The Seventeenth Book contains the whole of Egypt and Africa.


WHEN we were describing Arabia, we included in the description the gulfs which compress and make it a peninsula, namely the Gulfs of Arabia and of Persis. We described at the same time some parts of Egypt, and those of Ethiopia, inhabited by the Troglodytæ, and by the people situated next to them, extending to the confines of the Cinnamon country.1

We are now to describe the remaining parts contiguous to these nations, and situated about the Nile. We shall then give an account of Africa, which remains to complete this treatise on Geography.

And here we must previously adduce the opinions of Eratosthenes. [2]

He says, that the Nile is distant from the Arabian Gulf towards the west 1000 stadia, and that it resembles (in its course) the letter N reversed. For after flowing, he says, about 2700 stadia from Meroë towards the north, it turns again to the south, and to the winter sunset, continuing its course for about 3700 stadia, when it is almost in the latitude of the places about Meroë. Then entering far into Africa, and having made another bend, it flows towards the north, a distance of 5300 stadia, to the great cataract;2 and inclining a little to the east, traverses a distance of 1200 stadia to the smaller cataract at Syene,3 and 5300 stadia more to the sea.4

Two rivers empty themselves into it, which issue out of some lakes towards the east, and encircle Meroë, a consider- able island.5 One of these rivers is called Astaboras,6 flowing along the eastern side of the island. The other is the Astapus, or, as some call it, Astasobas. But the Astapus7 is said to be another river, which issues out of some lakes on the south, and that this river forms nearly the body of the (stream of the) Nile, which flows in a straight line, and that it is filled by the summer rains; that above the confluence of the Astaboras and the Nile, at the distance of 700 stadia, is Meroë, a city having the same name as the island; and that there is another island above Meroë, occupied by the fugitive Egyptians, who revolted in the time of Psammitichus,8 and are called Sembritæ, or foreigners. Their sovereign is a queen, but they obey the king of Meroë.

The lower parts of the country on each side Meroë, along the Nile towards the Red Sea, are occupied by Megabari and Blemmyes, who are subject to the Ethiopians, and border upon the Egyptians; about the sea are Troglodytæ. The Troglodytæ, in the latitude of Meroë, are distant ten or twelve days' journey from the Nile. On the left of the course of the Nile live Nubæ in Libya, a populous nation. They begin from Meroë, and extend as far as the bends (of the river). They are not subject to the Ethiopians, but live independently, being distributed into several sovereignties.

The extent of Egypt along the sea, from the Pelusiac to the Canobic mouth, is 1300 stadia.

Such is the account of Eratosthenes. [3]

We must, however, enter into a further detail of particulars. And first, we must speak of the parts about Egypt, proceeding from those that are better known to those which follow next in order.

The Nile produces some common effects in this and the contiguous tract of country, namely, that of the Ethiopians above it, in watering them at the time of its rise, and leaving those parts only habitable which have been covered by the inundation; it intersects the higher lands, and all the tract elevated above its current on both sides, which however are uninhabited and a desert, from an absolute want of water. But the Nile does not traverse the whole of Ethiopia, nor alone, nor in a straight line, nor a country which is well inhabited. But Egypt it traverses both alone and entirely, and in a straight line, from the lesser cataract above Syene and Elephantina, (which are the boundaries of Egypt and Ethiopia,) to the mouths by which it discharges itself into the sea. The Ethiopians at present lead for the most part a wandering life, and are destitute of the means of subsistence, on account of the barrenness of the soil, the disadvantages of climate, and their great distance from us.

Now the contrary is the case with the Egyptians in all these respects. For they have lived from the first under a regular form of government, they were a people of civilized manners, and were settled in a well-known country; their institutions have been recorded and mentioned in terms of praise, for they seemed to have availed themselves of the fertility of their country in the best possible manner by the partition of it (and by the classification of persons) which they adopted, and by their general care.

When they had appointed a king, they divided the people into three classes, into soldiers, husbandmen, and priests. The latter had the care of everything relating to sacred things (of the gods), the others of what related to man; some had the management of warlike affairs, others attended to the concerns of peace, the cultivation of the ground, and the practice of the arts, from which the king derived his revenue.

The priests devoted themselves to the study of philosophy and astronomy, and were companions of the kings.

The country was at first divided into nomes.9 The Thebaïs contained ten, the Delta ten, and the intermediate tract sixteen. But according to some writers, all the nomes together amounted to the number of chambers in the Labyrinth. Now these were less than thirty [six]. The nomes were again divided into other sections. The greater number of the nomes were distributed into toparchies, and these again into other sections ; the smallest portions were the arouræ.

An exact and minute division of the country was required by the frequent confusion of boundaries occasioned at the time of the rise of the Nile, which takes away, adds, and alters the various shapes of the bounds, and obliterates other marks by which the property of one person is distinguished from that of another. It was consequently necessary to measure the land repeatedly. Hence it is said geometry originated here, as the art of keeping accounts and arithmetic originated with the Phœnicians, in consequence of their commerce.10

As the whole population of the country, so the separate population in each nome, was divided into three classes ; the territory also was divided into three equal portions.

The attention and care bestowed upon the Nile is so great as to cause industry to triumph over nature. The ground by nature, and still more by being supplied with water, produces a great abundance of fruits. By nature also a greater rise of the river irrigates a larger tract of land; but industry has completely succeeded in rectifying the deficiency of nature, so that in seasons when the rise of the river has been less than usual, as large a portion of the country is irrigated by means of canals and embankments, as in seasons when the rise of the river has been greater.

Before the times of Petronius there was the greatest plenty, and the rise of the river was the greatest when it rose to the height of fourteen cubits; but when it rose to eight only, a famine ensued. During the government of Petronius, however, when the Nile rose twelve cubits only, there was a most abundant crop; and once when it mounted to eight only, no famine followed. Such then is the nature of this provision for the physical state of the country. We shall now proceed to the next particulars. [4]

The Nile, when it leaves the boundaries of Ethiopia, flows in a straight line towards the north, to the tract called the Delta, then ‘cloven at the head,’ (according to the expression of Plato,) makes this point the vertex, as it were, of a triangle, the sides of which are formed by the streams, which separate on each side, and extend to the sea, one on the right hand to Pelusium, the other on the left to Canobus and the neighbouring Heracleium, as it is called ; the base is the coast lying between Pelusium and the Heracleium.

