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 Eratosthenes being mistaken as to the breadth [of the habitable earth], is necessarily wrong as to its length. The most accurate observers, both ancient and modern, agree that the known length of the habitable earth is more than twice its breadth. Its length I take to be from the [eastern] extremity of India1 to the [westernmost] point of Spain;2 and its breadth from [the south of] Ethiopia to the latitude of Ierne. Eratosthenes, as we have said, reckoning its breadth from the extremity of Ethiopia to Thule, was forced to extend its length beyond the true limits, that he might make it more than twice as long as the breadth he had assigned to it. He says that India, measured where it is narrowest,3 is 16,000 stadia to the river Indus. If measured from its most prominent capes it extends 3000 more.4 Thence to the Caspian Gates, 14,000. From the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates,5 10,000. From the Euphrates to the Nile, 5000.6 Thence to the Canopic7 mouth, 1300. From the Canopic mouth to Carthage, 13,500. From thence to the Pillars at least 8000. Which make in all 70,800 stadia. To these [he says] should be added the curvature of Europe beyond the Pillars of Hercules, fronting the Iberians, and inclining west, not less than 3000 stadia, and the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, named Cabæum,8 and the adjoining islands, the last of which, named Uxisama,9 is distant, according to Pytheas, a three days' sail. But he added nothing to its length by enumerating these last, viz. the headlands, including that of the Ostimii, the island of Uxisama, and the rest; they are not situated so as affect the length of the earth, for they all lie to the north, and belong to Keltica, not to Iberia; indeed it seems but an invention of Pytheas. Lastly, to fall in with the general opinion that the breadth ought not10 to exceed half the length, he adds to the stated measure of its length 2000 stadia west, and as many east.
1 The eastern mouth of the Ganges.
2 Cape St. Vincent.
3 In the opinion of Strabo and Eratosthenes, the narrowest portion of India was measured by a line running direct from the eastern embouchure of the Ganges to the sources of the Indus, that is, the northern side of India bounded by the great chain of the Taurus.
4 Cape Comorin is the farthest point on the eastern coast. Strabo probably uses the plural to indicate the capes generally, not confining himself to those which project a few leagues farther than the rest.
5 The Euphrates at Thapsacus, the most frequented passage; hod. El-Der.
6 The Pelusiac mouth of the Nile, now Thineh or Farameh.
7 Close by Aboukir.
8 Cape S. Mahé.
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