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The sixteenth Book contains Assyria, in which are the great cities Babylon and Nisibis; Adiabene, Mesopotamia, all Syria; Phœnicia, Palestine; the whole of Arabia; all that part of India which touches upon Arabia; the territory of the Saracens, called by our author Scenitis; and the whole country bordering the Dead and Red Seas.


ASSYRIA is contiguous to Persia and Susiana. This name is given to Babylonia, and to a large tract of country around; this tract contains Aturia,1 in which is Nineveh, the Apolloniatis, the Elymæi, the Parætacæ, and the Chalonitis about Mount Zagrum,2—the plains about Nineveh, namely, Dolomene, Calachene, Chazene, and Adiabene,—the nations of Mesopotamia, bordering upon the Gordyæi;3 the Mygdones about Nisibis, extending to the Zeugma4 of the Euphrates, and to the great range of country on the other side that river, occupied by Arabians, and by those people who are properly called Syrians in the present age. This last people extend as far as the Cilicians, Phœnicians, and Jews, to the sea opposite the Sea of Egypt, and to the Bay of Issus. [2]

The name of Syrians seems to extend from Babylonia as far as the Bay of Issus, and, anciently, from this bay to the Euxine.

Both tribes of the Cappadocians, those near the Taurus and those near the Pontus, are called to this time Leuco-Syrians (or White Syrians),5 as though there existed a na- tion of Black Syrians. These are the people situated beyond the Taurus, and I extend the name of Taurus as far as the Amanus.6

When the historians of the Syrian empire say that the Medes were overthrown by the Persians, and the Syrians by the Medes, they mean no other Syrians than those who built the royal palaces at Babylon and Nineveh; and Ninus, who built Nineveh in Aturia, was one of these Syrians. His wife, who succeeded her husband, and founded Babylon, was Semiramis. These sovereigns were masters of Asia. Many other works of Semiramis, besides those at Babylon, are extant in almost every part of this continent, as, for example, artificial mounds, which are called mounds of Semiramis, and walls7 and fortresses, with subterraneous passages; cisterns for water; roads8 to facilitate the ascent of mountains; canals communicating with rivers and lakes; roads and bridges.

The empire they left continued with their successors to the time of [the contest between] Sardanapalus and Arbaces.9 It was afterwards transferred to the Medes. [3]

The city Nineveh was destroyed immediately upon the overthrow of the Syrians.10 It was much larger than Babylon, and situated in the plain of Aturia. Aturia borders upon the places about Arbela; between these is the river Lycus.11 Arbela and the parts about it12 belong to Babylonia. In the country on the other side of the Lycus are the plains of Aturia, which surround Nineveh.13

In Aturia is situated Gaugamela, a village where Darius was defeated and lost his kingdom. This place is remarkable for its name, which, when interpreted, signifies the Camel's House. Darius, the son of Hystaspes, gave it this name, and assigned (the revenues of) the place for the maintenance of a camel, which had undergone the greatest possible labour and fatigue in the journey through the deserts of Scythia, when carrying baggage and provision for the king. The Macedonians, observing that this was a mean village, but Arbela a considerable settlement (founded, as it is said, by Arbelus, son of Athmoneus), reported that the battle was fought and the victory obtained near Arbela, which account was transmitted to historians. [4]

After Arbela and the mountain Nicatorium14 (a name which Alexander, after the victory at Arbela, superadded), is the river Caprus,15 situated at the same distance from Arbela as the Lycus. The country is called Artacene.16 Near Arbela is the city Demetrias; next is the spring of naphtha, the fires, the temple of the goddess Anæa,17 Sadracæ, the palace of Darius, son of Hystaspes, the Cyparisson, or plantation of Cypresses, and the passage across the Caprus, which is close to Seleucia and Babylon. [5]

Babylon itself also is situated in a plain. The wall is 38518 stadia in circumference, and 32 feet in thickness. The height of the space between the towers is 50, and of the towers 60 cubits. The roadway upon the walls will allow chariots with four horses when they meet to pass each other with ease. Whence, among the seven wonders of the world, are reckoned this wall and the hanging garden: the shape of the garden is a square, and each side of it measures four plethra. It consists of vaulted terraces, raised one above another, and resting upon cube-shaped pillars. These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest size to be planted. The pillars, the vaults, and the terraces are constructed of baked brick and asphalt.

The ascent to the highest story is by stairs, and at their side are water engines, by means of which persons, appointed expressly for the purpose, are continually employed in raising water from the Euphrates into the garden. For the river, which is a stadium in breadth, flows through the middle of the city, and the garden is on the side of the river. The tomb also of Belus is there. At present it is in ruins, having been demolished, as it is said, by Xerxes. It was a quadrangular pyramid of baked brick, a stadium in height, and each of the sides a stadium in length. Alexander intended to repair it. It was a great undertaking, and required a long time for its completion (for ten thousand men were occupied two months in clearing away the mound of earth), so that he was not able to execute what he had attempted, before disease hurried him rapidly to his end. None of the persons who succeeded him attended to this undertaking; other works also were neglected, and the city was dilapidated, partly by the Persians, partly by time, and, through the indifference of the Macedonians to things of this kind, particularly after Seleucus Nicator had fortified Seleucia on the Tigris near Babylon, at the distance of about 300 stadia.

Both this prince and all his successors directed their care to that city, and transferred to it the seat of empire. At present it is larger than Babylon; the other is in great part deserted, so that no one would hesitate to apply to it what one of the comic writers said of Megalopolitæ in Arcadia, “‘The great city is a great desert.’” On account of the scarcity of timber, the beams and pillars of the houses were made of palm wood. They wind ropes of twisted reed round the pillars, paint them over with colours, and draw designs upon them; they cover the doors with a coat of asphaltus. These are lofty, and all the houses are vaulted on account of the want of timber. For the country is bare, a great part of it is covered with shrubs, and produces nothing but the palm. This tree grows in the greatest abundance in Babylonia. It is found in Susiana also in great quantity, on the Persian coast, and in Carmania.

They do not use tiles for their houses, because there are no great rains. The case is the same in Susiana and in Sitacene. [6]

In Babylon a residence was set apart for the native philosophers called Chaldæans, who are chiefly devoted to the study of astronomy. Some, who are not approved of by the rest, profess to understand genethlialogy, or the casting of nativities. There is also a tribe of Chaldæans, who inhabit a district of Babylonia, in the neighbourhood of the Arabians, and of the sea called the Persian Sea.19 There are several classes of the Chaldæan astronomers. Some have the name of Orcheni, some Borsippeni, and many others, as if divided into sects, who disseminate different tenets on the same subjects. The mathematicians make mention of some individuals among them, as Cidenas, Naburianus, and Sudinus. Seleucus also of Seleuceia is a Chaldæan, and many other remarkable men. [7]

Borsippa is a city sacred to Diana and Apollo. Here is a large linen manufactory. Bats of much larger size than those in other parts abound in it. They are caught and salted for food. [8]

The country of the Babylonians is surrounded on the east by the Susans, Elymæi, and Parætaceni; on the south by the Persian Gulf, and the Chaldæans as far as the Arabian Meseni; on the west by the Arabian Scenitæ as far as Adiabene and Gordyæa; on the north by the Armenians and Medes as far as the Zagrus, and the nations about that river. [9]

The country is intersected by many rivers, the largest of which are the Euphrates and the Tigris: next to the Indian rivers, the rivers in the southern parts of Asia are said to hold the second place. The Tigris is navigable upwards from its mouth to Opis,20 and to the present Seleuceia. Opis is a village and a mart for the surrounding places. The Euphrates also is navigable up to Babylon, a distance of more than 3000 stadia. The Persians, through fear of incursions from without, and for the purpose of preventing vessels from ascending these rivers, constructed artificial cataracts. Alexander, on arriving there, destroyed as many of them as he could, those particularly [on the Tigris from the sea] to Opis. But he bestowed great care upon the canals; for the Euphrates, at the commencement of summer, overflows; It begins to fill in the spring, when the snow in Armenia melts: the ploughed land, therefore, would be covered with water and be submerged, unless the overflow of the superabundant water were diverted by trenches and canals, as in Egypt the water of the Nile is diverted. Hence the origin of canals. Great labour is requisite for their maintenance, for the soil is deep, soft, and yielding, so that it would easily be swept away by the stream; the fields would be laid bare, the canals filled, and the accumulation of mud would soon obstruct their mouths. Then, again, the excess of water discharging itself into the plains near the sea forms lakes, and marshes, and reed-grounds, supplying the reeds with which all kinds of platted vessels are woven; some of these vessels are capable of holding water, when covered over with asphaltus; others are used with the material in its natural state. Sails are also made of reeds; these resemble mats or hurdles. [10]

It is not, perhaps, possible to prevent inundations of this kind altogether, but it is the duty of good princes to afford all possible assistance. The assistance required is to prevent excessive overflow by the construction of dams, and to obviate the filling of rivers, produced by the accumulation of mud, by cleansing the canals, and removing stoppages at their mouths. The cleansing of the canals is easily performed, but the construction of dams requires the labour of numerous workmen. For the earth being soft and yielding, does not support the superincumbent mass, which sinks, and is itself carried away, and thus a difficulty arises in making dams at the mouth. Expedition is necessary in closing the canals to prevent all the water flowing out. When the canals dry up in the summer time, they cause the river to dry up also; and if the river is low (before the canals are closed), it cannot supply the canals in time with water, of which the country, burnt up and scorched, requires a very large quan- tity; for there is no difference, whether the crops are flooded by an excess or perish by drought and a failure of water. The navigation up the rivers (a source of many advantages) is continually obstructed by both the above-mentioned causes, and it is not possible to remedy this unless the mouths of the canals were quickly opened and quickly closed, and the canals were made to contain and preserve a mean between excess and deficiency of water. [11]

Aristobulus relates that Alexander himself, when he was sailing up the river, and directing the course of the boat, inspected the canals, and ordered them to be cleared by his multitude of followers; he likewise stopped up some of the mouths, and opened others. He observed that one of these canals, which took a direction more immediately to the marshes, and to the lakes in front of Arabia, had a mouth very difficult to be dealt with, and which could not be easily closed on account of the soft and yielding nature of the soil; he (therefore) opened a new mouth at the distance of 30 stadia, selecting a place with a rocky bottom, and to this the current was diverted. But in doing this he was taking precautions that Arabia should not become entirely inaccessible in consequence of the lakes and marshes, as it was already almost an island from the quantity of water (which surrounded it). For he contemplated making himself master of this country; and he had already provided a fleet and places of rendezvous; and had built vessels in Phœnicia and at Cyprus, some of which were in separate pieces, others were in parts, fastened together by bolts. These, after being conveyed to Thapsacus in seven distances of a day's march, were then to be transported down the river to Babylon. He constructed other boats in Babylonia, from cypress trees in the groves and parks, for there is a scarcity of timber in Babylonia. Among the Cossæi, and some other tribes, the supply of timber is not great,

The pretext for the war, says Aristobulus, was that the Arabians were the only people who did not send their ambassadors to Alexander; but the true reason was his ambition to be lord of all.

When he was informed that they worshipped two deities only, Jupiter and Bacchus, who supply what is most requisite for the subsistence of mankind, he supposed that, after his conquests, they would worship him as a third, if he permitted them to enjoy their former national independence. Thus was Alexander employed in clearing the canals, and in examining minutely the sepulchres of the kings, most of which are situated among the lakes. [12]

Eratosthenes, when he is speaking of the lakes near Arabia, says, that the water, when it cannot find an outlet, opens passages underground, and is conveyed through these as far as the Cœle-Syrians,21 it is also compressed and forced into the parts near Rhinocolura22 and Mount Casius,23 and there forms lakes and deep pits.24 But I know not whether this is probable. For the overflowings of the water of the Euphrates, which form the lakes and marshes near Arabia, are near the Persian Sea. But the isthmus which separates them is neither large nor rocky, so that it was more probable that the water forced its way in this direction into the sea, either under the ground, or across the surface, than that it traversed so dry and parched a soil for more than 6000 stadia; particularly, when we observe, situated mid-way in this course, Libanus, Antilibanus, and Mount Casius.25

Such, then, are the accounts of Eratosthenes and Aristobulus. [13]

But Polycleitus says, that the Euphrates does not overflow its banks, because its course is through large plains; that of the mountains (from which it is supplied), some are distant 2000, and the Cossæan mountains scarcely 1000 stadia, that they are not very high, nor covered with snow to a great depth, and therefore do not occasion the snow to melt in great masses, for the most elevated mountains are in the northern parts above Ecbatana; towards the south they are divided, spread out, and are much lower; the Tigris also receives the greater part of the water [which comes down from them], and thus overflows its banks.26

The last assertion is evidently absurd, because the Tigris descends into the same plains (as the Euphrates); and the above-mentioned mountains are not of the same height, the northern being more elevated, the southern extending in breadth, but are of a lower altitude. The quantity of snow is not, however, to be estimated by altitude only, but by aspect. The same mountain has more snow on the northern than on the southern side, and the snow continues longer on the former than on the latter. As the Tigris therefore receives from the most southern parts of Armenia, which are near Babylon, the water of the melted snow, of which there is no great quantity, since it comes from the southern side, it should overflow in a less degree than the Euphrates, which receives the water from both parts (northern and southern); and not from a single mountain only, but from many, as I have mentioned in the description of Armenia. To this we must add the length of the river, the large tract of country which it traverses in the Greater and in the Lesser Armenia, the large space it takes in its course in passing out of the Lesser Armenia and Cappadocia, after issuing out of the Taurus in its way to Thapsacus (forming the boundary between Syria below and Mesopotamia), and the large remaining portion of country as far as Babylon and to its mouth, a course in all of 36,000 stadia.

This, then, on the subject of the canals (of Babylonia). [14]

Babylonia produces barley in larger quantity than any other27 country, for a produce of three hundred-fold is spoken of. The palm tree furnishes everything else, bread, wine, vinegar, and meal; all kinds of woven articles are also procured from it. Braziers use the stones of the fruit instead of charcoal. When softened by being soaked in water, they are food for fattening oxen and sheep.

It is said that there is a Persian song in which are reckoned up 360 useful properties of the palm.

They employ for the most part the oil of sesamum, a plant which is rare in other places. [15]

Asphaltus is found in great abundance in Babylonia. Eratosthenes describes it as follows.

The liquid asphaltus, which is called naphtha, is found in Susiana; the dry kind, which can be made solid, in Babylonia. There is a spring of it near the Euphrates. When this river overflows at the time of the melting of the snow, the spring also of asphaltus is filled, and overflows into the river, where large clods are consolidated, fit for buildings constructed of baked bricks. Others say that the liquid kind also is found in Babylonia. With respect to the solid kind, I have described its great utility in the construction of buildings. They say that boats (of reeds) are woven,28 which, when besmeared with asphaltus, are firmly compacted. The liquid kind, called naphtha, is of a singular nature. When it is brought near the fire, the fire catches it; and if a body smeared over with it is brought near the fire, it burns with a flame, which it is impossible to extinguish, except with a large quantity of water; with a small quantity it burns more violently, but it may be smothered and extinguished by mud, vinegar, alum, and glue. It is said that Alexander, as an experiment, ordered naphtha to be poured over a boy in a bath, and a lamp to be brought near his body. The boy became enveloped in flames, and would have perished if the bystanders had not mastered the fire by pouring upon him a great quantity of water, and thus saved his life.

Poseidonius says that there are springs of naphtha in Babylonia, some of which produce white, others black, naphtha; the first of these, I mean the white naphtha, which attracts flame, is liquid sulphur; the second, or black naphtha, is liquid asphaltus, and is burnt in lamps instead of oil. [16]

In former times the capital of Assyria was Babylon; it is now called Seleuceia upon the Tigris. Near it is a large village called Ctesiphon. This the Parthian kings usually made their winter residence, with a view to spare the Seleucians the burden of furnishing quarters for the Scythian soldiery. In consequence of the power of Parthia, Ctesiphon29 may be considered as a city rather than a village; from its size it is capable of lodging a great multitude of people; it has been adorned with public buildings by the Parthians, and has furnished merchandise, and given rise to arts profitable to its masters.

The kings usually passed the winter there, on account of the salubrity of the air, and the summer at Ecbatana and in Hyrcania,30 induced by the ancient renown of these places.

As we call the country Babylonia, so we call the people Babylonians, not from the name of the city, but of the country; the case is not precisely the same, however, as regards even natives of Seleuceia, as, for instance, Diogenes, the stoic philosopher [who had the appellation of the Babylonian, and not the Seleucian].31 [17]

At the distance of 500 stadia from Seleuceia is Artemita, a considerable city, situated nearly directly to the east, which is the position also of Sitacene.32 This extensive and fertile tract of country lies between Babylon and Susiana, so that the whole road in travelling from Babylon to Susa passes through Sitacene. The road from Susa33 into the interior of Persis, through the territory of the Uxii,34 and from Persis into the middle of Carmania,35 leads also towards the east.

Persis, which is a large country, encompasses Carmania on the [west]36 and north. Close to it adjoin Parætacene,37 and the Cossæan territory as far as the Caspian Gates, inhabited by mountainous and predatory tribes. Contiguous to Susiana is Elymaïs, a great part of which is rugged, and inhabited by robbers. To Elymaïs adjoin the country about the Zagrus38 and Media.39 [18]

The Cossæi, like the neighbouring mountaineers, are for the most part archers, and are always out on foraging parties. For as they occupy a country of small extent, and barren, they are compelled by necessity to live at the expense of others. They are also necessarily powerful, for they are all fighting men. When the Elymæi were at war with the Babylonians and Susians, they supplied the Elymæi with thirteen thousand auxiliaries.

The Parætaceni attend to the cultivation of the ground more than the Cossæi, but even these people do not abstain from robbery.

The Elymæi occupy a country larger in extent, and more varied, than that of the Parætaceni. The fertile part of it is inhabited by husbandmen. The mountainous tract is a nursery for soldiers, the greatest part of whom are archers. As it is of considerable extent, it can furnish a great military force; their king, who possesses great power, refuses to be subject, like others, to the king of Parthia. The country was similarly independent in the time of the Persians, and afterwards40 in the time of the Macedonians, who governed Syria. When Antiochus the Great attempted to plunder the temple of Belus, the neighbouring barbarians, unassisted, attacked and put him to death. In after-times the king of Parthia41 heard that the temples in their country contained great wealth, but knowing that the people would not submit, and admonished by the fate of Antiochus, he invaded their country with a large army; he took the temple of Minerva, and that of Diana, called Azara, and carried away treasure to the amount of 10,000 talents. Seleuceia also, a large city on the river Hedyphon,42 was taken. It was formerly called Soloce.

There are three convenient entrances into this country; one from Media and the places about the Zagrus, through Massabatice; a second from Susis, through the district Gabiane. Both Gabiane and Massabatice are provinces of Elymæa. A third passage is that from Persis. Corbiane also is a province of Elymaïs.

Sagapeni and Silaceni, small principalities, border upon Elymaïs.

Such, then, is the number and the character of the nations situated above Babylonia towards the east.