An island was therefore formed by the sea and by both streams of the river, which is called Delta from the resemblance of its shape to the letter (δ) of that name. The spot at the vertex of the triangle has the same appellation, because it is the beginning of the above-mentioned triangular figure. The village, also, situated upon it is called Delta.

These then are two mouths of the Nile, one of which is called the Pelusiac, the other the Canobic and Heracleiotic mouth. Between these are five other outlets, some of which are considerable, but the greater part are of inferior importance. For many others branch off from the principal streams, and are distributed over the whole of the island of the Delta, and form many streams and islands; so that the whole Delta is accessible to boats, one canal succeeding another, and navigated with so much ease, that some persons make use of rafts11 floated on earthen pots, to transport them from place to place.

The whole island is about 3000 stadia in circumference, and is called, as also the lower country, with the land on the opposite sides of the streams, the Delta.

But at the time of the rising of the Nile, the whole country is covered, and resembles a sea, except the inhabited spots, which are situated upon natural hills or mounds ; and considerable cities and villages appear like islands in the distant prospect.

The water, after having continued on the ground more than forty days in summer, then subsides by degrees, in the same manner as it rose. In sixty days the plain is entirely exposed to view, and dries up. The sooner the land is dry, so much the sooner the ploughing and sowing are accomplished, and it dries earlier in those parts where the heat is greater.

The country above the Delta is irrigated in the same manner, except that the river flows in a straight line to the distance of about 4000 stadia in one channel, unless where some island intervenes, the most considerable of which comprises the Heracleiotic Nome; or, where it is diverted by a canal into a large lake, or a tract of country which it is capable of irrigating, as the lake Mœris and the Arsinoïte Nome, or where the canals discharge themselves into the Mareotis.

In short, Egypt, from the mountains of Ethiopia to the vertex of the Delta, is merely a river tract on each side of the Nile, and rarely if anywhere comprehends in one continued line a habitable territory of 300 stadia in breadth. It resembles, except the frequent diversions of its course, a bandage rolled out.12

The mountains on each side (of the Nile), which descend from the parts about Syene to the Egyptian Sea,13 give this shape to the river tract of which I am speaking, and to the country. For in proportion as these mountains extend along that tract, or recede from each other, in the same degree is the river contracted or expanded, and they impart to the habitable country its variety of shape. But the country beyond the mountains is in a great measure uninhabited. [5]

The ancients understood more by conjecture than otherwise, but persons in later times learnt by experience as eyewitnesses, that the Nile owes its rise to summer rains, which fall in great abundance in Upper Ethiopia, particularly in the most distant mountains. On the rains ceasing, the fulness of the river gradually subsides. This was particularly observed by those who navigated the Arabian Gulf on their way to the Cinnamon country, and by those who were sent out to hunt elephants, or for such other purposes as induced the Ptolemies, kings of Egypt, to despatch persons in that direction. These sovereigns had directed their attention to objects of this kind, particularly Ptolemy surnamed Philadelphus, who was a lover of science, and on account of bodily infirmities always in search of some new diversion and amusement. But the ancient kings paid little attention to such inquiries, although both they and the priests, with whom they passed the greater part of their lives, professed to be devoted to the study of philosophy. Their ignorance therefore is more surprising, both on this account and because Sesostris had traversed the whole of Ethiopia as far as the Cinnamon country, of which expedition monuments exist even to the present day, such as pillars and inscriptions. Cambyses also, when he was in possession of Egypt, had advanced with the Egyptians as far even as Meroë; and it is said that he gave this name both to the island and to the city, because his sister, or according to some writers his wife, Meroë died there. For this reason therefore he conferred the appellation on the island, and in honour of a woman. It is surprising how, with such opportunities of obtaining information, the history of these rains should not have been clearly known to persons living in those times, especially as the priests registered with the greatest diligence in the sacred books all extraordinary facts, and preserved records of everything which seemed to contribute to an increase of knowledge. And, if this had been the case, would it be necessary to inquire what is even still a question, what can possibly be the reason why rain falls in summer, and not in winter, in the most southerly parts of the country, but not in the Thebaïs, nor in the country about Syene ? nor should we have to examine whether the rise of the water of the Nile is occasioned by rains, nor require such evidence for these facts as Poseidonius adduces. For he says, that Callisthenes asserts that the cause of the rise of the river is the rain of summer. This he borrows from Aristotle, who borrowed it from Thrasyalces the Thasian (one of the ancient writers on physics), Thrasyalces from some other person, and he from Homer, who calls the Nile ‘heaven-descended:’ “‘back to Egypt's heaven-descended stream.’14” But I quit this subject, since it has been discussed by many writers, among whom it will be sufficient to specify two, who have (each) composed in our times a treatise on the Nile, Eudorus and Aristo the Peripatetic philosopher. [They differ little from each other] except in the order and disposition of the works, for the phraseology and execution is the same in both writers. (I can speak with some confidence in this matter), for when at a loss (for manuscripts) for the purpose of comparison and copy, I collated both authors.15 But which of them surreptitiously substituted the other's account as his own, we may go to the temple of Ammon to be informed. Eudorus accused Aristo, but the style is more like that of Aristo.

The ancients gave the name of Egypt to that country only which was inhabited and watered by the Nile, and the extent they assigned to it was from the neighbourhood of Syene to the sea. But later writers, to the present time, have included on the eastern side almost all the tract between the Arabian Gulf and the Nile (the Æthiopians however do not make much use of the Red Sea); on the western side, the tract extending to the Auases and the parts of the sea-coast from the Canobic mouth of the Nile to Catabathmus, and the kingdom of Cyrenæa. For the kings who succeeded the race of the Ptolemies had acquired so much power, that they became masters of Cyrenæa, and even joined Cyprus to Egypt. The Romans, who succeeded to their dominions, separated Egypt, and confined it within the old limits.

