italy, among the Æolian isles, an island emerged from the sea; and likewise one near Crete, 2500 paces in extent, and with warm springs in it; another made its appearance in the third year of the 163rd Olympiad574, in the Tuscan gulf, burning with a violent explosion. There is a tradition too that a great number of fishes were floating about the spot, and that those who employed them for food immediately expired. It is said that the Pithecusan isles rose up, in the same way, in the bay of Campania, and that, shortly afterwards, the mountain Epopos, from which flame had suddenly burst forth, was reduced to the level of the neighbouring plain. In the same island, it is said, that a town was sunk in the sea; that in119 consequence of another shock, a lake burst out, and that, by a third, Prochytas was formed into an island, the neighbouring mountains being rolled away from it.


In the ordinary course of things islands are also formed by this means. The sea has torn Sicily from Italy575, Cyprus from Syria, Eubœa from Bœotia576, Atalante and Macris577 from Eubœa, Besbycus from Bithynia, and Leucosia from the promontory of the Sirens.


Again, islands are taken from the sea and added to the main land; Antissa578 to Lesbos, Zephyrium to Halicarnassus, Æthusa to Myndus, Dromiscus and Perne to Miletus, Narthecusa to the promontory of Parthenium. Hybanda, which was formerly an island of Ionia, is now 200 stadia distant from the sea. Syries is now become a part of Ephesus, and, in the same neighbourhood, Derasidas and Sophonia form part of Magnesia; while Epidaurus and Oricum are no longer islands579.


The sea has totally carried off certain lands, and first of120 all, if we are to believe Plato580, for an immense space where the Atlantic ocean is now extended. More lately we see what has been produced by our inland sea; Acarnania has been overwhelmed by the Ambracian gulf, Achaia by the Corinthian, Europe and Asia by the Propontis and Pontus. And besides these, the sea has rent asunder Leucas, Antirrhium, the Hellespont, and the two Bosphori581.


And not to speak of bays and gulfs, the earth feeds on itself; it has devoured the very high mountain of Cybotus, with the town of Curites; also Sipylus in Magnesia582, and formerly, in the same place, a very celebrated city, which was called Tantalis; also the land belonging to the cities Galanis and Gamales in Phœnicia, together with the cities themselves; also Phegium, the most lofty ridge in Æthiopia583. Nor are the shores of the sea more to be depended upon.


The sea near the Palus Mæotis has carried away Pyrrha and Antissa, also Elice and Bura584 in the gulf of Corinth, traces of which places are visible in the ocean. From the121 island Cea it has seized on 30,000 paces, which were suddenly torn off, with many persons on them. In Sicily also the half of the city of Tyndaris, and all the part of Italy which is wanting585; in like manner it carried off Eleusina in Bœotia586.


But let us say no more of earthquakes and of whatever may be regarded as the sepulchres of cities588; let us rather speak of the wonders of the earth than of the crimes of nature. But, by Hercules! the history of the heavens themselves would not be more difficult to relate:—the abundance of metals, so various, so rich, so prolific, rising up589 during so many ages; when, throughout all the world, so much is, every day, destroyed by fire, by waste, by shipwreck, by wars, and by frauds; and while so much is consumed by luxury and by such a number of people:—the figures on gems, so multiplied in their forms; the variously-coloured spots on certain stones, and the whiteness of others, excluding everything except light:—the virtues of medicinal springs, and the perpetual fires bursting out in so many places, for so many ages:—the exhalation of deadly vapours, either emitted from caverns590, or from certain unhealthy districts; some of them fatal to birds alone, as at Soracte, a district near the city591; others to all animals, except to man592, while122 others are so to man also, as in the country of Sinuessa and Puteoli. They are generally called vents, and, by some persons, Charon’s sewers, from their exhaling a deadly vapour. Also at Amsanctum, in the country of the Hirpini, at the temple of Mephitis593, there is a place which kills all those who enter it. And the same takes place at Hierapolis in Asia594, where no one can enter with safety, except the priest of the great Mother of the Gods. In other places there are prophetic caves, where those who are intoxicated with the vapour which rises from them predict future events595, as at the most noble of all oracles, Delphi. In which cases, what mortal is there who can assign any other cause, than the divine power of nature, which is everywhere diffused, and thus bursts forth in various places?


There are certain lands which shake when any one passes over them596; as in the territory of the Gabii, not far from the city of Rome, there are about 200 acres which shake when cavalry passes over it: the same thing takes place at Reate.

(95.) There are certain islands which are always floating597, as in the territory of the Cæcubum598, and of the above-mentioned Reate, of Mutina, and of Statonia. In the lake of Vadimonis and the waters of Cutiliæ there is a dark wood, which is never seen in the same place for a day and a night together. In Lydia, the islands named Calaminæ are not123 only driven about by the wind, but may be even pushed at pleasure from place to place, by poles: many citizens saved themselves by this means in the Mithridatic war. There are some small islands in the Nymphæus, called the Dancers599, because, when choruses are sung, they are moved by the motions of those who beat time. In the great Italian lake of Tarquinii, there are two islands with groves on them, which are driven about by the wind, so as at one time to exhibit the figure of a triangle and at another of a circle; but they never form a square600.


There is at Paphos a celebrated temple of Venus, in a certain court of which it never rains; also at Nea, a town of Troas, in the spot which surrounds the statue of Minerva: in this place also the remains of animals that are sacrificed never putrefy601.


Near Harpasa, a town of Asia, there stands a terrific rock, which may be moved by a single finger; but if it be pushed by the force of the whole body, it resists602. In the Tauric peninsula, in the state of the Parasini, there is a kind of124 earth which cures all wounds603. About Assos, in Troas, a stone is found, by which all bodies are consumed; it is called Sarcophagus604. There are two mountains near the river Indus; the nature of one is to attract iron, of the other to repel it: hence, if there be nails in the shoes, the feet cannot be drawn off the one, or set down on the other605. It has been noticed, that at Locris and Crotona, there has never been a pestilence, nor have they ever suffered from an earthquake; in Lycia there are always forty calm days before an earthquake. In the territory of Argyripa the corn which is sown never springs up. At the altars of Mucius, in the country of the Veii, and about Tusculum, and in the Cimmerian Forest, there are places in which things that are pushed into the ground cannot be pulled out again. The hay which is grown in Crustuminium is noxious on the spot, but elsewhere it is wholesome606.


Much has been said about the nature of waters; but the most wonderful circumstance is the alternate flowing and ebbing of the tides, which exists, indeed, under various forms, but is caused by the sun and the moon. The tide flows twice and ebbs twice between each two risings of the moon,125 always in the space of twenty-four hours. First, the moon rising with the stars607 swells out the tide, and after some time, having gained the summit of the heavens, she declines from the meridian and sets, and the tide subsides. Again, after she has set, and moves in the heavens under the earth, as she approaches the meridian on the opposite side, the tide flows in; after which it recedes until she again rises to us. But the tide of the next day is never at the same time with that of the preceding; as if the planet was in attendance608, greedily drinking up the sea, and continually rising in a different place from what she did the day before. The intervals are, however, equal, being always of six hours; not indeed in respect of any particular day or night or place609, but equinoctial hours, and therefore they are unequal as estimated by the length of common hours, since a greater number of them610 fall on some certain days or nights, and they are never equal everywhere except at the equinox. This is a great, most clear, and even divine proof of the dullness of those, who deny that the stars go below the earth and rise up again, and that nature presents the same face in the same states of their rising and setting611; for the course of the stars is equally obvious in the one case as in the other, producing the same effect as when it is manifest to the sight.

There is a difference in the tides, depending on the moon, of a complicated nature, and, first, as to the period of seven days. For the tides are of moderate height from the new moon to the first quarter; from this time they increase, and are the highest at the full: they then decrease. On the seventh day they are equal to what they were at the first126 quarter, and they again increase from the time that she is at first quarter on the other side. At her conjunction with the sun they are equally high as at the full. When the moon is in the northern hemisphere, and recedes further from the earth, the tides are lower than when, going towards the south, she exercises her influence at a less distance612. After an interval of eight years, and the hundredth revolution of the moon, the periods and the heights of the tides return into the same order as at first, this planet always acting upon them; and all these effects are likewise increased by the annual changes of the sun613, the tides rising up higher at the equinoxes, and more so at the autumnal than at the vernal; while they are lower614 about the winter solstice, and still more so at the summer solstice; not indeed precisely at the points of time which I have mentioned, but a few days after615; for example, not exactly at the full nor at the new moon, but after them; and not immediately when the moon becomes visible or invisible, or has advanced to the middle of her course, but generally about two hours later than the equinoctial hours616; the effect of what is going on in the heavens being felt after a short interval; as we observe with respect to lightning, thunder, and thunderbolts.

But the tides of the ocean cover greater spaces and produce greater inundations than the tides of the other seas; whether it be that the whole of the universe taken together is more full of life than its individual parts, or that the large open space feels more sensibly the power of the planet, as it moves freely about, than when restrained within narrow bounds.127 On which account neither lakes nor rivers are moved in the same manner. Pytheas617 of Massilia informs us, that in Britain the tide rises 80 cubits618. Inland seas are enclosed as in a harbour, but, in some parts of them, there is a more free space which obeys the influence619. Among many other examples, the force of the tide will carry us in three days from Italy to Utica, when the sea is tranquil and there is no impulse from the sails620. But these motions are more felt about the shores than in the deep parts of the seas, as in the body the extremities of the veins feel the pulse, which is the vital spirit, more than the other parts621. And in most estuaries, on account of the unequal rising of the stars in each tract, the tides differ from each other, but this respects the period, not the nature of them; as is the case in the Syrtes.


There are, however, some tides which are of a peculiar nature, as in the Tauromenian Euripus622, where the ebb and flow is more frequent than in other places, and in Eubœa, where it takes place seven times during the day and the night. The tides intermit three times during each month, being the 7th, 8th and 9th day of the moon623. At Gades, which is very near the temple of Hercules, there is a spring128 enclosed like a well, which sometimes rises and falls with the ocean, and, at other times, in both respects contrary to it. In the same place there is another well, which always agrees with the ocean. On the shores of the Bætis624, there is a town where the wells become lower when the tide rises, and fill again when it ebbs; while at other times they remain stationary. The same thing occurs in one well in the town of Hispalis625, while there is nothing peculiar in the other wells. The Euxine always flows into the Propontis, the water never flowing back into the Euxine626.


All seas are purified at the full moon627; some also at stated periods. At Messina and Mylæ a refuse matter, like dung628, is cast up on the shore, whence originated the story of the oxen of the Sun having had their stable at that place. To what has been said above (not to omit anything with which I am acquainted) Aristotle adds, that no animal dies except when the tide is ebbing. The observation has been often made on the ocean of Gaul; but it has only been found true with respect to man629.


Hence we may certainly conjecture, that the moon is not129 unjustly regarded as the star of our life630. This it is that replenishes the earth631; when she approaches it, she fills all bodies, while, when she recedes, she empties them. From this cause it is that shell-fish grow with her increase632, and that those animals which are without blood more particularly experience her influence; also, that the blood of man is increased or diminished in proportion to the quantity of her light; also that the leaves and vegetables generally, as I shall describe in the proper place633, feel her influence, her power penetrating all things.


Fluids are dried up by the heat of the sun; we have therefore regarded it as a masculine star, burning up and absorbing everything634.


Hence it is that the widely-diffused sea is impregnated with the flavour of salt, in consequence of what is sweet and mild being evaporated from it, which the force of fire easily accomplishes; while all the more acrid and thick matter is left behind; on which account the water of the sea is less salt at some depth than at the surface. And this is a more true cause of the acrid flavour, than that the sea is the continued perspiration of the land635, or that the greater part of the dry vapour is mixed with it, or that the nature of the earth is such that it impregnates the waters, and, as it were,130 medicates them636. Among the prodigies which have occurred, there is one which happened when Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, was expelled from his kingdom; that, for the space of one day, the water in the harbour became sweet.

(101.) The moon, on the contrary, is said to be a feminine and delicate planet, and also nocturnal; also that it resolves humours and draws them out, but does not carry them off. It is manifest that the carcases of wild beasts are rendered putrid by its beams, that, during sleep, it draws up the accumulated torpor into the head, that it melts ice, and relaxes all things by its moistening spirit637. Thus the changes of nature compensate each other, and are always adequate to their destined purpose; some of them congealing the elements of the stars and others dissolving them. The moon is said to be fed by fresh, and the sun by salt water.


Fabianus638 informs us that the greatest depth of the sea is 15 stadia639. We learn from others, that in the Euxine, opposite to the nation of the Coraxi, at what is called the Depths of the Euxine640, about 300 stadia641 from the main land, the sea is immensely deep, no bottom having been found.



It is very remarkable that fresh water should burst out close to the sea, as from pipes. But there is no end to the wonders that are connected with the nature of waters. Fresh water floats on sea water, no doubt from its being lighter; and therefore sea water, which is of a heavier nature642, supports better what floats upon it. And, in some places, different kinds of fresh water float upon each other; as that of the river which falls into the Fucinus; that of the Addua into the Larius; of the Ticinus into the Verbanus; of the Mincius into the Benacus; of the Ollius into the Sevinus; and of the Rhone into the Leman lake643 (this last being beyond the Alps, the others in Italy): all which rivers passing through the lakes for many miles, generally carry off no more water than they bring with them. The same thing is said to occur in the Orontes, a river of Syria, and in many others.

Some rivers, from a real hatred of the sea, pass under it, as does Arethusa, a fountain of Syracuse, in which the substances are found that are thrown into the Alpheus; which, after flowing by Olympia, is discharged into the sea, on the shore of the Peloponnesus644. The Lycus in Asia645, the Erasinus132 in Argolis, and the Tigris646 in Mesopotamia, sink into the earth and burst out again. Substances which are thrown into the fountain of Æsculapius at Athens647 are cast up at the fountain of Phalerum. The river which sinks into the ground in the plain of Atinum648 comes up again at the distance of twenty miles, and the Timavus does the same in Aquileia649.

In the lake Asphaltites, in Judæa, which produces bitumen, no substance will sink, nor in the lake Arethusa650, in the Greater Armenia: in this lake, although it contains nitre, fish are found. In the country of the Salentini, near the town of Manduria, there is a lake651 full to the brim, the waters of which are never diminished by what is taken out of it, nor increased by what is added. Wood, which is thrown into the river of the Cicones652, or into the lake Velinus in Picenum, becomes coated with a stony crust, while in the Surius, a river of Colchis, the whole substance becomes as hard as stone. In the same manner, in the Silarus653, beyond133 Surrentum, not only twigs which are immersed in it, but likewise leaves are petrified; the water at the same time being proper for drinking. In the stream which runs from the marsh of Reate654 there is a rock, which continues to increase in size, and in the Red Sea olive-trees and green shrubs are produced655.

There are many springs which are remarkable for their warmth. This is the case even among the ridges of the Alps656, and in the sea itself, between Italy and Ænaria, as in the bay of Baiæ, and in the Liris and many other rivers657. There are many places in which fresh water may be procured from the sea, as at the Chelidonian Isles, and at Arados, and in the ocean at Gades. Green plants are produced in the warm springs of Padua, frogs in those of Pisa, and fish in those of Vetulonia in Etruria, which is not far from the sea. In Casinas there is a cold river called Scatebra, which in summer is more full of water658. In this, as in the river Stymphalis, in Arcadia, small water-mice are produced. The fountain of Jupiter in Dodona, although it is as cold as ice, and extinguishes torches that are plunged into it, yet, if they be brought near it, it kindles them again659. This spring always becomes dry at noon, from which circumstance it is called134 Ἀναπαυόμενον660: it then increases and becomes full at midnight, after which it again visibly decreases. In Illyricum there is a cold spring, over which if garments are spread they take fire. The pool of Jupiter Ammon, which is cold during the day, is warm during the night661. In the country of the Troglodytæ662, what they call the Fountain of the Sun, about noon is fresh and very cold; it then gradually grows warm, and, at midnight, becomes hot and saline663.

In the middle of the day, during summer, the source of the Po, as if reposing itself, is always dry664. In the island of Tenedos there is a spring, which, after the summer solstice, is full of water, from the third hour of the night to the sixth665. The fountain Inopus, in the island of Delos, decreases and increases in the same manner as the Nile, and also at the same periods666. There is a small island in the sea, opposite to the river Timavus, containing warm135 springs, which increase and decrease at the same time with the tides of the sea667. In the territory of Pitinum, on the other side of the Apennines, the river Novanus, which during the solstice is quite a torrent, is dry in the winter668.

In Faliscum, all the water which the oxen drink turns them white; in Bœotia, the river Melas turns the sheep black; the Cephissus, which flows out of a lake of the same name, turns them white669; again, the Peneus turns them black, and the Xanthus, near Ilium, makes them red, whence the river derives its name670. In Pontus, the river Astaces waters certain plains, where the mares give black milk, which the people use in diet. In Reate there is a spring called Neminia, which rises up sometimes in one place and sometimes in another, and in this way indicates a change in the produce of the earth671. There is a spring in the harbour of Brundisium that yields water which never becomes putrid at sea. The water of the Lyncestis, which is said to be acidulous, intoxicates like wine672; this is the case also in Paphlagonia673 and in the territory of Calenum674. In the island of Andros, at the temple of Father Bacchus, we are assured by Mucianus, who was thrice consul, that there is a spring, which, on the nones of January, always has the flavour of wine; it is called136 Διὸς Θεοδοσία675. Near Nonacris, in Arcadia, the Styx676, which is not unlike it either in odour or in colour, instantly destroys those who drink it. Also in Librosus, a hill in the country of the Tauri, there are three springs which inevitably produce death, but without pain. In the territory of the Carrinenses in Spain677, two springs burst out close together, the one of which absorbs everything, the other throws them out. In the same country there is another spring, which gives to all the fish the appearance of gold, although, when out of the water, they do not differ in any respect from other fish. In the territory of Como, near the Larian lake, there is a copious spring, which always swells up and subsides again every hour678. In the island of Cydonea679, before Lesbos, there is a warm fountain, which flows only during the spring season. The lake Sinnaus680, in Asia, is impregnated with wormwood, which grows about it. At Colophon, in the cave of the Clarian Apollo, there is a pool, by the drinking of which a power is acquired of uttering wonderful oracles; but the lives of those who drink of it are shortened681. In our own times, during the last years of Nero’s life, we have seen rivers flowing backwards, as I have stated in my history of his times682.

And indeed who can be mistaken as to the fact, that all springs are colder in summer than in winter683, as well as137 these other wonderful operations of nature; that copper and lead sink when in a mass, but float when spread out684; and of things that are equally heavy, some will sink to the bottom, while others will remain on the surface685; that heavy bodies are more easily moved in water686; that a stone from Scyros, although very large, will float, while the same, when broken into small pieces, sinks687; that the body of an animal, newly deprived of life, sinks, but that, when it is swelled out, it floats688; that empty vessels are drawn out of the water with no more ease than those that are full689; that rain-water is more useful for salt-pits than other kinds of water690; that salt cannot be made, unless it is mixed with fresh water691; that salt water freezes with more difficulty692, and is more readily heated693; that the sea is warmer in winter694 and more salt in138 the autumn695; that everything is soothed by oil, and that this is the reason why divers send out small quantities of it from their mouths, because it smoothes any part which is rough696 and transmits the light to them; that snow never falls in the deep part of the sea697; that although water generally has a tendency downwards, fountains rise up698, and that this is the case even at the foot of Ætna699, burning as it does, so as to force out the sand like a ball of flame to the distance of 150 miles?


And now I must give an account of some of the wonders of fire, which is the fourth element of nature; but first those produced by means of water.

CHAP. 108. (104.)—OF MALTHA.

In Samosata, a city of Commagene700, there is a pool which discharges an inflammable mud, called Maltha701. It adheres139 to every solid body which it touches, and moreover, when touched, it follows you, if you attempt to escape from it. By means of it the people defended their walls against Lucullus, and the soldiers were burned in their armour702. It is even set on fire in water. We learn by experience that it can be extinguished only by earth.

CHAP. 109. (105.)—OF NAPHTHA.

Naphtha is a substance of a similar nature703 (it is so called about Babylon, and in the territory of the Astaceni, in Parthia704), flowing like liquid bitumen. It has a great affinity to fire, which instantly darts on it wherever it is seen705. It is said, that in this way it was that Medea burned Jason’s mistress; her crown having taken fire, when she approached the altar for the purpose of sacrificing706.


Among the wonders of mountains there is Ætna, which always burns in the night707, and for so long a period has always had materials for combustion, being in the winter buried in snow, and having the ashes which it has ejected covered with frost. Nor is it in this mountain alone that nature rages, threatening to consume the earth708; in Phaselis,140 the mountain Chimæra burns, and indeed with a continual flame, day and night709. Ctesias of Cnidos informs us, that this fire is kindled by water, while it is extinguished by earth and by hay710. In the same country of Lycia, the mountains of Hephæstius, when touched with a flaming torch711, burn so violently, that even the stones in the river and the sand burn, while actually in the water: this fire is also increased by rain. If a person makes furrows in the ground with a stick which has been kindled at this fire, it is said that a stream of flame will follow it. The summit of Cophantus, in Bactria712, burns during the night; and this is the case in Media and at Sittacene713, on the borders of Persia; likewise in Susa, at the White Tower, from fifteen apertures714, the greatest of which also burns in the daytime. The plain of Babylon throws up flame from a place like a fish-pond715, an acre in extent. Near Hesperium, a mountain of the Æthiopians716, the fields shine in the night-time like stars; the same thing takes place in the territory of the Megalopolitani.141 This fire, however, is internal717, mild, and not burning the foliage of a dense wood which is over it718. There is also the crater of Nymphæum719, which is always burning, in the neighbourhood of a cold fountain, and which, according to Theopompus, presages direful calamities to the inhabitants of Apollonia720. It is increased by rain721, and it throws out bitumen, which, becoming mixed with the fountain, renders it unfit to be tasted; it is, at other times, the weakest of all the bitumens. But what are these compared to other wonders? Hiera, one of the Æolian isles, in the middle of the sea, near Italy, together with the sea itself, during the Social war, burned for several days722, until expiation was made, by a deputation from the senate. There is a hill in Æthiopia called Θεῶν ὄχημα723, which burns with the greatest violence, throwing out flame that consumes everything, like the sun724. In so many places, and with so many fires, does nature burn the earth!


But since this one element is of so prolific a nature as to produce itself, and to increase from the smallest spark, what must we suppose will be the effect of all those funeral piles142 of the earth725? What must be the nature of that thing, which, in all parts of the world, supplies this most greedy voracity without destroying itself? To these fires must be added those innumerable stars and the great sun itself. There are also the fires made by men726, those which are innate in certain kinds of stones, those produced by the friction of wood727, and those in the clouds, which give rise to lightning. It really exceeds all other wonders, that one single day should pass in which everything is not consumed, especially when we reflect, that concave mirrors placed opposite to the sun’s rays produce flame more readily than any other kind of fire; and that numerous small but natural fires abound everywhere. In Nymphæum there issues from a rock a fire which is kindled by rain; it also issues from the waters of the Scantia728. This indeed is a feeble flame, since it passes off, remaining only a short time on any body to which it is applied: an ash tree, which overshadows this fiery spring, remains always green729. In the territory of Mutina fire issues from the ground on the days that are consecrated to Vulcan730. It is stated by some authors, that if a burning body falls on the fields below Aricia731, the ground is set on fire; and that the stones in the territory of the Sabines and of the Sidicini732, if they be oiled, burn with flame. In Egnatia733, a143 town of Salentinum, there is a sacred stone, upon which, when wood is placed, flame immediately bursts forth. In the altar of Juno Lacinia734, which is in the open air, the ashes remain unmoved, although the winds may be blowing from all quarters.

It appears also that there are sudden fires both in waters and even in the human body; that the whole of Lake Thrasymenus was on fire735; that when Servius Tullius, while a child, was sleeping, flame darted out from his head736; and Valerius Antias informs us, that the same flame appeared about L. Marcius, when he was pronouncing the funeral oration over the Scipios, who were killed in Spain; and exhorting the soldiers to avenge their death. I shall presently mention more facts of this nature, and in a more distinct manner; in this place these wonders are mixed up with other subjects. But my mind, having carried me beyond the mere interpretation of nature, is anxious to lead, as it were by the hand, the thoughts of my readers over the whole globe.


Our part of the earth, of which I propose to give an account, floating as it were in the ocean which surrounds it (as I have mentioned above737), stretches out to the greatest extent from east to west, viz. from India to the Pillars consecrated to Hercules at Gades, being a distance of 8568 miles738, according to the statement of Artemidorus739, or according144 to that of Isidorus740, 9818 miles. Artemidorus adds to this 491 miles, from Gades, going round by the Sacred Promontory, to the promontory of Artabrum741, which is the most projecting part of Spain.

This measurement may be taken in two directions. From the Ganges, at its mouth, where it discharges itself into the Eastern ocean, passing through India and Parthyene, to Myriandrus742, a city of Syria, in the bay of Issus, is a distance of 5215 miles743. Thence, going directly by sea, by the island of Cyprus, Patara in Lycia, Rhodes, and Astypalæa, islands in the Carpathian sea, by Tænarum in Laconia, Lilybæum in Sicily and Calaris in Sardinia, is 2103 miles. Thence to Glades is 1250 miles, making the whole distance from the Eastern ocean 8568 miles744.

The other way, which is more certain, is chiefly by land. From the Ganges to the Euphrates is 5169 miles; thence to Mazaca, a town in Cappadocia, is 319 miles; thence, through Phrygia and Caria, to Ephesus is 415 miles; from Ephesus, across the Ægean sea to Delos, is 200 miles; to the Isthmus is 21212 miles; thence, first by land and afterwards by the sea of Lechæum and the gulf of Corinth, to Patræ in Peloponnesus, 90 miles; to the promontory of Leucate 8712 miles; as much more to Corcyra; to the Acroceraunian mountains 13212, to Brundisium 8712, and to Rome 360 miles. To the Alps, at the village of Scingomagum745, is 519 miles; through Gaul to Illiberis at the Pyrenees, 927; to the ocean and the145 coast of Spain, 331 miles; across the passage of Gades 712 miles; which distances, according to the estimate of Artemidorus, make altogether 8945 miles.

The breadth of the earth, from south to north, is commonly supposed to be about one-half only of its length, viz. 4490 miles; hence it is evident how much the heat has stolen from it on one side and the cold on the other: for I do not suppose that the land is actually wanting, or that the earth has not the form of a globe; but that, on each side, the uninhabitable parts have not been discovered. This measure then extends from the coast of the Æthiopian ocean, the most distant part which is habitable, to Meroë, 1000 miles746; thence to Alexandria 1250; to Rhodes 562; to Cnidos 8712; to Cos 25; to Samos 100; to Chios 94; to Mitylene 65; to Tenedos 44; to the promontory of Sigæum 1212; to the entrance of the Euxine 31212; to the promontory of Carambis 350; to the entrance of the Palus Mæotis 31212; and to the mouth of the Tanais 275 miles, which distance, if we went by sea, might be shortened 89 miles. Beyond the Tanais the most diligent authors have not been able to obtain any accurate measurement. Artemidorus supposes that everything beyond is undiscovered, since he confesses that, about the Tanais, the tribes of the Sarmatæ dwell, who extend towards the north pole. Isidorus adds 1250 miles, as the distance to Thule747; but this is mere conjecture. For my part, I believe that the boundaries of Sarmatia really extend to as great a distance as that mentioned above: for if it were not very extensive, how could it contain the innumerable tribes that are always changing their residence? And indeed I consider the uninhabitable portion of the world to be still greater; for it is well known that there are innumerable146 islands lying off the coast of Germany748, which have been only lately discovered.

The above is all that I consider worth relating about the length and the breadth of the earth749. But Eratosthenes750, a man who was peculiarly well skilled in all the more subtle parts of learning, and in this above everything else, and a person whom I perceive to be approved by every one, has stated the whole of this circuit to be 252,000 stadia, which, according to the Roman estimate, makes 31,500 miles. The attempt is presumptuous, but it is supported by such subtle arguments that we cannot refuse our assent. Hipparchus751, whom we must admire, both for the ability with which he controverts Eratosthenes, as well as for his diligence in everything else, has added to the above number not much less than 25,000 stadia.

(109.) Dionysodorus is certainly less worthy of confidence752; but I cannot omit this most remarkable instance of Grecian vanity. He was a native of Melos, and was celebrated for his knowledge of geometry; he died of old age in his native country. His female relations, who inherited his property, attended his funeral, and when they had for several successive days performed the usual rites, they are said to have found in his tomb an epistle written in his own name to those left above; it stated that he had descended from his tomb to the lowest part of the earth, and that it was a distance of 42,000 stadia. There were not wanting certain geometricians, who interpreted this epistle as if it had been sent from the middle of the globe, the point which is at the greatest distance from the surface, and which must necessarily be the centre of the sphere. Hence the estimate has been made that it is 252,000 stadia in circumference.



That harmonical proportion, which compels nature to be always consistent with itself, obliges us to add to the above measure, 12,000 stadia; and this makes the earth one ninety-sixth part of the whole universe.

Summary.—The facts, statements, and observations contained in this Book amount in number to 417.

Roman authors quoted.—M. Varro753, Sulpicius Gallus754, Titus Cæsar755 the Emperor, Q. Tubero756, Tullius Tiro757, L. Piso758, T. Livius759, Cornelius Nepos760, Sebosus761, Cælius Antipater762,148 Fabianus763, Antias764, Mucianus765, Cæcina766, who wrote on the Etruscan discipline, Tarquitius767, who did the same, Julius Aquila768, who also did the same, and Sergius769.

Foreign authors quoted.—Plato770, Hipparchus771, Timæus772, Sosigenes773, Petosiris774, Necepsos775,149 the Pythagorean776 Philosophers, Posidonius777, Anaximander778, Epigenes779 the philosopher who wrote on Gnomonics, Euclid780, Cœranus781 the philosopher, Eudoxus782, Democritus783, Critodemus784, Thrasyllus785, Serapion786, Dicæarchus787, Archimedes788,150 Onesicritus789, Eratosthenes790, Pytheas791, Herodotus792, Aristotle793, Ctesias794, Artemidorus795 of Ephesus, Isidorus796 of Charax, and Theopompus797.





Thus far have I treated of the position and the wonders of the earth, of the waters, the stars, and the proportion of the universe and its dimensions. I shall now proceed to describe its individual parts; although indeed we may with reason look upon the task as of an infinite nature, and one not to be rashly commenced upon without incurring censure. And yet, on the other hand, there is nothing which ought less to require an apology, if it is only considered how far from surprising it is that a mere mortal cannot be acquainted with everything. I shall therefore not follow any single author, but shall employ, in relation to each subject, such writers as I shall look upon as most worthy of credit. For, indeed, it is the characteristic of nearly all of them, that they display the greatest care and accuracy in the description of the countries in which they respectively flourished; so that by doing this, I shall neither have to blame nor contradict any one.

The names of the different places will here be simply given, and as briefly as possible; the account of their celebrity, and the events which have given rise thereto, being deferred to a more appropriate occasion; for it must be remembered that I am here speaking of the earth as a whole, and I wish to be understood as using the names without any reference whatever to their celebrity, and as though the places themselves were in their infancy, and had not as yet acquired any fame through great events. The name is mentioned, it is true, but only as forming a part of the world and the system of the universe.

The whole globe is divided into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Our description commences where the sun sets and at the Straits of Gades798, where the Atlantic ocean, bursting152 in, is poured forth into the inland seas. As it makes its entrance from that side, Africa is on the right hand and Europe on the left; Asia lies between them799; the boundaries being the rivers Tanais800 and Nile. The Straits of the ocean, of which I have just spoken, extend fifteen miles in length and five801 in breadth, measured from the village of Mellaria802 in Spain to the Album Promontorium803 or White Promontory in Africa, as we learn from Turranius Gracilis, who was born in that vicinity. Titus Livius and Cornelius Nepos however have stated the breadth, where it is least, to be seven miles, and where greatest, ten; from so small a mouth as this does so immense an expanse of water open upon us! Nor is our astonishment diminished by the fact of its being of great depth; for, instead of that, there are numerous breakers and shoals, white with foam, to strike the mariner with alarm. From this circumstance it is, that many have called this spot the threshold of The Inland Sea.

At the narrowest part of the Straits, there are mountains placed to form barriers to the entrance on either side, Abyla804 in Africa, and Calpe805 in Europe, the boundaries formerly of the labours of Hercules806. Hence it is that the inhabitants have called them the Columns of that god; they153 also believe that they were dug through by him; upon which the sea, which was before excluded, gained admission, and so changed the face of nature.


I shall first then speak of Europe, the foster-mother of that people which has conquered all other nations, and itself by far the most beauteous portion of the earth. Indeed, many persons have, not without reason807, considered it, not as a third part only of the earth, but as equal to all the rest, looking upon the whole of our globe as divided into two parts only, by a line drawn from the river Tanais to the Straits of Gades. The ocean, after pouring the waters of the Atlantic through the inlet which I have here described, and, in its eager progress, overwhelming all the lands which have had to dread its approach, skirts with its winding course the shores of those parts which offer a more effectual resistance, hollowing out the coast of Europe especially into numerous bays, among which there are four Gulfs that are more particularly remarkable. The first of these begins at Calpe, which I have previously mentioned, the most distant mountain of Spain; and bends, describing an immense curve, as far as Locri and the Promontory of Bruttium808.


The first land situate upon this Gulf is that which is called the Farther Spain or Bætica809; next to which, beginning at the frontier town of Urgi810, is the Nearer, or Tarraconensian811154 Spain, extending as far as the chain of the Pyrenees. The Farther Spain is divided lengthwise into two provinces, Lusitania812 and Bætica, the former stretching along the northern side of the latter, and being divided from it by the river Ana813.

The source of this river is in the district of Laminium814, in the Nearer Spain. It first spreads out into a number of small lakes, and then again contracts itself into a narrow channel, or entirely disappears under ground815, and after frequently disappearing and again coming to light, finally discharges itself into the Atlantic Ocean. Tarraconensian Spain lies on one side, contiguous to the Pyrenees, running downwards along the sides of that chain, and, stretching across from the Iberian Sea to the Gallic ocean816, is separated from Bætica and Lusitania by Mount Solorius817, the chains of the Oretani818 and the Carpetani819, and that of the Astures820.


Bætica, so called from the river which divides it in the middle, excels all the other provinces in the richness of its cultivation and the peculiar fertility and beauty of its vegetation.

It consists of four jurisdictions, those of Gades821, of Corduba822, of Astigi823, and of Hispalis824. The total number of its towns is 175; of these nine are colonies825, and eight municipal155 towns826; twenty-nine have been long since presented with the old Latin rights827; six are free towns828, three federate829, and 120 tributary.

In this district, the things that more especially deserve notice, or are more easily explained in the Latin tongue, are the following, beginning at the river Ana, along the line of the sea-shore; the town of Onoba, surnamed Æstuaria830; the rivers Luxia and Urium831, flowing through this territory between the Ana and the Bætis; the Marian832 Mountains; the river Bætis; the coast of Corum833, with its winding bay; opposite156 to which is Gades, of which we shall have occasion to speak among the islands834. Next comes the Promontory of Juno835, and the port of Bæsippo836; the towns of Bœlo837 and Mellaria838, at which latter begin the Straits of the Atlantic; Carteia839, called by the Greeks Tartessos840; and the mountain of Calpe.

Along the coast of the inland sea841 is the town of Barbesula842 with its river; also Salduba843; the town of Suel844; and then Malaca845, with its river, one of the federate towns. Next to this comes Mænoba846, with its river; then Sexifirmum847, surnamed157 Julium; Selambina848; Abdera849; and Murci850, which is at the boundary of Bætica. M. Agrippa supposed that all this coast was peopled by colonists of Punic origin. Beyond the Anas, and facing the Atlantic, is the country of the Bastuli851 and the Turditani. M. Varro informs us, that the Iberians, the Persians, the Phœnicians, the Celts, and the Carthaginians spread themselves over the whole of Spain; that the name “Lusitania” is derived from the games (lusus) of Father Bacchus, or the fury (lyssa852) of his frantic attendants, and that Pan853 was the governor of the whole of it. But the traditions respecting Hercules854 and Pyrene, as well as Saturn, I conceive to be fabulous in the highest degree.

The Bætis does not rise, as some writers have asserted, near the town of Mentisa855, in the province of Tarraco, but in the Tugiensian Forest856; and near it rises the river Tader857, which waters the territory of Carthage858. At Ilorcum859 it158 turns away from the Funeral Pile860 of Scipio; then taking a sweep to the left, it falls into the Atlantic Ocean, giving its name to this province: at its source it is but small, though during its course it receives many other streams, which it deprives as well of their waters as their renown. It first enters Bætica in Ossigitania861, and glides gently, with a smooth current, past many towns situate on either side of its banks.

Between this river and the sea-shore the most celebrated places inland are Segida862, also surnamed Augurina; Julia863, called Fidentia; Urgao864 or Alba, Ebora865 or Cerealis, Iliberri866 or Liberini, Ilipula867 or Laus, Artigi868 or Julienses, Vesci869 or Faventia, Singili870, Attegua871, Arialdunum, Agla Minor872, Bæbro873, Castra Vinaria874, Cisimbrium875, Hippo159 Nova or New Hippo876, Ilurco877, Osca878, Escua879, Sucubo880, Nuditanum, Old Tuati881; all which towns are in that part of Bastitania which extends towards the sea, but in the jurisdiction882 of Corduba. In the neighbourhood of the river itself is Ossigi883, also surnamed Laconicum, Iliturgi884 or Forum Julium, Ipasturgi885 or Triumphale, Setia, and, fourteen miles inland, Obulco886, which is also called Pontificense.

Next to these comes Epora887, a federate town, Sacili888 Martialium, and Onoba889. On the right bank is Corduba, a Roman colony, surnamed Patricia890; here the Bætis first becomes navigable. There are also the towns of Carbula160 and Detunda891, and the river Singulis892, which falls into the Bætis on the same side.

The towns in the jurisdiction of Hispalis are the following: Celti, Arua893, Canama894, Evia, Ilipa895, surnamed Illa, and Italica896. On the left of the river is the colony of Hispalis897 named Romuliensis, and, on the opposite side898, the town of Osset899, surnamed Julia Constantia, Vergentum, or Julî Genius900, Orippo, Caura901, Siarum, and the river Menoba902, which enters the Bætis on its right bank. Between the æstuaries of the Bætis lie the towns of Nebrissa903, surnamed Veneria, and of Colobona904. The colonies are, Asta905, which is also called Regia, and, more inland, that of Asido906, surnamed Cæsariana.

The river Singulis, discharging itself into the Bætis at the place already mentioned, washes the colony of Astigi907, surnamed161 Augusta Firma, at which place it becomes navigable. The other colonies in this jurisdiction which are exempt from tribute are Tucci, surnamed Augusta Gemella908, Itucci called Virtus Julia909, Attubi or Claritas Julia910, Urso911 or Genua Urbanorum; and among them in former times Munda912, which was taken with the son of Pompey. The free towns are Old Astigi913 and Ostippo914; the tributary towns are Callet, Callecula, Castra Gemina, the Lesser Ilipula, Merucra, Sacrana, Obulcula915, and Oningis. As you move away from the sea-coast, near where the river Menoba is navigable, you find, at no great distance, the Alontigiceli and the Alostigi916.

The country which extends from the Bætis to the river Anas, beyond the districts already described, is called Bæturia, and is divided into two parts and the same number of nations; the Celtici917, who border upon Lusitania, in the jurisdiction162 of Hispalis, and the Turduli, who dwell on the verge918 of Lusitania and Tarraconensis, and are under the protection of the laws of Corduba. It is evident that the Celtici have sprung from the Celtiberi, and have come from Lusitania, from their religious rites, their language, and the names of their towns, which in Bætica are distinguished by the following epithets919, which have been given to them. Seria has received the surname of Fama Julia920, Nertobriga that of Concordia Julia921, Segida that of Restituta Julia922, and Contributa923 that of Julia. What is now Curiga was formerly Ucultuniacum, Constantia Julia924 was Laconimurgis, the present Fortunales were the Tereses925, and the Emanici were the Callenses926. Besides these, there are in Celtica the towns of Acinippo927, Arunda928, Aruci929, Turobriga, Lastigi, Salpesa, Sæpone, and Serippo.

The other Bæturia, which we have mentioned, is inhabited by the Turduli, and, in the jurisdiction of Corduba, has some towns which are by no means inconsiderable; Arsa930,163 Mellaria931, Mirobriga932, and Sisapo933, in the district of Osintias.

To the jurisdiction of Gades belongs Regina, with Roman citizens; and Læpia, Ulia934, Carisa935 surnamed Aurelia, Urgia936 or Castrum Julium, likewise called Cæsaris Salutariensis, all of which enjoy the Latian rights. The tributary towns are Besaro, Belippo937, Barbesula, Lacippo, Bæsippo, Callet, Cappacum, Oleastro, Ituci, Brana, Lacibi, Saguntia938, and Audorisæ.

M. Agrippa has also stated the whole length of this province to be 475 miles939, and its breadth 257; but this was at a time when its boundaries extended to Carthage940, a circumstance which has often caused great errors in calculations; which are generally the result either of changes effected in the limits of provinces, or of the fact that in the reckoning of distances the length of the miles has been arbitrarily increased or diminished. In some parts too the sea has been long making encroachments upon the land, and in others again the shores have advanced; while the course of rivers in this place has become more serpentine, in that more direct. And then, besides, some writers begin their measurements at one place,164 and some at another, and so proceed in different directions; and hence the result is, that no two accounts agree.

(2.) At the present day the length of Bætica, from the town of Castulo941, on its frontier, to Gades is 250 miles, and from Murci, which lies on the sea-coast, twenty-five miles more. The breadth, measured from the coast of Carteia, is 234 miles. Who is there that can entertain the belief that Agrippa, a man of such extraordinary diligence, and one who bestowed so much care on his subject, when he proposed to place before the eyes of the world a survey of that world, could be guilty of such a mistake as this, and that too when seconded by the late emperor the divine Augustus? For it was that emperor who completed the Portico942 which had been begun by his sister, and in which the survey was to be kept, in conformity with the plan and descriptions of M. Agrippa.


The ancient form of the Nearer Spain, like that of many other provinces, is somewhat changed, since the time when Pompey the Great, upon the trophies which he erected in the Pyrenees, testified that 877 towns, from the Alps to the borders of the Farther Spain, had been reduced to subjection by him. The whole province is now divided into seven jurisdictions, those of Carthage943, of Tarraco, of Cæsar Augusta944, of165 Clunia945, of Asturica946, of Lucus947, and of the Bracari948. To these are to be added the islands, which will be described on another occasion, as also 293 states which are dependent on others; besides which the province contains 179 towns. Of these, twelve are colonies, thirteen, towns with the rights of Roman citizens, eighteen with the old Latian rights, one confederate, and 135 tributary.

The first people that we come to on the coast are the Bastuli; after whom, proceeding according to the order which I shall follow, as we go inland, there are the Mentesani, the Oretani, and the Carpetani on the Tagus, and next to them the Vaccæi, the Vectones, and the Celtiberian Arevaci. The towns nearest to the coast are Urci, and Barea949 included in Bætica, the district of Mavitania, next to it Deitania, and then Contestania, and the colony of Carthago Nova; from the Promontory of which, known as the Promontorium Saturni950, to the city of Cæsarea951 in Mauritania, the passage is a distance of 187 miles. The remaining objects worthy of mention on the coast are the river Tader952, and the free colony of Ilici953, whence the Ilicitanian Gulf954 derives its name; to this colony the Icositani are subordinate.

We next have Lucentum955, holding Latian rights; Dianium956, a tributary town; the river Sucro957, and in former times a town of the same name, forming the frontier of Contestania.166 Next is the district of Edetania, with the delightful expanse of a lake958 before it, and extending backward to Celtiberia. Valentia959, a colony, is situate three miles from the sea, after which comes the river Turium960, and Saguntum961 at the same distance, a town of Roman citizens famous for its fidelity, the river Uduba962, and the district of the Ilergaones963. The Iberus964, a river enriched by its commerce, takes its rise in the country of the Cantabri, not far from the town of Juliobriga965, and flows a distance of 450 miles; 260 of which, from the town of Varia966 namely, it is available for the purposes of navigation. From this river the name of Iberia has been given by the Greeks to the whole of Spain.

Next comes the district of Cossetania, the river Subi967, and the colony of Tarraco, which was built by the Scipios as Carthage968 was by the Carthaginians. Then the district of the Ilergetes, the town of Subur969, and the river Rubricatum970, beyond which begin the Laletani and the Indigetes971. Behind these, in the order in which they will be mentioned,167 going back from the foot of the Pyrenees, are the Ausetani972, the Lacetani973, and along the Pyrenees, the Cerretani974, next to whom are the Vascones975. On the coast is the colony of Barcino976, surnamed Faventia; Bætulo977 and Iluro978, towns with Roman citizens; the river Larnum979, Blandæ980, the river Alba981; Emporiæ982, a city consisting of two parts, one peopled by the original inhabitants, the other by the Greek descendants of the Phocæans; and the river Ticher983. From this to the Venus Pyrenæa984, on the other side of the Promontory, is a distance of forty miles.

I shall now proceed to give an account of the more remarkable things in these several jurisdictions, in addition to those which have been already mentioned. Forty-three different peoples are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of Tarraco: of these the most famous are—holding the rights of Roman citizens, the Dertusani985 and the Bisgargitani; enjoying Latian rights, the Ausetani, and the Cerretani, both Julian and Augustan, the Edetani986, the Gerundenses987, the168 Gessorienses988, and the Teari989, also called Julienses. Among the tributaries are the Aquicaldenses990, the Onenses, and the Bæculonenses991.

Cæsar Augusta, a free colony, watered by the river Iberus, on the site of the town formerly called Salduba, is situate in the district of Edetania, and is the resort of fifty-five nations. Of these there are, with the rights of Roman citizens, the Bellitani992, the Celsenses993, a former colony, the Calagurritani994, surnamed the Nassici, the Ilerdenses995, of the nation of the Surdaones, near whom is the river Sicoris, the Oscenses996 in the district of Vescitania, and the Turiasonenses997. Of those enjoying the rights of the ancient Latins, there are the Cascantenses998, the Ergavicenses999, the Graccuritani1000,169 the Leonicenses1001, and the Osicerdenses; of federate states, there are the Tarragenses1002; and of tributaries, the Arcobrigenses1003, the Andologenses1004, the Aracelitani1005, the Bursaonenses1006, the Calagurritani1007, who are also surnamed the Fibularenses, the Complutenses1008, the Carenses1009, the Cincenses1010, the Cortonenses, the Damanitani1011, the Larnenses1012, the Lursenses1013, the Lumberitani1014, the Lacetani, the Lubienses, the Pompelonenses1015, and the Segienses.


