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 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,1 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,2 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,3 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.
1 About 12 feet.
2 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.
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