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As for the southern part of Germany beyond the Albis, the portion which is just contiguous to that river is occupied by the Suevi; then immediately adjoining this is the land of the Getae, which, though narrow at first, stretching as it does along the Ister on its southern side and on the opposite side along the mountain-side of the Hercynian Forest (for the land of the Getae also embraces a part of the mountains), afterwards broadens out towards the north as far as the Tyregetae; but I cannot tell the precise boundaries. It is because of men's ignorance of these regions that any heed has been given to those who created the mythical “Rhipaean Mountains”1 and “Hyperboreans,”2 and also to all those false statements made by Pytheas the Massalian regarding the country along the ocean, wherein he uses as a screen his scientific knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.3 So then, those men should be disregarded; in fact, if even Sophocles, when in his role as a tragic poet he speaks of Oreithyia,4 tells how she was snatched up by “Boreas” and carried ““over the whole sea to the ends of the earth and to the sources of night5 and to the unfoldings of heaven6 and to the ancient garden of Phoebus,”
78 his story can have no bearing on the present inquiry, but should be disregarded, just as it is disregarded by Socrates in the Phaedrus.9 But let us confine our narrative to what we have learned from history, both ancient and modern.

1 Cp. Pliny 4.26

2 Cp. 1. 3. 22.

3 Cp. 1. 4. 3-5, 2. 3. 5 and 2. 4. 1-2.

4 The daughter of Erechtheus, a mythical Attic king. The passage here quoted is a fragment Nauck, Fragmenta, 870) of a play now lost. Cp. Soph. Ant. 981ff

5 The west.

6 The east.

7 Soph. Fr. 870 (Nauck)

8 The south, apparently; and thus Boreas would have carried her to the four ends of the earth. The home of Boreas (North Wind), according to the poets, was in the Haemus (Balkan), or Rhipaean, Mountains, on the “Sarpedonian Rock.”

9 Plat. Phaedrus 229

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