We have said that Media and Armenia lie to the north, and Adiabene and Mesopotamia to the west of Babylonia. [19]

The greatest part of Adiabene consists of plains, and, although it is a portion of Babylon, has its own prince. In some places it is contiguous to Armenia.43 For the Medes, Armenians, and Babylonians, the three greatest nations in these parts, were from the first in the practice, on convenient opportunities, of waging continual war with each other, and then making peace, which state of things continued till the establishment of the Parthian empire.

The Parthians subdued the Medes and Babylonians, but never at any time conquered the Armenians. They made frequent inroads into their country, but the people were not subdued, and Tigranes, as I have mentioned in the description of Armenia,44 opposed them with great vigour and success.

Such is the nature of Adiabene. The Adiabeni are also called Saccopodes.45

We shall describe Mesopotamia and the nations towards the south, after premising a short account of the customs of the Assyrians. [20]

Their other customs are like those of the Persians, but this is peculiar to themselves: three discreet persons, chiefs of each tribe, are appointed, who present publicly young women who are marriageable, and give notice by the crier, beginning with those most in estimation, of a sale of them to men intending to become husbands. In this manner marriages are contracted.

As often as the parties have sexual intercourse with one another, they rise, each apart from the other, to burn perfumes. In the morning they wash, before touching any household vessel. For as ablution is customary after touching a dead body, so is it practised after sexual intercourse.46 There is a custom prescribed by an oracle for all the Babylonian women to have intercourse with strangers. The women repair to a temple of Venus, accompanied by numerous attendants and a crowd of people. Each woman has a cord round her head, The man approaches a woman, and places on her lap as much money as he thinks proper; he then leads her away to a distance from the sacred grove, and has intercourse with her. The money is considered as consecrated to Venus.

There are three tribunals, one consisting of persons who are past military service, another of nobles, and a third of old men, besides another appointed by the king. It is the business of the latter47 to dispose of the virgins in marriage, and to determine causes respecting adultery; of another to decide those relative to theft; and of the third, those of assault and violence.

The sick are brought out of their houses into the highways, and inquiry is made of passengers whether any of them can give information of a remedy for the disease. There is no one so ill-disposed as not to accost the sick person, and ac- quaint him with anything that he considers may conduce to his recovery.

Their dress is a tunic reaching to the feet, an upper garment of wool, [and] a white cloak. The hair is long. They wear a shoe resembling a buskin. They wear also a seal, and carry a staff not plain, but with a figure upon the top of it, as an apple, a rose, a lily, or something of the kind. They anoint themselves with oil of sesamum. They bewail the dead, like the Egyptians and many other nations. They bury the body in honey, first besmearing it with wax.

There are three communities which have no corn. They live in the marshes, and subsist on fish. Their mode of life is like that of the inhabitants of Gedrosia.48 [21]

Mesopotamia has its name from an accidental circumstance. We have said that it is situated between the Euphrates and the Tigris, that the Tigris washes its eastern side only, and the Euphrates its western and southern sides. To the north is the Taurus, which separates Armenia from Mesopotamia. The greatest distance by which they are separated from each other is that towards the mountains. This distance may be the same which Eratosthenes mentions, and is reckoned from Thapsacus,49 where there was the (Zeugma) old bridge of the Euphrates, to the (Zeugma) passage over the Tigris, where Alexander crossed it, a distance, that is, of 2400 stadia. The least distance between them is somewhere about Seleuceia and Babylon, and is a little more than 200 stadia.

The Tigris flows through the middle of the lake called Thopitis50 in the direction of its breadth, and after traversing it to the opposite bank, sinks under ground with a loud noise and rushing of air. Its course is for a long space invisible, but it rises again to the surface not far from Gordyæa. According to Eratosthenes, it traverses the lake with such rapidity, that although the lake is saline and without fish,51 yet in this part it is fresh, has a current, and abounds with fish. [22]

The contracted shape of Mesopotamia extends far in length, and somewhat resembles a ship. The Euphrates forms the larger part of its boundary. The distance from Thapsacus to Babylon, according to Eratosthenes, is 4800 stadia, and from the (Zeugma52 bridge in Commagene, where Mesopotamia begins, to Thapsacus, is not less than 2000 stadia. [23]

The country lying at the foot of the mountains is very fertile. The people, called by the Macedonians Mygdones, occupy the parts towards the Euphrates, and both Zeugmata, that is, the Zeugma in Commagene, and the ancient Zeugma at Thapsacus. In their territory is Nisibis,53 which they called also Antioch in Mygdonia, situated below Mount Masius,54 and Tigranocerta,55 and the places about Carrhæ, Nicephorium,56 Chordiraza,57 and Sinnaca, where Crassus was taken prisoner by stratagem, and put to death by Surena, the Parthian general.58 [24]

Near the Tigris are the places belonging to the Gordyæi,59 whom the ancients called Carduchi; their cities are Sareisa, Satalca, and Pinaca, a very strong fortress with three citadels, each enclosed by its own wall, so that it is as it were a triple city. It was, however, subject to the king of Armenia; the Romans also took it by storm, although the Gordyæi had the reputation of excelling in the art of building, and to be skilful in the construction of siege engines. It was for this reason Tigranes took them into his service. The rest of Mesopotamia (Gordyæa?) was subject to the Romans. Pompey assigned to Tigranes the largest and best portion of the country; for it has fine pastures, is rich in plants, and produces ever-greens and an aromatic, the amomum. It breeds lions also. It furnishes naphtha, and the stone called Gangitis,60 which drives away reptiles. [25]

Gordys, the son of Triptolemus, is related to have colonized Gordyene. The Eretrians61 afterwards, who were carried away by force by the Persians, settled here. We shall soon speak of Triptolemus in our description of Syria. [26]

The parts of Mesopotamia inclining to the south, and at a distance from the mountains, are an arid and barren district, occupied by the Arabian Scenitæ, a tribe of robbers and shepherds, who readily move from place to place, whenever pasture or booty begin to be exhausted. The country lying at the foot of the mountains is harassed both by these people and by the Armenians. They are situated above, and keep them in subjection by force. It is at last subject for the most part to these people, or to the Parthians, who are situated at their side, and possess both Media and Babylonia. [27]

Between the Tigris and the Euphrates flows a river, called Basileios (or the Royal river), and about Anthemusia another called the Aborrhas.62 The road for merchants going from Syria to Seleuceia and Babylon lies through the country of the (Arabian) Scenitæ, [now called Malii,]63 and through the desert belonging to their territory. The Euphrates is crossed in the latitude of Anthemusia, a place in Mesopotamia.64 Above the river, at the distance of four schœni, is Bambyce, which is called by the names of Edessa and Hierapolis,65 where the Syrian goddess Atargatis is worshipped. After crossing the river, the road lies through a desert country on the borders of Babylonia to Scenæ, a considerable city, situated on the banks of a canal. From the passage across the river to Scenæ is a journey of five and twenty days. There are (on the road) owners of camels, who keep resting-places, which are well supplied with water from cisterns, or transported from a distance.

The Scenitæ exact a moderate tribute from merchants, but [otherwise] do not molest them: the merchants, therefore, avoid the country on the banks of the river, and risk a journey through the desert, leaving the river on the right hand at a distance of nearly three days' march. For the chiefs of the tribes living on both banks of the river, who occupy not indeed a fertile territory, yet one less sterile than the rest (of the country), are settled in the midst of their own peculiar domains, and each exacts a tribute of no moderate amount for himself. And it is difficult among so large a body of people, and of such daring habits, to establish any common standard of tribute advantageous to the merchant.

Scene is distant from Seleuceia 18 schœni. [28]

The Euphrates and its eastern banks are the boundaries of the Parthian empire. The Romans and the chiefs of the Arabian tribes occupy the parts on this side the Euphrates as far as Babylonia. Some of the chiefs attach themselves in preference to the Parthians, others to the Romans, to whom they adjoin. The Scenitæ nomades, who live near the river, are less friendly to the Romans than those tribes who are situated at a distance near Arabia Felix. The Parthians were once solicitous of conciliating the friendship of the Romans, but having repulsed Crassus,66 who began the war with them, they suffered reprisals, when they themselves commenced hostilities, and sent Pacorus into Asia.67 But Antony, following the advice of the Armenian,68 was betrayed, and was unsuccessful (against them). Phraates, his69 successor, was so anxious to obtain the friendship of Augustus Cæsar, that he even sent the trophies, which the Parthians had set up as memorials of the defeat of the Romans. He also invited Titius to a conference, who was at that time prefect of Syria, and delivered into his hands, as hostages, four of his legitimate sons, Seraspadanes, Rhodaspes, Phraates, and Bonones, with two of their wives and four of their sons; for he was apprehensive of conspiracy and attempts on his life.70 He knew that no one could prevail against him, unless he was opposed by one of the Arsacian family, to which race the Parthians were strongly attached. He therefore removed the sons out of his way, with a view of annihilating the hopes of the disaffected.

The surviving sons, who live at Rome, are entertained as princes at the public expense. The other kings (his successors) have continued to send ambassadors (to Rome), and to hold conferences (with the Roman prefects).


SYRIA is bounded on the north by Cilicia and the mountain Amanus; from the sea to the bridge on the Euphrates (that is, from the Issic Bay to the Zeugma in Commagene) is a distance of 1400 stadia, and forms the above-mentioned (northern) boundary; on the east it is bounded by the Euphrates and the Arabian Scenitæ, who live on this side the Euphrates; on the south, by Arabia Felix and Egypt; on the west, by the Egyptian and Syrian Seas as far as Issus. [2]

Beginning from Cilicia and Mount Amanus, we set down as parts of Syria, Commagene, and the Seleucis of Syria, as it is called, then Cœle-Syria, lastly, on the coast, Phœnicia, and in the interior, Judæa. Some writers divide the whole of Syria into Cœlo-Syrians, Syrians, and Phœnicians, and say that there are intermixed with these four other nations, Jews, Idumæans, Gazæans, and Azotii, some of whom are husbandmen, as the Syrians and Cœlo-Syrians, and others merchants, as the Phœnicians. [3]

This is the general description [of Syria].71

In describing it in detail, we say that Commagene is rather a small district. It contains a strong city, Samosata, in which was the seat of the kings. At present it is a (Roman) province. A very fertile but small territory lies around it. Here is now the Zeugma, or bridge, of the Euphrates, and near it is situated Seleuceia, a fortress of Mesopotamia, assigned by Pompey to the Commageneans. Here Tigranes confined in prison for some time and put to death Selene, surnamed Cleopatra, after she was dispossessed of Syria.72 [4]

Seleucis is the best of the above-mentioned portions of Syria. It is called and is a Tetrapolis, and derives its name from the four distinguished cities which it contains; for there are more than four cities, but the four largest are Antioch Epidaphne,73 Seleuceia in Pieria,74 Apameia,75 and Laodiceia.76 They were called Sisters from the concord which existed between them. They were founded by Seleucus Nicator. The largest bore the name of his father, and the strongest his own. Of the others, Apameia had its name from his wife Apama, and Laodiceia from his mother.

In conformity with its character of Tetrapolis, Seleucis, according to Poseidonius, was divided into four satrapies; Cœle-Syria into the same number, but [Commagene, like] Mesopotamia, consisted of one.77

Antioch also is a Tetrapolis, consisting (as the name im- plies) of four portions, each of which has its own, and all of them a common wall.78

[Seleucus] Nicator founded the first of these portions, transferring thither settlers from Antigonia, which a short time before Antigonus, son of Philip, had built near it. The second was built by the general body of settlers; the third by Seleucus, the son of Callinicus; the fourth by Antiochus, the son of Epiphanes. [5]

Antioch is the metropolis of Syria. A palace was constructed there for the princes of the country. It is not much inferior in riches and magnitude to Seleuceia on the Tigris and Alexandreia in Egypt.

[Seleucus] Nicator settled here the descendants of Triptolemus, whom we have mentioned a little before.79 On this account the people of Antioch regard him as a hero, and celebrate a festival to his honour on Mount Casius80 near Seleuceia. They say that when he was sent by the Argives in search of Io, who first disappeared at Tyre, he wandered through Cilicia; that some of his Argive companions separated from him and founded Tarsus; that the rest attended him along the sea-coast, and, relinquishing their search, settled with him on the banks of the Orontes;81 that Gordys the son of Triptolemus, with some of those who had accompanied his father, founded a colony in Gordyæa, and that the descendants of the rest became settlers among the inhabitants of Antioch. [6]

Daphne,82 a town of moderate size, is situated above Antioch at the distance of 40 stadia. Here is a large forest, with a thick covert of shade and springs of water flowing through it. In the midst of the forest is a sacred grove, which is a sanctuary, and a temple of Apollo and Diana. It is the custom for the inhabitants of Antioch and the neighbouring people to assemble here to celebrate public festivals. The forest is 80 stadia in circumference. [7]

The river Orontes flows near the city. Its source is in Cœle-Syria. Having taken its course under-ground, it reäppears, traverses the territory of Apameia to Antioch, approaching the latter city, and then descends to the sea at Seleuceia. The name of the river was formerly Typhon, but was changed to Orontes, from the name of the person who constructed the bridge over it.

According to the fable, it was somewhere here that Typhon was struck with lightning, and here also was the scene of the fable of the Arimi, whom we have before mentioned.83 Typhon was a serpent, it is said, and being struck by lightning, endeavoured to make its escape, and sought refuge in the ground; it deeply furrowed the earth, and (as it moved along) formed the bed of the river; having descended under-ground, it caused a spring to break out, and from Typhon the river had its name.

On the west the sea, into which the Orontes discharges itself, is situated below Antioch in Seleuceia, which is distant from the mouth of the river 40, and from Antioch 120 stadia. The ascent by the river to Antioch is performed in one day.

To the east of Antioch are the Euphrates, Bambyce,84 Berœa,85 and Heracleia, small towns formerly under the government of Dionysius, the son of Heracleon. Heracleia is distant 20 stadia from the temple of Diana Cyrrhestis. [8]

Then follows the district of Cyrrhestica,86 which extends as far as that of Antioch. On the north near it are Mount Amanus and Commagene. Cyrrhestica extends as far as these places, and touches them. Here is situated a city, Gindarus, the acropolis of Cyrrhestica, and a convenient resort for robbers, and near it a place called Heracleium. It was near these places that Pacorus, the eldest of the sons of the Parthian king, who had invaded Syria, was defeated by Ventidius, and killed.

Pagræ,87 in the district of Antioch, is close to Gindarus. It is a strong fortress situated on the pass over the Amanus, which leads from the gates of the Amanus into Syria. Below Pagræ lies the plain of Antioch, through which flow the rivers Arceuthus, Orontes, and Labotas.88 In this plain is also the trench of Meleagrus, and the river Œnoparas,89 on the banks of which Ptolemy Philometor, after having defeated Alexander Balas, died of his wounds.90

Above these places is a hill called Trapezon from its form,91 and upon it Ventidius engaged Phranicates92 the Parthian general.

After these places, near the sea, are Seleuceia93 and Pieria, a mountain continuous with the Amanus and Rhosus, situated between Issus and Seleuceia.

Seleuceia formerly had the name of Hydatopotami (rivers of water). It is a considerable fortress, and may defy all attacks; wherefore Pompey, having excluded from it Tigranes, declared it a free city.

To the south of Antioch is Apameia, situated in the interior, and to the south of Seleuceia, the mountains Casius and Anti-Casius.

Still further on from Seleuceia are the mouths of the Orontes, then the Nymphæum, a kind of sacred cave, next Casium, then follows Poseidium94 a small city, and Heracleia.95 [9]

Then follows Laodiceia, situated on the sea; it is a very well-built city, with a good harbour; the territory, besides its fertility in other respects, abounds with wine, of which the greatest part is exported to Alexandreia. The whole mountain overhanging the city is planted almost to its summit with vines. The summit of the mountain is at a great distance from Laodiceia, sloping gently and by degrees upwards from the city; but it rises perpendicularly over Apameia.

Laodiceia suffered severely when Dolabella took refuge there. Being besieged by Cassius, he defended it until his death, but he involved in his own ruin the destruction of many parts of the city.96 [10]

In the district of Apameia is a city well fortified in almost every part. For it consists of a well-fortified hill, situated in a hollow plain, and almost surrounded by the Orontes, which, passing by a large lake in the neighbourhood, flows through wide-spread marshes and meadows of vast extent, affording pasture for cattle and horses.97 The city is thus securely situated, and received the name Cherrhonesus (or the peninsula) from the nature of its position. It is well supplied from a very large fertile tract of country, through which the Orontes flows with numerous windings. Seleucus Nicator, and succeeding kings, kept there five hundred elephants, and the greater part of their army.

It was formerly called Pella by the first Macedonians, because most of the soldiers of the Macedonian army had settled there; for Pella, the native place of Philip and Alexander, was held to be the metropolis of the Macedonians. Here also the soldiers were mustered, and the breed of horses kept up. There were in the royal stud more than thirty thousand brood mares and three hundred stallions. Here were employed colt-breakers, instructors in the method of fighting in heavy armour, and all who were paid to teach the arts of war.

The power Trypho, surnamed Diodotus, acquired is a proof of the influence of this place; for when he aimed at the empire of Syria, he made Apameia the centre of his operations. He was born at Casiana, a strong fortress in the Apameian district, and educated in Apameia; he was a favourite of the king and the persons about the court. When he attempted to effect a revolution in the state, he obtained his supplies from Apameia and from the neighbouring cities, Larisa,98 Casiana, Megara, Apollonia, and others like them, all of which were reckoned to belong to the district of Apameia. He was proclaimed king of this country, and maintained his sovereignty for a long time. Cæcilius Bassus, at the head of two legions, caused Apameia to revolt, and was besieged by two large Roman armies, but his resistance was so vigorous and long that he only surrendered voluntarily and on his own conditions.99 For the country supplied his army with provisions, and a great many of the chiefs of the neighbouring tribes were his allies, who possessed strongholds, among which was Lysias, situated above the lake, near Apameia, Arethusa,100 belonging to Sampsiceramus and Iamblichus his son, chiefs of the tribe of the Emeseni.101 At no great distance were Heliopolis and Chalcis,102 which were subject to Ptolemy, son of Mennæus,103 who possessed the Massyas104 and the mountainous country of the Ituræans. Among the auxiliaries of Bassus was Alchædamnus,105 king of the Rhambæi, a tribe of the Nomades on this side of the Euphrates. He was a friend of the Romans, but, considering himself as having been unjustly treated by their governors, he retired to Mesopotamia, and then became a tributary of Bassus. Poseidonius the Stoic was a native of this place, a man of the most extensive learning among the philosophers of our times. [11]

The tract called Parapotamia, belonging to the Arab chiefs, and Chalcidica, extending from the Massyas, border upon the district of Apameia on the east; and nearly all the country further to the south of Apameia belongs to the Scenitæ, who resemble the Nomades of Mesopotamia. In proportion as the nations approach the Syrians they become more civilized, while the Arabians and Scenitæ are less so. Their governments are better constituted [as that of Arethusa under Sampsiceramus, that of Themella under Gambarus, and other states of this kind].106 [12]

Such is the nature of the interior parts of the district of Seleuceia.

The remainder of the navigation along the coast from Laodiceia is such as I shall now describe.