Sixty-five different nations resort to Carthage1016, besides the inhabitants of the islands. Of the Accitanian1017 colony, there are the Gemellenses, and the town of Libisosona1018, surnamed Foroaugustana, to both of which have been granted Italian1019 rights. Of the colony of Salaria1020, there are the people of the following towns, enjoying the rights of ancient Latium: the Castulonenses, also called the Cæsari Venales, the Sætabitani1021 or Augustani, and the Valerienses1022. The best known among the tributaries are the Alabanenses1023, the Bastitani1024, the Consaburrenses1025, the Dianenses1026, the Egelestani1027,171 the Ilorcitani1028, the Laminitani, the Mentesani1029, both those called Oritani and those called Bastuli, and the Oretani who are surnamed Germani1030, the people of Segobriga1031 the capital of Celtiberia, those of Toletum1032 the capital of Carpetania, situate on the river Tagus, and after them the Viatienses and the Virgilienses1033.

To the jurisdiction of Clunia1034 the Varduli contribute fourteen nations, of whom we need only particularize the Albanenses1035, the Turmodigi1036, consisting of four tribes, among which are the Segisamonenses1037 and the Segisamaiulienses. To the same jurisdiction belong the Carietes1038 and the Vennenses with five states, among which are the Velienses. Thither too resort the Pelendones of the Celtiberians, in four different nations, among whom the Numantini1039 were especially famous. Also, among the eighteen states of the Vaccæi, there are the Intercatienses1040, the Pallantini1041, the Lacobrigenses, and the Caucenses1042. But among the seven172 peoples belonging to the Cantabri, Juliobriga1043 is the only place worthy of mention; and of the ten states of the Autrigones, Tritium and Virovesca1044. The river Areva1045 gives its name to the Arevaci; of whom there are six towns, Segontia1046 and Uxama1047, names which are frequently given to other places, as also Segovia1048 and Nova Augusta, Termes1049, and Clunia itself, the frontier of Celtiberia. The remaining portion turns off towards the ocean, being occupied by the Varduli, already mentioned, and the Cantabri.

Next upon these touch the twenty-two nations of the Astures, who are divided into the Augustani1050 and the Transmontani, with the magnificent city of Asturica. Among these we have the Cigurri1051, the Pæsici, the Lancienses1052, and the Zoëlæ1053. The total number of the free population amounts to 240,000 persons.

The jurisdiction of Lucus1054 embraces, besides the Celtici and the Lebuni, sixteen different nations, but little known173 and with barbarous names. The number however of the free population amounts to nearly 166,000.

In a similar manner the twenty-four states of the jurisdiction of the Bracari contain a population of 175,000, among whom, besides the Bracari1055 themselves, we may mention, without wearying the reader, the Bibali, the Cœlerni, the Gallæci, the Hequæsi, the Limici, and the Querquerni.

The length of the Nearer Spain, from the Pyrenees to the frontier of Castulo, is 6071056 miles, and a little more if we follow the line of the coast; while its breadth, from Tarraco to the shore of Olarson1057, is 3071058 miles. From the foot of the Pyrenees, where it is wedged in by the near approach of the two seas, it gradually expands until it touches the Farther Spain, and thereby acquires a width more than double1059.

Nearly the whole of Spain abounds in mines1060 of lead, iron,174 copper, silver, and gold; in the Nearer Spain there is also found lapis specularis1061; in Bætica there is cinnabar. There are also quarries of marble. The Emperor Vespasianus Augustus, while still harassed by the storms that agitated the Roman state, conferred the Latian rights on the whole of Spain. The Pyrenean mountains divide Spain from Gaul, their extremities projecting into the two seas on either side.


That part of the Gallias which is washed by the inland sea1062 is called the province of [Gallia] Narbonensis1063, having formerly borne the name of Braccata1064. It is divided from Italy by the river Varus1065, and by the range of the Alps, the great safeguards of the Roman Empire. From the remainder of Gaul, on the north, it is separated by the mountains Cebenna1066 and Jura1067. In the cultivation of the soil, the manners and civilization of the inhabitants, and the extent of its wealth, it is surpassed by none of the provinces, and, in short, might be more truthfully described as a part of Italy than as a province. On the coast we have the district of the Sordones1068, and more inland that of the Consuarani1069. The175 rivers are the Tecum and the Vernodubrum1070. The towns are Illiberis1071, the scanty remains of what was formerly a great city, and Ruscino1072, a town with Latian rights. We then come to the river Atax1073, which flows from the Pyrenees, and passes through the Rubrensian Lake1074, the town of Narbo Martius, a colony of the tenth legion, twelve miles distant from the sea, and the rivers Arauris1075 and Liria1076. The towns are otherwise but few in number, in consequence of the numerous lakes1077 which skirt the sea-shore. We have Agatha1078, formerly belonging to the Massilians, and the district of the Volcæ Tectosages1079; and there is the spot where Rhoda1080, a Rhodian colony, formerly stood, from which the river takes its name of Rhodanus1081; a stream by far the most fertilizing of any in either of the Gallias. Descending from the Alps and rushing through lake Lemanus1082, it carries along with it the sluggish Arar1083, as well as the torrents of the Isara and the Druentia1084, no less rapid than itself. Its two smaller mouths are called Libica1085, one being the Spanish, and the176 other the Metapinian mouth; the third and largest is called the Massiliotic1086. There are some authors who state that there was formerly a town called Heraclea1087 at the mouth of the Rhodanus or Rhone.

Beyond this are the Canals1088 leading out of the Rhone, a famous work of Caius Marius, and still distinguished by his name; the Lake of Mastramela1089, the town of Maritima1090 of the Avatici, and, above this, the Stony Plains1091, memorable for the177 battles of Hercules; the district of the Anatilii1092, and more inland, that of the Desuviates1093 and the Cavari. Again, close upon the sea, there is that of the Tricorii1094, and inland, there are the Tricolli1095, the Vocontii1096, and the Segovellauni, and, after them, the Allobroges1097.

On the coast is Massilia, a colony of Phocæan1098 Greeks, and a federate1099 city; we then have the Promontory of Zao1100, the port of Citharista1101, and the district of the Camatullici1102; then the Suelteri1103, and above them the Verrucini1104. Again,178 on the coast, we find Athenopolis1105, belonging to the Massilians, Forum Julii1106 Octavanorum, a colony, which is also called Pacensis and Classica, the river Argenteus1107, which flows through it, the district of the Oxubii1108 and that of the Ligauni1109; above whom are the Suetri1110, the Quariates1111 and the Adunicates1112. On the coast we have Antipolis1113, a town with Latian rights, the district of the Deciates, and the river Varus, which proceeds from Mount Cema, one of the Alps.

The colonies in the interior are Arelate Sextanorum1114, Beterræ Septimanorum1115, and Arausio1116 Secundanorum; Valentia1117 in the territory of the Cavari, and Vienna1118 in that of the Allobroges. The towns that enjoy Latian rights are Aquæ Sextiæ1119 in the territory of the Saluvii, Avenio1120 in that of the179 Cavari, Apta Julia1121 in that of the Volgientes, Alebece1122 in that of the Reii Apollinares, Alba1123 in that of the Helvi, and Augusta1124 in that of the Tricastini, Anatilia, Aeria1125, the Bormanni1126, the Comaci, Cabellio1127, Carcasum1128 in the territory of the Volcæ Tectosages, Cessero1129, Carpentoracte1130 in the territory of the Memini, the Cenicenses1131, the Cambolectri1132, surnamed the Atlantici, Forum1133 Voconi, Glanum Livi1134, the Lutevani1135, also called the Foroneronienses1136, Nemausum1137 in180 the territory of the Arecomici, Piscenæ1138, the Ruteni1139, the Sanagenses1140, the Tolosani1141 in the territory of the Tectosages on the confines of Aquitania, the Tasconi1142, the Tarusconienses1143, the Umbranici1144, Vasio1145 and Lucus Augusti1146, the two capitals of the federate state of the Vocontii. There are also nineteen towns of less note, as well as twenty-four belonging to the people of Nemausum. To this list1147 the Emperor Galba added two tribes dwelling among the Alps, the Avantici1148 and the Bodiontici, to whom belongs the town of Dinia1149. According to Agrippa the length of the province of Gallia Narbonensis is 370 miles, and its breadth 2481150.

CHAP. 6. (5.)—OF ITALY.

Next comes Italy, and we begin with the Ligures1151, after181 whom we have Etruria, Umbria, Latium, where the mouths of the Tiber are situate, and Rome, the Capital of the world, sixteen miles distant from the sea. We then come to the coasts of the Volsci and of Campania, and the districts of Picenum, of Lucania, and of Bruttium, where Italy extends the farthest in a southerly direction, and projects into the [two] seas with the chain of the Alps1152, which there forms pretty nearly the shape of a crescent. Leaving Bruttium we come to the coast of [Magna] Græcia, then the Salentini, the Pediculi, the Apuli, the Peligni, the Frentani, the Marrucini, the Vestini, the Sabini, the Picentes, the Galli, the Umbri, the Tusci, the Veneti, the Carni, the Iapydes, the Histri, and the Liburni.

I am by no means unaware that I might be justly accused of ingratitude and indolence, were I to describe thus briefly and in so cursory a manner the land which is at once the foster-child1153 and the parent of all lands; chosen by the providence of the Gods to render even heaven itself more glorious1154, to unite the scattered empires of the earth, to bestow a polish upon men’s manners, to unite the discordant and uncouth dialects of so many different nations by the powerful ties of one common language, to confer the enjoyments of discourse and of civilization upon mankind, to become, in short, the mother-country of all nations of the Earth.

But how shall I commence this undertaking? So vast is the number of celebrated places (what man living could enumerate them all?), and so great the renown attached to each individual nation and subject, that I feel myself quite182 at a loss. The city of Rome alone, which forms a portion of it, a face well worthy of shoulders so beauteous, how large a work would it require for an appropriate description! And then too the coast of Campania, taken singly by itself! so blest with natural beauties and opulence, that it is evident that when nature formed it she took a delight in accumulating all her blessings in a single spot—how am I to do justice to it? And then the climate, with its eternal freshness and so replete with health and vitality, the sereneness of the weather so enchanting, the fields so fertile, the hill sides so sunny, the thickets so free from every danger, the groves so cool and shady, the forests with a vegetation so varying and so luxuriant, the breezes descending from so many a mountain, the fruitfulness of its grain, its vines, and its olives so transcendent; its flocks with fleeces so noble, its bulls with necks so sinewy, its lakes recurring in never-ending succession, its numerous rivers and springs which refresh it with their waters on every side, its seas so many in number, its havens and the bosom of its lands opening everywhere to the commerce of all the world, and as it were eagerly stretching forth into the very midst of the waves, for the purpose of aiding as it were the endeavours of mortals!

For the present I forbear to speak of its genius, its manners, its men, and the nations whom it has conquered by eloquence and force of arms. The very Greeks themselves, a race fond in the extreme of expatiating on their own praises, have amply given judgment in its favour, when they named but a small part of it ‘Magna Græcia1155.’ But we must be content to do on this occasion as we have done in our description of the heavens; we must only touch upon some of these points, and take notice of but a few of its stars. I only beg my readers to bear in mind that I am thus hastening183 on for the purpose of giving a general description of everything that is known to exist throughout the whole earth.

I may premise by observing that this land very much resembles in shape an oak leaf, being much longer than it is broad; towards the top it inclines to the left1156, while it terminates in the form of an Amazonian buckler1157, in which the spot at the central projection is the place called Cocinthos, while it sends forth two horns at the end of its crescent-shaped bays, Leucopetra on the right and Lacinium on the left. It extends in length 1020 miles, if we measure from the foot of the Alps at Prætoria Augusta, through the city of Rome and Capua to the town of Rhegium, which is situate on the shoulder of the Peninsula, just at the bend of the neck as it were. The distance would be much greater if measured to Lacinium, but in that case the line, being drawn obliquely, would incline too much to one side. Its breadth is variable; being 410 miles between the two seas, the Lower and the Upper1158, and the rivers Varus and Arsia1159: at about the middle, and in the vicinity of the city of Rome, from the spot where the river Aternus1160 flows into the Adriatic sea, to the mouth of the Tiber, the distance is 136 miles, and a little less from Castrum-novum on the Adriatic sea to Alsium1161 on the Tuscan; but in no place does it exceed 200 miles in breadth.184 The circuit of the whole, from the Varus to the Arsia, is 3059 miles1162.

As to its distance from the countries that surround it—Istria and Liburnia are, in some places1163, 100 miles from it, and Epirus and Illyricum 50; Africa is less than 200, as we are informed by M. Varro; Sardinia1164 is 120, Sicily 112, Corsica less than 80, and Issa1165 50. It extends into the two seas towards the southern parts of the heavens, or, to speak with more minute exactness, between the sixth1166 hour and the first hour of the winter solstice.

We will now describe its extent and its different cities; in doing which, it is necessary to premise, that we shall follow the arrangement of the late Emperor Augustus, and adopt the division which he made of the whole of Italy into eleven districts; taking them, however, according to their order on the sea-line, as in so hurried a detail it would not be possible otherwise to describe each city in juxtaposition with the others in its vicinity. And for the same reason, in describing the interior, I shall follow the alphabetical order which has been adopted by that Emperor, pointing out the colonies of which he has made mention in his enumeration. Nor is it a very easy task to trace their situation and origin; for, not to speak of others, the Ingaunian Ligurians have had lands granted to them as many as thirty different times.


To begin then with the river Varus; we have the town of Nicæa1168, founded by the Massilians, the river Paulo1169, the Alps185 and the Alpine tribes, distinguished by various names1170, but more especially the Capillati1171, Cemenelio1172, a town of the state of the Vediantii, the port of Hercules Monæcus1173, and the Ligurian coast. The more celebrated of the Ligurian tribes beyond the Alps are the Salluvii, the Deciates, and the Oxubii1174; on this side of the Alps, the Veneni1175, and the Vagienni, who are derived from the Caturiges1176, the Statielli1177, the Bimbelli1178, the Magelli, the Euburiates, the Casmonates1179, the Veleiates1180, and the peoples whose towns we shall describe as lying near the adjoining coast. The river Rutuba1181, the town of Albium Intemelium1182, the river Merula1183, the town of Albium Ingaunum1184, the port of Vadum Sabatiorum1185, the river Porcifera1186, the town of Genua, the river Feritor1187, the Portus Delphini1188, Tigullia1189, Tegesta1190 of the Tigullii, and the river Macra1191, which is the boundary of Liguria.


Extending behind all the before-mentioned places are the Apennines, the most considerable of all the mountains of Italy, the chain of which extends unbroken from the Alps1192 to the Sicilian sea. On the other side of the Apennines, towards the Padus1193, the richest river of Italy, the whole country is adorned with noble towns; Libarna1194, the colony of Dertona1195, Iria1196, Barderate1197, Industria1198, Pollentia1199, Carrea surnamed Potentia1200, Foro Fulvî or Valentinum1201, Augusta1202 of the Vagienni, Alba Pompeia1203, Asta1204, and Aquæ Statiellorum1205. This is the ninth region, according to the arrangement of Augustus. The coast of Liguria extends 211 miles1206, between the rivers Varus and Macra.


Next to this comes the seventh region, in which is Etruria,187 a district which begins at the river Macra, and has often changed its name. At an early period the Umbri were expelled from it by the Pelasgi; and these again by the Lydians, who from a king of theirs1207 were named Tyrrheni, but afterwards, from the rites observed in their sacrifices, were called, in the Greek language1208, Tusci. The first town in Etruria is Luna1209, with a noble harbour, then the colony of Luca1210, at some distance from the sea, and nearer to it again the colony of Pisæ1211, between the rivers Auser1212 and Arnus1213, which owes its origin to Pelops and the Pisans1214, or else to the Teutani, a people of Greece. Next is Vada1215 Volaterrana, then the river Cecinna1216, and Populonium1217 formerly belonging to the Etrurians, the only town they had on this coast. Next to these is the river Prile1218, then the Umbro1219, which is navigable, and where the district of Umbria begins, the port of Telamon1220, Cosa1221 of the Volcientes, founded by the Roman188 people, Graviscæ1222, Castrum novum1223, Pyrgi1224, the river Cæretanus1225, and Cære1226 itself, four miles inland, called Agylla by the Pelasgi who founded it, Alsium1227, Fregenæ1228, and the river Tiber, 2841229 miles from the Macra.

In the interior we have the colonies of Falisci1230, founded by the Argives, according to the account of Cato1231, and surnamed Falisci Etruscorum, Lucus Feroniæ1232, Rusellana, the Senienses1233, and Sutrina1234. The remaining peoples are the189 Arretini1235 Veteres, the Arretini Fidentes, the Arretini Julienses, the Amitinenses, the Aquenses, surnamed Taurini1236, the Blerani1237, the Cortonenses1238, the Capenates1239, the Clusini Novi, the Clusini Veteres1240, the Florentini1241, situate on the stream of the Arnus, Fæsulæ1242, Ferentinum1243, Fescennia1244,190 Hortanum1245, Herbanum1246, Nepeta1247, Novem Pagi1248, the Claudian præfecture of Foroclodium1249, Pistorium1250, Perusia1251, the Suanenses, the Saturnini, formerly called the Aurinini, the Subertani1252, the Statones1253, the Tarquinienses1254, the Tuscanienses1255, the Vetulonienses1256, the Veientani1257, the Vesentini1258, the Volaterrani1259, the Volcentini1260, surnamed Etrusci, and the Volsinienses1261. In the same district the territories of191 Crustumerium1262 and Caletra1263 retain the names of the ancient towns.


The Tiber or Tiberis, formerly called Thybris, and previously Albula1265, flows down from nearly the central part of the chain of the Apennines, in the territory of the Arretini. It is at first small, and only navigable by means of sluices, in which the water is dammed up and then discharged, in the same manner as the Timia1266 and the Glanis, which flow into it; for which purpose it is found necessary to collect the water for nine days, unless there should happen to be a fall of rain. And even then, the Tiber, by reason of its rugged and uneven channel, is really more suitable for navigation by rafts than by vessels, for any great distance. It winds along for a course of 150 miles, passing not far from Tifernum1267, Perusia, and Ocriculum1268, and dividing Etruria from the Umbri1269 and the Sabini1270, and then, at a distance of less than sixteen192 miles from the city, separating the territory of Veii from that of Crustuminum, and afterwards that of the Fidenates and of Latium from Vaticanum.

Below its union with the Glanis from Arretinum the Tiber is swollen by two and forty streams, particularly the Nar1271 and the Anio, which last is also navigable and shuts in Latium at the back; it is also increased by the numerous aqueducts and springs which are conveyed to the City. Here it becomes navigable by vessels of any burden which may come up from the Italian sea; a most tranquil dispenser of the produce of all parts of the earth, and peopled and embellished along its banks with more villas than nearly all the other rivers of the world taken together. And yet there is no river more circumscribed than it, so close are its banks shut in on either side; but still, no resistance does it offer, although its waters frequently rise with great suddenness, and no part is more liable to be swollen than that which runs through the City itself. In such case, however, the Tiber is rather to be looked upon1272 as pregnant with prophetic warnings to us, and in its increase to be considered more as a promoter of religion than a source of devastation.

Latium1273 has preserved its original limits, from the Tiber to Circeii1274, a distance of fifty miles: so slender at the beginning were the roots from which this our Empire sprang. Its inhabitants have been often changed, and different nations have peopled it at different times, the Aborigines,193 the Pelasgi, the Arcades, the Seculi, the Aurunci, the Rutuli, and, beyond Circeii, the Volsci, the Osci, and the Ausones whence the name of Latium came to be extended as far as the river Liris1275.

We will begin with Ostia1276, a colony founded by a king of Rome, the town of Laurentum1277, the grove of Jupiter Indiges1278, the river Numicius1279, and Ardea1280, founded by Danaë, the mother of Perseus. Next come the former site of Aphrodisium1281, the colony of Antium1282, the river and island called Astura1283, the river Nymphæus1284, the Clostra Romana1285, and Circeii1286, formerly an island, and, if we are to believe Homer, surrounded by the open sea, though now by an extensive plain. The circumstances which we are enabled to publish on this subject for the information of the world are very remarkable. Theophrastus, the first foreigner who treated of the affairs of Rome with any degree of accuracy (for Theopompus, before whose time no Greek writer had made mention of us, only194 stated the fact that the city had been taken by the Gauls, and Clitarchus, the next after him, only spoke of the embassy that was sent by the Romans to Alexander)—Theophrastus, I say, following something more than mere rumour, has given the circuit of the island of Circeii as being eighty stadia, in the volume which he wrote during the archonship of Nicodorus at Athens1287, being the 440th year of our city. Whatever land therefore has been annexed to that island beyond the circumference of about ten miles, has been added to Italy since the year previously mentioned.

Another wonderful circumstance too.—Near Circeii are the Pomptine Marshes1288, formerly the site, according to Mucianus, who was thrice consul, of four-and-twenty cities. Next to this comes the river Ufens1289, upon which is the town of Terracina1290, called, in the language of the Volsci, Anxur; the spot too where Amyclæ1291 stood, a town destroyed by serpents. Next is the site of the Grotto1292, Lake Fundanus1293, the port of Caieta1294, and then the town of Formiæ1295, formerly called Hormiæ, the ancient seat of the Læstrygones1296, it is supposed. Beyond this, formerly stood the195 town of Pyræ; and we then come to the colony of Minturnæ1297, which still exists, and is divided1298 by the river Liris, also called the Glanis. The town of Sinuessa1299 is the last in the portion which has been added to Latium; it is said by some that it used to be called Sinope.

At this spot begins that blessed country Campania1300, and in this vale first take their rise those hills clad with vines, the juice of whose grape is extolled by Fame all over the world; the happy spot where, as the ancients used to say, father Liber and Ceres are ever striving for the mastery. Hence the fields of Setia1301 and of Cæcubum1302 extend afar, and, next to them those of Falernum1303 and of Calinum1304. As soon as we have passed these, the hills of Massica1305, of Gaurus1306, and of Surrentum rise to our view. Next, the level plains of Laborium1307 are spread out far and wide, where every care is bestowed on cultivating crops of spelt, from which the most delicate fermenty is made. These shores are watered by warm springs1308, while the seas are distinguished beyond all others for the superlative excellence of their shell and other fish.196 In no country too has the oil of the olive a more exquisite flavour. This territory, a battle-ground as it were for the gratification of every luxurious pleasure of man, has been held successively by the Osci, the Greeks, the Umbri, the Tusci, and the Campani.

On the coast we first meet with the river Savo1309, the town of Volturnum with a river1310 of the same name, the town of Liternum1311, Cumæ1312, a Chalcidian colony, Misenum1313, the port of Baiæ1314, Bauli1315, the Lucrine Lake1316, and Lake Avernus, near which there stood formerly a town1317 of the Cimmerians. We then come to Puteoli1318, formerly called the colony of Dicæarchia,197 then the Phlegræan1319 Plains, and the Marsh of Acherusia1320 in the vicinity of Cumæ.

Again, on the coast we have Neapolis1321, also a colony of the Chalcidians, and called Parthenope from the tomb there of one of the Sirens, Herculaneum1322, Pompeii1323, from which Mount Vesuvius may be seen at no great distance, and which is watered by the river Sarnus1324; the territory of Nuceria, and, at the distance of nine miles from the sea, the town of that name1325, and then Surrentum1326, with the Promontory of Minerva1327, formerly the abode of the Sirens. The distance thence by sea to Circeii is seventy-eight miles. This198 region, beginning at the Tiber, is looked upon as the first of Italy according to the division of Augustus.

Inland there are the following colonies:—Capua1328, so called from its champaign country, Aquinum1329, Suessa1330, Venafrum1331, Sora1332, Teanum surnamed Sidicinum1333, Nola1334; and the towns of Abelia1335, Aricia1336, Alba Longa1337,199 the Acerrani1338, the Allifani1339, the Atinates1340, the Aletrinates1341, the Anagnini1342, the Atellani1343, the Affilani1344, the Arpinates1345, the Auximates1346, the Abellani1347, the Alfaterni (both those who take their names from the Latin, the Hernican and the Labicanian territory), Bovillæ1348, Calatia1349,200 Casinum1350, Calenum1351, Capitulum1352 of the Hernici, the Cereatini1353, surnamed Mariani, the Corani1354, descended from the Trojan Dardanus, the Cubulterini, the Castrimœnienses1355, the Cingulani1356, the Fabienses1357 on the Alban Mount, the Foropopulienses1358 of the Falernian district, the Frusinates1359, the Ferentinates1360, the Freginates1361, the old Frabaterni1362, the new Frabaterni, the Ficolenses1363,201 the Fregellani1364, Forum Appî1365, the Forentani1366, the Gabini1367, the Interamnates Succasini1368, also surnamed Lirinates, the Ilionenses Lavinii1369, the Norbani1370, the Nomentani1371, the Prænestini1372 (whose city was formerly called Stephané), the Privernates1373, the Setini1374, the Signini1375, the Suessulani1376, the202 Telesini1377, the Trebulani, surnamed Balinienses1378, the Trebani1379, the Tusculani1380, the Verulani1381, the Veliterni1382, the Ulubrenses1383, the Urbinates1384, and, last and greater than all, Rome herself, whose other name1385 the hallowed mysteries of the sacred rites forbid us to mention without being guilty of the greatest impiety. After it had been long kept buried in secresy with the strictest fidelity and in respectful and salutary silence, Valerius Soranus dared to divulge it, but soon did he pay the penalty1386 of his rashness.

It will not perhaps be altogether foreign to the purpose, if I here make mention of one peculiar institution of our forefathers which bears especial reference to the inculcation of silence on religious matters. The goddess Angerona1387, to whom sacrifice is offered on the twelfth day before the calends of January [21st December], is represented in her statue as having her mouth bound with a sealed fillet.

Romulus left the city of Rome, if we are to believe those203 who state the very greatest number, having three1388 gates and no more. When the Vespasians were emperors1389 and censors, in the year from its building 826, the circumference of the walls which surrounded it was thirteen miles and two-fifths. Surrounding as it does the Seven Hills, the city is divided into fourteen districts, with 265 cross-roads1390 under the guardianship of the Lares. If a straight line is drawn from the mile-column1391 placed at the entrance of the Forum, to each of the gates, which are at present thirty-seven in number (taking care to count only once the twelve double gates, and to omit the seven old ones, which no longer exist), the result will be [taking them altogether], a straight line of twenty miles and 765 paces1392. But if we draw a straight line from the same mile-column to the very last of the houses, including therein the Prætorian encampment, and follow throughout the line of all the streets, the result will then be something more than seventy miles. Add to these calculations the height of the houses, and then a person may form a fair idea of this city, and will certainly be obliged to admit that there is not a place throughout the whole world that for size can be compared to it. On the204 eastern side it is bounded by the agger of Tarquinius Superbus, a work of surpassing grandeur; for he raised it so high as to be on a level with the walls on the side on which the city lay most exposed to attack from the neighbouring plains. On all the other sides it has been fortified either with lofty walls or steep and precipitous hills1393, but so it is, that its buildings, increasing and extending beyond all bounds, have now united many other cities to it1394.

Besides those previously mentioned, there were formerly in the first region the following famous towns of Latium: Satricum1395, Pometia1396, Scaptia, Politorium1397, Tellene, Tifata, Cænina1398, Ficana1399, Crustumerium, Ameriola1400, Medullum1401, Corniculum1402, Saturnia1403, on the site of the present city of205 Rome, Antipolis1404, now Janiculum, forming part of Rome, Antemnæ1405, Camerium1406, Collatia1407, Amitinum1408, Norbe, Sulmo1409, and, with these, those Alban nations1410 who used to take part in the sacrifices1411 upon the Alban Mount, the Albani, the Æsulani1412, the Accienses, the Abolani,206 the Bubetani1413, the Bolani1414, the Cusuetani, the Coriolani1415, the Fidenates1416, the Foretii, the Hortenses1417, the Latinienses, the Longulani1418, the Manates, the Macrales, the Mutucumenses, the Munienses, the Numinienses, the Olliculani, the Octulani, the Pedani1419, the Polluscini, the Querquetulani, the Sicani, the Sisolenses, the Tolerienses, the Tutienses, the Vimitellarii, the Velienses, the Venetulani, and the Vitellenses. Thus we see, fifty-three peoples of ancient Latium have passed away without leaving any traces of their existence.

In the Campanian territory there was also the town of Stabiæ1420, until the consulship of Cneius Pompeius and L. Cato, when, on the day before the calends of May [30th of April], it was destroyed in the Social War by L. Sulla the legatus, and all that now stands on its site is a single farmhouse. Here also Taurania has ceased to exist, and the remains of Casilinum1421 are fast going to ruin. Besides these,207 we learn from Antias that king L. Tarquinius took Apiolæ1422, a town of the Latins, and with its spoils laid the first foundations of the Capitol. From Surrentum1423 to the river Silarus1424, the former territory of Picentia1425 extends for a distance of thirty miles. This belonged to the Etruscans, and was remarkable for the temple of the Argive Juno, founded by Jason1426. In it was Picentia, a town1427 of the territory of Salernum1428.


At the Silarus begins the third region of Italy, consisting of the territory of Lucania and Bruttium; here too there have been no few changes of the population. These districts208 have been possessed by tbe Pelasgi, the Œnotrii, the Itali, the Morgetes, the Siculi, and more especially by people who emigrated from Greece1429, and, last of all, by the Leucani, a people sprung from the Samnites, who took possession under the command of Lucius. We find here the town of Pæstum1430, which received from the Greeks the name of Posidonia, the Gulf of Pæstum1431, the town of Elea, now known as Velia1432, and the Promontory of Palinurum1433, a point at which the land falls inwards and forms a bay1434, the distance across which to the pillar1435 of Rhegium is 100 miles. Next after Palinurum comes the river Melpes1436, then the town of Buxentum1437, called in [Magna] Græcia Pyxus, and the river Laus; there was formerly a town1438 also of the same name.

At this spot begins the coast of Bruttium, and we come to the town of Blanda1439, the river Batum1440, Parthenius, a port of the Phocians, the bay of Vibo1441, the place1442 where209 Clampetia formerly stood, the town of Temsa1443, called Temese by the Greeks, and Terina founded by the people of Crotona1444, with the extensive Gulf of Terina; more inland, the town of Consentia1445. Situate upon a peninsula1446 is the river Acheron1447, from which the people of Acherontia derive the name of their town; then Hippo, now called Vibo Valentia, the Port of Hercules1448, the river Metaurus1449, the town of Tauroentum1450, the Port of Orestes, and Medma1451. Next, the town of Scyllæum1452, the river Cratæis1453, the mother of Scylla it is said; then the Pillar of Rhegium, the Straits of Sicily, and the two promontories which face each other, Cænys1454 on the Italian, and Pelorus1455 on the Sicilian side, the distance between them being twelve stadia. At a distance thence of twelve miles and a half, we come to Rhegium1456, after which begins Sila1457, a forest of the Apennines, and then the promontory210 of Leucopetra1458, at a distance of fifteen miles; after which come the Locri1459, who take their surname from the promontory of Zephyrium1460, being distant from the river Silarus 303 miles.

At this spot ends the first1461 great Gulf of Europe; the seas in which bear the following names:—That from which it takes its rise is called the Atlantic, by some the Great Atlantic, the entrance of which is, by the Greeks, called Porthmos, by us the Straits of Gades. After its entrance, as far as it washes the coasts of Spain, it is called the Hispanian Sea, though some give it the name of the Iberian or Balearic1462 Sea. Where it faces the province of Gallia Narbonensis it has the name of the Gallic, and after that, of the Ligurian, Sea. From Liguria to the island of Sicily, it is called the Tuscan Sea, the same which is called by some of the Greeks the Notian1463, by others the Tyrrhenian, while many of our people call it the Lower Sea. Beyond Sicily, as far as the country of the Salentini, it is styled by Polybius the Ausonian Sea. Eratosthenes however gives to the whole expanse that lies between the inlet of the ocean and the island of Sardinia, the name of the Sardoan Sea; thence to Sicily, the Tyrrhenian; thence to Crete, the Sicilian; and beyond that island, the Cretan Sea.


The first islands that we meet with in all these seas are211 the two to which the Greeks have given the name of Pityussæ1464, from the pine-tree1465, which they produce. These islands now bear the name of Ebusus, and form a federate state. They are separated by a narrow strait1466 of the sea, and are forty-six1467 miles in extent. They are distant from Dianium1468 700 stadia, Dianium being by land the same distance1469 from New Carthage. At the same distance1470 from the Pityussæ, lie, in the open sea, the two Baleares, and, over against the river Sucro1471, Colubraria1472. The Baleares1473, so formidable in war with their slingers1474, have received from the Greeks the name of Gymnasiæ.

The larger island is 1001475 miles in length, and 475 in circumference. It has the following towns; Palma1476 and Pollentia1477, enjoying the rights of Roman citizens, Cinium1478 and Tucis, with Latin rights: Bocchorum, a federate town, is no longer in existence. At thirty miles’ distance is the212 smaller island, 40 miles in length, and 1501479 in circumference; it contains the states of Jamnon1480, Sanisera, and Magon1481.

In the open sea, at twelve miles’ distance from the larger island, is Capraria1482 with its treacherous coast, so notorious for its numerous shipwrecks; and, opposite to the city of Palma, are the islands known as the Mænariæ1483, Tiquadra1484, and Little Hannibalis1485.

The earth of Ebusus has the effect of driving away serpents, while that of Colubraria produces them; hence the latter spot is dangerous to all persons who have not brought with them some of the earth of Ebusus. The Greeks have given it the name of Ophiusa1486. Ebusus too produces no1487 rabbits to destroy the harvests of the Baleares. There are also about twenty other small islands in this sea, which is full of shoals. Off the coast of Gaul, at the mouth of the Rhodanus, there is Metina1488, and near it the island which is known as Blascon1489, with the three Stœchades, so called by their neighbours the Massilians1490, on account of the regular order in which they are placed; their respective names are Prote1491, Mese1492, also213 called Pomponiana, and Hypæa1493. After these come Sturium1494, Phœnice, Phila, Lero, and, opposite to Antipolis1495, Lerina1496, where there is a remembrance of a town called Vergoanum having once existed.

CHAP. 12. (6.)—CORSICA.

In the Ligurian Sea, but close to the Tuscan, is Corsica, by the Greeks called Cyrnos, extending, from north to south 150 miles, and for the most part 50 miles in breadth, its circumference being 325. It is 62 miles distant from the Vada Volaterrana1497. It contains thirty-two states, and two colonies, that of Mariana1498, founded by C. Marius, and that of Aleria, founded by the Dictator Sylla. On this side of it is Oglasa1499, and, at a distance of less than sixty miles from Corsica, Planaria1500, so called from its appearance, being nearly level with the sea, and consequently treacherous to mariners.

We next have Urgo1501, a larger island, and Capraria, which the Greeks have called Ægilion1502; then Igilium1503 and Dianium1504, which they have also called Artemisia, both of them opposite the coast of Cosa; also Barpana1505, Mænaria, Columbaria,214 and Venaria. We then come to Ilva1506 with its iron mines, an island 100 miles in circumference, 10 miles distant from Populonium, and called Æthalia by the Greeks: from it the island of Planasia1507 is distant 28 miles. After these, beyond the mouths of the Tiber, and off the coast of Antium, we come to Astura1508, then Palmaria and Sinonia, and, opposite to Formiæ, Pontiæ. In the Gulf of Puteoli are Pandateria1509, and Prochyta, so called, not from the nurse of Æneas, but because it has been poured forth1510 or detached from Ænaria1511, an island which received its name from having been the anchorage of the fleet of Æneas, though called by Homer Inarime1512; it is also called Pithecusa, not, as many have fancied, on account of the multitudes of apes found there, but from its extensive manufactories of pottery. Between Pausilipum1513 and Neapolis lies the island of Megaris1514, and then, at a distance of eight miles from Surrentum, Capreæ1515, famous for the castle of the emperor Tiberius: it is eleven miles in circumference.



Leucothea comes next, and after it, but out of sight, as it lies upon the verge of the African Sea, Sardinia. It is situate somewhat less1516 than eight miles from the nearest point of Corsica, and the Straits between them are even still more reduced by the small islands there situate, called the Cuniculariæ1517, as also those of Phintonis1518 and Fossæ, from which last the Straits themselves have obtained the name of Taphros1519.

(7.) Sardinia extends, upon the east side, a distance of 188 miles, on the west 175, on the south 77, and on the north 125, being 565 miles in circumference. Its promontory of Caralis1520 is distant from Africa 200, and from Gades 1400 miles. Off the promontory of Gordis1521 it has two islands called the Isles of Hercules1522, off that of Sulcis, the island of Enosis1523, and off that of Caralis, Ficaria1524. Some writers place Beleris not far from it, as also Callodis, and the island known as Heras Lutra1525.

The most celebrated peoples of this island are the Ilienses1526, the Balari, and the Corsi; and among its eighteen towns, there are those of the Sulcitani1527, the Valentini1528,216 the Neapolitani1529, the Bosenses1530, the Caralitani1531, who enjoy the rights of Roman citizens, and the Norenses1532. There is also one colony which is called Ad Turrim Libysonis1533. Timæus has called this island Sandaliotis, on account of the similarity of its shape to the sole of a shoe, while Myrtilus has given it the name of Ichnusa1534, from its resemblance to the print of a footstep. Opposite to the Gulf of Pæstum is Leucasia1535, so called from a Siren who is buried there; opposite to Velia are Pontia and Isacia, both known by one name, that of Œnotrides, a proof that Italy was formerly possessed by the Œnotrians. Opposite to Vibo are the little islands called Ithacesiæ1536, from the watch-tower of Ulysses situate there.

CHAP. 14. (8.)—SICILY.

But more celebrated than all is Sicily, called Sicania by Thucydides, and by many writers Trinacria or Trinacia, from its triangular appearance. According to Agrippa it is 6181537 miles in circumference. In former times it was a continuation of the territory of Bruttium, but, in consequence of the overflowing of the sea, became severed from it; thus forming a strait of 15 miles in length, and a mile and a half in width in the vicinity of the Pillar of Rhegium. It was from this circumstance of the land being severed asunder that the Greeks gave the name of Rhegium1538 to the town situate on the Italian shore.

In these Straits is the rock of Scylla, as also Charybdis1539, a whirlpool of the sea, both of them noted for their perils. Of this triangle, the promontory, which, as we have already1540217 mentioned, is called Pelorus, faces Scylla and juts out towards Italy, while Pachynum1541 extends in the direction of Greece, Peloponnesus being at a distance from it of 440 miles, and Lilybæum1542, towards Africa, being distant 180 miles from the promontory of Mercury1543, and from that of Caralis in Sardinia 190. These promontories and sides are situate at the following distances from each other: by land it is 186 miles from Pelorus to Pachynum, from Pachynum to Lilybæum 200, and from Lilybæum to Pelorus 1701544.

In this island there are five colonies and sixty-three cities or states. Leaving Pelorus and facing the Ionian Sea, we have the town of Messana1545, whose inhabitants are also called Mamertini and enjoy the rights of Roman citizens; the promontory of Drepanum1546, the colony of Tauromenium1547, formerly called Naxos, the river Asines1548, and Mount Ætna, wondrous for the flames which it emits by night. Its crater is twenty stadia in circumference, and from it red-hot cinders are thrown as far as Tauromenium and Catina, the noise being heard even at Maroneum1549 and the Gemellian Hills. We then come to the three rocks of the Cyclopes1550, the Port of Ulysses1551, the colony of Catina1552, and the rivers Symæthus1553 and Terias; while more inland lie the Læstrygonian Plains.

To these rivers succeed the towns of Leontinum1554 and Megaris, the river Pantagies1555, the colony of Syracuse1556, with the fountain of Arethusa1557, (the people in the Syracusan territory218 drink too of the fountains of Temenitis1558, Archidemia, Magæa, Cyane, and Milichie,) the port of Naustathmus1559, the river Elorus, and the promontory of Pachynum. This side1560 of Sicily begins with the river Hirminius1561, then follow the town of Camarina1562, the river Gelas1563, and the town of Agragas1564, which our people have named Agrigentum. We next come to the colony of Thermæ1565, the rivers Achates1566, Mazara, and Hypsa; the town of Selinus1567, and then the Promontory of Lilybæum, which is succeeded by Drepana1568, Mount Eryx1569, the towns of Panhormus1570, Solus1571 and Himera1572, with a river of the same name, Cephalœdis1573, Aluntium1574,219 Agathyrnum, the colony of Tyndaris1575, the town of Mylæ1576, and then Pelorus, the spot at which we began.

In the interior there are the following towns enjoying Latin privileges, those of the Centuripini1577, the Netini1578, and the Segestani1579; tributary towns are those of the Assorini1580, the Ætnenses1581, the Agyrini1582, the Acestæi, the Acrenses1583, the Bidini1584, the Cetarini1585, the Cacyrini1586, the Drepanitani, the Ergetini1587, the Echetlienses1588, the Erycini1589, the Entellini1590, the Enini1591, the Enguini1592, the Gelani1593,220 the Galatini1594, the Halesini1595, the Hennenses, the Hyblenses1596, the Herbitenses1597, the Herbessenses1598, the Herbulenses, the Halicyenses1599, the Hadranitani1600, the Imacarenses, the Ipanenses, the Ietenses1601, the Mytistratini1602, the Magellini, the Murgentini1603, the Mutycenses1604, the Menanini1605, the Naxii1606, the Noæi1607, the Petrini1608, the Paropini1609, the Phthinthienses1610, the Semellitani, the Scherini, the Selinuntii1611, the Symæthii, the221 Talarienses, the Tissinenses1612, the Triocalini1613, the Tyracinenses, and the Zanclæi1614, a Messenian colony on the Straits of Sicily. Towards Africa, its islands are Gaulos1615, Melita, 87 miles from Camerina, and 113 from Lilybæum, Cosyra1616, Hieronnesos1617, Cæne1618, Galata1619, Lopadusa, Æthusa, written by some Ægusa, Bucinna1620, Osteodes1621, distant from Soluntum 75 miles, and, opposite to Paropus, Ustica.

On this side of Sicily, facing the river Metaurus, at a distance of nearly 251622 miles from Italy, are the seven1623 islands called the Æolian, as also the Liparæan islands; by the Greeks they are called the Hephæstiades, and by our writers the Vulcanian1624 Isles; they are called “Æolian” because in the Trojan times Æolus was king there.

(9.) Lipara1625, with a town whose inhabitants enjoy the rights of Roman citizens, is so called from Liparus, a former king who succeeded1626 Æolus, it having been previously called Melogonis or Meligunis. It is 25 miles1627 distant from Italy, and in circumference a little less. Between this island and Sicily we find another, the name of which was formerly Therasia, but now called Hiera, because it is sacred to Vulcan1628: it contains a hill which at night vomits forth222 flames. The third island is Strongyle1629, lying one mile1630 to the east of Lipara, over which Æolus reigned as well; it differs only from Lipara in the superior brilliancy of its flames. From the smoke of this volcano it is said that some of the inhabitants are able to predict three days beforehand what winds are about to blow; hence arose the notion that the winds are governed by Æolus. The fourth of these islands is Didyme1631, smaller than Lipara, the fifth Ericusa, the sixth Phœnicusa, left to be a pasture-ground for the cattle of the neighbouring islands, and the last and smallest Euonymos. Thus much as to the first great Gulf of Europe.


At Locri begins the fore-part of Italy, called Magna Græcia, whose coast falls back in three bays1632 formed by the Ausonian sea, so called from the Ausones, who were the first inhabitants of the country. According to Varro it is 86 miles in extent; but most writers have made it only 75. Along this coast there are rivers innumerable, but we shall mention those only that are worthy of remark. After leaving Locri we come to the Sagra1633, and the ruins of the town of Caulon, Mystiæ1634, Consilinum Castrum1635, Cocinthum1636, in the opinion of some, the longest headland of Italy, and then the Gulf of Scylacium1637, and Scylacium1638 itself,223 which was called by the Athenians, when they founded it, Scylletium. This part of Italy is nearly a peninsula, in consequence of the Gulf of Terinæum1639 running up into it on the other side; in it there is a harbour called Castra Hannibalis1640: in no part is Italy narrower than here, it being but twenty miles across. For this reason the Elder Dionysius entertained the idea of severing1641 this portion from the main-land of Italy at this spot, and adding it to Sicily. The navigable rivers in this district are the Carcines1642, the Crotalus, the Semirus, the Arocas, and the Targines. In the interior is the town of Petilia1643, and there are besides, Mount Clibanus1644, the promontory of Lacinium, in front of which lies the island of Dioscoron1645, ten miles from the main-land, and another called the Isle of Calypso, which Homer is supposed to refer to under the name of Ogygia; as also the islands of Tiris, Eranusa, and Meloessa. According to Agrippa, the promontory of Lacinium1646 is seventy miles from Caulon.

(11.) At the promontory of Lacinium begins the second Gulf of Europe, the bend of which forms an arc of great depth, and terminates at Acroceraunium, a promontory of Epirus, from which it is distant1647 seventy-five miles. We first come to the town of Croton1648, and then the river224 Neæthus1649, and the town of Thurii1650, situate between the two rivers Crathis and Sybaris, upon the latter of which there was once a city1651 of the same name. In a similar manner Heraclia1652, sometimes called Siris, lies between the river of that name and the Aciris. We next come to the rivers Acalandrus and Casuentum1653, and the town of Metapontum1654, with which the third region of Italy terminates. In the interior of Bruttium, the Aprustani1655 are the only people; but in Lucania we find the Atinates, the Bantini, the Eburini1656, the Grumentini, the Potentini, the Sontini1657, the Sirini, the Tergilani, the Ursentini, and the Volcentani1658, whom the Numestrani join. Besides these, we learn from Cato1659 that Thebes in Lucania has disappeared, and Theopompus informs us that there was formerly a city of the Lucani called Pandosia1660, at which Alexander, the king of Epirus, died.



