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 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.1 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 Lycus2 and the Jordan are navigated upwards chiefly by the Aradii, with vessels of burden.
1 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.
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