Near Laodiceia are the small cities, Poseidium, Heracleium, and Gabala. Then follows the maritime tract107 of the Aradii, where are Paltus,108 Balanæa, and Carnus,109 the arsenal of Aradus, which has a small harbour; then Enydra,110 and Marathus, an ancient city of the Phœnicians in ruins. The Aradii111 divided the territory by lot. Then follows the district Simyra.112 Continuous with these places is Orthosia,113 then the river Eleutherus, which some make the boundary of Seleucis towards Phœnicia and Cœle-Syria. [13]

Aradus is in front of a rocky coast without harbours, and situated nearly between its arsenal114 and Marathus. It is distant from the land 20 stadia. It is a rock, surrounded by the sea, of about seven stadia in circuit, and covered with dwellings. The population even at present is so large that the houses have many stories. It was colonized, it is said, by fugitives from Sidon. The inhabitants are supplied with water partly from cisterns containing rain water, and partly from the opposite coast. In war time they obtain water a little in front of the city, from the channel (between the island and the mainland), in which there is an abundant spring. The water is obtained by letting down from a boat, which serves for the purpose, and inverting over the spring (at the bottom of the sea), a wide-mouthed funnel of lead, the end of which is contracted to a moderate-sized opening; round this is fastened a (long) leathern pipe, which we may call the neck, and which receives the water, forced up from the spring through the funnel. The water first forced up is sea water, but the boatmen wait for the flow of pure and potable water, which is received into vessels ready for the purpose. in as large a quantity as may be required, and carry it to the city.115 [14]

The Aradii were anciently governed by their own kings in the same manner as all the other Phœnician cities. Afterwards the Persians, Macedonians, and now the Romans have changed the government to its present state.

The Aradii, together with the other Phœnicians, consented to become allies of the Syrian kings; but upon the dissension of the two brothers, Callinicus Seleucus and Antiochus Hierax, as he was called, they espoused the party of Callinicus; they entered into a treaty, by which they were allowed to receive persons who quitted the king's dominions, and took refuge among them, and were not obliged to deliver them up against their will. They were not, however, to suffer them to embark and quit the island without the king's permission. From this they derived great advantages; for those who took refuge there were not ordinary people, but persons who had held the highest trusts, and apprehended the worst consequences (when they fled). They regarded those who received them with hospitality as their benefactors; they acknowledged their preservers, and remembered with gratitude the kindness which they had received, particularly after their return to their own country. It was thus that the Aradii acquired possession of a large part of the opposite continent, most of which they possess even at present, and were otherwise suc- cessful. To this good fortune they added prudence and industry in the conduct of their maritime affairs; when they saw their neighbours, the Cilicians, engaged in piratical adventures, they never on any occasion took part with them in such (a disgraceful) occupation.116 [15]

After Orthosia and the river Eleutherus is Tripolis, which has its designation from the fact of its consisting of three cities, Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus. Contiguous to Tripolis is Theoprosopon,117 where the mountain Libanus terminates. Between them lies a small place called Trieres. [16]

There are two mountains, which form Cœle-Syria, as it is called, lying nearly parallel to each other; the commencement of the ascent of both these mountains, Libanus and Antilibanus, is a little way from the sea; Libanus rises above the sea near Tripolis and Theoprosopon, and Antilibanus, above the sea near Sidon. They terminate somewhere near the Arabian mountains, which are above the district of Damascus and the Trachones as they are there called, where they form fruitful hills. A hollow plain lies between them, the breadth of which towards the sea is 200 stadia, and the length from the sea to the interior is about twice that number of stadia. Rivers flow through it, the largest of which is the Jordan, which water a country fertile and productive of all things. It contains also a lake, which produces the aromatic rush and reed. In it are also marshes. The name of the lake is Gennesaritis. It produces also balsamum.118

Among the rivers is the Chrysorrhoas, which commences from the city and territory of Damascus, and is almost entirely drained by water-courses; for it supplies with water a large tract of country, with a very deep soil.

The Lycus119 and the Jordan are navigated upwards chiefly by the Aradii, with vessels of burden. [17]

Of the plains, the first reckoning from the sea is called Macras and Macra-pedium. Here Poseidonius says there was seen a serpent lying dead, which was nearly a plethrum in length, and of such a bulk and thickness that men on horseback standing on each side of its body could not see one another; the jaws when opened could take in a man on horseback, and the scales of the skin were larger than a shield. [18]

Next to the plain of Macras is that of Massyas, which also contains some mountainous parts, among which is Chalcis, the acropolis, as it were, of the Massyas. The commencement of this plain is at Laodiceia,120 near Libanus. The Ituræans and Arabians, all of whom are freebooters, occupy the whole of the mountainous tracts. The husbandmen live in the plains, and when harassed by the freebooters, they require protection of various kinds. The robbers have strongholds from which they issue forth; those, for example, who occupy Libanus have high up on the mountain the fortresses Sinna, Borrhama, and some others like them; lower down, Botrys and Gigartus, caves also near the sea, and the castle on the promontory Theoprosopon. Pompey destroyed these fastnesses, from whence the robbers overran Byblus,121 and Berytus122 situated next to it, and which lie between Sidon and Theoprosopon.

Byblus, the royal seat of Cinyrus, is sacred to Adonis. Pompey delivered this place from the tyranny of Cinyrus, by striking off his head. It is situated upon an eminence at a little distance from the sea. [19]

After Byblus is the river Adonis,123 and the mountain Climax, and Palæ-Byblus, then the river Lycus, and Berytus. This latter place was razed by Tryphon, but now the Romans have restored it, and two legions were stationed there by Agrippa, who also added to it a large portion of the territory of Massyas, as far as the sources of the Orontes. These sources are near Libanus, the Paradeisus, and the Egyptian Fort near the district of Apameia. These places lie near the sea. [20]

Above the Massyas is the Royal Valley, as it is called, and the territory of Damascus, so highly extolled. Damascus is a considerable city, and in the time of the Persian empire was nearly the most distinguished place in that country.

Above Damascus are the two (hills) called Trachones; then, towards the parts occupied by Arabians and Ituræans promiscuously, are mountains of difficult access, in which were caves extending to a great depth. One of these caves was capable of containing four thousand robbers, when the territory of Damascus was subject to incursions from various quarters. The Barbarians used to rob the merchants most generally on the side of Arabia Felix,124 but this happens less frequently since the destruction of the bands of the robbers under Zenodorus, by the good government of the Romans, and in consequence of the security afforded by the soldiers stationed and maintained in Syria. [21]

The whole country125 above Seleucis, extending towards Egypt and Arabia, is called Cœle-Syria, but peculiarly the tract bounded by Libanus and Antilibanus, of the remainder one part is the coast extending from Orthosia126 as far as Pelusium,127 and is called Phœnicia, a narrow strip of land along the sea; the other, situated above Phœnicia in the interior between Gaza and Antilibanus, and extending to the Arabians, called Judæa. [22]

Having described Cœle-Syria properly so called, we pass on to Phœnicia, of which we have already described128 the part extending from Orthosia to Berytus.

Next to Berytus is Sidon, at the distance of 400 stadia. Between these places is the river Tamyras,129 and the grove of Asclepius and Leontopolis.

Next to Sidon is Tyre,130 the largest and most ancient city of the Phœnicians. This city is the rival of Sidon in magnitude, fame, and antiquity, as recorded in many fables. For although poets have celebrated Sidon more than Tyre (Homer, however, does not even mention Tyre), yet the colonies sent into Africa and Spain, as far as, and beyond the Pillars, extol much more the glory of Tyre. Both however were formerly, and are at present, distinguished and illustrious cities, but which of the two should be called the capital of Phœnicia is a subject of dispute among the inhabitants.131 Sidon is situated upon a fine naturally-formed harbour on the mainland. [23]

Tyre is wholly an island, built nearly in the same manner as Aradus. It is joined to the continent by a mound, which Alexander raised, when he was besieging it. It has two harbours, one close, the other open, which is called the Egyptian harbour. The houses here, it is said, consist of many stories, of more even than at Rome; on the occurrence, therefore, of an earthquake, the city was nearly demolished.132 It sustained great injury when it was taken by siege by Alexander, but it rose above these misfortunes, and recovered itself both by the skill of the people in the art of navigation, in which the Phœnicians in general have always excelled all nations, and by (the export of) purple-dyed manufactures, the Tyrian purple being in the highest estimation. The shellfish from which it is procured is caught near the coast, and the Tyrians have in great abundance other requisites for dyeing. The great number of dyeing works renders the city unpleasant as a place of residence, but the superior skill of the people in the practice of this art is the source of its wealth. Their independence was secured to them at a small expense to themselves, not only by the kings of Syria, but also by the Romans, who confirmed what the former had conceded.133 They pay extravagant honours to Hercules. The great number and magnitude of their colonies and cities are proofs of their maritime skill and power.

Such then are the Tyrians. [24]

The Sidonians are said by historians to excel in various kinds of art, as the words of Homer also imply.134 Besides, they cultivate science and study astronomy and arithmetic, to which they were led by the application of numbers (in accounts) and night sailing, each of which (branches of knowledge) concerns the merchant and seaman; in the same manner the Egyptians were led to the invention of geometry by the mensuration of ground, which was required in consequence of the Nile confounding, by its overflow, the respective boundaries of the country. It is thought that geometry was introduced into Greece from Egypt, and astronomy and arithmetic from Phœnicia. At present the best opportunities are afforded in these cities of acquiring a knowledge of these, and of all other branches of philosophy.

If we are to believe Poseidonius, the ancient opinion about atoms originated with Mochus, a native of Sidon, who lived before the Trojan times. Let us, however, dismiss subjects relating to antiquity. In my time there were distinguished philosophers, natives of Sidon, as Boethus, with whom I studied the philosophy of Aristotle,135 and Diodotus his brother. Antipater was of Tyre, and a little before my time Apollonius, who published a table of the philosophers of the school of Zeno, and of their writings.

Tyre is distant from Sidon not more than 200 stadia. Between the two is situated a small town, called Ornithopolis, (the city of birds); next a river136 which empties itself near Tyre into the sea. Next after Tyre is Palæ-tyrus (ancient Tyre), at the distance of 30 stadia.137 [25]

Then follows Ptolemaïs, a large city, formerly called Ace.138 It was the place of rendezvous for the Persians in their expeditions against Egypt. Between Ace and Tyre is a sandy beach, the sand of which is used in making glass. The sand, it is said, is not fused there, but carried to Sidon to undergo that process. Some say that the Sidonians have, in their own country, the vitrifiable sand; according to others, the sand of every place can be fused. I heard at Alexandria from the glass-workers, that there is in Egypt a kind of vitrifiable earth, without which expensive works in glass of various colours could not be executed, but in other countries other mixtures are required; and at Rome, it is reported, there have been many inventions both for producing various colours, and for facilitating the manufacture, as for example in glass wares, where a glass bowl may be purchased for a copper coin,139 and glass is ordinarily used for drinking. [26]

A phenomenon140 of the rarest kind is said to have occurred on the shore between Tyre and Ptolemaïs. The people of Ptolemaïs had engaged in battle with Sarpedon the general, and after a signal defeat were left in this place, when a wave from the sea, like the rising tide, overwhelmed the fugitives; some were carried out to sea and drowned, others perished in hollow places; then again the ebb succeeding, uncovered and displayed to sight the bodies lying in confusion among dead fish.

A similar phenomenon took place at Mount Casium in Egypt. The ground, to a considerable distance, after a violent and single shock fell in parts, at once exchanging places; the elevated parts opposed the access of the sea, and parts which had subsided admitted it. Another shock occurred, and the place recovered its ancient position, except that there was an alteration (in the surface of the ground) in some places, and none in others. Perhaps such occurrences are connected with periodical returns the nature of which is unknown to us. This is said to be the case with the rise of the waters of the Nile, which exhibits a variety in its effects, but observes (in general) a certain order, which we do not comprehend. [27]

Next to Ace is the Tower of Strato, with a station for vessels.141 Between these places is Mount Carmel, and cities of which nothing but the names remain, as Sycaminopolis, Bucolopolis, Crocodeilopolis, and others of this kind; next is a large forest.142 [28]

Then Joppa,143 where the coast of Egypt, which at first stretches towards the east, makes a remarkable bend towards the north. In this place, according to some writers, Andromeda was exposed to the sea-monster. It is sufficiently elevated; it is said to command a view of Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews,144 who, when they descended to the sea, used this place as a naval arsenal. But the arsenals of robbers are the haunts of robbers. Carmel, and the forest, belonged to the Jews. The district was so populous that the neighbouring village Iamneia,145 and the settlements around, could furnish forty thousand soldiers.

Thence to Casium,146 near Pelusium, are little more than 1000 stadia, and 1300 to Pelusium itself. [29]

In the interval is Gadaris,147 which the Jews have appropriated to themselves, then Azotus and Ascalon.148 From Iamneia to Azotus and Ascalon are about 200 stadia. The country of the Ascalonitee produces excellent onions; the town is small. Antiochus the philosopher, who lived a little before our time, was a native of this place. Philodemus the Epicurean was a native of Gadara, as also Meleagrus, Menippus the satirist, and Theodorus the rhetorician, my contemporary. [30]

Next and near Ascalon is the harbour of the Gazæi. The city is situated inland at the distance of seven stadia. It was once famous, but was razed by Alexander, and remains uninhabited. There is said to be a passage thence across, of 1260 stadia, to the city Aila149 (Aelana), situated on the innermost recess of the Arabian Gulf. This recess has two branches, one, in the direction of Arabia and Gaza, is called Ailanites, from the city upon it; the other is in the direction of Egypt, towards Heroopolis,150 to which from Pelusium is the shortest road (between the two seas). Travelling is performed on camels, through a desert and sandy country, in the course of which snakes are found in great numbers. [31]

Next to Gaza is Raphia,151 where a battle was fought between Ptolemy the Fourth and Antiochus the Great.152 Then Rhinocolura,153 so called from the colonists, whose noses had been mutilated. Some Ethiopian invaded Egypt, and, instead of putting the malefactors to death, cut off their noses, and settled them at Rhinocolura, supposing that they would not venture to return to their own country, on account of the disgraceful condition of their faces. [32]

The whole country from Gaza is barren and sandy, and still more so is that district next to it, which contains the lake Sirbonis,154 lying above it in a direction almost parallel to the sea, and leaving a narrow pass between, as far as what is called the Ecregma.155 The length of the pass is about 200, and the greatest breadth 50 stadia. The Ecregma is filled up with earth. Then follows another continuous tract of the same kind to Casium,156 and thence to Pelusium. [33]

The Casium is a sandy hill without water, and forms a promontory: the body of Pompey the Great is buried there, and on it is a temple of Jupiter Casius.157 Near this place Pompey the Great was betrayed by the Egyptians, and put to death. Next is the road to Pelusium, on which is situated Gerrha;158 and the rampart, as it is called, of Chabrias, and the pits near Pelusium, formed by the overflowing of the Nile in places naturally hollow and marshy.

Such is the nature of Phœnicia. Artemidorus says, that from Orthosia to Pelusium is 3650 stadia, including the winding of the bays, and from Melænæ or Melania in Cilicia to Celenderis,159 on the confines of Cilicia and Syria, are 1900 stadia; thence to the Orontes 520 stadia, and from Orontes to Orthosia 1130 stadia. [34]

The western extremities of Judæa towards Casius are occupied by Idumæans, and by the lake [Sirbonis]. The Idumæans are Nabatæans. When driven from their country160 by sedition, they passed over to the Jews, and adopted their customs.161 The greater part of the country along the coast to Jerusalem is occupied by the Lake Sirbonis, and by the tract contiguous to it; for Jerusalem is near the sea, which, as we have said,162 may be seen from the arsenal of Joppa.163 These districts (of Jerusalem and Joppa) lie towards the north; they are inhabited generally, and each place in particular, by mixed tribes of Egyptians, Arabians, and Phœnicians. Of this description are the inhabitants of Galilee, of the plain of Jericho, and of the territories of Philadelphia and Samaria,164 surnamed Sebaste by Herod;165 but although there is such a mixture of inhabitants, the report most credited, [one] among many things believed respecting the temple [and the inhabitants] of Jerusalem, is, that the Egyptians were the ancestors of the present Jews.166 [35]

An Egyptian priest named Moses, who possessed a portion of the country called the Lower [Egypt] * * * *, being dissatisfied with the established institutions there, left it and came to Judæa with a large body of people who worshipped the Divinity. He declared and taught that the Egyptians and Africans entertained erroneous sentiments, in representing the Divinity under the likeness of wild beasts and cattle of the field; that the Greeks also were in error in making images of their gods after the human form. For God [said he] may be this one thing which encompasses us all, land and sea, which we call heaven, or the universe, or the nature of things.167 Who then of any understanding would venture to form an image of this Deity, resembling anything with which we are conversant? on the contrary, we ought not to carve any images, but to set apart some sacred ground and a shrine worthy of the Deity, and to worship Him without any similitude.168 He taught that those who made fortunate dreams were to be permitted to sleep in the temple, where they might dream both for themselves and others; that those who practised temperance and justice, and none else, might expect good, or some gift or sign from the God, from time to time. [36]

By such doctrine Moses169 persuaded a large body of right-minded persons to accompany him to the place where Jerusalem now stands. He easily obtained possession of it, as the spot was not such as to excite jealousy, nor for which there could be any fierce contention; for it is rocky, and, although well supplied with water, it is surrounded by a barren and waterless territory.170 The space within [the city] is 60 stadia [in circumference], with rock underneath the surface.

Instead of arms, he taught that their defence was in their sacred things and the Divinity, for whom he was desirous of finding a settled place, promising to the people to deliver such a kind of worship and religion as should not burthen those who adopted it with great expense, nor molest them with [so-called] divine possessions, nor other absurd practices.

Moses thus obtained their good opinion, and established no ordinary kind of government. All the nations around willingly united themselves to him, allured by his discourses and promises. [37]

His successors continued for some time to observe the same conduct, doing justly, and worshipping God with sincerity. Afterwards superstitious persons were appointed to the priesthood, and then tyrants. From superstition arose abstinence from flesh, from the eating of which it is now the custom to refrain, circumcision, excision,171 and other practices which the people observe. The tyrannical government produced robbery; for the rebels plundered both their own and the neighbouring countries. Those also who shared in the government seized upon the property of others, and ravaged a large part of Syria and of Phœnicia.

Respect, however, was paid to the Acropolis; it was not abhorred as the seat of tyranny, but honoured and venerated as a temple. [38]

This is according to nature, and common both to Greeks and barbarians. For, as members of a civil community, they live according to a common law; otherwise it would be impossible for the mass to execute any one thing in concert (in which consists a civil state), or to live in a social state at all. Law is twofold, divine and human. The ancients regarded and respected divine, in preference to human, law; in those times, therefore, the number of persons was very great who consulted oracles, and, being desirous of obtaining the advice of Jupiter, hurried to Dodona, “ to hear the answer of Jove from the lofty oak.

” The parent went to Delphi, “ anxious to learn whether the child which had been exposed (to die) was still living;

” while the child itself “ was gone to the temple of Apollo, with the hope of discovering its parents.

