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That geographical investigation is not inconsistent with philosophy.—That Homer gives proof of it throughout his poems.—That they who first wrote on the science have omitted much, or given disjointed, defective, false, or inconsistent accounts.—Proofs and demonstrations of the correctness of this statement, with general heads containing a summary description of the disposition of the whole habitable earth.—Credit to be attached to the probabilities and evident proofs that in many regions the land and sea have been shifted, and exchanged places with each other.


1 IF the scientific investigation of any subject be the proper avocation of the philosopher, Geography, the science of which we propose to treat, is certainly entitled to a high place; and this is evident from many considerations. They who first ventured to handle the matter were distinguished men. Homer, Anaximander the Milesian, and Hecatæus, (his fellow-citizen according to Eratosthenes,) Democritus, Eudoxus, Dicæarchus, Ephorus, with many others, and after these Erastosthenes, Polybius, and Posidonius, all of them philosophers.

Nor is the great learning, through which alone this subject can be approached, possessed by any but a person acquainted with both human and divine things,2 and these attainments constitute what is called philosophy. In addition to its vast importance in regard to social life, and the art of government, Geography unfolds to us the celestial phenomena, acquaints us with the occupants of the land and ocean, and the vegetation, fruits, and peculiarities of the various quarters of the earth, a knowledge of which marks him who cultivates it as a man earnest in the great problem of life and happiness. [2]

Admitting this, let us examine more in detail the points we have advanced.

And first, [we maintain,] that both we and our predecessors, amongst whom is Hipparchus, do justly regard Homer as the founder of geographical science, for he not only excelled all, ancient as well as modern, in the sublimity of his poetry, but also in his experience of social life. Thus it was that he not only exerted himself to become familiar with as many historic facts as possible, and transmit them to posterity, but also with the various regions of the inhabited land and sea, some intimately, others in a more general manner. For otherwise he would not have reached the utmost limits of the earth, traversing it in his imagination. [3]

First, he stated that the earth was entirely encompassed by the ocean, as in truth it is; afterwards he described the countries, specifying some by name, others more generally by various indications, explicitly defining Libya,3 Ethiopia, the Sidonians, and the Erembi (by which latter are probably intended the Troglodyte Arabians); and alluding to those farther east and west as the lands washed by the ocean, for in ocean he believed both the sun and constellations to rise and set.

“ Now from the gently-swelling flood profound
The sun arising, with his earliest rays,
In his ascent to heaven smote on the fields.4

Iliad vii. 421

“And now the radiant sun in ocean sank,
Dragging night after him o'er all the earth.5

Iliad viii. 485
The stars also he describes as bathed in the ocean.6 [4]

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,7 which had attracted the arms of Hercules,8 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.9

Odyssey iv. 563

The Isles of the Blest10 are on the extreme west of Maurusia,11 near where its shore runs parallel to the opposite coast of Spain; and it is clear he considered these regions also Blest, from their contiguity to the Islands. [6]

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.12

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.13

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.14

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.15 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.’16 [7]

In the following speech of Juno, he states that the ocean surrounds the earth.

“ For to the green earth's utmost bounds I go,
To visit there the parent of the gods,

Iliad xiv. 200.

Does he not here assert that ocean bounds all its extremities, and does it not surround these extremities? Again, in the Hoplopœia,18 he places the ocean in a circle round the border of Achilles' shield. Another proof of the extent of his knowledge, is his acquaintance with the ebb and flow of the sea, calling it ‘the ebbing ocean.’19 Again,

“ Each day she thrice disgorges, and again
Thrice drinks, insatiate, the deluge down.20

Odyss. xii. 105.
The assertion of thrice, instead of twice, is either an error of the author, or a blunder of the scribe, but the phenomenon is the same, and the expression soft-flowing,21 has reference to the flood-tide, which has a gentle swell, and does not flow with a full rush. Posidonius believes that where Homer describes the rocks as at one time covered with the waves, and at another left bare, and when he compares the ocean to a river, he alludes to the flow of the ocean. The first supposition is correct, but for the second there is no ground; inasmuch as there can be no comparison between the flow, much less the ebb of the sea, and the current of a river. There is more probability in the explanation of Crates, that Homer describes the whole ocean as deep-flowing, ebbing, and also calls it a river, and that he also describes a part of the ocean as a river, and the flow of a river; and that he is speaking of a part, and not the whole, when he thus writes:—

“ When down the smooth Oceanus impell'd
By prosperous gales, my galley, once again,
Cleaving the billows of the spacious deep,
Had reach'd the Ææan isle.22

Odyssey xii. l.
He does not, however, mean the whole, but the flow of the river in the ocean, which forms but a part of the ocean. Crates says, he speaks of an estuary or gulf, extending from the winter tropic towards the south pole.23 Now any one quitting this, might still be in the ocean; but for a person to leave the whole and still to be in the whole, is an impossibility. But Homer says, that leaving the flow of the river, the ship entered on the waves of the sea, which is the same as the ocean. If you take it otherwise you make him say, that departing from the ocean he came to the ocean. But this requires further discussion. [8]

Perception and experience alike inform us, that the earth we inhabit is an island: since wherever men have approached the termination of the land, the sea, which we designate ocean, has been met with: and reason assures us of the similarity of those places which our senses have not been permitted to survey. For in the east24 the land occupied by the Indians, and in the west by the Iberians and Maurusians,25 is wholly encompassed [by water], and so is the greater part on the south26 and north.27 And as to what remains as yet unexplored by us, because navigators, sailing from opposite points, have not hitherto fallen in with each other, it is not much, as any one may see who will compare the distances between those places with which we are already acquainted. Nor is it likely that the Atlantic Ocean is divided into two seas by narrow isthmuses so placed as to prevent circumnavigation: how much more probable that it is confluent and uninterrupted! Those who have returned from an attempt to circumnavigate the earth, do not say they have been prevented from con- tinuing their voyage by any opposing continent, for the sea remained perfectly open, but through want of resolution, and the scarcity of provision. This theory too accords better with the ebb and flow of the ocean, for the phenomenon, both in the increase and diminution, is every where identical, or at all events has but little difference, as if produced by the agitation of one sea, and resulting from one cause. [9]

We must not credit Hipparchus, who combats this opinion, denying that the ocean is every where similarly affected; or that even if it were, it would not follow that the Atlantic flowed in a circle, and thus continually returned into itself. Seleucus, the Babylonian, is his authority for this assertion. For a further investigation of the ocean and its tides we refer to Posidonius and Athenodorus, who have fully discussed this subject: we will now only remark that this view agrees better with the uniformity of the phenomenon; and that the greater the amount of moisture surrounding the earth, the easier would the heavenly bodies be supplied with vapours from thence. [10]

Homer, besides the boundaries of the earth, which he fully describes, was likewise well acquainted with the Mediterranean. Starting from the Pillars,28 this sea is encompassed by Libya, Egypt, and Phoenicia, then by the coasts opposite Cyprus, the Solymi,29 Lycia, and Caria, and then by the shore which stretches between Mycale30 and Troas, and the adjacent islands, every one of which he mentions, as well as those of the Propontis31 and the Euxine, as far as Colchis, and the locality of Jason's expedition. Furthermore, he was acquainted with the Cimmerian Bosphorus,32 having known the Cimmerians,33 and that not merely by name, but as being familiar with themselves. About his time, or a little before, they had ravaged the whole country, from the Bos- phorus to Ionia. Their climate he characterizes as dismal, in the following lines:—

“ With clouds and darkness veil'd, on whom the sun
Deigns not to look with his beam-darting eye,
But sad night canopies the woeful race.34

Odyssey xi. 15 and 19.
He must also have been acquainted with the Ister,35 since he speaks of the Mysians, a Thracian race, dwelling on the banks of the Ister. He knew also the whole Thracian36 coast adjacent thereto, as far as the Peneus,37 for he mentions individually the Pæonians, Athos, the Axius,38 and the neighbouring islands. From hence to Thesprotis39 is the Grecian shore, with the whole of which he was acquainted. He was besides familiar with the whole of Italy, and speaks of Te- mese40 and the Sicilians, as well as the whole of Spain41 and its fertility, as we have said before. If he omits various intermediate places this must be pardoned, for even the compiler of a Geography overlooks numerous details. We must forgive him too for intermingling fabulous narrative with his historical and instructive work. This should not be complained of; nevertheless, what Eratosthenes says is false, that the poets aim at amusement, not instruction, since those who have treated upon the subject most profoundly, regard poesy in the light of a primitive philosophy. But we shall refute Eratosthenes42 more at length, when we have occasion again to speak of Homer. [11]

What we have already advanced is sufficient to prove that poet the father of geography. Those who followed in his track are also well known as great men and true philosophers. The two immediately succeeding Homer, according to Eratosthenes, were Anaximander, the disciple and fellow- citizen of Thales, and Hecatæus the Milesian. Anaximander was the first to publish a geographical chart. Hecatæus left a work [on the same subject], which we can identify as his by means of his other writings. [12]

Many have testified to the amount of knowledge which this subject requires, and Hipparchus, in his Strictures on Eratosthenes, well observes, ‘that no one can become really proficient in geography, either as a private individual or as a professor, without an acquaintance with astronomy, and a knowledge of eclipses. For instance, no one could tell whether Alexandria in Egypt were north or south of Babylon, nor yet the intervening distance, without observing the latitudes.43 Again, the only means we possess of becoming acquainted with the longitudes of different places is afforded by the eclipses of the sun and moon.’ Such are the very words of Hipparchus. [13]

Every one who undertakes to give an accurate description of a place, should be particular to add its astronomical and geometrical relations, explaining carefully its extent, distance, degrees of latitude, and ‘climate.’44 Even a builder before constructing a house, or an architect before laying out a city, would take these things into consideration; much more should he who examines the whole earth: for such things in a peculiar manner belong to him. In small distances a little deviation north or south does not signify, but when it is the whole circle of the earth, the north extends to the furthest confines of Scythia,45 or Keltica,46 and the south to the extremities of Ethiopia: there is a wide difference here. The case is the same should we inhabit India or Spain, one in the east, the other far west, and, as we are aware, the anti- podes47 to each other. [14]

The [motions] of the sun and stars, and the centripetal force meet us on the very threshold of such subjects, and compel us to the study of astronomy, and the observation of such phenomena as each of us may notice; in which too, very considerable differences appear, according to the various points of observation. How could any one undertake to write accurately and with propriety on the differences of the various parts of the earth, who was ignorant of these matters? and although, if the undertaking were of a popular character, it might not be advisable to enter thoroughly into detail, still we should endeavour to include every thing which could be comprehended by the general reader. [15]

He who has thus elevated his mind, will he be satisfied with any thing less than the whole world? If in his anxiety accurately to portray the inhabited earth, he has dared to survey heaven, and make use thereof for purposes of instruction, would it not seem childish were he to refrain from examining the whole earth, of which the inhabited is but a part, its size, its features, and its position in the universe; whether other portions are inhabited besides those on which we dwell, and if so, their amount? What is the extent of the regions not peopled? what their peculiarities, and the cause of their remaining as they are? Thus it appears that the knowledge of geography is connected with meteorology48 and geometry, that it unites the things of earth to the things of heaven, as though they were nearly allied, and not separated.

“ As far as heaven from earth.49

Iliad viii. 16

To the various subjects which it embraces let us add natural history, or the history of the animals, plants, and other different productions of the earth and sea, whether serviceable or useless, and my original statement will, I think, carry perfect conviction with it.

That he who should undertake this work would be a benefactor to mankind, reason and the voice of antiquity agree. The poets feign that they were the wisest heroes who travelled and wandered most in foreign climes: and to be familiar with many countries, and the disposition of the inhabitants, is, according to them, of vast importance. Nestor prides him- self on having associated with the Lapithæ,50 to whom he went, ‘having been invited thither from the Apian51 land afar.’

So does Menelaus:—

“ Cyprus, Phœnicia, Sidon, and the shores
Of Egypt, roaming without hope I reach'd;
In distant Ethiopia thence arrived,
And Libya, where the lambs their foreheads show
With budding horns defended soon as yean'd.52

Odyssey iv. 83.
Adding as a peculiarity of the country,

“ There thrice within the year the flocks produce.53

Odyssey iv. 86.
And of Egypt:—‘Where the sustaining earth is most prolific.’54 And Thebes,

“ the city with an hundred gates,
Whence twenty thousand chariots rush to war.55

Iliad ix. 383, et seq.

Such information greatly enlarges our sphere of knowledge, by informing us of the nature of the country, its botanical and zoological peculiarities. To these should be added its marine history; for we are in a certain sense amphibious, not exclusively connected with the land, but with the sea as well. Hercules, on account of his vast experience and observation, was described as ‘skilled in mighty works.’56

All that we have previously stated is confirmed both by the testimony of antiquity and by reason. One consideration however appears to bear in a peculiar manner on the case in point; viz. the importance of geography in a political view. For the sea and the earth in which we dwell furnish theatres for action; limited, for limited actions; vast, for grander deeds; but that which contains them all, and is the scene of the greatest undertakings, constitutes what we term the habitable earth; and they are the greatest generals who, subduing nations and kingdoms under one sceptre, and one political administration, have acquired dominion over land and sea. It is clear then, that geography is essential to all the transactions of the statesman, informing us, as it does, of the position of the continents, seas, and oceans of the whole habitable earth. Information of especial interest to those who are concerned to know the exact truth of such particulars, and whether the places have been explored or not: for government will certainly be better administered where the size and position of the country, its own peculiarities, and those of the surrounding districts, are understood. Forasmuch as there are many sovereigns who rule in different regions, and some stretch their dominion over others' territories, and undertake the government of different nations and kingdoms, and thus enlarge the extent of their dominion, it is not possible that either themselves, nor yet writers on geography, should be equally acquainted with the whole, but to both there is a great deal more or less known. Indeed, were the whole earth under one government and one administration, it is hardly possible that we should be informed of every locality in an equal degree; for even then we should be most acquainted with the places nearest us: and after all, it is better that we should have a more perfect description of these, since, on account of their proximity, there is greater reed for it. We see there is no reason to be surprised that there should be one chorographer57 for the Indians, another for the Ethiopians, and a third for the Greeks and Romans. What use would it be to the Indians if a geographer should thus describe Bœotia to them, in the words of Homer:—

“ The dwellers on the rocks
Of Aulis follow'd, with the hardy clans
Of Hyria, Schœnus, Scolus.58

Iliad ii. 496.
To us this is of value, while to be acquainted with the Indies and their various territorial divisions would be useless, as it could lead to no advantage, which is the only criterion of the worth of such knowledge. [17]

Even if we descend to the consideration of such trivial matters as hunting, the case is still the same; for he will be most successful in the chase who is acquainted with the size and nature of the wood, and one familiar with the locality will be the most competent to superintend an encampment, an ambush, or a march. But it is in great undertakings that the truth shines out in all its brilliancy, for here, while the success resulting from knowledge is grand, the consequences of ignorance are disastrous. The fleet of Agamemnon, for instance, ravaging Mysia, as if it had been the Trojan territory, was compelled to a shameful retreat. Likewise the Persians and Libyans,59 supposing certain straits to be impassable, were very near falling into great perils, and have left behind them memorials of their ignorance; the former a monument to Salganeus on the Euripus, near Chalcis, whom the Persians slew, for, as they thought, falsely conducting their fleet from the Gulf of Malea60 to the Euripus; and the latter to the memory of Pelorus, who was executed on a like occasion. At the time of the expedition of Xerxes, the coasts of Greece were covered with wrecks, and the emigrations from Æolia and Ionia furnish numerous instances of the same calamity. On the other hand, matters have come to a prosperous termination, when judiciously directed by a knowledge of the locality. Thus it was at the pass of Thermopylæ that Ephialtes is reported to have pointed out to the Persians a pathway over the mountains, and so placed the band of Leonidas at their mercy, and opened to the Barbarians a passage into Pylæ. But passing over ancient occurrences, we think that the late expeditions of the Romans against the Parthians furnish an excellent ex- ample, where, as in those against the Germans and Kelts, the Barbarians, taking advantage of their situation, [carried on the war] in marshes, woods, and pathless deserts, deceiving the ignorant enemy as to the position of different places, and concealing the roads, and the means of obtaining food and necessaries. [18]

As we have said, this science has an especial reference to the occupations and requirements of statesmen, with whom also political and ethical philosophy is mainly concerned; and here is an evidence. We distinguish the different kinds of civil government by the office of their chief men, denominating one government a monarchy, or kingdom, another an aristocracy, a third a democracy; for so many we consider are the forms of government, and we designate them by these names, because from them they derive their primary characteristic. For the laws which emanate from the sovereign, from the aristocracy, and from the people all are different. The law is in fact a type of the form of government. It is on this account that some define right to be the interest of the strongest. If, therefore, political philosophy is advantageous to the ruler, and geography in the actual government of the country, this latter seems to possess some little superiority. This superiority is most observable in real service. [19]

But even the theoretical portion of geography is by no means contemptible. On the one hand, it embraces the arts, mathematics, and natural science; on the other, history and fable. Not that this latter can have any distinct advantage: for instance, if any one should relate to us the wanderings of Ulysses, Menelaus, and Jason, he would not seem to have added directly to our fund of practical knowledge thereby, (which is the only thing men of the world are interested in,) unless he should convey useful examples of what those wanderers were compelled to suffer, and at the same time afford matter of rational amusement to those who interest themselves in the places which gave birth to such fables. Practical men interest themselves in these pursuits, since they are at once commendable, and afford them pleasure; but yet not to any great extent. In this class, too, will be found those whose main object in life is pleasure and respectability: but these by no means constitute the majority of mankind, who naturally prefer that which holds out some direct advantage. The geographer should therefore chiefly devote himself to what is practically important. He should follow the same rule in regard to history and the mathematics, selecting always that which is most useful, most intelligible, and most authentic. [20]

Geometry and astronomy, as we before remarked, seem absolutely indispensable in this science. This, in fact, is evident, that without some such assistance, it would be impossible to be accurately acquainted with the configuration of the earth; its climata,61 dimensions, and the like information.

As the size of the earth has been demonstrated by other writers, we shall here take for granted and receive as accurate what they have advanced. We shall also assume that the earth is spheroidal, that its surface is likewise spheroidal, and above all, that bodies have a tendency towards its centre, which latter point is clear to the perception of the most average understanding. However we may show summarily that the earth is spheroidal, from the consideration that all things however distant tend to its centre, and that every body is attracted towards its centre of gravity; this is more distinctly proved from observations of the sea and sky, for here the evidence of the senses, and common observation, is alone requisite. The convexity of the sea is a further proof of this to those who have sailed; for they cannot perceive lights at a distance when placed at the same level as their eyes, but if raised on high, they at once become perceptible to vision, though at the same time further removed. So, when the eye is raised, it sees what before was utterly imperceptible. Homer speaks of this when he says,

“ Lifted up on the vast wave he quickly beheld afar.62

Odyssey v. 393.
Sailors, as they approach their destination, behold the shore continually raising itself to their view; and objects which had at first seemed low, begin to elevate themselves. Our gnomons, also, are, among other things, evidence of the revolution of the heavenly bodies; and common sense at once shows us, that if the depth of the earth were infinite,63 such a revolution could not take place.

Every information respecting the climata64 is contained in the ‘Treatises on Positions.’65 [21]

Now there are some facts which we take to be established, viz. those with which every politician and general should be familiar. For on no account should they be so uninformed as to the heavens and the position of the earth,66 that when they are in strange countries, where some of the heavenly phenomena wear a different aspect to what they have been accustomed, they should be in a consternation, and exclaim,

“ Neither west
Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets
The all-enlightening sun.67

Odyssey x. 190.
Still, we do not expect that they should be such thorough masters of the subject as to know what stars rise and set together for the different quarters of the earth; those which have the same meridian line, the elevation of the poles, the signs which are in the zenith, with all the various phenomena which differ as well in appearance as reality with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle. With some of these matters, unless as philosophical pursuits, they should not burden themselves at all; others they must take for granted without searching into their causes. This must be left to the care of the philosopher; the statesman can have no leisure, or very little, for such pursuits. Those who, through carelessness and ignorance, are not familiar with the globe and the circles traced upon it, some parallel to each other, some at right angles to the former, others, again, in an oblique direction; nor yet with the position of the tropics, equator, and zodiac, (that circle through which the sun travels in his course, and by which we reckon the changes of season and the winds,) such persons we caution against the perusal of our work. For if a man is neither properly acquainted with these things, nor with the variations of the horizon and arctic circle, and such similar elements of mathematics, how can he comprehend the matters treated of here? So for one who does not know a right line from a curve, nor yet a circle, nor a plane or spherical surface, nor the seven stars in the firmament composing the Great Bear, and such like, our work is entirely useless, at least for the present. Unless he first acquires such information, he is utterly incompetent to the study of geography. * So those who have written the works entitled ‘On Ports,’ and ‘Voyages Round the World,’ have performed their task imperfectly, since they have omitted to supply the requisite information from mathematics and astronomy.*68 [22]

The present undertaking is composed in a lucid style, suitable alike to the statesman and the general reader, after the fashion of my History.69 By a statesman we do not intend an illiterate person, but one who has gone through the course of a liberal and philosophical education. For a man who has bestowed no attention on virtue or intelligence, nor what constitutes them, must be incompetent either to blame or praise, still less to decide what actions are worthy to be placed on record. [23]

Having already compiled our Historical Memoirs, which, as we conceive, are a valuable addition both to political and moral philosophy, we have now determined to follow it up with the present work, which has been prepared on the same system as the former, and for the same class of readers, but more particularly for those who are in high stations of life. And as our former production contains only the most striking events in the lives of distinguished men, omitting trifling and unimportant incidents; so here it will be proper to dismiss small and doubtful particulars, and merely call attention to great and remarkable transactions, such in fact as are use- fill, memorable, and entertaining. In the colossal works of the sculptor we do not descend into a minute examination of particulars, but look principally for perfection in the general ensemble. This is the only method of criticism applicable to the present work. Its proportions, so to speak, are colossal; it deals in the generalities and main outlines of things, except now and then, when some minor detail can be selected, calculated to be serviceable to the seeker after knowledge, or the man of business.

We now think we have demonstrated that our present undertaking is one that requires great care, and is well worthy of a philosopher.


No one can [justly] blame us for having undertaken to write on a subject already often treated of, unless it appears that we have done nothing more than copy the works of former writers. In our opinion, though they may have perfectly treated some subjects, in others they have still left much to be completed; and we shall be justified in our performance, if we can add to their information even in a trifling degree. At the present moment the conquests of the Romans and Parthians have added much to our knowledge, which (as was well observed by Eratosthenes) had been considerably increased by the expedition of Alexander. This prince laid open to our view the greater part of Asia, and the whole north of Europe as far as the Danube. And the Romans [have discovered to us] the entire west of Europe as far as the river Elbe, which divides Germany, and the country beyond the Ister to the river Dniester. The country beyond this to the Mæotis,70 and the coasts extending along Colchis,71 was brought to light by Mithridates, surnamed Eupator, and his generals. To the Parthians we are indebted for a better acquaintance with Hyrcania,72 Bac- triana,73 and the land of the Scythians74 lying beyond, of which before we knew but little. Thus we can add much information not supplied by former writers, but this will best be seen when we come to treat on the writers who have preceded us; and this method we shall pursue, not so much in regard to the primitive geographers, as to Eratosthenes and those subsequent to him. As these writers far surpassed the generality in the amount of their knowledge, so naturally it is more difficult to detect their errors when such occur. If I seem to contradict those most whom I take chiefly for my guides, I must claim indulgence on the plea, that it was never intended to criticise the whole body of geographers, the larger number of whom are not worthy of consideration, but to give an opinion of those only who are generally found correct. Still, while many are beneath discussion, such men as Eratosthenes, Posidonius, Hipparchus, Polybius, and others of their stamp, deserve our highest consideration. [2]

Let us first examine Eratosthenes, reviewing at the same time what Hipparchus has advanced against him. Eratosthenes is much too creditable an historian for us to believe what Polemon endeavours to charge against him, that he had not even seen Athens. At the same time he does not merit that unbounded confidence which some seem to repose in him, although, as he himself tells us, he passed much of his time with first-rate [characters]. Never, says he, at one period, and in one city, were there so many philosophers flourishing together as in my time. In their number was Ariston and Arcesilaus. This, however, it seems is not sufficient, but you must also be able to choose who are the real guides whom it is your interest to follow. He considers Arcesilaus and Ariston to be the coryphæi of the philosophers who flourished in his time, and is ceaseless in his eulogies of Apelles and Bion, the latter of whom, says he, was the first to deck himself in the flowers of philosophy, but concerning whom one is often likewise tempted to exclaim, ‘How great is Bion in spite of his rags!’75 It is in such instances as the following that the mediocrity of his genius shows itself.

Although at Athens he became a disciple of Zeno76 of Citium, he makes no mention of his followers; while those who opposed that philosopher, and of whose sect not a trace remains, he thinks fit to set down amongst the [great characters] who flourished in his time. His real character appears in his Treatise on Moral Philosophy,77 his Meditations, and some similar productions. He seems to have held a middle course between the man who devotes himself to philosophy, and the man who cannot make up his mind to dedicate himself to it: and to have studied the science merely as a relief from his other pursuits, or as a pleasing and instructive recreation. In his other writings he is just the same; but let these things pass. We will now proceed as well as we can to the task of rectifying his geography.