Adjoining to this district is the second region of Italy, which embraces the Hirpini, Calabria, Apulia, and the Salentini, extending a distance of 250 miles along the Gulf of Tarentum, which receives its name from a town of the Laconians so called, situate at the bottom of the Gulf, to which was annexed the maritime colony which had previously settled there. Tarentum1661 is distant from the promontory of Lacinium 136 miles, and throws out the territory of Calabria opposite to it in the form of a peninsula. The Greeks called this territory Messapia, from their leader1662; before which it was called Peucetia, from Peucetius1663, the brother of Œnotrius, and was comprised in the territory of Salentinum. Between the two promontories1664 there is a distance of 100 miles. The breadth across the peninsula from Tarentum1665 to Brundusium by land is 35 miles, considerably less if measured from the port of Sasina1666. The towns inland from Tarentum are Varia1667 surnamed Apulia, Messapia, and Aletium1668; on the coast, Senum, and Callipolis1669, now known as Anxa, 75 miles from226 Tarentum. Thence, at a distance of 32 miles, is the Promontory of Acra Iapygia1670, at which point Italy projects the greatest distance into the sea. At a distance of 19 miles from this point is the town of Basta1671, and then Hydruntum1672, the spot at which the Ionian is separated from the Adriatic sea, and from which the distance across to Greece is the shortest. The town of the Apolloniates1673 lies opposite to it, and the breadth of the arm of the sea which runs between is not more than fifty miles. Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was the first who entertained the notion of uniting these two points and making a passage on foot, by throwing a bridge across, and after him M. Varro1674, when commanding the fleet of Pompey in the war against the Pirates. Other cares however prevented either of them from accomplishing this design. Passing Hydruntum, we come to the deserted site of Soletum1675, then Fratuertium, the Portus Tarentinus, the haven of Miltopa, Lupia1676, Balesium1677, Cælia1678, and then Brundusium1679, fifty miles from Hydruntum. This last place is227 one of the most famous ports of Italy, and, although more distant, affords by far the safest passage across to Greece, the place of disembarkation being Dyrrachium, a city of Illyria; the distance across is 225 miles.

Adjoining Brundusium is the territory of the Pediculi1680; nine youths and as many maidens, natives of Illyria, became the parents of sixteen nations. The towns of the Pediculi are Rudiæ1681, Egnatia1682, and Barium1683; their rivers are the Iapyx (so called from the son of Dædalus, who was king there, and who gave it the name of Iapygia), the Pactius1684, and the Aufidus, which rises in the Hirpinian mountains and flows past Canusium1685.

At this point begins Apulia, surnamed the Daunian, from the Daunii, who take their name from a former chief, the father-in-law of Diomedes. In this territory are the towns of Salapia1686, famous for Hannibal’s amour with a courtezan, Sipontum1687,228 Uria, the river Cerbalus1688, forming the boundary of the Daunii, the port of Agasus1689, and the Promontory of Mount Garganus1690, distant from the Promontory of Salentinum or Iapygia 234 miles. Making the circuit of Garganus, we come to the port of Garna1691, the Lake Pantanus1692, the river Frento, the mouth of which forms a harbour, Teanum of the Apuli1693, and Larinum, Cliternia1694, and the river Tifernus, at which the district of the Frentani1695 begins. Thus there were three different nations of the Apulians, [the Daunii,] the Teani, so called from their leader, and who sprang from the Greeks, and the Lucani, who were subdued by Calchas1696, and whose country is now possessed by the Atinates. Besides those already mentioned, there are, of the Daunii, the colonies of Luceria1697 and Venusia1698, the towns of Canusium1699 and Arpi, formerly called Argos Hippium1700 and founded by Diomedes, afterwards called Argyrippa. Here too Diomedes destroyed the nations of the Monadi and the Dardi, and the two cities of Apina and229 Trica1701, whose names have passed into a by-word and a proverb.

Besides the above, there is in the interior of the second region one colony of the Hirpini, Beneventum1702, so called by an exchange of a more auspicious name for its old one of Maleventum; also the Æculani1703, the Aquilonii1704, the Abellinates surnamed Protropi, the Compsani, the Caudini, the Ligures, both those called the Corneliani and Bebiani, the Vescellani, the Æclani, the Aletrini, the Abellinates1705 surnamed Marsi, the Atrani, the Æcani1706, the Alfellani1707, the230 Atinates1708, the Arpani, the Borcani, the Collatini, the Corinenses, the Cannenses1709, rendered famous by the defeat of the Romans, the Dirini, the Forentani1710, the Genusini1711, the Herdonienses, the Hyrini1712, the Larinates surnamed Frentani1713, the Merinates1714 of Garganus, the Mateolani, the Netini1715, the Rubustini1716, the Silvini1717, the Strapellini1718, the Turmentini, the Vibinates1719, the Venusini, and the Ulurtini. In the interior of Calabria there are the Ægetini, the Apamestini1720, the Argentini, the Butuntinenses1721, the Deciani, the Grumbestini,231 the Norbanenses, the Palionenses, the Sturnini1722, and the Tutini: there are also the following Salentine nations; the Aletini1723, the Basterbini1724, the Neretini, the Uxentini, and the Veretini1725.


We now come to the fourth region, which includes the most valiant probably of all the nations of Italy. Upon the coast, in the territory of the Frentani1726, after the river Tifernus, we find the river Trinium1727, with a good harbour at its mouth, the towns of Histonium1728, Buca1729, and Ortona, and the river Aternus1730. In the interior are the Anxani surnamed Frentani, the Higher and Lower Carentini1731, and the Lanuenses; in the territory of the Marrucini, the Teatini1732; in that of the Peligni, the Corfinienses1733, the Superæquani1734, and the Sulmonenses1735;232 in that of the Marsi, the Anxantini1736, the Atinates1737, the Fucentes1738, the Lucenses1739, and the Marruvini1740; in that of the Albenses, the town of Alba on Lake Fucinus; in that of the Æquiculani, the Cliternini1741, and the Carseolani1742; in that of the Vestini, the Angulani1743, the Pinnenses, and the Peltuinates, adjoining to whom are the Aufinates1744 Cismontani; in that of the Samnites, who have been called Sabelli1745, and whom the Greeks have called Saunitæ, the colony of old Bovianum1746, and that of the Undecumani,233 the Aufidenates1747, the Esernini1748, the Fagifulani, the Ficolenses1749, the Sæpinates1750, and the Tereventinates; in that of the Sabini, the Amiternini1751, the Curenses1752, Forum Decî1753, Forum Novum, the Fidenates, the Interamnates1754, the Nursini1755, the Nomentani1756, the Reatini1757, the Trebulani, both those called Mutusci1758 and those called Suffenates1759, the Tiburtes, and the Tarinates.

In these districts, the Comini1760, the Tadiates, the Cædici,234 and the Alfaterni, tribes of the Æquiculi, have disappeared. From Gellianus we learn that Archippe1761, a town of the Marsi, built by Marsyas, a chieftain of the Lydians, has been swallowed up by Lake Fucinus, and Valerianus informs us that the town of the Viticini in Picenum was destroyed by the Romans. The Sabini (called, according to some writers, from their attention to religious1762 observances and the worship of the gods, Sevini) dwell on the dew-clad hills in the vicinity of the Lakes of the Velinus1763. The Nar, with its sulphureous waters, exhausts these lakes, and, descending from Mount Fiscellus1764, unites with them near the groves of Vacuna1765 and Reate, and then directs its course towards the Tiber, into which it discharges itself. Again, in another direction, the Anio1766, taking its rise in the mountain of the Trebani, carries into the Tiber the waters of three lakes remarkable for their picturesque beauty, and to which235 Sublaqueum1767 is indebted for its name. In the territory of Reate is the Lake of Cutiliæ1768, in which there is a floating island, and which, according to M. Varro, is the navel or central point of Italy. Below the Sabine territory lies that of Latium, on one side Picenum, and behind it Umbria, while the range of the Apennines flanks it on either side.


The fifth region is that of Picenum, once remarkable for the denseness of its population; 360,000 Picentines took the oaths of fidelity to the Roman people. They are descended from the Sabines, who had made a vow to celebrate a holy spring1769. Their territory commenced at the river Aternus1770, where the present district and colony of Adria1771 is, at a distance of six miles from the sea. Here we find the river Vomanus, the territories of Prætutia and Palma1772, Castrum Novum1773,236 the river Batinus; Truentum1774, with its river of the same name, which place is the only remnant of the Liburni1775 in Italy; the river Albula1776; Tervium, at which the Prætutian district ends, and that of Picenum begins; the town of Cupra1777, Castellum Firmanorum1778, and above it the colony of Asculum1779, the most illustrious in Picenum; in the interior there is the town of Novana1780. Upon the coast we have Cluana1781, Potentia, Numana, founded by the Siculi, and Ancona1782, a colony founded by the same people on the Promontory of Cumerus, forming an elbow of the coast, where it begins to bend inwards, and distant from Garganus 183 miles. In the interior237 are the Auximates1783, the Beregrani1784, the Cingulani, the Cuprenses surnamed Montani1785, the Falarienses1786, the Pausulani, the Planinenses, the Ricinenses, the Septempedani1787, the Tollentinates, the Treienses, and the Pollentini of Urbs Salvia1788.


Adjoining to this is the sixth region, which includes Umbria and the Gallic territory in the vicinity of Ariminum. At Ancona begins the coast of that part of Gaul known as Gallia Togata1789. The Siculi and the Liburni possessed the greater part of this district, and more particularly the territories of Palma, of Prætutia, and of Adria. These were expelled by the Umbri, these again by the Etrurians, and these in their turn by the Gauls. The Umbri are thought to have been the most ancient race in Italy, it being supposed that they were called “Ombrii” by the Greeks, from the fact of their having survived the rains1790 which had inundated238 the earth. We read that 300 of their towns were conquered by the Tusci; at the present day we find on their coast the river Æsis1791, Senogallia1792, the river Metaurus, the colonies of Fanum Fortunæ1793 and Pisaurum1794, with a river of the same name; and, in the interior, those of Hispellum1795 and Tuder.

Besides the above, there are the Amerini1796, the Attidiates1797, the Asisinates1798, the Arnates1799, the Æsinates1800, the Camertes1801, the Casuentillani, the Carsulani1802, the Dolates surnamed239 Salentini, the Fulginiates1803, the Foroflaminienses1804, the Forojulienses surnamed Concupienses, the Forobrentani, the Forosempronienses1805, the Iguvini1806, the Interamnates surnamed Nartes, the Mevanates1807, the Mevanionenses, the Matilicates1808, the Narnienses1809, whose town used formerly to be called Nequinum; the Nucerini1810, both those surnamed Favonienses and those called Camellani; the Ocriculani1811, the Ostrani1812, the Pitulani, both those surnamed Pisuertes and the others called Mergentini; the Plestini1813, the Sentinates1814, the240 Sarsinates1815, the Spoletini1816, the Suasini1817, the Sestinates1818, the Suillates1819, the Tadinates1820, the Trebiates1821, the Tuficani1822, the Tifernates1823 surnamed Tiberini, and the others called Metaurenses, the Vesinicates, the Urbinates, both those surnamed Metaurenses1824 and the others called Hortenses, the Vettonenses1825, the Vindinates, and the Viventani. In this district there exist no longer the Feliginates who possessed Clusiolum above Interamna, and the Sarranates, with their towns of Acerræ1826, surnamed Vafriæ, and Turocelum, also called Vettiolum; as also the Solinates, the Curiates, the Fallienates, and the Apiennates. The Arienates also have disappeared with the town of Crinovolum, as well as the Usidicani, the Plangenses, the Pæsinates, and the Cælestini.241 Cato writes that Ameria above-mentioned was founded 964 years before the war with Perseus.


The eighth region is bounded by Ariminum, the Padus, and the Apennines. Upon the coast we have the river Crustumium1827, and the colony of Ariminum1828, with the rivers Ariminus and Aprusa. Next comes the river Rubico1829, once the boundary of Italy, and after it the Sapis1830, the Vitis, and the Anemo, and then, Ravenna, a town of the Sabines1831, with the river Bedesis, 105 miles from Ancona; and, not far from the sea, Butrium1832, a town of the Umbri. In the interior there are the colonies of Bononia1833, formerly called Felsina, when242 it was the chief place of Etruria1834, Brixillum1835, Mutina1836, Parma1837, and Placentia1838. There are also the towns of Cæsena1839, Claterna, Forum Clodî1840, Forum Livî, Forum Popilî, Forum Truentinorum1841, Forum Cornelî, Forum Licinî, the Faventini1842, the Fidentini1843, the Otesini, the Padinates1844,243 the Regienses1845, who take their name from Lepidus, the Solonates1846, the Saltus Galliani1847, surnamed Aquinates, the Tannetani1848, the Veliates1849, who were anciently surnamed Regiates, and the Urbanates1850. In this district the Boii1851 have disappeared, of whom there were 112 tribes according to Cato; as also the Senones, who captured Rome.

(16.) The Padus1852 descends from the bosom of Mount Vesulus, one of the most elevated points of the chain of the Alps, in the territories of the Ligurian Vagienni1853, and rises at its source in a manner that well merits an inspection by the curious; after which it hides itself in a subterranean channel until it rises again in the country of the Forovibienses. It is inferior in fame to none whatever among the rivers, being known to the Greeks as the Eridanus and famous as the scene of the punishment of Phaëton1854. At the rising of the Dog-star it is swollen by the melted snows; but, though it proves more furious in its course to the adjoining fields244 than to the vessels that are upon it, still it takes care to carry away no portion of its banks, and when it recedes, renders them additionally fertile. Its length from its source is 300 miles, to which we must add eighty-eight for its sinuosities; and it receives from the Apennines and Alps not only several navigable rivers, but immense lakes as well, which discharge themselves into its waters, thus conveying altogether as many as thirty streams into the Adriatic Sea.

Of these the best known are the following—flowing from the range of the Apennines, the Jactus, the Tanarus1855, the Trebia which passes Placentia, the Tarus, the Incia, the Gabellus, the Scultenna, and the Rhenus: from the chain of the Alps, the Stura1856, the Orgus, the two Duriæ, the Sessites, the Ticinus, the Lambrus, the Addua, the Ollius, and the Mincius. There is no river known to receive a larger increase than this in so short a space; so much so indeed that it is impelled onwards by this vast body of water, and, invading the land1857, forms deep channels in its course: hence it is that, although a portion of its stream is drawn off by rivers and canals between Ravenna and Altinum, for a space of 120 miles, still, at the spot where it discharges the vast body of its waters, it is said to form seven seas.

By the Augustan Canal the Padus is carried to Ravenna, at which place it is called the Padusa1858, having formerly borne the name of Messanicus. The nearest mouth to this spot245 forms the extensive port known as that of Vatrenus, where Claudius Cæsar1859, on his triumph over the Britons, entered the Adriatic in a vessel that deserved rather the name of a vast palace than a ship. This mouth, which was formerly called by some the Eridanian, has been by others styled the Spinetic mouth, from the city of Spina, a very powerful place which formerly stood in the vicinity, if we may form a conclusion from the amount of its treasure deposited at Delphi; it was founded by Diomedes. At this spot the river Vatrenus1860, which flows from the territory of Forum Cornelî, swells the waters of the Padus.

The next mouth to this is that of Caprasia1861, then that of Sagis, and then Volane, formerly called Olane; all of which are situate upon the Flavian Canal1862, which the Tuscans formerly made from Sagis, thus drawing the impetuous stream of the river across into the marshes of the Atriani, which they call the Seven Seas; and upon which is the noble port of Atria1863, a city of the Tuscans, from which place the sea was formerly called the Atriatic, though now the Adriatic.

We next come to the overflowing mouths of Carbonaria, and the Fosses of Philistina1864, by some called246 Tartarus1865, all of which originate in the overflow of the waters in the Philistinian Canal, swollen by the streams of the Atesis, descending from the Tridentine Alps, and of the Togisonus1866, flowing from the territory of the Patavini. A portion of them also forms the adjoining port of Brundulum1867, in the same manner as Edron1868 is formed by the two rivers Meduacus and the Clodian Canal. With the waters of these streams the Padus unites, and with them discharges itself into the sea, forming, according to most writers, between the Alps and the sea-shore a triangular figure, 2000 stadia in circumference, not unlike the Delta formed by the Nile in Egypt. I feel somewhat ashamed to have to borrow from the Greeks any statement in reference to Italy; Metrodorus of Scepsos, however, informs us that this river has obtained its name of Padus from the fact, that about its source there are great numbers of pine-trees, which in the Gallic language are called “padi.” In the tongue of the Ligurians this river is called “Bodincus,” which signifies “the bottomless.” This derivation is in some measure supported by the fact that near this river there is the town of Industria1869, of which the ancient name was Bodincomagum, and where the river begins to be of greater depth than in other parts.


From the river Padus the eleventh region receives its name of Transpadana; to which, situate as it is wholly in the interior, the river, by its bounteous channel, conveys the gifts of all the seas. The towns are Vibî Forum1870 and247 Segusio; and, at the foot of the Alps, the colony of Augusta Taurinorum1871, at which place the Padus becomes navigable, and which was founded by the ancient race of the Ligurians, and of Augusta Prætoria1872 of the Salassi, near the two passes of the Alps, the Grecian1873 and the Penine (by the latter it is said that the Carthaginians passed into Italy, by the Grecian, Hercules)—the town of Eporedia1874, the foundation of which by the Roman people was enjoined by the Sibylline books; the Gauls call tamers of horses by the name of “Eporediæ”—Vercellæ1875, the town of the Libici, derived its origin from the Salluvii, and Novaria1876, founded by the Vertacomacori, is at the present day a district of the Vocontii, and not, as Cato supposes, of the Ligurians; of whom two nations, called the Lævi and the Marici, founded Ticinum1877, not far from the Padus, as the Boii, descended from the Transalpine nations, have founded Laus Pompeia1878 and the Insubres Mediolanum1879.


From Cato we also learn that Comum, Bergomum1880, and Licinîforum1881, and some other peoples in the vicinity, originated with the Orobii, but he admits that he is ignorant as to the origin of that nation. Cornelius Alexander however informs us that they came from Greece, interpreting their name as meaning “those who live upon the mountains1882.” In this district, Parra has disappeared, a town of the Orobii, from whom, according to Cato, the people of Bergomum are descended; its site even yet shows that it was situate in a position more elevated than fruitful1883. The Caturiges have also perished, an exiled race of the Insubres, as also Spina previously mentioned; Melpum too, a place distinguished for its opulence, which, as we are informed by Cornelius Nepos, was destroyed by the Insubres, the Boii, and the Senones, on the very day on which Camillus took Veii.


We now come to the tenth region of Italy, situate on the Adriatic Sea. In this district are Venetia1884, the river Silis1885, rising in the Tarvisanian1886 mountains, the town of249 Altinum1887, the river Liquentia rising in the mountains of Opitergium1888, and a port with the same name, the colony of Concordia1889; the rivers and harbours of Romatinum1890, the greater and less Tiliaventum1891, the Anaxum1892, into which the Varamus flows, the Alsa1893, and the Natiso with the Turrus, which flow past the colony of Aquileia1894 at a distance of fifteen miles from the sea. This is the country of the Carni1895, and adjoining to it is that of the Iapydes, the river Timavus1896, the250 fortress of Pucinum1897, famous for its wines, the Gulf of Tergeste1898, and the colony of that name, thirty-three miles from Aquileia. Six miles beyond this place lies the river Formio1899, 189 miles distant from Ravenna, the ancient boundary1900 of enlarged Italy, and now the frontier of Istria. That this region takes its name from the river Ister which flows from the Danube, also called the Ister, into the Adriatic opposite the mouth of the Padus, and that the sea which lies between them is rendered fresh by their waters running from opposite directions, has been erroneously asserted by many, and among them by Nepos even, who dwelt upon the banks of the Padus. For it is the fact that no river which runs from the Danube discharges itself into the Adriatic. They have been misled, I think, by the circumstance that the ship Argo came down some river into the Adriatic sea, not far from Tergeste; but what river that was is now unknown. The most careful writers say that the ship was carried across the Alps on men’s shoulders, having passed along the Ister, then along the Savus, and so from Nauportus1901, which place, lying between Æmona1902 and the Alps, from that circumstance derives its name.



Istria projects in the form of a peninsula. Some writers have stated its length to be forty miles, and its circumference 125; and the same as to Liburnia which adjoins it, and the Flanatic Gulf1903, while others make it 2251904; others again make the circumference of Liburnia 180 miles. Some persons too extend Iapydia, at the back of Istria, as far as the Flanatic Gulf, a distance of 130 miles, thus making Liburnia but 150 miles. Tuditanus1905, who subdued the Istri, had this inscription on his statue which was erected there: “From Aquileia to the river Titus is a distance of 1000 stadia.”

The towns of Istria with the rights of Roman citizens are Ægida1906, Parentium, and the colony of Pola1907, now Pietas Julia, formerly founded by the Colchians, and distant from Tergeste 100 miles: after which we come to the town of Nesactium1908, and the river Arsia, now1909 the boundary of Italy. The distance across from Ancona to Pola is 120 miles. In252 the interior of the tenth region are the colonies of Cremona, Brixia in the territory of the Cenomanni1910, Ateste1911 belonging to the Veneti, and the towns of Acelum1912, Patavium1913, Opitergium, Belunum1914, and Vicetia; with Mantua1915, the only city of the Tuscans now left beyond the Padus. Cato informs us that the Veneti are descendants of the Trojans1916, and that the Cenomanni1917 dwelt among the Volcæ in the vicinity of Massilia. There are also the towns of the Fertini1918, the Tridentini1919, and the Beruenses, belonging to the Rhæti, Verona1920, belonging to the Rhæti and the Euganei, and253 Julienses1921 to the Carni. We then have the following peoples, whom there is no necessity to particularize with any degree of exactness, the Alutrenses, the Asseriates, the Flamonienses1922 with those surnamed Vanienses, and the others called Culici, the Forojulienses1923 surnamed Transpadani, the Foretani, the Nedinates1924, the Quarqueni1925, the Taurisani1926, the Togienses, and the Varvari. In this district there have disappeared—upon the coast—Iramene, Pellaon, and Palsatium, Atina and Cælina belonging to the Veneti, Segeste and Ocra to the Carni, and Noreia to the Taurisci. L. Piso also informs us that although the senate disapproved of his so doing, M. Claudius Marcellus1927 razed to the ground a tower situate at the twelfth mile-stone from Aquileia.

In this region also and the eleventh there are some celebrated lakes1928, and several rivers that either take their rise in them or else are fed by their waters, in those cases in which they again emerge from them. These are the Addua1929, fed by the Lake Larius, the Ticinus by Lake Verbannus, the Mincius by Lake Benacus, the Ollius by Lake Sebinnus, and the Lambrus by Lake Eupilis—all of them flowing into the Padus.


Cælius states that the length of the Alps from the Upper Sea to the Lower is 1000 miles, a distance which Timagenes shortens by twenty-two. Cornelius Nepos assigns to them a breadth of 100 miles, and T. Livius of 3000 stadia; but then in different places. For in some localities they exceed 100 miles; where they divide Germany, for instance, from Italy; while in other parts they do not reach seventy, being thus narrowed by the providential dispensation of nature as it were. The breadth of Italy, taken from the river Var at the foot of these mountains, and passing along by the Vada1930 Sabatia, the Taurini, Comum, Brixia, Verona, Vicetia, Opitergium, Aquileia, Tergeste, Pola, and Arsia, is 745 miles.


Many nations dwell among the Alps; but the more remarkable, between Pola and the district of Tergeste, are the Secusses, the Subocrini, the Catali, the Menocaleni, and near the Carni the people formerly called the Taurisci, but now the Norici. Adjoining to these are the Rhæti and the Vindelici, who are all divided into a multitude of states. It is supposed that the Rhæti are the descendants of the Tuscans, who were expelled by the Gauls and migrated hither under the command of their chief, whose name was Rhætus. Turning then to the side of the Alps which fronts Italy, we have the Euganean1931 nations enjoying Latin rights, and of whom Cato enumerates thirty-four towns. Among these are the Triumpilini, a people who were sold1932 with their territory; and then the Camuni, and several similar tribes, each of them in the jurisdiction of its neighbouring municipal town. The same author also considers the Lepontii1933 and255 the Salassi to be of Tauriscan origin, but most other writers, giving a Greek1934 interpretation to their name, consider the Lepontii to have been those of the followers of Hercules who were left behind in consequence of their limbs being frozen by the snow of the Alps. They are also of opinion that the inhabitants of the Grecian Alps are descended from a portion of the Greeks of his army, and that the Euganeans, being sprung from an origin so illustrious, thence took their name1935. The head of these are the Stœni1936. The Vennonenses1937 and the Sarunetes1938, peoples of the Rhæti, dwell about the sources of the river Rhenus, while the tribe of the Lepontii, known as the Uberi, dwell in the vicinity of the sources of the Rhodanus, in the same district of the Alps. There are also other native tribes here, who have received Latin rights, such as the Octodurenses1939, and their neighbours the Centrones1940, the Cottian1941 states, the Ligurian Vagienni, descended from the Caturiges1942, as also those called Montani1943; besides numerous nations of the Capillati1944, on the confines of the Ligurian Sea.


It may not be inappropriate in this place to subjoin the inscription now to be seen upon the trophy1945 erected on the Alps, which is to the following effect:—“To the Emperor Cæsar—The son1946 of Cæsar now deified, Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, and emperor fourteen years, in the seventeenth1947 year of his holding the tribunitial authority, the Senate and the Roman people, in remembrance that under his command and auspices all the Alpine nations which extended from the upper sea to the lower were reduced to subjection by the Roman people—The Alpine nations so subdued were: the Triumpilini, the Camuni, the Venostes1948, the Vennonenses, the Isarci, the Breuni, the Genaunes1949, the Focunates, four nations of the Vindelici, the Consuanetes, the Rucinates, the Licates1950, the Catenates, the Ambisontes, the Rugusci, the Suanetes1951, the Calucones, the Brixentes, the Lepontii, the Uberi, the Nantuates, the Seduni, the Varagri, the Salassi, the Acitavones,257 the Medulli, the Uceni1952, the Caturiges, the Brigiani, the Sogiontii, the Brodiontii, the Nemaloni, the Edenates1953, the Esubiani, the Veamini, the Gallitæ, the Triulatti, the Ecdini, the Vergunni, the Eguituri1954, the Nementuri, the Oratelli, the Nerusi, the Velauni, and the Suetri.

The twelve states of the Cottiani1955 were not included in the list, as they had shown no hostility, nor yet those which had been placed by the Pompeian law under the jurisdiction of the municipal towns.

Such then is Italy, sacred to the gods, such are the nations, such the cities of her peoples; to which we may add, that this is that same Italy, which, when L. Æmilius Paulus1956 and C. Attilius Regulus were Consuls, on hearing of the rising in Gaul, unaided, and without any foreign assistance whatever, without the help even of that portion which lies beyond the Padus, armed 80,000 horse and 700,000 foot. In abundance of metals of every kind Italy yields to no land whatever; but all search for them has been prohibited by an ancient decree of the Senate, who gave orders thereby that Italy shall be exempted1957 from such treatment.


The nation of the Liburni adjoins the river Arsia1958, and258 extends as far as the river Titus. The Mentores, the Hymani1959, the Encheleæ, the Buni, and the people whom Callimachus calls the Peucetiæ, formerly formed part of it; but now the whole in general are comprised under the one name of Illyricum. But few of the names of these nations are worthy of mention, or indeed very easy of pronunciation. To the jurisdiction of Scardona1960 resort the Iapydes and fourteen cities of the Liburni, of which it may not prove tedious if I mention the Lacinienses, the Stlupini, the Burnistæ, and the Olbonenses. Belonging to the same jurisdiction there are, in the enjoyment of Italian rights, the Alutæ1961, the Flanates1962, from whom the Gulf takes its name, the Lopsi, and the Varvarini; the Assesiates, who are exempt from tribute; and upon the islands, the Fertinates and the Curictæ1963.

Besides these, there are on the coast, after leaving Nesactium, Alvona1964, Flanona, Tarsatica, Senia, Lopsica, Ortopula, Vegium, Argyruntum, Corinium1965, Ænona, the city of Pasinum, and the river Tedanius, at which Iapydia terminates. The islands of this Gulf, with their towns, besides those above mentioned, are Absyrtium1966, Arba1967, Crexa, Gissa,259 and Portunata. Again, on the mainland there is the colony of Iadera1968, distant from Pola 160 miles; then, at a distance of thirty miles, the island of Colentum1969, and of eighteen, the mouth of the river Titus.

CHAP. 26. (22.)—DALMATIA.

Scardona, situate upon the river1970, at a distance of twelve miles from the sea, forms the boundary of Liburnia and the beginning of Dalmatia. Next to this place comes the ancient country of the Autariatares and the fortress of Tariona, the Promontory of Diomedes1971, or, as others call it, the peninsula of Hyllis, 100 miles1972 in circuit. Then comes Tragurium, a place with the rights of Roman citizens, and celebrated for its marble, Sicum, a place to which Claudius, the emperor lately deified, sent a colony of his veterans, and Salona1973, a colony, situate 112 miles from Iadera. To this place resort for legal purposes, having the laws dispensed according to their divisions into decuries or tithings, the Dalmatæ, forming 342 decuries, the Deurici 22, the Ditiones 239, the Mazæi 269, and the Sardiates 52. In this region are Burnum1974, Andetrium1975, and Tribulium, fortresses ennobled by the battles of the Roman people. To the same jurisdiction also belong the Issæi1976, the Colentini, the Separi, and the260 Epetini, nations inhabiting the islands. After these come the fortresses of Peguntium1977 and of Rataneum, with the colony of Narona1978, the seat of the third jurisdiction, distant from Salona eighty-two miles, and situate upon a river of the same name, at a distance of twenty miles from the sea. M. Varro states that eighty-nine states used to resort thither, but now nearly the only ones that are known are the Cerauni1979 with 24 decuries, the Daorizi with 17, the Dæsitiates with 103, the Docleatæ with 33, the Deretini with 14, the Deremistæ with 30, the Dindari with 33, the Glinditiones with 44, the Melcomani with 24, the Naresii with 102, the Scirtarii with 72, the Siculotæ with 24, and the Vardæi, once the scourges of Italy, with no more than 20 decuries. In addition to these, this district was possessed by the Ozuæi, the Partheni, the Hemasini, the Arthitæ, and the Armistæ. The colony of Epidaurum1980 is distant from the river Naron 100 miles. After Epidaurum come the following towns, with the rights of Roman citizens:—Rhizinium1981, Acruvium1982, Butua, Olcinium, formerly called Colchinium, having been founded by the Colchians; the river Drilo1983, and, upon it, Scodra1984, a town with the rights of Roman citizens, situate at a distance of eighteen miles from the sea; besides in former times many Greek towns and once powerful states, of which all remembrance261 is fast fading away. For in this region there were formerly the Labeatæ, the Enderini1985, the Sasæi, the Grabæi1986, properly called Illyrii, the Taulantii1987, and the Pyræi. The Promontory of Nymphæum on the sea-coast still retains its name1988; and there is Lissum, a town enjoying the rights of Roman citizens, at a distance from Epidaurum of 100 miles.

(23.) At Lissum begins the province of Macedonia1989, the nations of the Parthini1990, and behind them the Dassaretæ1991. The mountains of Candavia1992 are seventy-eight miles from Dyrrhachium. On the coast lies Denda, a town with the rights of Roman citizens, the colony of Epidamnum1993, which, on account of its inauspicious name, was by the Romans called Dyrrhachium, the river Aöus1994, by some called Æas, and Apollonia1995, formerly a colony of the Corinthians, at a distance of four miles from the sea, in the vicinity of which262 the celebrated Nymphæum1996 is inhabited by the barbarous Amantes1997 and Buliones. Upon the coast too is the town of Oricum1998, founded by the Colchians. At this spot begins Epirus, with the Acroceraunian1999 mountains, by which we have previously mentioned2000 this Gulf of Europe as bounded. Oricum is distant from the Promontory of Salentinum in Italy eighty2001 miles.

CHAP. 27. (24.)—THE NORICI.

In the rear of the Carni and the Iapydes, along the course of the great river Ister2002, the Rhæti touch upon the Norici2003: their towns are Virunum2004, Celeia, Teurnia, Aguntum2005, Vianiomina2006, Claudia2007, and Flavium Solvense2008. Adjoining to the Norici is Lake Peiso2009, and the deserts of263 the Boii2010; they are however now inhabited by the people of Sabaria2011, a colony of the now deified emperor Claudius, and the town of Scarabantia Julia2012.

CHAP. 28. (25.)—PANNONIA.

Next to them comes acorn-bearing Pannonia2013, along which the chain of the Alps, gradually lessening as it runs through the middle of Illyricum from north to south, forms a gentle slope on the right hand and the left. The portion which looks towards the Adriatic Sea is called Dalmatia and Illyricum, above mentioned, while Pannonia stretches away towards the north, and has the Danube for its extreme boundary. In it are the colonies of Æmona2014 and Siscia. The following rivers, both known to fame and adapted for commerce, flow into the Danube; the Draus2015, which rushes from Noricum with great impetuosity, and the Savus2016, which flows with a more gentle current from the Carnic Alps, there being a space between them of 120 miles. The Draus runs through the Serretes, the Serrapilli2017, the Iasi, and the Andizetes; the Savus through the Colapiani2018 and the Breuci; these are the principal peoples. Besides them there are the Arivates, the Azali, the Amantini, the Belgites, the Catari, the Cornacates, the Eravisci, the Hercuniates2019, the264 Latovici, the Oseriates, the Varciani, and, in front of Mount Claudius, the Scordisci, behind it the Taurisci. In the Savus there is the island of Metubarris2020, the greatest of all the islands formed by rivers. Besides the above, there are these other rivers worthy of mention:—the Colapis2021, which flows into the Savus near Siscia, where, dividing its channel, it forms the island which is called Segestica2022; and the river Bacuntius2023, which flows into the Savus at the town of Sirmium, where we find the state of the Sirmienses and the Amantini. Forty-five miles thence is Taurunum2024, where the Savus flows into the Danube; above which spot the Valdanus2025 and the Urpanus, themselves far from ignoble rivers, join that stream.

CHAP. 29. (26.)—MŒSIA.

Joining up to Pannonia is the province called Mœsia2026, which runs, with the course of the Danube, as far as the Euxine. It commences at the confluence2027 previously mentioned. In it are the Dardani, the Celegeri, the Triballi, the Timachi, the Mœsi, the Thracians, and the Scythians who border on the Euxine. The more famous among its rivers are the Margis2028, which rises in the territory of the Dardani, the Pingus, the Timachus, the Œscus which rises in Mount Rhodope, and, rising in Mount Hæmus, the Utus2029, the Asamus, and the Ieterus.


The breadth of Illyricum2030 at its widest part is 325 miles, and its length from the river Arsia to the river Drinius 530; from the Drinius to the Promontory of Acroceraunia Agrippa states to be 175 miles, and he says that the entire circuit of the Italian and Illyrian Gulf is 1700 miles. In this Gulf, according to the limits which we have drawn, are two seas, the Ionian2031 in the first part, and the Adriatic, which runs more inland and is called the Upper Sea.


In the Ausonian Sea there are no islands worthy of notice beyond those which we have already mentioned, and only a few in the Ionian; those, for instance, upon the Calabrian coast, opposite Brundusium, by the projection of which a harbour is formed; and, over against the Apulian coast, Diomedia2032, remarkable for the monument of Diomedes, and another island called by the same name, but by some Teutria.


The coast of Illyricum is clustered with more than 1000 islands, the sea being of a shoaly nature, and numerous creeks and æstuaries running with their narrow channels between portions of the land. The more famous are those before the mouths of the Timavus, with warm springs2033 that rise with the tides of the sea, the island of Cissa near the territory of the Istri, and the Pullaria2034 and Absyrtides2035, so called by the Greeks from the circumstance of Absyrtus, the brother of Medea, having been slain there. Some islands near them have been called the Electrides2036, upon which amber, which they call “electrum,” was said to be found; a most assured instance however of that untruthfulness2037 which is generally ascribed to the Greeks, seeing that it has never yet been ascertained which of the islands were meant by them under that name. Opposite to the Iader is Lissa, and other islands whose names have been already mentioned2038. Opposite to the Liburni are some islands called the Crateæ, and no smaller number styled Liburnicæ and Celadussæ2039. Opposite to Surium is Bavo, and Brattia2040,267 famous for its goats, Issa with the rights of Roman citizens, and Pharia with a town. At a distance of twenty-five miles from Issa is Corcyra2041, surnamed Melæna, with a town founded by the Cnidians; between which and Illyricum is Melite2042, from which, as we learn from Callimachus, a certain kind of little dogs were called Melitæi; fifteen miles from it we find the seven Elaphites2043. In the Ionian Sea, at a distance of twelve miles from Oricum, is Sasonis2044, notorious from having been a harbour of pirates.

Summary.—The towns and nations mentioned are in number * * * *2045. The rivers of note are in number * * * *. The mountains of note are in number * * * *. The islands are in number * * * *. The towns or nations which have disappeared are in number * * * *. The facts, statements, and observations are in number 326.

Roman Authors quoted.—Turannius Gracilis2046, Cornelius Nepos2047, T. Livius2048, Cato the Censor2049,268 M. Agrippa2050, M. Varro2051, the Emperor Augustus2052 now deified, Varro Atacinus2053, Antias2054, Hyginus2055, L. Vetus2056, Pomponius Mela2057,269 Curio2058 the Elder, Cælius2059, Arruntius2060, Sebosus2061, Licinius Mucianus2062, Fabricius Tuscus2063, L. Ateius2064, Capito2065, Verrius Flaccus2066, L. Piso2067, Gellianus2068, and Valerianus2069.

Foreign Authors quoted.—Artemidorus2070, Alexander270 Polyhistor2071, Thucydides2072, Theophrastus2073, Isidorus2074, Theopompus2075, Metrodorus of Scepsis2076, Callicrates2077, Xenophon of Lampsacus2078, Diodorus of Syracuse2079, Nymphodorus2080, Calliphanes2081, and Timagenes2082.




CHAP. 1. (1.)—EPIRUS.

The third great Gulf of Europe begins at the mountains of Acroceraunia2083, and ends at the Hellespont, embracing an extent of 2500 miles, exclusive of the sea-line of nineteen smaller gulfs. Upon it are Epirus, Acarnania, Ætolia, Phocis, Locris, Achaia, Messenia, Laconia, Argolis, Megaris, Attica, Bœotia; and again, upon the other sea2084, the same Phocis and Locris, Doris, Phthiotis, Thessalia, Magnesia, Macedonia and Thracia. All the fabulous lore of Greece, as well as the effulgence of her literature, first shone forth upon the banks of this Gulf. We shall therefore dwell a little the longer upon it.

Epirus2085, generally so called, begins at the mountains of Acroceraunia. The first people that we meet are the Chaones, from whom Chaonia2086 receives its name, then the Thesproti2087, and then the Antigonenses2088. We then come to the place where Aornos2089 stood, with its exhalations so deadly to the feathered race, the Cestrini2090, the Perrhæbi2091, in whose country272 Mount Pindus is situate, the Cassiopæi2092, the Dryopes2093, the Sellæ2094, the Hellopes2095, the Molossi, in whose territory is the temple of the Dodonæan Jupiter, so famous for its oracle; and Mount Tomarus2096, so highly praised by Theopompus, with its hundred springs gushing from its foot.

(2.) Epirus, properly so called, advances towards Magnesia and Macedonia, having at its back the Dassaretæ, previously2097 mentioned, a free nation, and after them the Dardani, a savage race. On the left hand, before the Dardani are extended the Triballi and the nations of Mœsia, while in front of them the Medi and the Denselatæ join, and next to them the Thracians, who stretch away as far as the Euxine: in such a manner is a rampart raised around the lofty heights of Rhodope, and then of Hæmus.

On the coast of Epirus is the fortress of Chimæra2098, situate upon the Acroceraunian range, and below it the spring known as the Royal Waters2099; then the towns of273 Mæandria, and Cestria2100, the Thyamis2101, a river of Thesprotia, the colony of Buthrotum2102, and the Ambracian Gulf2103, so famed in history; which, with an inlet only half a mile in width, receives a vast body of water from the sea, being thirty-seven miles in length, and fifteen in width. The river Acheron, which runs through Acherusia, a lake of Thesprotia, flows into it2104 after a course of thirty-six miles; it is considered wonderful for its bridge, 1000 feet in length, by a people who look upon everything as wonderful that belongs to themselves. Upon this Gulf is also situate the town of Ambracia. There are also the Aphas and the Arachthus2105, rivers of the Molossi; the city of Anactoria2106, and the place where Pandosia2107 stood.


The towns of Acarnania2108, the ancient name of which was Curetis, are Heraclia2109, Echinus2110, and, on the coast, Actium,274 a colony founded by Augustus, with its famous temple of Apollo and the free city of Nicopolis2111. Passing out of the Ambracian Gulf into the Ionian Sea, we come to the coast of Leucadia, with the Promontory of Leucate2112, and then the Gulf and the peninsula of Leucadia2113, which last was formerly called Neritis2114. By the exertions of the inhabitants it was once cut off from the mainland, but was again joined to it by the vast bodies of sand accumulated through the action of the winds. This spot is called Dioryctos2115, and is three stadia in length: on the peninsula is the town of Leucas, formerly called Neritus2116. We next come to Alyzia2117, Stratos2118, and Argos2119, surnamed Amphilochian, cities of the Acarnanians: the river Acheloüs2120 flows from the heights of Pindus, and, after separating Acarnania from Ætolia, is fast adding the island of Artemita2121 to the mainland by the continual deposits of earth which it brings down its stream.


CHAP. 3. (2.)—ÆTOLIA.

The peoples of Ætolia are the Athamanes2122, the Tymphæi2123, the Ephyri2124, the Ænienses, the Perrhæbi2125, the Dolopes2126, the Maraces, and the Atraces2127, in whose territory rises the river Atrax, which flows into the Ionian Sea. Calydon2128 is a city of Ætolia, situate at a distance of seven miles from the sea, and near the banks of the river Evenus2129. We then come to Macynia2130, and Molycria, behind which lie Mounts Chalcis2131 and Taphiassus. On the coast again, there is the promontory of Antirrhium2132, off which is the mouth of the Corinthian Gulf, which flows in and separates Ætolia from the Peloponnesus, being less2133 than one mile in width. The promontory which faces it on the opposite side is called Rhion2134. The towns of Ætolia, however, on the Corinthian Gulf are Naupactus2135 and Pylene2136; and, more inland, Pleuron and276 Halicyrna2137. The most famous mountains are Tomarus, in the district of Dodona, Crania2138 in Ambracia, Aracynthus2139 in Acarnania, and Acanthon2140, Panætolium2141, and Macynium2142, in Ætolia.


Next to Ætolia are the Locri2143, surnamed Ozolæ; a people exempt from tribute. Here is the town of Œanthe2144, the port2145 of Apollo Phæstius, and the Gulf of Crissa2146. In the interior are the towns of Argyna, Eupalia2147, Phæstum, and Calamisus. Beyond are the Cirrhæan plains of Phocis, the town of Cirrha2148, and the port of Chalæon2149, seven miles277 from which, in the interior, is situate the free town of Delphi2150, at the foot of Mount Parnassus2151, and having the most celebrated oracle of Apollo throughout the whole world. There is the Fountain too of Castalia2152, and the river Cephisus2153 which flows past Delphi, rising in the former city of Lilæa2154. Besides these, there is the town of Crissa2155 and that of Anticyra2156, with the Bulenses2157; as also Naulochum2158, Pyrrha, Amphissa2159, exempt from all tribute, Tithrone, Tritea2160, Ambrysus2161, and Drymæa2162, which district has also the name of Daulis. The extremity of the gulf washes one corner of Bœotia, with its towns of Siphæ2163 and Thebes2164, surnamed the Corsian, in the278 vicinity of Helicon2165. The third town of Bœotia on this sea is that of Pagæ2166, from which point the Isthmus of the Peloponnesus projects in the form of a neck.


The Peloponnesus, which was formerly called Apia2167 and Pelasgia, is a peninsula, inferior in fame to no land upon the face of the earth. Situate between the two seas, the Ægean and the Ionian, it is in shape like the leaf of a plane-tree, in consequence of the angular indentations made in its shores. According to Isidorus, it is 563 miles in circumference; and nearly as much again, allowing for the sea-line on the margin of its gulfs. The narrow pass at which it commences is known by the name of the Isthmus. At this spot the two seas, which we have previously mentioned, running from the north and the east, invade the land from opposite sides2168, and swallow up its entire breadth, the result being that through these inroads in opposite directions of such vast bodies of water, the sides of the land are eaten away to such an extent, that Hellas2169 only holds on to the Peloponnesus by the narrow neck, five miles in width, which intervenes. The Gulfs thus formed, the one on this side, the other on that, are known as the Corinthian2170 and the Saronic Gulfs. The ports of Lecheæ2171, on the one side, and of Cenchreæ on the other, form the frontiers of this narrow passage, which thus compels to a tedious and perilous circumnavigation such vessels as from their magnitude cannot be carried across by land on vehicles. For this reason it is that both King279 Demetrius2172, Cæsar the Dictator, the prince Caius2173, and Domitius Nero2174, have at different times made the attempt to cut through this neck by forming a navigable canal; a profane design, as may be clearly seen by the result2175 in every one of these instances.

Upon the middle of this intervening neck which we have called the Isthmus, stands the colony of Corinth, formerly known by the name of Ephyre2176, situate upon the brow of a hill, at a distance of sixty stadia from the shore of either sea. From the heights of its citadel, which is called Acrocorinthos, or the “Heights of Corinth,” and in which is the Fountain of Pirene, it looks down upon the two seas which lie in the opposite directions. From Leucas to Patræ upon the Corinthian gulf is a distance of eighty-eight miles. The colony of Patræ2177 is founded upon the most extensive promontory of the Peloponnesus, facing Ætolia and the river Evenus, the Corinthian Gulf being, as we have previously2178 stated, less than a mile in width at the entrance there, though extending in length as far as the isthmus, a distance of eighty-five miles.


CHAP. 6. (5.)—ACHAIA.

The province called Achaia2179 begins at the Isthmus; from the circumstance of its cities being ranged in regular succession on its coast, it formerly had the name of Ægialos2180. The first place there is Lecheæ, already mentioned, a port of the Corinthians; next to which is Olyros2181, a fortress of the people of Pellene2182; then the former towns of Helice and Bura2183, and the places in which their inhabitants took refuge after their towns had been swallowed up by the sea, Sicyon2184 namely, Ægira2185, Ægium, and Erineos2186. In the interior are Cleonæ and Hysiæ2187; then come the port of Panormus2188, and Rhium already mentioned; from which promontory, Patræ, of which we have previously spoken, is distant five miles; and then the place where Pheræ2189 stood. Of the nine mountains of Achaia, Scioessa is the most famous; there is also the Fountain of Cymothoë. Beyond Patræ we find the town of Olenum2190, the colony of Dyme2191, the places where281 Buprasium2192 and Hyrmine once stood, the Promontory of Araxus2193, the Bay of Cyllene, and the Promontory of Chelonates, at five miles’ distance from Cyllene2194. There is also the fortress of Phlius2195; the district around which was called by Homer Aræthyrea2196, and, after his time, Asopis.