” And Minos among the Cretans, “ the king who in the ninth year enjoyed converse with Great Jupiter,

” every nine years, as Plato says, ascended to the cave of Jupiter, received ordinances from him, and conveyed them to men. Lycurgus, his imitator, acted in a similar manner; for he was often accustomed, as it seemed, to leave his own country to inquire of the Pythian goddess what ordinances he was to promulgate to the Lacedæmonians. [39]

What truth there may be in these things I cannot say; they have at least been regarded and believed as true by mankind. Hence prophets received so much honour as to be thought worthy even of thrones, because they were supposed to communicate ordinances and precepts from the gods, both during their lifetime and after their death; as for example Teiresias,

“ to whom alone Proserpine gave wisdom and understanding after death: the others flit about as shadows.

Od. xix. 494.
Such were Amphiaraus, Trophonius, Orpheus, and Musæus: in former times there was Zamolxis, a Pythagorean, who was accounted a god among the Getæ; and in our time, Decæneus, the diviner of Byrebistas. Among the Bosporani, there was Achaicarus; among the Indians, were the Gymnosophists; among the Persians, the Magi and Necyomanteis,172 and besides these the Lecanomanteis173 and Hydromanteis;174 among the Assyrians, were the Chaldæans; and among the Romans, the Tyrrhenian diviners of dreams.175

Such was Moses and his successors; their beginning was good, but they degenerated. [40]

When Judæa openly became subject to a tyrannical government, the first person who exchanged the title of priest for that of king was Alexander.176 His sons were Hyrcanus and Aristobulus. While they were disputing the succession to the kingdom, Pompey came upon them by surprise, deprived them of their power, and destroyed their fortresses, first taking Jerusalem itself by storm.177 It was a stronghold, situated on a rock, well fortified and well supplied with water178 within, but externally entirely parched with drought. A ditch was cut in the rock, 60 feet in depth, and in width 250 feet. On the wall of the temple were built towers, constructed of the materials procured when the ditch was excavated. The city was taken, it is said, by waiting for the day of fast, on which the Jews were in the habit of abstaining from all work. Pompey [availing himself of this], filled up the ditch, and threw bridges over it. He gave orders to raze all the walls, and he destroyed, as far as was in his power, the haunts of the robbers and the treasure-holds of the tyrants. Two of these forts, Thrax and Taurus, were situated in the passes leading to Jericho. Others were Alexandrium, Hyrcanium, Machærus, Lysias, and those about Philadelphia, and Scythopolis near Galilee. [41]

Jericho is a plain encompassed by a mountainous district, which slopes towards it somewhat in the manner of a theatre. Here is the Phœnicon (or palm plantation), which contains various other trees of the cultivated kind, and producing excellent fruit; but its chief production is the palm tree. It is 100 stadia in length; the whole is watered with streams, and filled with dwellings. Here also is a palace and the garden of the balsamum.179 The latter is a shrub with an aromatic smell, resembling the cytisus180 and the terminthus.181 Incisions are made in the bark, and vessels are placed beneath to receive the sap, which is like oily milk. After it is collected in vessels, it becomes solid. It is an excellent remedy for headache, incipient suffusion of the eyes, and dimness of sight. It bears therefore a high price, especially as it is produced in no other place.182 This is the case also with the Phœnicon, which alone contains the caryotes183 palm, if we except the Babylonian plain, and the country above it towards the east: a large revenue is derived from the palms and balsamum; xylobalsamum184 is also used as a perfume. [42]

The Lake Sirbonis185 is of great extent. Some say that it is 1000 stadia in circumference. It stretches along the coast, to the distance of a little more than 200 stadia. It is deep, and the water is exceedingly heavy, so that no person can dive into it; if any one wades into it up to the waist, and attempts to move forward, he is immediately lifted out of the water186 It abounds with asphaltus, which rises, not however at any regular seasons, in bubbles, like boiling water, from the middle of the deepest part. The surface is convex, and presents the appearance of a hillock. Together with the asphaltus, there ascends a great quantity of sooty vapour, not perceptible to the eye, which tarnishes copper, silver, and everything bright—even gold. The neighbouring people know by the tarnishing of their vessels that the asphaltus is beginning to rise, and they prepare to collect it by means of rafts composed of reeds. The asphaltus is a clod of earth, liquefied by heat; the air forces it to the surface, where it spreads itself. It is again changed into so firm and solid a mass by cold water, such as the water of the lake, that it requires cutting or chopping (for use). It floats upon the water, which, as I have described, does not admit of diving or immersion, but lifts up the person who goes into it. Those who go on rafts for the asphaltus cut it in pieces, and take away as much as they are able to carry. [43]

Such are the phenomena. But Posidonius says, that the people being addicted to magic, and practising incantations, (by these means) consolidate the asphaltus, pouring upon it urine and other fetid fluids, and then cut it into pieces. (Incantations cannot be the cause), but perhaps urine may have some peculiar power (in effecting the consolidation) in the same manner that chrysocolla187 is formed in the bladders of persons who labour under the disease of the stone, and in the urine of children.

It is natural for these phenomena to take place in the middle of the lake, because the source of the fire is in the centre, and the greater part of the asphaltus comes from thence. The bubbling up, however, of the asphaltus is irregular, because the motion of fire, like that of many other vapours, has no order perceptible to observers. There are also phenomena of this kind at Apollonia in Epirus. [44]

Many other proofs are produced to show that this country is full of fire. Near Moasada188 are to be seen rugged rocks, bearing the marks of fire; fissures in many places; a soil like ashes; pitch falling in drops from the rocks; rivers boiling up, and emitting a fetid odour to a great distance; dwellings in every direction overthrown; whence we are inclined to believe the common tradition of the natives, that thirteen cities189 once existed there, the capital of which was Sodom, but that a circuit of about 60 stadia around it escaped uninjured; shocks of earthquakes, however, eruptions of flames and hot springs, containing asphaltus and sulphur, caused the lake to burst its bounds, and the rocks took fire; some of the cities were swallowed up, others were abandoned by such of the inhabitants as were able to make their escape.

But Eratosthenes asserts, on the contrary, that the country was once a lake, and that the greater part of it was uncovered by the water discharging itself through a breach, as was the case in Thessaly.190 [45]

In the Gadaris, also, there is a lake of noxious water. If beasts drink it, they lose their hair, hoofs, and horns. At the place called Taricheæ,191 the lake supplies the best fish for curing. On its banks grow trees which bear a fruit like the apple. The Egyptians use the asphaltus for embalming the bodies of the dead. [46]

Pompey curtailed the territory which had been forcibly appropriated by the Jews, and assigned to Hyrcanus the priesthood. Some time afterwards, Herod, of the same family, and a native of the country,192 having surreptitiously obtained the priesthood, distinguished himself so much above his predecessors, particularly in his intercourse, both civil and political, with the Romans, that he received the title and authority of king,193 first from Antony, and afterwards from Augustus Cæsar. He put to death some of his sons, on the pretext of their having conspired against him;194 other sons he left at his death, to succeed him, and assigned to each, portions of his kingdom. Cæsar bestowed upon the sons also of Herod marks of honour,195 on his sister Salome,196 and on her daughter Berenice. The sons were unfortunate, and were publicly accused. One197 of them died in exile among the Galatæ Allobroges, whose country was assigned for his abode. The others, by great interest and solicitation, but with difficulty, obtained leave to return198 to their own country, each with his tetrarchy restored to him.


ABOVE Judæa and Cœle-Syria, as far as Babylonia and the river tract, along the banks of the Euphrates towards the south, lies the whole of Arabia, except the Scenitæ in Mesopotamia. We have already spoken of Mesopotamia, and of the nations that inhabit it.199

The parts on the other (the eastern) side of the Euphrates, towards its mouth, are occupied by Babylonians and the nation of the Chaldæans. We have spoken of these people also.200

Of the rest of the country which follows after Mesopotamia, and extends as far as Cœle-Syria, the part approaching the river, as well as [a part of] Mesopotamia,201 are occupied by Arabian Scenitæ, who are divided into small sovereignties, and inhabit tracts which are barren from want of water. They do not till the land at all, or only to a small extent, but they keep herds of cattle of all kinds, particularly of camels. Above these is a great desert; but the parts lying still more to the south are occupied by the nations inhabiting Arabia Felix, as it is called. The northern side of this tract is formed by the above-mentioned desert, the eastern by the Persian, the western by the Arabian Gulf, and the southern by the great sea lying outside of both the gulfs, the whole of which is called the Erythræan Sea.202 [2]

The Persian Gulf has the name also of the Sea of Persia. Eratosthenes speaks of it in this manner: "They say that the mouth is so narrow, that from Harmozi,203 the promontory of Carmania, may be seen the promontory at Mace, in Arabia. From the mouth, the coast on the right hand is circular, and at first inclines a little from Carmania towards the east, then to the north, and afterwards to the west as far as Teredon and the mouth of the Euphrates.204 In an extent of about 10,000 stadia, it comprises the coast of the Carmanians, Persians, and Susians, and in part of the Babylonians. (Of these we ourselves have before spoken.) Hence directly as far as the mouth are 10,000 stadia more, according, it is said, to the computation of Androsthenes of Thasos, who not only had accompanied Nearchus, but had also alone sailed along the seacoast of Arabia.205 It is hence evident that this sea is little inferior in size to the Euxine.

"He says that Androsthenes, who had navigated the gulf with a fleet, relates, that in sailing from Teredon with the continent on the right hand, an island Icaros206 is met with, lying in front, which contained a temple sacred to Apollo, and an oracle of [Diana] Tauropolus. [3]

"Having coasted the shore of Arabia to the distance of 2400 stadia, there lies, in a deep gulf, a city of the name of Gerrha,207 belonging to Chaldæan exiles from Babylon, who inhabit the district in which salt is found, and who have houses constructed of salt: as scales of salt separated by the burning heat of the sun are continually falling off, the houses are sprinkled with water, and the walls are thus kept firm together. The city is distant 200 stadia from the sea. The merchants of Gerrha generally carry the Arabian merchandise and aromatics by land; but Aristobulus says, on the contrary, that they frequently travel into Babylonia on rafts, and thence sail up the Euphrates to Thapsacus208 with their cargoes, but afterwards carry them by land to all parts of the country. [4]

"On sailing further, there are other islands, Tyre209 and Aradus,210 which have temples resembling those of the Phœnicians. The inhabitants of these islands (if we are to believe them) say that the islands and cities bearing the same name as those of the Phœnicians are their own colonies.211 These islands are distant from Teredon ten days' sail, and from the promontory at the mouth of the gulf at Macæ one day's sail. [5]

"Nearchus and Orthagoras relate, that an island Ogyris lies to the south, in the open sea, at the distance of 2000 stadia212 from Carmania. In this island is shown the sepulchre of Erythras, a large mound, planted with wild palms. He was king of the country, and the sea received its name from him. It is said that Mithropastes, the son of Arsites, satrap of Phrygia, pointed out these things to them. Mithropastes was banished by Darius, and resided in this island; he joined himself to those who had come down to the Persian Gulf, and hoped through their means to have an opportunity of returning to his own country. [6]

‘Along the whole coast of the Red Sea, in the deep part of the water grow trees resembling the laurel and the olive. When the tide ebbs, the whole trees are visible above the water, and at the full tide they are sometimes entirely covered. This is the more singular because the coast inland has no trees.’

This is the description given by Eratosthenes of the Persian Sea, which forms, as we have said, the eastern side of Arabia Felix. [7]

Nearchus says, that they were met by Mithropastes, in company with Mazenes, who was governor of one of the islands, called Doracta (Oaracta?)213 in the Persian Gulf; that Mithropastes, after his retreat from Ogyris, took refuge there, and was hospitably received; that he had an interview with Mazenes, for the purpose of being recommended to the Macedonians, in the fleet of which Mazenes was the guide.

Nearchus also mentions an island, met with at the recommencement of the voyage along the coast of Persia, where are found pearls in large quantities and of great value; in other islands there are transparent and brilliant pebbles; in the islands in front of the Euphrates there are trees which send forth the odour of frankincense, and from their roots, when bruised, a (perfumed) juice flows out; the crabs and sea hedgehogs are of vast size, which is common in all the exterior seas, some being larger than Macedonian hats;214 others of the capacity of two cotyli; he says also that he had seen driven on shore a whale fifty cubits in length.


ARABIA commences on the side of Babylonia with Mæcene.215 In front of this district, on one side lies the desert of the Arabians, on the other are the marshes216 opposite to the Chaldæans, formed by the overflowing of the Euphrates, and in another direction is the Sea of Persia. This country has an unhealthy and cloudy atmosphere; it is subject to showers, and also to scorching heat; still its products are excellent. The vine grows in the marshes; as much earth as the plant may require is laid upon hurdles of reeds;217 the hurdle is frequently carried away by the water, and is then forced back again by poles to its proper situation. [2]

I return to the opinions of Eratosthenes, which he next delivers respecting Arabia. He is speaking of the northern and desert part, lying between Arabia Felix, Cœle-Syria, and Judæa, to the recess of the Arabian Gulf.

From Heroopolis, situated in that recess of the Arabian Gulf which is on the side of the Nile, to Babylon, towards Petra of the Nabatæi, are 5600 stadia. The whole tract lies in the direction of the summer solstice (i. e. east and west), and passes through the adjacent Arabian tribes, namely Nabatæi, Chaulotæi, and Agræi. Above these people is Arabia Felix, stretching out 12,000 stadia towards the south to the Atlantic Sea.218

The first people, next after the Syrians and Jews, who occupy this country are husbandmen. These people are succeeded by a barren and sandy tract, producing a few palms, the acanthus,219 and tamarisk; water is obtained by digging [wells] as in Gedrosia. It is inhabited by Arabian Scenitæ, who breed camels. The extreme parts towards the south, and opposite to Ethiopia, are watered by summer showers, and are sowed twice, like the land in India. Its rivers are exhausted in watering plains, and by running into lakes. The general fertility of the country is very great; among other products, there is in particular an abundant supply of honey; except horses,220 there are numerous herds of animals, mules (asses?), and swine; birds also of every kind, except geese and the gallinaceous tribe.

Four of the most populous nations inhabit the extremity of the above-mentioned country; namely, the Minæi the part towards the Red Sea, whose largest city is Carna or Carnana.221 Next to these are the Sabæans, whose chief city is Mariaba.222 The third nation are the Cattabaneis,223 extending to the straits and the passage across the Arabian Gulf. Their royal seat is called Tamna. The Chatramotitæ224 are the furthest of these nations towards the east. Their city is Sabata. [3]

All these cities are governed by one monarch, and are flourishing. They are adorned with beautiful temples and palaces. Their houses, in the mode of binding the timbers together, are like those in Egypt. The four countries comprise a greater territory than the Delta of Egypt.225

The son does not succeed the father in the throne, but the son who is born in a family of the nobles first after the accession of the king. As soon as any one is invested with the government, the pregnant wives of the nobles are registered, and guardians are appointed to watch which of them is first delivered of a son. The custom is to adopt and educate the child in a princely manner as the future successor to the throne. [4]

Cattabania produces frankincense, and Chatramotitis myrrh; these and other aromatics are the medium of exchange with the merchants. Merchants arrive in seventy days at Minæa from Ælana.226 Ælana is a city on the other recess of the Arabian Gulf, which is called Ælanites, opposite to Gaza, as we have before described it.227 The Gerrhæi arrive in Chatramotitis in forty days.

The part of the Arabian Gulf along the side of Arabia, if we reckon from the recess of the Ælanitic bay, is, according to the accounts of Alexander and Anaxicrates, 14,000 stadia in extent; but this computation is too great. The part opposite to Troglodytica, which is on the right hand of those who are sailing from Heroopolis228 to Ptolemaïs, to the country where elephants are taken, extends 9000 stadia to the south, and inclines a little towards the east. Thence to the straits are about 4500 stadia, in a direction more towards the east. The straits at Ethiopia are formed by a promontory called Deire.229 There is a small town upon it of the same name. The Ichthyophagi inhabit this country. Here it is said is a pillar of Sesostris the Egyptian, on which is inscribed, in hieroglyphics, an account of his passage (across the Arabian Gulf). For he appears to have subdued first Ethiopia and Troglodytica,230 and afterwards to have passed over into Arabia. He then overran the whole of Asia. Hence in many places there are dykes called the dykes of Sesostris, and temples built in honour of Egyptian deities.

The straits at Deire are contracted to the width of 60 stadia; not indeed that these are now called the Straits, for ships proceed to a further distance, and find a passage of about 200 stadia between the two continents;231 six islands contiguous to one another leave a very narrow passage through them for vessels, by filling up the interval between the continents. Through these goods are transported from one continent to the other on rafts; it is this passage which is called the Straits. After these islands, the subsequent navigation is among bays along the Myrrh country, in the direction of south and east, as far as the Cinnamon country, a distance of about 5000 stadia;232 beyond this district no one to this time, it is said, has penetrated. There are not many cities upon the coast, but in the interior they are numerous and well inhabited. Such is the account of Arabia given by Eratosthenes. We must add what is related also by other writers. [5]

Artemidorus233 says, that the promontory of Arabia, op- posite to Deire, is called Acila,234 and that the persons who live near Deire deprive themselves of the prepuce.

In sailing from Heroopolis along Troglodytica, a city is met with called Philotera,235 after the sister of the second Ptolemy; it was founded by Satyrus, who was sent to explore the hunting-ground for the elephants, and Troglodytica itself. Next to this is another city, Arsinoë; and next to this, springs of hot water, which are salt and bitter; they are precipitated from a high rock, and discharge themselves into the sea. There is in a plain near (these springs) a mountain, which is of a red colour like minium. Next is Myus Hormus, which is also called Aphrodites Hormus;236 it is a large harbour with an oblique entrance. In front are three islands; two are covered with olive trees, and' one (the third) is less shaded with trees, and abounds with guinea-fowls.237 Then follows Acathartus (or Foul Bay), which, like Myus Hormus, is in the latitude of the Thebais. The bay is really foul, for it is very dangerous from rocks (some of which are covered by the sea, others rise to the surface), as also from almost constant and furious tempests. At the bottom of the bay is situated the city Berenice.238 [6]

After the bay is the island Ophiodes,239 so called from the accidental circumstance [of its having once been infested with serpents]. It was cleared of the serpents by the king,240 on account of the destruction occasioned by those noxious animals to the persons who frequented the island, and on account of the topazes found there. The topaz is a transparent stone, sparkling with a golden lustre, which however is not easy to be distinguished in the day-time, on account of the brightness of the surrounding light, but at night the stones are visible to those who collect them. The collectors place a vessel over the spot [where the topazes are seen] as a mark, and dig them up in the day. A body of men was appointed and maintained by the kings of Egypt to guard the place where these stones were found, and to superintend the collection of them. [7]

Next after this island follow many tribes of Ichthyophagi and of Nomades; then succeeds the harbour of the goddess Soteira (the Preserver), which had its name from the circumstance of the escape and preservation of some masters [of vessels] from great dangers by sea.

After this the coast and the gulf seem to undergo a great change: for the voyage along the coast is no longer among rocks, and approaches almost close to Arabia; the sea is so shallow as to be scarcely of the depth of two orguiæ,241 and has the appearance of a meadow, in consequence of the sea-weeds, which abound in the passage, being visible through and under the water. Even trees here grow from under the water, and the sea abounds with sea-dogs.