First, then, let us return to the point which we lately deferred. [3]

Eratosthenes says that the poet directs his whole attention to the amusement of the mind, and not at all to its instruction. In opposition to his idea, the ancients define poesy as a primitive philosophy, guiding our life from infancy, and pleasantly regulating our morals, our tastes, and our actions. The [Stoics] of our day affirm that the only wise man is the poet. On this account the earliest lessons which the citizens of Greece convey to their children are from the poets; cer- tainly not alone for the purpose of amusing their minds, but for their instruction. Nay, even the professors of music, who give lessons on the harp, lyre, and pipe, lay claim to our consideration on the same account, since they say that [the accomplishments which they teach] are calculated to form and improve the character. It is not only among the Pythagoreans that one hears this claim supported, for Aristoxenus is of that opinion, and Homer too regarded the bards as amongst the wisest of mankind.

Of this number was the guardian of Clytemnestra, ‘to whom the son of Atreus, when he set out for Troy, gave earnest charge to preserve his wife,’78 whom Ægisthus was unable to seduce, until ‘leading the bard to a desert island, he left him,’79 and then

“ The queen he led, not willing less than he,
To his own mansion.80

Ib. iii. 272.

But apart from all such considerations, Eratosthenes contradicts himself; for a little previously to the sentence which we have quoted, at the commencement of his Essay on Geography, he says, that ‘all the ancient poets took delight in showing their knowledge of such matters. Homer inserted into his poetry all that he knew about the Ethiopians, Egypt, and Libya. Of all that related to Greece and the neighbouring places he entered even too minutely into the details, describing Thisbe as ‘abounding in doves,’ Haliartus, ‘grassy,’ Anthedon, the ‘far distant,’ Litæa, ‘situated on the sources of the Cephissus,’81 and none of his epithets are without their meaning.’ But in pursuing this method, what object has he in view, to amuse [merely], or to instruct? The latter, doubtless. Well, perhaps he has told the truth in these instances, but in what was beyond his observation both he and the other writers have indulged in all the marvels of fable. If such be the case the statement should have been, that the poets relate some things for mere amusement, others for instruction; but he affirms that they do it altogether for amusement, without any view to information; and by way of climax, inquires, What can it add to Homer's worth to be familiar with many lands, and skilled in strategy, agriculture, rhetoric, and similar information, which some persons seem desirous to make him possessed of. To seek to invest him with all this knowledge is most likely the effect of too great a zeal for his honour. Hipparchus observes, that to assert he was acquainted with every art and science, is like saying that an Attic eiresionè82 bears pears and apples.

As far as this goes, Eratosthenes, you are right enough; not so, however, when you not only deny that Homer was possessed of these vast acquirements, but represent poetry in general as a tissue of old wives' fables, where, to use your own expression, every thing thought likely to amuse is cooked up. I ask, is it of no value to the auditors83 of the poets to be made acquainted with [the history of] different countries, with strategy, agriculture, and rhetoric, and suchlike things, which the lecture generally contains. [4]

One thing is certain, that the poet has bestowed all these gifts upon Ulysses, whom beyond any of his other [heroes] he loves to adorn with every virtue. He says of him, that he

“ Discover'd various cities, and the mind
And manners learn'd of men in lands remote.84

Odyssey i 3.
That he was

“ Of a piercing wit and deeply wise.85

Iliad iii. 202.
He is continually described as ‘the destroyer of cities,’ and as having vanquished Troy, by his counsels, his advice, and his deceptive art. Diomede says of him,

“ Let him attend me, and through fire itself
We shall return; for none is wise as he.86

Ib. x. 246.
He prides himself on his skill in husbandry, for at the harvest [he says],

“ I with my well-bent sickle in my hand,
Thou arm'd with one as keen.87

Odyssey xviii. 367.
And also in tillage,

“ Then shouldst thou see
How straight my furrow should be cut and true.88

Ib. xviii. 374.
And Homer was not singular in his opinion regarding these matters, for all educated people appeal to him in favour of the idea that such practical knowledge is one of the chief means of acquiring understanding. [5]

That eloquence is regarded as the wisdom of speech, Ulysses manifests throughout the whole poem, both in the Trial,89 the Petitions,90 and the Embassy.91 Of him it is said by Antenor,

“ But when he spake, forth from his breast did flow
A torrent swift as winter's feather'd snow.92

Iliad iii. 221.
Who can suppose that a poet capable of effectively introducing into his scenes rhetoricians, generals, and various other characters, each displaying some peculiar excellence, was nothing more than a droll or juggler, capable only of cheating or flattering his hearer, and not of instructing him.

Are we not all agreed that the chief merit of a poet consists in his accurate representation of the affairs of life? Can this be done by a mere driveller, unacquainted with the world?

The excellence of a poet is not to be measured by the same standard as that of a mechanic or a blacksmith, where honour and virtue have nothing to do with our estimate. But the poet and the individual are connected, and he only can become a good poet, who is in the first instance a worthy man. [6]

To deny that our poet possesses the graces of oratory is using us hardly indeed. What is so befitting an orator, what so poetical as eloquence, and who so sweetly eloquent as Homer? But, by heaven! you'll say, there are other styles of eloquence than those peculiar to poetry. Of course [I admit this]; in poetry itself there is the tragic and the comic style; in prose, the historic and the forensic. But is not language a generality, of which poetry and prose are forms? Yes, language is; but are not the rhetorical, the eloquent, and the florid styles also? I answer, that flowery prose is nothing but an imitation of poetry. Ornate poetry was the first to make its appearance, and was well received. Afterwards it was closely imitated by writers in the time of Cadmus, Pherecydes, and Hecatæus. The metre was the only thing dispensed with, every other poetic grace being carefully preserved. As time advanced, one after another of its beauties was discarded, till at last it came down from its glory into our common prose. In the same way we may say that comedy took its rise from tragedy, but descended from its lofty grandeur into what we now call the common parlance of daily life. And when [we find] the ancient writers making use of the expression ‘to sing,’ to designate eloquence of style, this in itself is an evidence that poetry is the source and origin of all ornamented and rhetorical language. Poetry in ancient days was on every occasion accompanied by melody. The song or ode was but a modulated speech, from whence the words rhapsody, tragedy, comedy,93 are derived; and since originally eloquence was the term made use of for the poetical effusions which were always of the nature of a song, it soon happened [that in speaking of poetry] some said, to sing, others, to be eloquent; and as the one term was early misapplied to prose compositions, the other also was soon applied in the same way. Lastly, the very term prose, which is applied to language not clothed in metre, seems to indicate, as it were, its descent from an elevation or chariot to the ground.94 [7]

Homer accurately describes many distant countries, and not only Greece and the neighbouring places, as Eratosthenes asserts. His romance, too, is in better style than that of his successors. He does not make up wondrous tales on every occasion, but to instruct us the better often, and especially in the Odyssey, adds to the circumstances which have come under his actual observation, allegories, wise harangues, and enticing narrations. Concerning which, Eratosthenes is much mistaken when he says that both Homer and his commentators are a pack of fools. But this subject demands a little more of our attention. [8]

To begin. The poets were by no means the first to avail themselves of myths. States and lawgivers had taken advantage of them long before, having observed the constitutional bias of mankind. Man is eager after knowledge, and the love of legend is but the prelude thereto. This is why children begin to listen [to fables], and are acquainted with them before any other kind of knowledge; the cause of this is that the myth introduces them to a new train of ideas, relating not to every-day occurrences, but something in addition to these.

A charm hangs round whatever is new and hitherto unknown, inspiring us with a desire to become acquainted with it, but when the wonderful and the marvellous are likewise present, our delight is increased until at last it becomes a philtre of study. To children we are obliged to hold out such enticements, in order that in riper years, when the mind is powerful, and no longer needs such stimulants, it may be prepared to enter on the study of actual realities.

Every illiterate and uninstructed man is yet a child, and takes delight in fable. With the partially informed it is much the same; reason is not all-powerful within him, and he still possesses the tastes of a child. But the marvellous, which is capable of exciting fear as well as pleasure, influences not childhood only, but age as well. As we relate to children pleasing tales to incite them [to any course] of action, and frightful ones to deter them, such as those of Lamia,95 Gorgo,96 Ephialtes,97 and Mormolyca.98 So numbers of our citizens are incited to deeds of virtue by the beauties of fable, when they hear the poets in a strain of enthusiasm recording noble actions, such as the labours of Hercules or Theseus, and the honours bestowed on them by the gods, or even when they see paintings, sculptures, or figures bearing their romantic evidence to such events. In the same way they are restrained from vicious courses, when they think they have received from the gods by oracles or some other invisible intimations, threats, menaces, or chastisements, or even if they only believe they have befallen others. The great mass of women and common people, cannot be induced by mere force of reason to devote themselves to piety, virtue, and honesty; superstition must therefore be employed, and even this is insufficient without the aid of the marvellous and the terrible. For what are the thunderbolts, the ægis, the trident, the torches, the dragons, the barbed thyrses, the arms of the gods, and all the paraphernalia of antique theology, but fables employed by the founders of states, as bugbears to frighten timorous minds.

Such was mythology; and when our ancestors found it capable of subserving the purposes of social and political life, and even contributing to the knowledge of truth, they continued the education of childhood to maturer years, and maintained that poetry was sufficient to form the understanding of every age. In course of time history and our present philosophy were introduced; these, however, suffice but for the chosen few, and to the present day poetry is the main agent which instructs our people and crowds our theatres. Homer here stands pre-eminent, but in truth all the early historians and natural philosophers were mythologists as well. [9]

Thus it is that our poet, though he sometimes employs fiction for the purposes of instruction, always gives the preference to truth; he makes use of what is false, merely tolerating it in order the more easily to lead and govern the multitude. As a man

“ Binds with a golden verge
Bright silver:99

Odyssey vi. 232.
so Homer, heightening by fiction actual occurrences, adorns and embellishes his subject; but his end is always the same as that of the historian, who relates nothing but facts. In this manner he undertook the narration of the Trojan war, gilding it with the beauties of fancy and the wanderings of Ulysses; but we shall never find Homer inventing an empty fable apart from the inculcation of truth. It is ever the case that a person lies most successfully, when he intermingles [into the falsehood] a sprinkling of truth. Such is the remark of Polybius in treating of the wanderings of Ulysses; such is also the meaning of the verse,

“ He fabricated many falsehoods, relating them like truths:100

Odyssey xix. 203.
not all, but many falsehoods, otherwise it would not have looked like the truth. Homer's narrative is founded on history. He tells us that king Æolus governed the Lipari Islands, that around Mount Ætna and Leontini dwelt the Cyclopæ, and certain Læstrygonians inhospitable to strangers. That at that time the districts surrounding the strait were unapproachable; and Scylla and Charybdis were infested by banditti. In like manner in the writings of Homer we are informed of other freebooters, who dwelt in divers regions. Being aware that the Cimmerians dwelt on the Cimmerian Bosphorus, a dark northern country, he felicitously locates them in a gloomy region close by Hades, a fit theatre for the scene in the wanderings of Ulysses. That he was acquainted with these people we may satisfy ourselves from the chroniclers, who report an incursion made by the Cimmerians either during his life-time or just before. [10]

Being acquainted with Colchis, and the voyage of Jason to Æa, and also with the historical and fabulous relations concerning Circe and Medea, their enchantments and their various other points of resemblance, he feigns there was a relationship between them, notwithstanding the vast distance by which they were separated, the one dwelling in an inland creek of the Euxine, and the other in Italy, and both of them beyond the ocean.

It is possible that Jason himself wandered as far as Italy, for traces of the Argonautic expedition are pointed out near the Ceraunian101 mountains, by the Adriatic,102 at the Possidonian103 Gulf, and the isles adjacent to Tyrrhenia.104 The Cyaneæ, called by some the Symplegades,105 or Jostling Rocks, which render the passage through the Strait of Constantinople so difficult, also afforded matter to our poet. The actual existence of a place named Æa, stamped credibility upon his Ææa; so did the Symplegades upon the Planctæ, (the Jostling Rocks upon the Wandering Rocks,) and the passage of Jason through the midst of them; in the same way Scylla and Charybdis accredited the passage [of Ulysses] past those rocks. In his time people absolutely regarded the Euxine as a kind of second ocean, and placed those who had crossed it in the same list with navigators who had passed the Pillars.106 It was looked upon as the largest of our seas, and was therefore par excellence styled the Sea, in the same way as Homer [is called] the Poet. In order therefore to be well received, it is probable he transferred the scenes from the Euxine to the ocean, so as not to stagger the general belief. And in my opinion those Solymi who possess the highest ridges of Taurus, lying between Lycia and Pisidia, and those who in their southern heights stand out most conspicuously to the dwellers on this side Taurus, and the inhabitants of the Euxine by a figure of speech, he describes as being beyond the ocean. For narrating the voyage of Ulysses in his ship, he says,

“ But Neptune, traversing in his return
From Ethiopia's sons, the mountain heights
Of Solymè, descried him from afar.107

Odyssey v. 282.

It is probable he took his account of the one-eyed Cyclopæ from Scythian history, for the Arimaspi, whom Aristæus of Proconnesus describes in his Tales of the Arimaspi, are said to be distinguished by this peculiarity. [11]

Having premised thus much, we must now take into consideration the reasons of those who assert that Homer makes Ulysses wander to Sicily or Italy, and also of those who denied this. The truth is, he may be equally interpreted on this subject either way, according as we take a correct or incorrect view of the case. Correct, if we understand that he was convinced of the reality of Ulysses' wanderings there, and taking this truth as a foundation, raised thereon a poetical superstructure. And so far this description of him is right; for not about Italy only, but to the farthest extremities of Spain, traces of his wanderings and those of similar adventurers may still be found. Incorrect, if the scene-painting is received as fact, his Ocean, and Hades, the oxen of the sun, his hospitable reception by the goddesses, the metamorphoses, the gigantic size of the Cyclopæ and Læstrygonians, the monstrous appearance of Scylla, the distance of the voyage, and other similar particulars, all alike manifestly fabulous. It is as idle to waste words with a person who thus openly maligns our poet, as it would be with one who should assert as true all the particulars of Ulysses' return to Ithaca,108 the slaughter of the suitors, and the pitched battle between him and the Ithacans in the field. But nothing can be said against the man who understands the words of the poet in a rational way. [12]

Eratosthenes, though on no sufficient grounds for so doing, rejects both these opinions, endeavouring in his attack on the latter, to refute by lengthened arguments what is manifestly absurd and unworthy of consideration, and in regard to the former, maintaining a poet to be a mere gossip, to whose worth an acquaintance with science or geography could not add in the least degree: since the scenes of certain of Homer's fables are cast in actual localities, as Ilium,109 Pelion,110 and Ida;111 others in purely imaginary regions, such as those of the Gorgons and Geryon. ‘Of this latter class,’ he says, ‘are the places mentioned in the wanderings of Ulysses, and those who pretend that they are not mere fabrications of the poet, but have an actual existence, are proved to be mistaken by the differences of opinion existing among themselves: for some of them assert that the Sirenes of Homer are situated close to Pelorus,112 and others that they are more than two thousand stadia distant,113 near the Sirenussæ,114 a three-peaked rock which separates the Gulfs of Cummæa and Posidonium.’ Now, in the first place, this rock is not three-peaked, nor does it form a crest at the summit at all, but a long and narrow angle reaching from the territory of Surrentum115 to the Strait of Capria,116 having on one side of the mountain the temple of the Sirens, and on the other side, next the Gulf of Posidonius, three little rocky and uninhabited islands, named the Sirenes; upon the strait, is situated the Athenæum, from which the rocky angle itself takes its name. [13]

Further, if those who describe the geography of certain places do not agree in every particular, are we justified in at once rejecting their whole narration? Frequently this is a reason why it should receive the greater credit. For example, in the investigation whether the scene of Ulysses' wanderings were Sicily or Italy, and the proper position of the Sirenes, they differ in so far that one places them at Pelorus, and the other at Sirenussæ, but neither of them dissents from the idea that it was some where near Sicily or Italy. They add thereby strength to this view, inasmuch as though they are not agreed as to the exact locality, neither of them makes any question but that it was some where contiguous to Italy or Sicily. If a third party should add, that the monument of Parthenope, who was one of the Sirens, is shown at Naples, this only confirms us the more in our belief, for though a third place is introduced to our notice, still as Naples is situated in the gulf called by Eratosthenes the Cumæan, and which is formed by the Sirenussæ, we are more confident still that the position of the Sirenes was some where close by.

That the poet did not search for accuracy in every minor detail we admit, but neither ought we to expect this of him; at the same time we are not to believe that he composed his poem without inquiring into the history of the Wandering, nor where and how it occurred. [14]

Eratosthenes ‘thinks it probable that Hesiod, having heard of the wanderings of Ulysses, and of their having taken place near to Sicily and Italy, embraced this view of the case, and not only describes the places spoken of by Homer, but also Ætna, the Isle of Ortygia,117 near to Syracuse, and Tyrrhenia. As for Homer, he was altogether unacquainted with these places, and further, had no wish to lay the scene of the wanderings in any well-known locality.’ What! are then Ætna and Tyrrhenia such well-known places, and Scyllæum, Charybdis, Circæum,118 and the Sirenussæ, so obscure? Or is Hesiod so correct as never to write nonsense, but always follow in the wake of received opinions, while Homer blurts out whatever comes uppermost? Without taking into consideration our remarks on the character and aptitude of Homer's myths, a large array of writers who bear evidence to his statements, and the additional testimony of local tradition, are sufficient proof that his are not the inventions of poets or contemporary scribblers, but the record of real actors and real scenes. [15]

The conjecture of Polybius in regard to the particulars of the wandering of Ulysses is excellent. He says that Æolus instructed sailors how to navigate the strait, a difficult matter on account of the currents occasioned by the ebb and flow. and was therefore called the dispenser of the winds, and reputed their king.

In like manner Danaus for pointing out the springs of water that were in Argos, and Atreus for showing the retrograde movement of the sun in the heavens, from being mere soothsayers and diviners, were raised to the dignity of kings. And the priests of the Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and Magi, distinguished for their wisdom above those around them, obtained from our predecessors honour and authority; and so it is that in each of the gods, we worship the discoverer of some useful art.

Having thus introduced his subject, he does not allow us to consider the account of Æolus, nor yet the rest of the Odyssey, as altogether mythical. There is a spice of the fabulous here, as well as in the Trojan War,119 but as respects Sicily, the poet accords entirely with the other historians who have written on the local traditions of Sicily and Italy. He altogether denies the justness of Eratosthenes' dictum, ‘that we may hope to discover the whereabout of Ulysses' wanderings, when we can find the cobbler who sewed up the winds in the leathern sack.’ "And [adds Polybius] his description of the hunt of the galeotes120 at Scylla,

“ 'Plunged to her middle in the horrid den
She lurks, protruding from the black abyss
Her heads, with which the ravening monster dives
In quest of dolphins, dog-fish, or of prey
More bulky,121

Odyssey xii. 95.
accords well with what takes place around Scyllæum: for the thunny-fish, carried in shoals by Italy, and not being able to reach Sicily, fall into [the Strait], where they become the prey of larger fish, such as dolphins, dog-fish, and other ceta- cea, and it is by this means that the galeotes (which are also called sword-fish) and dogs fatten themselves. For the same thing occurs here, and at the rising of the Nile and other rivers, as takes place when a forest is on fire. Vast crowds of animals, in flying from the fire or the water, become the prey of beasts more powerful than themselves." [16]

He then goes on to describe the manner in which they catch the sword-fish at Scyllæum. One look-out directs the whole body of fishers, who are in a vast number of small boats, each furnished with two oars, and two men to each boat. One man rows, the other stands on the prow, spear in hand, while the look-out has to signal the appearance of a sword-fish. (This fish, when swimming, has about a third of its body above water.) As it passes the boat, the fisher darts the spear from his hand, and when this is withdrawn, it leaves the sharp point with which it is furnished sticking in the flesh of the fish: this point is barbed, and loosely fixed to the spear for the purpose; it has a long end fastened to it; this they pay out to the wounded fish, till it is exhausted with its struggling and endeavours at escape. Afterwards they trail it to the shore, or, unless it is too large and full-grown, haul it into the boat. If the spear should fall into the sea, it is not lost, for it is jointed of oak and pine, so that when the oak sinks on account of its weight, it causes the other end to rise, and thus is easily recovered. It sometimes happens that the rower is wounded, even through the boat, and such is the size of the sword with which the galeote is armed, such the strength of the fish, and the method of the capture, that [in danger] it is not surpassed by the chase of the wild boar. From these facts (he says) we may conclude that Ulysses' wanderings were close to Sicily, since Homer describes Scylla122 as engaging in a pur- suit exactly similar to that which is carried on at Scyllæum. As to Charybdis, he describes just what takes place at the Strait of Messina:

“ Each day she thrice disgorges,123

Odyssey xii. 105.
instead of twice, being only a mistake, either of the scribe or the historian. [17]

The customs of the inhabitants of Meninx124 closely correspond to the description of the Lotophagi. If any thing does not correspond, it should be attributed to change, or to misconception, or to poetical licence, which is made up of history, rhetoric, and fiction. Truth is the aim of the historical portion, as for instance in the Catalogue of Ships,125 where the poet informs us of the peculiarities of each place, that one is rocky, another the furthest city, that this abounds in doves. and that is maritime. A lively interest is the end of the rhetorical, as when he points to us the combat; and of the fiction, pleasure and astonishment. A mere fabrication would neither be persuasive nor Homeric; and we know that his poem is generally considered a scientific treatise, notwithstanding what Eratosthenes may say, when he bids us not to judge poems by the standard of intellect, nor yet look to them for history.

It is most probable that the line

“ Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne
Athwart the fishy deep,126

Odyssey ix. 82.
should be understood of merely a short distance, (for cruel storms do not blow in a right course,) and not of being carried beyond the ocean, as if impelled by favourable winds. ‘And,’ says Polybius, ‘allowing the distance from Malea127 to the Pillars to be 22,500 stadia, and supposing the rate of passage was the same throughout the nine days, the voyage must have been accomplished at the speed of 2500 stadia per diem: now who has ever recorded that the passage from Lycia or Rhodes to Alexandria, a distance of 4000 stadia, has been made in two days? To those who demand how it was that Ulysses, though he journeyed thrice to Sicily, never once navigated the Strait, we reply that, long after his time, voyagers always sedulously avoided that route.’ [18]

Such are the sentiments of Polybius; and in many respects they are correct enough; but when he discusses the voyage beyond the ocean, and enters on minute calculations of the proportion borne by the distance to the number of days, he is greatly mistaken. He alleges perpetually the words of the poet, “ Nine days by cruel storms thence was I borne;

” but at the same time he takes no notice of this expression, which is his as well,

“ And now borne sea-ward from the river stream
Of the Oceanus;128

Odyss. xii. l.
and this,

“ In the island of Ogygia, the centre of the sea,129

Odyssey i. 50.
and that the daughter of Atlas130 dwells there. And the following concerning the Phæacians,

“ Remote amid the billowy deep, we hold
Our dwelling, utmost of all human kind,
And free from mixture with a foreign race.131

Odyssey vi. 204.

These passages clearly refer to the Atlantic Ocean,132 but though so plainly expressed, Polybius slily manages to overlook them. Here he is altogether wrong, though quite correct about the wandering of Ulysses having taken place round Sicily and Italy, a fact which Homer establishes himself. Otherwise, what poet or writer could have persuaded the Neapolitans to assert that they possessed the tomb of Parthe- nope133 the Siren, or the inhabitants of Cumæ, Dicæarchia,134 and Vesuvius [to bear their testimony] to Pyriphlegethon, the Marsh of Acherusia,135 to the oracle of the dead which was near Aornus,136 and to Baius and Misenus,137 the companions of Ulysses. The same is the case with the Sirenussæ, and the Strait of Messina, and Scylla, and Charybdis, and Æolus, all which things should neither be examined into too rigorously, nor yet [despised] as groundless and without foundation, alike remote from truth and historic value. [19]

Eratosthenes seems to have had something like this view of the case himself, when he says, ‘Any one would believe that the poet intended the western regions as the scene of Ulysses' wanderings, but that he has departed from fact, sometimes through want of perfect information, at other times because he wished to give to scenes a more terrific and marvellous appearance than they actually possessed.’ So far this is true, but his idea of the object which the poet had in view while composing, is false; real advantage, not trifling, being his aim. We may justly reprehend his assertion on this point, as also where he says, that Homer places the scene of his marvels in distant lands that he may lie the more easily. Remote localities have not furnished him with near so many wonderful narrations as Greece, and the countries thereto adjacent; witness the labours of Hercules, and Theseus, the fables concerning Crete, Sicily, and the other islands; besides those connected with Cithærum, Helicon,138 Parnassus,139 Pelion,140 and the whole of Attica and the Peloponnesus. Let us not therefore tax the poets with ignorance on account of the myths which they employ, and since, so far from myth being the staple, they for the most part avail themselves of actual occurrences, (and Homer does this in a remarkable degree,) the inquirer who will seek how far these ancient writers have wandered into fiction, ought not to scrutinize to what extent the fiction was carried, but rather what is the truth concerning those places and persons to which the fictions have been applied; for instance, whether the wanderings of Ulysses did actually occur, and where. [20]

On the whole, however, it is not proper to place the works of Homer in the common catalogue of other poets, without challenging for him a superiority both in respect of his other [excellences] and also for the geography on which our attention is now engaged.