The Egyptians give the name of Auases (Oases) to certain inhabited tracts, which are surrounded by extensive deserts, and appear like islands in the sea. They are frequently met with in Libya, and there are three contiguous to Egypt, and dependent upon it.

This is the account which we have to give of Egypt in general and summarily. I shall now describe the separate parts of the country and their advantages. [6]

As Alexandreia and its neighbourhood occupy the greatest and principal portion of the description, I shall begin with it.

In sailing towards the west, the sea-coast from Pelusium to the Canobic mouth of the Nile is about 1300 stadia in extent, and constitutes, as we have said, the base of the Delta. Thence to the island Pharos are 150 stadia more.

Pharos is a small oblong island, and lies quite close to the continent, forming towards it a harbour with a double entrance. For the coast abounds with bays, and has two promontories projecting into the sea. The island is situated between these, and shuts in the bay, lying lengthways in front of it.

Of the extremities of the Pharos, the eastern is nearest to the continent and to the promontory in that direction, called Lochias, which is the cause of the entrance to the port being narrow. Besides the narrowness of the passage, there are rocks, some under water, others rising above it, which at all times increase the violence of the waves rolling in upon them from the open sea. This extremity itself of the island is a rock, washed by the sea on all sides, with a tower upon it of the same name as the island, admirably constructed of white marble, with several stories. Sostratus of Cnidus, a friend of the kings, erected it for the safety of mariners, as the inscription imports.16 For as the coast on each side is low and without harbours, with reefs and shallows, an elevated and conspicuous mark was required to enable navigators coming in from the open sea to direct their course exactly to the entrance of the harbour.

The western mouth does not afford an easy entrance, but it does not require the same degree of caution as the other. It forms also another port, which has the name of Eunostus, or Happy Return: it lies in front of the artificial and close harbour. That which has its entrance at the above-mentioned tower of Pharos is the great harbour. These (two) lie contiguous in the recess called Heptastadium, and are separated from it by a mound. This mound forms a bridge from the continent to the island, and extends along its western side, leaving two passages only through it to the harbour of Eunostus, which are bridged over. But this work served not only as a bridge, but as an aqueduct also, when the island was inhabited. Divus Cæsar devastated the island, in his war against the people of Alexandreia, when they espoused the party of the kings. A few sailors live near the tower.

The great harbour, in addition to its being well enclosed by the mound and by nature, is of sufficient depth near the shore to allow the largest vessel to anchor near the stairs. It is also divided into several ports.

The former kings of Egypt, satisfied with what they possessed, and not desirous of foreign commerce, entertained a dislike to all mariners, especially the Greeks (who, on account of the poverty of their own country, ravaged and coveted the property of other nations), and stationed a guard here, who had orders to keep off all persons who approached. To the guard was assigned as a place of residence the spot called Rhacotis, which is now a part of the city of Alexandreia, situated above the arsenal. At that time, however, it was a village. The country about the village was given up to herds- men, who were also able (from their numbers) to prevent strangers from entering the country.

When Alexander arrived, and perceived the advantages of the situation, he determined to build the city on the (natural) harbour. The prosperity of the place, which ensued, was intimated, it is said, by a presage which occurred while the plan of the city was tracing. The architects were engaged in marking out the line of the wall with chalk, and had consumed it all, when the king arrived; upon which the dispensers of flour supplied the workmen with a part of the flour, which was provided for their own use; and this substance was used in tracing the greater part of the divisions of the streets. This, they said, was a good omen for the city. [7]

The advantages of the city are of various kinds. The site is washed by two seas; on the north, by what is called the Egyptian Sea, and on the south, by the sea of the lake Mareia, which is also called Mareotis. This lake is filled by many canals from the Nile, both by those above and those at the sides, through which a greater quantity of merchandise is imported than by those communicating with the sea. Hence the harbour on the lake is richer than the maritime harbour. The exports by sea from Alexandreia exceed the imports. This any person may ascertain, either at Alexandreia or Dicæarchia, by watching the arrival and departure of the merchant vessels, and observing how much heavier or lighter their cargoes are when they depart or when they return.

In addition to the wealth derived from merchandise landed at the harbours on each side, on the sea and on the lake, its fine air is worthy of remark: this results from the city being on two sides surrounded by water, and from the favourable effects of the rise of the Nile. For other cities, situated near lakes, have, during the heats of summer, a heavy and suffocating atmosphere, and lakes at their margins become swampy by the evaporation occasioned by the sun's heat. When a large quantity of moisture is exhaled from swamps, a noxious vapour rises, and is the cause of pestilential disorders. But at Alexandreia, at the beginning of summer, the Nile, being full, fills the lake also, and leaves no marshy matter which is likely to occasion malignant exhalations. At the same period, the Etesian winds blow from the north, over a large expanse of sea, and the Alexandrines in consequence pass their summer very pleasantly. [8]

The shape of the site of the city is that of a chlamys or military cloak. The sides, which determine the length, are surrounded by water, and are about thirty stadia in extent; but the isthmuses, which determine the breadth of the sides, are each of seven or eight stadia, bounded on one side by the sea, and on the other by the lake. The whole city is intersected by roads for the passage of horsemen and chariots. Two of these are very broad, exceeding a plethrum in breadth, and cut one another at right angles. It contains also very beautiful public grounds and royal palaces, which occupy a fourth or even a third part of its whole extent. For as each of the kings was desirous of adding some embellishment to the places dedicated to the public use, so, besides the buildings already existing, each of them erected a building at his own expense; hence the expression of the poet may be here applied, “‘one after the other springs.’17” All the buildings are connected with one another and with the harbour, and those also which are beyond it.

The Museum is a part of the palaces. It has a public walk and a place furnished with seats, and a large hall, in which the men of learning, who belong to the Museum, take their common meal. This community possesses also property in common; and a priest, formerly appointed by the kings, but at present by Cæsar, presides over the Museum.