The territory of the Eleans then begins, who were formerly called Epei, with the city of Elis2197 in the interior, and, at a distance of twelve miles from Phlius, being also in the interior, the temple of Olympian Jupiter, which by the universal celebrity of its games, gives to Greece its mode of reckoning2198. Here too once stood the town of Pisa2199, the river Alpheus flowing past it. On the coast there is the Promontory of Ichthys2200. The river Alpheus is navigable six miles, nearly as far as the towns of Aulon2201 and Leprion. We next come to the Promontory of Platanodes2202. All these localities lie to the west.



Further south is the Gulf of Cyparissus, with the city of Cyparissa2203 on its shores, the line of which is seventy-two miles in length. Then, the towns of Pylos2204 and Methone2205, the place where Helos stood, the Promontory of Acritas2206, the Asinæan Gulf, which takes its name from the town of Asine2207, and the Coronean, so called from Corone; which gulfs terminate at the Promontory of Tænarum2208. These are all in the country of Messenia, which has eighteen mountains, and the river Pamisus2209 also. In the interior are Messene2210, Ithome, Œchalia, Arene2211, Pteleon, Thryon, Dorion2212, and Zancle2213, all of them known to fame at different periods. The margin of this gulf measures eighty miles, the distance across being thirty.



At Tænarum begins the territory of Laconia, inhabited by a free nation, and situate on a gulf 106 miles in circuit, and 38 across. The towns are, Tænarum2214, Amyclæ2215, Pheræ2216, and Leuctra2217; and, in the interior, Sparta2218, Theramne2219, and the spots where Cardamyle2220, Pitane2221, and Anthea formerly stood; the former site of Thyrea2222, and Gerania2223. Here is also Mount Taygetus2224, the river Eurotas, the Gulf of Ægilodes2225, the town of Psamathus, the Gulf of Gytheum2226, so called from the town of that name, from which place the passage is the safest across to the island of Crete. All these places are bounded by the Promontory of Malea2227.



The next gulf, which extends as far as Scyllæum2228, is called the Argolic Gulf, being fifty miles across, and 162 in circuit. The towns upon it are, Bœa2229, Epidaurus2230, surnamed Limera, Zarax2231, and the port of Cyphanta2232. The rivers are the Inachus2233 and the Erasinus, between which lies Argos, surnamed Hippium2234, situate beyond the place called Lerna2235, and at a distance of two miles from the sea. Nine miles farther is Mycenæ2236, and the place where, it is said, Tiryns2237 stood; the site, too, of Mantinea2238. The mountains are, Artemius, Apesantus2239, Asterion2240, Parparus, and some others, eleven in number. The fountains are those of Niobe2241, Amymone, and Psamathe.

From Scyllæum to the Isthmus of Corinth is a distance of 177 miles. We find here the towns of Hermione2242, Trœzen2243, Coryphasium2244, and Argos, sometimes called “Inachian,”285 sometimes “Dipsian”2245 Argos. Then comes the port of Schœnites2246, and the Saronic Gulf, which was formerly encircled with a grove of oaks2247, from which it derives its present name, oaks in ancient Greece having been so called. Upon this gulf is the town of Epidaurus, famous for its temple of Æsculapius2248, the Promontory of Spiræum2249, the port of Anthedus2250, Bucephalus2251, and then Cenchreæ, previously mentioned, on this side of the Isthmus, with its temple of Neptune2252, famous for the games celebrated there every five years. So many are the gulfs which penetrate the shores of the Peloponnesus, so many the seas which howl around it. Invaded by the Ionian on the north, it is beaten by the Sicilian on the west, buffeted by the Cretan on the south, by the Ægean on the S.E., and by the Myrtoan on the N.E.; which last sea begins at the Gulf of Megara, and washes all the coast of Attica.

CHAP. 10. (6.)—ARCADIA.

Its interior is occupied for the greater part by Arcadia, which, remote from the sea on every side, was originally286 called Drymodes2253, and at a later period Pelasgis. The cities of Arcadia are, Psophis2254, Mantinea2255, Stymphalus2256, Tegea2257, Antigonea2258, Orchomenus2259, Pheneum2260, Palantium2261 (from which the Palatium2262 at Rome derives its name), Megalopolis2263, Gortyna2264, Bucolium, Carnion, Parrhasia2265, Thelpusa2266, Melænæ2267, Heræa2268, Pylæ2269, Pallene, Agræ, Epium, Cynæthæ2270, Lepreon of Arcadia2271,287 Parthenium2272, Alea, Methydrium2273, Enispe, Macistum, Lampia, Clitorium2274, and Cleonæ2275; between which two last towns is the district of Nemea, commonly known as Bembinadia2276.

The mountains of Arcadia are, Pholoë2277, with a town of the same name, Cyllene2278, Lycæus2279, upon which is the temple of Lycæan Jupiter; Mænalus2280, Artemisius2281, Parthenius2282, Lampeus2283, and Nonacris2284, besides eight others of no note. The rivers are the Ladon2285, which rises in the marshes of Pheneus2286, and the Erymanthus2287, which springs from a mountain of the same name, and flows into the Alpheus.

The other cities of Achaia worthy of mention are those of the Aliphiræi2288, the Abeatæ2289, the Pyrgenses2290, the288 Paroreatæ2291, the Paragenitæ, the Tortuni, the Typanei2292, the Thriasii2293, and the Tritienses2294. Domitius Nero [the emperor] granted liberty to the whole of Achaia2295. The Peloponnesus, from the Promontory of Malea to the town of Ægium2296 on the Corinthian Gulf, is 190 miles in length, and 125 miles across from Elis to Epidaurus; the distance being, from Olympia to Argos, through Arcadia, sixty-eight miles. The distance from Olympia to Phlius has been already mentioned2297. Throughout the whole of this region, as though nature had been desirous to compensate for the inroads of the sea, seventy-six mountains raise their lofty heads.

CHAP. 11. (7.)—ATTICA.

At the narrow neck of the Isthmus, Hellas begins, by our people known as Græcia. The first state that presents itself is Attica, anciently called Acte2298. It touches the Isthmus in that part of it which is called Megaris, from the colony of Megara2299, lying on the opposite side to Pagæ2300.

These two towns are situate at the spot where the Peloponnesus projects to the greatest distance; being placed, one on each side, upon the very shoulders of Hellas as it were. The Pagæans, as well as the people of Ægosthena2301, belong to the jurisdiction of Megara. On the coast there is the port of Schœnos2302, the towns of Sidus2303 and Cremmyon2304, the289 Scironian Rocks2305, six miles in length, Geranea, Megara, and Eleusis2306. Œnoë2307 and Probalinthos also formerly existed here; the ports of Piræus and Phalerum2308 are distant from the Isthmus fifty-five miles, being united to Athens, which lies in the interior, by a wall2309 five miles in length. Athens is a free city, and needs2310 not a word more from us in its commendation; of fame it enjoys even more than enough. In Attica there are the Fountains of Cephisia2311, Larine, Callirrhoë Enneacrunos2312, and the mountains of Brilessus2313, Ægialeus, Icarius, Hymettus2314, Lycabettus2315, and the place where Ilissus2316 stood. At the distance of forty-five miles from the Piræus is the Promontory of Sunium2317. There is also the Promontory of Thoricos2318; Potamos2319,290 Steria2320, and Brauron2321, once towns, the borough of Rhamnus2322, the place where Marathon2323 stood, the Thriasian2324 plain, the town of Melite2325, and Oropus2326 upon the confines of Bœotia.


In this country are Anthedon2327, Onchestus2328, the free town of Thespiæ2329, Lebadea2330, and then Thebes2331, surnamed Bœotian2332, which does not yield the palm to Athens even in celebrity; the native land, according to the common notion, of the two Divinities Liber and Hercules. The birth-place of the Muses too is pointed out in the grove of Helicon. To this same Thebes also belong the forest of Cithæron2333,291 and the river Ismenus. Besides these, there are in Bœotia the Fountains of Œdipodia, Psamathe, Dirce, Epicrane, Arethusa, Hippocrene2334, Aganippe, and Gargaphie; and, besides the mountains already mentioned, Mycalesos, Hadylius, and Acontius. The remaining towns between Megara and Thebes are Eleutheræ2335, Haliartus2336, Platææ2337, Pheræ, Aspledon2338, Hyle2339, Thisbe2340, Erythræ2341, Glissas2342, and Copæ2343; near the river Cephisus, Larymna and Anchoa2344; as also Medeon, Phlygone, Acræphia2345, Coronea2346, and Chæronea2347. Again,292 on the coast and below Thebes, are Ocalea2348, Heleon, Scolos, Schœnos2349, Peteon2350, Hyriæ2351, Mycalesos2352, Iresion, Pteleon, Olyros, and Tanagra2353, the people of which are free; and, situate upon the very mouth of the Euripus2354, a strait formed by the opposite island of Eubœa, Aulis2355, so famous for its capacious harbour. The Bœotians formerly had the name of Hyantes.

After them come the Locrians, surnamed Epicnemidii2356, formerly called Leleges, through whose country the river Cephisus passes, in its course to the sea. Their towns are Opus2357; from which the Opuntian Gulf2358 takes its name, and Cynos. Daphnus2359 is the only town of Phocis situate on the coast. In the interior of Locris is Elatea2360, and on the banks of the Cephisus, as we have previously stated2361, Lilæa, and, facing Delphi, Cnemisæ2362 and Hyampolisæ2363. Again, upon293 the coast of the Locrians, are Larymna2364, and Thronium2365, near which last the river Boagrius enters the sea. Also, the towns of Narycion, Alope2366, and Scarphia2367; and then the gulf which receives the name of the Maliac2368 from the people who dwell there, and upon which are the towns of Halcyone, Econia, and Phalara2369.


Doris comes next, in which are Sperchios2370, Erineon2371, Boion2372, Pindus, and Cytinum2373. Behind Doris lies Mount Œta.


Hæmonia follows, a country which has often changed its name, having been successively called Pelasgic Argos, Hellas, Thessaly, and Dryopis, always taking its surname from its kings. In this country was born the king whose name was Græcus; and from whom Græcia was so called; and here too was born Hellen2374, from whom the Hellenes derive their name. The same people Homer has called by three different names, Myrmidones, Hellenes, and Achæi.

That portion of these people which inhabit the country adjacent to Doris are called Phthiotæ. Their towns are Echinus2375, at the mouth of the river Sperchius, and, at four294 miles from the narrow pass of Thermopylæ2376, Heraclea, which from it takes its surname of Trachin2377. Here too is Mount Callidromus2378, and the celebrated towns of Hellas2379, Halos2380, Lamia2381, Phthia2382, and Arne2383.


In Thessaly is Orchomenus, formerly called the Minyan2384, and the towns of Almon, by some called Salmon, Atrax2385, and Pelinna; the Fountain of Hyperia; the towns also of Pheræ2386, at the back of which is Pieria2387, extending to Macedonia, Larisa2388, Gomphi2389, Thebes2390 of Thessaly, the grove of Pteleon, the Gulf of Pagasa, the town of Pagasa2391, which was afterwards called Demetrias2392, the Plains of Pharsalia,295 with a free city of similar name2393, Crannon2394, and Iletia. The mountains of Phthiotis are Nymphæus, once so beautiful for its garden scenery, the work of nature; Busygæus, Donacesa, Bermius2395, Daphusa, Chimerion, Athamas, and Stephane. In Thessaly there are thirty-four, of which the most famous are Cercetii, Olympus2396, Pierus, and Ossa, opposite to which last are Pindus and Othrys, the abodes of the Lapithæ. These mountains look towards the west, Pelion2397 towards the east, all of them forming a curve like an amphitheatre, in the interior of which, lying before them, are no less than seventy-five cities. The rivers of Thessaly are the Apidanus2398, the Phœnix2399, the Enipeus2400, the Onochonus2401, and the Pamisus. There is also the Fountain of Messeis, and the lake Bœbeis2402. The river Peneus2403 too, superior to all others in celebrity, takes its rise near Gomphi, and flows down a well-wooded valley between Ossa and Olympus, a296 distance of five hundred stadia, being navigable half that distance. The vale, for a distance of five miles through which this river runs, is called by the name of Tempe; being a jugerum2404 and a half nearly in breadth, while on the right and left, the mountain chain slopes away with a gentle elevation, beyond the range of human vision, the foliage imparting its colour to the light within. Along this vale glides the Peneus, reflecting the green tints as it rolls along its pebbly bed, its banks covered with tufts of verdant herbage, and enlivened by the melodious warblings of the birds. The Peneus receives the river Orcus, or rather, I should say, does not receive it, but merely carries its waters, which swim on its surface like oil, as Homer says2405; and then, after a short time, rejects them, refusing to allow the waters of a river devoted to penal sufferings and engendered for the Furies to mingle with his silvery streams.

CHAP. 16. (9.)—MAGNESIA.

To Thessaly Magnesia joins, in which is the fountain of Libethra2406. Its towns are Iolcos2407, Hormenium, Pyrrha2408, Methone2409, and Olizon2410. The Promontory of Sepias2411 is here situate. We then come to the towns of Casthanea2412 and297 Spalathra2413, the Promontory of Æantium2414, the towns of Melibœa2415, Rhizus, and Erymnæ2416; the mouth of the Peneus, the towns of Homolium2417, Orthe, Thespiæ, Phalanna2418, Thaumacie2419, Gyrton2420, Crannon2421, Acharne2422, Dotion2423, Melitæa, Phylace2424, and Potniæ2425. The length of Epirus, Achaia, Attica, and Thessaly is said altogether to amount to 490 miles, the breadth to 287.

CHAP. 17. (10.)—MACEDONIA.

Macedonia comes next, including 150 nations, and renowned for its two kings2426 and its former empire over the world; it was formerly known by the name of Emathia2427. Stretching away towards the nations of Epirus on the west it lies at the back of Magnesia and Thessaly, being itself exposed to the attacks of the Dardani2428. Pæonia and Pelagonia protect its northern parts from the Triballi2429. Its298 towns are Ægiæ2430, at which place its kings were usually buried, Beræa2431, and, in the country called Pieria from the grove of that name, Æginium2432. Upon the coast are Heraclea2433, the river Apilas2434, the towns of Pydna2435 and Aloros2436, and the river Haliacmon2437. In the interior are the Aloritæ2438, the Vallæi2439, the Phylacæi, the Cyrrhestæ2440, the Tyrissæi, the colony of Pella2441, and Stobi2442, a town with the rights of Roman citizens. Next comes Antigonea2443, Europus2444 upon the river Axius, and another place of the same name by which the Rhœdias flows, Scydra, Eordæa, Mieza, and Gordyniæ. Then, upon the coast, Ichnæ2445, and the river Axius; along this frontier the Dardani, the Treres2446, and the Pieres, border on Macedonia. Leaving this river, there are the299 nations of Pæonia2447, the Paroræi2448, the Eordenses2449, the Almopii2450, the Pelagones, and the Mygdones2451.

Next come the mountains of Rhodope, Scopius, and Orbelus; and, lying along the extent of country in front of these mountains, the Arethusii2452, the Antiochienses2453, the Idomenenses2454, the Doberi2455, the Æstræenses, the Allantenses, the Audaristenses, the Morylli, the Garesci2456, the Lyncestæ2457, the Othryonei2458, and the Amantini2459 and Orestæ2460, both of them free peoples; the colonies of Bullis2461 and Dium2462, the Xylopolitæ, the Scotussæi, a free people, Heraclea Sintica2463, the Tymphæi2464, and the Toronæi.

Upon the coast of the Macedonian Gulf there are the town of Chalastra2465, and, more inland, Piloros; also Lete,300 and at the extreme bend of the Gulf, Thessalonica2466, a free city; (from this place to Dyrrhachium it is 245 miles2467,) and then Thermæ2468. Upon the Gulf2469 of Thermæ are the towns of Dicæa, Pydna2470, Derra, Scione2471, the Promontory of Canastræum2472, and the towns of Pallene2473 and Phlegra. In this region also are the mountains Hypsizorus, Epitus, Halcyone, and Leoomne; the towns of Nyssos2474, Phryxelon, Mendæ, and what was formerly Potidæa2475 on the isthmus of Pallene, but now the Colony of Cassandria; Anthemus2476, Olophyxus2477, and the Gulf of Mecyberna2478; the towns of Miscella, Ampelos2479, Torone2480, Singos2481, and the canal, a mile and a half in length, by means of which Xerxes, king of the Persians, cut off Mount Athos2482 from the main land. This mountain projects from301 the level plain of the adjacent country into the sea, a distance of seventy-five2483 miles; its circumference at its base being 150 miles in extent. There was formerly upon its summit the town of Acroathon2484: the present towns are Uranopolis2485, Palæorium, Thyssus, Cleonæ2486, and Apollonia, the inhabitants of which have the surname of Macrobii2487. The town also of Cassera, and then the other side of the Isthmus, after which come Acanthus2488, Stagira2489, Sithone2490, Heraclea2491, and the country of Mygdonia that lies below, in which are situate, at some distance from the sea, Apollonia2492 and Arethusa. Again, upon the coast we have Posidium2493, and the bay with the town of Cermorus, Amphipolis2494, a free town, and the nation of the302 Bisaltæ. We then come to the river Strymon2495 which takes its rise in Mount Hæmus2496 and forms the boundary of Macedonia: it is worthy of remark that it first discharges itself into seven lakes before it proceeds onward in its course.

Such is Macedonia, which was once the mistress of the world, which once extended2497 her career over Asia, Armenia, Iberia, Albania, Cappadocia, Syria, Egypt, Taurus, and Caucasus, which reduced the whole of the East under her power, and triumphed over the Bactri, the Medes, and the Persians. She too it was who proved the conqueror of India, thus treading in the footsteps of Father Liber2498 and of Hercules; and this is that same Macedonia, of which our own general Paulus Æmilius sold to pillage seventy-two2499 cities in one day. So great the difference in her lot resulting from the actions of two2500 individuals!


Thrace now follows, divided into fifty strategies2501, and to be reckoned among the most powerful nations of Europe. Among its peoples whom we ought not to omit to name are the Denseletæ and the Medi, dwelling upon the right bank of the Strymon, and joining up to the Bisaltæ above2502 mentioned; on the left there are the Digerri and a number of tribes of the Bessi2503, with various names, as far as the river Mestus2504, which winds around the foot of Mount303 Pangæum2505, passing among the Elethi, the Diobessi2506, the Carbilesi; and then the Brysæ, the Sapæi, and the Odomanti. The territory of the Odrysæ2507 gives birth to the Hebrus2508, its banks being inhabited by the Cabyleti, the Pyrogeri, the Drugeri, the Cænici, the Hypsalti, the Beni, the Corpili, the Bottiæi, and the Edoni2509. In the same district are also the Selletæ, the Priantæ, the Doloncæ, the Thyni, and the Greater Cœletæ, below Mount Hæmus, the Lesser at the foot of Rhodope. Between these tribes runs the river Hebrus. We then come to a town at the foot of Rhodope, first called Poneropolis2510, afterwards Philippopolis2511 from the name of its founder, and now, from the peculiarity of its situation, Trimontium2512. To reach the summit of Hæmus you have to travel six2513 miles. The sides of it that look in the opposite direction and slope towards the Ister are inhabited by the Mœsi2514, the Getæ, the Aorsi, the Gaudæ, and the Clariæ; below them, are the Arræi Sarmatæ2515, also called Arreatæ, the Scythians, and, about the shores of the Euxine, the Moriseni and the Sithonii, the forefathers of the poet Orpheus2516, dwell.


Thus is Thrace bounded by the Ister on the north, by the Euxine, and the Propontis2517 on the east, and by the Ægean Sea on the south; on the coast of which, after leaving the Strymon, we come in turn to Apollonia2518, Œsyma2519, Neapolis2520 and Datos. In the interior is the colony of Philippi2521, distant from Dyrrhachium 325 miles; also Scotussa2522, the city of Topiris, the mouth of the river Mestus2523, Mount Pangæus, Heraclea2524, Olynthos2525, Abdera2526, a free city, the people of the Bistones2527 and their Lake. Here was formerly the city of Tirida, which struck such terror with its stables of the horses2528 of Diomedes. At the present day we find here Dicæa2529, Ismaron2530, the place where Parthenion stood, Phalesina, and Maronea2531, formerly called Orthagorea. We305 then come to Mount Serrium2532 and Zone2533, and then the place called Doriscus2534, capable of containing ten thousand men, for it was in bodies of ten thousand that Xerxes here numbered his army. We then come to the mouth of the Hebrus2535, the Port of Stentor, and the free town of Ænos2536, with the tomb there of Polydorus2537, the region formerly of the Cicones.

From Doriscus there is a winding coast as far as Macron Tichos2538, or the “Long Wall,” a distance of 122 miles; round Doriscus flows the river Melas, from which the Gulf of Melas2539 receives its name. The towns are, Cypsela2540, Bisanthe2541, and Macron Tichos, already mentioned, so called because a wall extends from that spot between the two seas,—that is to say, from the Propontis to the Gulf of Melas, thus excluding the Chersonesus2542, which projects beyond it.

The other side of Thrace now begins, on the coast2543 of the Euxine, where the river Ister discharges itself; and it is in this quarter perhaps that Thrace possesses the finest cities, Histropolis2544, namely, founded by the Milesians,306 Tomi2545, and Callatis2546, formerly called Acervetis. It also had the cities of Heraclea and Bizone, which latter was swallowed up by an earthquake; it now has Dionysopolis2547, formerly called Cruni, which is washed by the river Zyras. All this country was formerly possessed by the Scythians, surnamed Aroteres; their towns were, Aphrodisias, Libistos, Zygere, Rocobe, Eumenia, Parthenopolis, and Gerania2548, where a nation of Pigmies is said to have dwelt; the barbarians used to call them Cattuzi, and entertain a belief that they were put to flight by cranes. Upon the coast, proceeding from Dionysopolis, is Odessus2549, a city of the Milesians, the river Panysus2550, and the town of Tetranaulochus. Mount Hæmus, which, with its vast chain, overhangs the Euxine, had in former times upon its summit the town of Aristæum2551. At the present day there are upon the coast Mesembria2552, and Anchialum2553, where Messa formerly stood. The region of Astice formerly had a town called Anthium; at the present day Apollonia2554 occupies its site. The rivers here are the Panisos, the Riras, the Tearus, and the Orosines; there are also the towns of Thynias2555, Halmydessos2556, Develton2557, with its lake, now known as Deultum, a colony of veterans, and Phinopolis, near which last is the Bosporus2558. From the mouth of the Ister to the entrance of the Euxine, some writers have made to be307 a distance of 555 miles; Agrippa, however, increases the length by sixty miles. The distance thence to Macron Tichos, or the Long Wall, previously mentioned, is 150 miles; and, from it to the extremity of the Chersonesus, 126.

On leaving the Bosporus we come to the Gulf of Casthenes2559, and two harbours, the one called the Old Men’s Haven, and the other the Women’s Haven. Next comes the promontory of Chrysoceras2560, upon which is the town of Byzantium2561, a free state, formerly called Lygos, distant from Dyrrhachium 711 miles,—so great being the space of land that intervenes between the Adriatic Sea and the Propontis. We next come to the rivers Bathynias and Pydaras2562, or Athyras, and the towns of Selymbria2563 and Perinthus2564, which join the mainland by a neck only 200 feet in width. In the interior are Bizya2565, a citadel of the kings of Thrace, and hated by the swallows, in consequence of the sacrilegious crime of Tereus2566; the district called Cænica2567, and the colony of Flaviopolis, where formerly stood a town called Cæla. Then, at a distance of fifty miles from Bizya, we come to the colony of Apros, distant from Philippi 180 miles. Upon the coast is the river Erginus2568; here formerly stood the town of Ganos2569; and Lysimachia2570 in the Chersonesus is being now gradually deserted.

At this spot there is another isthmus2571, similar in name to the other2572, and of about equal width; and, in a manner308 by no means dissimilar, two cities formerly stood on the shore, one on either side, Pactye on the side of the Propontis, and Cardia2573 on that of the Gulf of Melas, the latter deriving its name from the shape2574 which the land assumes. These, however, were afterwards united with Lysimachia2575, which stands at a distance of five miles from Macron Tichos. The Chersonesus formerly had, on the side of the Propontis, the towns of Tiristasis, Crithotes, and Cissa2576, on the banks of the river Ægos2577; it now has, at a distance of twenty-two2578 miles from the colony of Apros, Resistos, which stands opposite to the colony of Parium. The Hellespont also, which separates, as we have already2579 stated, Europe from Asia, by a channel seven stadia in width, has four cities facing each other, Callipolis2580 and Sestos2581 in Europe, and Lampsacus2582 and Abydos2583 in Asia. On the Chersonesus, there is the promontory of Mastusia2584, lying opposite to Sigeum2585; upon one side of it stands the Cynossema2586 (for so the tomb of Hecuba is called), the naval station2587 of the Achæans, and a tower; and near it the shrine2588 of Protesilaüs. On the extreme309 front of the Chersonesus, which is called Æolium, there is the city of Elæus. Advancing thence towards the Gulf of Melas, we have the port of Cœlos2589, Panormus, and then Cardia, previously mentioned.

In this manner is the third great Gulf of Europe bounded. The mountains of Thrace, besides those already mentioned, are Edonus, Gigemoros, Meritus, and Melamphyllos; the rivers are the Bargus and the Syrmus, which fall into the Hebrus. The length of Macedonia, Thrace, and the Hellespont has been already2590 mentioned; some writers, however, make it 720 miles, the breadth being 384.

What may be called a rock rather than an island, lying between Tenos and Chios, has given its name to the Ægean Sea; it has the name of Æx2591 from its strong resemblance to a goat, which is so called in Greek, and shoots precipitately from out of the middle of the sea. Those who are sailing towards the isle of Andros from Achaia, see this rock on the left, boding no good, and warning them of its dangers. Part of the Ægean Sea bears the name of Myrtoan2592, being so called from the small island [of Myrtos] which is seen as you sail towards Macedonia from Geræstus, not far from Carystus2593 in Eubœa. The Romans include all these seas under two names,—the Macedonian, in those parts where it touches the coasts of Macedonia or Thrace, and the Grecian where it washes the shores of Greece. The Greeks, however, divide the Ionian Sea into the Sicilian and the Cretan Seas, after the name of those islands; and they give the name of Icarian to that part which lies between Samos and Myconos. The gulfs which we have already mentioned, have given to these seas the rest of their names. Such,310 then, are the seas and the various nations which are comprehended in the third great Gulf of Europe.


Lying opposite to Thesprotia, at a distance of twelve miles from Buthrotus, and of fifty from Acroceraunia, is the island of Corcyra2594, with a city of the same name, the citizens of which are free; also a town called Cassiope2595, and a temple dedicated to Jupiter Cassius. This island is ninety-seven miles in length, and in Homer has the names of Scheria and Phæacia; while Callimachus calls it Drepane. There are some other islands around it, such as Thoronos2596, lying in the direction of Italy, and the two islands of Paxos2597 in that of Leucadia, both of them five miles distant from Corcyra. Not far2598 from these, and in front of Corcyra, are Ericusa, Marathe, Elaphusa, Malthace, Trachie, Pythionia, Ptychia, Tarachie, and, off Phalacrum2599, a promontory of Corcyra, the rock into which (according to the story, which arises no doubt from the similarity of appearance) the ship of Ulysses was changed.

Before Leucimna2600 we find the islands of Sybota, and between Leucadia and Achaia a great number of islands, among which are those called Teleboïdes2601, as also Taphiæ; by the natives, those which lie before Leucadia are called by the names of Taphias, Oxiæ, and Prinoessa2602; while those that are in front of Ætolia are the Echinades2603, consisting of Ægialia, Cotonis, Thyatira, Geoaris, Dionysia, Cyrnus, Chalcis, Pinara, and Mystus.


In front of these, and lying out at sea, are Cephallenia2604 and Zacynthus2605, both of them free, Ithaca2606, Dulichium2607, Same2608, and Crocyle2609. Cephallenia, formerly known as Melæna2610, lies at a distance of eleven miles from Paxos, and is ninety-three miles in circumference: its city of Same has been levelled to the ground by the Romans; but it still possesses three others2611. Between this island and Achaia lies the island of Zacynthus, remarkable for its city of the same name, and for its singular fertility. It formerly had the name of Hyrie, and lies to the south of Cephallenia, at a distance of twenty-five miles; in it there is the famous mountain of Elatus2612. This island is thirty-six miles in circumference. At a distance of fifteen miles from Zacynthus is Ithaca, in which is Mount Neritus2613; its circumference in all is twenty-five miles. Twelve miles distant from this island is Araxus2614, a promontory of the Peloponnesus. Before Ithaca, lying out in the main sea, are Asteris2615 and Prote; and before Zacynthus, at a distance of thirty-five miles in the direction of the south-east wind, are the two Strophades2616, by some known as the Plotæ. Before Cephallenia lies Letoia2617, before Pylos the three Sphagiæ2618, and before Messene the Œnussæ2619, as many in number.


In the Asinæan Gulf there are the three Thyrides2620, and in that of Laconia Theganusa2621, Cothon, and Cythera2622, with the town of that name, the former name of which island was Porphyris. It is situate five miles from the promontory of Malea2623, thus forming a strait very dangerous to navigation. In the Gulf of Argolis are Pityusa2624, Irine, and Ephyre; opposite the territory of Hermione2625, Tiparenus, Aperopia2626, Colonis2627, and Aristera; and, opposite that of Trœzen, Calauria2628, at a distance of half a mile, Plateis2629, Belbina, Lasia, and Baucidias. Opposite Epidaurus is Cecryphalos2630, and Pityonesos2631, six miles distant from the mainland; and, at a distance of fifteen miles from this last, Ægina2632, a free island, the length of which, as you sail past it, is eighteen miles. This island is twenty miles distant from Piræus, the port of Athens: it used formerly to be called Œnone. Opposite the promontory of Spiræum2633, lie Eleusa2634, Adendros2635, the two islands called Craugiæ, the two Cæciæ, Selachusa, Cenchreis, and Aspis; as also, in the Gulf of Megara, the four Methurides. Ægila2636 lies at a distance of fifteen miles313 from Cythera, and of twenty-five from Phalasarna, a city of Crete.


Crete itself lies from east to west, the one side facing the south, the other the north, and is known to fame by the renown of its hundred cities. Dosiades says, that it took its name from the nymph Crete, the daughter of Hesperides2637; Anaximander, from a king of the Curetes, Philistides of Mallus * * * * *; while Crates says that it was at first called Aëria, and after that Curetis; and some have been of opinion that it had the name of Macaron2638 from the serenity of its climate. In breadth it nowhere exceeds fifty miles, being widest about the middle. In length, however, it is full 270 miles, and 589 in circumference, forming a bend towards the Cretan Sea, which takes its name from it. At its eastern extremity is the Promontory of Sammonium2639, facing Rhodes, while towards the west it throws out that of Criumetopon2640, in the direction of Cyrene.

The more remarkable cities of Crete are, Phalasarna, Etæa2641, Cisamon2642, Pergamum, Cydonia2643, Minoium2644, Apteron2645, Pantomatrium, Amphimalla2646, Rhithymna, Panormus, Cytæum, Apollonia, Matium2647, Heraclea, Miletos, Ampelos, Hierapytna2648,314 Lebena2649, and Hierapolis; and, in the interior, Gortyna2650, Phæstum, Cnossus2651, Polyrrenium, Myrina, Lycastus, Rhamnus, Lyctus, Dium2652, Asus, Pyloros, Rhytion, Elatos, Pharæ, Holopyxos, Lasos, Eleuthernæ2653, Therapnæ, Marathusa, and Tylisos; besides some sixty others, of which the memory only exists. The mountains are those of Cadistus2654, Ida, Dictynnæus, and Corycus2655. This island is distant, at its promontory of Criumetopon, according to Agrippa, from Phycus2656, the promontory of Cyrene, 125 miles; and at Cadistus, from Malea in the Peloponnesus, eighty. From the island of Carpathos2657, at its promontory of Sammonium it lies in a westerly direction, at a distance of sixty miles; this last-named island is situate between it and Rhodes.

The other islands in its vicinity, and lying in front of the315 Peloponnesus, are the two isles known as Corycæ, and the two called Mylæ2658. On the north side, having Crete on the right, and opposite to Cydonia, is Leuce2659, and the two islands known as Budroæ2660. Opposite to Matium lies Dia2661; opposite to the promontory of Itanum2662, Onisia and Leuce; and over against Hierapytna, Chrysa and Gaudos2663. In the same neighbourhood, also, are Ophiussa, Butoa, and Aradus; and, after doubling Criumetopon, we come to the three islands known as Musagorus. Before the promontory of Sammonium lie the islands of Phocœ, the Platiæ, the Sirnides, Naulochos, Armedon, and Zephyre.

Belonging to Hellas, but still in the Ægean Sea, we have the Lichades2664, consisting of Scarphia, Coresa, Phocaria, and many others which face Attica, but have no towns upon them, and are consequently of little note. Opposite Eleusis, however, is the far-famed Salamis2665; before it, Psyttalia2666; and, at a distance of five miles from Sunium, the island of Helene2667. At the same distance from this last is Ceos2668, which some of our countrymen have called Cea, and the Greeks Hydrussa, an island which has been torn away from Eubœa. It was formerly 500 stadia in length; but more recently four-fifths of it, in the direction of Bœotia, have been swallowed up by the sea. The only towns it now has316 left are Iulis and Carthæa2669; Coresus2670 and Pœëessa2671 have perished. Varro informs us, that from this place there used to come a cloth of very fine texture, used for women’s dresses.


Eubœa2672 itself has also been rent away from Bœotia; the channel of the Euripus, which flows between them, being so narrow as to admit of the opposite shores being united by a bridge2673. At the south, this island is remarkable for its two promontories, that of Geræstus2674, which looks towards Attica, and that of Caphareus2675, which faces the Hellespont; on the north it has that of Cenæum2676. In no part does this island extend to a greater breadth than forty miles, while it never contracts to less than two. In length it runs along the whole coast of Bœotia, extending from Attica as far as Thessaly, a distance of 150 miles2677. In circumference it measures 365, and is distant from the Hellespont, on the side of Caphareus, 225 miles. The cities for which it was formerly famous were, Pyrrha, Porthmos, Nesos, Cerinthos2678, Oreum, Dium, Ædepsos2679, Ocha, and Œchalia; at present it is ennobled by those of Chalcis2680317 (opposite which, on the mainland, is Aulis), Geræstus2681, Eretria2682, Carystus2683, Oritanum, and Artemisium2684. Here are also the Fountain of Arethusa2685, the river Lelantus, and the warm springs known as Ellopiæ; it is still better known, however, for the marble of Carystus. This island used formerly to be called Chalcodontis and Macris2686, as we learn from Dionysius and Ephorus; according to Aristides, Macra; also, as Callidemus says, Chalcis, because copper was first discovered here. Menæchmus says that it was called Abantias2687, and the poets generally give it the name of Asopis.


Beyond Eubœa, and out in the Myrtoan2688 Sea, are numerous other islands; but those more especially famous are, Glauconnesos318 and the Ægila2689. Off the promontory, too, of Geræstus are the Cyclades, lying in a circle around Delos, from which circumstance2690 they derive their name. The first of them is the one called Andros2691 with a city of the same name, distant from Geræstus ten miles, and from Ceos thirty-nine. Myrsilus tells us that this island was at first called Cauros, and after that Antandros; Callimachus calls it Lasia, and others again Nonagria, Hydrussa, and Epagris. It is ninety-three miles in circumference. At a distance of one mile from Andros and of fifteen from Delos, is Tenos2692, with a city of the same name; this island is fifteen miles in length. Aristotle says that it was formerly called Hydrussa, from the abundance of water found here, while some writers call it Ophiussa2693. The other islands are, Myconos2694, with the mountain of Dimastus2695, distant from Delos fifteen2696 miles; Siphnus2697, formerly called Meropia and Acis, twenty-eight miles in circumference; Seriphus2698, twelve miles in circuit; Prepesinthus2699; Cythnos2700; and then, by far the most famous among the Cyclades, and lying in the very middle of them, Delos2701 itself, so famous for its temple of Apollo, and its extensive commerce. This island long floated on the waves, and, as tradition says, was the only one that had never319 experienced an earthquake, down to the time of M. Varro2702; Mucianus however has informed us, that it has been twice so visited. Aristotle states that this island received its name from the fact of its having so suddenly made its appearance2703 on emerging from the sea; Aglaosthenes, however, gives it the name of Cynthia, and others of Ortygia2704, Asteria, Lagia, Chlamydia, Cynthus, and, from the circumstance of fire having been first discovered here, Pyrpile. Its circumference is five miles only; Mount Cynthus2705 here raises his head.

Next to this island is Rhene2706, which Anticlides calls by the name of Celadussa, and Callidemus, Artemite; Scyros2707, which the old writers have stated to be twenty miles in circumference, but Mucianus 160; Oliaros2708; and Paros2709, with a city of the same name, distant from Delos thirty-eight miles, and famous for its marble2710; it was first called Platea,320 and after that, Minois. At a distance of seven miles from this last island is Naxos2711, with a town of the same name; it is eighteen miles distant from Delos. This island was formerly called Strongyle2712, then Dia, and then Dionysias2713, in consequence of the fruitfulness of its vineyards; others again have called it the Lesser Sicily, or Callipolis2714. It is seventy-five2715 miles in circumference—half as large again as Paros.


The islands thus far are considered as belonging to the Cyclades; the rest that follow are the Sporades2716. These are, Helene2717, Phacussa, Nicasia, Schinussa, Pholegandros, and, at a distance of thirty-eight miles from Naxos, Icaros2718, which has given its name to the surrounding sea, and is the same number of miles in length2719, with two cities, and a third now no longer in existence: this island used formerly to be called Doliche, Macris, and Ichthyoëssa2720. It is situate fifty miles to the north-east of Delos, and thirty-five from the island of Samos. Between Eubœa and Andros, there is an arm of the sea ten miles in width, and from Icaros to Geræstus is a distance of 11212 miles.


After we pass these, no regular order can be well observed; the rest must therefore be mentioned indiscriminately. There is the island of Scyros2721, and that of Ios2722, eighteen miles distant from Naxos, and deserving of all veneration for the tomb there of Homer; it is twenty-five miles in length, and was formerly known by the name of Phœnice; also Odia, Oletandros, and Gyara2723, with a city of the same name, the island being twelve miles in circumference, and distant from Andros sixty-two. At a distance of eighty miles from Gyara is Syrnos, then Cynæthus, Telos2724, noted for its unguents, and by Callimachus called Agathussa, Donusa2725, Patmos2726, thirty miles in circumference, the Corassiæ2727,322 Lebinthus2728, Leros2729, Cinara2730; Sicinus2731, formerly called Œnoë2732; Hieracia, also called Onus; Casos2733, likewise called Astrabe; Cimolus2734, or Echinussa; and Melos2735, with a city of that name, which island Aristides calls Memblis, Aristotle Zephyria, Callimachus Mimallis, Heraclides Siphis and Acytos. This last is the most circular2736 in form of all these islands. After this comes Machia, then Hypere, formerly Patage, or, as others have it, Platage, but now called Amorgos2737, Polyægos2738, Phyle, and Thera2739, known as Calliste when it first sprang from the waves. From this, at a later period, the island of323 Therasia2740 was torn away, and between the two afterwards arose Automate, also called Hiera, and Thia, which in our own times came into existence in the vicinity of these islands. Ios is distant from Thera twenty-five miles.

Next to these follow Lea, Ascania2741, Anaphe2742, Hippuris, and Astypalæa2743, a free state. This island is eighty-eight miles in circumference, and 125 miles distant from Cadistus, in Crete. From Astypalæa, Platea is distant sixty miles, and Caminia thirty-eight from this last. We then come to the islands of Azibintha, Lanise, Tragæa, Pharmacussa, Techedia, Chalcia2744, Calymna2745, in which is the town of Coös, Calymna, at a distance of twenty-five miles from which is Carpathum2746, which has given its name to the Carpathian Sea. The distance thence to Rhodes2747, in the direction of the south-west wind, is fifty miles. From Carpathum to Casus is seven miles, and from Casus to Sammonium, the promontory of Crete, thirty2748. In the Euripus of Eubœa, almost at the very mouth of it, are the four islands called Petaliæ2749;324 and, at its outlet, Atalante2750. The Cyclades and the Sporades are bounded on the east by the Asiatic shores of the Icarian Sea, on the west by the Attic shores of the Myrtoan Sea, on the north by the Ægean, and on the south by the Cretan and Carpathian seas, extending 700 miles in length, and 200 in breadth.

The Gulf of Pagasa2751 has in front of it Euthia2752, Cicynethus2753, Scyros, previously mentioned2754, and the very furthermost of the Cyclades and Sporades, Gerontia and Scandila2755; the Gulf of Thermæ2756, Iræsia, Solimnia, Eudemia, and Nea, which last is sacred to Minerva. Athos has before it four islands; Peparethus2757, formerly called Evœnus, with a city of that name, at a distance from Athos of nine miles; Sciathus2758, at a distance of fifteen, and Imbros2759, with a city of the same name, at a distance of eighty-eight miles. This last island is distant from Mastusia, in the Chersonesus, twenty-five miles; it is sixty-two2760 miles in circumference, and is washed by the river Ilisus. At a distance of twenty-two miles from it is Lemnos2761, being distant from Mount Athos eighty-seven; it is 112 miles in circumference, and has the cities of Hephæstia and Myrina2762; into the market-place of which last city Athos throws its shadow at the summer solstice. The island of Thasos2763, constituting a free state, is six miles325 distant from Lemnos; it formerly had the name of Aëria, or Æthria. Abdera2764, on the mainland, is distant from Thasos twenty-two miles, Athos sixty-two2765. The island of Samothrace2766, a free state, facing the river Hebrus, is the same distance from Thasos, being also thirty-two2767 miles from Imbros, twenty-two from Lemnos, and thirty-eight2768 from the coast of Thrace; it is thirty-two miles in circumference, and in it rises Mount Saoce2769, ten miles in height. This island is the most inaccessible of them all. Callimachus mentions it by its ancient name of Dardania.

Between the Chersonesus and Samothrace, at a distance of about fifteen miles from them both, is the island of Halonnesos2770, and beyond it Gethone, Lamponia, and Alopeconnesus2771, not far from Cœlos, a port2772 of the Chersonesus, besides some others of no importance. The following names may be also mentioned, as those of uninhabited islands in this gulf, of which we have been enabled to discover the names:—Desticos, Sarnos, Cyssiros, Charbrusa, Calathusa, Scylla, Draconon, Arconnesus, Diethusa, Scapos, Capheris, Mesate, Æantion, Pateronnesos, Pateria, Calate, Neriphus, and Polendos2773.



The fourth great Gulf of Europe begins at the Hellespont and ends at the entrance of the Mæotis2774. But in order that the several portions of the Euxine and its coasts may be the better known, we must briefly embrace the form of it in one general view. This vast sea, lying in front of Asia, is shut out from Europe by the projection of the shores of the Chersonesus, and effects an entrance into those countries by a narrow channel only, of the width, as already mentioned, of seven stadia, thus separating Europe from Asia. The entrance of these Straits is called the Hellespont; over it Xerxes, the king of the Persians, constructed a bridge of boats, across which he led his army. A narrow channel extends thence a distance of eighty-six miles, as far as Priapus2775, a city of Asia, at which Alexander the Great passed over. At this point the sea becomes wider, and after some distance again takes the form of a narrow strait. The wider part is known as the Propontis2776, the Straits as the Thracian Bosporus2777, being only half-a-mile in width, at the place where Darius, the father of Xerxes, led his troops across by a bridge. The extremity of this is distant from the Hellespont 239 miles.

We then come to the vast sea called the Euxine, which invades the land as it retreats afar, and the name of which was formerly Axenus2778. As the shores bend inwards, this sea with a vast sweep stretches far away, curving on both sides after the manner of a pair of horns, so much so that in shape it bears a distinct resemblance to a Scythian bow2779.327 In the middle of the curve it is joined by the mouth of Lake Mæotis, which is called the Cimmerian2780 Bosporus, and is two miles and a half in width. Between the two Bospori, the Thracian and the Cimmerian, there is a distance in a straight line, of 500 miles, as Polybius informs us. We learn from Varro and most of the ancient writers, that the circumference of the Euxine is altogether 2150 miles; but to this number Cornelius Nepos adds 350 more; while Artemidorus makes it 2919 miles, Agrippa 2360, and Mucianus 2425. In a similar manner some writers have fixed the length of the European shores of this sea at 1478 miles, others again at 1172. M. Varro gives the measurement as follows:—from the mouth of the Euxine to Apollonia 187 miles, and to Callatis the same distance; thence to the mouth of the Ister 125 miles; to the Borysthenes 250; to Chersonesus2781, a town of the Heracleotæ, 325; to Panticapæum2782, by some called Bosporus, at the very extremity of the shores of Europe, 212 miles: the whole of which added together, makes 13372783 miles. Agrippa makes the distance from Byzantium to the river Ister 560 miles, and from thence to Panticapæum, 635.

Lake Mæotis, which receives the river Tanais as it flows from the Riphæan Mountains2784, and forms the extreme boundary between Europe and Asia, is said to be 1406 miles in circumference; which however some writers state at only 1125. From the entrance of this lake to the mouth of the Tanais in a straight line is, it is generally agreed, a distance of 375 miles.

The inhabitants of the coasts of this fourth great Gulf of328 Europe, as far as Istropolis, have been already2785 mentioned in our account of Thrace. Passing beyond that spot we come to the mouths of the Ister. This river rises in Germany in the heights of Mount Abnoba2786, opposite to Rauricum2787, a town of Gaul, and flows for a course of many miles beyond the Alps and through nations innumerable, under the name of the Danube. Adding immensely to the volume of its waters, at the spot where it first enters Illyricum, it assumes the name of Ister, and, after receiving sixty rivers, nearly one half of which are navigable, rolls into the Euxine by six2788 vast channels. The first of these is the mouth of Peuce2789, close to which is the island of Peuce itself, from which the neighbouring channel takes its name; this mouth is swallowed up in a great swamp nineteen miles in length. From the same channel too, above Istropolis, a lake2790 takes its rise, sixty-three miles in circuit; its name is Halmyris. The second mouth is called Naracu-Stoma2791; the third, which is near the island of Sarmatica, is called Calon-Stoma2792; the fourth is known as Pseudo-Stomon2793, with its island called Conopon-Diabasis2794; after which come the329 Boreon-Stoma2795 and the Psilon-Stoma2796. These mouths are each of them so considerable, that for a distance of forty miles, it is said, the saltness of the sea is quite overpowered, and the water found to be fresh.


