d add also to this the size and number of its rivers and its lakes, and, besides these, the fountains of water, both hot and cold, which in many places nature has provided as an aid to health, and then again its good supply of mines of all sorts. Neither can one worthily describe Italy's abundant supply of fuel, and of food both for men and beast, and the excellence of its fruits. Further, since it lies intermediate between the largest racesIberians, Celts and Germans. on the one hand, and Greece and the best parts of Libya on the other, it not only is naturally well-suited to hegemony, because it surpasses the countries that surround it both in the valor of its people and in size, but also can easily avail itself of their services, because it is close to them.
Now if I must add to my account of Italy a summary account also of the Romans who took possession of it and equipped it as a base of operations for the universal hegemony, let me add as follows: After the founding of Rome, th
s there are some shallows in the innermost part of it.Here, as in 6. 3. 1., Strabo is speaking of the inner harbor (Mare Piccolo), not the outer, of which, as Tozer (p. 184) says, Strabo takes no account.
In the case of those who sail across from Greece or Asia, the more direct route is to Brentesium, and, in fact, all who propose to go to Rome by land put into port here. There are two roadsOn these roads see Ashby and Gardner, The Via Trajana, Paper of the British School at Rome, 1916, Vol.VII through the Apennine Mountains and it requires three or four days more than the road from Brentesium.
The voyage from Brentesium to the opposite mainland is made either to the Ceraunian Mountains and those parts of the seaboard of Epeirus and of Greece which come next to them, or else to Epidamnus; the latter is longer than the former, for it is one thousand eight hundred stadia.Strabo has already said the the voyage from Brentesium to Epeirus by way of Sason (Saseno) was about 800 stadia (6.