If any one were to do no more than merely read through the Triptolemus of Sophocles, or the prologue to the Bacchæ of Euripides, and then compare them with the care taken by Homer in his geographical descriptions, he would at once perceive both the difference and superiority of the latter, for wherever there is necessity for arrangement in the localities he has immortalized, he is careful to preserve it as well in regard to Greece, as to foreign countries. “ They
On the Olympian summit thought to fix
Huge Ossa, and on Ossa's towering head
Pelion with all his forests.141

” “ And Juno starting from the Olympian height
O'erflew Pieria and the lovely plains
Of broad Emathia;142 soaring thence she swept
The snow-clad summit of the Thracian hills143
Steed-famed, nor printed, as she pass'd, the soil,
From Athos144 the foaming billows borne.145

” In the Catalogue he does not describe his cities in regular order, because here there was no necessity, but both the people and foreign countries he arranges correctly. ‘Having wandered to Cyprus, and Phœnice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians, and Sidonians, and Erembi, and Libya.’146 Hipparchus has drawn attention to this. But the two tragedians where there was great necessity for proper arrangement, one147 where he introduces Bacchus visiting the nations, the other148 Triptolemus sowing the earth, have brought in juxta-position places far remote, and separated those which were near.

‘And having left the wealthy lands of the Lydians and Phrygians, and the sunny plains of the Persians and the Bactrian walls, and having come over the stormy land of the Medes, and the Happy Arabia.’149 And the Triptolemus is just as inaccurate.

Further, in respect to the winds and climates, Homer shows the wide extent of his geographical knowledge, for in his topographical descriptions he not unfrequently informs us of both these matters. Thus,

“ My abode
Is sun-burnt Ithaca.
Flat on the deep she lies, farthest removed
Toward the west, while situate apart,
Her sister islands face the rising day.150

Odyssey ix. 25.

“ It has a two-fold entrance,
One towards the north, the other south.151

Odyssey xiii. 109, 111.
And again,

“ Which I alike despise, speed they their course
With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east,
Or leftward down into the shades of eve.152

Iliad xii. 239.
Ignorance of such matters he reckons no less than confusion.

“ Alas! my friends, for neither west
Know we, nor east; where rises or where sets
The all-enlightening sun.153

Odyssey x. 190.
Where the poet has said properly enough,

“ As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace,
Boreas and Zephyrus,154

Iliad ix.5.
Eratosthenes ill-naturedly misrepresents him as saying in an absolute sense, that the west wind blows from Thrace; whereas he is not speaking in an absolute sense at all, but merely of the meeting of contrary winds near the bay of Melas,155 on the Thracian sea, itself a part of the Ægæan. For where Thrace forms a kind of promontory, where it borders on Macedonia,156 it takes a turn to the south-west, and projects into the ocean, and from this point it seems to the inhabitants of Thasos, Lemnos, Imbros, Samothracia,157 and the surrounding sea, that the west winds blow.158 So in regard to Attica, they seem to come from the rocks of Sciros,159 and this is the reason why all the westerly winds, the north-west more particularly, are called the Scirones. Of this Eratosthenes was not aware, though he suspected as much, for it was he who described this bending of the land [towards the south-west] which we have mentioned. But he interprets our poet in an absolute sense, and then taxes him with ignorance, because, says he, ‘Zephyr blows from the west, and off Spain, and Thrace does not extend so far.’ Does he then think that Homer was not aware that Zephyr came from the west, notwithstanding the careful manner in which he distinguishes its position when he writes as follows:

“ The east, the south, the heavy-blowing Zephyr,
And the cold north-wind clear.160

Odyssey v. 295.
Or was he ignorant that Thrace did not extend beyond the Pæonian and Thessalian mountains.161 To be sure he was well acquainted with the position of the countries adjoining Thrace in that direction, and does he not mention by name both the maritime and inland districts, and tells us of the Magnetæ,162 the Malians,163 and other Grecian [territories], all in order, as far as Thesprotis;164 also of the Dolopes165 bordering on Pæo- nia, and the Sellæ who inhabit the territory around Dodona166 as far as the [river] Achelous,167 but he never mentions Thrace, as being beyond these. He has evidently a predilection for the sea which is nearest to him, and with which he is most familiar, as where he says,

“ Commotion shook
The whole assembly, such as heaves the flood
Of the Icarian deep.168

Iliad ii. 144.

Some writers tell us there are but two principal winds, the north and south, and that the other winds are only a slight difference in the direction of these two. That is, (supposing only two winds, the north and south,) the south wind from the commencement of the summer quarter blows in a south-easterly direction; and from the commencement of the winter quarter from the east. The north wind from the decline of the summer, blows in a westerly direction, and from the decline of the winter, in a north-westerly direction.

In support of this opinion of the two winds they adduce Thrasyalces and our poet himself, forasmuch as he mentions the north-west with the south,

“ From the north-west south,169

Iliad xi. 306, xxi. 334.
and the west with the north,

“ As when two adverse winds, blowing from Thrace,
Boreas and Zephyrus.170

Iliad ix. 5.

But Posidonius remarks that none of those who are really acquainted with these subjects, such as Aristotle, Timosthenes, and Bion the astronomer, entertain so mistaken an opinion in regard to the winds. They say that the north-east (Cæcias) blows from the commencement of summer, and that the southwest wind (Libs), which is exactly opposite to this, blows from the decline of winter. And again, the south-east wind (Eurus), which is opposite to the north-west wind (Argestes), from the commencement of winter. The east and west winds being intermediate.

When our poet makes use of the expression ‘stormy zephyr,’ he means the wind which is now called by us the north-west; and by the ‘clear-blowing zephyr’ our west wind; our Leuco- notus is his Argestes-notus, or clearing south wind,171 for this wind brings but few clouds, all the other southern winds bringing clouds and rain,172

“ As when whirlwinds of the west
A storm encounter from the clearing south.173

Iliad xi. 305.
Here he alludes to the stormy zephyr, which very frequently scatters the feathery clouds brought up by the Leuconotus, or, as it is called by way of epithet, the clearing south.

The statements made by Eratosthenes in the first book of his Geography, require some such correction as this. [22]

Persisting in his false views in relation to Homer, he goes on to say, ‘He was ignorant that the Nile separated into many mouths, nay, he was not even acquainted with the name of the river, though Hesiod knew it well, for he even mentions it.’174 In respect of the name, it is probable that it had not then been given to the river, and as to the mouths, if they were obscure and little known, will not every one excuse him for not being aware whether there were several or merely one? At that time, the river, its rising, and its mouths were considered, as they are at the present day, amongst the most remarkable, the most wonderful, and most worthy of recording of all the peculiarities of Egypt: who can suppose that those who told our poet of the country and river of Egypt, of Egyptian Thebes, and of Pharos, were unaware of the many embouchures of the Nile; or that being aware, they would not have described them, were it not that they were too generally known? ‘But is it not inconceivable that Homer should describe Ethiopia, and the Sidonians, the Erembi, and the Exterior Sea,175—should tell us that Ethiopia was divided into two parts, and yet nothing about those things which were nearer and better known?’ Certainly not, his not describing these things is no proof that he was not acquainted with them. He does not tell us of his own country, nor yet many other things. The most probable reason is, they were so generally known that they did not appear to him worth recording.176 [23]

Again, they are entirely wrong when they allege as a mark of Homer's ignorance, that he describes the island of Pharos177 as entirely surrounded by the sea. On the contrary, it might be taken advantage of as a proof that our poet was not unacquainted with a single one of the points concerning Egypt which we have just been speaking of: and thus we demonstrate it:—Every one is prone to romance a little in narrating his travels, and Menelaus was no exception to the rule. He had been to Ethiopia,178 and there heard much discussion concerning the sources of the Nile, and the alluvium which it deposited, both along its course, and also at its mouths, and the large additions which it had thereby made to the main-land, so as fully to justify the remark of Herodotus179 that the whole of Egypt was a gift from the river; or if not the whole, at all events that part of it below the Delta, called Lower Egypt. He had heard too that Pharos was entirely surrounded by sea, and therefore misrepresented it as entirely surrounded by the sea, although it had long ago ceased so to be. Now the author of all this was Homer, and we therefore infer that he was not ignorant concerning either the sources or the mouths of the Nile. [24]

They are again mistaken when they say that he was not aware of the isthmus between the sea of Egypt and the Arabian Gulf, and that his description is false,

“ The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind,
These eastward situate, those toward the west.180

Odyssey i. 23.
Nevertheless he is correct, and the criticism of the moderns is quite out of place: indeed, there is so little truth in the assertion that Homer was ignorant of this isthmus, that I will venture to affirm he was not only acquainted with it, but has also accurately defined it. But none of the grammarians, not even the chiefs of their number, Aristarchus and Crates, have understood the words of our poet on this subject. For they disagree as to the words which follow this expression of Homer,

“ The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind,
These eastward situate, those towards the west,181

Odyssey i. 23.
Aristarchus writing, “ These towards the west, and those towards the east,

” and Crates, “ As well in the west as also in the east.

” However, in regard to their hypotheses, it makes no difference whether the passage were written this way or that. One of them, in fact, takes what he considers the mathematical view of the case, and says that the torrid zone is occupied by the ocean,182 and that on each side of this there is a temperate zone, one inhabited by us and another opposite thereto. And as we call the Ethiopians, who are situated to the south, and dwell along the shores of the ocean, the most distant on the face of the inhabited globe; so he supposed that on the other side of the ocean,183 there were certain Ethiopians dwelling along the shores, who would in like manner be considered the most distant184 by the inhabitants of the other temperate zone; and thus that the Ethiopians were double, separated into two divisions by the ocean. He adds, ‘as well in the west as also in the east,’ because as the celestial zodiac always corresponds to the terrestrial, and never exceeds in its obliquity the space occupied by the two Ethiopias, the sun's entire course must necessarily be within this space, and also his rising and setting, as it appears to different nations according to the sign which he may be in.

He (Crates) adopted this version, because he considered it the more astronomical. But it would have maintained his opinion of the division of the Ethiopians into two parts, and at the same time have been much more simple, had he said that the Ethiopians dwelt on either side of the ocean from the rising to the setting of the sun. In this case what difference does it make whether we follow his version, or adopt the reading of Aristarchus, “ These towards the west, and those towards the east?

” which also means, that whether east or west, on either side of the ocean, Ethiopians dwell. But Aristarchus rejects this hypothesis. He says, ‘The Ethiopians with whom we are acquainted, and who are farthest south from the Greeks, are those described by the poet as being separated into two divisions. But Ethiopia is not so separated as to form two countries, one situated towards the west, the other towards the east, but only one, that which lies south of the Greeks and adjoins Egypt; but of this the poet was ignorant, as well as of other matters enumerated by Apollodorus, which he has falsely stated concerning various places in his second book, containing the catalogue of the ships.’ [25]

To refute Crates would require a lengthened argument, which here perhaps may be considered out of place. Aristarchus we commend for rejecting the hypothesis of Crates, which is open to many objections, and for referring the expression of the poet to our Ethiopia. But the remainder of his statement we must discuss. First, his minute examination of the reading is altogether fruitless, for whichever way it may have been written, his interpretation is equally applicable to both; for what difference is there whether you say thus—In our opinion there are two Ethiopias, one towards the east, the other to the west; or thus—For they are as well towards the east as the west? Secondly, He makes false assumptions. For admitting that the poet was ignorant of the isthmus,185 and that he alludes to the Ethiopia contiguous to Egypt, when he says,

“ The Ethiopians separated into two divisions;186

Odyssey i. 23.
what then? Are they not separated into two divisions, and could the poet have thus expressed himself if he had been in ignorance? Is not Egypt, nay, are not the Egyptians, sepa- rated into two divisions by the Nile from the Delta to Syene,187 “ These towards the west, those towards the east?

” And what else is Egypt, with the exception of the island formed by the river and overflowed by its waters; does it not lie on either side of the river both east and west?

Ethiopia runs in the same direction as Egypt, and resembles it both in its position with respect to the Nile, and in its other geographical circumstances. It is narrow, long, and subject to inundation; beyond the reach of this inundation it is desolate and parched, and unfitted for the habitation of man; some districts lying to the east and some to the west of [the river]. How then can we deny that it is separated into two divisions? Shall the Nile, which is looked upon by some people as the proper boundary line between Asia and Libya,188 and which extends southward in length more than 10,000 stadia, embracing in its breadth islands which contain populations of above ten thousand men, the largest of these being Meroe, the seat of empire and metropolis of the Ethiopians, be regarded as too insignificant to divide Ethiopia into two parts? The greatest obstacle which they who object to the river being made the line of demarcation between the two continents are able to allege, is, that Egypt and Ethiopia are by this means divided, one part of each being assigned to Libya, and the other to Asia, or, if this will not suit, the continents cannot be divided at all, or at least not by the river. [26]

But besides these there is another method of dividing Ethiopia. All those who have sailed along the coasts of Libya, whether starting from the Arabian Gulf,189 or the Pillars,190 after proceeding a certain distance, have been obliged to turn back again on account of a variety of accidents; and thus originated a general belief that it was divided midway by some isthmus, although the whole of the Atlantic Ocean is confluent, more especially towards the south. Besides, all of these navigators called the final country which they reached, Ethiopia, and described it under that name. Is it therefore at all incredible, that Homer, misled by such reports, separated them into two divisions, one towards the east and the other west, not knowing whether there were any intermediate countries or not? But there is another ancient tradition related by Ephorus, which Homer had probably fallen in with. He tells us it is reported by the Tartessians,191 that some of the Ethiopians, on their arrival in Libya,192 penetrated into the extreme west, and settled down there, while the rest occupied the greater part of the sea-coast; and in support of this statement he quotes the passage of Homer, “The Ethiopians, the farthest removed of men, separated into two divisions.” [27]

These and other more stringent arguments may be urged against Aristarchus and those of his school, to clear our poet from the charge of such gross ignorance. I assert that the ancient Greeks, in the same way as they classed all the northern nations with which they were familiar under the one name of Scythians, or, according to Homer, Nomades, and afterwards becoming acquainted with those towards the west, styled them Kelts and Iberians; sometimes compounding the names into Keltiberians, or Keltoscythians, thus ignorantly uniting various distinct nations; so I affirm they designated as Ethiopia the whole of the southern countries towards the ocean. Of this there is evidence, for Æschylus, in the Pro- metheus Loosed,193 thus speaks: “There [is] the sacred wave, and the coralled bed of the Erythræan Sea, and [there] the luxuriant marsh of the Ethiopians, situated near the ocean, glitters like polished brass; where daily in the soft and tepid stream, the all-seeing sun bathes his undying self, and refreshes his weary steeds.” And as the ocean holds the same position in respect to the sun, and serves the same purpose throughout the whole southern region,194 he195 therefore concludes that the Ethiopians inhabited the whole of the region.

And Euripides in his Phaeton196 says that Clymene was given “ To Merops, sovereign of that land
Which from his four-horsed chariot first
The rising sun strikes with his golden rays;
And which its swarthy neighbours call
The radiant stable of the Morn and Sun.

” Here the poet merely describes them as the common stables of the Morning and of the Sun; but further on he tells us they were near to the dwellings of Merops, and in fact the whole plot of the piece has reference to this. This does not therefore refer alone to the [land] next to Egypt, but rather to the whole southern country extending along the sea-coast. [28]

Ephorus likewise shows us the opinion of the ancients respecting Ethiopia, in his Treatise on Europe. He says, ‘If the whole celestial and terrestrial globe were divided into four parts, the Indians would possess that towards the east, the Ethiopians towards the south, the Kelts towards the west, and the Scythians towards the north.’ He adds that Ethiopia is larger than Scythia; for, says he, it appears that the country of the Ethiopians extends from the rising to the setting of the sun in winter; and Scythia is opposite to it. It is evident this was the opinion of Homer, since he places Ithaca

“ Towards the gloomy region,197

Odyssey ix. 26.
that is, towards the north,198 but the others apart, “ Towards the morning and the sun,

” by which he means the whole southern hemisphere: and again when he says,

“ speed they their course
With right-hand flight towards the ruddy east,
Or leftward down into the shades of eve.199

Iliad xii. 239.
And again,

“ Alas! my friends, for neither west
Know we, nor east, where rises or where sets
The all-enlightening sun.200

Odyssey x. 190.
Which we shall explain more fully when we come to speak of Ithaca.201

When therefore he says,

“ For to the banks of the Oceanus,
Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove,
He journey'd yesterday,202

Iliad i. 423.
we should take this in a general sense, and understand by it the whole of the ocean which washes Ethiopia and the southern region, for to whatever part of this region you direct your attention, you will there find both the ocean and Ethiopia. It is in a similar style he says,

“ But Neptune, traversing in his return
From Ethiopia's sons the mountain heights
Of Solymè, descried him from afar.203

Odyssey v. 282.
which is equal to saying, ‘in his return from the southern regions,’204 meaning by the Solymi, as I remarked before, not those of Pisidia, but certain others merely imaginary, having the same name, and bearing the like relation to the navigators in [Ulysses'] ship, and the southern inhabitants there called Ethiopians, as those of Pisidia do in regard to Pontus and the inhabitants of Egyptian Ethiopia. What he says about the cranes must likewise be understood in a general sense.

“ Such clang is heard
Along the skies, when from incessant showers
Escaping, and from winter's cold, the cranes
Take wing, and over ocean speed away.
Woe to the land of dwarfs! prepared they fly
For slaughter of the small Pygmæan race.205

Iliad iii. 3.
For it is not in Greece alone that the crane is observed to emigrate to more southern regions, but likewise from Italy and Iberia,206 from [the shores of] the Caspian, and from Bactriana. But since the ocean extends along the whole southern coast, and the cranes fly to all parts of it indiscriminately at the approach of winter, we must likewise believe that the Pygmies207 were equally considered to inhabit the whole of it. And if the moderns have confined the term of Ethiopians to those only who dwell near to Egypt, and have also restricted the Pygmies in like manner, this must not be allowed to interfere with the meaning of the ancients. We do not speak of all the people who fought against Troy as merely Achæans and Argives, though Homer describes the whole under those two names. Similar to this is my remark concerning the separation of the Ethiopians into two divisions, that under that designation we should understand the whole of the nations inhabiting the sea-board from east to west. The Ethiopians taken in this sense are naturally separated into two parts by the Arabian Gulf, which occupies a considerable portion of a meridian circle,208 and resembles a river, being in length nearly 15,000 stadia,209 and in breadth not above 1000 at the widest point. In addition to the length, the recess of the Gulf is distant from the sea at Pelusium only three or four days' journey across the isthmus. On this account those who are most felicitous in their division of Asia and Africa, prefer the Gulf210 as a better boundary line for the two continents than the Nile, since it extends almost entirely from sea to sea, whereas the Nile is so remote from the ocean that it does not by any means divide the whole of Asia from Africa. On this account I believe it was the Gulf which the poet looked upon as dividing into two portions the whole southern regions of the inhabited earth. Is it possible, then, that he was unacquainted with the isthmus which separates this Gulf from the Egyptian Sea?211 [29]

It is quite irrational to suppose that he could be accurately acquainted with Egyptian Thebes,212 which is separated from our sea213 by a little less than 5000214 stadia; and yet ignorant of' the recess of the Arabian Gulf, and of the isthmus there, whose breadth is not more than 1000 stadia. Still more, would it not be ridiculous to believe that Homer was aware the Nile was called by the same name as the vast country [of Egypt], and yet unacquainted with the reason why? especially since the saying of Herodotus would occur to him, that the country was a gift from the river, and it ought there- fore to bear its name. Further, the best known peculiarities of a country are those which have something of the nature of a paradox, and are likely to arrest general attention. Of this kind are the rising of the Nile, and the alluvial deposition at its mouth. There is nothing in the whole country to which travellers in Egypt so immediately direct their inquiries, as the character of the Nile; nor do the inhabitants possess any thing else equally wonderful and curious, of which to inform foreigners; for in fact, to give them a description of the river, is to lay open to their view every main characteristic of the country. It is the question put before every other by those who have never seen Egypt themselves. To these considerations we must add Homer's thirst after knowledge, and his delight in visiting foreign lands, (tastes which we are assured both by those who have written histories of his life, and also by innumerable testimonies throughout his own poems, he possessed in an eminent degree,) and we shall have abundant evidence both of the extent of his information, and the felicity with which he described objects he deemed important, and passed over altogether, or with slight allusion, matters which were generally known. [30]

These Egyptians and Syrians215 whom we have been criticising fill one with amazement. They do not understand [Homer], even when he is describing their own countries, but accuse him of ignorance where, as our argument proves, they are open to the charge themselves. Not to mention a thing is clearly no evidence that a person is not acquainted with it.216 Homer does not tell us of the change in the current of the Euripus, nor of Thermopylæ, nor of many other remarkable things well known to the Greeks; but was he therefore unacquainted with them? He describes to us, although these men, who are obstinately deaf, will not hear: they have themselves to blame.

Our poet applies to rivers the epithet of ‘heaven-sent.’ And this not only to mountain torrents, but to all rivers alike, since they are all replenished by the showers. But even what is general becomes particular when it is bestowed on any object par excellence. Heaven-sent, when applied to a moun- tain torrent, means something else than when it is the epithet of the ever-flowing river; but the force of the term is doubly felt when attributed to the Nile. For as there are hyperboles of hyperboles, for instance, to be ‘lighter than the shadow of a cork,’ ‘more timid than a Phrygian hare,’217‘to possess an estate shorter than a Lacedæmonian epistle;’ so excellence becomes more excellent, when the title of ‘heaven-sent’ is given to the Nile. The mountain torrent has a better claim to be called heaven-sent than other rivers, but the Nile exceeds the mountain torrents, both in its size and the lengthened period of its overflow. Since, then, the wonders of this river were known to our poet, as we have shown in this defence, when he applies this epithet to the Nile, it must only be understood in the way we have explained. Homer did not think it worth mentioning, especially to those who were acquainted with the fact, that the Nile had many mouths, since this is a common feature of numerous other rivers. Alcæus218 does not mention it, although he tells us he had been in Egypt. One might infer the fact of its alluvial deposit, both From the rising [of the river] and what Homer tells us concerning Pharos. For his account, or rather the vulgar report concerning Pharos, that it was distant from the mainland a whole day's voyage, ought not to be looked upon as a down- right falsehood.

It is clear that Homer was only acquainted with the rising and deposit of the river in a general way, and concluding from what he heard that the island had been further removed in the time of Menelaus from the mainland, than it was in his own, he magnified the distance, simply that he might heighten the fiction. Fictions however are not the offspring of ignorance, as is sufficiently plain from those concerning Proteus, the Pygmies, the efficacy of charms, and many others similar to these fabricated by the poets. They narrate these things not through ignorance of the localities, but for the sake of giving pleasure and enjoyment. But [some one may in- quire], how could he describe [Pharos], which is without water as possessed of that necessary?

“ The haven there is good, and many a ship
Finds watering there from rivulets on the coast.219

Odyssey iv. 358.
[I answer,] It is not impossible that the sources of water may since have failed. Besides, he does not say that the water was procured from the island, but that they went thither on account of the safety of the harbour; the water was probably obtained from the mainland, and by the expression the poet seems to admit that what he had before said of its being wholly surrounded by sea was not the actual fact, but a hyperbole or fiction. [31]

As his description of the wanderings of Menelaus may seem to authenticate the charge of ignorance made against him in respect to those regions, it will perhaps be best to point out the difficulties of the narrative, and their explanation, and at the same time enter into a fuller defence of our poet. Menelaus thus addresses Telemachus, who is admiring the splendour of his palace:

“ After numerous toils
And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep,
In the eighth year at last I brought them home.
Cyprus, Phœnicia, Sidon, and the shores
Of Egypt, roaming without hope, I reach'd,
In distant Ethiopia thence arrived,
And Libya.220

Odyssey iv. 81.

It is asked, What Ethiopians could he have met with on his voyage from Egypt? None are to be found dwelling by our sea,221 and with his vessels222 he could never have reached the cataracts of the Nile. Next, who are the Sidonians? Certainly not the inhabitants of Phoenicia; for leaving mentioned the genus, he would assuredly not particularize the species.223 And then the Erembi; this is altogether a new name. Our contemporary Aristonicus, the grammarian, in his [observations] on the wanderings of Menelaus, has recorded the opinions of numerous writers on each of the heads under discussion. It will be sufficient for us to refer to them very briefly. They who assert that Menelaus went by sea to Ethiopia, tell us he directed his course past Cadiz into the Indian Ocean;224 with which, say they, the long duration of his wanderings agrees, since he did not arrive there till the eighth year. Others, that he passed through the isthmus225 which enters the Arabian Gulf; and others again, through one of the canals. At the same time the idea of this circumnavigation, which owes its origin to Crates, is not necessary; we do not mean it was impossible, (for the wanderings of Ulysses are not impossible,) but neither the mathematical hypothesis, not yet the duration of the wandering, require such an explanation; for he was both retarded against his will by accidents in the voyage, as by [the tempest] which he narrates five only of his sixty ships survived; and also by voluntary delays for the sake of amassing wealth. Nestor says [of him],

“ Thus he, provision gathering as he went,
And gold abundant, roam'd to distant lands.226

Odyssey iii. 301.
[And Menelaus himself],

“ Cyprus, Phœnicia, and the Egyptians' land
I wandered through.227

Odyssey iv. 83.

