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Recent Advances in Geography

All these impediments made a true account of these regions in past times difficult, if not impossible. Nor ought we to criticise severely the omissions or mistakes of these writers: rather they deserve our praise and admiration for having in such an age gained information as to these places, which distinctly advanced knowledge. In our own age, however, the Asiatic districts have been opened up both by sea and land owing to the empire of Alexander, and the other places owing to the supremacy of Rome. Men too of practical experience in affairs, being released from the cares of martial or political ambition, have thereby had excellent opportunities for research and inquiry into these localities; and therefore it will be but right for us to have a better and truer knowledge of what was formerly unknown. And this I shall endeavour to establish, when I find a fitting opportunity in the course of my history. I shall be especially anxious to give the curious a full knowledge on these points, because it was with that express object that I confronted the dangers and fatigues of my travels in Libya, Iberia, and Gaul, as well as of the sea which washes the western coasts of these countries; that I might correct the imperfect knowledge of former writers, and make the Greeks acquainted with these parts of the known world.

After this digression, I must go back to the pitched battles between the Romans and Carthaginians in Italy.

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