A part belonging to the palaces consists of that called Sema, an enclosure, which contained the tombs of the kings and that of Alexander (the Great). For Ptolemy the son of Lagus took away the body of Alexander from Perdiccas, as he was conveying it down from Babylon; for Perdiccas had turned out of his road towards Egypt, incited by ambition and a desire of making himself master of the country. When Ptolemy had attacked [and made him prisoner], he intended to [spare his life and] confine him in a desert island, but he met with a miserable end at the hand of his own soldiers, who rushed upon and despatched him by transfixing him with the long Macedonian spears. The kings who were with him, Aridæus, and the children of Alexander, and Roxana his wife, departed to Macedonia. Ptolemy carried away the body of Alexander, and deposited it at Alexandreia in the place where it now lies; not indeed in the same coffin, for the present one is of hyalus (alabaster ?) whereas Ptolemy had deposited it in one of gold: it was plundered by Ptolemy surnamed Cocce's son and Pareisactus, who came from Syria and was quickly deposed, so that his plunder was of no service to him. [9]

In the great harbour at the entrance, on the right hand, are the island and the Pharos tower; on the left are the reef of rocks and the promontory Lochias, with a palace upon it: at the entrance, on the left hand, are the inner palaces, which are continuous with those on the Lochias, and contain numerous painted apartments and groves. Below lies the artificial and close harbour, appropriated to the use of the kings; and Antirrhodus a small island, facing the artificial harbour, with a palace on it, and a small port. It was called Antirrhodus, a rival as it were of Rhodes.

Above this is the theatre, then the Poseidium, a kind of elbow projecting from the Emporium, as it is called, with a temple of Neptune upon it. To this Antony added a mound, projecting still further into the middle of the harbour, and built at the extremity a royal mansion, which he called Timonium. This was his last act, when, deserted by his partisans, he retired to Alexandreia after his defeat at Actium, and intended, being forsaken by so many friends, to lead the [solitary] life of Timon for the rest of his days.

Next are the Cæsarium, the Emporium, and the Apostaseis, or magazines: these are followed by docks, extending to the Heptastadium. This is the description of the great harbour. [10]

Next after the Heptastadium is the harbour of Eunostus, and above this the artificial harbour, called Cibotus (or the Ark), which also has docks. At the bottom of this harbour is a navigable canal, extending to the lake Mareotis. Beyond the canal there still remains a small part of the city. Then follows the suburb Necropolis, in which are numerous gardens, burial-places, and buildings for carrying on the process of embalming the dead.

On this side the canal is the Sarapium and other ancient sacred places, which are now abandoned on account of the erection of the temples at Nicopolis; for [there are situated] an amphitheatre and a stadium, and there are celebrated quinquennial games; but the ancient rites and customs are neglected.

In short, the city of Alexandreia abounds with public and sacred buildings. The most beautiful of the former is the Gymnasium, with porticos exceeding a stadium in extent. In the middle of it are the court of justice and groves. Here also is a Paneium, an artificial mound of the shape of a fir-cone, resembling a pile of rock, to the top of which there is an ascent by a spiral path. From the summit may be seen the whole city lying all around and beneath it.

The wide street extends in length along the Gymnasium from the Necropolis to the Canobic gate. Next is the Hippodromos (or race-course), as it is called, and other buildings18 near it, and reaching to the Canobic canal. After passing through the Hippodromos is the Nicopolis, which contains buildings fronting the sea not less numerous than a city. It is 30 stadia distant from Alexandreia. Augustus Cæsar distinguished this place, because it was here that he defeated Antony and his party of adherents. He took the city at the first onset, and compelled Antony to put himself to death, but Cleopatra to surrender herself alive. A short time afterwards, however, she also put an end to her life secretly, in prison, by the bite of an asp, or (for there are two accounts) by the application of a poisonous ointment. Thus the empire of the Lagidæ, which had subsisted many years, was dissolved. [11]

Alexander was succeeded by Ptolemy the son of Lagus, the son of Lagus by Philadelphus, Philadelphus by Euergetes; next succeeded Philopator the lover19 of Agathocleia, then Epiphanes, afterwards Philometor, the son (thus far) always succeeding the father. But Philometor was succeeded by his brother, the second Euergetes, who was also called Physcon. He was succeeded by Ptolemy surnamed Lathurus, Lathurus by Auletes of our time, who was the father of Cleopatra. All these kings, after the third Ptolemy, were corrupted by luxury and effeminacy, and the affairs of government were very badly administered by them; but worst of all by the fourth, the seventh, and the last (Ptolemy), Auletes (or the Piper), who, besides other deeds of shamelessness, acted the piper; indeed he gloried so much in the practice, that he scrupled not to appoint trials of skill in his palace; on which occasions he presented himself as a competitor with other rivals. He was deposed by the Alexandrines; and of his three daughters, one, the eldest, who was legitimate, they proclaimed queen; but his two sons, who were infants, were absolutely excluded from the succession.

As a husband for the daughter established on the throne, the Alexandrines invited one Cybiosactes from Syria, who pretended to be descended from the Syrian kings. The queen after a few days, unable to endure his coarseness and vulgarity, rid herself of him by causing him to be strangled. She afterwards married Archelaus, who also pretended to be the son of Mithridates Eupator, but he was really the son of that Archelaus20 who carried on war against Sylla, and was afterwards honourably treated by the Romans. He was grandfather of the last king of Cappadocia in our time, and priest of Comana in Pontus.21 He was then (at the time we are speaking of) the guest of Gabinius, and intended to accompany him in an expedition against the Parthians,22 but unknown to Gabinius, he was conducted away by some (friends) to the queen, and declared king.

At this time Pompey the Great entertained Auletes as his guest on his arrival at Rome, and recommended him to the senate, negotiated his return, and contrived the execution of most of the deputies, in number a hundred, who had undertaken to appear against him: at their head was Dion the academic philosopher.

Ptolemy (Auletes) on being restored by Gabinius, put to death both Archelaus and his daughter;23 but not long after24 he was reinstated in his kingdom, he died a natural death, leaving two sons and two daughters, the eldest of whom was Cleopatra.