As to the navigation of the isthmus, or one of the canals, if it had been related by Homer himself, we should have counted it a myth; but as he does not relate it, we regard it as entirely extravagant and unworthy of belief. We say unworthy of belief, because at the time of the Trojan war no canal was in existence. It is recorded that Sesostris, who had planned the formation of one, apprehending that the level of the sea was too high to admit of it, desisted from the undertaking.228

Moreover the isthmus itself was not passable for ships, and Eratosthenes is unfortunate in his conjecture, for he considers that the strait at the Pillars was not then formed, so that the Atlantic should by that channel communicate with the Mediterranean, and that this sea being higher than the Isthmus [of Suez], covered it; but when the Strait [of Gibraltar] was formed, the sea subsided considerably; and left the land about Casium229 and Pelusium230 dry as far over as the Red Sea.

But what account have we of the formation of this strait, supposing it were not in existence prior to the Trojan war? Is it likely that our poet would make Ulysses sail out through the Strait [of Gibraltar] into the Atlantic Ocean, as if that strait already existed, and at the same time describe Menelaus conducting his ships from Egypt to the Red Sea, as if it did not exist. Further, the poet introduces Proteus as saying to him,

“ Thee the gods
Have destined to the blest Elysian Isles,
Earth's utmost boundaries.231

Odyssey iv. 563.
And what this place was, namely, some far western region, is evident from [the mention of] the Zephyr in connexion with it:

“ But Zephyr always gently from the sea
Breathes on them.232

Odyssey iv. 567.
This, however, is very enigmatical. [32]

But if our poet speaks of the Isthmus of Suez as ever having been the strait of confluence between the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, how much more credit may we attribute to his division of the Ethiopians into two portions, being thus separated by so grand a strait! And what commerce could he have carried on with the Ethiopians who dwelt by the shores of the exterior sea and the ocean? Telemachus and his companions admire the multitude of ornaments that were in the palace,

“ Of gold, electrum, silver, ivory.233

Odyssey iv. 73.
Now the Ethiopians are possessed of none of these productions in any abundance, excepting ivory, being for the most part a needy and nomad race. True, [you say,] but adjoining them is Arabia, and the whole country as far as India. One of these is distinguished above all other lands by the title of Felix,234 and the other, though not dignified by that name, is both generally believed and also said to be preeminently Blessed.

But [we reply], Homer was not acquainted with India, or he would have described it. And though he knew of the Arabia which is now named Felix, at that time it was by no means wealthy, but a wild country, the inhabitants of which dwelt for the most part in tents. It is only a small district which produces the aromatics from which the whole territory afterwards received its name,235 owing to the rarity of the commodity amongst us, and the value set upon it. That the Arabians are now flourishing and wealthy is due to their vast and extended traffic, but formerly it does not appear to have been considerable. A merchant or camel-driver might attain to opulence by the sale of these aromatics and similar commodities; but Menelaus could only become so either by plunder, or presents conferred on him by kings and nobles, who had the means at their disposal, and wished to gratify one so distinguished by glory and renown. The Egyptians, it is true, and the neighbouring Ethiopians and Arabians, were not so entirely destitute of the luxuries of civilization, nor so unacquainted with the fame of Agamemnon, especially after the termination of the Trojan war, but that Menelaus might have expected some benefits from their generosity, even as the breastplate of Agamemnon is said to be

“ The gift
Of Cinyras long since; for rumour loud
Had Cyprus reached.236

Iliad xi. 20.
And we are told that the greater part of his wanderings were in Phœnicia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, around Cyprus, and, in fact, the whole of our coasts and islands.237 Here, indeed, he might hope to enrich himself both by the gifts of friendship and by violence, and especially by the plunder of those who had been the allies of Troy. They however who dwelt on the exterior ocean, and the distant barbarians, held out no such encouragement: and when Menelaus is said to have been in Ethiopia, it is because he had reached the frontiers of that country next Egypt. But perhaps at that time the frontiers lay more contiguous to Thebes than they do now. At the present day the nearest are the districts adjacent to Syene and Philæ,238 the former town being entirely in Egypt, while Philæ is inhabited by a mixed population of Ethiopians and Egyptians. Supposing therefore he had arrived at Thebes, and thus reached the boundary-line of Ethiopia, where he experienced the munificence of the king, we must not be surprised if he is described as having passed through the country.239 On no better authority Ulysses declares he has been to the land of the Cyclops, although he merely left the sea to enter a cavern which he himself tells us was situated on the very borders of the country: and, in fact, wherever he came to anchor, whether at Æolia, Læstrygonia, or elsewhere, he is stated to have visited those places. In the same manner Menelaus is said to have been to Ethiopia and Libya, because here and there he touched at those places, and the port near Ardania above Parætonium240 is called after him ‘the port of Menelaus.’241 [33]

When, after mentioning Phoenicia, he talks of Sidon, its metropolis, he merely employs a common form of expression, for example,

“ He urged the Trojans and Hector to the ships.242Iliad xiii. 1.

“For the sons of magnanimous Œneus were no more, nor was he himself surviving; moreover, fair-haired Meleager was dead.243

“ He came to Ida—and to Gargarus.244

Iliad viii. 47.

“ He possessed Eubœa, Chalcis, and Eretria.245

Iliad ii. 536.
Sappho likewise [says], “ Whether Cyprus, or the spacious-harboured Paphos.246

But he had some other cause besides this for mentioning Sidon immediately after having spoken of the Phoenicians: for had he merely desired to recount the nations in order, it would have been quite sufficient to say, “Having wandered to Cyprus, Phœnice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians.247

But that he might record his sojourn amongst the Sidonians, which was considerably prolonged, he thought it well to refer to it repeatedly. Thus he praises their prosperity and skill in the arts, and alludes to the hospitality the citizens had shown to Helen and Alexander. Thus he tells us of the many [treasures]of this nature laid up in store by Alexander.248

“ There his treasures lay,
Works of Sidonian women, whom her son,
The godlike Paris, when he crossed the seas
With Jove-begotten Helen, brought to Troy.249

Iliad vi. 289.
And also by Menelaus, who says to Telemachus,

“ 'I give thee this bright beaker, argent all,
But round encircled with a lip of gold.
It is the work of Vulcan, which to me
The hero Phædimus presented, king
Of the Sidonians, when on my return
Beneath his roof I lodged. I make it thine.250

Odyssey xv. 115.
Here the expression, ‘work of Vulcan,’ must be looked upon as a hyperbole: in the same way all elegant productions are said to be the work of Minerva, of the Graces, or of the Muses. But that the Sidonians were skilful artists, is clear from the praises bestowed [by Homer] on the bowl which Euneos gave in exchange for Lycaon:

“ Earth
Own'd not its like for elegance of form.
Skilful Sidonian artists had around
Embellish'd it, and o'er the sable deep
Phœnician merchants into Lemnos' port
Had borne it.251

Iliad xxiii. 742.

Many conjectures have been hazarded as to who the Erembi were: they who suppose the Arabs are intended, seem to deserve the most credit.

Our Zeno reads the passage thus:— “ I came to the Ethiopians, the Sidonians, and the Arabians.

But there is no occasion to tamper with the text, which is of great antiquity; it is a far preferable course to suppose a change in the name itself, which is of frequent and ordinary occurrence in every nation: and in fact certain grammarians establish this view by a comparison of the radical letters. Posidonius seems to me to adopt the better plan after all, in looking for the etymology of names in nations of one stock and community; thus between the Armenians, Syrians, and Arabians there is a strong affinity both in regard to dialect, mode of life, peculiarities of physical conformation, and above all in the contiguity of the countries. Mesopotamia, which is a motley of the three nations, is a proof of this; for the similarity amongst these three is very remarkable. And though in consequence of the various latitudes there may be some difference between those who dwell in the north252 and those of the the south,253 and again between each of these and the inhabitants of the middle region,254 still the same characteristics are dominant in all. Also the Assyrians and Arians have a great affinity both to these people and to each other. And [Posidonius] believes there is a similarity in the names of these different nations. Those whom we call Syrians style themselves Armenians and Arammæans, names greatly like those of the Armenians, Arabs, and Erembi. Perhaps this [last] term is that by which the Greeks anciently designated the Arabs; the etymon of the word certainly strengthens the idea. Many deduce the etymology of the Erembi from ἔραν ἐμ<*>αίνειν, (to go into the earth,) which [they say] was altered by the people of a later generation into the more intelligible name of Troglodytes,255 by which are intended those Arabs who dwell on that side of the Arabian Gulf next to Egypt and Ethiopia. It is probable then that the poet describes Menelaus as having visited these people in the same way that he says he visited the Ethiopians; for they are likewise near to the Thebaid; and he mentions them not on account of any commerce or gain, (for of these there was not much,) but probably to enhance the length of the journey and his meed of praise: for such distant travelling was highly thought of. For example,—

“ Discover'd various cities, and the mind
And manners learn'd of men in lands remote.256

Odyssey i. 3.
And again:

“ After numerous toils
And perilous wanderings o'er the stormy deep,
In the eighth year at last I brought them home.257

Odyssey iv. 81.
Hesiod, in his Catalogue,258 writes, “And the daughter of Arabus, whom gracious Hermes and Thronia, descended from king Belus, brought forth.” Thus, too, says Stesichorus. Whence it seems that at that time the country was from him named Arabia, though it is not likely this was the case in the heroic period.259 [35]

There are many who would make the Erembi a tribe of the Ethiopians, or of the Cephenes, or again of the Pygmies, and a thousand other fancies. These ought to be regarded with little trust; since their opinion is not only incredible, but they evidently labour under a certain confusion as to the different characters of history and fable. In the same category must be reckoned those who place the Sidonians and Phœnicians in the Persian Gulf, or somewhere else in the Ocean, and make the wanderings of Menelaus to have happened there. Not the least cause for mistrusting these writers is the manner in which they contradict each other. One half would have us believe that the Sidonians are a colony from the people whom they describe as located on the shores of the [Indian] Ocean, and who they say were called Phoenicians from the colour of the Erythræan Sea, while the others declare the opposite.260

Some again would transport Ethiopia into our Phœnicia, and make Joppa the scene of the adventures of Andromeda;261 and this not from any ignorance of the topography of those places, but by a kind of mythic fiction similar to those of Hesiod and other writers censured by Apollodorus, who, however, couples Homer with them, without, as it appears, any cause. He cites as instances what Homer relates of the Euxine and Egypt, and accuses him of ignorance for pretending to speak the actual truth, and then recounting fable, all the while ignorantly mistaking it for fact. Will anyone then accuse Hesiod of ignorance on account of his Hemicynes,262 his Macro- cephali,263 and his Pygmies; or Homer for his like fables, and amongst others the Pygmies themselves; or Alcman264 for describing the Steganopodes;265 or Æschylus for his Cyno- cephali,266 Sternophthalmi,267 and Monommati;268 when amongst prose writers, and in works bearing the appearance of veritable history, we frequently meet with similar narrations, and that without any admission of their having inserted such myths. Indeed it becomes immediately evident that they have woven together a tissue of myths not through ignorance of the real facts, but merely to amuse by a deceptive narration of the impossible and marvellous. If they appear to do this in ignorance, it is because they can romance more frequently and with greater plausibility on those things which are uncertain and unknown. This Theopompus plainly confesses in the announcement of his intention to relate the fables in his history in a better style than Herodotus, Ctesias, Hellanicus, and those who had written on the affairs of India. [36]

Homer has described to us the phenomena of the ocean under the form of a myth; this [art] is very desirable in a poet; the idea of his Charybdis was taken from the ebb and flow of the tide, and was by no means a pure invention of his own, but derived from what he knew concerning the Strait of Sicily.269 And although he states that the ebb and flow occurred thrice during the four and twenty hours, instead of twice,

“ (Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day
Thrice swallows it,")270

Odyssey xii. 105.
we must suppose that he said this not through any ignorance of the fact, but for tragic effect, and to excite the fear which Circe endeavours to infuse into her arguments to deter Ulysses from departing, even at a little expense of truth. The following is the language Circe makes use of in her speech to him:

“ Each day she thrice disgorges, and each day
Thrice swallows it. Ah! well-forewarn'd beware
What time she swallows, that thou come not nigh,
For not himself, Neptune, could snatch thee thence.271

Odyssey xii. 105.
And yet when Ulysses was ingulfed in the eddy he was not lost. He tells us himself,

“ 'It was the time when she absorb'd profound
The briny flood, but by a wave upborne,
I seized the branches fast of the wild fig,
To which bat-like I clung.272

Odyssey xii. 431.
And then having waited for the timbers of the wreck he seized hold of them, and thus saved himself. Circe, therefore, had exaggerated both the peril, and also the fact of its vomiting forth thrice a day instead of twice. However, this latter is a hyperbole which every one makes use of; thus we say thrice- happy and thrice-miserable.

So the poet,

“ Thrice-happy Greeks!273

Odyssey v. 306.

“ O delightful, thrice-wished for!274

Iliad viii. 488.
And again,

“ O thrice and four times.275

Iliad iii. 363.
Any one, too, might conclude from the passage itself that Homer even here hinted at the truth, for the long time which the remains of the wreck lay under water, which Ulysses, who was all the while hanging suspended to the branches, so anxiously desired to rise, accords much better with the ebb and flow taking place but twice during the night and day instead of thrice.

“ Therefore hard
I clench'd the boughs, till she disgorged again
Both keel and mast. Not undesired by me
They came, though late; for at what hour the judge,
After decision made of numerous strifes
Between young candidates for honour, leaves
The forum, for refreshment's sake at home,
Then was it that the mast and keel emerged.276

Odyssey xii. 437.

Every word of this indicates a considerable length of time, especially when he prolongs it to the evening, not merely saying at that time when the judge has risen, but having adjudicated on a vast number of cases, and therefore detained longer than usual. Otherwise his account of the return of the wreck would not have appeared likely, if he had brought it back again with the return of the wave, before it had been first carried a long way off. [37]

Apollodorus, who agrees with Eratosthenes, throws much blame upon Callimachus for asserting, in spite of his character as a grammarian, that Gaudus277 and Corcyra278 were among the scenes of Ulysses' wandering, such an opinion being altogether in defiance of Homer's statement, and his description of the places as situated in the exterior ocean.279

This criticism is just if we suppose the wandering to have never actually occurred, and to be merely the result of Homer's imagination; but if it did take place, although in other regions, Apollodorus ought plainly to have stated which they were, and thus set right the mistake of Callimachus. Since, however, after such evidence as we have produced, we cannot believe the whole account to be a fiction, and since no other more likely places have as yet been named, we hold that the grammarian is absolved from blame. [38]

Demetrius of Skepsis is also wrong, and, in fact, the cause of some of the mistakes of Apollodorus. He eagerly objects to the statement of Neanthes of Cyzicus, that the Argonauts, when they sailed to the Phasis,280 founded at Cyzicus the temples of the Idæan Mother.281 Though their voyage is attested both by Homer and other writers, he denies that Homer had any knowledge whatever of the departure of Jason to the Phasis. In so doing, he not only contradicts the very words of Homer, but even his own assertions. The poet informs us that Achilles, having ravaged Lesbos282 and other districts, spared Lemnos283 and the adjoining islands, on account of his relationship with Jason and his son Euneos,284 who then had possession of the island. How should he know of a relationship, identity of race, or other connexion existing between Achilles and Jason, which, after all, was nothing else than that they were both Thessalians, one being of Iolcos,285 the other of the Achæan Pthiotis,286 and yet was not aware how it happened that Jason, who was a Thes- salian of Iolcos, should leave no descendants in the land of his nativity, but establish his son as ruler of Lemnos? Homer then was familiar with the history of Pelias and the daughters of Pelias, of Alcestis, who was the most charming of them all, and of her son

“ Eumelus, whom Alcestis, praised
For beauty above all her sisters fair,
In Thessaly to king Admetus bore,287

Iliad ii. 714.
and was yet ignorant of all that befell Jason, and Argo, and the Argonauts, matters on the actual occurrence of which all the world is agreed. The tale then of their voyage in the ocean from Æeta, was a mere fiction, for which he had no authority in history. [39]

If, however, the expedition to the Phasis, fitted out by Pelias, its return, and the conquest of several islands, have at the bottom any truth whatever, as all say they have, so also has the account of their wanderings, no less than those of Ulysses and Menelaus; monuments of the actual occurrence of which remain to this day elsewhere than in the writings of Homer. The city of Æa, close by the Phasis, is still pointed Out Æetes is generally believed to have reigned in Colchis, the name is still common throughout the country, tales of the sorceress Medea are yet abroad, and the riches of the country in gold, silver, and iron, proclaim the motive of Jason's expedition, as well as of that which Phrixus had formerly undertaken. Traces both of one and the other still remain. Such is Phrixium,288 midway between Colchis and Iberia, and the Jasonia, or towns of Jason, which are every where met with in Armenia, Media, and the surrounding countries. Many are the witnesses to the reality of the expeditions of Jason and Phrixus at Sinope289 and its shore, at Propontis, at the Hellespont, and even at Lemnos. Of Jason and his Colchian followers there are traces even as far as Crete,290 Italy, and the Adriatic. Callimachus himself alludes to it where he says, “ [The temple of] Apollo and [the Isle of] Anaphe,291
Near to Laconian Thera.292

” In the verses which commence, “ I sing how the heroes from Cytæan Æeta,
Return'd again to ancient Æmonia.293

” And again concerning the Colchians, who, “ Ceasing to plough with oars the Illyrian Sea,294
Near to the tomb of fair Harmonia,
Who was transform'd into a dragon's shape,
Founded their city, which a Greek would call
The Town of Fugitives, but in their tongue
Is Pola named.

Some writers assert that Jason and his companions sailed high up the Ister, others say he sailed only so far as to be able to gain the Adriatic: the first statement results altogether from ignorance; the second, which supposes there is a second Ister having its source from the larger river of the same name, and discharging its waters into the Adriatic, is neither incredible nor even improbable.295 [40]

Starting from these premises, the poet, in conformity both with general custom and his own practice, narrates some circumstances as they actually occurred, and paints others in the colours of fiction. He follows history when he tells us of Æetes and Jason also, when he talks of Argo, and on the authority of [the actual city of Æa], feigns his city of Ææa, when he settles Euneos in Lemnos, and makes that island friendly to Achilles, and when, in imitation of Medea, he makes the sorceress Circe

“ Sister by birth of the all-wise Æetes,296

Odyssey x. 137.
he adds the fiction of the entrance of the Argonauts into the exterior ocean as the sequel to their wanderings on their return home. Here, supposing the previous statements admitted, the truth of the phrase ‘the renowned Argo,’297 is evident, since, in that case, the expedition was directed to a populous and well-known country. But if, as [Demetrius] of Skepsis asserts, on the authority of Mimnermus, Æetes dwelt by the Ocean, and Jason was sent thither far east by Pelias, to bring back the fleece, it neither seems probable that such an expedition would have been undertaken into unknown and obscure countries after the Fleece, nor could a voyage to lands desert, uninhabited, and so far remote from us, be considered either glorious or renowned.

[Here follow the words of Demetrius.] “‘Nor as yet had Jason, having accomplished the arduous journey, carried off the splendid fleece from Æa, fulfilling the dangerous mission of the insolent Pelias, nor had they ploughed the glorious wave of the ocean.’” And again: “‘The city of Æetes, where the rays of the swift sun recline on their golden bed by the shore of the ocean, which the noble Jason visited.’”


ERATOSTHENES is guilty of another fault in so frequently referring to the works of men beneath his notice, sometimes for the purpose of refuting them; at others, when he agrees with them, in order to cite them as authorities. I allude to Damastes, and such as him, who even when they speak the truth, are utterly unworthy of being appealed to as authorities, or vouchers for the credibility of a statement. For such purposes the writings of trustworthy men should only be employed, who have accurately described much; and though perhaps they may have omitted many points altogether, and barely touched on others, are yet never guilty of wilfully falsifying their statements. To cite Damastes as an authority is little better than to quote the Bergæan,298 or Euemerus the Messenian, and those other scribblers whom Eratosthenes himself sneers at for their absurdities. Why, he even points out as one of the follies of this Damastes, his observation that the Arabian Gulf was a lake;299 likewise the statement that Diotimus, the son of Strombicus and chief of the Athenian legation, sailed through Cilicia up the Cydnus300 into the river Choaspes,301 which flows by Susa,302 and so arrived at that capital after forty days' journey. This particular he professes to state on the authority of Diotimus himself, and then expresses his wonder whether the Cydnus could actually cross the Euphrates and Tigris in order to disgorge itself into the Choaspes.303 [2]

However, this is not all we have to say against him. Of many places he tells us that nothing is known, when in fact they have every one been accurately described. Then he warns us to be very cautious in believing what we are told on such matters, and endeavours by long and tedious arguments to show the value of his advice; swallowing at the same time the most ridiculous absurdities himself concerning the Euxine and Adriatic. Thus he believed the Bay of Issus304 to be the most easterly point of the Mediterranean, though Dioscurias,305 which is nearly at the bottom of the Pontus Euxinus, is, according to his own calculations, farther east by a distance of 3000 stadia.306 In describing the northern and farther parts of the Adriatic he cannot refrain from similar romancing, and gives credit to many strange narrations concerning what lies beyond the Pillars of Hercules, informing us of an Isle of Kerne there, and other places now nowhere to be found, which we shall speak of presently.

