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He portrays the happiness of the people of the West, and the salubrity of their climate, having no doubt heard of the abundance of Iberia,1 which had attracted the arms of Hercules,2 afterwards of the Phoenicians, who acquired there an extended rule, and finally of the Romans. There the airs of Zephyr breathe, there the poet feigned the fields of Elysium, when he tells us Menelaus was sent thither by the gods:—

“ Thee the gods
Have destined to the blest Elysian isles,
Earth's utmost boundaries. Rhadamanthus there
For ever reigns, and there the human kind
Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there,
No biting winter, and no drenching shower,
But Zephyr always gently from the sea
Breathes on them, to refresh the happy race.3

Odyssey iv. 563

1 Gosselin remarks that in his opinion Strabo frequently attributes to Homer much information of which the great poet was entirely ignorant. the present is an instance, for Spain was to Homer a perfect terra in- cognita.

2 The Phœnician Hercules, anterior to the Grecian hero by two or three centuries. The date of his expedition, supposing it to have actually occurred, was about sixteen or seventeen hundred years before the Christian era.

3 But the immortals will send you to the Elysian plain, and the boundaries of the Earth, where is auburn-haired Rhadamanthus; there of a truth is the most easy life for men. There is nor snow, nor long winter, nor even a shower, but every day the ocean sends forth the gently blowing breezes of the west wind to refresh men." Odyssey iv. 563.

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