Next are two mountains,242 the Tauri (or the Bulls), presenting at a distance a resemblance to these animals. Then follows another mountain, on which is a temple of Isis, built by Sesostris; then an island planted with olive trees, and at times overflowed. This is followed by the city Ptolemaïs, near the hunting-grounds of the elephants,243 founded by Eumedes, who was sent by Philadelphus to the hunting-ground. He enclosed, without the knowledge of the inhabitants, a kind of peninsula with a ditch and wall, and by his courteous address gained over those who were inclined to obstruct the work, and instead of enemies made them his friends. [8]

In the intervening space, a branch of the river Astaboras244 discharges itself. It has its source in a lake, and empties part of its waters [into the bay], but the larger portion it contributes to the Nile. Then follow six islands, called Latomiæ,245 after these the Sabaïtic mouth,246 as it is called, and in the inland parts a fortress built by Suchus.247 Then a lake called Elæa, and the island of Strato;248 next Saba249 a port, and a hunting-ground for elephants of the same name. The country deep in the interior is called Tenessis. It is occupied by those Egyptians who took refuge from the government of Psammitichus.250 They are surnamed Sembritæ,251 as being strangers. They are governed by a queen, to whom also Meroë, an island in the Nile near these places, is subject. Above this, at no great distance, is another island in the river, a settlement occupied by the same fugitives. From Meroë to this sea is a journey of fifteen days for an active person.

Near Meroë is the confluence of the Astaboras,252 the Astapus,253 and of the Astasobas with the Nile. [9]

On the banks of these rivers live the Rhizophagi (or root-eaters) and Heleii (or marsh-men). They have their name from digging roots in the adjacent marsh, bruising them with stones, and forming them into cakes, which they dry in the sun for food. These countries are the haunts of lions. The wild beasts are driven out of these places, at the time of the rising of the dog-star, by large gnats.

Near these people live the Spermophagi (or seed-eaters), who, when seeds of plants fail, subsist upon seeds of trees,254 which they prepare in the same manner as the Rhizophagi prepare their roots.

Next to Elæa are the watch-towers of Demetrius, and the altars of Conon. In the interior Indian reeds grow in abundance. The country there is called the country of Coracius.

Far in the interior was a place called Endera, inhabited by a naked tribe,255 who use bows and reed arrows, the points of which are hardened in the fire. They generally shoot the animals from trees, sometimes from the ground. They have numerous herds of wild cattle among them, on the flesh of which they subsist, and on that of other wild animals. When they have taken nothing in the chase, they dress dried skins upon hot coals, and are satisfied with food of this kind. It is their custom to propose trials of skill in archery for those who have not attained manhood.

Next to the altars of Conon is the port of Melinus, and above it is a fortress called that of Coraus and the chase of Coraus, also another fortress and more hunting-grounds. Then follows the harbour of Antiphilus, and above this a tribe, the Creophagi, deprived of the prepuce, and the women are excised after the Jewish custom.256 [10]

Further still towards the south are the Cynamolgi,257 called by the natives Agrii, with long hair and long beards, who keep a breed of very large dogs for hunting the Indian cattle which come into their country from the neighbouring district, driven thither either by wild beasts or by scarcity of pasturage. The time of their incursion is from the summer solstice to the middle of winter.

Next to the harbour of Antiphilus is a port called the Grove of the Colobi (or the Mutilated), the city Berenice258 of Sabæ, and Sabæ259 a considerable city; then he grove of Eumenes.260

Above is the city Darada, and a hunting-ground for elephants, called ‘At the Well.’ The district is inhabited by the Elephantophagi (or Elephant-eaters), who are occupied in hunting them. When they descry from the trees a herd of elephants directing their course through the forest, they do not [then] attack, but they approach by stealth and hamstring the hindmost stragglers from the herd. Some kill them with bows and arrows, the latter being dipped in the gall of serpents. The shooting with the bow is performed by three men, two, advancing in front, hold the bow, and one draws the string. Others remark the trees against which the elephant is accustomed to rest, and, approaching on the opposite side, cut the trunk of the tree low down. When the animal comes and leans against it, the tree and the elephant fall down together. The elephant is unable to rise, because its legs are formed of one piece of bone which is inflexible; the hunters leap down from the trees, kill it, and cut it in pieces. The Nomades call the hunters Acatharti, or impure. [11]

Above this nation is situated a small tribe the Struthophagi261 (or Bird-eaters), in whose country are birds of the size of deer, which are unable to fly, but run with the swiftness of the ostrich. Some hunt them with bows and arrows, others covered with the skins of birds. They hide the right hand in the neck of the skin, and move it as the birds move their necks. With the left hand they scatter grain from a bag suspended to the side; they thus entice the birds, till they drive them into pits, where the hunters despatch them with cudgels. The skins are used both as clothes and as coverings for beds. The Ethiopians called Simi are at war with these people, and use as weapons the horns of antelopes. [12]

Bordering on this people is a nation blacker in complexion than the others,262 shorter in stature, and very short-lived. They rarely live beyond forty years; for the flesh of their bodies is eaten up with worms.263 Their food consists of locusts, which the south-west and west winds, when they blow violently in the spring-time, drive in bodies into the country. The inhabitants catch them by throwing into the ravines materials which cause a great deal of smoke, and light them gently. The locusts, as they fly across the smoke, are blinded and fall down. They are pounded with salt, made into cakes, and eaten as food.

Above these people is situated a desert tract with extensive pastures. It was abandoned in consequence of the multitudes of scorpions and tarantulas, called tetragnathi (or fourjawed), which formerly abounded to so great a degree as to occasion a complete desertion of the place long since by its inhabitants. [13]

Next to the harbour of Eumenes, as far as Deire and the straits opposite the six islands,264 live the Ichthyophagi, Creophagi, and Colobi, who extend into the interior.

Many hunting-grounds for elephants, and obscure cities and islands, lie in front of the coast.

The greater part are Nomades; husbandmen are few in number. In the country occupied by some of these nations styrax grows in large quantity. The Icthyophagi, on the ebbing of the tide, collect fish, which they cast upon the rocks and dry in the sun. When they have well broiled them, the bones are piled in heaps, and the flesh trodden with the feet is made into cakes, which are again exposed to the sun and used as food. In bad weather, when fish cannot be procured, the bones of which they have made heaps are pounded, made into cakes and eaten, but they suck the fresh bones. Some also live upon shell-fish, when they are fattened, which is done by throwing them into holes and standing pools of the sea, where they are supplied with small fish, and used as food when other fish are scarce. They have various kinds of places for preserving and feeding fish, from whence they derive their supply.

Some of the inhabitants of that part of the coast which is without water go inland every five days, accompanied by all their families, with songs and rejoicings, to the watering-places, where, throwing themselves on their faces, they drink as beasts until their stomachs are distended like a drum. They then return again to the sea-coast. They dwell in caves or cabins, with roofs consisting of beams and rafters made of the bones and spines of whales, and covered with branches of the olive tree. [14]

The Chelonophagi (or Turtle-eaters) live under the cover of shells (of turtles), which are large enough to be used as boats. Some make of the sea-weed, which is thrown up in large quantities, lofty and hill-like heaps, which are hollowed out, and underneath which they live. They cast out the dead, which are carried away by the tide, as food for fish.

There are three islands which follow in succession, the island of Tortoises, the island of Seals, and the island of Hawks. Along the whole coast there are plantations of palm trees, olive trees, and laurels, not only within, but in a great part also without the straits.

There is also an island [called the island] of Philip, opposite to it inland is situated the hunting-ground for elephants, called the chase of Pythangelus; then follows Arsinoë, a city with a harbour; after these places is Deire, and beyond them is a hunting-ground for elephants.

From Deire, the next country is that which bears aromatic plants. The first produces myrrh, and belongs to the Icthyophagi and the Creophagi. It bears also the persea, peach or Egyptian almond,265 and the Egyptian fig. Beyond is Licha, a hunting-ground for elephants. There are also in many places standing pools of rain-water. When these are dried up, the elephants, with their trunks and tusks, dig holes and find water.

On this coast there are two very large lakes extending as far as the promontory Pytholaus.266 One of them contains salt water, and is called a sea; the other, fresh water, and is the haunt of hippopotami and crocodiles. On the margin grows the papyrus. The ibis is seen in the neighbourhood of this place. The people who live near the promontory of Pytholaus (and beginning from this place) do not undergo any mutilation in any part of their body. Next is the country which produces frankincense; it has a promontory and a temple with a grove of poplars. In the inland parts is a tract along the banks of a river bearing the name of Isis, and another that of Nilus,267 both of which produce myrrh and frankincense. Also a lagoon filled with water from the mountains; next the watch-post of the Lion, and the port of Pythangelus. The next tract bears the false cassia. There are many tracts in succession on the sides of rivers on which frankincense grows, and rivers extending to the cinnamon country. The river which bounds this tract produces (phlous) rushes268 in great abundance. Then follows another river, and the port of Daphnus,269 and a valley called Apollo's, which bears, besides frankincense, myrrh and cinnamon. The latter is more abundant in places far in the interior.

Next is the mountain Elephas,270 a mountain projecting into the sea, and a creek; then follows the large harbour of Psygmus, a watering-place called that of Cynocephali, and the last promontory of this coast, Notu-ceras (or the Southern Horn).271 After doubling this cape towards the south, we have no more descriptions, he says, of harbours or places, because nothing is known of the sea-coast beyond this point.272 [15]

Along the coast there are both pillars and altars of Pytholaus, Lichas, Pythangelus, Leon, and Charimortus, that is, along the known coast from Deire as far as Notu-ceras; but the distance is not determined. The country abounds with elephants and lions called myrmeces (ants).273 They have their genital organs reversed. Their skin is of a golden colour, but they are more bare than the lions of Arabia.

It produces also leopards of great strength and courage, and the rhinoceros. The rhinoceros is little inferior to the elephant; not, according to Artemidorus, in length to the crest,274 although he says he had seen one at Alexandreia, but it is somewhat about [ * * * less]275 in height, judging at least from the one I saw. Nor is the colour the pale yellow of boxwood, but like that of the elephant.276 It was of the size of a bull. Its shape approached very nearly to that of the wild boar, and particularly the forehead; except the front, which is furnished with a hooked horn, harder than any bone. It uses it as a weapon, like the wild boar its tusks. It has also two hard welts, like folds of serpents, encircling the body from the chine to the belly, one on the withers, the other on the loins. This description is taken from one which I myself saw. Artemidorus adds to his account of this animal, that it is peculiarly inclined to dispute with the elephant for the place of pasture ; thrusting its forehead under the belly [of the elephant] and ripping it up, unless prevented by the trunk and tusks of his adversary. [16]

Camel-leopards are bred in these parts, but they do not in any respect resemble leopards, for their variegated skin is more like the streaked and spotted skin of fallow deer. The hinder quarters are so very much lower than the fore quarters, that it seems as if the animal sat upon its rump, which is the height of an ox; the fore legs are as long as those of the camel. The neck rises high and straight up, but the head greatly exceeds in height that of the camel. From this want of proportion, the speed of the animal is not so great, I think, as it is described by Artemidorus, according to whom it is not to be surpassed. It is not however a wild animal, but rather like a domesticated beast; for it shows no signs of a savage disposition.

This country, continues Artemidorus, produces also sphinxes,277 cynocephali,278 and cebi,279 which have the face of a lion, and the rest of the body like that of a panther ; they are as large as deer. There are wild bulls also, which are carnivorous, and greatly exceed ours in size and swiftness. They are of a red colour. The crocuttas280 is, according to this author, the mixed progeny of a wolf and a dog. What Metrodorus the Scepsian relates, in his book ‘on Custom,’ is like fable, and is to be disregarded.

Artemidorus mentions serpents also of thirty cubits in length, which can master elephants and bulls: in this he does not exaggerate.281 But the Indian and African serpents are of a more fabulous size, and are said to have grass growing on their backs. [17]

The mode of life among the Troglodytæ is nomadic. Each tribe is governed by tyrants. Their wives and children are common, except those of the tyrants. The offence of corrupting the wife of a tyrant is punished with the fine of a sheep.

The women carefully paint themselves with antimony. They wear about their necks shells, as a protection against fascination by witchcraft. In their quarrels, which are for pastures, they first push away each other with their hands, they then use stones, or, if wounds are inflicted, arrows and daggers. The women put an end to these disputes, by going into the midst of the combatants and using prayers and en- treaties.

Their food consists of flesh and bones pounded together, wrapped up in skins and then baked, or prepared after many other methods by the cooks, who are called Acatharti, or impure. In this way they eat not only the flesh, but the bones and skins also.

They use (as an ointment for the body ?) a mixture of blood and milk ; the drink of the people in general is an infusion of the paliurus (buckthorn);282 that of the tyrants is mead; the honey being expressed from some kind of flower.

Their winter sets in when the Etesian winds begin to blow (for they have rain), and the remaining season is summer.

They go naked, or wear skins only, and carry clubs. They deprive themselves of the prepuce,283 but some are circumcised like Egyptians. The Ethiopian Megabari have their clubs armed with iron knobs. They use spears and shields which are covered with raw hides. The other Ethiopians use bows and lances. Some of the Troglodytæ, when they bury their dead, bind the body from the neck to the legs with twigs of the buckthorn. They then immediately throw stones over the body, at the same time laughing and rejoicing, until they have covered the face. They then place over it a ram's horn, and go away.

They travel by night; the male cattle have bells fastened to them, in order to drive away wild beasts with the sound. They use torches also and arrows in repelling them. They watch during the night, on account of their flocks, and sing some peculiar song around their fires. [18]

Having given this account of the Troglodytæ and of the neighbouring Ethiopians, Artemidorus returns to the Arabians. Beginning from Poseidium, he first describes those who border upon the Arabian Gulf, and are opposite to the Troglodytæ. He says that Poseidium is situated within the bay of [Heroopolis],284 and that contiguous to Poseidium285 is a grove of palm trees,286 well supplied with water, which is highly valued, because all the district around is burnt up and is without water or shade. But there the fertility of the palm is prodigious. A man and a woman are appointed by hereditary right to the guardianship of the grove. They wear skins, and live on dates. They sleep in huts built on trees, the place being infested with multitudes of wild beasts.

Next is the island of Phocæ (Seals),287 which has its name from those animals, which abound there. Near it is a promontory,288 which extends towards Petra, of the Arabians called Nabatæi, and to the country of Palestine, to this [island] the Minæi,289 Gerrhæi, and all the neighbouring nations repair with loads of aromatics.

Next is another tract of sea-coast, formerly called the coast of the Maranitæ,290 some of whom were husbandmen, others Scenitæ; but at present it is occupied by Garindæi, who destroyed the former possessors by treachery. They attacked those who were assembled to celebrate some quinquennial festival, and put them to death; they then attacked and exterminated the rest of the tribe.291

Next is the Ælanitic292 Gulf and Nabatæa, a country well peopled, and abounding in cattle. The islands which lie near, and opposite, are inhabited by people who formerly lived without molesting others, but latterly carried on a piratical warfare in rafts293 against vessels on their way from Egypt. But they suffered reprisals, when an armament was sent out against them, which devastated their country.

Next is a plain, well wooded and well supplied with water; it abounds with cattle of all kinds, and, among other animals, mules, wild camels, harts, and hinds; lions also, leopards, and wolves are frequently to be found. In front lies an island called Dia. Then follows a bay of about 500 stadia in extent, closed in by mountains, the entrance into which is of difficult access. About it live people who are hunters of wild animals.

Next are three desert islands, abounding with olive trees, not like those in our own country, but an indigenous kind, which we call Ethiopic olives, the tears (or gum) of which have a medicinal virtue.

Then follows a stony beach, which is succeeded by a rugged coast,294 not easily navigated by vessels, extending about 1000 stadia. It has few harbours and anchorages, for a rugged and lofty mountain stretches parallel to it; then the parts at its base, extending into the sea, form rocks under water, which, during the blowing of the Etesian winds and the storms of that period, present dangers, when no assistance can be afforded to vessels.

Next is a bay in which are some scattered islands,295 and continuous with the bay, are three very lofty mounds296 of black sand. After these is Charmothas297 a harbour, about 100 stadia in circumference, with a narrow entrance very dangerous for all kinds of vessels. A river empties itself into it. In the middle is a well-wooded island, adapted for cultivation.

Then follows a rugged coast, and after that are some bays and a country belonging to Nomades, who live by their camels. They fight from their backs; they travel upon them, and subsist on their milk and flesh. A river flows through their country, which brings down gold-dust, but they are ignorant how to make any use of it. They are called Debæ;298 some of them are Nomades, others husbandmen.

I do not mention the greater part299 of the names of these nations, on account of the obscurity of the people, and because the pronunciation of them is strange300 [and uncouth].

Near these people is a nation more civilized, who inhabit a district with a more temperate climate ; for it is well watered, and has frequent showers.301 Fossil gold is found there, not in the form of dust, but in lumps, which do not require much purification. The least pieces are of the size of a nut, the middle size of a medlar, the largest of a walnut. These are pierced and arranged alternately with transparent stones strung on threads and formed into collars. They are worn round the neck and wrists. They sell the gold to their neighbours at a cheap rate, exchanging it for three times the quantity of brass, and double the quantity of iron,302 through ignorance of the mode of working the gold, and the scarcity of the commodities received in exchange, which are more necessary for the purposes of life. [19]

The country of the Sabæi,303 a very populous nation, is contiguous, and is the most fertile of all, producing myrrh, frank- incense, and cinnamon. On the coast is found balsamum and another kind of herb of a very fragrant smell, but which is soon dissipated. There are also sweet-smelling palms and the calamus. There are snakes also of a dark red colour, a span in length, which spring up as high as a man's waist, and whose bite is incurable.

On account of the abundance which the soil produces, the people are lazy and indolent in their mode of life. The lower class of people live on roots, and sleep on the trees.

The people who live near each other receive, in continued succession, the loads [of perfumes] and deliver them to others, who convey them as far as Syria and Mesopotamia. When the carriers become drowsy by the odour of the aromatics, the drowsiness is removed by the fumes of asphaltus and of goat's beard.

Mariaba,304 the capital of the Sabæans, is situated upon a mountain, well wooded. A king resides there, who determines absolutely all disputes and other matters ; but he is forbidden to leave his palace, or if he does so, the rabble immediately assail him with stones, according to the direction of an oracle. He himself, and those about his person, pass their lives in effeminate voluptuousness.

The people cultivate the ground, or follow the trade of dealing in aromatics, both the indigenous sort and those brought from Ethiopia; in order to procure them, they sail through the straits in vessels covered with skins. There is such an abundance of these aromatics, that cinnamon, cassia, and other spices are used by them instead of sticks and firewood.

In the country of the Sabæans is found the larimnum, a most fragrant perfume.

By the trade [in these aromatics] both the Sabæans and the Gerrhæi have become the richest of all the tribes, and possess a great quantity of wrought articles in gold and silver, as couches, tripods, basins, drinking-vessels, to which we must add the costly magnificence of their houses; for the doors, walls, and roofs are variegated with inlaid ivory, gold, silver, and precious stones.