Having remarked that the ancients, whether out on piratical excursions, or for the purposes of commerce, never ventured into the high seas, but crept along the coast, and instancing Jason, who leaving his vessels at Colchis penetrated into Armenia and Media on foot, he proceeds to tell us that formerly no one dared to navigate either the Euxine or the seas by Libya, Syria, and Cilicia. If by formerly he means periods so long past that we possess no record of them, it is of little consequence to us whether they navigated those seas or not, but if [he speaks] of times of which we know any thing, and if we are to place any trust in the accounts which have come down to us, every one will admit that the ancients appear to have made longer journeys both by sea and land than their successors; witness Bacchus, Hercules, nay Jason himself, and again Ulysses and Menelaus, of whom Homer tells us. It seems most probable that Theseus and Pirithous are indebted to some long voyages for the credit they afterwards obtained of having visited the infernal regions; and in like manner the Dioscuri307 gained the appellation of guardians of the sea, and the deliverers of sailors.308 The sovereignty of the seas exercised by Minos, and the navigation carried on by the Phœnicians, is well known. A little after the period of the Trojan war they had penetrated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and founded cities as well there as to the midst of the African coast.309 Is it not correct to number amongst the ancients Æneas,310 Antenor,311 the Heneti, and all the crowd of warriors, who, after the destruction of Troy, wandered over the face of the whole earth? For at the conclusion of the war both the Greeks and Barbarians found themselves deprived, the one of their livelihood at home, the other of the fruits of their expedition; so that when Troy was overthrown, the victors, and still more the vanquished, who had survived the conflict, were compelled by want to a life of piracy; and we learn that they became the founders of many cities along the sea-coast beyond Greece,312 besides several inland settlements.313 [3]

Again, having discoursed on the advance of knowledge respecting the Geography of the inhabited earth, between the time of Alexander and the period when he was writing, Eratosthenes goes into a description of the figure of the earth; not merely of the habitable earth, an account of which would have been very suitable, but of the whole earth, which should certainly have been given too, but not in this disorderly manner. He proceeds to tell us that the earth is spheroidal, not however perfectly so, inasmuch as it has certain irregularities, he then enlarges on the successive changes of its form, occasioned by water, fire, earthquakes, eruptions, and the like; all of which is entirely out of place, for the spheroidal form of the whole earth is the result of the system of the universe, and the phenomena which he mentions do not in the least change its general form; such little matters being entirely lost in the great mass of the earth. Still they cause various peculiarities in different parts of our globe, and result from a variety of causes. [4]

He points out as a most interesting subject for disquisition the fact of our finding, often quite inland, two or three thousand stadia from the sea, vast numbers of muscle, oyster, and scallop-shells, and salt-water lakes.314 He gives as an instance, that about the temple of Ammon,315 and along the road to it for the space of 3000 stadia, there are yet found a vast amount of oyster shells, many salt-beds, and salt springs bubbling up, besides which are pointed out numerous fragments of wreck which they say have been cast up through some opening, and dolphins placed on pedestals with the inscription, Of the delegates from Cyrene. Herein he agrees with the opinion of Strato the natural philosopher, and Xanthus of Lydia. Xanthus mentioned that in the reign of Artaxerxes there was so great a drought, that every river, lake, and well was dried up: and that in many places he had seen a long way from the sea fossil shells, some like cockles, others resembling scallop shells, also salt lakes in Armenia, Matiana,316 and Lower Phrygia, which induced him to believe that sea had formerly been where the land now was. Strato, who went more deeply into the causes of these phenomena, was of opinion that formerly there was no exit to the Euxine as now at Byzantium, but that the rivers running into it had forced a way through, and thus let the waters escape into the Propontis, and thence to the Hellespont.317 And that a like change had occurred in the Mediterranean. For the sea being overflowed by the rivers, had opened for itself a passage by the Pillars of Hercules, and thus, much that was formerly covered by water, had been left dry.318 He gives as the cause of this, that anciently the levels of the Mediterranean and Atlantic were not the same, and states that a bank of earth, the remains of the ancient separation of the two seas, is still stretched under water from Europe to Africa. He adds, that the Euxine is the most shallow, and the seas of Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia much deeper, which is occasioned by the number of large rivers flowing into the Euxine both from the north and east, and so filling it up with mud, whilst the others preserve their depth. This is the cause of the remarkable sweetness of the Euxine Sea, and of the currents which regularly set towards the deepest part. He gives it as his opinion, that should the rivers continue to flow in the same direction, the Euxine will in time be filled up [by the deposits], since already the left side of the sea is little else than shallows, as also Salmydessus,319 and the shoals at the mouth of the Ister, and the desert of Scythia,320 which the sailors call the Breasts. Probably too the temple of Ammon was originally close to the sea, though now, by the continual deposit of the waters, it is quite inland: and he conjectures that it was owing to its being so near the sea that it became so celebrated and illustrious, and that it never would have enjoyed the credit it now possesses had it always been equally remote from the sea. Egypt too [he says] was formerly covered by sea as far as the marshes near Pelusium,321 Mount Casius,322 and the Lake Sirbonis.323 Even at the present time, when salt is being dug in Egypt, the beds are found under layers of sand and mingled with fossil shells, as if this district had formerly been under water, and as if the whole region about Casium and Gerrha324 had been shallows reaching to the Arabian Gulf. The sea afterwards receding left the land uncovered, and the Lake Sirbonis remained, which having afterwards forced itself a passage, became a marsh. In like manner the borders of the Lake Mœris resemble a sea-beach rather than the banks of a river. Every one will admit that formerly at various periods a great portion of the mainland has been covered and again left bare by the sea. Likewise that the land now covered by the sea is not all on the same level, any more than that whereon we dwell; which is now uncovered and has experienced so many changes, as Eratosthenes has observed. Consequently in the reasoning of Xanthus there does not appear to be any thing out of place. [5]

In regard to Strato, however, we must remark that, leaving out of the question the many arguments he has properly stated, some of those which he has brought forward are quite inadmissible. For first he is inaccurate in stating that the beds of the interior and the exterior seas have not the same level, and that the depth of those two seas is different: whereas the cause why the sea is at one time raised, at another depressed, that it inundates certain places and again retreats, is not that the beds have different levels, some higher and some lower, but simply this, that the same beds are at one time raised, at another depressed, causing the sea to rise or subside with them; for having risen they cause an inundation, and when they subside the waters return to their former places. For if it is so, an inundation will of course accompany every sudden increase of the waters of the sea, [as in the spring-tides,] or the periodical swelling of rivers, in the one instance the waters being brought together from distant parts of the ocean, in the other, their volume being increased. But the risings of rivers are not violent and sudden, nor do the tides continue any length of time, nor occur irregularly; nor yet along the coasts of our sea do they cause inundations, nor any where else. Consequently we must seek for an explanation of the cause either in the stratum composing the bed of the sea, or in that which is overflowed; we prefer to look for it in the former, since by reason of its humidity it is more liable to shiftings and sudden changes of position, and we shall find that in these matters the wind is the great agent after all. But, I repeat it, the immediate cause of these phenomena, is not in the fact of one part of the bed of the ocean being higher or lower than another, but in the upheaving or depression of the strata on which the waters rest. Strato's hypothesis evidently originated in the belief that that which occurs in rivers is also the case in regard to the sea; viz. that there is a flow of water from the higher places. Otherwise he would not have attempted to account for the current he observed at the Strait of Byzantium in the manner he does, attributing it to the bed of the Euxine being higher than that of the Propontis and adjoining ocean, and even attempting to explain the cause thereof: viz. that the bed of the Euxine is filled up and choked by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it; and its waters in consequence driven out into the neighbouring sea. The same theory he would apply in respect to the Mediterranean and Atlantic, alleging that the bed of the former is higher than that of the latter, in consequence of the number of rivers which flow into it, and the alluvium they carry along with them. In that case there ought to be a like influx at the Pillars and Calpe,325 as there is at Byzantium. But I waive this objection, as it might be asserted that the influx was the same in both places, but owing to the interference of the ebb and flow of the sea, became imperceptible. [6]

I rather make this inquiry:—If there were any reason why, before the outlet was opened at Byzantium, the bed of the Euxine (being deeper than either that of the Propontis326 or of the adjoining sea327) should not gradually have become more shallow by the deposit of the rivers which flow into it, allowing it formerly either to have been a sea, or merely a vast lake greater than the Palus Mæotis? This proposition being conceded, I would next ask, whether before this the bed of the Euxine would not have been brought to the same level as the Propontis, and in that case, the pressure being counterpoised, the overflowing of the water have been thus avoided; and if after the Euxine had been filled up, the superfluous waters would not naturally have forced a passage and flowed off, and by their commingling and power have caused the Euxine and Propontis to flow into each other, and thus become one sea? no matter, as I said above, whether formerly it were a sea or a lake, though latterly certainly a sea. This also being conceded, they must allow that the present efflux depends neither upon the elevation nor the inclination of the bed, as Strato's theory would have us consider it. [7]

We would apply the same arguments to the whole of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, and account for the efflux of the former, not by any [supposed] difference between the elevation and inclination of its bed and of that of the Atlantic, but at- tribute it to the number of rivers which empty themselves into it. Since, according to this supposition, it is not incredible that, had the whole of the Mediterranean Sea in times past been but a lake filled by the rivers, and having overflowed, it might have broken through the Strait at the Pillars, as through a cataract; and still continuing to swell more and more, the Atlantic in course of time would have become confluent by that channel, and have run into one level, the Mediterranean thus becoming a sea. In fine, the Physician did wrong in comparing the sea to rivers, for the latter are borne down as a descending stream, but the sea always maintains its level. The currents of straits depend upon other causes, not upon the accumulation of earth formed by the alluvial deposit from rivers, filling up the bed of the sea. This accumulation only goes on at the mouths of rivers. Such are what are called the Stethe or Breasts at the mouth of the Ister,328 the desert of the Scythians, and Salmydessus, which are partially occasioned by other winter-torrents as well; witness the sandy, low, and even coast of Colchis,329 at the mouth of the Phasis,330 the whole of the coast of Themiscyra,331 named the plain of the Amazons, near the mouths of the Thermodon332 and Iris,333 and the greater part of Sidene.334 It is the same with other rivers, they all resemble the Nile in forming an alluvial deposit at their mouths, some more, some less than others. Those rivers which carry but little soil with them deposit least, while others, which traverse an extended and soft country, and receive many torrents in their course, deposit the greatest quantity. Such for example is the river Pyramus,335 by which Cilicia has been considerably augmented, and concerning which an oracle has declared, ‘This shall occur when the wide waters of the Pyramus have enlarged their banks as far as sacred Cyprus.’336 This river becomes navigable from the middle of the plains of Cataonia, and entering Cilicia337 by the defiles of the Taurus, discharges itself into the sea which flows between that country and the island of Cyprus. [8]

These river deposits are prevented from advancing further into the sea by the regularity of the ebb and flow, which continually drive them back. For after the manner of living creatures, which go on inhaling and exhaling their breath continually, so the sea in a like way keeps up a constant motion in and out of itself. Any one may observe who stands on the sea-shore when the waves are in motion, the regularity with which they cover, then leave bare, and then again cover up his feet. This agitation of the sea produces a continual movement on its surface, which even when it is most tranquil has considerable force, and so throws all extraneous matters on to the land, and

“ Flings forth the salt weed on the shore.338

Iliad ix. 7.
This effect is certainly most considerable when the wind is on the water, but it continues when all is hushed, and even when it blows from land the swell is still carried to the shore against the wind, as if by a peculiar motion of the sea itself. To this the verses refer—

“ O'er the rocks that breast the flood
Borne turgid, scatter far the showery spray,339

Iliad iv. 425.

“ Loud sounds the roar of waves ejected wide.340

Iliad xvii. 265.

The wave, as it advances, possesses a kind of power, which some call the purging of the sea, to eject all foreign substances. It is by this force that dead bodies and wrecks are cast on shore. But on retiring it does not possess sufficient power to carry back into the sea either dead bodies, wood, or even the lightest substances, such as cork, which may have been cast out by the waves. And by this means when places next the sea fall down, being undermined by the wave, the earth and the water charged with it are cast back again; and the weight [of the mud] working at the same time in conjunction with the force of the advancing tide, it is the sooner brought to settle at the bottom, instead of being carried out far into the sea. The force of the river current ceases at a very little distance beyond its mouth. Otherwise, supposing the rivers had an uninterrupted flow, by degrees the whole ocean would be filled in from the beach onwards, by the alluvial deposits. And this would be inevitable even were the Euxine deeper than the sea of Sardinia, than which a deeper sea has never been sounded, measuring, as it does, according to Posidonius, about 1000 fathoms.341 [10]

Some, however, may be disinclined to admit this explanation, and would rather have proof from things more manifest to the senses, and which seem to meet us at every turn. Now deluges, earthquakes, eruptions of wind, and risings in the bed of the sea, these things cause the rising of the ocean, as sinking of the bottom causes it to become lower. It is not the case that small volcanic or other islands can be raised up from the sea, and not large ones, nor that all islands can, but not continents, since extensive sinkings of the land no less than small ones have been known; witness the yawning of those chasms which have ingulfed whole districts no less than their cities, as is said to have happened to Bura,342 Bizone,343 and many other towns at the time of earthquakes: and there is no more reason why one should rather think Sicily to have been disjoined from the main-land of Italy than cast up from the bottom of the sea by the fires of Ætna, as the Lipari and Pithecussan344 Isles have been. [11]

However, so nice a fellow is Eratosthenes, that though he professes himself a mathematician,345 he rejects entirely the dictum of Archimedes, who, in his work ‘On Bodies in Suspension,’ says that all liquids when left at rest assume a spherical form, having a centre of gravity similar to that of the earth. A dictum which is acknowledged by all who have the slightest pretensions to mathematical sagacity. He says that the Mediterranean, which, according to his own description, is one entire sea, has not the same level even at points quite close to each other; and offers us the authority of engineers for this piece of folly, notwithstanding the affirmation of mathematicians that engineering is itself only one division of the mathematics. He tells us that Demetrius346 intended to cut through the Isthmus of Corinth, to open a passage for his fleet, but was prevented by his engineers, who, having taken measurements, reported that the level of the sea at the Gulf of Corinth was higher than at Cenchrea,347 so that if he cut through the isthmus, not only the coasts near Ægina, but even Ægina itself, with the neighbouring islands, would be laid completely under water, while the passage would prove of little value. According to Eratosthenes, it is this which occasions the current in straits, especially the current in the Strait of Sicily,348 where effects similar to the flow and ebb of the tide are remarked. The current there changes twice in the course of a day and night, like as in that period the tides of the sea flow and ebb twice. In the Tyrrhenian sea349 the current which is called descendent, and which runs towards the sea of Sicily, as if it followed an inclined plane, corresponds to the flow of the tide in the ocean. We may remark, that this current corresponds to the flow both in the time of its commencement and cessation. For it commences at the rising and setting of the moon, and recedes when that satellite attains its meridian, whether above [in the zenith] or below the earth [in the nadir]. In the same way occurs the opposite or ascending current, as it is called. It corresponds to the ebb of the ocean, and commences as soon as the moon has reached either zenith or nadir, and ceases the moment she reaches the point of her rising or setting. [So far Eratosthenes.] [12]

The nature of the ebb and flow has been sufficiently treated of by Posidonius and Athenodorus. Concerning the flux and reflux of the currents, which also may be explained by physics, it will suffice our present purpose to observe, that in the various straits these do not resemble each other, but each strait has its own peculiar current. Were they to resemble each other,. the current at the Strait of Sicily350 would not change merely twice during the day, (as Eratosthenes himself tells us it does,) and at Chalcis seven times;351 nor again that of Constantinople, which does not change at all, but runs always in one direction from the Euxine to the Propontis, and, as Hipparchus tells us, sometimes ceases altogether. However, if they did all depend on one cause, it would not be that which Eratosthenes has assigned, namely, that the various seas have different levels. The kind of inequality he supposes would not even be found in rivers only for the cataracts; and where these cataracts occur, they occasion no ebbing, but have one continued downward flow, which is caused by the inclination both of the flow and the surface; and therefore though they have no flux or reflux they do not remain still, on account of a principle of flowing which is inherent in them; at the same time they cannot be on the same level, but one must be higher and one lower than another. But who ever imagined the surface of the ocean to be on a slope, especially those who follow a system which supposes the four bodies we call elementary, to be spherical.352 For water is not like the earth, which being of a solid nature is capable of permanent depressions and risings, but by its force of gravity spreads equally over the earth, and assumes that kind of level which Archimedes has assigned it. [13]

To what we cited before concerning the temple of Ammon and Egypt, Eratosthenes adds, that to judge from appearances, Mount Casius353 was formerly covered by sea, and the whole district now known as Gerra lay under shoal water touching the bay of the Erythræan Sea,354 but was left dry on the union355 of the [Mediterranean] Sea [with the ocean]. A certain amphibology lurks here under this description of the district lying under shoal water and touching the bay of the Erythræan Sea; for to touch356 both means to be close to, and also to be in actual contact with, so that when applied to water it would signify that one flows into the other. I understand him to mean, that so long as the strait by the Pillars of Hercules remained closed, these marshes covered with shoal- water extended as far as the Arabian Gulf, but on that passage being forced open, the Mediterranean, discharging itself by the strait, became lower, and the land was left dry.

On the other hand, Hipparchus understands by the term touching, that the Mediterranean, being over-full, flowed into the Erythræan Sea, and he inquires how it could happen, that as the Mediterranean flowed out by this new vent at the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythræan Sea, which was all one with it, did not flow away too, and thus become lower, but has always retained the same level? and since Eratosthenes supposes the whole exterior sea to be confluent, it follows that the Western Ocean357 and the Erythræan Sea are all one; and thus [remarks Hipparchus] as a necessary consequence, the sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the Erythræan Sea, and that also which is confluent with it,358 have all the same level. 14. But, Eratosthenes would reply, I never said that, in con- sequence of the repletion of the Mediterranean, it actually flowed into the Erythræan Sea, but only that it approached very near thereto: besides, it does not follow, that in one and the self-same sea, the level of its surface must be all the same; to instance the Mediterranean itself, no one, surely, will say it is of the same height at Lechæum359 and at Cenchrea.360 This answer Hipparchus anticipated in his Critique; and being aware of the opinion of Eratosthenes, was justified in attacking his arguments. But he ought not to have taken it for granted, that when Eratosthenes said the exterior sea was all one, he necessarily implied that its level was every where the same. [15]

Hipparchus rejects as false the [account] of the inscription on the dolphins ‘by the delegates from Cyrene,’ but the reason he assigns for this is insufficient, viz. that though Cyrene was built in times of which we have record, no one mentions the oracle,361 as being situated on the sea-shore. But what matters it that no historian has recorded this, when amongst the other proofs from which we infer that this place was formerly on the sea-shore, we number this of the dolphins which were set up, and the inscription, ‘by the delegates from Cyrene?’362 Hipparchus agrees that if the bottom of the sea were raised up, it would lift the water with it, and might therefore overflow the land as far as the locality of the oracle, or more than 3000 stadia from the shore; but he will not allow that the rising would be sufficient to overflow the Island of Pharos and the major portion of Egypt, since [he says] the elevation would not be sufficient to submerge these. He alleges that if before the opening of the passage at the Pillars of Hercules, the Mediterranean had been swollen to such an extent as Eratosthenes affirms, the whole of Libya, and the greater part of Europe and Asia, must long ago have been buried beneath its waves. Besides, he adds, in this case the Euxine would in certain places have been connected with the Adriatic, since in the vicinity of the Euxine, [near to its source,)363 the Ister is divided in its course, and flows into either sea, owing to the peculiarities of the ground.364 To this we object, that the Ister does not take its rise at all in the vicinity of the Euxine, but, on the contrary, beyond the mountains of the Adriatic; neither does it flow into both the seas, but into the Euxine alone, and only becomes divided just above its mouths. This latter, however, was an error into which he fell in common with many of his predecessors. They supposed that there was another river in addition to the former Ister, bearing the same name, which emptied itself into the Adriatic, and from which the country of Istria, through which it flowed, gained that appellation. It was by this river they believed Jason returned on his voyage from Colchis. [16]

In order to lessen surprise at such changes as we have mentioned as causes of the inundations and other similar phenomena which are supposed to have produced Sicily, the islands of Æolus,365 and the Pitllecussæ, it may be as well to compare with these others of a similar nature, which either now are, or else have been observed in other localities. A large array of such facts placed at once before the eye would serve to allay our astonishment; while that which is uncommon startles our perception, and manifests our general ignorance of the occurrences which take place in nature and physical existence. For instance, supposing any one should narrate the circumstances concerning Thera and the Therasian Islands, situated in the strait between Crete and the Cyrenaic,366 Thera being itself the metropolis of Cyrene; or those [in connexion with] Egypt, and many parts of Greece. For midway between Thera and Therasia flames rushed forth from the sea for the space of four days; causing the whole of it to boil and be all on fire; and after a little an island twelve stadia in circumference, composed of the burning mass, was thrown up, as if raised by machinery. After the cessation of this phenomenon, the Rhodians, then masters of the sea, were the first who dared to sail to the place, and they built there on the island a temple to the Asphalian367 Neptune. Posidonius remarks, that during an earthquake which occurred in Phœnicia, a city situated above Sidon was swallowed up, and that nearly two-thirds of Sidon also fell, but not suddenly, and therefore with no great loss of life. That the same occurred, though in a lighter form, throughout nearly the whole of Syria, and was felt even in some of the Cyclades and the Island of Eubœa,368 so that the fountains of Arethusa, a spring in Chalcis, were completely obstructed, and after some time forced for themselves another opening, and the whole island ceased not to experience shocks until a chasm was rent open in the earth in the plain of Lelanto,369 from which poured a river of burning mud. [17]

Many writers have recorded similar occurrences, but it will suffice us to narrate those which have been collected by Demetrius of Skepsis.

Apropos of that passage of Homer:—

“ And now they reach'd the running rivulets clear,
Where from Scamander's dizzy flood arise
Two fountains, tepid one, from which a smoke
Issues voluminous as from a fire,
The other, even in summer heats, like hail
For cold, or snow, or crystal stream frost-bound:370

Iliad xxii. 147.
this writer tells us we must not be surprised, that although the cold spring still remains, the hot cannot be discovered; and says we must reckon the failing of the hot spring as the cause. He goes on to relate certain catastrophes recorded by Democles, how formerly in the reign of Tantalus371 there were great earthquakes in Lydia and Ionia as far as the Troad,372 which swallowed up whole villages and overturned Mount Sipylus;373 marshes then became lakes, and the city of Troy was covered by the waters.374 Pharos, near Egypt, which anciently was an island, may now be called a peninsula, and the same may be said of Tyre and Clazomenæ.375

During my stay at Alexandria in Egypt the sea rose so high near Pelusium376 and Mount Casius377 as to overflow the land, and convert the mountain into an island, so that a journey from Casius into Phoenicia might have been undertaken by water. We should not be surprised therefore if in time to come the isthmus378 which separates the Egyptian sea379 from the Erythræan,380 should part asunder or subside, and becoming a strait, connect the outer and inner seas,381 similarly to what has taken place at the strait of the Pillars.

At the commencement of this work will be found some other narrations of a similar kind, which should be considered at the same time, and which will greatly tend to strengthen our belief both in these works of nature and also in its other changes. [18]

The Piræus having been formerly an island, and lying πέοͅαν, or off the shore, is said to have thus received its name. Leucas,382 on the contrary, has been made an island by the Corinthians, who cut through the isthmus which connected it with the shore [of the mainland]. It is concerning this place that Laertes is made to say,

“ Oh that I possessed
Such vigour now as when in arms I took
Nericus, continental city fair.383

Odyss. xxiv. 376.
Here man devoted his labour to make a separation, in other instances to the construction of moles and bridges. Such is that which connects the island opposite to Syracuse384 with the mainland. This junction is now effected by means of a bridge, but formerly, according to Ibycus, by a pier of picked stones, which he calls elect. Of Bura385 and Helice,386 one has been swallowed by an earthquake, the other covered by the waves. Near to Methone,387 which is on the Hermionic Gulf,388 a mountain seven stadia in height was cast up during a fiery eruption; during the day it could not be approached on account of the heat and sulphureous smell; at night it emitted an agreeable odour, appeared brilliant at a distance, and was so hot that the sea boiled all around it to a distance of five stadia, and appeared in a state of agitation for twenty stadia, the heap being formed of fragments of rock as large as towers. Both Arne and Mideia389 have been buried in the waters of Lake Copaïs.390 These towns the poet in his Cata- logue391 thus speaks of;

“ Arne claims
A record next for her illustrious sons,
Vine-bearing Arne. Thou wast also there

Iliad ii. 507.
It seems that several Thracian cities have been submerged by the Lake Bistonis,393 and that now called Aphnitis.394 Some also affirm that certain cities of Trerus were also overwhelmed, in the neighbourhood of Thrace. Artemita, formerly one of the Echinades,395 is now part of the mainland; the same has happened to some other of the islets near the Achelous, occasioned, it is said, in the same way, by the alluvium carried into the sea by that river, and Hesiod396 assures us that a like fate awaits them all. Some of the Ætolian promontories were formerly islands. Asteria,397 called by Homer Asteris, is no longer what it was.

“ There is a rocky isle
In the mid-sea, Samos the rude between
And Ithaca, not large, named Asteris.
It hath commodious havens, into which
A passage clear opens on either side.398

Odyssey iv. 844.
There is no good anchorage there now. Neither is there in Ithaca the cavern, nor yet the temple of the nymphs described to us by Homer. It seems more correct to attribute this to change having come over the places, than either to the ignorance or the romancing of the poet. This however, being uncertain, must be left to every man's opinion. [19]

Myrsilus tells us that Antissa399 was formerly an island, and so called because it was opposite to Lesbos,400 then named Issa. Now, however, it forms one of the towns of Lesbos.401 Some have believed that Lesbos itself has been disjoined from Mount Ida in the same way as Prochytas402 and Pithecussa403 from Misenum,404 Capreæ405 from the Athenæum, Sicily from Rhegium,406 and Ossa from Olympus.407 Many changes similar to these have occurred elsewhere. The river Ladon in Arcadia ceased for some time its flow. Duris informs us that the Rhagæ408 in Media gained that appellation from chasms made in the ground near the Gates of the Caspian409 by earthquakes, in which many cities and villages were destroyed, and the rivers underwent various changes. Ion, in his satirical composition of Omphale, has said of Eubœa, “‘The light wave of the Euripus has divided the land of Eubœa from Bœotia; separating the projecting land by a strait.’” [20]

Demetrius of Callatis, speaking of the earthquakes which formerly occurred throughout the whole of Greece, states that a great portion of the Lichadian Islands and of Kenæum410 were submerged; that the hot springs of Ædepsus411 and Thermopylæ were suppressed for three days, and that when they commenced to run again those of Ædepsus gushed from new fountains. That at Oreus412 on the sea-coast the wall and nearly seven hundred houses fell at once. That the greater part of Echinus,413 Phalara,414 and Heraclæa of Trachis415 were thrown down, Phalara being overturned from its very foundations. That almost the same misfortune occurred to the Lamians416 and inhabitants of Larissa; that Scarpheia417 was overthrown from its foundations, not less than one thousand seven hundred persons being swallowed up, and at Thronium418 more than half that number. That a torrent of water gushed forth taking three directions, one to Scarphe and Thronium, another to Thermopylæ, and a third to the plains of Daphnus in Phocis. That the springs of [many] rivers were for several days dried up; that the course of the Sperchius419 was changed, thus rendering navigable what formerly were highways; that the Boagrius420 flowed through another channel; that many parts of Alope, Cynus, and Opus were injured,421 and the castle of Œum, which commands the latter city, entirely overturned. That part of the wall of Elateia422 was thrown down; and that at Alponus,423 during the celebration of the games in honour of Ceres, twenty-five maidens, who had mounted a tower to enjoy the show exhibited in the port, were precipitated into the sea by the falling of the tower. They also record that a large fissure was made [by the water] through the midst of the island of Atalanta,424 opposite Eubœa,425 sufficient for ships to sail in; that the course of the channel was in places as broad as twenty stadia between the plains; and that a trireme being raised [thereby] out of the docks, was carried over the walls. [21]

Those who desire to instil into us that more perfect freedom from [ignorant] wonder, which Democritus and all other philosophers so highly extol, should add the changes which have been produced by the migrations of various tribes: we should thus be inspired with courage, steadiness, and composure. For instance, the Western Iberians,426 removed to the regions beyond the Euxine and Colchis, being separated from Arme- nia, according to Apollodorus, by the Araxes,427 but rather by the Cyrus428 and Moschican mountains.429 The expedition of the Egyptians into Ethiopia430 and Colchis. The migration of the Heneti,431 who passed from Paphlagonia into the country bordering on the Adriatic Gulf. Similar emigrations were also undertaken by the nations of Greece, the Ionians, Dorians, Achaians, and Æolians; and the Ænians,432 now next neighbours to the Ætolians, formerly dwelt near Dotium 433 and Ossa, beyond the Perrhæbi;434 the Perrhæbi too are but wanderers here themselves. Our present work furnishes numerous instances of the same kind. Some of these are familiar to most readers, but the migrations of the Carians, the Treres, the Teucrians, and the Galatæ or Gauls,435 are not so generally known. Nor yet for the most part are the expeditions of their chiefs, for instance, Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus of Trerus, Sesostris and Psammeticus the Egyptians; nor are those of the Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes familiar to every one. The Kimmerians, or a separate tribe of them, called the Treres, have frequently overrun the countries to the right of the Euxine and those adjacent to them, bursting now into Paphlagonia, now into Phrygia, as they did when, according to report, Midas436 came to his death by drinking bull's blood. Lygdamis led his followers into Lydia, passed through Ionia, took Sardis, but was slain in Cilicia. The Kimmerians and Treres frequently made similar incursions, until at last, as it is reported, these latter, together with [their chief] Cobus, were driven out by Madys, king of the ‘Scythians.’437 But enough has been said in this place on the general history of the earth, as each country will have a particular account. [22]

We must now return to the point whence we digressed. Herodotus having observed that there could be no such people as Hyperborean, inasmuch as there were no Hypernotii,438 Eratosthenes calls this argument ridiculous, and compares it to the sophism, that there are no epichærekaki,439 inasmuch as there are no epichæragathi;440 [adding] perhaps there are Hypernotii; since at all events in Ethiopia Notus does not blow, although lower down it does.