The Alexandrines declared as sovereigns the eldest son and Cleopatra. But the adherents of the son excited a se- dition, and banished Cleopatra, who retired with her sister into Syria.25

It was about this time that Pompey the Great, in his flight from Palæ-pharsalus,26 came to Pelusium and Mount Casium. He was treacherously slain by the king's party. When Cæsar arrived, he put the young prince to death, and sending for Cleopatra from her place of exile, appointed her queen of Egypt, declaring also her surviving brother, who was very young, and herself joint sovereigns.

After the death of Cæsar and the battle at Pharsalia, Antony passed over into Asia; he raised Cleopatra to the highest dignity, made her his wife, and had children by her. He was present with her at the battle of Actium, and accompanied her in her flight. Augustus Cæsar pursued them, put an end to their power, and rescued Egypt from misgovernment and revelry. [12]

At present Egypt is a (Roman) province, pays considerable tribute, and is well governed by prudent persons, who are sent there in succession. The governor thus sent out has the rank of king. Subordinate to him is the administrator of justice, who is the supreme judge in many causes. There is another officer, who is called Idiologus, whose business it is to inquire into property for which there is no claimant, and which of right falls to Cæsar. These are accompanied by Cæsar's freedmen and stewards, who are intrusted with affairs of more or less importance.

Three legions are stationed in Egypt, one in the city, the rest in the country. Besides these there are also nine Roman cohorts, three quartered in the city, three on the borders of Ethiopia in Syene, as a guard to that tract, and three in other parts of the country. There are also three bodies of cavalry distributed in convenient posts.

Of the native magistrates in the cities, the first is the expounder of the law, who is dressed in scarlet; he receives the customary honours of the country, and has the care of providing what is necessary for the city. The second is the writer of records, the third is the chief judge. The fourth is the commander of the night guard. These magistrates existed in the time of the kings, but in consequence of the bad administration of affairs by the latter, the prosperity of the city was ruined by licentiousness. Polybius expresses his indignation at the state of things when lie was there: he describes the inhabitants of the city to be composed of three classes; the (first) Egyptians and natives, acute but indifferent citizens, and meddling with civil affairs. Tile second, the mercenaries, a numerous and undisciplined body ; for it was an ancient custom to maintain foreign soldiers, who, from the worthlessness of their sovereigns, knew better how to govern than to obey. The third were the Alexandrines, who, for the same reason, were not orderly citizens;27 but still they were better than the mercenaries, for although they were a mixed race, yet being of Greek origin, they retained the customs common to the Greeks. But this class was extinct nearly about the time of Euergetes Physcon, in whose reign Polybius came to Alexandreia. For Physcon, being distressed by factions, frequently exposed the multitude to the attacks of the soldiery, and thus destroyed them. By such a state of things in the city the words of the poet (says Polybius) were verified: “‘The way to Egypt is long and vexatious.’28” [13]

Such then, if not worse, was the condition of the city under the last kings. The Romans, as far as they were able, corrected, as I have said, many abuses, and established an orderly government, by appointing vice-governors, nomarchs, and ethnarchs, whose business it was to superintend affairs of minor importance.

The greatest advantage which the city possesses arises from its being the only place in all Egypt well situated by nature for communication with the sea by its excellent harbour, and with the land by the river, by means of which everything is easily transported and collected together into this city, which is the greatest mart in the habitable world.

These may be said to be the superior excellencies of the city. Cicero, in one of his orations,29 in speaking of the revenues of Egypt, states that an annual tribute of 12,500 talents was paid to (Ptolemy) Auletes, the father of Cleopatra. If then a king, who administered his government in the worst possible manner, and with the greatest negligence, obtained so large a revenue, what must we suppose it to be at present, when affairs are administered with great care, and when the commerce with India and with Troglodytica has been so greatly increased ? For formerly not even twenty vessels ventured to navigate the Arabian Gulf, or advance to the smallest distance beyond the straits at its mouth; but now large fleets are despatched as far as India and the extremities of Ethiopia, from which places the most valuable freights are brought to Egypt, and are thence exported to other parts, so that a double amount of custom is collected, arising from imports on the one hand, and from exports on the other. The most expensive description of goods is charged with the heaviest impost; for in fact Alexandreia has a monopoly of trade, and is almost the only receptacle for this kind of merchandise and place of supply for foreigners. The natural convenience of the situation is still more apparent to persons travelling through the country, and particularly along the coast which commences at the Catabathmus; for to this place Egypt extends.

Next to it is Cyrenæa, and the neighboring barbarians, the Marmaridæ. [14]

From the Catabathmus30 to Parætonium is a run of 900 stadia for a vessel in a direct course. There is a city and a large harbour of about 40 stadia in extent, by some called the city Parætonium,31 by others, Ammonia. Between these is the village of the Egyptians, and the promontory Ænesisphyra, and the Tyndareian rocks, four small islands, with a harbour; then Drepanum a promontory, and Ænesippeia an island with a harbour, and Apis a village, from which to Parætonium are 100 stadia; [from thence] to the temple of Ammon is a journey of five days. From Parætonium to Alexandreia are about 1300 stadia. Between these are, first, a promontory of white earth, called Leuce-Acte, then Phœnicus a harbour, and Pnigeus a village; after these the island Sidonia (Pedonia ?) with a harbour; then a little further off from the sea, Antiphræ. The whole of this country produces no wine of a good quality, and the earthen jars contain more sea-water than wine, which is called Libyan;32 this and beer are the principal beverage of the common people of Alexandreia. Antiphræ in particular was a subject of ridicule (on account of its bad wine).

Next is the harbour Derrhis,33 which has its name from an adjacent black rock, resembling δέῤῥις, a hide. The neighbouring place is called Zephyrium. Then follows another harbour, Leucaspis (the white shield), and many others; then the Cynossema (or dog's monument); then Taposeiris, not that situated upon the sea; here is held a great public festival. There is another Taposeiris,34 situated at a considerable distance beyond the city (Alexandreia). Near this, and close to the sea, is a rocky spot, which is the resort of great numbers of people at all seasons of the year, for the purpose of feasting and amusement. Next is Plinthine,35 and the village of Nicium, and Cherronesus a fortress, distant from Alexandreia and the Necropolis about 70 stadia.

