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 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,1 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.
1 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.
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