On setting out from this spot, all the nations met with are Scythian in general, though various races have occupied the adjacent shores; at one spot the Getæ2797, by the Romans called Daci; at another the Sarmatæ, by the Greeks called Sauromatæ, and the Hamaxobii2798 or Aorsi, a branch of them; then again the base-born Scythians and descendants of slaves, or else the Troglodytæ2799; and then, after them, the Alani2800 and the Rhoxalani. The higher2801 parts again, between the Danube and the Hercynian Forest2802, as far as the winter quarters of Pannonia at Carnuntum2803, and the borders of the Germans, are occupied by the Sarmatian Iazyges2804, who inhabit the level country and the plains,330 while the Daci, whom they have driven as far as the river Pathissus2805, inhabit the mountain and forest ranges. On leaving the river Marus2806, whether it is that or the Duria2807, that separates them from the Suevi and the kingdom of Vannius2808, the Basternæ, and, after them, other tribes of the Germans occupy the opposite sides2809. Agrippa considers the whole of this region, from the Ister to the ocean, to be 2100 miles in length, and 4400 miles in breadth to the river Vistula in the deserts2810 of Sarmatia. The name “Scythian” has extended, in every direction, even to the Sarmatæ and the Germans; but this ancient appellation is now only given to those who dwell beyond those nations, and live unknown to nearly all the rest of the world.


Leaving the Ister, we come to the towns of Cremniscos2811, Æpolium, the mountains of Macrocremnus, and the famous river Tyra2812, which gives name to a town on the spot where Ophiusa is said formerly to have stood. The Tyragetæ inhabit a large island2813 situate in this river, which is distant331 from Pseudostomos, a mouth of the Ister, so called, 130 miles. We then come to the Axiacæ, who take their name from the river Axiaces2814, and beyond them, the Crobyzi, the river Rhodes2815, the Sagarian Gulf2816, and the port of Ordesos2817. At a distance of 120 miles from the Tyra is the river Borysthenes2818, with a lake and a people of similar name, as also a town2819 in the interior, at a distance of fifteen miles from the sea, the ancient names of which were Olbiopolis and Miletopolis. Again, on the shore is the port of the Achæi, and the island of Achilles2820, famous for the tomb there of that hero, and, at a distance of 125 miles from it, a peninsula which stretches forth in the shape of a sword, in an oblique direction, and is called, from having been his place of exercise, Dromos Achilleos2821: the length of this, according to Agrippa, is eighty miles. The Taurian Scythians and the Siraci2822 occupy all this tract of country.

At this spot begins a well-wooded district2823, which has332 given to the sea that washes its banks the name of the Hylæan Sea; its inhabitants are called Enœchadlæ2824. Beyond them is the river Panticapes2825, which separates the Nomades2826 and the Georgi, and after it the Acesinus2827. Some authors say that the Panticapes flows into the Borysthenes below Olbia2828. Others, who are more correct, say that it is the Hypanis2829: so great is the mistake made by those who have placed it2830 in Asia.

The sea runs in here and forms a large gulf2831, until there is only an intervening space2832 of five miles between it and the Lake Mæotis, its margin forming the sea-line of extensive tracts of land, and numerous nations; it is known as the Gulf of Carcinites. Here we find the river Pacyris2833, the towns of Navarum and Carcine2834, and behind it Lake Buges2835, which333 discharges itself by a channel into the sea. This Buges is separated by a ridge of rocks2836 from Coretus, a gulf in the Lake Mæotis; it receives the rivers Buges2837, Gerrus2838, and Hypacaris2839, which approach it from regions that lie in various directions. For the Gerrus separates the Basilidæ from the Nomades, the Hypacaris flows through the Nomades and the Hylæi, by an artificial channel into Lake Buges, and by its natural one into the Gulf of Coretus: this region bears the name of Scythia Sindice.

At the river Carcinites, Scythia Taurica2840 begins, which was once covered by the sea, where we now see level plains extended on every side: beyond this the land rises into mountains of great elevation. The peoples here are thirty in number, of which twenty-three dwell in the interior, six of the cities being inhabited by the Orgocyni, the Characeni2841, the Lagyrani, the Tractari, the Arsilachitæ, and the Caliordi. The Scythotauri possess the range of mountains: on the west they are bounded by the Chersonesus, and on the east by the Scythian Satarchæ2842. On the shore, after we leave Carcinites, we find the following towns; Taphræ2843, situate on the very isthmus of the peninsula, and then Heraclea Chersonesus2844, to which its freedom has been granted2845 by the Romans. This place was formerly called334 Megarice, being the most polished city throughout all these regions, in consequence of its strict preservation of Grecian manners and customs. A wall, five miles in length, surrounds it. Next to this comes the Promontory of Parthenium2846, the city of the Tauri, Placia, the port of the Symboli2847, and the Promontory of Criumetopon2848, opposite to Carambis2849, a promontory of Asia, which runs out in the middle of the Euxine, leaving an intervening space between them of 170 miles, which circumstance it is in especial that gives to this sea the form of a Scythian bow. After leaving this headland we come to a great number of harbours and lakes of the Tauri2850. The town of Theodosia2851 is distant from Criumetopon 125 miles, and from Chersonesus 165. Beyond it there were, in former times, the towns of Cytæ, Zephyrium, Acræ, Nymphæum, and Dia. Panticapæum2852, a city of the Milesians, by far the strongest of them all, is still in existence; it lies at the entrance of the Bosporus, and is distant from Theodosia eighty-seven miles and a half, and from the town of Cimmerium, which lies on the other side of the Strait, as we have previously2853 stated, two miles and a half. Such is the width here of the channel which separates Asia from Europe, and which too, from being generally quite frozen over, allows of a passage on foot.335 The width of the Cimmerian Bosporus2854 is twelve miles and a half: it contains the towns of Hermisium2855, Myrmecium, and, in the interior2856 of it, the island of Alopece. From the spot called Taphræ2857, at the extremity of the isthmus, to the mouth of the Bosporus, along the line of the Lake Mæotis, is a distance of 260 miles.

Leaving Taphræ, and going along the mainland, we find in the interior the Auchetæ2858, in whose country the Hypanis has its rise, as also the Neurœ, in whose district the Borysthenes has its source, the Geloni2859, the Thyssagetæ, the Budini, the Basilidæ, and the Agathyrsi2860 with their azure-coloured hair. Above them are the Nomades, and then a nation of Anthropophagi or cannibals. On leaving Lake Buges, above the Lake Mæotis we come to the Sauromatæ and the Essedones2861. Along the coast, as far as the river Tanais2862, are336 the Mæotæ, from whom the lake derives its name, and the last of all, in the rear of them, the Arimaspi. We then come to the Riphæan2863 mountains, and the region known by the name of Pterophoros2864, because of the perpetual fall of snow there, the flakes of which resemble feathers; a part of the world which has been condemned by the decree of nature to lie immersed in thick darkness; suited for nothing but the generation of cold, and to be the asylum of the chilling blasts of the northern winds.

Behind these mountains, and beyond the region of the northern winds, there dwells, if we choose to believe it, a happy race, known as the Hyperborei2865, a race that lives to an extreme old age, and which has been the subject of many marvellous stories2866. At this spot are supposed to be the hinges upon which the world revolves, and the extreme limits of the revolutions of the stars. Here we find light for six months together, given by the sun in one continuous day, who does not, however, as some ignorant persons have asserted, conceal himself from the vernal equinox2867 to autumn. On the contrary, to these people there is but one rising of the sun for the year, and that at the summer solstice, and but one setting, at the winter solstice. This region, warmed by the rays of the sun, is of a most delightful temperature, and exempt from337 every noxious blast. The abodes of the natives are the woods and groves; the gods receive their worship singly and in groups, while all discord and every kind of sickness are things utterly unknown. Death comes upon them only when satiated with life; after a career of feasting, in an old age sated with every luxury, they leap from a certain rock there into the sea; and this they deem the most desirable mode of ending existence. Some writers have placed these people, not in Europe, but at the very verge of the shores of Asia, because we find there a people called the Attacori2868, who greatly resemble them and occupy a very similar locality. Other writers again have placed them midway between the two suns, at the spot where it sets to the Antipodes and rises to us; a thing however that cannot possibly be, in consequence of the vast tract of sea which there intervenes. Those writers who place them nowhere2869 but under a day which lasts for six months, state that in the morning they sow, at mid-day they reap, at sunset they gather in the fruits of the trees, and during the night conceal themselves in caves. Nor are we at liberty to entertain any doubts as to the existence of this race; so many authors2870 are there who assert that they were in the habit of sending their first-fruits to Delos to present them to Apollo, whom in especial they worship. Virgins used to carry them, who for many years were held in high veneration, and received the rites of hospitality from the nations that lay on the route; until at last, in consequence of repeated violations of good faith, the Hyperboreans came to the determination to deposit these offerings upon the frontiers of the people who adjoined them, and they in their turn were to convey338 them on to their neighbours, and so from one to the other, till they should have arrived at Delos. However, this custom, even, in time fell into disuse.

The length of Sarmatia, Scythia, and Taurica, and of the whole of the region which extends from the river Borysthenes, is, according to Agrippa, 980 miles, and its breadth 717. I am of opinion, however, that in this part of the earth all estimates of measurement are exceedingly doubtful.


But now, in conformity with the plan which I originally proposed, the remaining portions of this gulf must be described. As for its seas, we have already made mention of them.

(13.) The Hellespont has no islands belonging to Europe that are worthy of mention. In the Euxine there are, at a distance of a mile and a half from the European shore, and of fourteen from the mouth of the Strait, the two Cyanæan2871 islands, by some called the Symplegades2872, and stated in fabulous story to have run the one against the other; the reason being the circumstance that they are separated by so short an interval, that while to those who enter the Euxine opposite to them they appear to be two distinct islands, but if viewed in a somewhat oblique direction they have the appearance of becoming gradually united into one. On this side of the Ister there is the single island2873 of the Apolloniates, eighty miles from the Thracian Bosporus; it was from this place that M. Lucullus brought the Capitoline2874 Apollo. Those339 islands which are to be found between the mouths of the Ister we have already mentioned2875. Before the Borysthenes is Achillea2876 previously referred to, known also by the names of Leuce and Macaron2877. Researches which have been made at the present day place this island at a distance of 140 miles from the Borysthenes, of 120 from Tyra, and of fifty from the island of Peuce. It is about ten miles in circumference. The remaining islands in the Gulf of Carcinites are Cephalonnesos, Rhosphodusa, and Macra. Before we leave the Euxine, we must not omit to notice the opinion expressed by many writers that all the interior2878 seas take their rise in this one as the principal source, and not at the Straits of Gades. The reason they give for this supposition is not an improbable one—the fact that the tide is always running out of the Euxine and that there is never any ebb.

We must now leave the Euxine to describe the outer portions2879 of Europe. After passing the Riphæan mountains we340 have now to follow the shores of the Northern Ocean on the left, until we arrive at Gades. In this direction a great341 number of islands2880 are said to exist that have no name; among which there is one which lies opposite to Scythia, mentioned under the name of Raunonia2881, and said to be at a distance of the day’s sail from the mainland; and upon which, according to Timæus, amber is thrown up by the waves in the spring season. As to the remaining parts of these shores, they are only known from reports of doubtful authority. With reference to the Septentrional2882 or Northern Ocean; Hecatæus calls it, after we have passed the mouth of the river Parapanisus, where it washes the Scythian shores, the Amalchian342 sea, the word ‘Amalchian’ signifying in the language of these races, frozen. Philemon again says that it is called Morimarusa or the “Dead Sea” by the Cimbri, as far as the Promontory of Rubeas, beyond which it has the name of the Cronian2883 Sea. Xenophon of Lampsacus tells us that at a distance of three days’ sail from the shores of Scythia, there is an island of immense size called Baltia2884, which by Pytheas is called Basilia2885. Some islands2886 called Oönæ are said to be343 here, the inhabitants of which live on the eggs of birds and oats; and others again upon which human beings are produced with the feet of horses, thence called Hippopodes. Some other islands are also mentioned as those of the Panotii, the people of which have ears of such extraordinary size as to cover the rest of the body, which is otherwise left naked.

Leaving these however, we come to the nation of the Ingævones2887, the first in Germany; at which we begin to have some information upon which more implicit reliance can be placed. In their country is an immense mountain called Sevo2888, not less than those of the Riphæan range, and which forms an immense gulf along the shore as far as the Promontory of the Cimbri. This gulf, which has the name of the ‘Codanian,’ is filled with islands; the most famous among which is Scandinavia2889, of a magnitude as yet unascertained: the only portion of it at all known is inhabited by the nation of the Hilleviones, who dwell in 500 villages, and call it a second world: it is generally supposed that the island of344 Eningia2890 is of not less magnitude. Some writers state that these regions, as far as the river Vistula, are inhabited by the Sarmati, the Venedi2891, the Sciri, and the Hirri2892, and that there is a gulf there known by the name of Cylipenus2893, at the mouth of which is the island of Latris, after which comes another gulf, that of Lagnus, which borders on the Cimbri. The Cimbrian Promontory, running out into the sea for a great distance, forms a peninsula which bears the name of Cartris2894. Passing this coast, there are three and twenty islands which have been made known by the Roman arms2895: the most famous of which is Burcana2896, called by our people Fabaria, from the resemblance borne2897 by a fruit which grows there spontaneously. There are those also called Glæsaria2898 by our345 soldiers, from their amber; but by the barbarians they are known as Austeravia and Actania.


The whole of the shores of this sea as far as the Scaldis2899, a river of Germany, is inhabited by nations, the dimensions of whose respective territories it is quite impossible to state, so immensely do the authors differ who have touched upon this subject. The Greek writers and some of our own countrymen have stated the coast of Germany to be 2500 miles in extent, while Agrippa, comprising Rhætia and Noricum in his estimate, makes the length to be 6862900 miles, and the breadth 1482901. (14.) The breadth of Rhætia alone however very nearly exceeds that number of miles, and indeed we ought to state that it was only subjugated at about the period of the death of that general; while as for Germany, the whole of it was not thoroughly known to us for many years after his time. If I may be allowed to form a conjecture, the margin of the coast will be found to be not far short of the estimate of the Greek writers, while the distance in a straight line will nearly correspond with that mentioned by Agrippa.

There are five German races; the Vandili2902, parts of whom346 are the Burgundiones2903, the Varini2904, the Carini2905, and the Gutones2906: the Ingævones, forming a second race, a portion of whom are the Cimbri2907, the Teutoni2908, and the tribes347 of the Chauci2909. The Istævones2910, who join up to the Rhine, and to whom the Cimbri2911 belong, are the third race; while the Hermiones, forming a fourth, dwell in the interior, and include the Suevi2912, the Hermunduri2913, the Chatti2914, and348 the Cherusci2915: the fifth race is that of the Peucini2916, who are also the Basternæ, adjoining the Daci previously mentioned. The more famous rivers that flow into the ocean are the Guttalus2917, the Vistillus or Vistula, the Albis2918, the Visurgis2919, the Amisius2920, the Rhine, and the Mosa2921. In the interior is the long extent of the Hercynian2922 range, which in grandeur is inferior to none.



In the Rhine itself, nearly 100 miles in length, is the most famous island2923 of the Batavi and the Canninefates, as also other islands of the Frisii2924, the Chauci, the Frisiabones2925, the Sturii2926, and the Marsacii, which lie between Helium2927 and Flevum2928. These are the names of the mouths350 into which the Rhine divides itself, discharging its waters on the north into the lakes there, and on the west into the river Mosa. At the middle mouth which lies between these two, the river, having but a very small channel, preserves its own name.

CHAP. 30. (16.)—BRITANNIA.

Opposite to this coast is the island called Britannia, so celebrated in the records of Greece2929 and of our own country. It is situate to the north-west, and, with a large tract of intervening sea, lies opposite to Germany, Gaul, and Spain, by far the greater part of Europe. Its former name was Albion2930; but at a later period, all the islands, of which we shall just now briefly make mention, were included under the name of “Britanniæ.” This island is distant from Gesoriacum, on the coast of the nation of the Morini2931, at the spot where the passage across is the shortest, fifty miles. Pytheas and Isidorus say that its circumference is 4875 miles. It is barely thirty years since any extensive knowledge of it was gained by the successes of the Roman arms, and even as yet they have not penetrated beyond the vicinity of the Caledonian2932 forest. Agrippa believes its length to be 800 miles, and351 its breadth 300; he also thinks that the breadth of Hibernia is the same, but that its length is less by 200 miles. This last island is situate beyond Britannia, the passage across being the shortest from the territory of the Silures2933, a distance of thirty miles. Of the remaining islands none is said to have a greater circumference than 125 miles. Among these there are the Orcades2934, forty in number, and situate within a short distance of each other, the seven islands called Acmodæ2935, the Hæbudes, thirty in number, and, between Hibernia and Britannia, the islands of Mona2936, Monapia2937, Ricina2938, Vectis2939, Limnus2940, and Andros2941. Below it are the islands called Samnis and Axantos2942, and opposite, scattered in the German Sea, are those known as the Glæsariæ2943, but which352 the Greeks have more recently called the Electrides, from the circumstance of their producing electrum or amber. The most remote of all that we find mentioned is Thule2944, in which, as we have previously stated2945, there is no night at the summer solstice, when the sun is passing through the sign of Cancer, while on the other hand at the winter solstice there is no day. Some writers are of opinion that this state of things lasts for six whole months together. Timæus the historian says that an island called Mictis2946 is within six days’ sail of Britannia, in which white lead2947 is found; and that the Britons sail over to it in boats of osier2948, covered with sewed hides. There are writers also who make mention of some other islands, Scandia2949 namely, Dumna, Bergos, and, greater353 than all, Nerigos, from which persons embark for Thule. At one day’s sail from Thule is the frozen ocean, which by some is called the Cronian Sea.


The whole of Gaul that is comprehended under the one general name of Comata2950, is divided into three races of people, which are more especially kept distinct from each other by the following rivers. From the Scaldis to the Sequana2951 it is Belgic Gaul; from the Sequana to the Garumna2952 it is Celtic Gaul or Lugdunensis2953; and from the Garumna to the promontory of the Pyrenæan range it is Aquitanian Gaul, formerly called Aremorica2954. Agrippa makes the entire length of the coast of Gaul to be 1800 miles, measured from the Rhine to the Pyrenees: and its length, from the ocean to the mountains of Gebenna and Jura, excluding therefrom Gallia Narbonensis, he computes at 420 miles, the breadth being 318.

Beginning at the Scaldis, the parts beyond2955 are inhabited by the Toxandri, who are divided into various peoples with many names; after whom come the Menapii2956, the Morini2957, the Oromarsaci2958, who are adjacent to the burgh which is known as Gesoriacum2959, the Britanni2960, the Ambiani2961,354 the Bellovaci2962, the Hassi2963, and, more in the interior, the Catoslugi2964, the Atrebates2965, the Nervii2966, a free people, the Veromandui2967, the Suæuconi2968, the Suessiones2969, a free people, the Ulmanetes2970, a free people, the Tungri2971, the Sunuci2972, the Frisiabones2973, the Betasi2974, the Leuci2975, a free people, the Treveri2976, who were355 formerly free, and the Lingones2977, a federal state, the federal Remi2978, the Mediomatrici2979, the Sequani2980, the Raurici2981, and the Helvetii2982. The Roman colonies are Equestris2983 and Rauriaca2984. The nations of Germany which dwell in this province, near the sources of the Rhine, are the Nemetes2985, the Triboci2986, and the Vangiones2987; nearer again2988, the Ubii2989, the Colony2990 of Agrippina, the Cugerni2991, the Batavi2992, and the peoples whom we have already mentioned as dwelling on the islands of the Rhine.


That part of Gaul which is known as Lugdunensis2993 contains356 the Lexovii2994, the Vellocasses2995, the Galeti2996, the Veneti2997, the Abrincatui2998, the Ossismi2999, and the celebrated river Ligeris3000, as also a most remarkable peninsula, which extends into the ocean at the extremity3001 of the territory of the Ossismi, the circumference of which is 6253002 miles, and its breadth at the neck 1253003. Beyond this are the Nannetes3004, and in the interior are the Ædui3005, a federal people, the Carnuti3006, a federal people, the Boii3007, the Senones3008, the Aulerci, both those surnamed Eburovices3009 and those called Cenomanni3010, the Meldi3011, a free people, the Parisii3012, the Tricasses3013, the357 Andecavi3014, the Viducasses3015, the Bodiocasses3016, the Venelli3017, the Cariosvelites3018, the Diablinti3019, the Rhedones3020, the Turones3021, the Atesui3022, and the Secusiani3023, a free people, in whose territory is the colony of Lugdunum3024.


In Aquitanica are the Ambilatri3025, the Anagnutes3026, the358 Pictones3027, the Santoni3028, a free people, the Bituriges3029, surnamed Vivisci, the Aquitani3030, from whom the province derives its name, the Sediboviates3031, the Convenæ3032, who together form one town, the Begerri3033, the Tarbelli Quatuorsignani3034, the Cocosates Sexsignani3035, the Venami3036, the Onobrisates3037,359 the Belendi3038, and then the Pyrenæan range. Below these are the Monesi3039, the Oscidates3040 a mountain race, the Sibyllates3041, the Camponi3042, the Bercorcates3043, the Pindedunni3044, the Lassunni3045, the Vellates3046, the Tornates3047, the Consoranni3048, the Ausci3049, the Elusates3050, the Sottiates3051, the Oscidates Campestres3052, the Succasses3053, the Tarusates3054, the Basabocates3055, the Vassei3056, the Sennates, and the Cambolectri Agessinates3057. Joining up to the Pictones are the Bituriges3058, a360 free people, who are also known as the Cubi, and then the Lemovices3059, the Arverni3060, a free people, and the Gabales3061.

Again, adjoining the province of Narbonensis are the Ruteni3062, the Cadurci3063, the Nitiobriges3064, and the Petrocori3065, separated by the river Tarnis from the Tolosani. The seas around the coast are the Northern Ocean, flowing up to the mouth of the Rhine, the Britannic Ocean between the Rhine and the Sequana, and, between it and the Pyrenees, the Gallic Ocean. There are many islands belonging to the Veneti, which bear the name of “Veneticæ3066,” as also in the Aquitanic Gulf, that of Uliarus3067.


At the Promontory of the Pyrenees Spain begins, more narrow, not only than Gaul, but even than itself3068 in its361 other parts, as we have previously mentioned3069, seeing to what an immense extent it is here hemmed in by the ocean on the one side, and by the Iberian Sea on the other. A chain of the Pyrenees, extending from due east to south-west3070, divides Spain into two parts, the smaller one to the north, the larger to the south. The first coast that presents itself is that of the Nearer Spain, otherwise called Tarraconensis. On leaving the Pyrenees and proceeding along the coast, we meet with the forest ranges of the Vascones3071, Olarso3072, the towns of the Varduli3073, the Morosgi3074, Menosca3075, Vesperies3076, and the Port of Amanus3077, where now stands the colony of Flaviobriga. We then come to the district of the nine states of the Cantabri3078, the river Sauga3079, and the Port of Victoria of the Juliobrigenses3080, from which place the sources of the Iberus3081 are distant forty miles. We next come to the Port of Blendium3082, the Orgenomesci3083, a people of the Cantabri, Vereasueca3084 their port, the country of the362 Astures3085, the town of Noega3086, and on a peninsula3087, the Pæsici. Next to these we have, belonging to the jurisdiction of Lucus3088, after passing the river Navilubio3089, the Cibarci3090, the Egovarri, surnamed Namarini, the Iadoni, the Arrotrebæ3091, the Celtic Promontory, the rivers Florius3092 and Nelo, the Celtici3093, surnamed Neri, and above them the Tamarici3094, in whose peninsula3095 are the three altars called Sestianæ, and dedicated3096 to Augustus; the Capori3097, the town of Noela3098, the Celtici surnamed Præsamarci, and the Cileni3099: of the islands, those worthy of mention are Corticata3100 and Aunios. After passing the Cileni, belonging to the jurisdiction of the Bracari3101, we have the Heleni3102, the Gravii3103, and the fortress of Tyde, all of them deriving their origin from the Greeks.363 Also, the islands called Cicæ3104, the famous city of Abobrica3105, the river Minius3106, four miles wide at its mouth, the Leuni, the Seurbi3107, and Augusta3108, a town of the Bracari, above whom lies Gallæcia. We then come to the river Limia3109, and the river Durius3110, one of the largest in Spain, and which rises in the district of the Pelendones3111, passes near Numantia, and through the Arevaci and the Vaccæi, dividing the Vettones from Asturia, the Gallæci from Lusitania, and separating the Turduli from the Bracari. The whole of the region here mentioned from the Pyrenees is full of mines of gold, silver, iron, and lead, both black and white3112.

CHAP. 35. (21.)—LUSITANIA.

After passing the Durius, Lusitania3113 begins. We here have the ancient Turduli3114, the Pæsuri, the river Vaga3115, the town of Talabrica, the town and river3116 of Æminium, the towns of Conimbrica3117, Collippo3118, and Eburobritium3119. A promontory3120 then advances into the sea in shape of a large horn; by some it has been called Artabrum3121, by others the Great Promontory,364 while many call it the Promontory of Olisipo, from the city3122 near it. This spot forms a dividing line in the land, the sea, and the heavens. Here ends one side3123 of Spain; and, when we have doubled the promontory, the front of Spain begins. (22.) On one side of it lie the North and the Gallic Ocean, on the other the West and the Atlantic. The length of this promontory has been estimated by some persons at sixty miles, by others at ninety. A considerable number of writers estimate the distance from this spot to the Pyrenees at 1250 miles; and, committing a manifest error, place here the nation of the Artabri, a nation that never3124 was here. For, making a slight change in the name, they have placed at this spot the Arrotrebæ, whom we have previously spoken of as dwelling in front of the Celtic Promontory.

Mistakes have also been made as to the more celebrated rivers. From the Minius, which we have previously mentioned, according to Varro, the river Æminius3125 is distant 200 miles, which others3126 suppose to be situate elsewhere, and called Limæa. By the ancients it was called the “River of Oblivion,” and it has been made the subject of many fabulous stories. At a distance of 200 miles from the Durius is the Tagus, the Munda3127 lying between them. The Tagus is famous for its golden sands3128. At a distance365 of 160 miles from it is the Sacred Promontory3129, projecting from nearly the very middle of the front3130 of Spain. From this spot to the middle of the Pyrenees, Varro says, is a distance of 1400 miles; while to the Anas, by which we have mentioned3131 Lusitania as being separated from Bætica, is 126 miles, it being 102 more to Gades.

The peoples are the Celtici, the Turduli, and, about the Tagus, the Vettones3132. From the river Anas to the Sacred Promontory3133 are the Lusitani. The cities worthy of mention on the coast, beginning from the Tagus, are that of Olisipo3134, famous for its mares, which conceive3135 from the west wind; Salacia3136, which is surnamed the Imperial City; Merobrica3137; and then the Sacred Promontory, with the other known by the name of Cuneus3138, and the towns of Ossonoba3139, Balsa3140, and Myrtili3141.

The whole of this province is divided into three jurisdictions, those of Emerita, Pax, and Scalabis. It contains in all forty-six peoples, among whom there are five colonies,366 one municipal town of Roman citizens, three with the ancient Latin rights, and thirty-six that are tributaries. The colonies are those of Augusta Emerita3142, situate on the river Anas, Metallinum3143, Pax3144, and Norba3145, surnamed Cæsariana. To this last place of jurisdiction the people of Castra Servilia3146 and Castra Cæcilia3147 resort. The fifth jurisdiction is that of Scalabis3148, which also has the name of Præsidium Julium3149. Olisipo, surnamed Felicitas Julia3150, is a municipal city, whose inhabitants enjoy the rights of Roman citizens. The towns in the enjoyment of the ancient Latin rights are Ebora3151, which also has the name of Liberalitas Julia3152, and Myrtili and Salacia, which we have previously mentioned. Those among the tributaries whom it may not be amiss to mention, in addition to those already3153 alluded to among the names of those in Bætica, are the Augustobrigenses3154, the Ammienses3155, the Aranditani, the Arabricenses, the Balsenses, the Cæsarobricenses, the Caperenses3156, the Caurenses3157, the Colarni, the Cibilitani, the Concordienses3158, the Elbocorii, the Interannienses, the367 Lancienses3159, the Mirobrigenses, surnamed3160 Celtici, the Medubrigenses3161, surnamed Plumbarii, the Ocelenses3162 or Lancienses, the Turduli, also called Barduli, and the Tapori. Agrippa states, that Lusitania, with Asturia and Gallæcia, is 540 miles in length, and 536 in breadth. The provinces of Spain, measured from the two extreme3163 promontories of the Pyrenees, along the sea-line of the entire coast, are thought to be 3922 miles in circumference; while some writers make them to be but 2600.


Opposite to Celtiberia are a number of islands, by the Greeks called Cassiterides3164, in consequence of their abounding in tin: and, facing the Promontory3165 of the Arrotrebæ, are the six Islands of the Gods, which some persons have called the Fortunate Islands3166. At the very commencement368 of Bætica, and twenty-five miles from the mouth of the Straits of Gades, is the island of Gadis, twelve miles long and three broad, as Polybius states in his writings. At its nearest part, it is less than 700 feet3167 distant from the mainland, while in the remaining portion it is distant more than seven miles. Its circuit is fifteen miles, and it has on it a city which enjoys the rights of Roman citizens3168, and whose people are called the Augustani of the city of Julia Gaditana. On the side which looks towards Spain, at about 100 paces distance, is another long island, three miles wide, on which the original city of Gades stood. By Ephorus and Philistides it is called Erythia, by Timæus and Silenus Aphrodisias3169, and by the natives the Isle of Juno. Timæus says, that the larger island used to be called Cotinusa3170, from its369 olives; the Romans call it Tartessos3171; the Carthaginians Gadir3172, that word in the Punic language signifying a hedge. It was called Erythia because the Tyrians, the original ancestors of the Carthaginians, were said to have come from the Erythræan, or Red Sea. In this island Geryon is by some thought to have dwelt, whose herds were carried off by Hercules. Other persons again think, that his island is another one, opposite to Lusitania, and that it was there formerly called by that name3173.


Having thus made the circuit of Europe, we must now give the complete measurement of it, in order that those who wish to be acquainted with this subject may not feel themselves at a loss. Artemidorus and Isidorus have given its length, from the Tanais to Gades, as 8214 miles. Polybius in his writings has stated the breadth of Europe, in a line from Italy to the ocean, to be 1150 miles. But, even in his day, its magnitude was but little known. The distance of Italy, as we have previously3174 stated, as for as the Alps, is 1120 miles, from which, through Lugdunum to the British port of the Morini3175, the direction which Polybius seems to370 follow, is 1168 miles. But the better ascertained, though greater length, is that taken from the Alps through the Camp of the Legions3176 in Germany, in a north-westerly direction, to the mouth of the Rhine, being 1543 miles. We shall now have to speak of Africa and Asia.

Summary.—Towns and nations mentioned * * * *. Noted rivers * * * *. Famous mountains * * * *. Islands * * * *. People or towns no longer in existence * * * *. Remarkable events, narratives, and observations * * * *.

Roman Authors quoted.—Cato the Censor3177, M. Varro3178, M. Agrippa3179, the late Emperor Augustus3180, Varro Atacinus3181, Cornelius Nepos3182, Hyginus3183, L. Vetus3184, Mela Pomponius3185, Licinius Mucianus3186, Fabricius Tuscus3187, Ateius Capito3188, Ateius the Philologist3189.

Foreign Authors quoted.—Polybius3190, Hecatæus3191,371 Hellanicus3192, Damastes3193, Eudoxus3194, Dicæarchus3195, Timosthenes3196, Eratosthenes3197, Ephorus3198, Crates the Grammarian3199, Serapion3200 of Antioch, Callimachus3201, Artemidorus3202, Apollodorus3203, Agathocles3204, Eumachus3205, Timæus the372 Sicilian3206, Myrsilus3207, Alexander Polyhistor3208, Thucydides3209, Dosiades3210, Anaximander3211, Philistides Mallotes3212, Dionysius3213, Aristides3214, Callidemus3215, Menæchmus3216,373 Aglaosthenes3217, Anticlides3218, Heraclides3219, Philemon3220, Xenophon3221, Pytheas3222, Isidorus3223, Philonides3224, Xenagoras3225, Astynomus3226, Staphylus3227, Aristocritus3228, Metrodorus3229, Cleobulus3230, Posidonius3231.





The Greeks have given the name of Libya3232 to Africa, and have called the sea that lies in front of it the Libyan Sea. It has Egypt for its boundary, and no part of the earth is there that has fewer gulfs or inlets, its shores extending in a lengthened line from the west in an oblique direction. The names of its peoples, and its cities in especial, cannot possibly be pronounced with correctness, except by the aid of their own native tongues. Its population, too, for the most part dwells only in fortresses3233.

(1.) On our entrance into Africa, we find the two Mauritanias, which, until the time of Caius Cæsar3234, the son of Germanicus, were kingdoms; but, suffering under his cruelty, they were divided into two provinces. The extreme promontory of Africa, which projects into the ocean, is called Ampelusia3235 by the Greeks. There were formerly two towns, Lissa and Cotte3236, beyond the Pillars of Hercules; but, at the present day, we only find that of Tingi3237, which was formerly375 founded by Antæus, and afterwards received the name of Traducta Julia3238, from Claudius Cæsar, when he established a colony there. It is thirty miles distant from Belon3239, a town of Bætica, where the passage across is the shortest. At a distance of twenty-five miles from Tingi, upon the shores of the ocean3240, we come to Julia Constantia Zilis3241, a colony of Augustus. This place is exempt from all subjection to the kings of Mauritania, and is included in the legal jurisdiction of Bætica. Thirty-two miles distant from Julia Constantia is Lixos3242, which was made a Roman colony by Claudius Cæsar, and which has been the subject of such wondrous fables, related by the writers of antiquity. At this place, according to the story, was the palace of Antæus; this was the scene of his combat with Hercules, and here were the gardens of the Hesperides3243. An arm of the sea flows into the land here,376 with a serpentine channel, and, from the nature of the locality, this is interpreted at the present day as having been what was really represented by the story of the dragon keeping guard there. This tract of water surrounds an island, the only spot which is never overflowed by the tides of the sea, although not quite so elevated as the rest of the land in its vicinity. Upon this island, also, there is still in existence the altar of Hercules; but of the grove that bore the golden fruit, there are no traces left, beyond some wild olive-trees. People will certainly be the less surprised at the marvellous falsehoods of the Greeks, which have been related about this place and the river Lixos3244, when they reflect that some of our own3245 countrymen as well, and that too very recently, have related stories in reference to them hardly less monstrous; how that this city is remarkable for its power and extensive influence, and how that it is even greater than Great Carthage ever was; how, too, that it is situate just opposite to Carthage, and at an almost immeasurable distance from Tingi, together with other details of a similar nature, all of which Cornelius Nepos has believed with the most insatiate credulity3246.

In the interior, at a distance of forty miles from Lixos, is Babba3247, surnamed Julia Campestris, another colony of Augustus; and, at a distance of seventy-five, a third, called Banasa3248,377 with the surname of Valentia. At a distance of thirty-five miles from this last is the town of Volubilis, which is just that distance also from both3249 seas. On the coast, at a distance of fifty miles from Lixos, is the river Subur3250, which flows past the colony of Banasa, a fine river, and available for the purposes of navigation. At the same distance from it is the city of Sala3251, situate on a river which bears the same name, a place which stands upon the very verge of the desert, and though infested by troops of elephants, is much more exposed to the attacks of the nation of the Autololes, through whose country lies the road to Mount Atlas, the most fabulous3252 locality even in Africa.

It is from the midst of the sands, according to the story, that this mountain3253 raises its head to the heavens; rugged and craggy on the side which looks toward the shores of the ocean to which it has given its name, while on that which faces the interior of Africa it is shaded by dense groves of trees, and refreshed by flowing streams; fruits of all kinds springing up there spontaneously to such an extent, as to more than satiate every possible desire. Throughout the daytime, no inhabitant is to be seen; all is silent, like that dreadful stillness which reigns in the desert. A religious horror steals imperceptibly over the feelings of those who approach, and they feel themselves smitten with awe at the stupendous aspect of its summit, which reaches beyond the clouds, and well nigh approaches the very orb of the moon. At night, they say, it gleams with fires innumerable lighted378 up; it is then the scene of the gambols of the Ægipans3254 and the Satyr crew, while it re-echoes with the notes of the flute and the pipe, and the clash of drums and cymbals. All this is what authors of high character have stated, in addition to the labours which Hercules and Perseus there experienced. The space which intervenes before you arrive at this mountain is immense, and the country quite unknown.

There formerly existed some Commentaries written by Hanno3255, a Carthaginian general, who was commanded, in the most flourishing times of the Punic state, to explore the sea-coast of Africa. The greater part of the Greek and Roman writers have followed him, and have related, among other fabulous stories, that many cities there were founded by him, of which no remembrance, nor yet the slightest vestige, now exists.

While Scipio Æmilianus held the command in Sicily, Polybius the historian received a fleet from him for the purpose of proceeding on a voyage of discovery in this part of the world. He relates, that beyond3256 Mount Atlas, proceeding379 in a westerly direction, there are forests filled with wild beasts, peculiar to the soil of Africa, as far as the river Anatis3257, a distance of 485 miles, Lixos being distant from it 205 miles. Agrippa says, that Lixos is distant from the Straits of Gades 112 miles. After it we come to a gulf which is called the Gulf of Saguti3258, a town situate on the Promontory of Mulelacha3259, the rivers Subur and Salat3260, and the port of Rutubis3261, distant from Lixos 213 miles. We then come to the Promontory of the Sun3262, the port of Risardir3263, the Gætulian Autololes, the river Cosenus3264, the nations of the Selatiti and the Masati, the river Masathat3265, and the river Darat3266, in which crocodiles are found. After this we come to a large gulf, 6163267 miles in extent, which is enclosed by a promontory of Mount Barce3268, which runs out in a westerly direction, and is called Surrentium3269. Next comes the river Salsus3270, beyond which lie the Æthiopian Perorsi, at the back of whom are the Pharusii3271, who380 are bordered upon by the Gætulian Daræ3272, lying in the interior. Upon the coast again, we find the Æthiopian Daratitæ, and the river Bambotus3273, teeming with crocodiles and hippopotami. From this river there is a continuous range3274 of mountains till we come to the one which is known by the name of Theon Ochema3275, from which to the Hesperian Promontory3276 is a voyage of ten days and nights; and in the middle of this space he3277 has placed Mount Atlas, which by all other writers has been stated to be in the extreme parts of Mauritania.

The Roman arms, for the first time, pursued their conquests into Mauritania, under the Emperor Claudius, when the freedman Ædemon took up arms to avenge the death of King Ptolemy3278, who had been put to death by Caius Cæsar;381 and it is a well-known fact, that on the flight of the barbarians our troops reached Mount Atlas. It became a boast, not only among men of consular rank, and generals selected from the senate, who at that time held the command, but among persons of equestrian rank as well, who after that period held the government there, that they had penetrated as far as Mount Atlas. There are, as we have already stated, five Roman colonies in this province; and it may very possibly appear, if we listen only to what report says, that this mountain is easily accessible. Upon trial, however, it has been pretty generally shown, that all such statements are utterly fallacious; and it is too true, that men in high station, when they are disinclined to take the trouble of inquiring into the truth, through a feeling of shame at their ignorance are not averse to be guilty of falsehood; and never is implicit credence more readily given, than when a falsehood is supported by the authority of some personage of high consideration. For my own part, I am far less surprised that there are still some facts remaining undiscovered by men of the equestrian order, and even those among them who have attained senatorial rank, than that the love of luxury has left anything unascertained; the impulse of which must be great indeed, and most powerfully felt, when the very forests are ransacked for their ivory and citron-wood3279, and all the rocks of Gætulia are searched for the murex and the purple.

From the natives, however, we learn, that on the coast, at a distance of 150 miles from the Salat, the river Asana3280 presents itself; its waters are salt, but it is remarkable for its fine harbour. They also say that after this we come to a river known by the name of Fut3281, and then, after crossing another called Vior which lies on the road, at a distance of 200 miles we arrive at Dyris3282, such being the name which in their language they give to Mount Atlas. According to their382 story there are still existing in its vicinity many vestiges which tend to prove that the locality was once inhabited; such as the remains of vineyards and plantations of palm-trees.

Suetonius Paulinus3283, whom we have seen Consul in our own time, was the first Roman general who advanced a distance of some miles beyond Mount Atlas. He has given us the same information as we have received from other sources with reference to the extraordinary height of this mountain, and at the same time he has stated that all the lower parts about the foot of it are covered with dense and lofty forests composed of trees of species hitherto unknown. The height of these trees, he says, is remarkable; the trunks are without knots, and of a smooth and glossy surface; the foliage is like that of the cypress, and besides sending forth a powerful odour, they are covered with a flossy down, from which, by the aid of art, a fine cloth might easily be manufactured, similar to the textures made from the produce of the silk-worm. He informs us that the summit of this mountain is covered with snow even in summer, and says that having arrived there after a march of ten days, he proceeded some distance beyond it as far as a river which bears the name of Ger3284; the road being through deserts covered with a black sand3285, from which rocks that bore the appearance of having been exposed to the action of fire, projected every here and there; localities rendered quite uninhabitable by the intensity of the heat, as he himself experienced,383 although it was in the winter season that he visited them. We also learn from the same source that the people who inhabit the adjoining forests, which are full of all kinds of elephants, wild beasts, and serpents, have the name of Canarii; from the circumstance that they partake of their food in common with the canine race, and share with it the entrails of wild beasts.

It is a well-known fact, that adjoining to these localities is a nation of Æthiopians, which bears the name of Perorsi. Juba, the father of Ptolemy, who was the first king3286 who reigned over both the Mauritanias, and who has been rendered even more famous by the brilliancy of his learning than by his kingly rank, has given us similar information relative to Mount Atlas, and states that a certain herb grows there, which has received the name of ‘euphorbia’3287 from that of his physician, who was the first to discover it. Juba extols with wondrous praises the milky juice of this plant as tending to improve the sight, and acting as a specific against the bites of serpents and all kinds of poison; and to this subject alone he has devoted an entire book. Thus much, if indeed not more than enough, about Mount Atlas.

(2.) The province of Tingitana is 170 miles in length3288. Of the nations in this province the principal one was formerly that of the Mauri3289, who have given to it the name of Mauritania, and have been by many writers called the Maurusii3290. This nation has been greatly weakened by the disasters of war, and is now dwindled down to a few families only3291. Next to the Mauri was formerly the nation of384 the Massæsyli3292; they in a similar manner have become extinct. Their country is now occupied by the Gætulian nations3293, the Baniuræ3294, the Autololes3295, by far the most powerful people among them all, and the Vesuni, who formerly were a part of the Autololes, but have now separated from them, and, turning their steps towards the Æthiopians3296, have formed a distinct nation of their own. This province, in the mountainous district which lies on its eastern side, produces elephants, as also on the heights of Mount Abyla3297 and among those elevations which, from the similarity of their height, are called the Seven Brothers3298. Joining the range of Abyla these mountains overlook the Straits of Gades. At the extremity of this chain begin the shores of the inland sea3299, and we come to the Tamuda3300, a navigable stream, with the site of a former town of the same name, and then385 the river Laud3301, which is also navigable for vessels, the town and port of Rhysaddir3302, and Malvane3303, a navigable stream.

The city of Siga3304, formerly the residence of King Syphax, lies opposite to that of Malaca3305 in Spain: it now belongs to the second3306 Mauritania. But these countries, I should remark, for a long time retained the names of their respective kings, the further Mauritania being called the “land of Bogud3307,” while that which is now called Cæsariensis was called the “country of Bocchus.” After passing Siga we come to the haven called “Portus Magnus3308” from its great extent, with a town whose people enjoy the rights of Roman citizens, and then the river Mulucha3309, which served as the limit between the territory of Bocchus and that of the Massæsyli. Next to this is Quiza Xenitana3310, a town founded by strangers, and Arsenaria3311, a place with the ancient Latin rights, three miles distant from the sea. We then come to Cartenna3312, a386 colony founded under Augustus by the second legion, and Gunugum3313, another colony founded by the same emperor, a prætorian cohort being established there; the Promontory of Apollo3314, and a most celebrated city, now called Cæsarea3315, but formerly known by the name of Iol; this place was the residence of King Juba, and received the rights of a colony from the now deified Emperor Claudius. Oppidum Novum3316 is the next place; a colony of veterans was established here by command of the same emperor. Next to it is Tipasa3317, which has received Latin rights, as also Icasium3318, which has been presented by the Emperor Vespasianus with similar rights; Rusconiæ3319, a colony founded by Augustus; Rusucurium3320, honoured by Claudius with the rights of Roman citizens; Ruzacus3321, a colony founded by Augustus; Salde3322, another colony founded by the same emperor; Igilgili3323, another; and the town of387 Tucca3324, situate on the sea-shore and upon the river Ampsaga. In the interior are the colony of Augusta, also called Succabar3325, Tubusuptus3326, the cities of Timici and Tigavæ3327, the rivers Sardabal3328, Aves3329, and Nabar3330, the nation of the Macurebi, the river Usar3331, and the nation of the Nababes. The river Ampsaga is distant from Cæsarea 3223332 miles. The length of the two Mauritanias is 1038, and their breadth 467 miles.

CHAP. 2. (3.)—NUMIDIA.

At the river Ampsaga Numidia begins, a country rendered illustrious by the fame of Masinissa. By the Greeks this region was called Metagonitis3333; and the Numidians received the name of “Nomades” from their frequent changes of pasturage; upon which occasions they were accustomed to carry3334 their mapalia, or in other words, their houses, upon waggons.388 The towns of this country are Cullu3335 and Rusicade3336; and at a distance of forty-eight miles from the latter, in the interior, is the colony of Cirta3337, surnamed “of the Sitiani;” still more inland is another colony called Sicca3338, with the free town of Bulla Regia3339. On the coast are Tacatua3340, Hippo Regius3341, the river Armua3342, and the town of Tabraca3343, with the rights of Roman citizens. The river Tusca3344 forms the boundary of Numidia. This country produces nothing remarkable except its marble3345 and wild beasts.

CHAP. 3. (4.)—AFRICA.

Beyond the river Tusca begins the region of Zeugitana3346, and that part which properly bears the name of Africa3347.389 We here find three promontories; the White Promontory3348, the Promontory of Apollo3349, facing Sardinia, and that of Mercury3350, opposite to Sicily. Projecting into the sea these headlands form two gulfs, the first of which bears the name of “Hipponensis” from its proximity to the city called Hippo Dirutus3351, a corruption of the Greek name Diarrhytus, which it has received from the channels made for irrigation. Adjacent to this place, but at a greater distance from the sea-shore, is Theudalis3352, a town exempt from tribute. We then come to the Promontory of Apollo, and upon the second gulf, we find Utica3353, a place enjoying the rights of Roman citizens, and famous for the death of Cato; the river Bagrada3354, the place called Castra Cornelia3355, the390 colony3356 of Carthage, founded upon the remains of Great Carthage3357, the colony of Maxula3358, the towns of Carpi3359, Misua, and Clypea3360, the last a free town, on the Promontory of Mercury; also Curubis, a free town3361, and Neapolis3362.