The lake Mareia, which extends as far as this place, is more than 150 stadia in breadth, and in length less than 300 stadia. It contains eight islands. The whole country about it is well inhabited. Good wine also is produced here, and in such quantity that the Mareotic wine is racked in order that it may be kept to be old.36 [15]

The byblus37 and the Egyptian bean grow in the marshes and lakes; from the latter the ciborium is made.38 The stalks of the bean are nearly of equal height, and grow to the length of ten feet. The byblus is a bare stem, with a tuft on the top. But the bean puts out leaves and flowers in many parts, and bears a fruit similar to our bean, differing only in size and taste. The bean-grounds present an agreeable sight, and afford amusement to those who are disposed to recreate themselves with convivial feasts. These entertainments take place in boats with cabins; they enter the thickest part of the plantation, where they are overshadowed with the leaves, which are very large, and serve for drinking-cups and dishes, having a hollow which fits them for the purpose. They are found in great abundance in the shops in Alexandreia, where they are used as vessels. One of the sources of land revenue is the sale of these leaves. Such then is the nature of this bean.

The byblus does not grow here in great abundance, for it is not cultivated. But it abounds in the lower parts of the Delta. There is one sort inferior to the other.39 The best is the hieratica. Some persons intending to augment the revenue, employed in this case a method which the Jews practised with the palm, especially the caryotic, and with the balsamum.40 In many places it is not allowed to be cultivated, and the price is enhanced by its rarity: the revenue is indeed thus increased, but the general consumption [of the article] is injured. [16]

On passing through the Canobic gate of the city, on the right hand is the canal leading to Canobus, close to the lake. They sail by this canal to Schedia, to the great river, and to Canobus, but the first place at which they arrive is Eleusis. This is a settlement near Alexandreia and Nicopolis, and situated on the Canobic canal. It has houses of entertainment which command beautiful views, and hither resort men and women who are inclined to indulge in noisy revelry, a prelude to Canobic life, and the dissolute manners of the people of Canobus.

At a little distance from Eleusis, on the right hand, is the canal leading towards Schedia. Schedia is distant four schoeni from Alexandreia. It is a suburb of the city, and has a station for the vessels with cabins, which convey the governors when they visit the upper parts of the country. Here is collected the duty on merchandise, as it is transported up or down the river. For this purpose a bridge of boats is laid across the river, and from this kind of bridge the place has the name of Schedia.

Next after the canal leading to Schedia, the navigation thence to Canobus is parallel to the sea-coast, extending from Pharos to the Canobic mouth. For between the sea and the canal, is a narrow band of ground, on which is situated the smaller Taposeiris, which lies next after Nicopolis, and Zephyrium a promontory, on which is a small temple dedicated to Venus Arsinoë.

Anciently, it is said, a city called Thonis stood there, which bears the name of the king, who entertained as his guests Menelaus and Helen. The poet thus speaks of the drugs which were given to Helen, “‘the potent drugs, which Polydamna, the wife of Thon, gave to Helen.’41” [17]

Canobus is a city, distant by land from Alexandreia 120 stadia. It has its name from Canobus, the pilot of Menelaus, who died there. It contains the temple of Sarapis, held in great veneration, and celebrated for the cure of diseases; persons even of the highest rank confide in them, and sleep there themselves on their own account, or others for them. Some persons record the cures, and others the veracity of the oracles which are delivered there. But remarkable above everything else is the multitude of persons who resort to the public festivals, and come from Alexandreia by the canal. For day and night there are crowds of men and women in boats, singing and dancing, without restraint, and with the utmost licentiousness. Others, at Canobus itself, keep hostelries situated on the banks of the canal, which are well adapted for such kind of diversion and revelry. [18]

Next to Canobus is Heracleium, in which is a temple of Hercules; then follows the Canobic mouth,42 and the commencement of the Delta.

On the right of the Canobic canal is the Menelaïte Nome, so called from the brother of the first Ptolemy, but certainly not from the hero (Menelaus), as some writers assert, among whom is Artemidorus.

Next to the Canobic mouth is the Bolbitine, then the Sebennytic, and the Phatnitic, which is the third in magnitude compared with the first two, which form the boundaries of the Delta. For it branches off into the interior, not far from the vertex of the Delta. The Mendesian is very near the Phatnitic mouth; next is the Tanitic, and lastly the Pelusiac mouth. There are others, which are of little consequence, between these, since they are as it were false mouths.

The mouths have entrances which are not capable of admitting large vessels, but lighters only, on account of the shallows and marshes. The Canobic mart is principally used as a mart for merchandise, the harbours at Alexandreia being closed, as I have said before.

After the Bolbitine mouth there runs out to a great distance a low and sandy promontory. It is called Agnu-ceras (or Willow Point). Then follows the watch-tower of Perseus,43 and the fortress of the Milesians. For in the time of Psammitichus, and when Cyaxares was king of the Medes, some Milesians with 30 vessels steered into the Bolbitine mouth, disembarked there, and built the above-mentioned fortress. Some time afterwards they sailed up to the Saitic Nome. and having conquered Inarus in an engagement at sea, founded the city Naucratis, not far above Schedia.

Next after the fortress of the Milesians, in proceeding towards the Sebennytic mouth, are lakes, one of which is called Butice, from the city Butus; then the city Sebennytice and Sais, the capital of the lower country; here Minerva is worshipped. In the temple there of this goddess, is the tomb of Psammitichus. Near Butus is Hermopolis, situated in an island, and at Butus is an oracle of Latona. [19]

In the interior above the Sebennytic and Phatnitic mouths is Xoïs, both an island and a city in the Sebennytic Nome. There are also Hermopolis, Lycopolis, and Mendes, where Pan44 is worshipped, and of animals a goat. Here, according to Pindar, goats have intercourse with women.

Near Mendes are Diospolis, and the lakes about it, and Leontopolis; then further on, the city Busiris,45 in the Busirite Nome, and Cynospolis.