It would indeed be strange, since winds blow under every latitude, and especially the southern wind called Notus, if any region could be found where this latter was not felt. On the contrary, not only does Ethiopia experience our Notus, but also the whole country which lies above as far as the equator.441

If Herodotus must be blamed at all, it is for supposing that the Hyperboreans were so named in consequence of Boreas, or the north wind, not blowing upon them. The poets are allowed much licence in their modes of expression; but their commentators, who endeavour always to give us the correct view, tell us that the people who dwelt in the extreme north, were styled Hyperboreans. The pole is the boundary of the northern winds, and the equator of the southern; these winds have no other limit. [23]

Eratosthenes next finds fault with the writers who fill their narrative with stories evidently feigned and impossible; some as mere fable, but others as history, which did not deserve mention. In the discussion of a subject like his, he should not have wasted his time about such trifles. Such is the way in which this writer completes the First Book of his Memoirs.


IN his Second Book Eratosthenes endeavours to correct some errors in geography, and offers his own views on the subject, any mistakes in which we shall endeavour in our turn to set right. He is correct in saying that the inductions of mathematics and natural philosophy should be employed, and that if the earth is spheroidal like the universe, it is inhabited in all parts; together with some other things of this nature. Later writers do not agree with him as to the size of the earth,442 nor admit his measurement. However Hipparchus, when noting the celestial appearances for each particular locality, adopts his admeasurements, saying that those taken for the meridian of Meroe,443 Alexandria, and the Dnieper, differ but very slightly from the truth. Eratosthenes then enters into a long discussion concerning the figure of the globe, proving that the form of the earth together with the water is spheroidal, as also the heavens. This however we imagine was foreign to his purpose, and should have been disposed of in the compass of a few words. [2]

After this he proceeds to determine the breadth of the habitable earth: he tells us, that measuring from the meridian of Meroe444 to Alexandria, there are 10,000 stadia. From thence to the Hellespont445 about 8100. Again; from thence to the Dnieper, 5000; and thence to the parallel of Thule,446 which Pytheas says is six days' sail north from Britain, and near the Frozen Sea, other 11,500. To which if we add 3400 stadia above Meroe in order to include the Island of the Egyptians,447 the Cinnamon country, and Taprobane,448 there will be in all 38,000 stadia. [3]

We will let pass the rest of his distances, since they are something near,—but that the Dnieper is under the same parallel as Thule, what man in his senses could ever agree to this? Pytheas, who has given us the history of Thule, is known to be a man upon whom no reliance can be placed, and other writers who have seen Britain and Ierne,449 although they tell us of many small islands round Britain, make no mention whatever of Thule. The length of Britain itself is nearly the same as that of Keltica,450 opposite to which it extends. Altogether it is not more than 5000 stadia in length, its outermost points corresponding to those of the opposite continent. In fact the extreme points of the two countries lie opposite to each other, the eastern extremity to the eastern, and the western to the western: the eastern points are situated so close as to be within sight of each other, both at Kent and at the mouths of the Rhine. But Pytheas tells us that the island [of Britain] is more than 20,000 stadia in length, and that Kent is some days' sail from France. With regard to the locality of the Ostimii, and the countries beyond the Rhine,451 as far as Scythia, he is altogether mistaken. The veracity of a writer who has been thus false in describing countries with which we are well acquainted, should not be too much trusted in regard to unknown places. [4]

Further, Hipparchus and many others are of opinion that the parallel of latitude of the Dnieper does not differ from that of Britain; since that of Byzantium and Marseilles are the same. The degree of shadow from the gnomon which Pytheas states he observed at Marseilles being exactly equal to that which Hipparchus says he found at Byzantium; the periods of observation being in both cases similar.452 Now from Marseilles to the centre of Britain is not more than 5000 stadia; and if from the centre of Britain we advance north not more than 4000 stadia, we arrive at a temperature in which it is scarcely possible to exist. Such indeed is that of Ierne.453 Consequently the far region in which Eratosthenes places Thule must be totally uninhabitable. By what guesswork he arrived at the conclusion that between the latitude of Thule and the Dnieper there was a distance of 11,500 stadia I am unable to divine. [5]

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 India454 to the [westernmost] point of Spain;455 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,456 is 16,000 stadia to the river Indus. If measured from its most prominent capes it extends 3000 more.457 Thence to the Caspian Gates, 14,000. From the Caspian Gates to the Euphrates,458 10,000. From the Euphrates to the Nile, 5000.459 Thence to the Canopic460 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,461 and the adjoining islands, the last of which, named Uxisama,462 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 not463 to exceed half the length, he adds to the stated measure of its length 2000 stadia west, and as many east. [6]

Further, endeavouring to support the opinion that it is in accordance with natural philosophy to reckon the greatest dimension of the habitable earth from east to west, he says that, according to the laws of natural philosophy, the habitable earth ought to occupy a greater length from east to west, than its breadth from north to south. The temperate zone, which we have already designated as the longest zone, is that which the mathematicians denominate a continuous circle returning upon itself. So that if the extent of the Atlantic Ocean were not an obstacle, we might easily pass by sea from Iberia to India,464 still keeping in the same parallel; the remaining portion of which parallel, measured as above in stadia, occupies more than a third of the whole circle: since the parallel drawn through Athens,465 on which we have taken the distances from India to Iberia, does not contain in the whole 200,000 stadia. Here too his reasoning is incorrect. For this speculation respecting the temperate zone which we inhabit, and whereof the habitable earth is a part, devolves properly on those who make mathematics their study. But it is not equally the province of one treating of the habitable earth. For by this term we mean only that portion of the temperate zone where we dwell, and with which we are acquainted. But it is quite possible that in the temperate zone there may be two or even more habitable earths, especially near the circle of latitude which is drawn through Athens and the Atlantic Ocean. After this he returns to the form of the earth, which he again declares to be spheroidal. Here he exhibits the same churlishness we have previously pointed out, and goes on abusing Homer in his old style. He proceeds: [7]

‘There has been much argument respecting the continents. Some, considering them to be divided by the rivers Nile and Tanais,466 have described them as islands; while others suppose them to be peninsulas connected by the isthmuses between the Caspian and the Euxine Seas, and between the Erythræan Sea467 and Ecregma.’468 He adds, that this question does not appear to him to be of any practical importance, but rather, as Democritus observed, a bone of contention for angry litigants. Where there are no precise boundary marks, columns, or walls, as at Colyttus and Melitè,469 it is easy for us to say such a place is Colyttus, and such another Melitè, but not so easy to show the exact limits: thus disputes have frequently arisen concerning certain districts; that, for instance, between the Argives and Lacedæmonians concerning [the possession of] Thyrea,470 and that between the Athenians and Bœotians relative to Oropus.471 Further, in giving names to the three continents, the Greeks did not take into consideration the whole habitable earth, but merely their own country and the land exactly opposite, namely, Caria, which is now inhabited by the Ionians and other neighbouring tribes. In course of time, as they advanced further and daily became acquainted with new countries, this their division came to be general."

I take this last part first, and (to use Eratosthenes' own words, not those of Democritus) willing to pick my bone of contention, inquire, whether they who first made the division of the three continents were the same persons as those who first desired to distinguish their own land from that of the Carians opposite, or whether they were only acquainted with Greece, Caria, and some few other adjoining countries, and not with Europe, Asia, or Africa; but that others who followed them, and were able to write a description of the habitable earth, were the real authors of the division into three continents. How did he know that these were not the men who made this division of the habitable earth? And he who divided the earth into three parts, giving to each portion the name of ‘continent,’ could he not form in his mind a just idea of that taken as a whole, which he had so parcelled out. But if indeed he were not acquainted with the whole habitable earth, but merely made a division of some part thereof, pray what portion of that part did he denominate Asia, or Europe, or simply continent? Such talk is altogether nonsense. [8]

The reasoning of Eratosthenes, however, is still more absurd, when he declares that he sees no advantage in being acquainted with the exact boundaries of countries, and then cites the example of Colyttus and Melitè, which prove just the contrary of his assertion. Surely if a want of certainty respecting the boundaries of Thyrea and Oropus gave rise to war, a knowledge of the limits of different districts must be of practical importance. Will he tell us that the boundaries of districts, or the limits of kingdoms, may be of some service, but when applied to continents it is carrying the matter too far. We reply, it is of equal consequence here. Suppose a dispute between two powerful princes, one claiming the possession of Asia and the other of Africa, to which of these should Egypt, I mean the country called Lower Egypt, appertain. Will any one paws over such cases on account of their rarity? By no means. It is acknowledged by every one that the limits of each continent ought to be defined by some notable boundary, indicated by the configuration of the whole habitable earth. In following out this principle, we should not be very particular if they who determine boundaries by the rivers leave some districts undefined, since the rivers do not reach from sea to sea, nor leave the continents altogether as islands. [9]

At the close of the book Eratosthenes blames the system of those who would divide all mankind into Greeks and Barbarians, and likewise those who recommended Alexander to treat the Greeks as friends, but the Barbarians as enemies.472 He suggests, as a better course, to distinguish them according to their virtues and their vices, ‘since amongst the Greeks there are many worthless characters, and many highly civilized are to be found amongst the Barbarians; witness the Indians and Ariani,473 or still better the Romans and Carthaginians, whose political system is so beautifully perfect. Alexander, considering this, disregarded the advice which had been offered him, and patronized without distinction any man he considered to be deserving.’ But we would inquire whether those men who thus divided the human race, abandoning one portion to contempt, and exalting to dignity the other, were not actuated to this because they found that on one side justice, knowledge, and the force of reason reigned supreme, but their contraries on the other. Alexander did not disregard the advice tendered him, but gladly embraced and followed it, respecting the wisdom of those who gave it; and so far from taking the opposite course, he closely pursued that which they pointed out.

1 The chapters and sectional divisions of Kramer's edition of the Greek text have been generally followed in this translation.

2 τὰ θεία καὶ ἀνθρώπεια, ‘the productions of nature and art.’

3 Africa.

4 Then indeed the sun freshly struck the fields [with its rays], ascending heaven from the calmly-flowing, deep-moving ocean. Iliad vii. 421; Odyssey xix. 433. These references relate to the Greek text; any one wishing to verify the poetic translation will find the place in Cowper, by adding a few lines to the number adapted to the Greek. The prose version is taken from Bohn's edition.

5 And the bright light of the sun fell into the ocean, drawing dark night over tile fruitful earth. Iliad viii. 485

Bright and steady as the star
Autumnal, which in ocean newly bathed,
Assumes fresh beauty.

Iliad v. 6

6 Iliad v.6.

7 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.

8 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.

9 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.

10 The Isles of the Blest are the same as the Fortunate Isles of other geographers. It is clear from Strabo's description that he alludes to the Canary Islands; but as it is certain that Homer had never heard of these, it is probable that the passages adduced by Strabo have reference to the Elysian Fields of Baïa in Campania.

11 The Maurusia of the Greeks (the Mauritania of the Latins) is now known as Algiers and Fez in Africa.

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

13 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.

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

15 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.

16 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.

17 For I go to visit the limits of the fertile earth, and Oceanus, the parent of the gods. Iliad xiv. 200.

18 The eighteenth book of the Iliad.

19 Iliad xviii. 399; Odyss. xx. 65.

20 Thrice indeed each day it lets loose its waves, and thrice it ebbs them back. Odyss. xii. 105. Gosselin remarks, ‘I do not find any thing in these different passages of Homer to warrant the conclusion that he was aware of the ebb and flow of the tide; every one knows that the movement is hardly perceptible in the Mediterranean. In the Euripus, which divides the Isle of Negropont from Bœotia, the waters are observed to flow in opposite directions several times a day. It was from this that Homer probably drew his ideas; and the regular current of the Hellespont, which carries the waters of the Black Sea into the Mediterranean, led him to think that the whole ocean, or Mediterranean, had one continued flow like the current of a river.’

21 Iliad vii. 422.

22 But when the ship left the stream of the river-ocean, and entered on the wave of the wide-wayed sea. Odyssey xii. l.

23 This direction would indicate a gulf, the seaward side of which should be opposite the Libo-notus of the ancients. Now the mutilated passage of Crates has reference to the opening of the twelfth book of the Odyssey, descriptive of Ulysses' departure from Cimmeria, after his visit to the infernal regions. Those Cimmerians were the people who inhabited Campania, and the land round Baïa, near to lake Avernus, and the entrance into Hades. As these places are situated close to the bay of Naples, which occupies the exact position described by Crates, it is probable this was the bay he intended.

24 What Strabo calls the eastern side of the continent, comprises that portion of India between Cape Comorin and Tana-serim, to the west of the kingdom of Siam: further than which he was not acquainted.

25 Strabo's acquaintance with Western Africa did not go further than Cape Nun, 214 leagues distant from the Strait of Gibraltar.

26 By the south is intended the whole land from the Arabian Gulf or Red Sea to Cape Comorin.

27 From Cape Finisterre to the mouth of the Elbe.

28 The rocks of Gibraltar and Ceuta.

29 The mountaineers of the Taurus, between Lycia and Pisidia.

30 A mountain of Ionia near to the Meander, and opposite the Isle of Samos.

31 The Sea of Marmora.

32 The Strait of Caffa, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azof.

33 The Cimmerians, spoken of in Homer, were undoubtedly the in- habitants of Campania, not those of the Bosphrus.

34 They are covered with shadows and darkness, nor does the shining sun behold them with his beams,............ but pernicious night is spread over hapless mortals. Odyssey xi. 15 and 19.

35 The Danube.

36 Ancient Thrace consisted of the modern provinces of Bulgaria and Roumelia.

37 A river of Thessaly, named at present Salampria.

38 Now the river Vardari.

39 Thesprotis, in Epirus, opposite Corfu.

40 Afterwards named Temsa. This town was in Citerior Calabria. Some think Torre de Nocera stands on the ancient site.

41 This is a misstatement, as before remarked.

42 This writer occupies so prominent a position in Strabo's work, that no apology I think will be needed for the following extract from Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. "Eratosthenes of Cyrene was, according to Suidas, the son of Aglaus, according to others, the son of Ambrosius, and was born B. C. 276. He was taught by Ariston of Chius, the philosopher, Lysanias of Cyrene, the grammarian, and Callimachus, the poet. He left Athens at the invitation of Ptolemy Euergetes, who placed him over the library at Alexandria. Here he continued till the reign of Ptolemy Epiphanes. He died at the age of eighty, about B. C. 196, of voluntary starvation, having lost his sight, and being tired of life. He was a man of very extensive learning: we shall first speak of him as a geometer and astronomer.

"It is supposed that Eratosthenes suggested to Ptolemy Euergetes the construction of the large armillœ, or fixed circular instruments, which were long in use at Alexandria; but only because it is difficult to imagine to whom else they are to be assigned, for Ptolemy the astronomer, though he mentions them, and incidentally their antiquity, does not state to whom they were due. In these circles each degree was divided into six parts. We know of no observations of Eratosthenes in which they were probably employed, except those which led him to the obliquity of the ecliptic, which he must have made to be 23° 51′ 20″; for he states the distance of the tropics to be eleven times the eighty-third part of the circumference. This was a good observation for the times. Ptolemy the astronomer was content with it, and according to him Hipparchus used no other. Of his measure of the earth we shall presently speak. According to Nicomachus, he was the inventor of the κόσκινον, or Cribrum Arithmeticum, as it has since been called, being the well-known method of detecting the prime numbers by writing down all odd numbers which do not end with 5, and striking out successively the multiples of each, one after the other, so that only prime numbers remain.

"We still possess under the name of Eratosthenes a work, entitled κατασεοͅισμοί, giving a slight account of the constellations, their fabulous history, and the stars in them. It is however acknowledged on all hands that this is not a work of Eratosthenes. * * * The only other writing of Eratosthenes which remains, is a letter to Ptolemy on the duplication of the cube, for the mechanical performance of which he had contrived an instrument, of which he seems to contemplate actual use in measuring the contents of vessels, &c. He seems to say that he has had his method engraved in some temple or public building, with some verses, which he adds. Eutocius has preserved this letter in his comment on book ii. prop. 2, of the sphere and cylinder of Archimedes.

"The greatest work of Eratosthenes, and that which must always make his name conspicuous in scientific history, is the attempt which he made to measure the magnitude of the earth, in which he brought forward and used the method which is employed to this day. Whether or no he was successful cannot be told, as we shall see; but it is not the less true that he was the originator of the process by which we now know, very nearly indeed, the magnitude of our own planet. Delambre says that if it were he who advised the erection of the circular instruments above alluded to, he must be considered as the founder of astronomy: to which it may be added, that he was the founder of geodesy without any if in the case. The number of ancient writers who have alluded to this remarkable operation (which seems to have obtained its full measure of fame) is very great, and we shall not attempt to combine their remarks or surmises: it is enough to say that the most distinct account, and one of the earliest, is found in the remaining work of Cleomedes.

"At Syene in Upper Egypt, which is supposed to be the same as, or near to, the town of Assouan, (Lat. 24° 10′ N., Long. 32° 59′ E. of Greenwich,) Eratosthenes was told (that he observed is very doubtful) that deep wells were enlightened to the bottom on the day of the summer solstice, and that vertical objects cast no shadows. He concluded therefore, that Syene was on the tropic, and its latitude equal to the obliquity of the ecliptic, which, as we have seen, he had determined: he presumed that it was in the same longitude as Alexandria, in which he was out about 3°, which is not enough to produce what would at that time have been a sensible error. By observations made at Alexandria, he determined the zenith of that place to be distant by the fiftieth part of the circumference from the solstice, which was equivalent to saying that the arc of the meridian between the two places is 7° 12′. Cleomedes says that he used the σκάφη, or hemispherical dial of Berosus, in the determination of this latitude. Delambre rejects the idea with infinite scorn, and pronounces Cleomedes unworthy of credit; and indeed it is not easy to see why Eratosthenes should have rejected the gnomon and the large circular instruments, unless, perhaps, for the following reason. There is a sentiment of Cleomedes which seems to imply that the disappearance of the shadows at Syene on the day of the summer solstice was noticed to take place for 300 stadia every way round Syene. If Eratosthenes took his report about the phenomenon (and we have no evidence that he went to Syene himself) from those who could give no better account than this, we may easily understand why he would think the σκάφη quite accurate enough to observe with at his own end of the arc, since the other end of it was uncertain by as much as 300 stadia. He gives 500 stadia for the distance from Alexandria to Syene, and this round number seems further to justify us in concluding that he thought the process to be as rough as in truth it was. Martianus Capella states that he obtained this distance from the measures made by order of the Ptolemies (which had been commenced by Alexander): this writer then implies that Eratosthenes did not go to Syene himself.

‘The result is 250,000 stadia for the circumference of the earth, which Eratosthenes altered into 252,000, that his result might give an exact number of stadia for the degree, namely, 700; this of course should have been 694 4/9. Pliny calls this 31,500 Roman miles, and therefore supposes the stadium to be the eighth part of a Roman mile, or takes for granted that Eratosthenes used the Olympic stadium. It is likely enough that the Ptolemies naturalized this stadium in Egypt; but nevertheless, it is not unlikely that an Egyptian stadium was employed. If we assume the Olympic stadium, (202 1/4 yards,) the degree of Eratosthenes is more than 79 miles, upwards of 10 miles too great. Nothing is known of any Egyptian stadium. Pliny asserts that Hipparchus, but for what reason he does not say, wanted to add 25,000 stadia to the circumference as found by Eratosthenes. According to Plutarch, Eratosthenes made the sun to be 804 millions of stadia from the earth, and the moon 780,000. According to Macrobius, he made the diameter of the sun to be 27 times that of the earth. With regard to the other merits of Eratosthenes, we must first of all mention what he did for geography, which was closely connected with his mathematical pursuits. It was Eratosthenes who raised geography to the rank of a science; for previous to his time it seems to have consisted, more or less, of a mass of in- formation scattered in books of travel, descriptions of particular countries, and the like. All these treasures were accessible to Eratosthenes in the libraries of Alexandria; and he made the most profitable use of them, by collecting the scattered materials, and uniting them into an organic system of geography, in his comprehensive work entitled γεωγοͅαφικά, or as it is sometimes but erroneously called, γεωγοͅούμενα or γεωγοͅαφία. It consisted of three books, the first of which, forming a sort of Introduction, contained a critical review of the labours of his predecessors from the earliest to his own times, and investigations concerning the form and nature of the earth, which, according to him, was an immoveable globe, on the surface of which traces of a series of great revolutions were still visible. He conceived that in one of these revolutions the Mediterranean had acquired its present form; for according to him it was at one time a large lake covering portions of the adjacent countries of Asia and Libya, until a passage was forced open by which it entered into communication with the ocean in the west. The second book contained what is now called mathematical geography. His attempt to measure the magnitude of the earth has been spoken of above. The third book contained the political geography, and gave descriptions of the various countries, derived from the works of earlier travellers and geographers. In order to be able to determine the accurate site of each place, he drew a line parallel with the equator, running from the Pillars of Hercules to the extreme east of Asia, and dividing the whole of the inhabited earth into two halves. Connected with this work was a new map of the earth, in which towns, mountains, rivers, lakes, and climates were marked according to his own improved measurements. This important work of Eratosthenes forms an epoch in the history of ancient geography: but unfortunately it is lost, and all that has survived consists in fragments quoted by later geographers and historians, such as Polybius, Strabo, Marcianus, Pliny, and others, who often judge of him unfavourably, and controvert his statements; while it can be proved that in a great many passages they adopt his opinions without mentioning his name. Marcianus charges Eratosthenes with having copied the substance of the work of Timosthenes on Ports, (περὶ λιμένων,) to which he added but very little of his own. This charge may be well-founded, but cannot have diminished the value of the work of Eratosthenes, in which that of Timosthenes can have formed only a very small portion. It seems to have been the very overwhelming importance of the geography of Eratosthenes, that called forth a number of opponents, among whom we meet with the names of Polemon, Hipparchus, Polybius, Serapion, and Marcianus of Heracleia. * * * Another work of a somewhat similar nature, entitled ῾εεμῆς, was written in verse, and treated of the form of the earth, its temperature, the different zones, the constellations, and the like. * * * Eratosthenes distinguished himself also as a philosopher, historian, grammarian, &c.’

43 The ancients portioned out the globe by bands or zones parallel to the equator, which they named κλίματα. The extent of each zone was determined by the length of the solstitial day, and thus each diminished in extent according as it became more distant from the equator. The moderns have substituted a mode of reckoning the degrees by the elevation of the pole, which gives the latitudes with much greater accuracy.

44 Literally, the heat, cold, and temperature of the atmosphere.

45 Tartary.

46 France.

47 Xylander and Casaubon remark that Strabo here makes an improper use of the term antipodes; the antipodes of Spain and India being in the southern hemisphere.

48 Meteorology, from μετεώρος, aloft, is the science which describes and explains the various phenomena which occur in the region of the atmosphere.

49 Homer, Iliad viii. 16

50 A people of Thessaly, on the banks of the Peneus.

51 The former name of the Morea, and more ancient than Peloponnesus. Iliad i. 270.

52 Having wandered to Cyprus, and Phœnice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians, and Sidonians, and Erembi, and Libya, where the lambs immediately become horned. Odyssey iv. 83.

53 Odyssey iv. 86.

54 Homer says,

“ ———τν̂ͅπλεῖστα φἐοͅει ζείδωοͅος ἄοͅουοͅα

Odyssey iv. 229.
Which Cowper properly renders:— “ Egypt teems
With drugs of various powers.

” Strabo, by omitting the word φαοͅμακα from his citation, alters to a certain degree the meaning of the sentence.