Here commences the second division3363 of Africa properly so called. Those who inhabit Byzacium have the name of Libyphœnices3364. Byzacium is the name of a district which is 250 miles in circumference, and is remarkable for its extreme fertility, as the ground returns the seed sown by the husbandman with interest a hundred-fold3365. Here are the391 free towns of Leptis3366, Adrumetum3367, Ruspina3368, and Thapsus3369; and then Thenæ3370, Macomades3371, Tacape3372, and Sabrata3373 which touches on the Lesser Syrtis; to which spot, from the Ampsaga, the length of Numidia and Africa is 580 miles, and the breadth, so far as it has been ascertained, 200. That portion which we have called Africa is divided into two provinces, the Old and the New; these are separated by a dyke which was made by order of the second Scipio Africanus3374 and the kings3375, and extended to Thenæ, which town is distant from Carthage 216 miles.


A third Gulf is divided into two smaller ones, those of the two Syrtes3376, which are rendered perilous by the shallows392 of their quicksands and the ebb and flow of the sea. Polybius states the distance from Carthage to the Lesser Syrtis, the one which is nearest to it, to be 300 miles. The inlet to it he also states to be 100 miles across, and its circumference 300. There is also a way3377 to it by land, to find which we must employ the guidance of the stars and cross deserts which present nothing but sand and serpents. After passing these we come to forests filled with vast multitudes of wild beasts and elephants, then desert wastes3378, and beyond them the Garamantes3379, distant twelve days’ journey from the Augylæ3380. Above the Garamantes was formerly the nation393 of the Psylli3381, and above them again the Lake of Lycomedes3382, surrounded with deserts. The Augylæ themselves are situate almost midway between Æthiopia which faces the west3383, and the region which lies between3384 the two Syrtes, at an equal distance from both. The distance along the coast that lies between the two Syrtes is 250 miles. On it are found the city of Œa3385, the river Cinyps3386, and the country of that name, the towns of Neapolis3387, Graphara3388, and Abrotonum3389, and the second, surnamed the Greater, Leptis3390.

We next come to the Greater Syrtis, 625 miles in circumference, and at the entrance 312 miles in width; next after which dwells the nation of the Cisippades. At the bottom of this gulf was the coast of the Lotophagi, whom some writers have called the Alachroæ3391, extending as far as the Altars of the Philæni3392; these Altars are formed of heaps394 of sand. On passing these, not far from the shore there is a vast swamp3393 which receives the river Triton3394 and from it takes its name: by Callimachus it is called Pallantias3395, and is said by him to be on the nearer side of the Lesser Syrtis; many other writers however place it between the two Syrtes. The promontory which bounds the Greater Syrtis has the name of Borion3396; beyond it is the province of Cyrene.

Africa, from the river Ampsaga to this limit, includes 516 peoples, who are subject to the Roman sway, of which six are colonies; among them Uthina3397 and Tuburbi3398, besides those already mentioned. The towns enjoying the rights of Roman citizens are fifteen in number, of which I shall mention, as lying in the interior, those of Assuræ3399, Abutucum, Aborium, Canopicum3400, Cilma3401, Simithium, Thunusidium, Tuburnicum, Tynidrumum, Tibiga, the two towns called Ucita, the Greater and the Lesser, and Vaga. There is also one town with Latin rights, Uzalita by name, and one town of tributaries, Castra Cornelia3402. The free towns are thirty in number, among which we may mention, in the interior, those of Acholla3403, Aggarita, Avina, Abzirita, Canopita,395 Melizita, Matera, Salaphita, Tusdrita3404, Tiphica, Tunica3405, Theuda, Tagasta3406, Tiga3407, Ulusubrita, a second Vaga, Visa, and Zama3408. Of the remaining number, most of them should be called, in strictness, not only cities, but nations even; such for instance as the Natabudes, the Capsitani3409, the Musulami, the Sabarbares, the Massyli3410, the Nisives, the Vamacures, the Cinithi, the Musuni, the Marchubii3411, and the whole of Gætulia3412, as far as the river Nigris3413, which separates Africa proper from Æthiopia.


The region of Cyrenaica, also called Pentapolis3414, is rendered famous by the oracle of Hammon3415, which is distant 400 miles from the city of Cyrene; also by the Fountain of396 the Sun3416 there, and five cities in especial, those of Berenice3417, Arsinoë3418, Ptolemais3419, Apollonia3420, and Cyrene3421 itself. Berenice is situate upon the outer promontory that bounds the Syrtis; it was formerly called the city of the Hesperides (previously mentioned3422), according to the fables of the397 Greeks, which very often change their localities. Not far from the city, and running before it, is the river Lethon, and with it a sacred grove, where the gardens of the Hesperides are said to have formerly stood; this city is distant from Leptis 375 miles. From Berenice to Arsinoë, commonly called Teuchira, is forty-three miles; after which, at a distance of twenty-two, we come to Ptolemais, the ancient name of which was Barce; and at a distance of forty miles from this last the Promontory of Phycus3423, which extends far away into the Cretan Sea, being 350 miles distant from Tænarum3424, the promontory of Laconia, and from Crete 225. After passing this promontory we come to Cyrene, which stands at a distance of eleven miles from the sea. From Phycus to Apollonia3425 is twenty-four miles, and from thence to the Chersonesus3426 eighty-eight; from which to Catabathmos3427 is a distance of 216 miles. The Marmaridæ3428 inhabit this coast, extending from almost the region of Parætonium3429 to the Greater Syrtis; after them the Ararauceles, and then, upon the coasts of the Syrtis, the Nasamones3430, whom the Greeks 398 formerly called Mesammones, from the circumstance of their being located in the very midst of sands3431. The territory of Cyrene, to a distance of fifteen miles from the shore, is said to abound in trees, while for the same distance beyond that district it is only suitable for the cultivation of corn: after which, a tract of land, thirty miles in breadth and 250 in length, is productive of nothing but laser [or silphium3432].

After the Nasamones we come to the dwellings of the Asbystæ and the Macæ3433, and beyond them, at eleven days’ journey to the west of the Greater Syrtis, the Amantes3434, a people also surrounded by sands in every direction. They find water however without any difficulty at a depth mostly of about two cubits, as their district receives the overflow of the waters of Mauritania. They build houses with blocks of salt3435, which they cut out of their mountains just as we do stone. From this nation to the Troglodytæ3436 the distance is seven days’ journey in a south-westerly direction, a people with whom our only intercourse is for the purpose of procuring from them the precious stone which we call the carbuncle, and which is brought from the interior of Æthiopia. Upon the road to this last people, but turning off towards the deserts of Africa, of which we have previously3437 made mention as lying beyond the Lesser Syrtis, is the region of Phazania3438; the nation of Phazanii, belonging to which, as399 well as the cities of Alele3439 and Cilliba3440, we have subdued by force of arms, as also Cydamus3441, which lies over against Sabrata. After passing these places a range of mountains extends in a prolonged chain from east to west: these have received from our people the name of the Black Mountains3442, either from the appearance which they naturally bear of having been exposed to the action of fire, or else from the fact that they have been scorched by the reflection of the sun’s rays. Beyond it3443 is the desert, and then Talgæ, a city of the Garamantes, and Debris, at which place there is a spring3444, the waters of which, from noon to midnight, are at boiling heat, and then freeze for as many hours until the following noon; Garama too, that most famous capital of the Garamantes; all which places have been subdued by the Roman arms. It was on this occasion that Cornelius Balbus3445 was honoured with a triumph, the only foreigner indeed that was ever honoured with the triumphal chariot, and presented with the rights of a Roman citizen; for, although by birth a native of Gades, the Roman citizenship was granted to him as well as to the elder Balbus3446, his uncle by the father’s side. There is also this remarkable circumstance, that our writers400 have handed down to us the names of the cities above-mentioned as having been taken by Balbus, and have informed us that on the occasion of his triumph3447, besides Cydamus and Garama3448, there were carried in the procession the names and models of all the other nations and cities, in the following order: the town of Tabudium3449, the nation of Niteris, the town of Nigligemella, the nation or town of Bubeium3450, the nation of Enipi, the town of Thuben, the mountain known as the Black Mountain, Nitibrum, the towns called Rapsa, the nation of Discera3451, the town of Debris3452, the river Nathabur3453, the town of Thapsagum3454, the nation of Nannagi, the town of Boin, the town of Pege3455, the river Dasibari; and then the towns, in the following order, of Baracum, Buluba, Alasit, Galia, Balla, Maxalla3456, Zizama, and Mount Gyri3457, which was preceded by401 an inscription stating that this was the place where precious stones were produced.

Up to the present time it has been found impracticable to keep open the road that leads to the country of the Garamantes, as the predatory bands of that nation have filled up the wells with sand, which do not require to be dug for to any great depth, if you only have a knowledge of the locality. In the late war3458 however, which, at the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Vespasian, the Romans carried on with the people of Œa, a short cut of only four days’ journey was discovered; this road is known as the “Præter Caput Saxi3459.” The last place in the territory of Cyrenaica is Catabathmos, consisting of a town, and a valley with a sudden and steep descent. The length of Cyrenean Africa, up to this boundary from the Lesser Syrtis, is 1060 miles; and, so far as has been ascertained, it is 8003460 in breadth.


The region that follows is called Libya Mareotis3461, and borders upon Egypt. It is held by the Marmaridæ, the Adyrmachidæ, and, after them, the Mareotæ. The distance from Catabathmos to Parætonium is eighty-six402 miles. In this district is Apis3462, a place rendered famous by the religious belief of Egypt. From this town Parætonium is distant sixty-two miles, and from thence to Alexandria the distance is 200 miles, the breadth of the district being 169. Eratosthenes says that it is 525 miles by land from Cyrene to Alexandria; while Agrippa gives the length of the whole of Africa from the Atlantic Sea, and including Lower Egypt, as 3040 miles. Polybius and Eratosthenes, who are generally considered as remarkable for their extreme correctness, state the length to be, from the ocean to Great Carthage 1100 miles, and from Carthage to Canopus, the nearest mouth of the Nile, 1628 miles; while Isidorus speaks of the distance from Tingi to Canopus as being 3599 miles. Artemidorus makes this last distance forty miles less than Isidorus.


These seas contain not so very many islands. The most famous among them is Meninx3463, twenty-five miles in length and twenty-two in breadth: by Eratosthenes it is called Lotophagitis. This island has two towns, Meninx on the side which faces Africa, and Troas on the other; it is situate off the promontory which lies on the right-hand side of the Lesser Syrtis, at a distance of a mile and a half. One hundred miles from this island, and opposite the promontory that lies on the left, is the free island of Cercina3464, with a403 city of the same name. It is twenty-five miles long, and half that breadth at the place where it is the widest, but not more than five miles across at the extremity: the diminutive island of Cercinitis3465, which looks towards Carthage, is united to it by a bridge. At a distance of nearly fifty miles from these is the island of Lopadusa3466, six miles in length; and beyond it Gaulos and Galata, the soil of which kills the scorpion, that noxious reptile of Africa. It is also said that the scorpion will not live at Clypea; opposite to which place lies the island of Cosyra3467, with a town of the same name. Opposite to the Gulf of Carthage are the two islands known as the Ægimuri3468; the Altars3469, which are rather rocks than islands, lie more between Sicily and Sardinia. There are some authors who state that these rocks were once inhabited, but that they have gradually subsided in the sea.


If we pass through the interior of Africa in a southerly direction, beyond the Gætuli, after having traversed the intervening deserts, we shall find, first of all the Liby-Egyptians3470, and then the country where the404 Leucæthiopians3471 dwell. Beyond3472 these are the Nigritæ3473, nations of Æthiopia, so called from the river Nigris3474, which has been previously mentioned, the Gymnetes3475, surnamed Pharusii, and, on the very margin of the ocean, the Perorsi3476, whom we have already spoken of as lying on the boundaries of Mauritania. After passing all these peoples, there are vast deserts towards the east until we come to the Garamantes, the Augylæ, and the Troglodytæ; the opinion of those being exceedingly well founded who place two Æthiopias beyond the deserts of Africa, and more particularly that expressed by Homer3477, who tells us that the Æthiopians are divided into two nations, those of the east and those of the west. The river Nigris has the same characteristics as the Nile; it produces the calamus, the papyrus, and just the same animals, and it rises at the same seasons of the year. Its source is between the Tarrælian Æthiopians and the Œcalicæ. Magium, the city of the latter people, has been placed by some writers amid the deserts, and, next405 to them the Atlantes; then the Ægipani, half men, half beasts, the Blemmyæ3478, the Gamphasantes, the Satyri, and the Himantopodes.

The Atlantes3479, if we believe what is said, have lost all characteristics of humanity; for there is no mode of distinguishing each other among them by names, and as they look upon the rising and the setting sun, they give utterance to direful imprecations against it, as being deadly to themselves and their lands; nor are they visited with dreams3480, like the rest of mortals. The Troglodytæ make excavations in the earth, which serve them for dwellings; the flesh of serpents is their food; they have no articulate voice, but only utter a kind of squeaking noise3481; and thus are they utterly destitute of all means of communication by language. The Garamantes have no institution of marriage among them, and live in promiscuous concubinage with their women. The Augylæ worship no deities3482 but the gods of the infernal regions. The Gamphasantes, who go naked, and are unacquainted with war3483, hold no intercourse whatever with strangers. The Blemmyæ are said to have no heads,406 their mouths and eyes being seated in their breasts. The Satyri3484, beyond their figure, have nothing in common with the manners of the human race, and the form of the Ægipani3485 is such as is commonly represented in paintings. The Himantopodes3486 are a race of people with feet resembling thongs, upon which they move along by nature with a serpentine, crawling kind of gait. The Pharusii, descended from the ancient Persians, are said to have been the companions of Hercules when on his expedition to the Hesperides. Beyond the above, I have met with nothing relative to Africa3487 worthy of mention.


Joining on to Africa is Asia, the extent of which, according to Timosthenes, from the Canopic mouth of the Nile to the mouth of the Euxine, is 2639 miles. From the mouth of the Euxine to that of Lake Mæotis is, according to Eratosthenes, 1545 miles. The whole distance to the Tanais, including Egypt, is, according to Artemidorus and Isidorus, 63753488 miles. The seas of Egypt, which are several407 in number, have received their names from those who dwell upon their shores, for which reason they will be mentioned together.

Egypt is the country which lies next to Africa; in the interior it runs in a southerly direction, as far as the territory of the Æthiopians, who lie extended at the back of it. The river Nile, dividing itself, forms on the right and left the boundary of its lower part, which it embraces on every side3489. By the Canopic mouth of that river it is separated from Africa, and by the Pelusiac from Asia, there being a distance between the two of 170 miles. For this reason it is that some persons have reckoned Egypt among the islands, the Nile so dividing itself as to give a triangular form to the land which it encloses: from which circumstance also many persons have named Egypt the Delta3490, after that of the Greek letter so called. The distance from the spot where the channel of the river first divides into branches, to the Canopic mouth, is 146 miles, and to the Pelusiac, 166.

The upper part of Egypt, which borders on Æthiopia, is known as Thebais. This district is divided into prefectures of towns, which are generally designated as “Nomes.” These are Ombites3491, Apollopolites3492, Hermonthites3493, Thinites3494, Phaturites3495, Coptites3496, Tentyrites3497, Diopolites3498,408 Antæopolites3499, Aphroditopolites3500, and Lycopolites3501. The district which lies in the vicinity of Pelusium contains the following Nomes, Pharbæthites, Bubastites3502, Sethroites, and Tanites3503. The remaining Nomes are those called the Arabian; the Hammonian, which lies on the road to the oracle of Jupiter Hammon; and those known by the names of Oxyrynchites, Leontopolites, Athribites3504, Cynopolites3505, Hermopolites3506, Xoites, Mendesium, Sebennytes3507, Cabasites, Latopolites, Heliopolites, Prosopites, Panopolites, Busirites3508, Onuphites3509, Saïtes3510, Ptenethu, Phthemphu3511, Naucratites3512, Metelites, Gynæcopolites, Menelaites,—all in the region of Alexandria, besides Mareotis in Libya.

Heracleopolites3513 is a Nome on an island3513 of the Nile,409 fifty miles in length, upon which there is a city, called the ‘City of Hercules.’ There are two places called Arsinoïtes3514: these and Memphites3515 extend to the apex3516 of the Delta; adjoining to which, on the side of Africa, are the two Nomes of Oasites3517. Some writers vary in some of these names and substitute for them other Nomes, such as Heroöpolites3518 and Crocodilopolites3519. Between Arsinoïtes and Memphites, a lake3520, 250 miles, or, according to what Mucianus says, 450 miles in circumference and fifty paces deep, has been formed by artificial means: after the king by whose orders it was made, it is called by the name of Mœris. The distance from thence to Memphis is nearly sixty-two miles, a place which was formerly the citadel of the kings of Egypt; from thence to the oracle of Hammon it is twelve days’ journey. Memphis is fifteen miles from the spot where the river Nile divides into the different channels which we have mentioned as forming the Delta.



The sources of the Nile3521 are unascertained, and, travelling as it does for an immense distance through deserts and burning sands, it is only known to us by common report, having neither experienced the vicissitudes of warfare, nor been visited by those arms which have so effectually explored all other regions. It rises, so far indeed as King Juba was enabled to ascertain, in a mountain3522 of Lower Mauritania, not far from the ocean; immediately after which it forms a lake of standing water, which bears the name of Nilides3523. In this lake are found the several kinds of fish known by the names of alabeta3524, coracinus, and silurus; a crocodile also was brought thence as a proof that this really is the Nile, and was consecrated by Juba himself in the temple of Isis at Cæsarea3525, where it may be seen at the present day. In addition to these facts, it has been observed that the waters of the Nile rise in the same proportion in which the411 snows and rains of Mauritania increase. Pouring forth from this lake, the river disdains to flow through arid and sandy deserts, and for a distance of several days’ journey conceals itself; after which it bursts forth at another lake of greater magnitude in the country of the Massæsyli3526, a people of Mauritania Cæsariensis, and thence casts a glance around, as it were, upon the communities of men in its vicinity, giving proofs of its identity in the same peculiarities of the animals which it produces. It then buries itself once again in the sands of the desert, and remains concealed for a distance of twenty days’ journey, till it has reached the confines of Æthiopia. Here, when it has once more become sensible of the presence of man, it again emerges, at the same source, in all probability, to which writers have given the name of Niger, or Black. After this, forming the boundary-line between Africa and Æthiopia, its banks, though not immediately peopled by man, are the resort of numbers of wild beasts and animals of various kinds. Giving birth in its course to dense forests of trees, it travels through the middle of Æthiopia, under the name of Astapus, a word which signifies, in the language of the nations who dwell in those regions, “water issuing from the shades below.” Proceeding onwards, it divides3527 innumerable islands in its course, and some of them of such vast magnitude, that although its tide runs with the greatest rapidity, it is not less than five days in passing them. When making the circuit of Meroë, the most famous of these islands, the left branch of the river is called Astobores3528, or, in other words, “an arm of the water that issues from the shades,” while the right arm has the name of Astosapes3529, which adds to its original signification the412 meaning of “side3530.” It does not obtain the name of “Nile” until its waters have again met and are united in a single stream; and even then, for some miles both above and below the point of confluence, it has the name of Siris. Homer has given to the whole of this river the name of Ægyptus, while other writers again have called it Triton3531. Every now and then its course is interrupted by islands which intervene, and which only serve as so many incentives to add to the impetuosity of its torrent; and though at last it is hemmed in by mountains on either side, in no part is the tide more rapid and precipitate. Its waters then hastening onwards, it is borne along to the spot in the country of the Æthiopians which is known by the name of “Catadupi3532;” where, at the last Cataract3533, the complaint is, not that it flows, but that it rushes, with an immense noise between the rocks that lie in its way: after which it becomes more smooth, the violence of its waters is broken and subdued, and, wearied out as it were by the length of the distance it has travelled, it discharges itself, though by many mouths3534, into the Egyptian sea. During certain days of the year, however, the volume of its waters is greatly increased, and as it traverses the whole of Egypt, it inundates the earth, and, by so doing, greatly promotes its fertility.

There have been various reasons suggested for this increase of the river. Of these, however, the most probable are,413 either that its waters are driven back by the Etesian winds3535, which are blowing at this season of the year from an opposite direction, and that the sea which lies beyond is driven into the mouths of the river; or else that its waters are swollen by the summer rains of Æthiopia3536, which fall from the clouds conveyed thither by the Etesian winds from other parts of the earth. Timæus the mathematician has alleged a reason of an occult nature: he says that the source of the river is known by the name of Phiala, and that the stream buries itself in channels underground, where it sends forth vapours generated by the heat among the steaming rocks amid which it conceals itself; but that, during the days of the inundation, in consequence of the sun approaching nearer to the earth, the waters are drawn forth by the influence of his heat, and on being thus exposed to the air, overflow; after which, in order that it may not be utterly dried up, the stream hides itself once more. He says that this takes place at the rising of the Dog-Star, when the sun enters the sign of Leo, and stands in a vertical position over the source of the river, at which time at that spot there is no shadow thrown. Most authors, however, are of opinion, on the contrary, that the river flows in greater volume when the sun takes his departure for the north, which he does when he enters the signs of Cancer and Leo, because its waters then are not dried up to so great an extent; while on the other hand, when he returns towards the south pole and re-enters Capricorn, its waters are absorbed by the heat, and consequently flow in less abundance. If there is any one inclined to be of opinion, with Timæus, that the waters of the river may be drawn out of the earth by the heat, it will be as well for him to bear in mind the fact, that the absence of shadow is a phænomenon which lasts continuously3537 in these regions.


The Nile begins to increase at the next new moon after the summer solstice, and rises slowly and gradually as the sun passes through the sign of Cancer; it is at its greatest height while the sun is passing through Leo, and it falls as slowly and gradually as it arose while he is passing through the sign of Virgo. It has totally subsided between its banks, as we learn from Herodotus, on the hundredth day, when the sun has entered Libra. While it is rising it has been pronounced criminal for kings or prefects even to sail upon its waters. The measure of its increase is ascertained by means of wells3538. Its most desirable height is sixteen cubits3539; if the waters do not attain that height, the overflow is not universal; but if they exceed that measure, by their slowness in receding they tend to retard the process of cultivation. In the latter case the time for sowing is lost, in consequence of the moisture of the soil; in the former, the ground is so parched that the seed-time comes to no purpose. The country has reason to make careful note of either extreme. When the water rises to only twelve cubits, it experiences the horrors of famine; when it attains thirteen, hunger is still the result; a rise of fourteen cubits is productive of gladness; a rise of fifteen sets all anxieties at rest; while an increase of sixteen is productive of unbounded transports of joy. The greatest increase known, up to the present time, is that of eighteen cubits, which took place in the time of the Emperor Claudius; the smallest rise was that of five, in the year of the battle of Pharsalia3540, the river by this prodigy testifying its horror, as it were, at the murder of Pompeius Magnus. When the waters have reached their greatest height, the people open the embankments and admit them to the lands. As each district is left by the waters, the business of sowing commences. This is the only river in existence that emits no vapours3541.

The Nile first enters the Egyptian territory at Syene3542, on415 the frontiers of Æthiopia; that is the name of a peninsula a mile in circumference, upon which Castra3543 is situate, on the side of Arabia. Opposite to it are the four islands of Philæ3544, at a distance of 600 miles from the place where the Nile divides into two channels; at which spot, as we have already stated, the Delta, as it is called, begins. This, at least, is the distance, according to Artemidorus, who also informs us that there were in it 250 towns; Juba says, however, that the distance between these places is 400 miles. Aristocreon says that the distance from Elephantis to the sea is 750 miles; Elephantis3545 being an inhabited island four miles below the last Cataract, sixteen3546 beyond Syene, 585 from Alexandria, and the extreme limit of the navigation of Egypt. To such an extent as this have the above-named authors3547 been mistaken! This island is the place of rendezvous for the vessels of the Æthiopians; they are made to fold up3548, and the people carry them on their shoulders whenever they come to the Cataracts.



Egypt, besides its boast of extreme antiquity, asserts that it contained, in the reign of King Amasis3549, 20,000 inhabited cities: in our day they are still very numerous, though no longer of any particular note. Still however we find the following ones mentioned as of great renown—the city of Apollo3550; next, that of Leucothea3551; then Great Diospolis3552, otherwise Thebes, known to fame for its hundred gates; Coptos3553, which from its proximity to the Nile, forms its nearest emporium for the merchandise of India and Arabia; then the town of Venus3554, and then another town of417 Jupiter3555. After this comes Tentyris3556, below which is Abydus3557, the royal abode of Memnon, and famous for a temple of Osiris3558, which is situate in Libya3559, at a distance from the river of seven miles and a half. Next to it comes Ptolemais3560, then Panopolis3561, and then another town of Venus3562, and, on the Libyan side, Lycon3563, where the mountains form the boundary of the province of Thebais. On passing these, we come to the towns of Mercury3564, Alabastron3565, the town of418 Dogs3566, and that of Hercules already mentioned3567. We next come to Arsinoë3568, and Memphis3569, which has been previously mentioned; between which last and the Nome of Arsinoïtes, upon the Libyan side, are the towers known as the Pyramids, the Labyrinth3570 on Lake Mœris, in the construction of which no wood was employed, and the town of Crialon3571. Besides these, there is one place in the interior, on the confines of Arabia, of great celebrity, the City of the Sun3572.


(10.) With the greatest justice, however, we may lavish our praises upon Alexandria, built by Alexander the Great on the shores of the Egyptian Sea, upon the soil of Africa, at twelve miles’ distance from the Canopic Mouth and near Lake Mareotis3573; the spot having previously borne the name of Rhacotes. The plan of this city was designed by the architect Dinochares3574, who is memorable for the genius which he displayed in many ways. Building the city upon a wide space3575 of ground fifteen miles in circumference, he formed it in the circular shape of a Macedonian chlamys3576, uneven at the edge, giving it an angular projection on the right and left; while at the same time he devoted one-fifth part of the site to the royal palace.

Lake Mareotis, which lies on the south side of the city, is connected by a canal which joins it to the Canopic mouth, and serves for the purposes of communication with the interior. It has also a great number of islands, and is thirty420 miles across, and 150 in circumference, according to Claudius Cæsar. Other writers say that it is forty schœni in length, making the schœnum to be thirty stadia; hence, according to them, it is 150 miles3577 in length and the same in breadth.

There are also, in the latter part of the course of the Nile, many towns of considerable celebrity, and more especially those which have given their names to the mouths of the river—I do not mean, all the mouths, for there are no less than twelve of them, as well as four others, which the people call the False Mouths3578. I allude to the seven more famous ones, the Canopic3579 Mouth, next to Alexandria, those of Bolbitine3580, Sebennys3581, Phatnis3582, Mendes3583, Tanis3584, and, last of all, Pelusium3585. Besides the above there are the towns of Butos3586,421 Pharbæthos3587, Leontopolis3588, Athribis3589, the town of Isis3590, Busiris3591, Cynopolis3592, Aphrodites3593, Sais3594, and Naucratis3595, from which last some writers call that the Naucratitic Mouth, which is by others called the Heracleotic, and mention it instead3596 of the Canopic Mouth, which is the next to it.



Beyond the Pelusiac Mouth is Arabia3597, which extends to the Red Sea, and joins the Arabia known by the surname of Happy3598, so famous for its perfumes and its wealth. This3599 is called Arabia of the Catabanes3600, the Esbonitæ3601, and the Scenitæ3602; it is remarkable for its sterility, except in the parts where it joins up to Syria, and it has nothing remarkable in it except Mount Casius3603. The Arabian nations of the Canchlæi3604 join these on the east, and, on the south the Cedrei3605, both of which peoples are adjoining to the Nabatæi3606. The two gulfs of the Red Sea, where it borders upon423 Egypt, are called the Heroöpolitic3607 and the Ælanitic3608. Between the two towns of Ælana3609 and Gaza3610 upon our sea3611, there is a distance of 150 miles. Agrippa says that Arsinoë3612, a town on the Red Sea, is, by way of the desert, 125 miles from Pelusium. How different the characteristics impressed by nature upon two places separated by so small a distance!

CHAP. 13. (12.)—SYRIA.

Next to these countries Syria occupies the coast, once the greatest of lands, and distinguished by many names; for the part which joins up to Arabia was formerly called Palæstina, Judæa, Cœle3613, and Phœnice. The country in the interior was called Damascena, and that further on and more to the south, Babylonia. The part that lies between the Euphrates424 and the Tigris was called Mesopotamia, that beyond Taurus Sophene, and that on this side of the same chain Comagene. Beyond Armenia was the country of Adiabene, anciently called Assyria, and at the part where it joins up to Cilicia, it was called Antiochia. Its length, between Cilicia and Arabia3614, is 470 miles, and its breadth, from Seleucia Pieria3615 to Zeugma3616, a town on the Euphrates, 175. Those who make a still more minute division of this country will have it that Phœnice is surrounded by Syria, and that first comes the maritime coast of Syria, part of which is Idumæa and Judæa, after that Phœnice, and then Syria. The whole of the tract of sea that lies in front of these shores is called the Phœnician Sea. The Phœnician people enjoy the glory of having been the inventors of letters3617, and the first discoverers of the sciences of astronomy, navigation, and the art of war.


On leaving Pelusium we come to the Camp of Chabrias3618, Mount Casius3619, the temple of Jupiter Casius, and the tomb of Pompeius Magnus. Ostracine3620, at a distance of sixty-five miles from Pelusium, is the frontier town of Arabia.


(13.) After this, at the point where the Sirbonian Lake3621 becomes visible, Idumæa and Palæstina begin. This lake, which some writers have made to be 150 miles in circumference, Herodotus has placed at the foot of Mount Casius; it is now an inconsiderable fen. The towns are Rhinocolura3622, and, in the interior, Rhaphea3623, Gaza, and, still more inland, Anthedon3624: there is also Mount Argaris3625. Proceeding along the coast we come to the region of Samaria; Ascalo3626, a free town, Azotus3627, the two Jamniæ3628, one of them in the interior;426 and Joppe3629, a city of the Phœnicians, which existed, it is said, before the deluge of the earth. It is situate on the slope of a hill, and in front of it lies a rock, upon which they point out the vestiges of the chains by which Andromeda was bound3630. Here the fabulous goddess Ceto3631 is worshipped. Next to this place comes Apollonia3632, and then the Tower of Strato3633, otherwise Cæsarea, built by427 King Herod, but now the Colony of Prima Flavia, established by the Emperor Vespasianus: this place is the frontier town of Palæstina, at a distance of 188 miles from the confines of Arabia; after which comes Phœnice3634. In the interior of Samaria are the towns of Neapolis3635, formerly called Mamortha, Sebaste3636, situate on a mountain, and, on a still more lofty one, Gamala3637.

CHAP. 15. (14.)—JUDÆA.

Beyond Idumæa and Samaria, Judæa extends far and wide. That part of it which joins up to Syria3638 is called Galilæa, while that which is nearest to Arabia and Egypt bears the name of Peræa3639. This last is thickly covered with rugged mountains, and is separated from the rest of Judæa by the river Jordanes. The remaining part of Judæa is divided into ten Toparchies, which we will mention in the following order:—That of Hiericus3640, covered with groves of428 palm-trees, and watered by numerous springs, and those of Emmaüs3641, Lydda3642, Joppe, Acrabatena3643, Gophna3644, Thamna3645, Bethleptephene3646, Orina3647, in which formerly stood Hierosolyma3648, by far the most famous city, not of Judæa only, but of the East, and Herodium3649, with a celebrated town of the same name.

(15.) The river Jordanes3650 rises from the spring of Panias3651, which has given its surname to Cæsarea, of which we shall429 have occasion to speak3652. This is a delightful stream, and, so far as the situation of the localities will allow of, winds along3653 in its course and lingers among the dwellers upon its banks. With the greatest reluctance, as it were, it moves onward towards Asphaltites3654, a lake of a gloomy and unpropitious nature, by which it is at last swallowed up, and its bepraised waters are lost sight of on being mingled with the pestilential streams of the lake. For this reason it is that, as soon as ever the valleys through which it runs afford it the opportunity, it discharges itself into a lake, by many writers known as Genesara3655, sixteen miles in length and six wide; which is skirted by the pleasant towns of Julias3656 and Hippo3657 on the east, of Tarichea3658 on the south (a name which is by many persons given to the lake itself), and of Tiberias3659 on the west, the hot springs3660 of which are so conducive to the restoration of health.

(16.) Asphaltites3661 produces nothing whatever except bitumen,430 to which indeed it owes its name. The bodies of animals will not sink3662 in its waters, and even those of bulls and camels float there. In length it exceeds 100 miles being at its greatest breadth twenty-five, and at its smallest six. Arabia of the Nomades3663 faces it on the east, and Machærus on the south3664, at one time, next to Hierosolyma, the most strongly fortified place in Judæa. On the same side lies Callirrhoë3665, a warm spring, remarkable for its medicinal qualities, and which, by its name, indicates the celebrity its waters have gained.

(17.) Lying on the west of Asphaltites, and sufficiently distant to escape its noxious exhalations, are the Esseni3666, a431 people that live apart from the world, and marvellous beyond all others throughout the whole earth, for they have no women among them; to sexual desire they are strangers; money they have none; the palm-trees are their only companions. Day after day, however, their numbers are fully recruited by multitudes of strangers that resort to them, driven thither to adopt their usages by the tempests of fortune, and wearied with the miseries of life. Thus it is, that through thousands of ages, incredible to relate, this people eternally prolongs its existence, without a single birth taking place there; so fruitful a source of population to it is that weariness of life which is felt by others. Below this people was formerly the town of Engadda3667, second only to Hierosolyma in the fertility of its soil and its groves of palm-trees; now, like it, it is another heap of ashes. Next to it we come to Masada3668, a fortress on a rock, not far from Lake Asphaltites. Thus much concerning Judæa.

CHAP. 16. (18.)—DECAPOLIS.

On the side of Syria, joining up to Judæa, is the region of Decapolis3669, so called from the number of its cities; as to which all writers are not agreed. Most of them, however, agree in speaking of Damascus3670 as one, a place fertilized432 by the river Chrysorroös3671, which is drawn off into its meadows and eagerly imbibed; Philadelphia3672, and Rhaphana3673, all which cities fall back towards Arabia; Scythopolis3674 (formerly called Nysa by Father Liber, from his nurse having been buried there), its present name being derived from a Scythian colony which was established there; Gadara3675, before which the river Hieromix3676 flows; Hippo, which has been previously mentioned; Dion3677, Pella3678, rich with its waters; Galasa3679, and Canatha3680. The433 Tetrarchies3681 lie between and around these cities, equal, each of them, to a kingdom, and occupying the same rank as so many kingdoms. Their names are, Trachonitis3682, Panias3683, in which is Cæsarea, with the spring previously mentioned3684, Abila3685, Arca3686, Ampeloëssa3687, and Gabe3688.

CHAP. 17. (19.)—PHŒNICE.

We must now return to the coast and to Phœnice. There was formerly a town here known as Crocodilon; there is still a river3689 of that name: Dorum3690 and Sycaminon3691 are the names434 of cities of which the remembrance only exists. We then come to the Promontory of Carmelus3692, and, upon the mountain, a town3693 of that name, formerly called Acbatana. Next to this are Getta3694, Jeba, and the river Pacida, or Belus3695, which throws up on its narrow banks a kind of sand from which glass3696 is made: this river flows from the marshes of Cendebia, at the foot of Mount Carmelus. Close to this river is Ptolemais, formerly called Ace3697, a colony of Claudius Cæsar; and then the town of Ecdippa3698, and the promontory known as the White Promontory3699. We next come to the city of Tyre3700, formerly an island, separated from the mainland by a channel of the sea, of great depth, 700 paces in width, but now joined to it by the works which were thrown up by Alexander when besieging it,—the Tyre so famous in ancient times for its offspring, the cities to which it gave birth, Leptis, Utica, and Carthage3701,—that rival of the Roman sway, that thirsted so eagerly for the435 conquest of the whole earth; Gades, too, which she founded beyond the limits of the world. At the present day, all her fame is confined to the production of the murex and the purple3702. Its circumference, including therein Palætyrus3703, is nineteen miles, the place itself extending twenty-two stadia. The next towns are Sarepta3704 and Ornithon3705, and then Sidon3706, famous for its manufacture of glass, and the parent of Thebes3707 in Bœotia.

(20.) In the rear of this spot begins the chain of Libanus, which extends 1500 stadia, as far as Simyra; this district has the name of Cœle Syria. Opposite to this chain, and separated from it by an intervening valley, stretches away the range of Antilibanus, which was formerly connected with Libanus3708 by a wall. Beyond it, and lying in the interior, is the region of Decapolis, and, with it, the Tetrarchies already mentioned, and the whole expanse of Palæstina. On the coast, again, and lying beneath Libanus, is the river Magoras3709, the colony of Berytus3710, which bears the name of Felix Julia, the town of Leontos3711, the river Lycos3712, Palæbyblos3713, the river Adonis3714, and the towns of Byblos3715,436 Botrys3716, Gigarta3717, Trieris3718, Calamos3719, Tripolis3720, inhabited by the Tyrians, Sidonians, and Aradians; Orthosia3721, the river Eleutheros3722, the towns of Simyra and Marathos3723; and opposite, Arados3724, a town seven stadia long, on an island, distant 200 paces from the mainland. After passing through the country in which the before-named mountains end and the plains that lie between, Mount Bargylus3725 is seen to rise.


Here Phœnicia ends, and Syria recommences. The towns437 are, Carne3726, Balanea3727, Paltos3728, and Gabale3729; then the promontory upon which is situate the free town of Laodicea3730; and then Diospolis3731, Heraclea3732, Charadrus3733, and Posidium3734.

(21.) We then come to the Promontory of Syria Antiochia. In the interior is the free city of Antiochia3735 itself, surnamed Epidaphnes3736, and divided by the river Orontes3737.438 On the promontory is Seleucia3738, called Pieria, a free city.

(22.) Beyond it lies Mount Casius3739, a different one from the mountain of the same name3740 which we have already mentioned. The height of this mountain is so vast, that, at the fourth watch3741 of the night, you can see from it, in the midst of the darkness, the sun rising on the east; and thus, by merely turning round, we may at one and the same time behold both day and night. The winding road which leads to its summit is nineteen miles in length, its perpendicular height four. Upon this coast there is the river Orontes, which takes its rise near Heliopolis3742, between the range of Libanus and Antilibanus. The towns are, Rhosos3743, and, behind it, the Gates of Syria3744, lying in the space between the chain of the Rhosian mountains and that of Taurus. On the coast there is the town of Myriandros3745, and Mount Amanus3746, upon which is the town of Bomitæ3747. This mountain separates Cilicia from Syria.


We must now speak of the interior of Syria. Cœle Syria439 has the town of Apamea3748, divided by the river Marsyas from the Tetrarchy of the Nazerini3749; Bambyx, the other name of which is Hierapolis3750, but by the Syrians called Mabog3751, (here the monster Atargatis3752, called Derceto by the Greeks, is worshipped); and the place called Chalcis3753 on the Belus3754, from which the region of Chalcidene, the most fertile part of Syria, takes its name. We here find also Cyrrhestice, with Cyrrhum3755, the Gazatæ, the Gindareni, the Gabeni, the two Tetrarchies called Granucomatæ3756, the Emeseni3757, the440 Hylatæ3758, the nation of the Ituræi, and a branch of them, the people called the Bætarreni; the Mariamitani3759, the Tetrarchy known as Mammisea, Paradisus3760, Pagræ3761, the Pinaritæ3762, two cities called Seleucia, besides the one already mentioned, the one Seleucia on the Euphrates3763, and the other Seleucia3764 on the Belus, and the Cardytenses. The remaining part of Syria (except those parts which will be spoken of in conjunction with the Euphrates) contains the Arethusii3765, the Berœenses3766, and the Epiphanæenses3767;441 and on the east, the Laodiceni3768, who are called the Laodiceni on the Libanus, the Leucadii3769, and the Larissæi, besides seventeen other Tetrarchies, divided into kingdoms and bearing barbarous names.


This place, too, will be the most appropriate one for making some mention of the Euphrates. This river rises in Caranitis3770, a præfecture of Greater Armenia, according to the statement of those who have approached the nearest to its source. Domitius Corbulo says, that it rises in Mount Aba; Licinius Mucianus, at the foot of a mountain which he calls Capotes3771, twelve miles above Zimara, and that at its source it has the name of Pyxurates. It first flows past Derxene3772, and then Anaitica3773, shutting out3774 the regions of Armenia from Cappadocia. Dascusa3775 is distant from Zimara seventy-five miles; from this spot it is navigable as far as442 Sartona3776, a distance of fifty miles, thence to Melitene3777, in Cappadocia, distant seventy-four3778 miles, and thence to Elegia3779, in Armenia, distant ten miles; receiving in its course the rivers Lycus3780, Arsanias3781, and Arsanus. At Elegia it meets the range of Mount Taurus, but no effectual resistance is offered to its course, although the chain is here twelve miles in width. At its passage3782 between the mountains, the river bears the name of Omma3783; but afterwards, when it has passed through, it receives that of Euphrates. Beyond this spot it is full of rocks, and runs with an impetuous tide. It then divides that part of Arabia which is called the country of the Orei3784, on the left, by a channel three443 schœni3785 in width, from the territory of the Commageni3786 on the right, and it admits of a bridge being thrown across it, even where it forces a passage through the range of Taurus. At Claudiopolis3787, in Cappadocia, it takes an easterly direction; and here, for the first time in this contest, Taurus turns it out of its course; though conquered before, and rent asunder by its channel, the mountain-chain now gains the victory in another way, and, breaking its career, compels it to take a southerly direction. Thus is this warfare of nature equally waged,—the river proceeding onward to the destination which it intends to reach, and the mountains forbidding it to proceed by the path which it originally intended. After passing the Cataracts3788, the river again becomes navigable; and, at a distance of forty miles from thence, is Samosata3789, the capital of Commagene.


Arabia, above mentioned, has the cities of Edessa3790, formerly called Antiochia, and, from the name of its fountain, Callirhoë3791, and Carrhæ3792, memorable for the defeat of Crassus444 there. Adjoining to this is the præfecture of Mesopotamia, which derives its origin from the Assyrians, and in which are the towns of Anthemusia3793 and Nicephorium3794; after which come the Arabians, known by the name of Prætavi, with Singara3795 for their capital. Below Samosata, on the side of Syria, the river Marsyas3796 flows into the Euphrates. At Cingilla ends the territory of Commagene, and the state of the Immei begins. The cities which are here washed by the river are those of Epiphania3797 and Antiochia3798, generally known as Epiphania and Antiochia on the Euphrates; also Zeugma, seventy-two miles distant from Samosata, famous for the passage there across the Euphrates. Opposite to it is Apamia3799, which Seleucus, the founder of both cities, united by a bridge. The people who join up to Mesopotamia are called the Rhoali. Other towns in Syria are those of Europus3800, and what was formerly445 Thapsacus3801, now Amphipolis. We then come to the Arabian Scenitæ3802. The Euphrates then proceeds in its course till it reaches the place called Ura3803, at which, taking a turn to the east, it leaves the Syrian Deserts of Palmyra3804, which extend as far as the city of Petra3805 and the regions of Arabia Felix.

(25.) Palmyra is a city famous for the beauty of its site, the riches of its soil, and the delicious quality and abundance of its water. Its fields are surrounded by sands on every side, and are thus separated, as it were, by nature from the rest of the world. Though placed between the two great empires of Rome and Parthia, it still maintains3806 its independence; never failing, at the very first moment that a rupture between them is threatened, to attract the careful attention of both. It is distant 337 miles from Seleucia3807 of the Parthians, generally known as Seleucia on the Tigris, 203 from the nearest part of the Syrian coast, and twenty-seven less from Damascus.


(26.) Below the deserts of Palmyra is the region of Stelendene3808, and Hierapolis, Berœa, and Chalcis, already mentioned3809. Beyond Palmyra, Emesa3810 takes to itself a portion of these deserts; also Elatium, nearer to Petra by one-half than Damascus. At no great distance from Sura3811 is Philiscum, a town of the Parthians, on the Euphrates. From this place it is ten days’ sail to Seleucia, and nearly as many to Babylon. At a distance of 594 miles beyond Zeugma, near the village of Massice, the Euphrates divides into two channels, the left one of which runs through Mesopotamia, past Seleucia, and falls into the Tigris as it flows around that city. Its channel on the right runs towards Babylon, the former capital of Chaldæa, and flows through the middle of it; and then through another city, the name of which is Otris3812, after which it becomes lost in the marshes. Like the Nile, this river increases at stated times, and at much about the same period. When the sun has reached the twentieth degree of Cancer, it inundates3813 Mesopotamia; and, after he has passed through Leo and entered Virgo, its waters begin to subside. By the time the sun has entered the twenty-ninth degree of Virgo, the river has fully regained its usual height.


But let us now return to the coast of Syria, joining up to which is Cilicia. We here find the river Diaphanes3814,447 Mount Crocodilus, the Gates3815 of Mount Amanus, the rivers Androcus3816, Pinarus3817, and Lycus3818, the Gulf of Issos3819, and the town of that name; then Alexandria3820, the river Chlorus3821, the free town of Ægæ3822, the river Pyramus3823, the Gates3824 of Cilicia, the towns of Mallos3825 and Magarsos3826, and, in the interior, Tarsus3827. We then come to the Aleian Plains3828, the town of Cassipolis, Mopsos3829, a free town on the river Pyramus, Thynos, Zephyrium, and Anchiale3830. Next to these448 are the rivers Saros3831 and Cydnus3832, the latter of which, at some distance from the sea, runs through the free city of Tarsus, the region of Celenderitis with a town3833 of similar name, the place where Nymphæum3834 stood, Soli of Cilicia3835, now called Pompeiopolis, Adana3836, Cibyra3837, Pinare3838, Pedalie3839, Ale, Selinus3840, Arsinoë3841, Iotape3842, Doron, and, near the sea,449 Corycos, there being a town3843, port, and cave3844 all of the same name. Passing these, we come to the river Calycadnus3845, the Promontory of Sarpedon3846, the towns of Holmœ3847 and Myle, and the Promontory and town of Venus3848, at a short distance from the island of Cyprus. On the mainland there are the towns of Myanda, Anemurium3849, and Coracesium3850, and the river Melas3851, the ancient boundary of Cilicia. In the interior the places more especially worthy of mention are Anazarbus3852, now called Cæsarea, Augusta, Castabala3853, Epiphania3854, formerly called Œniandos, Eleusa3855, Iconium3856,450 Seleucia3857 upon the river Calycadnus, surnamed Tracheotis, a city removed3858 from the sea-shore, where it had the name of Holmia. Besides those already mentioned, there are in the interior the rivers Liparis3859, Bombos, Paradisus, and Mount Imbarus3860.