Eratosthenes says, ‘That to repel strangers is a practice common to all barbarians, but that this charge against the Egyptians is derived from fabulous stories related of (one) Busiris and his people in the Busirite Nome, as some persons in later times were disposed to charge the inhabitants of this place with inhospitality, although in truth there was neither king nor tyrant of the name of Busiris: that besides there was a common saying, “'The way to Egypt is long and vexatious,'46” which originated in the want of harbours, and in the state of the harbour at Pharos, which was not of free access, but watched and guarded by herdsmen, who were robbers, and attacked those who attempted to sail into it. The Carthaginians drown [he says] any strangers who sail past, on their voyage to Sardinia or to the Pillars. Hence much of what is related of the parts towards the west is discredited. The Persians also were treacherous guides, and conducted the ambassadors along circuitous and difficult ways.’ [20]

Contiguous to the Busirite Nome are the Athribite Nome and the city Athribis; next the Prosopite Nome, in which latter is Aphroditopolis (the city of Venus). Above the Mendesian and the Tanitic mouths are a large lake, and the Mendesian and Leontopolite Nomes, and a city of Aphrodite (or Venus) and the Pharbetite Nome. Then follows the Tanitic, which some call the Saitic mouth, and the Tanite Nome,47 and in it Tanis a large city. [21]

Between the Tanitic and the Pelusiac mouths are lakes and large and continuous marshes, among which are numerous villages. Pelusium itself has many marshes lying around it, which some call Barathra (or water holes), and swamps. It is situated at a distance of more than 20 stadia from the sea. The circumference of the wall is 20 stadia. It has its name from the mud (πηλοῦ) of the swamps.48 On this quarter Egypt is difficult of access, i. e. from the eastern side towards Phœnicia and Judæa, and on the side of Arabia Nabatæa, which is contiguous; through which countries the road to Egypt lies.

The country between the Nile and the Arabian Gulf is Arabia, and at its extremity is situated Pelusium. But the whole is desert, and not passable by an army. The isthmus between Pelusium and the recess of the Arabian Gulf near Heroopolis is 1000 stadia; but, according to Poseidonius, less than 1500 stadia in extent. Besides its being sandy and without water, it abounds with reptiles, which burrow in the sand. [22]

In sailing up the river from Schedia to Memphis,49 on the right hand, are a great many villages extending as far as the lake Mareia, among which is that called the village of Chabrias. Upon the river is Hermopolis, then Gynæcopolis, and the Gynæcopolite Nome; next Momemphis and the Momemphite Nome. Between these places are many canals, which empty themselves into the lake Mareotis. The Momemphitæ worship Venus, and a sacred cow is kept there, as Apis is maintained at Memphis, and Mneyis50 at Heliopolis. These animals are regarded as gods, but there are other places, and these are numerous, both in the Delta and beyond it, in which a bull or a cow is maintained, which are not regarded as gods, but only as sacred. [23]

Above Momemphis are two nitre mines, which furnish nitre in large quantities, and the Nitriote Nome. Here Sarapis is worshipped, and they are the only people in Egypt who sacrifice a sheep. In this nome and near this place is a city called Menelaus. On the left hand in the Delta, upon the river, is Naucratis. At the distance of two schœni from the river is Saïs,51 and a little above it the asylum of Osiris, in which it is said Osiris is buried. This, however, is questioned by many persons, and particularly by the inhabitants of Philæ, which is situated above Syene and Elephantina. These people tell this tale, that Isis placed coffins of Osiris in various places, but that one only contained the body of Osiris, so that no one knew which of them it was; and that she did this with the intention of concealing it from Typhon,52 who might come and cast the body out of its place of deposit. [24]

This is the description of the country from Alexandreia to the vertex of the Delta.

Artemidorus says, that the navigation up the river is 28 schœni, which amount to 840 stadia, reckoning the schœnus at 30 stadia. When we ourselves sailed up the river, schoeni of different measures were used at different places in giving the distances, so that sometimes the received schœnus was a measure of 40 stadia and even more. That the measure of the schœnus was unsettled among the Egyptians, Artemidorus himself shows in a subsequent place. In reckoning the distance from Memphis to Thebais, he says that each schœnus consists of 120 stadia, and from the Thebaïs to Syene of 60 stadia. In sailing up from Pelusium to the same vertex of the Delta, is a distance, he says, of 25 schœni, or 750 stadia, and he employs the same measure.

On setting out from Pelusium, the first canal met with is that which fills the lakes, ‘near the marshes,’ as they are called. There are two of these lakes, situated upon the left hand of the great stream above Pelusium in Arabia. He mentions other lakes also, and canals in the same parts beyond the Delta.

The Sethroïte Nome extends along one of the two lakes. He reckons this as one of the ten nomes in the Delta. There are two other canals, which discharge themselves into the same lakes. [25]

There is another canal also, which empties itself into the Red Sea, or Arabian Gulf, near the city Arsinoë, which some call Cleopatris.53 It flows through the Bitter Lakes, as they are called, which were bitter formerly, but when the above-mentioned canal was cut, the bitter quality was altered by their junction with the river, and at present they contain excellent fish, and abound with aquatic birds.

The canal was first cut by Sesostris before the Trojan times, but according to other writers, by the son of54 Psammitichus, who only began the work, and afterwards died; lastly, Darius the First succeeded to the completion of the undertaking, but he desisted from continuing the work, when it was nearly finished, influenced by an erroneous opinion that the level of the Red Sea was higher than Egypt, and that if the whole of the intervening isthmus were cut through, the country would be overflowed by the sea. The Ptolemaic kings however did cut through it, and placed locks upon the canal,55 so that they sailed, when they pleased, without obstruction into the outer sea, and back again [into the canal].

