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He tells us also, that the Ethiopians are far removed, and bounded by the ocean: far removed,—

“ The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind,
These eastward situate, those toward the west.1

Odyssey i. 23
Nor was he mistaken in calling them separated into two divisions, as we shall presently show: and next to the ocean,—

“ For to the banks of the Oceanus,
Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove,
He journey'd yesterday.2

Iliad i. 423
Speaking of the Bear, he implies that the most northern part of the earth is bounded by the ocean:

“ Only star of these denied
To slake his beams in Ocean's briny baths.3

Iliad xviii. 489; Odyssey v. 275.
Now, by the ‘Bear’ and the ‘Wain,’ he means the Arctic Circle; otherwise he would never have said, ‘It alone is deprived of the baths of the ocean,’ when such an infinity of stars is to be seen continually revolving in that part of the hemisphere. Let no one any longer blame his ignorance for being merely acquainted with one Bear, when there are two. It is probable that the second was not considered a constellation until, on the Phœnicians specially designating it, and employing it in navigation, it became known as one to the Greeks.4 Such is the case with the Hair of Berenice, and Canopus, whose names are but of yesterday; and, as Aratus remarks, there are numbers which have not yet received any designation. Crates, therefore, is mistaken when, endeavouring to amend what is correct, he reads the verse thus: “ οἷος δ᾽ ἄμμορός ἐστι λοετρῶν,

” replacing οἴη by οἶς, with a view to make the adjective agree with the Arctic Circle, which is masculine; instead of the Arctic Constellation, which is feminine. The expression of Heraclitus is far more preferable and Homeric, who thus figuratively describes the Arctic Circle as the Bear,—‘The Bear is the limit of the dawn and of the evening, and from the re- gion of the Bear we have fine weather.’ Now it is not the constellation of the Bear, but the Arctic Circle, which is the limit of the rising and the setting stars.

By the Bear, then, which he elsewhere calls the Wain, and describes as pursuing Orion, Homer means us to under- stand the Arctic Circle; and by the ocean, that horizon into which, and out of which, the stars rise and set. When he says that the Bear turns round and is deprived of the ocean, he was aware that the Arctic Circle [always] extended to the sign opposite the most northern point of the horizon. Adapting the words of the poet to this view, by that part of the earth nearest to the ocean we must understand the horizon, and by the Arctic Circle that which extends to the signs which seem to our senses to touch in succession the most northern point of the horizon. Thus, according to him, this portion of the earth is washed by the ocean. With the nations of the North he was well acquainted, although he does not mention them by name, and indeed at the present day there is no regular title by which they are all distinguished. He informs us of their mode of life, describing them as ‘wanderers,’ ‘noble milkers of mares,’ ‘living on cheese,’ and ‘without wealth.’5

1 The Ethiopians, who are divided into two divisions, the most distant of men. Odyssey i. 23.

2 For yesterday Jove went to Oceanus, to the blameless Ethiopians, to a banquet. Iliad i. 423.The ancients gave the name of Ethiopians, generally, to the inhabitants of Interior Africa, the people who occupied the sea-coast of the Atlantic, and the shores of the Arabian Gulf. It is with this view of the name that Strabo explains the passage of Homer; but the Mediterranean was the boundary of the poet's geographical knowledge; and the people he speaks of were doubtless the inhabitants of the southern parts of Phoenicia, who at one time were called Ethiopians. We may here remark too, that Homer's ocean frequently means the Mediterranean, sometimes probably the Nile. See also p. 48, n. 2.

3 But it alone is free from the baths of the ocean. Iliad xviii. 489; Odyssey v. 275.

4 We are informed by Diogenes Laertius, that Thales was the first to make known to the Greeks the constellation of the Lesser Bear. Now this philosopher flourished 600 years before the Christian era, and consequently some centuries after Homer's death. The name of φοινίκη which it received from the Greeks, is proof that Thales owed his knowledge of it to the Phœnicians. Conf. Humboldt's Cosmos, vol. iii. p. 160, Bohn's edition.

5 Iliad xiii. 5. Gosselin says, Thrace (the present Roumelia) was in- disputably the most northern nation known to Homer. He names the people ιππημόλγοι, or living on mares' milk, because in his time they were a pomade race. Strabo evidently gives a forced meaning to the words of the poet, when he attempts to prove his acquaintance with the Scythians and Sarmatians.

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