55 Iliad ix. 383, et seq.

56 Odyssey xxi. 26.

57 Chorography, a term used by Greek writers, meaning the description of particular districts.

58 Iliad ii. 496. Four cities of Bœotia. The present name of Aulis is Vathi, situated on the Strait of Negropont The modern names of the other three cities are unknown.

59 By Libyans are here intended Carthaginians. The events alluded to by Strabo may be found in Pomponius Mela and Valerius Maximus, whose accounts however do not entirely accord. That of Valerius Maximus, who is followed by Servius, tells us that Hannibal, on his return to Africa, observed his pilot Pelorus was taking the ships by the coast of Italy, and suspecting him therefore of treachery, caused him to be executed. He did not know at the time the intention of Pelorus to take him through the Strait of Messina, but afterwards, when aware of the excellence of the passage, caused a monument to be raised to the memory of the unfortunate pilot. Strabo, in his ninth book, gives us the history of Salganeus, and the monument erected to him on the shores of Negropont.

60 The Gulf of Zeitun.

61 Vide preceding note on this word, p. 13, n. 1.

62 Odyssey v. 393.

63 Allusion is here made to the theory of Xenophanes of Colophon and Anaximenes his disciple, who imagined the earth bore the form of a vast mountain, inhabited at the summit, but whose roots stretched into infinity. The Siamese at the present day hold a similar idea.

64 See note1, p. 13.

65 πεοͅὶ τῶν οἰκήσεων.

66 Meaning, the different appearances of the heavenly bodies at various parts of the earth.

67 Odyssey x. 190.

68 This sentence has been restored to what was evidently its original position. In the Greek text it appears immediately before section 23, commencing, ‘Having already compiled,’ &c. The alteration is borne out by the French and German translators.

69 Strabo here alludes to his ῾ιστορικὰ ῾υπομνήματα, cited by Plutarch (Lucullus, 28, Sulla, 26). This work, in forty-three books, began where the History of Polybius ended, and was probably continued to the battle of Actium. Smith, Gr. and Rom. Biog.

70 The Sea of Azof.

71 Mingrelia; east of the Euxine.

72 A large country of Asia to the south of the eastern part of the Caspian Sea. It became much restricted during the Parthian rule, contain- ing only the north of Comis, east of Masanderan, the country near Corcan. or Jorjan, (Dshiordshian,) and the west of the province of Khorassan.

73 A country of Asia, on the west bounded by Aria, south by the mountains of Paropamisus, east by the Emodi montes, north by Sogdiana, now belongs to the kingdom of Afhganistan. Bactriana was anciently the centre of Asiatic commerce.

74 A general name given by the Greeks and Romans to a large portion of Asia, and divided by them into Scythia intra et extra Imaum, that is, on either side of Mount Imaus. This mountain is generally thought to answer to the Himalaya mountains of Thibet.

75 This seems to be a paraphrase of Homer's verse on Ulysses, Odyssey xviii. 74.

οἵην ἐκ ῥακέων γέοͅων ἐπιγουνίδα φαίνει.

Odyssey xviii. 74.
“ What thews
     And what a haunch the senior's tatters hide.

” Cowper.

76 Zeno, of Citium, a city in the island of Cyprus, founded by Phoenician settlers, was the son of Mnaseas.

77 πεοͅὶ τῶν ᾿αγαθῶν, is the title given by Strabo, but we find from Harpocrates and Clemens Alexandrinus, that properly it was πεοͅὶ ᾿αγαθῶν καὶ κακῶν, or "Concerning Good and Evil Things 'which we have rendered in the text ‘Moral Philosophy.’

78 Odyssey iii. 267.

79 Ib. iii. 270.

80 Ib. iii. 272.

81 Thisbe, Haliartus, Anthedon, cities of Bœotia; Litæa, a city of Phocis. The Cephissus, a large river, rising in the west of Phocis.

82 A harvest-wreath of laurel or olive wound round with wool, and adorned with fruits, borne about by singing-boys at the πυανεψια and θαοͅγὴλια, while offerings were made to Helios and the Hours: it was afterwards hung up at the house-door. The song was likewise called eiresionè, which became the general name for all begging-songs.

83 Auditors,] ἀκοͅοωμένοις. In Greece there was a class of lectures where the only duty of the professors was to explain the works of the poets, and point out the beauties which they contained. The students who attended these lectures were styled ἀκοͅοάται, or auditors, and the method of instruction ἀκοͅόασις.

84 Odyssey i 3.

85 Iliad iii. 202.

86 Ib. x. 246.

87 Odyssey xviii. 367.

88 Ib. xviii. 374.

89 The second book of the Iliad.

90 The ninth book of the Iliad.

91 The deputation of Menelaus and Ulysses to demand back Helen, alluded to by Antenor, in the third book of the Iliad.

92 But when he did send forth the mighty voice from his breast, and words like unto wintry flakes of snow, no longer then would another mortal contend with Ulysses. Iliad iii. 221.

93 So much of the meaning of this sentence depends upon the orthography, that its force is not fully perceptible in English; the Greek is as follows: τοῦτο δ᾽ ὴ̂ν ᾠδὴ λόγος μεμελισμένος ἀφ᾽ ού̂ δὴ ῥαψῳδίαη τ̓ ἔλεγον καὶ τοͅαγῳδίαν καὶ κωμῳδίαν.

94 This last sentence can convey little or no meaning to the English reader; its whole force in the original depending on verbal association. Its general scope however will be evident, when it is stated that in Greek, the same word, πεζὸς, which means a ‘foot-soldier,’ signifies also ‘prose composition.’ Hence Strabo's allusion to the chariot. The Latins borrowed the expression, and used sermo pedestris in the same sense.

95 A female phantom said to devour children, used by nurses as a bugbear to intimidate their refractory charges.

96 In later times there were three Gorgons, Stheino, Euryale, and Medusa, but Homer seems to have known but one.

97 One of the giants, who in the war against the gods was deprived of his left eye by Apollo, and of the right by Hercules.

98 The same phantom as Mormo, with which the Greeks used to frighten little children.

99 Odyssey vi. 232.

100 Odyssey xix. 203.

101 The mountains of Chimera in Albania.

102 The Gulf of Venice.

103 The Gulf of Salerno.

104 The Grecian name for Tuscany.

105 Several small islands, or rather reefs, at the entrance of the Strait of Constantinople. They took their name of Symplegades from the varying positions they assumed to the eyes of the voyager, owing to the sinuosities of the Strait.

106 Unfortunately for Strabo's illustration, no Grecian navigator had ever passed the Strait of Gibraltar in Homer's time.

107 The powerful Shaker of the Earth, as he was returning from the Ethiopians, beheld him from a distance, from the mountains of the Solymi. Odyssey v. 282.

108 There is some doubt as to the modern name of the island of Ithaca. D'Anville supposes it to be the island of Thiaki, between the island of Cephalonia and Acarnania, while Wheeler and others, who object to this island as being too large to answer the description of Ithaca given by Strabo, identify it with the little isle of Ithaco, between Thiaki and the main-land.

109 A name of the city of Troy, from Ilus, son of Tros.

110 A mountain of Magnesia in Thessaly.

111 A mountain in the Troad.

112 Cape Faro in Sicily.

113 The stadia here mentioned are 700 to a degree; thus 2000 stadia amount to rather more than 57 marine leagues, which is the distance in a direct line from Cape Faro to the Capo della Minerva.

114 The Sirenussæ are the rocks which form the southern cape of the Gulf of Naples, and at the same time separate it from the Gulf of Salerno. This cape, which was also called the promontory of Minerva, from the Athenæum which stood there, preserves to this day the name of Capo della Minerva.

115 Now Surrento.

116 The island of Capri is opposite to the Capo della Minerva.

117 Now the Island of St. Marcian.

118 Monte Circello, near to Terracina.

119 The Iliad.

120 Sword-fish.

121 And fishes there, watching about the rock for dolphins and dogs, and if she can any where take a larger whale. Odyssey xii. 95.

122 There is a very fine medallion in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, portraying Scylla as half woman, half dolphin, with a trident in her left hand, and seizing a fish with her right. From her middle protrude two half-bodied dogs, who assist the monster in swimming.

123 Odyssey xii. 105.

124 At this place there was an altar consecrated to Ulysses. Meninx is now known as the island of Zerbi, on the side of the Bay of Cabus, on the coast of Africa.

125 The second book of the Iliad.

126 And from thence I was carried for nine days over t' fishy sea by baleful winds. Odyssey ix. 82.

127 Cape Maleo off the Morea. The distance from this point to Gibraltar is now estimated at 28° 34′. The 22,500 stadia of Polybius would equal 32° 8′ 34″. He was therefore out in his calculation by 3° 34′ 34″.

128 But when the ship left the stream of the river ocean. Odyss. xii. l.

129 Vide Odyssey i. 50.

130 Calypso.

131 And we dwell at a distance, the farthest in the sea of many waves, nor does any other of mortals mingle with us. Odyssey vi. 204.

132 Gosselin has satisfactorily demonstrated that Strabo is wrong in supposing that these passages relate to the Atlantic Ocean, and most of our readers will come at once themselves to the same conclusion. Those, however, who wish for proofs, may refer to the French translation, vol. i. p. 51, n.

133 The ancient name of the city of Naples.

134 Puteoli, now Pozzuolo, in Campania.

135 Mare Morto, south of Baïa, and near to the ruins of Mycene.

136 Aornus or Avernus: this lake, which lies about one mile north of Baïa, still retains its ancient appellation.

137 Vide Virgil, Æneid vi. 162.

138 Cythæron and Helicon, two mountains of Bœotia, the latter of which is now named Zagaro Voreni.

139 Parnassus, a mountain of Phocis, near Delphi.

140 Pelion, a mountain of Magnesia, in Thessaly.

141 They attempted to place Ossa upon Olympus, and upon Ossa leafy Pelion. Odyssey xi. 314. The mountains Pelion, Ossa, and Olympus, bounded the eastern coasts of Thessaly.

142 Pieria and Emathia, two countries of Macedonia.

143 The mountains of Macedonia; this latter name was unknown to Homer, who consequently describes as Thracian, the whole of the people north of Thessaly.

144 The Mount Santo of the moderns.

145 Juno, hastening, quitted the summit of Olympus, and having passed over Pieria, and fertile Emathia, she hastened over the snowy mountains of equestrian Thrace, most lofty summits. * * * * From Athos she descended to the foaming deep. Iliad xiv. 225.

146 Odyssey iv. 83.

147 Euripides, Bacchæ, towards commencement.

148 Sophocles.

149 The inaccuracy of the description consists in this; that Bacchus leaving Lydia and Phrygia should have taken his course by Media into Bactriana, and returned by Persia into Arabia Felix. Perhaps too, for greater exactness, Strabo would have had the god mention particularly the intermediate countries through which he necessarily passed, as Cappadocia, Armenia, Syria, &c.

150 But it lies low, the highest in the sea towards the west, but those that are separated from it [lie] towards the east and the sun. Odyssey ix. 25.

151 Vide Odyssey xiii. 109, 111.

152 Which I very little regard, nor do I care for them whether they fly to the right, towards the morn and the sun, or to the left, towards the darkening west. Iliad xii. 239.

153 O my friends, since we know not where is the west, nor where the morning, nor where the sun. Odyssey x. 190.

154 The north and west winds, which both blow from Thrace. Iliad ix. 5.

155 Now the Bay of Saros.

156 These two provinces are comprised in the modern division of Roumelia. A portion of Macedonia still maintains its ancient name Makidunia.

157 The modern names of these places are Thaso, Stalimene, Imbro, and Samothraki.

158 Strabo, as well as Casaubon in his notes on this passage, seems to have made an imperfect defence of Homer. The difficulty experienced, as well by them as Eratosthenes, arose from their overlooking the fact that Macedonia was a part of Thrace in Homer's time, and that the name of Macedon did not exist.

159 These rocks were situated between the city of Megara and the isthmus of Corinth.

160 And the south-east and the south rushed together, and the hard- blowing west, and the cold-producing north. Odyssey v. 295.

161 The western part of Thrace, afterwards named Macedonia; having Pæonia on the north, and Thessaly on the south.

162 The Magnetæ dwelt near to Mount Pelion and the Pelasgic Gulf, now the Bay of Volo.

163 These people dwelt between Mount Othrys, and the Maliac Gulf, now the Gulf of Zeitun.

164 The maritime portion of Epirus opposite Corfu.

165 In the time of Homer the Dolopes were the neighbours of the Pæonians, and dwelt in the north of that part of Thrace which afterwards formed Macedonia. Later, however, they descended into Thessaly, and established themselves around Pindus.

166 Dodona was in Epirus, but its exact position is not known.

167 Now Aspro-potamo, or the White River; this river flows into the sea at the entrance of the Gulf of Corinth.

168 And the assembly was moved, as the great waves of the Icarian sea. Iliad ii. 144.

169 ᾿αοͅγέσταο νὀτοιο, Iliad xi. 306, xxi. 334.᾿αοͅγέστης strictly speaking means the north-west, and although, to an English ear, the north-west south seems at first absurd, yet in following up the argument which Strabo is engaged in, it is impossible to make use of any other terms than those which he has brought forward, and merely to have translated ἀργέσταο νότοιο by Argest-south, would have mystified the passage without cause. We do not here attempt to reconcile the various renderings of ἀοͅγέσταο νότοιο by Homeric critics, as Strabo's sense alone concerns us.

170 The north and west winds, which both blow from Thrace. Iliad ix. 5.

171 ᾿αοͅγέστης νότος, the clearing south wind, Horace's Notus Albus;— in the improved compass of Aristotle, ἀοͅγέστης was the north-west wind, the Athenian σκείοͅων.

172 τοῦ λοιποῦ νότου ὅλου εὔοͅου πως ὄντος. MSS. i. e. all the other southern winds having an easterly direction. We have adopted the suggestion of Kramer, and translated the passage as if it stood thus, τοῦ λοιποῦ νότου ὀλεοͅοῦ πως ὄντος.

173 As when the west wind agitates the light clouds of the clearing south, striking them with a dreadful gale. Iliad xi. 305.

174 Gosselin observes that Hesiod lived about forty years after Homer, and he mentions not only the Nile, but also the Po, with which certainly Homer was unacquainted. He speaks too of the Western Ocean, where he places the Gorgons, and the garden of the Hesperides. It is very likely that these various points of information were brought into Greece by the Carthaginians. The name Nile seems to be merely a descriptive title; it is still in use in many countries of India, where it signifies water. The river known subsequently as the Nile, was, in Homer's time, called the River of Egypt, or the River Egyptus; by the latter of which titles he was acquainted with it. See Odyssey xvii. 448.

175 By this expression is intended the Atlantic.

176 Gosselin remarks that the arguments made use of by Strabo are not sufficiently conclusive. The country with which the Greeks were best acquainted was Greece, undoubtedly, and it is this land which Homer has described with the greatest exactness of detail.

177 An island opposite to Alexandria, and seven stadia distant therefrom. The Ptolemies united it to the main-land by means of a pier, named Hepta-stadium, in allusion to its length. The sands which accumulated against the pier became the site of the present city of Alexandria. It was not on this island that the celebrated Pharos of Alexandria was erected, but on a desolate rock a little to the N. E. It received the same name as the island, to which it was joined by another pier. As to the passage of Homer, (Odyssey iv. 354–357,) where he says that Pharos is one day's sail from the Egyptus, he does not mean Egypt, as Strabo fancies, but the mouth of the Nile, which river in his time was called the Egyptus, and probably fell into the sea about one day's sail from Pharos.

178 We have before remarked that the Ethiopia visited by Menelaus was not the country above Egypt, generally known by that name, but an Ethiopia lying round Jaffa, the ancient Joppa.

179 ‘The priests stated also that Menes was the first of mortals that ever ruled over Egypt; to this they added that in the days of that king, all Egypt, with the exception of the Thebaic nome, was but a morass; and that none of the lands now seen below Lake Mœris, then existed; from the sea up to this place is a voyage by the river of seven days. I myself am perfectly convinced the account of the priests in this particular is correct; for the thing is evident to every one who sees and has common sense, although he may not have heard the fact, that the Egypt to which the Hellenes navigate, is a land annexed to the Egyptians, and a gift from the river; and that even in the parts above the lake just mentioned, for three days' sail, concerning which the priests relate nothing, the country is just of the same description.’ Herod. ii. § 5.

180 The Ethiopians, who are divided into two parts, the most distant of men, some at the setting of the sun, others at the rising. Odyssey i. 23.

181 Odyssey i. 23.

182 Many ancient writers entertained the opinion that the regions surrounding the terrestrial equator were occupied by the ocean, which formed a circular zone, separating our continent from that which they supposed to exist in the southern hemisphere. To the inhabitants of this second continent they gave the name of Antichthones.

183 The Southern Ocean.

184 Or nearest to the equator.

185 The isthmus of Suez.

186 Odyssey i. 23.

187 This explanation falls to the ground when we remember, that prior to the reign of Psammeticus no stranger had ever succeeded in penetrating into the interior of Egypt. This was the statement of the Greeks themselves. Now as Psammeticus did not flourish till two and a half centuries after Homer, that poet could not possibly have been aware of the circumstances which Strabo brings forward to justify his interpretation of this passage which he has undertaken to defend.

188 Africa.

189 The Red Sea.

190 The Strait of Gibraltar.

191 The Tartessians were the inhabitants of the island of Tartessus, formed by the two arms of the Bætis, (the present Guadalquiver,) near the mouth of this river. One of these arms being now dried up, the island is reunited to the mainland. It forms part of the present district of Andalusia. The tradition, says Gosselin, reported by Ephorus, seems to me to resemble that still preserved at Tingis, a city of Mauritania, so late as the sixth century. Procopius (Vandalicor. ii. 10) relates that there were two columns at Tingis bearing the following inscription in the Phœnician language, ‘We are they who fled before the brigand Joshua, the son of Naue (Nun).’ It does not concern us to inquire whether these columns actually existed in the time of Procopius, but merely to remark two independent facts. The first is the tradition generally received for more than twenty centuries, that the coming of the Israelites into Palestine drove one body of Canaanites, its ancient inhabitants, to the extremities of the Mediterranean, while another party went to establish, among the savage tribes of the Peloponnesus and Attica, the earliest kingdoms known in Europe. The second observation has reference to the name of Ethiopians given by Ephorus to this fugitive people, as confirming what we have before stated, that the environs of Jaffa, and possibly the entire of Palestine, anciently bore the name of Ethiopia: and it is here we must leek for the Ethiopians of Homer, and not in the interior of Africa.

192 Africa.

193 This piece is now lost.

194 τὸ μεσημβοͅινὸν κλίμα.

195 Æschylus.

196 This piece is now lost.

197 Odyssey ix. 26.

198 Strabo is mistaken in interpreting πρὸς ζόφον towards the north. It means here, as every where else, ‘towards the west,’ and allusion in the passage is made to Ithaca as lying west of Greece.

199 Whether they fly to the right towards the morn and the sun, or to the left towards the darkening west. Iliad xii. 239.

200 O my friends! since we know not where is the west, nor where the morning, nor where the sun that gives light to mortals descends beneath the earth, nor where he rises up again. Odyssey x. 190.

201 In Book x.

202 For yesterday Jove went to Oceanus to the blameless Ethiopians, to a banquet. Iliad i. 423.

203 The powerful shaker of the earth, as he was returning from the Ethiopians, beheld him from a distance, from the mountains of the Solymi, Odyssey v. 282.

204 This would be true if Homer had lived two or three centuries later, when the Greeks became acquainted with the Ethiopians on the eastern and western coasts of Africa. But as the poet was only familiar with the Mediterranean, there is no question that the Ethiopians mentioned in this passage are those of Phoenicia and Palestine.

205 Which, after they have escaped the winter and immeasurable shower, with a clamour wing their way towards the streams of the ocean bearing slaughter and fate to the Pygmæan men. Iliad iii. 3.

206 Gosselin is of opinion that this Iberia has no reference to Spain, but is a country situated between the Euxine and Caspian Seas, and forms part of the present Georgia. He assigns as his reason, that if Strabo had meant to refer to Spain, he would have mentioned it before Italy, so as not to interrupt the geographical order, which he is always careful to observe.

207 Pygmy, (πυγμαῖος,) a being whose length is a πυγμὴ, that is, from the elbow to the hand. The Pygmæi were a fabulous nation of dwarfs, the Lilliputians of antiquity, who, according to Homer, had every spring to sustain a war against the cranes on the banks of Oceanus. They were believed to have been descended from Pygmræus, a son of Dorus and grandson of Epaphus. Later writers usually place them near the sources of the Nile, whither the cranes are said to have migrated every year to take possession of the field of the Pygmies. The reports of them have been embellished in a variety of ways by the ancients. Hecatæus, for example, related that they cut down every corn-ear with an axe, for they were conceived to be an agricultural people. When Hercules came into their country, they climbed with ladders to the edge of his goblet to drink from it; and when they attacked the hero, a whole army of them made an assault upon his left hand, while two made the attack on his right. Aristotle did not believe that the accounts of the Pygmies were altogether fabulous, but thought that they were a tribe in Upper Egypt, who had exceedingly small horses, and lived in caves. In later times we also hear of Northern Pygmies, who lived in the neighbourhood of Thule: they are described as very short-lived, small, and armed with spears like needles. Lastly, we also have mention of Indian Pygmies, who lived under the earth on the east of the river Ganges. Smith, Diet. Biog. and Mythol. Various attempts have been made to account for this singular belief, which however seems to have its only origin in the love of the Marvellous.

208 It must be observed that the Arabian Gulf, or Red Sea, does not run parallel to the equator, consequently it could not form any considerable part of a meridian circle; thus Strabo is wrong even as to the physical position of the Gulf, but this is not much to be wondered at, as he supposed in equatorial division of the earth into two hemispheres by the ocean.

209 15,000 of the stadia employed by Strabo were equivalent to 21° 25′ 13″. The distance from the Isthmus of Suez to the Strait of Bab-el- Mandeb, following our better charts, is 20° 15′. Strabo says nearly 15,000 stadia; and this length may be considered just equal to that of the Arabian Gulf. Its breadth, so far as we know, is in some places equal to 1800 stadia.

210 The Arabian Gulf, or Red Sea.

211 The Mediterranean.

212 Aristotle accounts for Homer's mentioning Thebes rather than Memphis, by saying that, at the time of the poet, the formation of that part of Egypt by alluvial deposit was very recent. So that Memphis either did no then exist, or at all events had not then obtained its after celebrity. Aristotle likewise seems to say that anciently Egypt consisted only of the territory of the Thebaid, καὶ τὸ ἀοͅχαῖον αἴυπτος, θῆβαι καλούμεναι.

213 The Mediterranean.

214 Gosselin says, ‘Read 4000, as in lib. xvii. This correction is indicated by the following measure given by Herodotus:

From the sea to Heliopolis1500 stadia
From Heliopolis to Thebes4860

The stadium made use of in Egypt at the time of Herodotus consisted of 1111 1/9 to a degree on the grand circle, as may be seen by comparing the measure of the coasts of the Delta furnished by that historian with our actual information. The length of this stadium may likewise be ascertained by reference to Aristotle. In the time of Eratosthenes and Strabo, the stadium of 700 to a degree was employed in Egypt. Now 6360 stadia of 1111 1/9 to a degree make just 4006 stadia of 700: consequently these two measures are identical, their apparent inconsistency merely resulting from the different scales by which preceding authors had expressed them.’ This reasoning seems very plausible, but we must remark that Col. Leake, in a valuable paper ‘On the Stade as a Linear Measure,’ published in vol. ix. of the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, is of opinion that Gosselin's system of stadia of different lengths cannot be maintained.

215 Namely Crates and Aristarchus. The last was of Alexandria, and consequently an Egyptian. Crates was of Cilicia, which was regarded as a part of Syria.

216 This is a very favourite axiom with Strabo, notwithstanding he too often forgets it himself.

217 The Phrygians were considered to be more timid than any other people, and consequently the hares of their country more timid than those of any other. We see then a twofold hyperbole in the expression that a man is more timid than a Phrygian hare.

218 Alcæus of Mitylene in the island of Lesbos, the earliest of the Æolian lyric poets, began to flourish in the forty-second Olympiad (B. C. 610). In the second year of this Olympiad we find Cicis and Antimenidas, the brothers of Alcæus, fighting under Pittacus against Melanchrus, who is described as the tyrant of Lesbos, and who fell in the conflict. Alcæus does not appear to have taken part with his brothers on this occasion; on the contrary, he speaks of Melanchrus in terms of high praise. Alcæus is mentioned in connexion with the war in Troas, between the Athenians and Mitylenæans, for the possession of Sigæum. During the period which followed this war, the contest between the nobles and the people of Mitylene was brought to a crisis. The party of Alcæus engaged actively on the side of the nobles, and was defeated. When he and his brother Antimenidas perceived that all hope of their restoration to Mitylene was gone, they travelled over different countries. Alcæus visited Egypt, and appears to have written poems in which his adventures by sea were described. Horace, Carm. ii. 13. 26. See Smith's Diet. of Biog. and Mythol.

219 But in it there is a haven with good mooring, from whence they takes equal ships into the sea, having drawn black water. Odyssey iv. 358.