All the geographers have mentioned Pamphylia as joining up to Cilicia, without taking any notice of the people of Isauria3861. Its cities are, in the interior, Isaura3862, Clibanus, and Lalasis; it runs down towards the sea by the side of Anemurium3863 already mentioned. In a similar manner also, all who have treated of this subject have been ignorant of the existence of the nation of the Homonades bordering upon Isauria, and their town of Homona3864 in the interior. There are forty-four other fortresses, which lie concealed amid rugged crags and valleys.



The Pisidæ3865, formerly called the Solymi, occupy the higher parts of the mountains. In their country there is the colony of Cæsarea, also called Antiochia3866, and the towns of Oroanda3867 and Sagalessos.


These people are bounded by Lycaonia3868, which belongs to the jurisdiction of the province of Asia3869, to which also resort the people of Philomelium3870, Tymbrium3871, Leucolithium3872, Pelta, and Tyrium. To this jurisdiction is also added a452 Tetrarchy of Lycaonia in that part which joins up to Galatia, containing fourteen states, with the famous city of Iconium3873. In Lycaonia itself the most noted places are Thebasa3874 on Taurus, and Hyde, on the confines of Galatia and Cappadocia. On the [western] side of Lycaonia, and above Pamphylia, come the Milyæ3875, a people descended from the Thracians; their city is Arycanda.


The former name of Pamphylia3876 was Mopsopia3877. The Pamphylian Sea3878 joins up to that of Cilicia. The towns of Pamphylia are Side3879, Aspendum3880, situate on the side of a mountain, Pletenissum3881, and Perga3882. There is also the Promontory of Leucolla, the mountain of Sardemisus, and the453 rivers Eurymedon3883, which flows past Aspendus, and Catarrhactes3884, near to which is Lyrnesus: also the towns of Olbia3885, and Phaselis3886, the last on this coast.


Adjoining to Pamphylia is the Sea of Lycia and the country of Lycia3887 itself, where the chain of Taurus, coming from the eastern shores, terminates the vast Gulf3888 by the Promontory of Chelidonium3889. Of immense extent, and separating nations innumerable, after taking its first rise at the Indian Sea3890, it branches off to the north on the right-hand side, and on the left towards the south. Then taking a direction towards the west, it would cut through the middle of Asia, were it not that the seas check it in its triumphant career along the land. It accordingly strikes off in a northerly direction, and forming an arc, occupies an immense tract of country, nature, designedly as it were, every now and then throwing seas in the way to oppose its career; here the Sea of Phœnicia, there the Sea of Pontus, in this direction the Caspian and Hyrcanian3891, and then, opposite to them, the Lake Mæotis. Although somewhat curtailed by these obstacles, it still winds along between them, and makes its454 way even amidst these barriers; and victorious after all, it then escapes with its sinuous course to the kindred chain of the Riphæan mountains. Numerous are the names which it bears, as it is continuously designated by new ones throughout the whole of its course. In the first part of its career it has the name of Imaüs3892, after which it is known successively by the names of Emodus, Paropanisus, Circius, Cambades, Paryadres, Choatras, Oreges, Oroandes, Niphates, Taurus, and, where it even out-tops itself, Caucasus. Where it throws forth its arms as though every now and then it would attempt to invade the sea, it bears the names of Sarpedon, Coracesius, Cragus, and then again Taurus. Where also it opens and makes a passage to admit mankind, it still claims the credit of an unbroken continuity by giving the name of “Gates” to these passes, which in one place are called the “Gates of Armenia3893,” in another the “Gates of the Caspian,” and in another the “Gates of Cilicia.” In addition to this, when it has been cut short in its onward career, it retires to a distance from the seas, and covers itself on the one side and the other with the names of numerous nations, being called, on the right-hand side the Hyrcanian and the Caspian, and on the left the Paryadrian3894, the Moschian, the Amazonian, the Coraxican, and the Scythian chain. Among the Greeks it bears the one general name of Ceraunian3895.



In Lycia, after leaving its promontory3896, we come to the town of Simena, Mount Chimæra3897, which sends forth flames by night, and the city of Hephæstium3898, the heights above which are also frequently on fire. Here too formerly stood the city of Olympus3899; now we find the mountain places known as Gagæ3900, Corydalla3901, and Rhodiopolis3902. Near the sea is Limyra3903 with a river of like name, into which the Arycandus456 flows, Mount Masycites3904, the state of Andriaca3905, Myra3906, the towns of Aperræ3907 and Antiphellos3908, formerly called Habessus, and in a corner Phellos3909, after which comes Pyrra, and then the city of Xanthus3910, fifteen miles from the sea, as also a river known by the same name. We then come to Patara3911, formerly Pataros, and Sidyma, situate on a mountain.457 Next comes the Promontory of Cragus3912, and beyond it a gulf3913, equal to the one that comes before it; upon it are Pinara3914, and Telmessus3915, the frontier town of Lycia.

Lycia formerly contained seventy towns, now it has but thirty-six. Of these, the most celebrated, besides those already mentioned, are Canas3916, Candyba, so celebrated for the Œnian Grove, Podalia, Choma, past which the river Ædesa flows, Cyaneæ3917, Ascandalis, Amelas, Noscopium, Tlos3918, and Telandrus3919. It includes also in the interior the district of Cabalia, the three cities of which are Œnianda, Balbura3920, and Bubon3921.


On passing Telmessus we come to the Asiatic or Carpathian Sea, and the district which is properly called Asia. Agrippa has divided this region into two parts; one of which he has bounded on the east by Phrygia and Lycaonia, on the west by the Ægean Sea, on the south by the Egyptian Sea, and on the north by Paphlagonia, making its length to be 473 miles and its breadth 320. The other part he has bounded by the Lesser Armenia on the east, Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Pamphylia on the west, the province of Pontus on the north, and the Sea of Pamphylia on the south, making it 575 miles in length and 325 in breadth.


Upon the adjoining coast is Caria3922, then Ionia, and beyond it Æolis. Caria surrounds Doris, which lies in the middle, and runs down on both sides of it to the sea. In it3923 is the Promontory of Pedalium3924, the river Glaucus3925, into which the Telmedium3926 discharges itself, the towns of Dædala3927, Crya3928, peopled by fugitives, the river Axon3929, and the town of Calynda3930.


(28.) The river Indus3931, which rises in the mountains of the Cibyratæ3932, receives sixty-five rivers which are constantly flowing, besides upwards of 100 mountain torrents. Here is the free town of Caunos3933, then the town of Pyrnos3934, the port of Cressa3935, from which the island of Rhodes is distant twenty miles; the place where Loryma formerly stood, the towns of Tisanusa3936, Paridion3937, and Larymna3938, the Gulf of Thymnias3939, the Promontory of Aphrodisias3940, the town of Hyda, the Gulf of Schœnus, and the district of Bubasus3941. There was formerly the town of Acanthus here, another460 name of which was Dulopolis. We then come to Cnidos3942, a free town, situate on a promontory, Triopia3943, and after that the towns of Pegusa and Stadia.

At this last town Doris begins; but, first, it may be as well to describe the districts that lie to the back of Caria and the several jurisdictions in the interior. The first of these3944 is called Cibyratica, Cibyra being a town of Phrygia. Twenty-five states resort to it for legal purposes, together with the most famous city of Laodicea3945.

(29.) This place at first bore the name of Diospolis, and after that of Rhoas, and is situate on the river Lycus, the Asopus and the Caprus3946 washing its sides. The other people belonging to the same jurisdiction, whom it may be not amiss to mention, are the Hydrelitæ3947, the Themisones3948, and the Hierapolitæ3949. The second jurisdiction receives its title461 from Synnas3950; to it resort the Lycaones3951, the Appiani3952, the Eucarpeni3953, the Dorylæi3954, the Midæi, the Julienses3955, and fifteen other peoples of no note. The third jurisdiction has its seat at Apamea3956, formerly called Celænæ3957, and after that Cibotos. This place is situate at the foot of Mount Signia, the Marsyas, the Obrima, and the Orga, rivers which fall into the Mæander, flowing past it. Here the Marsyas, rising from the earth, again makes its appearance, but soon after buries itself once more at Aulocrenæ3958, the spot where462 Marsyas had the musical contest with Apollo as to superiority of skill in playing on the flute. Aulocrenæ is the name given to a valley which lies ten miles on the road towards Phrygia from Apamea. As belonging to this jurisdiction, it may be as well to mention the Metropolitæ3959, the Dionysopolitæ3960, the Euphorbeni3961, the Acmonenses3962, the Pelteni3963, and the Silbiani3964, besides nine other nations of no note.

Upon the Gulf of Doris3965 we have Leucopolis, Hamaxitos, Eleus, and Euthene3966. We then come to Pitaium, Eutane3967, and Halicarnassus3968, towns of Caria. To the jurisdiction of this last place six towns were appended by Alexander the Great, Theangela3969, Sibde, Medmasa, Euralium, Pedasus, and Telmissus3970. Halicarnassus lies between two gulfs, those of Ceramus3971 and Iasus3972. We then come to463 Myndos3973, and the former site of Palæomyndos; also Nariandos, Neapolis3974, Caryanda3975, the free town of Termera3976, Bargyla3977, and the town of Iasus3978, from which the Iasian Gulf takes its name.

Caria is especially distinguished for the fame of its places in the interior; for here are Mylasa3979, a free town, and that of Antiochia3980, on the site of the former towns of Symmæthos and Cranaos: it is now surrounded by the rivers Mæander3981 and Orsinus3982. In this district also was formerly Mæandropolis3983; we find also Eumenia3984, situate on the river Cludros, the river Glaucus3985, the town of Lysias and Orthosa3986,464 the district of Berecynthus3987, Nysa3988, and Tralles3989, also called Euanthia3990, Seleucia, and Antiochia: it is washed by the river Eudon, while the Thebais runs through it. Some authors say that a nation of Pygmies formerly dwelt here. Besides the preceding towns, there are Thydonos, Pyrrha3991, Eurome3992, Heraclea3993, Amyzon3994, the free town of Alabanda3995, which has given name to that jurisdiction, the free town of Stratonicea3996, Hynidos, Ceramus3997, Trœzene3998, and Phorontis.465 At a greater distance3999, but resorting to the same place of jurisdiction, are the Orthronienses, the Alindienses4000 or Hippini, the Xystiani4001, the Hydissenses, the Apolloniatæ4002, the Trapezopolitæ4003, and the Aphrodisienses4004, a free people. Besides the above, there are the towns of Coscinus4005, and Harpasa4006, situate on the river Harpasus4007, which also passed the town of Trallicon when it was in existence.


Lydia, bathed by the sinuous and ever-recurring windings of the river Mæander, lies extended above Ionia; it is joined by Phrygia on the east and Mysia on the north, while on the south it runs up to Caria: it formerly had the name of Mæonia4008. Its place of the greatest celebrity is Sardes4009, which lies on the side of Mount Tmolus4010, formerly called Timolus. From this mountain, which is covered with vineyards, flows the466 river Pactolus4011, also called the Chrysorroas, and the sources of the Tarnus: this famous city, which is situate upon the Gygæan Lake4012, used to be called Hyde4013 by the people of Mæonia. This jurisdiction is now called that of Sardes, and besides the people of the places already mentioned, the following now resort to it—the Macedonian Cadueni4014, the Loreni, the Philadelpheni4015, the Mæonii, situate on the river Cogamus at the foot of Mount Tmolus, the Tripolitani, who are also called the Antoniopolitæ, situate on the banks of the Mæander, the Apollonihieritæ4016, the Mesotimolitæ4017, and some others of no note.


Ionia begins at the Gulf of Iasos, and has a long winding coast with numerous bays. First comes the Gulf of Basilicum4018, then the Promontory4019 and town of Posideum, and the oracle once called the oracle of the Branchidæ4020, but now of Didymæan Apollo, a distance of twenty stadia from the sea-shore. One hundred and eighty stadia thence is Miletus4021,467 the capital of Ionia, which formerly had the names of Lelegëis, Pityusa, and Anactoria, the mother of more than ninety cities, founded upon all seas; nor must she be deprived of the honour of having Cadmus4022 for her citizen, who was the first to write in prose. The river Mæander, rising from a lake in Mount Aulocrene, waters many cities and receives numerous tributary streams. It is so serpentine in its course, that it is often thought to turn back to the very spot from which it came. It first runs through the district of Apamea, then that of Eumenia, and then the plains of Bargyla; after which, with a placid stream it passes through Caria, watering all that territory with a slime of a most fertilizing quality, and then at a distance of ten stadia from Miletus with a gentle current enters the sea. We then come to Mount Latmus4023, the towns of Heraclea4024, also called by the same name as the mountain, Carice, Myus4025, said to have been first built by Ionians who came from Athens, Naulochum4026, and Priene4027. Upon that part of the coast which bears the name of Trogilia4028 is the river Gessus. This district is held sacred by all the Ionians, and thence receives the name of Panionia. Near to it was formerly the town of Phygela, built by468 fugitives, as its name implies4029, and that of Marathesium4030. Above these places is Magnesia4031, distinguished by the surname of the “Mæandrian,” and sprung from Magnesia in Thessaly: it is distant from Ephesus fifteen miles, and three more from Tralles. It formerly had the names of Thessaloche and Androlitia, and, lying on the sea-shore, it has withdrawn from the sea the islands known as the Derasidæ4032 and joined them to the mainland. In the interior also is Thyatira4033, washed by the Lycus; for some time it was also called Pelopia and Euhippia4034.

Upon the coast again is Mantium, and Ephesus4035, which was founded by the Amazons4036, and formerly called by so many names: Alopes at the time of the Trojan war, after that Ortygia and Morges, and then Smyrna, with the surname of Trachia, as also Samornion and Ptelea. This city is built on Mount Pion, and is washed by the Caÿster4037, a river which rises in the Cilbian range and brings down the waters of many streams4038, as also of Lake Pegasæus4039, which receives469 those discharged by the river Phyrites4040. From these streams there accumulates a large quantity of slime, which vastly increases the soil, and has added to the mainland the island of Syrie4041, which now lies in the midst of its plains. In this city is the fountain of Calippia4042 and the temple of Diana, which last is surrounded by two streams, each known by the name of Selenus, and flowing from opposite directions.

After leaving Ephesus there is another Mantium, belonging to the Colophonians, and in the interior Colophon4043 itself, past which the river Halesus4044 flows. After this we come to the temple4045 of the Clarian Apollo, and Lebedos4046: the city of Notium4047 once stood here. Next comes the Promontory of Coryceium4048, and then Mount Mimas, which projects 150 miles into the sea, and as it approaches the mainland sinks down into extensive plains. It was at this place that Alexander the Great gave orders for the plain to be cut through, a distance of seven miles and a half, for the purpose of joining the two gulfs and making an island of Erythræ4049 and Mimas.470 Near Erythræ formerly stood the towns of Pteleon, Helos, and Dorion; we now find the river Aleon, Corynæum, a Promontory of Mount Mimas, Clazomenæ4050, Parthenie4051, and Hippi4052, known by the name of Chytrophoria, when it formed a group of islands; these were united to the continent by the same Alexander, by means of a causeway4053 two stadia in length. In the interior, the cities of Daphnus, Hermesia, and Sipylum4054, formerly called Tantalis, and the capital of Mæonia, where Lake Sale now stands, are now no longer in existence: Archæopolis too, which succeeded Sipylum, has perished, and in their turns Colpe and Libade, which succeeded it.

On returning thence4055 towards the coast, at a distance of twelve miles we find Smyrna4056, originally founded by an Amazon [of that name], and rebuilt by Alexander; it is refreshed by the river Meles, which rises not far off. Through this district run what may almost be called the most famous mountains of Asia, Mastusia in the rear of Smyrna, and Termetis4057, joining the foot of Olympus. Termetis is joined471 by Draco, Draco running into Tmolus, Tmolus into Cadmus4058, and Cadmus into Taurus. Leaving Smyrna, the river Hermus forms a tract of plains, and gives them its own name. It rises near Dorylæum4059, a city of Phrygia, and in its course receives several rivers, among them the one called the Phryx, which divides Caria from the nation to which it gives name; also the Hyllus4060 and the Cryos, themselves swollen by the rivers of Phrygia, Mysia, and Lydia. At the mouth of the Hermus formerly stood the town of Temnos4061: we now see at the extremity of the gulf4062 the rocks called Myrmeces4063, the town of Leuce4064 on a promontory which was once an island, and Phocæa4065, the frontier town of Ionia.

A great part also of Æolia, of which we shall have presently to speak, has recourse to the jurisdiction of Smyrna; as well as the Macedones, surnamed Hyrcani4066, and the Magnetes4067 from Sipylus. But to Ephesus, that other great luminary of Asia, resort the more distant peoples known as the472 Cæsarienses4068, the Metropolitæ4069, the Cilbiani4070, both the Lower and Upper, the Mysomacedones4071, the Mastaurenses4072, the Briulitæ4073, the Hypæpeni4074, and the Dioshïeritæ4075.

CHAP. 32. (30.)—ÆOLIS.

Æolis4076 comes next, formerly known as Mysia, and Troas which is adjacent to the Hellespont. Here, after passing Phocæa, we come to the Ascanian Port, then the spot where Larissa4077 stood, and then Cyme4078, Myrina, also called Sebastopolis4079, and in the interior, Ægæ4080, Attalia4081, Posidea,473 Neontichos4082, and Temnos4083. Upon the shore we come to the river Titanus, and the city which from it derives its name. Grynia4084 also stood here on an island reclaimed from the sea and joined to the land: now only its harbours are left4085. We then come to the town of Elæa4086, the river Caïcus4087, which flows from Mysia, the town of Pitane4088, and the river Canaïus. The following towns no longer exist—Canæ4089, Lysimachia4090, Atarnea4091, Carene4092, Cisthene4093, Cilla4094, Cocylium4095, Theba4096, Astyre4097,474 Chrysa4098, Palæscepsis4099, Gergitha4100, and Neandros4101. We then come to the city of Perperene4102, which still survives, the district of Heracleotes, the town of Coryphas4103, the rivers Grylios and Ollius, the region of Aphrodisias4104, which formerly had the name of Politice Orgas, the district of Scepsis4105, and the river Evenus4106, on whose banks the towns of Lyrnesos4107 and Miletos have fallen to decay. In this district also is Mount Ida4108, and on the coast Adramytteos4109, formerly called Pedasus, which gives its name to the gulf and the jurisdiction so called. The other rivers are the Astron, Cormalos, Crianos, Alabastros, and Hieros, flowing from Mount Ida: in the interior is Mount Gargara4110,475 with a town of the same name. Again, on the coast we meet with Antandros4111, formerly called Edonis, and after that Cimmeris and Assos, also called Apollonia. The town of Palamedium also formerly stood here. The Promontory of Lecton4112 separates Æolis from Troas. In Æolis there was formerly the city of Polymedia, as also Chrysa, and a second Larissa. The temple of Smintheus4113 is still standing; Colone4114 in the interior has perished. To Adramyttium resort upon matters of legal business the Apolloniatæ4115, whose town is on the river Rhyndacus4116, the Erizii4117, the Miletopolitæ4118, the Pœmaneni4119, the Macedonian Asculacæ, the Polichnæi4120, the Pionitæ4121, the Cilician Mandacadeni, and, in Mysia, the Abrettini4122, the people known as the Hellespontii4123, and others of less note.



The first place in Troas is Hamaxitus4124, then Cebrenia4125, and then Troas4126 itself, formerly called Antigonia, and now Alexandria, a Roman colony. We then come to the town of Nee4127, the Scamander4128, a navigable river, and the spot where in former times the town of Sigeum4129 stood, upon a promontory. We next come to the Port of the Achæans4130, into which the Xanthus4131 flows after its union with the Simois4132, and forms the Palæscamander4133, which was formerly a lake. The other rivers, rendered famous by Homer, namely, the Rhesus, the Heptaporus, the Caresus, and the Rhodius, have left no vestiges of their existence. The Granicus4134, taking a different route, flows into the Propontis4135. The small city of Scamandria, however, still exists, and, at a distance of a mile477 and a half from its harbour, Ilium4136, a place exempt from tribute4137, the fountain-head of universal fame. Beyond the gulf are the shores of Rhœteum4138, peopled by the towns of Rhœteum4139, Dardanium4140, and Arisbe4141. There was also in former times a town of Achilleon4142, founded near the tomb of Achilles by the people of Mitylene, and afterwards rebuilt by the Athenians, close to the spot where his fleet had been stationed near Sigeum. There was also the town of Æantion4143, founded by the Rhodians upon the opposite point, near the tomb of Ajax, at a distance of thirty stadia from Sigeum, near the spot where his fleet was stationed. Above Æolis and part of Troas, in the interior, is the place called Teuthrania4144, inhabited in ancient times by the Mysians. Here rises the river Caïcus already mentioned. Teuthrania was a powerful nation in itself, even when the whole of Æolis was held by the Mysians. In it are the Pioniæ4145, Andera4146,478 Cale, Stabulum, Conisium, Teium, Balcea4147, Tiare, Teuthranie, Sarnaca, Haliserne, Lycide, Parthenium, Thymbre, Oxyopum, Lygdamum, Apollonia, and Pergamum4148, by far the most famous city in Asia, and through which the river Selinus runs; the Cetius, which rises in Mount Pindasus, flowing before it. Not far from it is Elæa, which we have mentioned4149 as situate on the sea-shore. The jurisdiction of this district is called that of Pergamus; to it resort the Thyatireni4150, the Mosyni, the Mygdones4151, the Bregmeni, the Hierocometæ4152, the Perpereni, the Tiareni, the Hierolophienses, the Hermocapelitæ, the Attalenses4153, the Panteenses, the Apollonidienses, and some other states unknown to fame. The little town of Dardanum4154 is distant from Rhœteum seventy stadia. Eighteen miles thence is the Promontory of Trapeza4155, from which spot the Hellespont first commences its course.

Eratosthenes tells us that in Asia there have perished the nations of the Solymi4156, the Leleges4157, the Bebryces4158, the479 Colycantii, and the Tripsedri. Isidorus adds to these the Arimi4159, as also the Capretæ, settled on the spot where Apamea4160 stands, which was founded by King Seleucus, between Cilicia, Cappadocia, Cataonia, and Armenia, and was at first called Damea4161, from the fact that it had conquered nations most remarkable for their fierceness.


Of the islands which lie before Asia the first is the one situate in the Canopic Mouth of the Nile, and which received its name, it is said, from Canopus, the pilot of Menelaüs. A second, called Pharos, is joined by a bridge to Alexandria, and was made a colony by the Dictator Cæsar. In former times it was one day’s sail4162 from the mainland of Egypt; at the present day it directs ships in their course by means of the fires which are lighted at night on the tower4163 there; for in consequence of the insidious nature of the shoals, there are only three channels by which Alexandria can be approached, those of Steganus4164, Posideum4165 and Taurus.

In the Phœnician Sea, before Joppe there is the island of Paria4166, the whole of it forming a town. Here, they say, Andromeda was exposed to the monster: the island also of Arados, already mentioned4167, between which and the continent, as we learn from Mucianus, at a depth of fifty cubits in the sea, fresh water is brought up from a spring at the very bottom by means of leather pipes4168.



The Pamphylian Sea contains some islands of little note. The Cilician, besides four others of very considerable size, has Cyprus4169, which lies opposite to the shores of Cilicia and Syria, running east and west; in former times it was the seat of nine kingdoms. Timosthenes states that the circumference of this island is 427 miles, Isidorus4170 375; its length, between the two Promontories of Dinæ4171 and Acamas4172 lying on the west, is, according to Artemidorus, 16012 miles, according to Timosthenes, 200. Philonides says that it was formerly called Acamantis, Xenagoras that it had the names of Cerastis4173, Aspelia, Amathusia, and Macaria4174, while Astynomus gives it the names of Cryptos4175 and Colinia. Its towns are fifteen in number, Neapaphos4176, Palæpaphos4177, Curias4178, Citium4179, Corineum, Salamis4180,481 Amathus4181, Lapethos4182, Solœ, Tamasos4183, Epidarum, Chytri4184, Arsinoë4185, Carpasium4186, and Golgi4187. The towns of Cinyria, Marium, and Idalium4188 are no longer in existence. It is distant from Anemurium4189 in Cilicia fifty miles; the sea which runs between the two shores being called the Channel of Cilicia4190. In the same locality4191 is the island of Eleusa4192, and the four482 islands known as the Clides4193, lying before the promontory which faces Syria; and again at the end of the other cape4194 is Stiria: over against Neapaphos is Hierocepia4195, and opposite to Salamis are the Salaminiæ.

In the Lycian Sea are the islands of Illyris, Telendos, and Attelebussa4196, the three barren isles called Cypriæ, and Dionysia, formerly called Caretha. Opposite to the Promontory of Taurus are the Chelidoniæ4197, as many in number, and extremely dangerous to mariners. Further on we find Leucolla with its town, the Pactyæ4198, Lasia, Nymphäis, Macris, and Megista, the city on which last no longer exists. After these there are many that are not worthy of notice. Opposite, however, to Cape Chimæra is Dolichiste4199, Chœrogylion, Crambussa4200, Rhoge4201, Enagora, eight miles in circumference, the two islands of Dædala4202, the three of Crya4203,483 Strongyle, and over against Sidyma4204 the isle of Antiochus. Towards the mouth of the river Glaucus4205, there are Lagussa4206, Macris, Didymæ, Helbo, Scope, Aspis, Telandria, the town of which no longer exists, and, in the vicinity of Caunus4207, Rhodussa.


But the fairest of them all is the free island of Rhodes, 125, or, if we would rather believe Isidorus, 103 miles in circumference. It contains the inhabited cities of Lindos, Camirus4208, and Ialysus4209, now called Rhodos. It is distant from Alexandria in Egypt, according to Isidorus, 583 miles; but, according to Eratosthenes, 469. Mucianus says, that its distance from Cyprus is 166. This island was formerly called Ophiussa4210, Asteria4211, Æthria4212, Trinacrie4213, Corymbia4214, Pœeëssa4215, Atabyria4216, from the name of one of its kings; and, in later times, Macaria4217 and Oloessa4218. The islands of the Rhodians are Carpathus4219, which has given its name to the484 surrounding sea; Casos4220, formerly known as Achne4221; Nisyros4222, twelve miles distant from Cnidos, and formerly called Porphyris4223; and, in the same vicinity, midway between Rhodes and Cnidos, Syme4224. This island is thirty-seven miles and a half in circumference, and welcomes us with eight fine harbours. Besides these islands, there are, in the vicinity of Rhodes, those of Cyclopis, Teganon, Cordylussa4225, the four islands called Diabetæ4226, Hymos, Chalce4227, with its city of that name, Seutlussa4228, Narthecussa4229, Dimastos, Progne; and, off Cnidos, Cisserussa, Therionarce, and Calydne4230, with the three towns of Notium, Nisyros, and Mendeterus. In Arconnesus4231 there is the town of Ceramus. Off the coast of Caria, there are the islands known as the Argiæ, twenty in number; also Hyetussa4232, Lepsia, and Leros.

The most noted island, however, in this gulf is that of Cos4233, fifteen miles distant from Halicarnassus, and 100 in circumference, according to the opinion of many writers. It was formerly called Merope; according to Staphylus, Cea;485 Meropis, as Dionysius tells us; and, after that, Nymphæa. In this island there is Mount Prion. Nisyros4234, formerly called Porphyris, is supposed to have been severed from the island of Cos. We next come to the island of Caryanda4235, with a city of that name, and that of Pidosus4236, not far from Halicarnassus. In the Gulf of Ceramicus we also find Priaponnesos4237, Hipponnesos, Psyra, Mya, Lampsa, Æmyndus, Passala, Crusa, Pinnicussa, Sepiussa4238, and Melano. At a short distance from the mainland is an island which bears the name of Cinædopolis, from the circumstance that King Alexander left behind there certain persons of a most disgraceful character.


The coast of Ionia has the islands of Trageæ, Corseæ4239, and Icaros, which has been previously4240 mentioned; Lade4241, formerly called Late; and, among others of no note, the two Camelidæ4242, in the vicinity of Miletus; and the three Trogiliæ4243, near Mycale, consisting of Philion, Argennon, and Sandalion. There is Samos also, a free4244 island, eighty-seven miles in circumference, or, according to Isidorus, 100. Aristotle tells us, that it was at first called Parthenia4245, after486 that Dryussa4246, and then Anthemussa4247. To these names Aristocritus has added Melamphyllus4248 and Cyparissia4249: other writers, again, call it Parthenoarussa4250 and Stephane4251. The rivers of this island are the Imbrasus, the Chesius, and the Ibettes. There are also the fountains of Gigartho and Leucothea; and Mount Cercetius. In the vicinity of Samos are the islands of Rhypara, Nymphæa, and Achillea.


At a distance of ninety-four miles from Samos is the free island of Chios4252, its equal in fame, with a town of the same name. Ephorus says, that the ancient name of this island was Æthalia; Metrodorus and Cleobulus tell us, that it had the name of Chia from the nymph Chione; others again say, that it was so called from the word signifying snow4253; it was also called Macris and Pityusa4254. It has a mountain called Pelennæus; and the Chian marble is well known. It is 1254255 miles in circumference, according to the ancient writers; Isidorus however makes it nine more. It is situate between Samos and Lesbos, and, for the most part, lies opposite to Erythræ4256.

The adjacent islands, are Thallusa4257, by some writers called Daphnusa4258, Œnussa, Elaphitis, Euryanassa, and Arginusa, with a town of that name. All these islands are in the vicinity of Ephesus, as also those called the Islands of Pisistratus, Anthinæ, Myonnesos, Diarreusa,—in both of these last there were cities, now no longer in existence,—Poroselene4259,487 with a city of that name, Cerciæ, Halone4260, Commone, Illetia, Lepria and Rhesperia, Procusæ, Bolbulæ, Phanæ, Priapos, Syce, Melane, Ænare, Sidusa, Pele, Drymusa4261, Anhydros, Scopelos4262, Sycussa, Marathussa, Psile, Perirreusa, and many others of no note. In the main sea lies the celebrated island of Teos, with a city4263 of that name, seventy-one miles and a half distant from Chios, and the same from the Erythræ.

In the vicinity of Smyrna are the Peristerides4264, Carteria, Alopece, Elæussa, Bachina, Pystira, Crommyonnesos, and Megale4265. Facing Troas there are the Ascaniæ, and the three islands called Plateæ. We find also the Lamiæ, the two islands called Plitaniæ, Plate, Scopelos, Getone, Arthedon, Cœlæ, Lagussæ, and Didymæ.


But Lesbos4266, distant from Chios sixty-five miles, is the most celebrated of them all. It was formerly called Himerte, Lasia, Pelasgia, Ægira, Æthiope, and Macaria, and is famous for its nine cities. Of these, however, that of Pyrrha has been swallowed up by the sea, Arisbe4267 has perished by an earthquake, and Methymna is now united to Antissa4268; these lie in the vicinity of nine cities of Asia, along a coast of thirty-seven miles. The towns of Agamede and488 Hiera have also perished. Eresos4269, Pyrrha, and the free city of Mitylene4270, still survive, the last of which was a powerful city for a space of 1500 years. The circumference of the whole island is, according to Isidorus, 168 miles4271, but the older writers say 195. Its mountains are, Lepethymnus, Ordymnus, Macistus, Creon, and Olympus. It is distant seven miles and a half from the nearest point of the mainland. The islands in its vicinity are, Sandaleon, and the five called Leucæ4272; Cydonea4273, which is one of them, contains a warm spring. The Arginussæ4274 are four miles distant from Æge4275; after them come Phellusa4276 and Pedna. Beyond the Hellespont, and opposite the shore of Sigeum, lies Tenedos4277, also known by the names of Leucophrys4278, Phœnice, and Lyrnesos. It is distant from Lesbos fifty-six miles, and twelve and a half from Sigeum.


The tide of the Hellespont now begins to run with greater violence, and the sea beats against the shore, undermining with its eddies the barriers that stand in its way, until it has succeeded in separating Asia from Europe. At this spot is the promontory which we have already mentioned as Trapeza4279; ten miles distant from which is the city of489 Abydos4280, where the straits are only seven stadia wide; then the town of Percote4281; Lampsacus4282, at first called Pityusa; the colony of Parium4283, which Homer calls by the name of Adrastia; the town of Priapos4284; the river Æsepus4285; Zelia4286; and then the Propontis4287, that being the name given to the tract of sea where it enlarges. We then come to the river Granicus4288, and the harbour of Artace4289, where a town formerly stood. Beyond this is an island which Alexander joined to the continent, and upon which is Cyzicus4290, a city of the Milesians, which was formerly called Arctonnesos4291, Dolionis, and Dindymis; above it are the heights of Mount Dindymus4292. We then come to the towns of Placia, Ariace4293, and Scylace; in the rear of which places is Mount Olympus, known as the “Mysian Olympus,” and the city of Olympena. There are also the rivers Horisius4294 and Rhyndacus4295, formerly called the Lycus; this last river rises in Lake Artynias, near Miletopolis, and receives the Macestos, and many other streams, dividing in its course Asia4296 from Bithynia4297.


This country was at first called by the name of Cronia, after that, Thessalis, and then Malianda and Strymonis. The people of it are by Homer called Halizones4298, from the fact that it was a nation begirt by the sea. There was formerly a vast city here, Attussa by name; at present there are twelve cities in existence; among which is Gordiucome4299, otherwise Juliopolis; and, on the coast, Dascylos4300. We then come to the river Gelbes4301; and, in the interior, the town of Helgas, or Germanicopolis, which has also the other name of Booscœte4302; Apamea4303, now more generally known as Myrlea of the Colophonians: the river Etheleus also, the ancient boundary of Troas, and the commencement of Mysia. Next to this comes the gulf4304 into which the river Ascanius flows, the town of Bryllion4305, and the rivers Hylas and Cios, with a town of the same name as the last-mentioned river; it was founded by the Milesians at a place which was called Ascania of Phrygia, as an entrepôt for the trade of the Phrygians who dwelt in the vicinity. We may therefore look upon this as a not ineligible opportunity for making further mention of Phrygia.


Phrygia lies above Troas, and the peoples already mentioned491 as extending from the Promontory of Lectum4306 to the river Etheleus. On its northern side it borders upon Galatia, on the south it joins Lycaonia, Pisidia, and Mygdonia, and, on the east, it touches upon Cappadocia. The more celebrated towns there, besides those already mentioned, are Ancyra4307, Andria, Celænæ4308, Colossæ4309, Carina4310, Cotyaion4311, Ceraine, Conium, and Midaium. There are authors who say that the Mœsi, the Brygi, and the Thyni crossed over from Europe, and that from them are descended the peoples called the Mysi, Phryges, and Bithyni.


On this occasion also it seems that we ought to speak of Galatia4312, which lies above Phrygia, and includes the greater part of the territory taken from that province, as also its492 former capital, Gordium4313. The Gauls4314 who have settled in these parts, are called the Tolistobogi, the Voturi, and the Ambitouti; those who dwell in Mæonia and Paphlagonia are called the Trocmi. Cappadocia stretches along to the north-east of Galatia, its most fertile parts being possessed by the Tectosages and the Teutobodiaci. These are the nations by which those parts are occupied; and they are divided into peoples and tetrarchies, 195 in number. Its towns are, among the Tectosages, Ancyra4315; among the Trocmi, Tavium4316; and, among the Tolistobogi, Pessinus4317. Besides the above, the best known among the peoples of this region are the Actalenses, the Arasenses, the Comenses4318, the Didienses, the Hierorenses, the Lystreni4319, the Neapolitani, the Œandenses, the Seleucenses4320, the493 Sebasteni4321, the Timoniacenses4322, and the Thebaseni4323. Galatia also touches upon Carbalia in Pamphylia, and the Milyæ4324, about Baris; also upon Cyllanticum and Oroandicum4325, a district of Pisidia, and Obizene, a part of Lycaonia. Besides those already mentioned4326, its rivers are the Sangarius4327 and the Gallus4328, from which last the priests4329 of the Mother of the gods have taken their name.


And now as to the remaining places on this coast. On the road from Cios into the interior is Prusa4330, in Bithynia, founded by Hannibal at the foot of Olympus, at a distance of twenty-five miles from Nicæa, Lake Ascanius4331 lying between them. We then come to Nicæa4332, formerly called494 Olbia, and situate at the bottom of the Ascanian Gulf; as also a second place called Prusa4333, at the foot of Mount Hypius. Pythopolis, Parthenopolis, and Coryphanta are no longer in existence. Along the coast we find the rivers Æsius, Bryazon, Plataneus, Areus, Æsyros, Geodos, also called Chrysorroas4334, and the promontory4335 upon which once stood the town of Megarice. The gulf that here runs inland received the name of Craspedites from the circumstance of that town lying, as it were, upon its skirt4336. Astacum4337, also, formerly stood here, from which the same gulf has received the name of the ‘Astacenian’: the town of Libyssa4338 formerly stood at the spot where we now see nothing but the tomb of Hannibal. At the bottom of the gulf lies Nicomedia4339, a famous city of Bithynia; then comes the Promontory of Leucatas4340, by which the Astacenian Gulf is bounded, and thirty-seven miles distant from Nicomedia; and then, the land again approaching the other side, the straits4341 which extend as far as the495 Thracian Bosporus. Upon these are situate Chalcedon4342, a free town, sixty-two miles from Nicomedia, formerly called Procerastis4343, then Colpusa, and after that the “City of the Blind,” from the circumstance that its founders did not know where to build their city, Byzantium being only seven stadia distant, a site which is preferable in every respect.

In the interior of Bithynia are the colony of Apamea4344, the Agrippenses, the Juliopolitæ, and Bithynion4345; the rivers Syrium, Laphias, Pharnacias, Alces, Serinis, Lilæus, Scopius, and Hieras4346, which separates Bithynia from Galatia. Beyond Chalcedon formerly stood Chrysopolis4347, and then Nicopolis, of which the gulf, upon which stands the Port of Amycus4348, still retains the name; then the Promontory of Naulochum, and Estiæ4349, a temple of Neptune4350. We then come to the Bosporus, which again separates Asia from Europe, the distance across being half a mile; it is distant twelve miles and a half from Chalcedon. The first entrance of this strait is eight miles and three-quarters wide, at the496 place where the town of Spiropolis4351 formerly stood. The Thyni occupy the whole of the coast, the Bithyni the interior. This is the termination of Asia, and of the 282 peoples, that are to be found between the Gulf of Lycia4352 and this spot. We have already4353 mentioned the length of the Hellespont and Propontis to the Thracian Bosporus as being 239 miles; from Chalcedon to Sigeum, Isidorus makes the distance 32212.


The islands of the Propontis are, before Cyzicus, Elaphonnesus4354, from whence comes the Cyzican marble; it is also known by the names of Neuris and Proconnesus. Next come Ophiussa4355, Acanthus, Phœbe, Scopelos, Porphyrione, Halone4356, with a city of that name, Delphacia, Polydora, and Artaceon, with its city. There is also, opposite to Nicomedia, Demonnesos4357; and, beyond Heraclea, and opposite to Bithynia, the island of Thynias, by the barbarians called Bithynia; the island of Antiochia: and, at the mouth of the Rhyndacus, Besbicos4358, eighteen miles in circumference; the islands also of Elæa, the two called Rhodussæ, and those of Erebinthus4359, Megale, Chalcitis4360, and Pityodes4361.


Summary.—Towns and nations spoken of ****. Noted rivers ****. Famous mountains ****. Islands, 118 in number. People or towns no longer in existence ****. Remarkable events, narratives, and observations ****.

Roman Authors quoted.—Agrippa4362, Suetonius Paulinus4363, M. Varro4364, Varro Atacinus4365, Cornelius Nepos4366, Hyginus4367, L. Vetus4368, Mela4369, Domitius Corbulo4370, Licinius Mucianus4371, Claudius Cæsar4372, Arruntius4373, Livius the Son4374, Sebosus4375, the Register of the Triumphs4376.


Foreign Authors quoted.—King Juba4377, Hecatæus4378, Hellanicus4379, Damastes4380, Dicæarchus4381, Bæton4382, Timosthenes4383, Philonides4384, Zenagoras4385, Astynomus4386, Staphylus4387, Aristoteles4388, Aristocritus4389, Dionysius4390, Ephorus4391, Eratosthenes4392, Hipparchus4393, Panætius4394, Serapion4395 of Antioch, Callimachus4396, Agathocles4397, Polybius4398, Timæus4399 the mathematician, Herodotus4400, Myrsilus4401, Alexander Polyhistor4402, Metrodorus4403, Posidonius4404, who wrote the Periplus and the Periegesis, Sotades4405, Periander4406,499 Aristarchus4407 of Sicyon, Eudoxus4408, Antigenes4409, Callicrates4410, Xenophon4411 of Lampsacus, Diodorus4412 of Syracuse, Hanno4413, Himilco4414, Nymphodorus4415, Calliphanes4416, Artemidorus4417, Megasthenes4418, Isidorus4419, Cleobulus4420, and Aristocreon4421.



Page   1, line   9,

The allusion, otherwise obscure, is to the fact that some friends of Catullus had filched a set of table-napkins, which had been given to him by Veranius and Fabius, and substituted others in their place.

13,   2,

for Roman figures, read other figures.

20,   7,

for the God of nature; he also tends, down to and most excellent, read the God of nature. He supplies light to the universe, and dispels all darkness; He both conceals and reveals the other stars. It is He that regulates the seasons, and, in the course of nature, governs the year as it ever springs anew into birth; it is He that dispels the gloom of the heavens, and sheds his light upon the clouds of the human mind. He, too, lends his brightness to the other stars. He is most brilliant and most excellent.

21, 13,

for elected, read erected.

21, 13,

for good fortune, read evil fortune.

23, 18,

for our scepticism concerning God is still increased, read our conjectures concerning God become more vague still.

23, 31,

for and the existence of God becomes doubtful, read whereby the very existence of a God is shewn to be uncertain.

33,   4,

for as she receives, read as receives.

54, 15,

for the seventh of the circumference, read the seventh of the third of the circumference.

59, 36,

for transeuntia, read transcurrentia.

67, 26,

for circumstances, read influences.

78,   9,

for higher winds, read higher waves.

78, 17,

for the male winds are therefore regulated by the odd numbers, read hence it is that the odd numbers are generally looked upon as males.

79, 15,

for of the cloud, read of the icy cloud.

79, 21,

for sprinkling it with vinegar, read throwing vinegar against it.

79, 22,

for this substance, read that liquid.

80, 13,

for but not until, read and not after.

80, 14,

for the former is diffused, down to impulse, read the latter is diffused in the blast, the former is condensed by the violent impulse.

80, 17,

for dash, read crash.

81, 21,

for thunder-storms, read thunder-bolts.

81, 27,

for their operation, read its operation.

82,   8,

for thunder-storms, read thunder-bolts.

85,   2,

for blown up, read blasted.

88, 15,

for the east, read the west.

89, 11,

for even a stone, read ever a stone.

92,   9,

for how many things do we compel her to produce spontaneously, read how many things do we compel her to produce! How many things does she pour forth spontaneously!

92, 10,

for odours and flowers, read odours and flavours.

93, 16,

for luxuries, read caprices.


1 The weight of testimony inclines to the latter. The mere titles of the works which have been written on the subject would fill a volume.

2 At a wedding feast, as mentioned by him in B. ix. c. 58. She was then the wife of Caligula.

3 Related in B. ix. c. 5.

4 Here at Tusdrita, he saw L. Coisicius, who it was said had been changed from a woman into a man. See B. vii. c. 3. Phlegon Trallianus and Ausonius also refer to the story.

5 See B. xvi. c. 2, and B. xxxi. c. 19.

6 Plinii Ep. B. vi. Ep. 16.

7 Twenty-fourth August.

8 “Fortes fortuna juvat.”

9 B. iii. Ep. 5.

10 Nero Claudius Drusus, the son of Livia, afterwards the wife of Augustus. He was the father of the Emperor Claudius, and died in Germany of the effects of an accident.

11 “Studiosus.” This work has perished.

12 “De Dubia Sermone.” A few scattered fragments of it still survive.

13 23rd of August.

14 For astrological presages.

15 At midwinter, this hour would answer at Rome to our midnight.

16 At midwinter, this would be between six and seven in the evening.

17 “Electorum Commentarii.”

18 B. viii. c. 34. His acrimony may however, in this instance, have outstripped his discretion. Though indebted to them for by far the largest amount of his information on almost every subject, he seems to have had a strong aversion to the Greeks, and repeatedly charges them with lying, viciousness, boasting, and vanity. See B. ii. c. 112; B. iii. c. 6; B. v. c. 1; B. xv. c. 5; B. xix. c. 26; B. xxviii. c. 29; B. xxxvii. c. 74.

19 Of Vespasian and Titus for certain; and probably of Nero, who appointed him “procurator Cæsaris” in Spain.

20 Even on that point he contradicts himself in the next Book. See B. viii. c. 19, and 64, in reference to the lion and the horse.

21 See B. vii. c. 51.

22 “Summa vitæ felicitas.” B. vii. c. 54.

23 B. vii. c. 53.

24 He loses no opportunity of inveighing against luxury and sensuality.

25 The question as to a future existence he calls “Manium ambages,” “quiddities about the Manes.” B. vii. c. 56.

26 See B. vii. c. 53.

27 We have already seen that in his earlier years he was warned in a vision by Drusus to write the history of the wars in Germany; but there is a vast difference between paying attention to the suggestions of a dream, and believing in the immortality of the soul, or the existence of disembodied spirits.

28 B. vii. c. 53.

29 B. vii. c. 58, 59, 60.

30 Mankind must surely have agreed before this in making the instruments employed in shaving.

31 “Discours Premier sur l’Histoire Naturelle.”

32 Biographie Universelle. Vol. 35. Art. Pline.

33 This, however, is not the fault of Pliny, but the result of imperfect tradition. To have described every object minutely that he has named, and of which he has given the peculiar properties, would have swollen his book to a most enormous size, almost indeed beyond conception.

34 Lemaire informs us, in his title-page, that the two first books of the Natural History are edited by M. Alexandre, in his edition.

35 “Jucundissime;” it is not easy to find an epithet in our language which will correctly express the meaning of the original, affectionate and familiar, at the same time that it is sufficiently dignified and respectful.

36 Lamb’s trans.; Carm. i. 4. of the original.

37 “Conterraneus;” we have no word in English which expresses the idea intended by the original, and which is, at the same time, a military term. There is indeed some reason to doubt, whether the word now inserted in the text was the one employed by the author: see the remarks of M. Alexandre, in Lem. i. 3; also an observation in Cigalino’s dissertation on the native country of Pliny; Valpy, 8.