This is the account of Artemidorus.305 The rest of the description is partly similar to that of Eratosthenes, and partly derived from other historians. [20]

Some of these say, that the sea is red from the colour arising from reflection either from the sun, which is vertical, or from the mountains, which are red by being scorched with intense heat; for the colour, it is supposed, may be produced by both these causes. Ctesias of Cnidus speaks of a spring which discharges into the sea a red and ochrous water. Agatharchides, his fellow-citizen, relates, on the authority of a person of the name of Boxus, of Persian descent, that when a troop of horses was driven by a lioness in heat as far as the sea, and had passed over to an island, a Persian of the name of Erythras constructed a raft, and was the first person who crossed the sea to it; perceiving the island to be well adapted for inhabitants, he drove the herd back to Persia, and sent out colonists both to this and the other islands and to the coast. He [thus] gave his own name to the sea. But according to others, it was Erythras the son of Perseus who was the king of this country.

According to some writers, from the straits in the Arabian Gulf to the extremity of the cinnamon country is a distance of 5000 stadia,306 without distinguishing whether (the direction is) to the south or to the east.

It is said also that the emerald and the beryl are found in the gold mines. According to Poseidonius, an odoriferous salt is found in Arabia. [21]

The Nabatæans and Sabæans, situated above Syria, are the first people who occupy Arabia Felix. They were frequently in the habit of overrunning this country before the Romans became masters of it, but at present both they and the Syrians are subject to the Romans.

The capital of the Nabatæans is called Petra. It is situated on a spot which is surrounded and fortified by a smooth and level rock (petra), which externally is abrupt and precipitous, but within there are abundant springs of water both for domestic purposes and for watering gardens. Beyond the enclosure the country is for the most part a desert, particularly towards Judæa. Through this is the shortest road to Jericho, a journey of three or four days, and five days to the Phœnicon (or palm plantation). It is always governed by a king of the royal race. The king has a minister who is one of the Companions, and is called Brother. It has excellent laws for the administration of public affairs.

Athenodorus, a philosopher, and my friend, who had been at Petra, used to relate with surprise, that he found many Romans and also many other strangers residing there. He observed the strangers frequently engaged in litigation, both with one another and with the natives; but the natives had never any dispute amongst themselves, and lived together in perfect harmony. [22]

The late expedition307 of the Romans against the Arabians, under the command of Ælius Gallus, has made us acquainted with many peculiarities of the country. Augustus Cæsar despatched this general to explore the nature of these places and their inhabitants, as well as those of Ethiopia; for he observed that Troglodytica, which is contiguous to Egypt, bordered upon Ethiopia; and that the Arabian Gulf was extremely narrow, where it separates the Arabians from the Troglodytæ. It was his intention either to conciliate or subdue the Arabians. He was also influenced by the report, which had prevailed from all time, that this people were very wealthy, and exchanged their aromatics and precious stones for silver and gold, but never expended with foreigners any part of what they received in exchange. He hoped to acquire either opulent friends, or to overcome opulent enemies. He was moreover encouraged to undertake this enterprise by the expectation of assistance from the Nabatæans, who promised to co-operate with him in everything. [23]

Upon these inducements Gallus set out on the expedition. But he was deceived by Syllæus, the [king's] minister of the Nabatæans, who had promised to be his guide on the march, and to assist him in the execution of his design. Syllæus was however treacherous throughout; for he neither guided them by a safe course by sea along the coast, nor by a safe road for the army, as he promised, but exposed both the fleet and the army to danger, by directing them where there was no road, or the road was impracticable, where they were obliged to make long circuits, or to pass through tracts of country destitute of everything ; he led the fleet along a rocky coast without harbours, or to places abounding with rocks concealed under water, or with shallows. In places of this description particularly, the flowing and ebbing of the tide did them the most harm.

The first mistake consisted in building long vessels [of war] at a time when there was no war, nor any likely to occur by sea. For the Arabians, being mostly engaged in traffic and commerce, are not a very warlike people even on land, much less so at sea. Gallus, notwithstanding, built not less than eighty biremes and triremes and galleys (phaseli) at Cleopatris,308 near the old canal which leads from the Nile. When he discovered his mistake, he constructed a hundred and thirty vessels of burden, in which he embarked with about ten thousand infantry, collected from Egypt, consisting of Romans and allies, among whom were five hundred Jews and a thousand Nabatæans, under the command of Syllæus. After enduring great hardships and distress, he arrived on the fifteenth day at Leuce-Come, a large mart in the territory of the Nabatæans, with the loss of many of his vessels, some with all their crews, in consequence of the difficulty of the navigation, but by no opposition from an enemy. These misfortunes were occasioned by the perfidy of Syllæus, who insisted that there was no road for an army by land to Leuce-Come, to which and from which place the camel-traders travel with ease and in safety from Petra, and back to Petra, with so large a body of men and camels as to differ in no respect from an army. [24]

Another cause of the failure of the expedition was the fact of king Obodas not paying much attention to public affairs, and especially to those relative to war (as is the custom with all Arabian kings), but placed everything in the power of Syllæus the minister. His whole conduct in command of the army was perfidious, and his object was, as I suppose, to examine as a spy the state of the country, and to destroy, in concert with the Romans, certain cities and tribes; and when the Romans should be consumed by famine, fatigue, and disease, and by all the evils which he had treacherously contrived, to declare himself master of the whole country.

Gallus however arrived at Leuce-Come, with the army labouring under stomacacce and scelotyrbe, diseases of the country, the former affecting the mouth, the other the legs, with a kind of paralysis, caused by the water and the plants [which the soldiers had used in their food]. He was therefore compelled to pass the summer and the winter there, for the recovery of the sick.

Merchandise is conveyed from Leuce-Come to Petra, thence to Rhinocolura in Phœnicia, near Egypt, and thence to other nations. But at present the greater part is transported by the Nile to Alexandreia. It is brought down from Arabia and India to Myus Hormus, it is then conveyed on camels to Coptus309 of the Thebais, situated on a canal of the Nile, and to Alexandreia. Gallus, setting out again from Leuce-Come on his return with his army, and through the treachery of his guide, traversed such tracts of country, that the army was obliged to carry water with them upon camels. After a march of many days, therefore, he came to the territory of Aretas, who was related to Obodas. Aretas received him in a friendly manner, and offered presents. But by the treachery of Syllæus, Gallus was conducted by a difficult road through the country ; for he occupied thirty days in passing through it. It afforded barley, a few palm trees, and butter instead of oil.

The next country to which he came belonged to Nomades, and was in great part a complete desert. It was called Ararene. The king of the country was Sabos. Gallus spent fifty days in passing through this territory, for want of roads, and came to a city of the Negrani, and to a fertile country peacefully disposed. The king had fled, and the city was taken at the first onset. After a march of six days from thence, he came to the river. Here the barbarians attacked the Romans, and lost about ten thousand men; the Romans lost only two men. For the barbarians were entirely inexperienced in war, and used their weapons unskilfully, which were bows, spears, swords, and slings; but the greater part of them wielded a double-edged axe. Immediately afterwards he took the city called Asca, which had been abandoned by the king. He thence came to a city Athrula, and took it without resistance; having placed a garrison there, and collected provisions for the march, consisting of corn and dates, he proceeded to a city Marsiaba, belonging to the nation of the Rhammanitæ, who were subjects of Ilasarus. He assaulted and besieged it for six days, but raised the siege in consequence of a scarcity of water. He was two days' march from the aromatic region, as he was informed by his prisoners. He occupied in his marches a period of six months, in consequence of the treachery of his guides. This he discovered when he was returning; and although he was late in discovering the design against him, he had time to take another road back; for he arrived in nine days at Negrana, where the battle was fought, and thence in eleven days he came to the ‘Seven Wells,’ as the place is called from the fact of their existing there. Thence he marched through a desert country, and came to Chaalla a village, and then to another called Malothas, situated on a river. His road then lay through a desert country, which had only a few watering-places, as far as Egra310 a village. It belongs to the territory of Obodas, and is situated upon the sea. He accomplished on his return the whole distance in sixty days, in which, on his first journey, he had consumed six months. From Negra he conducted his army in eleven days to Myus Hormus; thence across the country to Coptus, and arrived at Alexandreia with so much of his army as could be saved. The remainder he lost, not by the enemy, but by disease, fatigue, famine, and marches through bad roads ; for seven men only perished in battle. For these reasons this expedition contributed little in extending our knowledge of the country. It was however of some small service.

Syllæus, the author of these disasters, was punished for his treachery at Rome. He affected friendship, but he was convicted of other offences, besides perfidy in this instance, and was beheaded. [25]

The aromatic country, as I have before said,311 is divided into four parts. Of aromatics, the frankincense and myrrh are said to be the produce of trees, but cassia the growth of bushes; yet some writers say, that the greater part (of the cassia) is brought from India, and that the best frankincense is that from Persia.

According to another partition of the country, the whole of Arabia Felix is divided into five kingdoms (or portions), one of which comprises the fighting men, who fight for all the rest; another contains the husbandmen, by whom the rest are supplied with food; another includes those who work at mechanical trades. One division comprises the myrrh region; another the frankincense region, although the same tracts produce cassia, cinnamon, and nard. Trades are not changed from one family to another, but each workman continues to exercise that of his father.

The greater part of their wine is made from the palm.

A man's brothers are held in more respect than his children. The descendants of the royal family succeed as kings, and are invested with other governments, according to primogeniture. Property is common among all the relations. The eldest is the chief. There is one wife among them all. He who enters the house before any of the rest, has intercourse with her, having placed his staff at the door; for it is a necessary custom, which every one is compelled to observe, to carry a staff. The woman however passes the night with the eldest. Hence the male children are all brothers. They have sexual intercourse also with their mothers. Adultery is punished with death, but an adulterer must belong to another family.

A daughter of one of the kings was of extraordinary beauty, and had fifteen brothers, who were all in love with her, and were her unceasing and successive visitors; she, being at last weary of their importunity, is said to have employed the following device. She procured staves to be made similar to those of her brothers; when one left the house, she placed before the door a staff similar to the first, and a little time afterwards another, and so on in succession, but making her calculation so that the person who intended to visit her might not have one similar to that at her door. On an occasion when the brothers were all of them together at the market-place, one left it, and came to the door of the house; seeing the staff there, and conjecturing some one to be in her apartment, and having left all the other brothers at the marketplace, he suspected the person to be an adulterer ; running therefore in haste to his father, he brought him with him to the house, but it was proved that he had falsely accused his sister. [26]

The Nabatæans are prudent, and fond of accumulating property. The community fine a person who has diminished his substance, and confer honours on him who has increased it. They have few slaves, and are served for the most part by their relations, or by one another, or each person is his own servant; and this custom extends even to their kings. They eat their meals in companies consisting of thirteen persons. Each party is attended by two musicians. But the king gives many entertainments in great buildings. No one drinks more than eleven [appointed] cupfuls, from separate cups, each of gold.

The king courts popular favour so much, that he is not only his own servant, but sometimes he himself ministers to others. He frequently renders an account [of his administration] before the people, and sometimes an inquiry is made into his mode of life. The houses are sumptuous, and of stone. The cities are without walls, on account of the peace [which prevails among them]. A great part of the country is fertile, and produces everything except oil of olives; [instead of it], the oil of sesamum is used. The sheep have white fleeces, their oxen are large; but the country produces no horses.312 Camels are the substitute for horses, and perform the [same kind of] labour. They wear no tunics, but have a girdle about the loins, and walk abroad in sandals.313 The dress of the kings is the same, but the colour is purple.

Some merchandise is altogether imported into the country, others are not altogether imports, especially as some articles are native products, as gold and silver, and many of the aromatics; but brass and iron, purple garments, styrax, saffron, and costus (or white cinnamon), pieces of sculpture, paintings, statues, are not to be procured in the country.

They look upon the bodies of the dead as no better than dung, according to the words of Heracleitus, ‘dead bodies more fit to be cast out than dung;’ wherefore they bury even their kings beside dung-heaps. They worship the sun, and construct the altar on the top of a house, pouring out libations and burning frankincense upon it every day. [27]

When the poet says, “‘I went to the country of the Ethiopians, Sidonians, and Erembi,’314” it is doubtful, what people he means by Sidonians, whether those who lived near the Persian Gulf, a colony from which nation are the Sidonians in our quarter (in the same manner as historians relate, that some Tyrian islanders are found there, and Aradii, from whom the Aradii in our country derive their origin), or whether the poet means actually the Sidonians themselves.

But there is more doubt about the Erembi, whether we are to suppose that he means the Troglodytæ, according to the opinion of those who, by a forced etymology, derive the word Erembi from ἔραν ἐμ<*>αίνειν, that is, ‘entering into the earth,’ or whether he means the Arabians. Zeno the philosopher of our sect alters the reading in this manner, “‘And Sidoni, and Arabes;’” but Poseidonius alters it with a small variation, “‘And Sidonii, and Arambi,’” as if the poet gave the name Arambi to the present Arabians, from their being so called by others in his time. He says also, that the situation of these three nations close to one another indicates a descent from some common stock, and that on this account they are called by names having a resemblance to one another, as Armenii, Aramæi, Arambi. For as we may suppose one nation to have been divided into three (according to the differences of latitude [in which they lived], which successively became more marked [in proceeding from one to the other]), so in like manner we may suppose that several names were adopted in place of one. The proposed change of reading to Eremni is not probable, for that name is more applicable to the Ethiopians. The poet mentions also the Arimi, whom Poseidonius says are meant here, and not a place in Syria or Cilicia, or any other country, but Syria itself. For the Aramæi lived there. Perhaps these are the people whom the Greeks called Arimæi or Arimi. But the alterations of names, especially of barbarous nations, are frequent, Thus Darius was called Darieces; Parysatis, Pharziris; Athara, Atargata, whom Ctesias again calls Derceto.315

Alexander might be adduced to bear witness to the wealth of the Arabians, for he intended, it is said, after his return from India, to make Arabia the seat of empire. All his enterprises terminated with his death, which happened suddenly; but certainly one of his projects was to try whether the Arabians would receive him voluntarily, or resist him by force of arms; for having found that they did not send ambassadors to him, either before or after his expedition to India, he was beginning to make preparations for war, as we have said in a former part of this work.

1 According to Dion Cassius, xviii. § 26, Aturia is synonymous with Assyria, and only differs from it by a barbarous pronunciation; which shows that the name Assyria belonged peculiarly to the territory of Nineveh.

2 Aiaghi-dagh.

3 It is to be remarked that the people bordering upon the Gordyæi are the only people of Mesopotamia here mentioned, for the whole of Mesopotamia, properly so called, is comprised under the name of Assyria.

4 The bridge or passage at the foot of the modern fortress Roum-Kala

5 P. xii. c. iii. § 5; Herod. i. 6 and 72.

6 Al. Lucan. b. xi. c. xii. § 4; b. xiv. c. v. § 18; b. xvi. c. ii. § 8.

7 Probably walls built for the protection of certain districts. Such was the διατείχισμα σεμιοͅάμιδος, constructed between the Euphrates and the Tigris, and intended, together with canals brought from those rivers, to protect Babylon from the incursions of the Arabian Scenitee or Medes. B. ii.

8 κλίμακες, roads of steep ascent, with steps such as may be seen in the Alps of Europe; the word differs from ὁδοὶ, roads below, inasmuch as the former roads are only practicable for travellers on foot and beasts of bur-then, the latter for carriages also.

9 The union of these two names, says Kramer, is remarkable, and still more so is the insertion of the article τῆς before them: he, therefore, but with some hesitation, suggests that the word μάχης has been omitted in the text by the copyist.

10 Assyrians.

11 Erbil.

12 Called also Zabus, Zabatus, and Zerbes, new the Great Zab.

13 Adopting Kramer's reading, καὶ .

14 Probably a branch of the Karadgeh-dagh.

15 The Little Zab, or Or.

16 As the name Artacene occurs nowhere else, Groskurd, following Cellarius (v. Geogr. Ant. i. 771), suspects that here we ought to read Arbelene, and would understand by it the same district which is called Arbelitis by Ptolemy, vi. 1, and by Pliny, H. N. vi. 13, § 16, but as this form of the national name is nowhere to be found, it would appear improper to introduce it into the text. It is more probable, continues Kramer, that Strabo wrote Adiabene, of which Arbelitis was a part, according to Pliny, loco citato.

17 The same, no doubt, as the goddess Anaitis. B. xi. c. viii. § 4, and b. xv. c. iii. §15.

18 All manuscripts agree in giving this number, but critics agree also in its being an error for 365. The number of stadia in the wall, according to ancient authors, corresponded with the number of days in the year.

19 That is, at a short distance from the Persian Gulf, a little more to the south than the modern town Basra.

20 Some extensive ruins near the angle formed by the Adhem (the ancient Physcus) and the Tigris, and the remains of the Nahr-awan canal, are said to mark the site of Opis.

21 The name Cœle-Syria, or Hollow Syria, which was properly applied to the district between Libanus and Antilibanus, was extended also to that part of Syria which borders upon Egypt and Arabia; and it is in this latter sense that Strabo here speaks of Cœle-Syria. So also Diodorus Siculus, i. § 30, speaks of ‘Joppa in Cœle-Syria;’ and Polybius, v. 80, § 2, of ‘Rhinocolura, the first of the cities in Cœle-Syria;’ and Josephus, Ant. Jud. xiii. 13, § 2, ‘of Scythopolis of Cœle-Syria.’

22 El-Arish.

23 El-Kas near Sebakit-Bardoil, the ancient lake Serbonis.

24 Barathra.

25 Strabo has misunderstood the meaning of Eratosthenes, who had said that the excess of the waters of the Euphrates sunk into the ground and reappeared under the form of torrents, which became visible near ‘Rhinocolura in Cœle-Syria and Mt. Casius,’ the Casius near Egypt. Our author properly observes that the length and nature of the course contradicts this hypothesis: but, misled by the names Cœle-Syria and Casius, he forgets that the Casius of Egypt and the district bordering upon Egypt, improperly called Cœle-Syria, are here in question; he transfers the first name to Cœle-Syria of Libanus, and the second to Mt. Casius near Seleucia and Antioch, and adds that, according to the notion of Eratosthenes, the waters of the Euphrates would have to traverse Libanus, Antilibanus, and the Casius (of Syria), whilst Eratosthenes has not, and could not, say any such thing. The hypothesis of Eratosthenes could not, indeed, be maintained, but Strabo renders it absurd. The error of our author is the more remarkable, as the name of the city Rhinocolura ought necessarily to have suggested to him the sense in which the words Casius and Cœle Syria should be understood.

26 καὶ οὕτως πλημμυρεῖν. These words are, as Kramer proposes, transferred from below. There can be no meaning given to them as they stand in the text, which is here corrupt.

27 Herod. i. 193.

28 Herod. i. 194.

29 Al-Madain.

30 Strabo probably here refers to Hecatompylos, which, in b. xi. c. ix. § 1, he calls ‘the royal seat of the Parthians,’ and which shared with Ecbatana the honour of being a residence of the Parthian kings. The name Hyrcania has here a wide meaning; the proper name would have been Parthia.