220 Certainly having suffered many things, and having wandered much, I was brought in my ships, and I returned in the eighth year; having wandered to Cyprus, and Phœnice, and the Egyptians, I came to the Ethiopians and Sidonians, and Erembians, and Libya. Odyssey iv. 81.

221 On the coasts of the Mediterranean.

222 Strabo intends to say that the ships of Menelaus were not constructed so as to be capable of being taken to pieces, and carried on the backs of the sailors, as those of the Ethiopians were.

223 Having mentioned the Phœnicians, amongst whom the Sidonians are comprised, he certainly would not have enumerated these latter as a separate people.

224 That is to say, that he made the entire circuit of Africa, starting from Cadiz, and doubling the Cape of Good Hope. Such was the opinion of Crates, who endeavoured to explain all the expressions of Homer after mathematical hypotheses. If any one were to inquire how Menelaus, who was wandering about the Mediterranean, could have come into Ethiopia, Crates would answer, that Menelaus left the Mediterranean and entered the Atlantic, whence he could easily travel by sea into Ethiopia. In this he merely followed the hypothesis of the mathematicians, who said that the inhabited earth in all its southern portion was traversed by the Atlantic Ocean, and the other seas contiguous thereto.

225 The Isthmus of Suez. This isthmus they supposed to be covered by the sea, as Strabo explains further on.

226 Thus far he, collecting much property and gold, wandered with his ships. Odyssey iii. 301.

227 Odyssey iv. 83.

228 Strabo here appears to have followed Aristotle, who attributes to Sesostris the construction of the first canal connecting the Mediterranean, or rather the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, with the Red Sea. Pliny has followed the same tradition. Strabo, Book xvii., informs us, that other authors attribute the canal to Necho the son of Psammeticus; and this is the opinion of Herodotus and Diodorus. It is possible these authors may be speaking of two different attempts to cut this canal. Sesostris flourished about 1356 years before Christ, Necho 615 years before the same era. About a century after Necho, Darius the son of Hystaspes made the undertaking, but desisted under the false impression that the level of the Red Sea was higher than that of the Mediterranean. Ptolemy Philadelphus proved this to be an error, by uniting the Red Sea to the Nile without causing any inundation. At the time of Trojan and Hadrian the communication was still in existence, though subsequently it became choked up by an accumulation of sand. It will be remembered that a recent proposition for opening the canal was opposed in Egypt on similar grounds.

229 Mount El Kas.

230 Tineh.

231 But the immortals will send you to the Elysian plain, and the boundaries of the earth. Odyssey iv. 563.

232 But ever does the ocean send forth the gently blowing breezes of the west wind. Odyssey iv. 567.

233 Odyssey iv. 73.See Strabo's description of electrum, Book iii. c. ii. § 8.

234 Blessed.

235 The name of Arabia Felix is now confined to Yemen. A much larger territory was anciently comprehended under this designation, containing the whole of Hedjaz, and even Nedjed-el-Ared. It is probable that Strabo here speaks of Hedjaz, situated about two days' journey south of Mecca.

236 Iliad xi. 20.

237 Of the Mediterranean.

238 Philæ was built on a little island formed by the Nile, now called El-Heif.

239 This is evidently Strabo's meaning; but the text, as it now stands, is manifestly corrupt.

240 El-Baretun. A description of this place will be found in the 17th book.

241 At this port it was that Agesilaus terminated his glorious career.

242 Iliad xiii. 1.Strabo means that Homer, after having spoken of the Trojans in general, mentions Hector in particular.

243 Iliad ii. 641. Having mentioned the sons of Æneus collectively, he afterwards distinguishes one of them by name.

244 Iliad viii. 47.Gargarus was one of the highest peaks of Ida.

245 Iliad ii. 536. Chalcis and Eretria were two cities of Eubœa.

246 We have here taken advantage of Casaubon's suggestion to read πάνορμος instead of πάνορμος, the Greek name for Palermo in Sicily, which was not founded in the time of Sappho.

247 Odyssey iv. 83.

248 Paris.

249 Where were her variously embroidered robes, the works of Sidonian females, which godlike Alexander himself had brought from Sidon, sailing over the broad ocean, in that voyage in which he carried off Helen, sprung from a noble sire. Iliad vi. 289.

250 I will give thee a wrought bowl: it is all silver, and the lips are bound with gold; it is the work of Vulcan: the hero Phædimus, king of the Sidonians, gave it [to me], when his home sheltered me, as I was returning from thence. I wish to give this to thee. Odyssey xv. 115.

251 But in beauty it much excelled [all] upon the whole earth, for the ingenious Sidonians had wrought it cunningly, and Phœnician men had carried it. Iliad xxiii. 742.

252 The Armenians.

253 The Arabs

254 The Syrians

255 Dwelling in caverns.

256 He saw the cities of many men, and learned their manners. Odyssey i. 3.

257 Having suffered many things, and having wandered much, I was brought. Odyssey iv. 81.

258 See Hesiod, Fragments, ed. Loesner, p. 434.

259 This derivation of Arabia is as problematical as the existence of the hero from whom it is said to have received its name; a far more probable etymology is derived from ereb, signifying the west, a name supposed to have been conferred upon it at a very early period by a people inhabiting Persia.

260 That is, that the Phœnicians and Sidonians dwelling around the Persian Gulf are colonies from those inhabiting the shores of the Mediterranean.

261 As to this fact, upon which almost all geographers are agreed, it is only rejected by Strabo because it stands in the way of his hypothesis.

262 Half men, half dogs.

263 Long-headed men.

264 A celebrated poet who flourished about seven centuries before the Christian era, said to have been a native of Sardis in Lydia. Only three short fragments of his writings are known to be in existence.

265 Men who covered themselves with their feet.

266 Dog-headed men.

267 People having their eyes in their breasts.

268 One-eyed.

269 The Strait of Messina.

270 For thrice in a day she sends it out, and thrice she sucks it in. Odyssey xii. 105.

271 For thrice in a day she sends it out, and thrice she sucks it in terribly. Mayest thou not come hither when she is gulping it; for not even Neptune could free thee from ill. Odyssey xii. 105.

272 She gulped up the briny water of the sea; but I, raised on high to the lofty fig-tree, held clinging to it, as a bat. Odyssey xii. 431.

273 Odyssey v. 306.

274 Iliad viii. 488.

275 Iliad iii. 363.

276 But I held without ceasing, until she vomited out again the mast and keel; and it came late to me wishing for it: as late as a man has risen from the forum to go to supper, adjudging many contests of disputing youths, so late these planks appeared from Charybdis. Odyssey xii. 437.

277 Gaudus, the little island of Gozo near Malta, supposed by Callimachus to have been the Isle of Calypso.

278 It seems more probable that Callimachus intended the island of Corsura, now Pantalaria, a small island between Africa and Sicily.

279 The Atlantic.

280 A river of Colchis, hodie Fasz or Rion.

281 Cybele, so named because she had a temple on Mount Ida.

282 An island in the Ægæan, now Meteline.

283 Hodie Lemno or Stalimene.

284 Euneos was the eldest of the children which Hypsipele, daughter of Thoas, king of Lemnos, had by Jason during his stay in that island.

285 A town situated at the bottom of the Pelasgic Gulf, hodie Volo.

286 A country of Thessaly, which received its designation of Achæan from the same sovereign who left his name to Achaia in Peloponnesus.

287 Eumelus, whom Alcestis, divine amongst women, most beautiful in form of the daughters of Pelias, brought forth to Admetus. Iliad ii. 714.

288 Named Ideessa in the time of Strabo. Strabo, book xi. c. ii. § 18.

289 Sinub.

290 Candia.

291 Hodie The Isle of Nanfio.

292 Now the Island of Callistè, founded by Theras the Lacedæmonian more than ten centuries before the Christian era.

293 A name of Thessaly.

294 The Gulf of Venice.

295 The erroneous opinion that one of the mouths of the Danube emptied itself into the Adriatic is very ancient, being spoken of by Aristotle as a well-known fact, and likewise supported by Theopompus, Hipparchus, and many other writers.

296 Odyssey x. 137.

297 Odyssey xii. 70.

298 Antiphanes of Berga, a city of Thrace. This writer was so noted for his falsehoods, that βεοͅγαἷζειν came to be a proverbial term for designating that vice.

299 Thirty years before the time of this Damastes, Herodotus had demonstrated to the Greeks the real nature of the Arabian Gulf.

300 This river, called by the Turks Kara-sui, rises somewhere in Mount Taurus, and before emptying itself into the sea, runs through Tarsus

301 The Ab-Zal of oriental writers.

302 The ancient capital of the kings of Persia, now Schuss.

303 The very idea that Diotimus could sail from the Cydnus into the Euphrates is most absurd, since, besides the distance between the two rivers, they are separated by lofty mountain-ridges.

304 Now the Bay of Ajazzo.

305 Iskuriah.

306 Gosselin justly remarks that this is a mere disputing about terms, since, though it is true the Mediterranean and Euxine flow into each other, it is fully admissible to describe them as separate. The same authority proves that we ought to read 3600 and not 3000 stadia, which he supposes to be a transcriber's error.

307 Castor and Pollux.

308 Castor and Pollux were amongst the number of the Argonauts. On their return they destroyed the pirates who infested the seas of Greece and the Archipelago, and were in consequence worshipped by sailors as tutelary deities.

309 The Phœnicians or Carthaginians despatched Hanno to found certain colonies on the western coast of Africa, about a thousand years before the Christian era.

310 Strabo here follows the general belief that Æneas escaped to Italy after the sack of Troy, a fact clearly disproved by Homer, Iliad xx. 307, who states that the posterity of Æneas were in his time reigning at Troy. To this passage Strabo alludes in his 13th book, and, contrary to his general custom, hesitates whether to follow Homer's authority or that of certain grammarians who had mutilated the passage in order to flatter the vanity of the Romans, who took pride in looking up to Æneas and the Trojans as their ancestors.

311 Antenor having betrayed his Trojan countrymen was forced to fly. It is generally stated that, taking with him a party of the Heneti, (a people of Asia Minor close to the Euxine,) who had come to the assistance of Priam, he founded the city of Padua in Italy. From this people the district in which Padua is situated received the name of Henetia, afterwards Venetia or Venice.

312 The coasts of Italy.

313 It is generally admitted that the events of the Trojan war gave rise to numerous colonies.

314 The word λιμνοθάλασσα frequently signifies a salt marsh. The French editors remark that it was a name given by the Greeks to lagoons mostly found in the vicinity of the sea, though entirely separated therefrom. Those which communicated with the sea were termed στομλἰμναι.

315 See book xvii. c. iii.

316 A country close upon the Euxine.

317 The Strait of the Dardanelles.

318 At the time of Diodorus Siculus, the people of the Isle of Samothracia preserved the tradition of an inundation caused by a sudden rising of the waters of the Mediterranean, which compelled the inhabitants to fly for refuge to the summits of the mountains; and long after, the fishermen's nets used to be caught by columns, which, prior to the catastrophe, had adorned their edifices. It is said that the inundation originated in a rupture of the chain of mountains which enclosed the valley which has since become the Thracian Bosphorus or Strait of Constantinople, through which the waters of the Black Sea flow into the Mediterranean.

319 Now Midjeh, in Roumelia, on the borders of the Black Sea. Strabo alludes rather to the banks surrounding Salmydessus than to the town itself.

320 The part of Bulgaria next the sea, between Varna and the Danube, now Dobrudzie.

321 Tineh.

322 El-Kas.

323 Lake Sebaket-Bardoil.

324 Probably the present Maseli. Most likely the place was so named from the γέῤῥα, or wattled huts, of the troops stationed there to prevent the ingress of foreign armies into Egypt.

325 This city of Calpe was near Mount Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules.

326 Sea of Marmora.

327 The Ægæan.

328 Danube.

329 Mingrelia.

330 The river Fasz.

331 Now Djanik.

332 The river Thermeh.

333 The Jekil-Irmak.

334 Sidin, or Valisa, is comprised in the territory of Djanik, being part of the ancient kingdom of Pontus.

335 The river Geihun.

336 Gosselin remarks that the alluvial deposit of this river is now no nearer to Cyprus than it was at the time of the prediction.

337 Cilicia and Cataonia are comprised in the modern Aladeuli.

338 Iliad ix. 7.

339 Being swollen it rises high around the projecting points, and spits from it the foam of the sea. Iliad iv. 425.

340 The lofty shores resound, the wave being ejected [upon the beach]. Iliad xvii. 265.

341 The word ὄργυια, here rendered fathoms, strictly means the length of the outstretched arms. As a measure of length it equals four πήχεις, or six feet one inch. Gosselin seems to doubt with reason whether they ever sounded such a depth as this would give, and proposes to compute it by a smaller stadium in use at the time of Herodotus, which would have the effect of diminishing the depth by almost one half.

342 A city of Achaia near to the Gulf of Corinth. Pliny tells us it was submerged during an earthquake, about 371 years before the Christian era. According to Pausanias, it was a second time destroyed by the shock of an earthquake, but again rebuilt by the inhabitants who survived.

343 A city placed by some in Thrace, but by others in Pontus; a more probable opinion seems to be that Bizone was in Lower Mœsia, on the western side of the Euxine. Pomponius Mela asserts that Bizone was entirely destroyed by an earthquake, but according to Strabo, (lib. vii.,) who places it about 40 stadia from the sea, it was only partially demolished.

344 Ischia.

345 We have here followed the earlier editions, as preferable to Kramer, who supplies μὴ before μαθημστικὸς.

346 Demetrius Poliorcetes: the same intention is narrated by Pliny and other historians of Julius Cæsar, Caligula, and Nero.

347 Kankri.

348 Strait of Messina.

349 The sea which washes the shores of Tuscany. Strabo applies the term to the whole sea from the mouth of the Arno to Sicily.

350 Strait of Messina.

351 Gosselin observes that Le Père Babin, who had carefully examined the currents of the Euripus of Chalcis, says that they are regular during eighteen or nineteen days of every month, the flux and reflux occurring twice in the twenty-four hours, and following the same laws as in the ocean; but from the ninth to the thirteenth, and from the twenty-first to the twenty-sixth, of each lunar month they become irregular, the flux occurring from twelve to fourteen times in the twenty-four hours, and the reflux as often.

352 See Plutarch, de Plac. Philos. lib. i. c. 14, and Stobæus, Ecl. Phys. lib. i. c. 18.

353 El-Kas.

354 The Arabian Gulf. Mr. Stephenson, while examining the Temsah Lakes, anciently called the Bitter Lakes, discovered recent marine remains similar to those on the shores of the present sea, clearly showing that the basin of the Temsah Lakes was the head of the Arabian Gulf at a period geologically recent.

355 We have here followed MSS. which all read συνελθούσης δὲ τῆς <*>αλάττης. The French editors propose συνενδούσης δὲ τῆς θαλάττης, with the sense of ‘but on the retiring of the Mediterranean,’ &c.

356 This accusation may not seem quite fair to the English reader. Touch is the nearest term in our language by which we can express the Greek συνάπτω, the use of which Strabo objects to in this passage; still the meaning of the English word is much too definite for the Greek.

357 The Atlantic.

358 Viz. the Mediterranean.

359 The western part of the town of Corinth situated in the sea of Crissa. Its modern name is Pelagio.

360 Kankri.

361 Viz. the temple of Jupiter Ammon, mentioned above.

362 Gosselin remarks, Cyrene was founded 631 years before the Christian era, and at that time the limits of the Mediterranean were the same as they are now. Amongst the Greeks, dolphins were the ordinary symbols of the principal seaport towns; and if the delegates from Cyrene set up this symbol of their country in the temple of Ammon, I see no reason why Eratosthenes and Strabo should regard the offering as a proof that the temple was on the sea-shore.

363 We have thought it necessary, with the French translators, to insert these words, since although they are found in no MS. of Strabo, the argument which follows is clearly unintelligible without them.

364 Hipparchus, believing that the Danube emptied itself by one mouth into the Euxine, and by another into the Adriatic Gulf, imagined that if the waters of the Mediterranean were raised in the manner proposed by Eratosthenes, the valley through which that river flows would have been submerged, and so formed a kind of strait by which the Euxine would have been connected to the Adriatic Gulf.

365 The Lipari Islands.

366 There is some mistake here. Strabo himself elsewhere tells us that the islands of Thera and Therasia were situated in the Ægæan Sea, near to the island of Nanfio.

367 ‘Defending from danger.’ More probably, in this instance, the Securer of Foundations.

368 Egripo.

369 This plain was near the city of Chalcis, which at the present day bears the same name as the island itself.

370 And reached the two fair-flowing springs, where the two springs of the eddying Scamander rise. The one, indeed, flows with tepid water, and a steam arises from it around, as of burning fire; whilst the other flows forth in the summer time, like unto hail, or cold snow, or ice from water Iliad xxii. 147.

371 Tantalus lived about 1387, B. C.

372 Lydia and Ionia form the modern provinces of Aidin and Sarukan in Anadoli. A part of the Troad still preserves the name of Troiaki.

373 A mountain in Mæonia, close to the city of Magnesia.

374 Ilus, who ascended the throne about 1400 years before the Christian era, founded the city, to which he gave the name of Ilium. The old city of Troy stood on a hill, and was safe from the inundation.

375 These two cities were built on little islets adjoining the continent. Alexander connected them with the mainland by means of jetties. Clazomenæ was situated on the Gulf of Smyrna, near to a place now called Vurla or Burla. The present appellation of Tyre, on the coast of Phœmicia, is Sur.

376 Tineh.

377 El-Kas.

378 Of Suez.

379 That part of the Mediterranean adjoining Egypt.

380 The Red Sea.

381 The Red Sea and Mediterranean.

382 Sta. Maura.

383 Odyss. xxiv. 376.

384 The island of Ortygia, now St. Marcian.

385 Diakopton.

386 Probably Bulika, according to others Trypia or Niora.

387 Methone is the same town which Pausanias (l. ii. c.32)names Methona, it was situated in the Argolis between Trœzene and Epidaurus. The above writer tells us that in the reign of Antigonus, son of Demetrius king of Macedonia, there was a breaking out of subterranean fires close to Methona. This event, which it is probable Strabo alludes to, occurred some where between the year 277 and 244, before the Christian era. The town still exists under its ancient name of Methona.

388 An error in all the MSS. The Saronic Gulf is intended.

389 Vide Strabo, b. ix. c. ii. § 34, 35.

390 In Bœotia.

391 The Second Iliad, or Catalogue of Ships.

392 And those who inhabited grape-clustered Arne, and those [who in- habited] Mideia. Iliad ii. 507.

393 This Thracian lake or lagoon is now called Burum. It is formed by the mouths of several rivers, and lies to the north of the isle of Thaso.

394 Diaskillo, al. Biga.

395 These are certain little islands at the mouth of the river Achelous, the modern Aspropotamo, which formed the boundary between Acarnania and Ætolia. Now Curzolari.

396 It is supposed we should here read Herodotus. Conf. Herod. ii. 10.

397 Daskalio.

398 Now there is a certain rocky island in the middle of the sea, between Ithaca and the rugged Samos, Asteris, not large; and in it there are havens fit for ships, with two entrances. Odyssey iv. 844.

399 That is to say, the territory opposite Issa; probably the ruins near to Kalas Limenaias.

400 The present island of Metelino.

401 ῾η δὲ ῎αντισσα νῆσος ὴ̂ν ποͅότεοͅον, ὡς μυοͅσίλος φησί τῆς [δὲ] λέσβου καλουμένης ποͅὀτεοͅον ῎ισσης, καὶ τὴν νῆσον ῎αντισσαν καλεῖσθσι συνέβη. Our rendering of this passage, though rather free, seemed necessary to the clear explication of the Greek.

402 Procita.

403 Ischia.

404 Miseno, the northern cape of the Gulf of Naples.

405 Capri.

406 Reggio.

407 These two mountains are separated from each other by the river Penæus.

408 ῾παγάς,a rent or chink. This town was sixty miles from Ecbatana; it was named by the Arabs Raï, and is now in ruins. It is the Rhages in Tobias.

409 Certain mountain defiles, now called Firouz-Koh.

410 A western promontory of Eubœa, called by the modern Greeks Kabo Lithari. The Lichadian Islands, which now bear the name of Litada, are close by.

411 A city of Eubœa; hood. Dipso.

412 In Eubœa, now Orio.

413 Now Echino; belonged to Thessaly and was near the sea.

414 Now Stillida; situated on the Bay of Zeitoun.

415 A little town situated in a plain amongst the mountains. It received its name from a tradition that Hercules abode there during the time that the pyre on Mount Œta was being prepared, into which he cast himself.

416 Lamia in Thessaly.

417 A city of the Epi-Cnemidian Locrians in Achaia; its present name is Bondoniza.

418 A town close to Scarpheia; its ruins are said to be still visible at Palaio Kastro.

419 Now Agriomela or Ellada, a river descending from Mount Œta, and emptying itself into the Bay of Zeitoun.

420 A torrent near Thronium; its present name is Boagrio.

421 Three cities of the Opuntian Locrians; Cynus, the port of Opus, is now called Kyno.

422 One of the principal cities of Phocis, near the river Cephissus; a little village called Leuta stands on the ancient site.

423 Probably the Alpene in Locris mentioned by Herodotus.

424 The modern Talanta.

425 Egripo.

426 The Western Iberians are the people who inhabited Spain, and were said to have removed into Eastern Iberia, a country situated in the centre of the isthmus which separates the Euxine from the Caspian Sea. The district is now called Carduel, and is a region of Georgia.

427 The river Aras.

428 The river Kur.

429 The mountains which border Colchis or Mingrelia on the south.

430 According to Herodotus, Sesostris was the only Egyptian monarch who ever reigned in Ethiopia. Pliny says he penetrated as far as the promontory of Mosylon.

431 Veneti.

432 A small people of Thessaly, who latterly dwelt near Mount Œta, which separated them from Ætolia and Phocis.

433 A city and plain in Thessaly, near to Mount Ossa.

434 A people of Macedon, at the time of Strabo dwelling north of the river Peneius.

435 Few nations have wandered so far and wide as the Galatæ. We meet with them in Europe, Asia, and Africa, under the various names of Galatæ Galatians, Gauls, and Kelts. Galatia, in Asia Minor, was settled by one of these hordes.

436 There were many kings of Phrygia of this name.

437 The text of Kramer follows most MSS. in reading ‘Kimmerians,’ but he points it out as a manifest error; and refers to Herodotus i. 103.

438 By Hyperboreans are meant people who dwelt beyond the point from whence the north wind proceeded: Hypernotii therefore should be those who lived beyond the point of the procession of the south wind. The remark of Herodotus will be found, lib. iv. § 36. It is simply this: Supposing Hyperboreans, there ought likewise to be Hypernotii.

439 Those who exult over the misfortunes of their neighbours.

440 Those who rejoice in others' prosperity.

441 Gosselin observes, that what Strabo here says, is in accordance with the geographical system of the ancients, who supposed that Africa did not extend as far as the equator. As they distinguished the continent situated in the northern from a continent which they believed to exist in the southern hemisphere, and which they styled the Antichthones, they called the wind, blowing from the neighbourhood of the equator, in the direction of the two poles, a south wind for either hemisphere. For example, if sailors should be brought to the equator by a north wind, and that same wind should continue to waft them on their course after having passed the line, it would no longer be called a north, but a south wind.

442 According to Gosselin, this does not allude to the size of the whole earth, but merely that part of it which, according to the theory of the ancients, was alone habitable.

443 Most probably Gherri in Sennaar.

444 Eratosthenes supposed that Meroe, Alexandria, the Hellespont, and the mouth of the Borysthenes or Dnieper, were all under the same meridian.

445 The Dardanelles.

446 Iceland.

447 This Island of the Egyptians is the same which Strabo elsewhere calls the Island of the Exiles, because it was inhabited by Egyptians who had revolted from Psammeticus, and established themselves in the island. Its exact situation is unknown.

448 Ceylon.

449 Ireland.

450 France.

451 Between the Rhine and Elbe.

452 The latitudes of Marseilles and Constantinople differ by 2° 16′ 21″. Gosselin enters into a lengthened explanation on this subject, i. 158.

453 Ireland.

454 The eastern mouth of the Ganges.

455 Cape St. Vincent.

456 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.

457 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.

458 The Euphrates at Thapsacus, the most frequented passage; hod. El-Der.

459 The Pelusiac mouth of the Nile, now Thineh or Farameh.

460 Close by Aboukir.

461 Cape S. Mahé.

462 Ushant.

463 The text has τὸ πλέον, but we have followed the suggestions of the commentators in reading τὸ μὴ πλέον.

464 It is remarkable that this is the same idea which led Columbus to the discovery of America, and gave to the islands off that continent the name of the West Indies.

465 We have followed Kramer in reading δι᾽ ῎αθηνῶν, instead of the διὰ θινῶν of former editions.

466 The Nile being thought to separate Africa from Asia, and the Tanais, or Don, Europe.

467 The Red Sea.

468 The name of the mouth of the lake Sirbonis or Sebaket-Bardoil, which opens into the Mediterranean. A line drawn from this embouchure to the bottom of the Arabian Gulf, would give the boundary between Africa and Asia.

469 Places in Attica.

470 Probably Thyros, a place situated close to the sea, just at the boundary of the two countries.

471 Oropo, on the confines of Attica and Bœotia.

472 Aristotle was the giver of this sage counsel.

473 A people of Asia.

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