38 “Permutatis prioribus sætabis;” Carm. xii. 14; xxv. 7; see the notes in Lamb’s trans. pp. 135 & 149.

39 These names in the original are Varaniolus and Fabullus, which are supposed to have been changed from Veranius and Fabius, as terms of familiarity and endearment; see Poinsinet, i. 24, and Lemaire, i. 4.

40 The narrative of Suetonius may serve to illustrate the observation of Pliny: “Triumphavit (Titus) cum patre, censuramque gessit una. Eidem collega et in tribunicia potestate, et in septem consulatibus fuit. Receptaque ad se prope omnium officiorum cura, cum patris nomine et epistolas ipse dictaret, et edicta conscriberet, orationesque in Senatu recitaret etiam quæstoris vice, præfecturam quoque prætorii suscepit, nunquam ad id tempus, nisi ab Equite Romano, administratum.” (viii. 5.)

41 “Perfricui faciem.” This appears to have been a proverbial expression among the Romans; Cicero, Tusc. Quæs. iii. 41, employs “os perfricuisti,” and Martial, xi. 27. 7, “perfricuit frontem,” in the same sense.

42 Suetonius speaks of Domitian’s taste for poetry, as a part of his habitual dissimulation, viii. 2; see also the notes of Poinsinet, i. 26, and of Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 351.

43 “Non eras in hoc albo;” see the note of Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 8. A passage in Quintilian, xii. 4, may serve to illustrate this use of the term ‘album’; “... quorum alii se ad album ac rubricas transtulerunt....”

44 It appears that the passage in which Cicero makes this quotation from Lucilius, is not in the part of his treatise De Republica which was lately discovered by Angelus Maius; Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 9. Cicero refers to this remark of Lucilius in two of his other works, although with a variation in the expression and in the individuals specified; De Orat. ii. 6, and De Fin. i. 3.

45 “Qui primus condidit styli nasum.”

46 “Sed hæc ego mihi nunc patrocinia ademi nuncupatione.”

47 “Pecunias deponerent.” Ajasson, i. 11, remarks on these words, “Qui videri volebant ambitu alienissimi, pecuniam apud sanctum aliquem virum deponebant, qua scilicet multarentur, si unquam hujus criminis manifesti fierent.”

48 This expression is not found in any of the works of Cicero which are now extant, nor, indeed, is it certain that it was anything more than a remark made in conversation.

49 “Provocatio,” calling forth.

50 Horace, Epist. ii. 1. 143; Ovid, Fast. iv. 746 and v. 121, and Tibullus, i. 1. 26 and ii. 5. 37, refer to the offerings of milk made by the country people to their rural deities.

51 “... id est, artium et doctrinarum omnium circulus;” Alexandre in Lem. i. 14.

52 These words are not found in any of the books of Livy now extant; we may conclude that they were introduced into the latter part of his work.

53 “Quem nunc primum historiæ Plinianæ librum vocamus, hic non numeratur, quod sit operis index.” Hardouin in Lem. i. 16.

54 Nothing is known of Domitius Piso, either as an author or an individual.

55 The names of these authors will be found, arranged by Hardouin alphabetically, with a brief account of them and their works, in Lem. i. 157 et seq.; we have nearly the same list in Valpy, p. 4903.

56 “Musinamur.” We learn from Hardouin, Lem. i. 17, that there is some doubt as to the word employed by our author, whether it was musinamur or muginamur; I should be disposed to adopt the former, as being, according to the remark of Turnebus, “verbum a Musis deductum.”

57 “A fine Aufidii Bassi;” as Alexandre remarks, “Finis autem Aufidii Bassi intelligendus est non mors ejus, sed tempus ad quod suas ipse perduxerat historias. Quodnam illud ignoramus.” Lem. i. 18. For an account of Aufidius Bassus we are referred to the catalogue of Hardouin, but his name does not appear there. Quintilian (x. 1) informs us, that he wrote an account of the Germanic war.

58 “Jam pridem peracta sancitur.”

59 This sentiment is not found in that portion of the treatise which has been lately published by Angelus Maius. Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 19.

60 The following is probably the passage in the Offices to which Pliny refers: “Panæcius igitur, qui sine controversia de officiis accuratissime disputavit, quemque nos, correctione quadam exhibita, potissimum secuti sumus....” (iii. 2.)

61 “Cum præsertim sors fiat ex usura.” The commentators and translators have differed respecting the interpretation of this passage; I have given what appears to me the obvious meaning of the words.

62 “Lac gallinaceum;” “Proverbium de re singulari et admodum rara,” according to Hardouin, who quotes a parallel passage from Petronius; Lemaire, i. 21.

63 The titles in the original are given in Greek; I have inserted in the text the words which most nearly resemble them, and which have been employed by modern authors.

64 “Lucubratio.”

65 The pun in the original cannot be preserved in the translation; the English reader may conceive the name Bibaculus to correspond to our surname Jolly.

66 “Sesculysses” and “Flextabula;” literally, Ulysses and a Half, and Bend-table.

67 Βιβλιοθήκη.

68 “Cymbalum mundi” and “publicæ famæ tympanum.”

69 “Pendenti titulo;” as Hardouin explains it, “qui nondum absolutum opus significaret, verum adhuc pendere, velut imperfectum.” Lemaire, i. 26.

70 “Homeromastigæ.”

71 “Dialectici.” By this term our author probably meant to designate those critics who were disposed to dwell upon minute verbal distinctions; “dialecticarum captionum amantes,” according to Hardouin; Lem. i. 28.

72 “Quod argutiarum amantissimi, et quod æmulatio inter illos acerbissima.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 28.

73 Pliny the younger, in one of his letters (iii. 5), where he enumerates all his uncle’s publications, informs us, that he wrote “a piece of criticism in eight books, concerning ambiguity of expression.” Melmoth’s Pliny, i. 136.

74 The ancients had very exaggerated notions respecting the period of the elephant’s pregnancy; our author, in a subsequent part of his work (viii. 10), says, “Decem annis gestare vulgus existimat; Aristoteles biennio.”

75 His real name was Tyrtamus, but in consequence of the beauty of his style, he acquired the appellation by which he is generally known from the word θεῖος φράσις. Cicero on various occasions refers to him; Brutus, 121; Orator, 17, et alibi.

76 “Suspendio jam quærere mortem oportere homines vitæque renunciare, cum tantum licentiæ, vel feminæ, vel imperiti homines sumant, ut in doctissimos scribant;” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 29. We learn from Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i. 33, that the name of this female was Leontium; “... sed meretricula etiam Leontium contra Theophrastum scribere ausa sit.”

77 A. Gellius (vii. 4) refers to this work and gives an extract from it.

78 The hostility which Cato bore to Scipio Africanus is mentioned by Livy, xxxviii. 54, and by Corn. Nepos, Cato, i.

79 Lucius Munatius Plancus took a conspicuous part in the political intrigues of the times and was especially noted for his follies and extravagance.

80 Asinius Pollio is a name which stands high in Roman literature; according to the remark of Alexandre, “Vir magnus fuit, prono tamen ad obtrectandum ingenio, quod arguunt ejus cum Cicerone simultates,” Lemaire, i. 30. This hostile feeling towards Cicero is supposed to have proceeded from envy and mortification, because he was unable to attain the same eminence in the art of oratory with his illustrious rival. See Hardouin’s Index Auctorum, in Lemaire, i. 168.

81 “Vitiligatores.”

82 The table of contents, which occupies no less than 124 pages in Lemaire’s edition, I have omitted, in consequence of its length; the object which the author proposed to effect by the table of contents will be gained more completely by an alphabetical index.

83Ἐποπτίδων.” For an account of Valerius Soranus see Hardouin’s Index Auctorum, in Lemaire, i. 217.

84 To the end of each book of the Natural History is appended, in the original, a copious list of references to the sources from which the author derived his information. These are very numerous; in the second book they amount to 45, in the third to 35, in the 4th to 53, in the fifth to 60, in the sixth to 54, and they are in the same proportion in the remaining books.

85 “Spartum;” this plant was used to make bands for the vines and cables for ships.

86 “Mundus.” In translating from one language into another, it is proper, as a general principle, always to render the same word in the original by the same word in the translation. But to this rule there are two exceptions; where the languages do not possess words which precisely correspond, and where the original author does not always use the same word in the same sense. Both these circumstances, I apprehend, apply to the case in question. The term Mundus is used by Pliny, sometimes to mean the earth and its immediate appendages, the visible solar system; and at other times the universe; while I think we may venture to assert, that in some instances it is used in rather a vague manner, without any distinct reference to either one or other of the above designations. I have, in almost all cases, translated it by the term world, as approaching nearest to the sense of the original. The word mundus is frequently employed by Lucretius, especially in his fifth book, and seems to be almost always used in the more extended sense of universe. There are, indeed, a few passages where either meaning would be equally appropriate, and in one line it would appear to be equivalent to firmament or heavens; “et mundi speciem violare serenam,” iv. 138. Cicero, in his treatise De Natura Deorum, generally uses the term mundus in the sense of universe, as in ii. 22, 37, 58 and 154; while in one passage, ii. 132, it would appear to be employed in the more limited sense of the earth. It occasionally occurs in the Fasti of Ovid, but it is not easy to ascertain its precise import; as in the line “Post chaos, ut primum data sunt tria corpora mundo,” v. 41, where from the connexion it may be taken either in the more confined or in the more general sense. Manilius employs the word very frequently, and his commentators remark, that he uses it in two distinct senses, the visible firmament and the universe; and I am induced to think that he attaches still more meaning to the term. It occurs three times in the first eleven lines of his poem. In the third line, “deducere mundo aggredior,” mundus may be considered as equivalent to the celestial regions as opposed to the earth. In the ninth line, “concessumque patri mundo,” we may consider it as signifying the celestial regions generally; and in the eleventh, “Jamque favet mundus,” the whole of the earth, or rather its inhabitants. We meet with it again in the sixty-eighth line, “lumina mundi,” where it seems more properly to signify the visible firmament; again in the 139th, “Et mundi struxere globum,” it seems to refer especially to the earth, synonymous with the general sense of the English term world; while in the 153rd line, “per inania mundi,” it must be supposed to mean the universe. Hyginus, in his Poeticon Astronomicon, lib. i. p. 55, defines the term as follows: “Mundus appellatur is qui constat in sole et luna et terra et omnibus stellis;” and again, p. 57, “Terra mundi media regione collocata.” We may observe the different designations of the term mundus in Seneca; among other passages I may refer to his Nat. Quæst. vii. 27 & iii. 30; to his treatise De Consol. § 18 and De Benef. iv. 23, where I conceive the precise meanings are, respectively, the universe, the terrestrial globe, the firmament, and the heavenly bodies. The Greek term κόσμος, which corresponds to the Latin word mundus, was likewise employed to signify, either the visible firmament or the universe. In illustration of this, it will be sufficient to refer to the treatise of Aristotle Περὶ Κόσμου, cap. 2. p. 601. See also Stephens’s Thesaurus, in loco. In Apuleius’s treatise De Mundo, which is a free translation of Aristotle’s Περὶ Κόσμου, the term may be considered as synonymous with universe. It is used in the same sense in various parts of Apuleius’s writings: see Metam. ii. 23; De Deo Socratis, 665, 667; De Dogmate Platonis, 574, 575, et alibi.

87 Cicero, in his Timæus, uses the same phraseology; “Omne igitur cœlum, sive mundus, sive quovis alio vocabulo gaudet, hoc a nobis nuncupatum est,” § 2. Pomponius Mela’s work commences with a similar expression; “Omne igitur hoc, quidquid est, cui mundi cœlique nomen indideris, unum id est.” They were probably taken from a passage in Plato’s Timæus, “Universum igitur hoc, Cœlum, sive Mundum, sive quo alio vocabulo gaudet, cognominemus,” according to the translation of Ficinus; Platonis Op. ix. p. 302. The word cœlum, which is employed in the original, in its ordinary acceptation, signifies the heavens, the visible firmament; as in Ovid, Met. i. 5, “quod tegit omnia, cœlum.” It is, in most cases, employed in this sense by Lucretius and by Manilius, as in i. 2. of the former and in i. 14. of the latter. Occasionally, however, it is employed by both of these writers in the more general sense of celestial regions, in opposition to the earth, as by Lucretius, i. 65, and by Manilius, i. 352. In the line quoted by Cicero from Pacuvius, it would seem to mean the place in which the planets are situated; De Nat. Deor. ii. 91. The Greek word οὐρανὸς may be regarded as exactly corresponding to the Latin word cœlum, and employed with the same modifications; see Aristotle, De Mundo and De Cœlo, and Ptolemy, Mag. Const. lib. i. passim; see also Stephens’s Thesaurus, in loco. Aratus generally uses it to designate the visible firmament, as in l. 10, while in l. 32 it means the heavenly regions. Gesner defines cœlum, “Mundus exclusa terra,” and mundus, “Cœlum et quidquid cœli ambitu continetur.” In the passage from Plato, referred to above, the words which are translated by Ficinus cœlum and mundus, are in the original οὐρανὸς and κόσμος; Ficinus, however, in various parts of the Timæus, translates οὐρανὸς by the word mundus: see t. ix. p. 306, 311, et alibi.

88 The following passage from Cicero may serve to illustrate the doctrine of Pliny: “Novem tibi orbibus, vel potius globis, connexa sunt omnia: quorum unus est cœlestis, extimus, qui reliquos omnes complectitur, summus ipse Deus, arcens et continens cœlum;” Som. Scip. § 4. I may remark, however, that the term here employed by our author is not Deus but Numen.

89 We have an interesting account of the opinions of Aristotle on this subject, in a note in M. Ajasson’s translation, ii. 234 et seq., which, as well as the greater part of the notes attached to the second book of the Natural History, were written by himself in conjunction with M. Marcus.

90 The philosophers of antiquity were divided in their opinions respecting the great question, whether the active properties of material bodies, which produce the phænomena of nature, are inherent in them, and necessarily attached to them, or whether they are bestowed upon them by some superior power or being. The Academics and Peripatetics generally adopted the latter opinion, the Stoics the former: Pliny adopts the doctrine of the Stoics; see Enfield’s Hist. of Phil. i. 229, 283, 331.

91 I may remark, that the astronomy of our author is, for the most part, derived from Aristotle; the few points in which they differ will be stated in the appropriate places.

92 This doctrine was maintained by Plato in his Timæus, p. 310, and adopted by Aristotle, De Cœlo, lib. ii. cap. 14, and by Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 47. The spherical form of the world, οὐρανὸς, and its circular motion are insisted upon by Ptolemy, in the commencement of his astronomical treatise Μεγάλη Σύνταξις, Magna Constructio, frequently referred to by its Arabic title Almagestum, cap. 2. He is supposed to have made his observations at Alexandria, between the years 125 and 140 A.D. His great astronomical work was translated into Arabic in the year 827; the original Greek text was first printed in 1538 by Grynæus, with a commentary by Theon. George of Trebisond published a Latin version of it in 1541, and a second was published by Camerarius in 1551, along with Ptolemy’s other works. John Muller, usually called Regiomontanus, and Purback published an abridgement of the Almagest in 1541. For an account of Ptolemy I may refer to the article in the Biog. Univ. xxxv. 263 et seq., by Delambre, also to Hutton’s Math. Dict., in loco, and to the high character of him by Whewell, Hist. of the Inductive Sciences, p. 214.

93 See Ptolemy, ubi supra.

94 This opinion, which was maintained by Pythagoras, is noticed and derided by Aristotle, De Cœlo, lib. ii. cap. 9. p. 462-3. A brief account of Pythagoras’s doctrine on this subject is contained in Enfield’s Philosophy, i. 386.

95 Pliny probably here refers to the opinion which Cicero puts into the mouth of one of the interlocutors in his treatise De Nat. Deor. ii. 47, “Quid enim pulchrius ea figura, quæ sola omnes alias figuras complexa continet, quæque nihil asperitatis habere, nihil offensionis potest, nihil incisum angulis, nihil anfractibus, nihil eminens, nihil lacunosum?”

96 The letter Δ, in the constellation of the triangle; it is named Δελτωτὸν by Aratus, l. 235; also by Manilius, i. 360. We may remark, that, except in this one case, the constellations have no visible resemblance to the objects of which they bear the name.

97 “Locum hunc Plinii de Galaxia, sive Lactea via, interpretantur omnes docti.” Alexandre, in Lemaire, i. 227. It may be remarked, that the word vertex is here used in the sense of the astronomical term zenith, not to signify the pole.

98 De Ling. Lat. lib. iv. p. 7, 8. See also the remarks on the derivation of the word in Gesner, Thes., in loco.

99 “Signifer.” The English term is taken from the Greek word Ζωδιακὸς, derived from Ζῶον; see Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. 2. p. 602. The word Zodiacus does not occur in Pliny, nor is it employed by Ptolemy; he names it λοξὸς κύκλος, obliquus circulus; Magn. Const. i. 7, 13, et alibi. It is used by Cicero, but professedly as a Greek term; Divin. ii. 89, and Arati Phænom. l. 317. It occurs in Hyginus, p. 57 et alibi, and in A. Gellius, 13. 9. Neither signifer taken substantively, nor zodiacus occur in Lucretius or in Manilius.

100 The account of the elements, of their nature, difference, and, more especially, the necessity of their being four, are fully discussed by Aristotle in various parts of his works, more particularly in his treatise De Cœlo, lib. iii. cap. 3, 4 and 5, lib. iv. cap. 5, and De Gener. et Cor. lib. ii. cap. 2, 3, 4 and 5. For a judicious summary of the opinions of Aristotle on this subject, I may refer to Stanley’s History of Philosophy; Aristotle, doctrines of, p. 2. l. 7, and to Enfield, i. 764 et seq. For the Epicurean doctrine, see Lucretius, i. 764 et seq.

101 Although the word planeta, as taken from the Greek πλανήτης, is inserted in the title of this chapter, it does not occur in any part of the text. It is not found either in Lucretius, Manilius, or Seneca, nor, I believe, was it used by any of their contemporaries, except Hyginus, p. 76. The planets were generally styled stellæ erraticæ, errantes, or vagæ, sidera palantia, as in Lucretius, ii. 1030, or simply the five stars, as in Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 51, and in Seneca, Nat. Quæst. vii. 24. Pliny, by including the sun and moon, makes the number seven. Aratus calls them πέντ’ ἄστερες, l. 454.

102 “Aër.” “Circumfusa undique est (terra) hac animabili spirabilique natura, cui nomen est aër; Græcum illud quidem, sed perceptum jam tamen usu a nobis;” Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 91.

103 “universi cardine.” “Revolutionis, ut aiunt, centro. Idem Plinius, hoc ipso libro, cap. 64, terram cœli cardinem esse dicit;” Alexandre, in Lem. i. 228. On this subject I may refer to Ptolemy, Magn. Const, lib. i. cap. 3, 4, 6. See also Apuleius, near the commencement of his treatise De Mundo.

104 “Sidera.” The word sidus is used, in most cases, for one of the heavenly bodies generally, sometimes for what we term a constellation, a particular assemblage of them, and sometimes specially for an individual star. Manilius employs the word in all these senses, as will appear by the three following passages respectively; the first taken from the opening of his poem,

“Carmine divinas artes, et conscia fati

The second,

“Hæc igitur texunt æquali sidera tractu
Ignibus in varias cœlum laqueantia formas.” i. 275, 276.

The third

“... pectus, fulgenti sidere clarius;” i. 356.

In the Fasti of Ovid, we have examples of the two latter of these significations:—

“Ex Ariadnæo sidere nosse potes;” v. 316.
“Et canis (Icarium dicunt) quo sidere noto
Tosta sitit tellus;” iv. 939, 940.

Lucretius appears always to employ the term in the general sense. J. Obsequens applies the word sidus to a meteor; “sidus ingens cœlo demissum,” cap. 16. In a subsequent part of this book, chap. 18 et seq., our author more particularly restricts the term sidus to the planets.

105 Cicero remarks concerning them; “quæ (stellæ) falso vocantur errantes;” De Nat. Deor. ii. 51.

106 “... vices dierum alternat et noctium, quum sidera præsens occultat, illustrat absens;” Hard. in Lem. i. 230.

107 “ceteris sideribus.” According to Hardouin, ubi supra, “nimium stellis errantibus.” There is, however, nothing in the expression of our author which sanctions this limitation.

108 See Iliad, iii. 277, and Od. xii. 323.

109 It is remarked by Enfield, Hist. of Phil. ii. 131, that “with respect to philosophical opinions, Pliny did not rigidly adhere to any sect.... He reprobates the Epicurean tenet of an infinity of worlds; favours the Pythagorean notion of the harmony of the spheres; speaks of the universe as God, after the manner of the Stoics, and sometimes seems to pass over into the field of the Sceptics. For the most part, however, he leans to the doctrine of Epicurus.”

110 “Si alius est Deus quam sol,” Alexandre in Lem. i. 230. Or rather, if there be any God distinct from the world; for the latter part of the sentence can scarcely apply to the sun. Poinsinet and Ajasson, however, adopt the same opinion with M. Alexandre; they translate the passage, “s’il en est autre que le soleil,” i. 17 and ii. 11.

111 “totus animæ, totus animi;” “Anima est qua vivimus, animus quo sapimus.” Hard. in Lem. i. 230, 231. The distinction between these two words is accurately pointed out by Lucretius, iii. 137 et seq.

112 “fecerunt (Athenienses) Contumeliæ fanum et Impudentiæ.” Cicero, De Leg. ii. 28. See also Bossuet, Discours sur l’Histoire univ. i. 250.

113 The account which Cicero gives us of the opinions of Democritus scarcely agrees with the statement in the text; see De Nat. Deor. i. 120.

114 “In varios divisit Deos numen unicum, quod Plinio cœlum est aut mundus; ejusque singulas partes, aut, ut philosophi aiunt, attributa, separatim coluit;” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 231.

115 “Febrem autem ad minus nocendum, templis celebrant, quorum adhuc unum in Palatio....” Val. Max. ii. 6; see also Ælian, Var. Hist. xii. 11. It is not easy to ascertain the precise meaning of the terms Fanum, Ædes, and Templum, which are employed in this place by Pliny and Val. Maximus. Gesner defines Fanum “area templi et solium, templum vero ædificium;” but this distinction, as he informs us, is not always accurately observed; there appears to be still less distinction between Ædes and Templum; see his Thesaurus in loco, also Bailey’s Facciolati in loco.

116 “Orbona est Orbitalis dea.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 231.

117 “Appositos sibi statim ab ortu custodes credebant, quos viri Genios, Junones fœminæ vocabant.” Hardouin in Lemaire, i. 232. See Tibullus, 4. 6. 1, and Seneca, Epist. 110, sub init.

118 We may suppose that our author here refers to the popular mythology of the Egyptians; the “fœtidi cibi” are mentioned by Juvenal; “Porrum et cæpe nefas violare et frangere morsu,” xv. 9; and Pliny, in a subsequent part of his work, xix. 32, remarks, “Allium cæpeque inter Deos in jurejurando habet Ægyptus.”

119 See Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i. 42 et alibi, for an illustration of these remarks of Pliny.

120 This sentiment is elegantly expressed by Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 62, and by Horace, Od. iii. 3. 9 et seq. It does not appear, however, that any of the Romans, except Romulus, were deified, previous to the adulatory period of the Empire.

121 “Planetarum nempe, qui omnes nomina mutuantur a diis.” Alexandre in Lemaire, i. 234.

122 This remark may be illustrated by the following passage from Cicero, in the first book of his treatise De Nat. Deor. Speaking of the doctrine of Zeno, he says, “neque enim Jovem, neque Junonem, neque Vestam, neque quemquam, qui ita appelletur, in deorum habet numero: sed rebus inanimis, atque mutis, per quandam significationem, hæc docet tributa nomina.” “Idemque (Chrysippus) disputat, æthera esse eum, quem homines Jovem appellant: quique aër per maria manaret, eum esse Neptunum: terramque eam esse, quæ Ceres diceretur: similique ratione persequitur vocabula reliquorum deorum.”

123 The following remarks of Lucretius and of Cicero may serve to illustrate the opinion here expressed by our author:—

“Omnis enim per se Divum natura necesse est Immortali ævo summa cum pace fruatur, Semota ab nostris rebus, sejunctaque longe;” Lucretius, i. 57-59.

“Quod æternum beatumque sit, id nec habere ipsum negotii quidquam, nec exhibere alteri; itaque neque ira neque gratia teneri, quod, quæ talia essent, imbecilla essent omnia.” Cicero, De Nat. Deor. i. 45.

124 The author here alludes to the figures of the Egyptian deities that were engraven on rings.

125 His specific office was to execute vengeance on the impious.

126 “sola utramque paginam facit.” The words utraque pagina generally refer to the two sides of the same sheet, but, in this passage, they probably mean the contiguous portions of the same surface.

127 “astroque suo eventu assignat;” the word astrum appears to be synonymous with sidus, generally signifying a single star, and, occasionally, a constellation; as in Manilius, i. 541, 2.

“... quantis bis sena ferantur
Finibus astra....”

It is also used by synecdoche for the heavens, as is the case with the English word stars. See Gesner’s Thesaurus.

128 “Quæ si suscipiamus, pedis offensio nobis ... et sternutamenta erunt observanda.” Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii. 84.

129 “Divus Augustus.” The epithet divus may be regarded as merely a term of court etiquette, because all the Emperors after death were deified ex officio.

130 We learn the exact nature of this ominous accident from Suetonius; “... si mane sibi calceus perperam, et sinister pro dextro induceretur;” Augustus, Cap. 92. From this passage it would appear, that the Roman sandals were made, as we term it, right and left.

131 It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the opinions here stated respecting the Deity are taken partly from the tenets of the Epicureans, combined with the Stoical doctrine of Fate. The examples which are adduced to prove the power of fate over the Deity are, for the most part, rather verbal than essential.

132 “affixa mundo.” The peculiar use of the word mundus in this passage is worthy of remark, in connexion with note 86, ch. 1. page 13.

133 We have many references in Pliny to the influence of the stars upon the earth and its inhabitants, constituting what was formerly regarded as so important a science, judicial astrology. Ptolemy has drawn up a regular code of it in his “Centum dicta,” or “Centiloquiums.” We have a highly interesting account of the supposed science, its origin, progress, and general principles, in Whewell’s History of the Inductive Sciences, p. 293 et seq. I may also refer to the same work for a sketch of the history of astronomy among the Greeks and the other nations of antiquity.

134 There are certain metaphorical expressions, which have originated from this opinion, adopted by the moderns; “his star is set;” “the star of his fortune,” &c.

135 Ovid, when he compares Phaëton to a falling star, remarks, concerning this meteor,—

“Etsi non cecidit, potuit cecidisse videri.” Metam. ii. 322.

136 Manilius supposes that comets are produced and rendered luminous by an operation very similar to the one described in the text; i. 815 et seq. Seneca, in the commencement of his Nat. Quæst., and in other parts of the same treatise, refers to this subject. His remarks may be worth perusing by those who are curious to learn the hypotheses of the ancients on subjects of natural science. We may remark, that Seneca’s opinions are, on many points, more correct than our author’s.

137 The author probably refers to that part of his work in which he treats on agriculture, particularly to the 17th and 18th books.

138 The æra of the Olympiads commenced in the year 776 before Christ; each olympiad consists of 4 years; the 58th olympiad will therefore include the interval 548 to 544 B.C. The 21st vol. of the “Universal History” consists entirely of a “chronological table,” and we have a useful table of the same kind in Brewster’s Encycl., article “Chronology.”

139 “rerum fores aperuisse ... traditur.” An account of the astronomy of Anaximander is contained in Brewster’s Encycl., article “Astronomy,” p. 587, and in the article “Anaximander” in the supplement to the same work by Scott of Aberdeen. I may remark, that these two accounts do not quite agree in their estimate of his merits; the latter author considers his opinions more correct. We have also an account of Anaximander in Stanley, pt. 2. p. 1 et seq., and in Enfield, i. 154 et seq.

140 In the translation of Ajasson, ii. 261-7, we have some valuable observations by Marcus, respecting the origin and progress of astronomy among the Greeks, and the share which the individuals mentioned in the text respectively had in its advancement; also some interesting remarks on the history of Atlas. Diodorus Siculus says, that “he was the first that discovered the knowledge of the sphere; whence arose the common opinion, that he carried the world upon his shoulders.” Booth’s trans. p. 115.

141 “nunc relicto mundi ipsius corpore, reliqua inter cœlum terrasque tractentur.” I have already had occasion to remark upon the various modes in which the author uses the word mundus; by cœlum, in this passage, he means the body or region beyond the planets, which is conceived to contain the fixed stars. Sphæra, in the preceding sentence, may be supposed to mean the celestial globe.

142 “ac trigesimo anno ad brevissima sedis suæ principia regredi;” I confess myself unable to offer any literal explanation of this passage; nor do the remarks of the commentators appear to me satisfactory; see Hardouin and Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 241, 2. It is translated by Ajasson “en trente ans il reviens à l’espace minime d’où il est parti.” The period of the sidereal revolutions of the planets, as stated by Mrs. Somerville, in her “Mechanism of the Heavens,” and by Sir J. Herschel, in his “Treatise on Astronomy,” are respectively as follows:—

  days. days.
Mercury       87·9705       87·9692580
Venus     224·7     224·7007869
Earth     365·2564     365·2563612
Mars     686·99     686·9796458
Jupiter   4332·65   4332·5848212
Saturn 10759·4 10759·2198174
Somerville, p. 358. Herschel, p. 416.

143 “‘mundo;’ hoc est, cœlo inerrantium stellarum.” Hardouin, in Lemaire, ii. 242.

144 Our author supposes, that the spectator has his face directed towards the south, as is the case with the modern observers. We are, however, informed by Hardouin, that this was not the uniform practice among the ancients; see the remarks of Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 242, and of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 269.

145 The constant revolution refers to the apparent daily motion; the opposite direction to their annual course through the zodiac. Ptolemy gives an account of this double motion in his Magna Constructio, i. 7.

146 For the exact period, according to Somerville and Herschel, see note 142, p. 27.

147 Aristotle informs us, that Mars was also called Hercules or Pyrosis; De Mundo, cap. ii. p. 602. See also Apuleius, De Mundo, § 710. Hyginus is said by Hardouin to give the name of Hercules to the planet Mars, but this appears to be an inaccuracy; he describes the planet under its ordinary appellation; lib. ii. p. 62; and ii. 78, 9.

148 Cicero, speaking of the period of Mars, says, “Quatuor et viginti mensibus, sex, ut opinor, diebus minus;” De Nat. Deor. For the exact period, see note 142, p. 27.

149 “Sed ut observatio umbrarum ejus redeat ad notas.” According to the interpretation of Hardouin, “Ad easdem lineas in solari horologio.” Lemaire, ii. 243.

150 This is an example of the mode of computation which we meet with among the ancients, where, in speaking of the period of a revolution, both the time preceding and that following the interval are included.

151 The division of the planets into superior and inferior was not known to Aristotle, De Mundo, cap. ii. p. 602, to Plato, Timæus, p. 318, 319, or the older Greek astronomers. It was first made by the Egyptians, and was transferred from them to the Romans. It is one of the points in which our author differs from Aristotle. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 242 et seq. Marcus notices the various points which prove the deficiency of Pliny’s knowledge of astronomy; he particularizes the four following:—his ignorance of the true situation of the constellations; his erroneous opinion respecting the cause of the seasons; his account of the phases of the moon, and of the position of the cardinal points. He appears not to have been aware, that certain astronomical phænomena undergo a regular progression, but supposed that they remained, at the time when he wrote, in the same state as in the age of Hipparchus or the original observers. Columella, when treating on these subjects, describes the phænomena according to the ancient calculation, but he informs us, that he adopts it, because it was the one in popular use, and better known by the farmers (De Re Rust. ix. 14), while Pliny appears not to have been aware of the inaccuracy.

152 “Modo solem antegrediens, modo subsequens.” Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 243.

153 It was not known to the earlier writers that Lucifer and Vesper were the same star, differently situated with respect to the Sun. Playfair remarks, that Venus is the only planet mentioned in the sacred writings, and in the most ancient poets, such as Hesiod and Homer; Outlines, ii. 156.

154 There has been much discussion among the commentators respecting the correctness of the figures in the text; according to the æra of the olympiads, the date referred to will be between the years 750 and 754 B.C.; the foundation of Rome is commonly referred to the year 753 B.C. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 278, 9.

155 Aristotle informs us, that it was called either Phosphorus, Juno, or Venus; De Mundo, cap. 2. t. i. p. 602. See also Hyginus, Poet. Astr. lib. iii. p. 76, 7; and Apuleius, De Mundo, § 710.

156 It will be scarcely necessary to refer the reader to the well-known commencement of Lucretius’s poem for the illustration of this passage; it is remarkable that Pliny does not refer to this writer.

157 The periodical revolution of Venus is 224·7 days, see note 142, p. 27. Its greatest elongation is 47° 1′; Somerville, § 641. p. 391.

158 According to Aristotle, this planet had the three appellations of Stilbon, Mercury, and Apollo; De Mundo, cap. 2. p. 602; see also Apuleius, De Mundo, § 710. Cicero inverts the order of the planets; he places Mercury next to Mars, and says of Venus, that it is “infima quinque errantium, terræque proxima;” De Nat. Deor. ii. 53. Aristotle places the stars in the same order, ubi supra, and he is followed in this by Apuleius, ubi supra; this appears to have been the case with the Stoics generally; see Enfield’s Phil. i. 339.

159 For the periodical revolution of Mercury see note142, p. 27. Its greatest elongation, according to Playfair, p. 160, is 28°. Mrs. Somerville, p. 386, states it to be 28° 8′. Ptolemy supposed it to be 26·5 degrees; Almagest, ix. 7. We learn from Hardouin, Lemaire, i. 246, that there is considerable variation in the MSS. with respect to the greatest elongation of Mercury.

160 Sosigenes was an Egyptian mathematician and astronomer, who is said to have assisted Cæsar in the formation of his Kalendar, as our author informs us in a subsequent part of his work, xviii. 25; see also Aikin, Gen. Biog., in loco; Enfield’s Phil. ii. 96; Whewell, p. 210; and Hardouin’s “Index Auctorum,” in Lemaire, i. 213.

161 Concerning the “magnus annus” Cicero remarks, “efficitur cum solis et lunæ et quinque errantium ad eandem inter se comparationem, confectis omnibus spatiis, est facta conversio.” De Nat. Deor. ii. 51. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 281-3.

162 For the various appellations which the moon has received in the ancient and modern languages, and their relation to each other, the reader is referred to the learned remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 283-5.

163 Marcus conceives that the epithet maculosa does not refer to what are called the spots on the moon, but to the circumstance of the edge of the disc being not illuminated when it is near the full; Ajasson, ii. 286. But, from the way in which the word is employed at the end of the chapter, and from the explanation which is given of the cause of the “maculæ,” I think it ought to be referred to the spotted appearance of the face of the moon.

164 “Quum laborare non creditur.” It was a vulgar notion among the ancients, that when the moon is eclipsed, she is suffering from the influence of magicians and enchanters, who are endeavouring to draw her down to the earth, in order to aid them in their superstitious ceremonies. It was conceived that she might be relieved from her sufferings by loud noises of various kinds which should drown the songs of the magicians. Allusion is frequently made to this custom by the ancient poets, as Virgil, Æn. i. 742, Manilius, i. 227, and Juvenal, vi. 444; and the language has been transferred to the moderns, as in Beattie’s Minstrel, ii. 47, “To ease of fancied pangs the labouring moon.”

165 We have some interesting remarks by Marcus respecting Endymion, and also on the share which Solon and Thales had in correcting the lunar observations; Ajasson, ii. 288-290.

166 “Lucem nobis aperuere in hac luce.”

167 “Cardo.”

168 Astronomers describe two different revolutions or periods of the moon; the synodical and the sidereal. The synodical marks the time in which the moon passes from one conjunction with the sun to the next conjunction, or other similar position with respect to the sun. The sidereal period is the time in which the moon returns to the same position with respect to the stars, or in which it makes a complete revolution round the earth. These numbers are, for the synodical period, 29ᵈ 12ʰ 44ᵐ 2·87ˢ, and for the sidereal, 27ᵈ 7ʰ 43ᵐ 11·5ˢ; Herschel, pp. 213, 224.

169 Our author, as Marcus remarks, “a compté par nombres ronds;” Ajasson, ii. 291; the correct number may be found in the preceding note.

170 It was a general opinion among the ancients, and one which was entertained until lately by many of the moderns, that the moon possessed the power of evaporating the water of the ocean. This opinion appears to have been derived, at least in part, from the effect which the moon produces on the tides.

171 “quantum ex sole ipsa concipiat;” from this passage, taken singly, it might be concluded, that the author supposed the quantity of light received by the moon to differ at different times; but the succeeding sentence seems to prove that this is not the case; see the remarks of Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 249. Marcus, however, takes a different view of the subject; Ajasson, ii. 291, 292. He had previously pointed out Pliny’s opinion respecting the phases of the moon, as one of the circumstances which indicate his ignorance of astronomy, ut supra, ii. 245, 246.

172 This doctrine is maintained by Seneca, Quæst. Nat. lib. ii. § 5. p. 701, 702. From the allusion which is made to it by Anacreon, in his 19th ode, we may presume that it was the current opinion among the ancients.

173 I may remark, that Poinsinet, in this passage, substitutes “umbra” for “umbræque,” contrary to the authority of all the MSS., merely because it accords better with his ideas of correct reasoning. Although it may be of little consequence in this particular sentence, yet, as such liberties are not unfrequently taken, I think it necessary to state my opinion, that this mode of proceeding is never to be admitted, and that it has proved a source of serious injury to classical literature. In this account of the astronomical phenomena, as well as in all the other scientific dissertations that occur in our author, my aim has been to transfer into our language the exact sense of the original, without addition or correction. Our object in reading Pliny is not to acquire a knowledge of natural philosophy, which might be better learned from the commonest elementary work of the present day, but to ascertain what were the opinions of the learned on such subjects when Pliny wrote. I make this remark, because I have seldom if ever perused a translation of any classical author, where, on scientific topics, the translator has not endeavoured, more or less, to correct the mistakes of the original, and to adapt his translation to the state of modern science.

174 The terms here employed are respectively interventus, objectio, and interpositus; it may be doubted whether the author intended to employ them in the precise sense which is indicated by their etymology.

175 “metæ et turbini inverso.” The metæ were small pyramids placed at the two extremities of the spina, or central division of the circus: see Montfaucon, v. iii. p. 176; Adam, p. 341.

176 The eclipses of the moon are only visible when the spectator is so situated as to be able to observe the shadow of the earth, or is on that side of the earth which is turned from the sun.

177 “non semper in scrupulis partium congruente siderum motu.” On the term scrupulus Hardouin remarks, “Scrupuli, nodi sunt, in quibus circuli, quos in suo cursu Sol et Luna efficiunt, se mutuo secant.” Lemaire, ii. 251. Ptolemy, Magn. Const. vi. 6-11, gives a full and generally correct account of the principal phænomena of eclipses.

178 Marcus conceives that our author must here mean, not the actual, but the apparent size of these bodies; Ajasson, ii. 295; but I do not perceive that the text authorizes this interpretation.

179 I have given the simple translation of the original as it now stands in the MSS.; whether these may have been corrupted, or the author reasoned incorrectly, I do not venture to decide. The commentators have, according to their usual custom, proposed various emendations and explanations, for which I may refer to the note of Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 252, with the judicious remarks of Alexandre, and to those of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 295-298, who appear to me to take a correct view of the subject.

180 Alexandre remarks, “Hinc tamen potius distantia quam magnitudo Solis colligi potest.” Lemaire, ii. 252. And the same remark applies to the two next positions of our author.

181 Alexandre remarks on the argument of our author, perhaps a little too severely, “Absurde dictum; nam aliis oritur, aliis occidit, dum aliis est a vertice; quod vel pueri sentiunt.” Lemaire, ii. 253. But we may suppose, that Pliny, in this passage, only meant to say, that as the sun became vertical to each successive part of the equinoctial district, no shadows were formed in it.

182 The commentators have thought it necessary to discuss the question, whether, in this passage, Pliny refers to the Ida of Crete or of Asia Minor. But the discussion is unnecessary, as the statement of the author is equally inapplicable to both of them. Mela appears to refer to this opinion in the following passage, where he is describing the Ida of Asia Minor; “ipse mens ... orientem solem aliter quam in aliis terris solet aspici, ostentat.” lib. i. cap. 18.

183 “Ut dictum est superiore capite, quo Plinius falso contendit Terram esse Luna minorem.” Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 253. The words of the text, however, apply equally to the comparative size of the earth and the sun, as of the earth and the moon.

184 “turbo rectus;” literally an upright top.

185 “meta.”

186 This has been pointed out as one of our author’s erroneous opinions on astronomy. The earth is really about 130 nearer the sun in our winters than in our summers. The greater degree of heat produced by his rays in the latter case depends upon their falling on the surface of the earth less obliquely. This is the principal cause of the different temperatures of the equatorial and polar regions.

187 This eclipse is calculated to have occurred on the 28th of June, 168 B.C.; Brewster’s Encyc. “Chronology,” p. 415, 424. We have an account of this transaction in Livy, xliv. 37, and in Plutarch, Life of Paulus Æmilius, Langhorne’s trans. ii. 279; he however does not mention the name of Gallus. See also Val. Maximus, viii. 11. 1, and Quintilian, i. 10. Val. Maximus does not say that Gallus predicted the eclipse, but explained the cause of it when it had occurred; and the same statement is made by Cicero, De Repub. i. 15. For an account of Sulpicius, see Hardouin’s Index auctorum, Lemaire, i. 214.

188 An account of this event is given by Herodotus, Clio, § 74. There has been the same kind of discussion among the commentators, respecting the dates in the text, as was noticed above, note 154, p. 29: see the remarks of Brotier and of Marcus in Lemaire and Ajasson, in loco. Astronomers have calculated that the eclipse took place May 28th, 585 B.C.; Brewster, ut supra, pp. 414, 419.

189 Hipparchus is generally regarded as the first astronomer who prosecuted the science in a regular and systematic manner. See Whewell, C. 3. p. 169 et seq., 177-179. He is supposed to have made his observations between the years 160 and 125 B.C. He made a catalogue of the fixed stars, which is preserved in Ptolemy’s Magn. Const. The only work of his now extant is his commentary on Aratus; it is contained in Petau’s Uranologie. We find, among the ancients, many traces of their acquaintance with the period of 600 years, or what is termed the great year, when the solar and lunar phænomena recur precisely at the same points. Cassini, Mem. Acad., and Bailly, Hist. Anc. Astron., have shown that there is an actual foundation for this opinion. See the remarks of Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 302, 303.

190 Seneca, the tragedian, refers to this superstitious opinion in some beautiful verses, which are given to the chorus at the termination of the fourth act of the Thyestes.

191 We have an account of this event in Thucydides, Smith’s trans. ii. 244, and in Plutarch, Langhorne’s trans. iii. 406. It is calculated to have happened Aug. 27th, 413 B.C.; Brewster, ut supra, p. 415, 421.

192 The elegant lines of Ovid, in his Fasti, i. 297 et seq., express the same sentiment: “Felices animos, quibus hoc cognoscere primis,” &c.

193 I have already remarked upon the use of this term as applied to the eclipses of the moon in note 164, p. 31.

194 According to the remarks of Marcus, it appears probable that this sol-lunar period, as it has been termed, was discovered by the Chaldeans; Ajasson, ii. 306, 307.

195 “coitus.”

196 “Hoc enim periodo (223 mensium) plerumque redeunt eclipses, non multum differentes, denis tamen gradibus zodiaci antecedentes;” Kepler, as quoted by Alexandre, in Lemaire, ii. 238.

197 The terms “sub terra” and “superne” are interpreted, by most of the commentators, below and above the horizon respectively; see Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 307.

198 “globo terræ obstante convexitatibus mundi.” The term convexus, as applied to the heavens, or visible firmament, simply signifies arched; not opposed to concave, like the English word convex.

199 This point is discussed by Ptolemy, Magn. Const. vi. 6; “De distantia eclipticorum mensium.” See also the remarks of Hardouin in Lemaire, ii. 260, 261; and of Poinsinet, i. 67.

200 These are styled horizontal eclipses; they depend on the refractive power of the atmosphere, causing the sun to be visible above the horizon, although it is actually below it. Brotier states, that eclipses of this description occurred on the 17th July, 1590, on the 30th November, 1648, and on the 16th January, 1660; Lemaire, ii. 260.

201 This is supposed to have been in the year 72 of our æra, when it is said that the sun was eclipsed, in Italy, on the 8th, and the moon on the 22nd of February; see Hardouin and Alexandre, in Lemaire, ii. 261.

202 In a subsequent part of the work, xviii. 75, the author gives a different rate of increase, viz. 5112 minutes; neither of these numbers is correct; the mean rate of increase being, according to Alexandre, about 54′ or 55′; Lemaire, ii. 261, 262. See also Marcus in Ajasson, ii. 311-14.

203 It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the effect, as here stated, has no connexion with the supposed cause.

204 “luminum canonica.”

205 Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

206 They are then said, in astronomical language, to rise heliacally.

207 In the last chapter this distance was stated to be 7 degrees; see the remarks of Alexandre, in Lemaire, ii. 263.

208 “radiorum ejus contactu reguntur.” The doctrine of the ancient astronomers was, that the motions of the planets are always governed by the rays of the sun, according to its position, attracting or repelling them.

209 A planet appears to be stationary, i. e. to be referred to the same point of the zodiac, when it is so situated with respect to the earth, that a straight line passing through the two bodies forms a tangent to the smaller orbit. The apparent motion of the planets, sometimes direct and at other times retrograde, with their stationary positions, is occasioned by the earth and the planets moving in concentric orbits, with different velocities. One hundred and twenty degrees is the mean distance at which the three superior planets become stationary. We have an elaborate dissertation by Marcus, on the unequal velocities of the planets, and on their stations and retrogradations, as well according to the system of Aristotle as to that of Copernicus; Ajasson, ii. 316 et seq. He remarks, and, I conceive, with justice, “... ce n’est pas dans les traités d’astronomie de nos savans que l’on doit puiser les détails destinés à éclaircir le texte des chapitres xii, xiii, xiv et xv du second livre de Pline.... Je ne dis rien des commentaires de Poinsinet, d’Hardouin et d’autres savans peu versés en matière d’astronomie, qui ont fait dire à Pline les plus grandes absurdités.

210 “Occasus planetæ vespertinus dicitur, quo die desinit post occasum solis supra horizontem oculis se præbere manifestum;” Alexandre in Lemaire, ii. 265. It is then said to set heliacally.

211 The interp