31 Cicero de Nat. Deor. i. § 5.

32 Descura. D'Anville.

33 Sus.

34 Asciac part of Khosistan.

35 Kerman.

36 Groskurd here supposes an omission by the copyist of the words ἑσπέοͅαν καί ποͅὸς before ἄοͅκτον.

37 Parætacene, Cossæa, and Elymaïs occupied the mountainous parts of Irak Adjami.

38 Aïaghi-dagh.

39 Media extended partly into Irak Adjami, and partly into Kurdistan.

40 ὕστεοͅον in the text must be omitted, or altered to ποͅότεοͅον, unless, as Kramer proposes, the words καὶ ποͅὸς τοὺς πέοͅσας be introduced into the text. Strabo frequently mentions together the three successive governments of Persians, Macedonians, and Parthians. B. xi. c. xiii. § 4, and c. xiv. § 15.

41 Mithridates I., son of Phraates, 163 B. C., and 124 years after the expedition of Antiochus.

42 Probably the Djerrahi.

43 On comparing this passage with others, (b. xi. c. xiv. § 12, and b. xvi. c. i. § 1, and c. i. § 8,) in which Strabo speaks of Adiabene, we perceive that he understood it to be a part of the country below the mountains of Armenia, and to the north of Nineveh, on both banks of the Tigris. Other authors have given a more extended meaning to the name, and applied it to the country on the north of the two rivers Zab, from whence (Amm. Marcel. xxiii. 5, 6) the name Adiabene appears to be derived. In this sense Adiabene may be considered the same as Assyria Proper.

44 B. xi. c. xiv. § 15.

45 Groskurd proposes reading Saulopodes, delicate walkers, in place of Saccopodes, sack-footed.

46 Herod. i. 198. Almost all the details concerning the Babylonian customs are taken from Herodotus, who sets them forth with greater clearness; there are, however, some differences, as, for example, the disposal of young women in marriage, and the different tribunals, which prove that Strabo had other sources of information.

47 Groskurd here suspects a corruption of the text, and for τούτου reads τοῦ ποͅώτου, ‘of the first,’ and for ἄλλου, ‘of another,’ δευτέοͅου, ‘of the second.’

48 Merkan.

49 El-der.

50 The Van. B. xi. c. xiv. § 8.

51 In b. xi. c. xiv. § 8, Strabo says that this lake contains one kind of fish only.

52 Now Roumkala, from the fortress which defends the passage of the river.

53 Nisibin.

54 Kara-dagh.

55 Sered.

56 Haran.

57 Racca.

58 B. C. 51.

59 Gordyæa was the most northerly part of Assyria, or Kurdistan, near the lake Van. From Carduchi, the name of the inhabitants, is derived the modern name Kurds.

60 Pliny, x. c. iii. and xxxvi. c. xix., calls it ‘Gagates lapis;’ a name derived, according to Dioscorides, from a river Gagas in Lycia.

61 Herod. vi. 199.

62 These appear to be the rivers found in the neighbourhood of Roha or Orfa, the ancient Edessa. One of these rivers bears the name of Beles, and is perhaps the Baseleios of Strabo. Chabur is the Aborrhas.

63 Probably an interpolation.

64 The passage of the Euphrates here in question was effected at the Zeugma of Commagene, called by Strabo the present passage. On passing the river you entered Anthemusia, a province which appears to have received, later on, the name of Osroene. It extended considerably towards the north, for in it the Aborrhas, according to Strabo, had its source; but it is doubtful whether it extended to the north of Mount Masius, where the latitudes, as given by Ptolemy, would place it. I do not exactly know whether Strabo intends to speak of a city or a province, for the position of the city is unknown; we only learn from a passage in Pliny, vi. c. xxvi., that it was not on the Euphrates. The word τόπος is not, I think, so applicable to a province as to a city, and in this last sense I have understood it, giving also to κατὰ the meaning of latitude, in which it is so often applied by Strabo; strictly speaking, the sense of ‘vis-á-vis,’ ‘opposite to,’ might be given to it.—Letronne.

65 This is an error of the author or of the copyist. Edessa (now Orfah) is not to be confounded with Bambyce (Kara-Bambuche, or Buguk Munbedj) of Cyrrhestica in Syria, which obtained its Hellenic name from Seleucus Nicator.

66 B. C. 54.

67 The Parthians became masters of Syria under Pacorus, and of Asia Minor under Labienus. B. C. 38.

68 Artavasdes, king of the Armenians. B. xi. c. xiii. § 4.

69 The text would lead us to suppose that Phraates succeeded Pacorus, whereas below, § 8, Pacorus, the eldest son of the Parthian king, died before his father, Orodes. Letronne, therefore, and Groskurd suppose that the words, ‘the son of Orodes,’ are omitted after ‘Pacorus’ above, and ‘his’ in the translation would then refer to Orodes.

70 See b. vi. c. iv. § 2, in which the motives for getting rid of these members of his family are not mentioned.

71 Judging from Arrian (Anab. v. § 25; vii. § 9; iii. § 8), the historians of Alexander, as well as more ancient authors, gave the name of Syria to all the country comprehended between the Tigris and the Mediterranean. The part to the east of the Euphrates, afterwards named Mesopotamia, was called ‘Syria between the rivers;’ that to the west was called by the general name Cœle-Syria, and although Phœnicia and Palestine were sometimes separated from it, yet it often comprehended the whole country as far as Egypt. Strabo below, c. ii. § 21, refers to this ancient division, when he says that the name Cœle-Syria extends to the whole country as far as Egypt and Arabia, although in its peculiar acceptation it applied only to the valley between Libanus and Antilibanus.

72 B. C. 70.

73 Antakieh.

74 Modern conjecture has identified it with Shogh and Divertigi.

75 Kulat-el-Mudik.

76 Ladikiyeh.

77 Mesopotamia in the text is no doubt an error of the copyist. We ought probably to read Commagene. Groskurd proposes to read ‘Commagene, like Mesopotamia, consisted of one satrapy.’ Groskurd's emendation of the text is followed, although not approved of, by Kramer.

78 These four portions were no doubt formed by the four hills contained within the circuit of Antioch. The circuit wall existed in the time of Pococke. The detailed and exact description given of it by this learned traveller, as also his plan of Antioch, agree with Strabo's account. Pococke, Descrip. of the East, ii. p. 190.

79 C. i. § 25.

80 Mount Soldin.

81 Orontes, or Nahr-el-Asy

82 Beit-el-ma.

83 B. xii. c. viii. § 19; b. xiii. c. iv. § 6.

84 Also Hierapolis, the modern Kara Bambuche.

85 Berœa owes its name to Seleucus Nicator, and continued to be so called till the conquest of the Arabs under Abu Obeidah, A. D. 638, when it resumed its ancient name of Chaleb, or Chalybon.

86 The territory subject to the town Cyrrhus, now Coro.

87 Baghras.

88 The modern names of the Arceuthus and Labotas are unknown.

89 The Afreen

90 B. C. 145.

91 A table.

92 Called Phraates by Pseudo-Appian, in Parthicis, p. 72.

93 Selefkeh.

94 Posidi, on the southern side of the bay, which receives the Orontes.

95 On Cape Ziaret.

96 B. C. 40.

97 The text is corrupt. The translation follows the proposed corrections of Letronne and Kramer.

98 Shizar, on the Orontes.

99 Cæcilius Bassus was besieged twice in Apameia, first by C. Antistius, afterwards by Marcus Crispus and Lucius Statius Marcius. Cassius succeeded in dispersing the troops of this rebel without much difficulty, according to Dion Cassius, xlvii. 27.

100 Arethusa, now Restan, was founded by Seleucus Nicator. According to Appian, Pompey subdued Sampsiceramus, who was king of Arethusa. On this account Cicero, in his letters to Atticus (ii. 14, 16, 17, 23), calls Pompey in derision Sampsiceramus. Antony put Iamblicus, son of Sampsiceramus, to death; but Augustus restored the small state of Arethusa to another Iamblicus, son of the former.

101 The people of Emesa, now Hems.

102 Balbek and Kalkos.

103 This Ptolemy, son of Mennæus, was master chiefly of Chalcis, at the foot of Libanus, from whence he made incursions on the territory of Damascus. Pompey was inclined to suppress his robberies, but Ptolemy softened his anger by a present of 1000 talents, which the Roman general applied to the payment of his troops. He remained in possession of his dominion until his death, and was succeeded by his son Lysanias, whom Cleopatra put to death, on the pretext that he had induced the Parthians to come into the country. Josephus, Bell. Jud.

104 One of the branches of Antilibanus.

105 This Alchædamnus is constantly called Alchcaudonius by Dion Cassius, whom he calls the ‘Arabian dynast.’ Falconer therefore inferred that here we ought to read αράβων instead of παμβαίων, but Letronne does not adopt this reading, and supposes the Rhambæi may have teen a tribe of the Arabians.

106 The text is here corrupt, and the passage, according to Kramer, probably introduced into the text from a marginal note.

107 παοͅαλία, but this is a correction for παλαιά, which Letronne proposes to correct for πεοͅαία, which is supported in § 13, below. The part of the continent opposite, and belonging to an island, was properly called Peræa, of which there are many examples. That part of Asia Minor which is opposite Rhodes was so called, b. xiv. c. v. § 11, as also the coast opposite Tenedos, b. xiii. c. i. § 46. Peræa was also adopted as a proper name. Livy, xxxiii. 18.

108 Pococke places Paltus at Boldo; Shaw, at the ruins at the mouth of the Melleck, six miles from Jebilee, the ancient Gabala.

109 Carnoon.

110 Ain-el-Hiyeh.

111 According to Pococke, the ruins of Aradus (Ruad) are half a mile to the north of Tortosa (Antaradus). It is remarkable that Strabo makes no mention of Antaradus, situated on the continent opposite Aradus; Pliny is the first author who speaks of it. Probably the place only became of note subsequent to the time of Strabo, and acquired power at the expense of some of the small towns here mentioned. Antaradus, reëstablished by Constantine, assumed the name of Constantia

112 Sumrah.

113 Ortosa.

114 Carnus.

115 The resistance of the sea water to the ascent of the fresh water is cut off by this ingenious contrivance, and the fresh water rises above the level of the sea through the pipe, by natural causes, the head or source of the spring being in the upper ground of the mainland. This fountain is now known by the name of Ain Ibrahim, Abraham's fountain.

116 B. xiv. c. v. § 2.

117 Greego.

118 If the words of the text, φέοͅει δέ καὶ, ‘it produces also,’ refer to the lake, our author would contradict himself; for below, § 41, he says that Jericho alone produces it. They must therefore be referred to ‘a hollow plain’ above; and the fact that they do so arises from the remarkable error of Strabo, in placing Judæa in the valley formed by Libanus and Antilibanus. From the manner in which he expresses himself, it is evident that he supposed the Jordan to flow, and the Lake Gennesaret to be situated, between these two mountains. As to the Lycus (the Nahr el Kelb), Strabo, if he had visited the country, would never have said that the Arabians transported upon it their merchandise. It is evident that he has confused the geography of all these districts, by transferring Judæa, with its lakes and rivers, to Cœle-Syria Proper; and here probably we may find the result of his first error in confounding Cœle-Syria Pro per with Cœle-Syria understood in a wider meaning. See above, c. i § 12.

119 Nahr-el-Kelb.

120 Iouschiah.

121 Gebail.

122 Beyrout.

123 Nahr-Ibrahim.

124 Josephus, i. 1.

125 Above, c. ii. § 3.

126 Ortosa.

127 Tineh.

128 Above, c. i. § 12, 15.

129 Nahr-Damur.

130 Sour.

131 Tyre—daughter of Zidon. Isaiah xxiii. 12.

132 In B. v. c. iii. § 7, Strabo tells us that Augustus prohibited houses being erected of more than 70 Roman feet in height.

133 Josephus (Antiq. Jud. xv. 4, § 1) states, that Mark Antony gave Cleopatra all the coast of Phœnicia, from Eleutheria to Egypt, with the exception of Tyre and Sidon, which he left in the enjoyment of their ancient independence. But according to Dion Cassius (lxiv. 7), Augustus arrived in the East in the spring of the year 734, B. C., or eighteen years before the Christian era, and deprived the Tyrians and Sidonians of their liberty, in consequence of their seditious conduct. It follows therefore, that if Strabo had travelled in Phœnicia, he must have visited Tyre before the above date, because his account refers to a state of things anterior to the arrival of Augustus in Syria; and in this case the information he gives respecting the state of the neighbouring cities must belong to the same date; but he speaks above (§ 19) of the order reëstablished by Agrippa at Beyrout, which was effected four years after the coming of Augustus into Syria. We must conclude, therefore, that Strabo speaks only by hearsay of the Phœnician cities, and that he had never seen the country itself. Letronne.

134 Il. xxiii. 743.

135 probably under Zenarchus of Seleucia, the Peripatetic philosopher whose lectures he attended. B. xiv. c. v. § 4.

136 Nahr-Quasmieh.

137 Vestiges of the ancient city still remain. Here was the celebrated temple of the Phœnician Hercules, founded according to Herodotus, ii. 44, before 2700 B. C.

138 Acre.

139 Letronne estimates this at a penny.

140 Athenæus, p. 742, Bohn's Class. Library.

141 The Tower of Strato was an ancient city almost in ruins, which was repaired, enlarged, and embellished by Herod with magnificent buildings; for he found there excellent anchorage, the value of which was increased by the fact of its being almost the only one on that dangerous coast. He gave it the name of Cæsarea, in honour of Augustus, and raised it to the rank of a city of the first order. The repairs of the ancient city, the Tower of Strato, or rather the creation of the new city Cæsarea, took place about eight or nine years B. C.; so that this passage of Strabo refers to an earlier period.

142 Josephus (Ant. Jud. xiv. 13, § 3) calls a district near Mount Carmel Drumos, employing the word δοͅυμός, a forest, as a proper name.

143 Jaffa.

144 Van Egmont (Travels, vol. i. p. 297) considers it impossible, from the character of the intervening country, to see Jerusalem from Joppa. Pococke, on the contrary, says, that it would not be surprising to see from the heights of Joppa, in fine weather, the summit of one of the high towers of Jerusalem; and this is not so unlikely, for according to Josephus the sea was visible from the tower of Psephina at Jerusalem.

145 Jebna.

146 Ras-el-Kasaroun.

147 Esdod.

148 Asculan.

149 Akaba or Akaba-Ila.

150 Near Suez.

151 Refah.

152 B. C. 218.

153 El Arish.

154 Sebaki-Bardoil.

155 The passage through which the lake discharged itself into the sea.

156 El-Cas.

157 It appears that in the time of Strabo and Josephus the temple of Jupiter only remained; at a later period a town was built there, of which Steph. Byzant., Ammianus Marcellinus, and others speak, and which became the seat of a bishopric.

158 B. xvi. c. iii. § 3.

159 B. xiv. c. v. § 3.

160 Arabia Petræa. Petra, now called Karac, was the capital.

161 Josephus, Ant. Jud. xiii. 9. 1.

162 § 27, above.

163 Jaffa.

164 Rabbath-Ammon, or Amma.

165 Herod rebuilt Samaria, and surrounded it with a vast enclosure. There also he erected a magnificent temple, and gave to the city the surname of Sebaste, in honour of Augustus.

166 In b. xiii, c. ii. § 5, our author again says that the Jews were originally Egyptians. So also Josephus, xiv. 7. 2.

167 ‘Judæi mente solâ, unumque numen intelligent, summum illud et eternum, neque mutabile, neque interiturum.’ Tacitus, Hist. v. c. 5.

168 Strabo here attributes to Moses the opinions of the Stoics.

169 Strabo appears to have had little acquaintance with the Jewish history previous to the return from captivity, nor any exact knowledge until the arrival of the Romans in Judæa. Of the Bible he does not seem to have had any knowledge.

170 Probably Strabo copies from accounts when the country was not well cultivated.

171 αἱ γυναῖκες ᾿ιουδαϊκῶς ἐκτετμημέναι, below, c. iv. § 9.

172 Diviners by the dead.

173 Diviners by a dish into which water was poured and little waxen images made to float.

174 Diviners by water.

175 ὡροσκόποι is the reading of the text, which Groskurd supposes to be a corruption of the Latin word Haruspex. I adopt the reading οἰωνοσκόποι, approved by Kramer, although he has not introduced it into the text.

176 According to Josephus, Johannes Hyrcanus dying, B. C. 107, was succeeded by Aristobulus, who took the title of king, this being the first instance of the assumption of that name among the Jews since the Babylonish captivity. Aristobulus, was succeeded by Alexander Jannæus, whose two sons were Hyrcanus II. and Aristobulus II., successively kings of Judæa, B. C. 67, 68.

177 B. C. 63.

178 Solomon's conduit was constructed on the hydraulic principle, that water rises to its own level. The Romans subsequently, being ignorant of this principle, constructed an aqueduct.

179 Balsamodendron Giliadense. Pliny xii. 25.

180 Medicago arborea.

181 The pistachia, b. xv. c. ii. § 10.

182 In. b. xvi. c. ii. § 16, our author says that it is found on the borders of the Lake Gennesareth.

183 It yields, during the hot season, an immense quantity of toddy or palm wine.

184 Obtained by boiling the branches of the balsamodendron in water, and skimming off the resin.

185 Strabo here commits the singular error of confounding the Lake Asphaltites, or the Dead Sea, with the Lake Sirbonis. Letronne attempts to explain the origin of the error. According to Josephus, the Peræa, or that part of Judæa which is on the eastern side of the Jordan, between the lake of Tiberias and the Dead Sea, contained a district (the exact position of which is not well known, but which, according to Josephus, could not be far from the Lake Asphaltites) called Silbonitis. The resemblance of this name to Sirbonis probably misled our author.

186 Specific gravity 1ċ211, a degree of density scarcely to be met with in any other natural water. Marcet's Analysis. Philos. Trans. part ii. page 298. 1807.

187 By chrysocolla of the ancients is generally understood borax, which cannot however be meant in this passage. It may probably here mean uric acid, the colour of which is golden.

188 A place near the Lake Asphaltites, called Masada by Josephus, de B. Jud. iv. 24, v. 3.

189 Genesis xiv. and Wisdom x. 6: ‘the fire which fell down on the five cities.’

190 In this quotation from Eratosthenes we are probably to understand the Lake Sirbonis, and not the Dead Sea; a continuation, in fact, of Strabo's first error. The translator adopts Kramer's suggestion of θετταλίαν for θάλατταν in the text.

191 ‘The salting station,’ on the lake of Gennesareth.

192 It has been a subject of dispute whether Herod was of Jewish or Idumæan origin.

193 Herod went to Rome B. C. 38, and obtained from the senate the title of king. In the dispute between Octavius and Antony, he espoused the cause of the latter. Octavius not only pardoned him and confirmed him in his title, but also added other cities to his dominions. B. C. 18.

194 The chief promoters of the crimes of Herod were Salome his sister, who desired to gratify her hatred; and Antipater, who aimed at the throne. Herod, influenced by their misrepresentations, put to death Mariamne his wife, Aristobulus her brother, and Alexandra her mother; also his sons Aristobulus and Alexander, besides Antipater, a third son, who had conspired against his life.

195 Augustus conferred on Archelaus the half of the kingdom of Herod with the title of ethnarch, promising to grant the title of king, should he prove worthy of it. The other half of the kingdom was separated into two tetrarchies, and divided between Philip and Antipas, two other sons of Herod.

196 Augustus not only confirmed to Salome the legacy made to her by Herod, of the towns Jamneia, Azoth, and Phasaëlis, but granted to her also the royal palace and domains of Ascalon.

197 This was Archelaus, whose tyranny was insupportable. He was accused by the chief Jews and Samaritans before Augustus, who exiled him to Vienne, to the south of Lyons, where he died the following year, A. D. 7.

198 This refers to the journey of Philip and Antipas to Rome. At the death of Herod, Archelaus went to Rome, A. D. 2, to solicit the confirmation of his father's will, in which he had been named king. The two brothers, Antipas and Philip, also went there, and the kingdom of Herod was divided as above stated, After the exile of Archelaus, his dominions were administered by his two brothers. Strabo does not appear to have been acquainted with the history of the two brothers after their return to Judæa; for otherwise he would not have omitted to mention the exile of Antipas. This tetrarch, it is known, went to Rome A. D. 38, to intrigue against his brother, of whom he was jealous; but he was himself accused by Agrippa of having intelligence with the Parthians, and was exiled to Lyons, A. D. 39.

199 C. i. § 21.

200 C. i. § 6.

201 C. iii. § 4.

202 The name Erythræan, or Red Sea, was extended to the whole of the Arabian Gulf, to the sea which surrounds Arabia to the south, and to a great part of the Persian Gulf.

203 The cape Harmozi, or Harmozon, is the cape Kuhestek of Carmania, Kerman, situated opposite to the promontory Maceta, so called from the Macæ, an Arabian tribe living in the neighbourhood. This last promontory is now called Mocandon, and is the ‘Asaborum promontorium’ of Ptolemy.

204 For a long period the Euphrates has ceased to discharge itself directly into the Persian Gulf, and now unites with the Tigris above 100 miles from the sea.

205 The reading followed, but not introduced into the text, by Kramer is that suggested by the corrections of Letronne and Groskurd, καὶ τὴν ᾿αράβων παραλίαν παραπλεύσαντα καθ̓ αὑτόν.

206 Peludje, at the entrance of the Gulf of Gran.

207 Heeren (Comment. Gotting. 1793. Vol. xi. pp. 66, 67) supposes that this city was founded by Chaldæans solely for the purpose of a depôt for the transit of goods to Babylon, the trade having for a long time been in the hands of the Phœnicians. He also conjectures that the most flourishing period of the town was when the Persians, for political reasons, destroyed the commerce of Babylon, and Gerrha then became the sole depôt for the maritime commerce of India.

208 El-Der.

209 The island Ormus, which before the year 1302 was called Turun or Gerun, from which the Greeks formed the names Tyros, Tyrine, Gyris, Gyrine, Ogyris, and Organa. Gossellin.

210 Arek.

211 Besides the islands Tyre and Aradus, there existed even in the time of Alexander, and near the present Cape Gherd, a city called Sidon or Sidodona, which was visited by Nearchus, as may be seen in his Periplus. The Phœnician inhabitants of these places appear to have afterwards removed to the western side of the Persian Gulf, and to the islands Bahrain, to which they gave the names Tylos, or Tyre, and Aradus. The latter name still exists; it was from this place that the Phœnicians moved, to establish themselves on the shores of the Mediterranean, and transferred the name of Sidon, their ancient capital, and those of Tyre and Aradus, to the new cities which they there founded. Gossellin.

212 As Nearchus in his voyage kept along the coast, this distance must not be understood as so much to the south of Carmania in the open sea, but as the distance from Cape Jask, the commencement of Carmania.

213 In Ptolemy, this island is called Vorochtha, now Vroct, or Kismis, or Dschisme.

214 καυσία, a broad-brimmed Macedonian hat.

215 Pliny, v. 21, mentions a place which he calls Massica, situated on the Euphrates, near the mouth of a canal which communicated with the Tigris near Seleucia. It is now called Masseib-khan, and is at a short distance above Babylon, on the borders of the desert. I do not know whether this is the Mæcene of Strabo. Gossellin.

216 Strabo here refers to the marsh lakes now called Mesdjed Hosaïn, Rahémah, Hour, &c. The Chaldæans whom he mentions occupied the country along the banks of the Euphrates to the coast of the Persian Gulf.

217 In Cashmir melons are now grown in the same manner. Humboldt remarks that the same contrivance is adopted in Mexico for the cultivation of vegetables.

218 Letronne here proposes to read Erythræan or Ethiopian Sea.

219 Mimosa Nilotica.

220 This is remarkable.

221 Cam Almanazil.

222 Mariaba was not the name of a city, but the title of a city acquired by the residence of their sovereigns. ‘Mariana oppidum,’ says Pliny, vi. 32, ‘significat dominos omnium.’ The capital was called Saba, now Sabbea; and the country in which it is situated is called Sabieh.

223 Yemen.

224 The people of Hadramaüt.

225 The extent was six times as large as the Delta.

226 Ailah, or Hœle, or Acaba-Ila.

227 C. ii. § 30.

228 The ruins are still visible at Abu-Keyschid.

229 Deire, or the ‘neck,’ so called from its position on a headland of the same name, was a town situated on the African shore of the straits of Babel-Mandeb, at their narrowest part.

230 The Troglodytica extended along the western side of the Arabian Gulf, from about the 19th degree of latitude to beyond the strait. According to Pliny, vi. c. 34, Sesostris conducted his army as far as the promontory Mossylicus, which I think is Cape Mete of the modern kingdom of Adel. Gossellin.

231 The 60 and 200 stadia assigned to the straits refer to the two passages there to be found. The 60 stadia agree with the distance of the eastern cape of Babelmandeb, the ancient Palindromos, to the island Mehun; and the 200 stadia to the distance of this island from the coast of Africa. In this last interval are the six islands of which Strabo speaks.

232 This passage has sometimes been mistaken to mean, that the region producing myrrh and cinnamon refers to the southern coast of Arabia. Our author here speaks of the coast of Africa, which extends from the Strait of Babelmandeb to Cape Guardafui. This space in following the coast is 160 or 165 leagues, which are equivalent to 5000 olympic stadia. Gossellin.

233 The long and interesting passage from § 5 to the end of § 20 is taken from Artemidorus, with the exception of a very few facts, which our author has taken from other sources, accompanied by observations of his own. On comparing this fragment of Artemidorus with the extracts of Agatharchides preserved by Photius, and the description of Arabia and Troglodytica which Diodorus Siculus (b. iii. 31) says he derived from Agatharchides, we find an identity, not only in almost all the details, but also in a great number of the expressions. It is, therefore, evident that Artemidorus, for this part of his work, scarcely did anything more than copy Agatharchides. Agatharchides, in his youth, held the situation of secretary or reader to Heraclides Lembus, who (according to Suidas) lived in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor. This king died B. C. 146. He wrote a work on Asia in 10 books, and one on Europe in 49 books; a geographical work on the Erythræan Sea in 5 books; a treatise on the Troglodyæ in 5 books; and other works. He wrote in the Attic dialect. His style, according to Photius, was dignified and perspicuous, and abounded in sententious passages, which inspired a favourable opinion of his judgment. In the composition of his speeches he was an imitator of Thucydides, whom he equalled in dignity, and excelled in clearness. His rhetorical talents also are highly praised by Photius. He was acquainted with the language of the Ethiopians, and appears to have been the first who discovered the true cause of the inundations of the Nile. See Smith, art. Agatharchides.

234 Ghela.

235 Kosseir.

236 Mouse Harbour, or Harbour of Venus.

237 Meleagrides.

238 Bender-el-Kebir.

239 Zemorget or Zamargat. The "Agathonis Insula' of Ptolemy.

240 Potlemy Philadelphus.

241 About 12 feet.

242 The whole of this description is so vague that it would be difficult to recognise the position of the places mentioned by Strabo without the assistance of scattered notices by other authors. The result of many comparisons leads me to fix upon 16° 58′ as about the latitude of Ptolemaïs Epitheras. Mount Taurus was 22 leagues higher up, and the harbour of the goddess Soteira 12 leagues beyond. Gossellin.

243 Letronne translates πτολεμαὶ̂ς πρὸς τῇ θήρᾳ as Ptolemaïs Epitheras; see c. iv. § 4.

244 Tacazze, which however does not appear to have such a branch.

245 These islands are to the north of Arkiko.

246 Gulf of Matzua.

247 From the position here assigned to the fortress of Suchus, it is impossible to place it at Suachem, as is commonly done. Gossellin.

248 An island Stratioton is mentioned in Pliny vi. 29, as though he had read in our author the word στρατιωτῶν, ‘the island of soldiers.’ As the island of Strato is named only in this extract from Artemidorus, we might be tempted to correct the text of Strabo by the text of Pliny. But as it is not certain that the two authors speak of one and the same island, it is more prudent to make no change. Du Theil.

249 I am not acquainted with this place. The ancients speak only of one town of the name of Saba (c. iv. § 19). Was there a town Saba which gave its name to the Sabaïtic Gulf? but the one in question does not appear to have been situated there. Gossellin.

250 B. C. 658.

251 The modern Senaar corresponds with the territory of the Sembritæ. See also b. xvii. c. i. § 2. Herodotus, b. ii. 30.

252 Tacazze.

253 The Blue Nile.

254 ἀκροδρύων is expressed in the Periplus of Agatharchides by the words τὸν καρπὸν πίπτοντα ἀπὸ τῶν δένδρων, ‘the fruit falling from the trees.’ The Periplus adds another tribe, the Hylophagi, ‘wood-eaters,’ who subsisted on the tender branches of certain trees. Strabo refers to them, b. xvii. c. ii. § 2, but without giving their name. The pods of the Lotus Zizyphus are eatable, and may here be meant.

255 Gymnetæ. Between the Spermophagi and the Creophagi, Agatharchides places another people called Cynegetæ. Strabo and Pliny do not mention them; but the sort of life the Gymnetæ, of which they both speak, lead resembles that of the Cynegetæ or Cynegi of Agatharchides and Diodorus Siculus (iii. 25). It seems therefore that these two authors, as well as Strabo and Pliny, meant here to speak of one and the same tribe of Ethiopian Gymnetæ, which might have been distinguished by the particular name of Cynegetæ, or Cynegi. Du Theil.

256 Above, c. ii. § 37.

257 Milkers of bitches.

258 This Berenice was also surnamed Epi Dire, because it was nearer the promontory Dire than the other cities of the same name. It is probably Bailul, about 12 leagues to the north-west of Assab.

259 Assab or As-Sab.

260 Below, Artemidorus calls it the harbour of Eumenes, § 13.

261 Agatharchides, as quoted by Diodorus Sic. iii. 27, says expressly that this bird is the ostrich. May it be the cassowary?

262 Groskurd supposes the name of this nation has been omitted in the text, and proposes Acridophagi, or Locust-eaters.

263 According to Agatharchides and Diodorus Sic. iii. 28, the habit of living on locusts produced a kind of winged louse in the interior of the body; but this is denied by Niebuhr.

264 Above, § 4.

265 Pliny, xiii. 17; xv. 13.

266 Perhaps Zeila. Strabo is here describing the coast of the modem kingdom of Adel.

267 The Periplus of the Erythræan Sea indicates on this coast a place called Niloptolemæum, which appears to correspond with the mouth of the river Pedra. Gossellin.

268 Phleus schæoris. Linn.

269 Daphnus Parvus of the Periplus of the Erythræan Sea.

270 Now Fellis or Fel, which signifies Elephant in Arabic.

271 I think that there is something here omitted and wanting in the text of Strabo, as he seems to make Artemidorus say, that a little after Mount Elephas we find the Horn, or the Cape of the South; for this last appellation appears to have been applied to Cape Guardafui. But this cape, from the time of Philadelphus, and consequently before the period in which Artemidorus wrote, was known by the name of the Promontory of the Aromatics; this author therefore could not have confounded it with the Southern Horn. I have already come to the conclusion that the Southern Horn corresponds with the Southern Cape of Bandel-caus, where commences the desert coast of Ajan, the ancient Azania, respecting which Artemidorus confesses that he was unable to procure any information. It therefore appears to me, that the description which this author must have given of the coast of Africa, from Mount Elephas to the Southern Horn, and which Strabo should have copied, is now wanting in the text. This omission seems to have been noticed by some copyist, who thought to supply it by naming again, to the south of Mount Elephas, the altars of Pytholaus, Lichas, Pythangelus, and Leon, which Artemidorus had already spoken of, and which navigators meet with on the west, and before arriving at Mount Elephas. Gossellin.

272 The text of this paragraph is corrupt; but the reading followed is that suggested in a note by Kramer.

273 λέων μ́ρμηξ. Agatharchides calls them μυρμηκολέων, and Ælian simply μύρμηξ. What animal is intended by the name is uncertain. In b. xv. c. i. § 44, the marmot seems to be described.

274 What the words ἐπὶ σειρὰν mean is doubtful. Casaubon supposes that some words are wanting in the text; Groskurd proposes to read ἀπὸ κεφαλῆς ἐπὶ οὐρὰν, ‘from the head to the tail.’

275 The passage is corrupt, and some words are wanting to complete the sense. Groskurd proposes, ‘a span less.’

276 Pliny, viii. 29.

277 Ancient authors, under the name of Sphinx, generally describe the ape, Simia troglodyte of Gmelin. Du Theil.

278 Simia innuus.

279 Simia cepus.

280 The spotted hyæna.

281 See b. xv. c. 1, § 45.

282 The juice of the berries is a strong purge.

283 Above, § 5.

284 The bay of Heroopolis is the modern bay of Suez. In the text ‘Ælanitic bay,’ which is an error of the author or of the copyist.

285 An altar to Poseidon (Neptune), which was erected by Aristo, whom one of the Ptolemies had sent to explore the Arabian Gulf.

286 φοινικων, a grove of palm trees, is taken as a proper name by Diodorus Siculus, b. iii. 41.

287 Sheduan. The ‘Saspirene insula’ of Ptolemy.

288 Ras Mahomet, which terminates the south of the peninsula formed by the two bays, the Ælanitic running up to Petra, and that of Heroopolis running up to Suez. The meaning of Strabo seems to be, that this cape is in a direction due south of Petra and Palestine.

289 There is a wide difference of opinion among geographers with regard to the position of this important tribe in the modern map of Arabia. See Smith, art. Minæi.

290 The Maraneitæ appear to me to be the same people whom other geographers call Pharanitæ, and who received their name from their proximity to Cape Pharan, now Ras Mahomet. Gossellin.

291 Diodorus Siculus, iii. § 41, following Agatharchides, narrates the fact with greater precision. The Garindæi took advantage of the absence of the greater part of the Maraneitæ, and put to death those that remained. They then laid in wait for and massacred all those who were returning from the festival.

292 Gulf of Akaba.

293 ‘Light vessels.’ Diodorus Sic.

294 Thamud, formerly occupied by the ancient Thamudeni.

295 Shaur and Iobab?

296 Gibel Seik, Gibel el Hawene, and Gibel Hester.

297 The harbour of Charmothas seems to be the ancient Iambo, the ‘Iambia’ of Ptolemy, which now, from the accumulation of soil, is more than a day's journey into the interior of the country. It is in a fertile territory. The Arabs call it Iambo el Nakel, or Iambo of Palm Trees, to distinguish it from the new Iambo situated on an arid soil on the seacoast. Al Charm, in Arabic, signifies a fissure or opening in the mountains. It seems as if the Greeks had formed the name Charmothas from this word, mistaking the epithet given to the narrow entrance of the harbour of Iambo for the name of the town itself. Gossellin.

298 The Debæ occupied Sockia. The river which flows through the country is called Betius by Ptolemy.

299 ρὰ πλείω is Kramer's correction for παλαιὰ.

300 Some are called by Diodorus Siculus, iii. 44, and Agatharchides, Asilæi and Casandres or Gasandres.

301 Instead of εὔομβρος, Groskurd reads πάμφορος, ‘produces everything,’ following the fragments of Agatharchides and Diodorus Sic. b. iii. 44.

302 Groskurd's correction, σιδήρου for ἀργύρον, in the text, is adopted. But the passage is probably corrupt, and after σιδήρου we may read κὰ δεκαπλάσιον τοῦ ἀργύρου, ‘for ten times the quantity of silver,’ according to Bochart, and approved by Kramer.

303 The precise boundaries of Sabæa it is impossible to ascertain. The area we have presumed is comprised within the Arabian Sea W., the Persian Gulf E., the Indian Ocean S., and an irregular line skirting the desert, and running up in a narrow point to Idumæa N. See Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Geography, art. Saba. Milton appears to have been acquainted with the following passage from Diodorus Siculus, b. iii. 46, descriptive of Sabæa : ‘It is impossible to enumerate the peculiarities and nature of all these trees and plants, on account of the surpassing variety and body of perfume which fall upon and excite the senses, in a manner divine and beyond description. The mariner, as he sails even at a distance along the coast, has his share of enjoyment; for when the breezes of spring blow from off the land, the fragrance of the trees and shrubs is carried down to the shore; nor is it of the kind with which we are acquainted, proceeding from old and stored aromatics, but fresh and in full perfection from new-blown flowers, striking the inmost sense.’

304 The same as Saba; see c. iv. § 2.

305 The above details derived from Artemidorus, and by him from Agatharchides, would not be found in Eratosthenes, who lived before the time of Agatharchides.

306 We must not confound this measure with the 5000 stadia mentioned in c. iv. § 4. The distance here in question is that taken along the southern coast of Arabia from the straits to Kesem, the ancient Cane, through which passes now, as in former times, the greater part of the perfumes collected in Hadramaut and Seger. But this harbour is about the middle, and not at the extremity of the cinnamon-bearing country. Gossellin.

307 Cardinal Noris places these facts in the year of Rome 730, and quotes, besides Strabo, the historian Josephus. In following the last author, the Cardinal places the death of Obodas in the prefecture of C. Sentius Saturninus, about the year of Rome 740. After the death of Obodas, Æneas, afterwards called Aretas, took possession of the kingdom of the Nabatæans. Upon this Syllæus, the late king's minister, went to Rome, and declared before Augustus that Æneas, or Aretas, had no right to the kingdom. How this corrupt minister was punished by Augustus may be seen in Nicolas of Damascus and in Josephus. This Aretas must have reigned for a long time, to at least the last years of Tiberius. Du Theil. ‘The interest attaching to this expedition, which promises so much for the elucidation of the classical geography of Arabia, has hitherto served only still further to perplex it.’ The author of the article Marsyabæ in Smith's Dict. of Greek and Roman Geography, where the subject is discussed at some length.

308 Called also Arsinoë, b. xvii. c. i. § 25. It was near Heroopolis, or Suez.

309 Koft.

310 This name is variously written in manuscripts. If Negra be adopted, as by Letronne, it's not the same town as the city of the Negrani above mentioned, which was in the interior; but, as Kramer observes, ‘Mire corrupta est hæc ultima libri pars.’

311 B. xvi. c. iv. § 2.

312 See above, § 2.

313 This reminds us of the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist.

314 Od. iv. 84.

315 This subject was discussed in b. i. c. ii. § 34.

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