We have spoken of the surfaces of bodies of water in the first part of this work.56 [26]

Near Arsinoë are situated in the recess of the Arabian Gulf towards Egypt, Heroopolis and Cleopatris; harbours, suburbs, many canals, and lakes are also near. There also is the Phagroriopolite Nome, and the city Phagroriopolis. The canal, which empties itself into the Red Sea, begins at the village Phaccusa, to which the village of Philon is contiguous. The canal is 100 cubits broad, and its depth sufficient to float a vessel of large burden. These places are near the apex of the Delta. [27]

There also are the city Bubastus57 and the Bubastite Nome, and above it the Heliopolite Nome. There too is Heliopolis, situated upon a large mound. It contains a temple of the sun, and the ox Mneyis, which is kept in a sanctuary, and is regarded by the inhabitants as a god, as Apis is regarded by the people of Memphis. In front of the mound are lakes, into which the neighbouring canal discharges itself. At present the city is entirely deserted. It has an ancient temple constructed after the Egyptian manner, bearing many proofs of the madness and sacrilegious acts of Cambyses, who did very great injury to the temples, partly by fire, partly by violence, mutilating [in some] cases, and applying fire [in others]. In this manner he injured the obelisks, two of which, that were not entirely spoilt, were transported to Rome.58 There are others both here and at Thebes, the present Diospolis, some of which are standing, much corroded by fire, and others lying on the ground. [28]

The plan of the temples is as follows.

At the entrance into the temenus is a paved floor, in breadth about a plethrum, or even less; its length is three or four times as great, and in some instances even more. This part is called Dromos, and is mentioned by Callimachus, “‘this is the Dromos, sacred to Anubis.’” Throughout the whole length on each side are placed stone sphinxes, at the distance of 20 cubits or a little more from each other, so that there is one row of sphinxes on the right hand, and another on the left. Next after the sphinxes is a large propylon, then on proceeding further, another propylon, and then another. Neither the number of the propyla nor of the sphinxes is determined by any rule. They are different in different temples, as well as the length and breadth of the Dromi.

Next to the propyla is the naos, which has a large and considerable pronaos; the sanctuary in proportion; there is no statue, at least not in human shape, but a representation of some of the brute animals. On each side of the pronaos project what are called the wings. These are two walls of equal height with the naos. At first the distance between them is a little more than the breadth of the foundation of the naos.59 As you proceed onwards, the [base] lines incline towards one another till they approach within 50 or 60 cubits. These walls have large sculptured figures, very much like the Tyrrhenian (Etruscan) and very ancient works among the Greeks.

There is also a building with a great number of pillars, as at Memphis, in the barbaric style; for, except the magnitude and number and rows of pillars, there is nothing pleasing nor easily described,60 but rather a display of labour wasted. [29]

At Heliopolis we saw large buildings in which the priests lived. For it is said that anciently this was the principal residence of the priests, who studied philosophy and astronomy. But there are no longer either such a body of persons or such pursuits. No one was pointed out to us on the spot, as presiding over these studies, but only persons who performed sacred rites, and who explained to strangers [the peculiarities of] the temples.

A person of the name of Chæremon accompanied the governor, Ælius Gallus, in his journey from Alexandreia into Egypt, and pretended to some knowledge of this kind, but he was generally ridiculed for his boasting and ignorance. The houses of the priests, and the residences of Plato and of Eudoxus, were shown to us. Eudoxus came here with Plato, and, according to some writers, lived thirteen years in the society of the priests. For the latter were distinguished for their knowledge of the heavenly bodies, but were mysterious and uncommunicative, yet after a time were prevailed upon by courtesy to acquaint them with some of the principles of their science, but the barbarians concealed the greater part of them. They had, however, communicated the knowledge of the additional portions of the day and night, in the space of 365 days, necessary to complete the annual period; and, at that time, the length of the year was unknown to the Greeks, as were many other things, until later astronomers received them from the persons who translated the records of the priests into the Greek language, and even now derive knowledge from their writings and from those of the Chaldeans.61 [30]

After Heliopolis is the ‘Nile above the Delta.’ The country on the right hand, as you go up the Nile, is called Libya, as well as that near Alexandreia and the lake Mareotis; the country on the left hand is called Arabia. The territory belonging to Heliopolis is in Arabia, but the city Cercesura is in Libya, and situated opposite to the observatory of Eudoxus. For there is shown an observing station in front of Heliopolis, as there is in front of Cnidus, where Eudoxus marked certain motions of the heavenly bodies. This is the Letopolite Nome.

In sailing up the river we meet with Babylon, a strong fortress, built by some Babylonians who had taken refuge there, and had obtained permission from the kings to establish a settlement in that place. At present it is an encampment for one of the three legions which garrison Egypt. There is a mountainous ridge, which extends from the encampment as far as the Nile. At this ridge are wheels and screws, by which water is raised from the river, and one hundred and fifty prisoners are [thus] employed.

The pyramids on the other side [of the river] at Memphis may be clearly discerned from this place, for they are not far off. [31]

Memphis itself also, the residence of the kings of Egypt, is near, being only three schœni distant from the Delta. It contains temples, among which is that of Apis, who is the same as Osiris. Here the ox Apis is kept in a sort of sanctuary, and is held, as I have said, to be a god. The forehead and some other small parts of its body are white; the other parts are black. By these marks the fitness of the successor is always determined, when the animal to which they pay these honours dies. In front of the sanctuary is a court, in which there is another sanctuary for the dam of Apis. . Into this court the Apis is let loose at times, particularly for the purpose of exhibiting him to strangers. He is seen through a door in the sanctuary, and he is permitted to be seen also out of it. After he has frisked about a little in the court, he is taken back to his own stall.

The temple of Apis is near the Hephæsteium (or temple of Vulcan); the Hephæsteium62 itself is very sumptuously constructed, both as regards the size of the naos and in other respects. In front of the Dromos is a colossal figure consisting of a single stone. It is usual to celebrate bull-fights in this Dromos; the bulls are bred expressly for this purpose, like horses. They are let loose, and fight with one another, the conqueror receiving a prize.

At Memphis also there is a temple of Venus, who is accounted a Grecian deity. But some say that it is a temple dedicated to Selene, or the moon.63 [32]

There is also a temple of Sarapis, situated in a very sandy spot, where the sand is accumulated in masses by the wind. Some of the sphinxes which we saw were buried in this sand up to the head, and one half only of others was visible. Hence we may conceive the danger, should any one, in his way to the temple, be surprised by a [sand] storm.

The city is large and populous; it ranks next to Alexandreia, and, like that place, is inhabited by mixed races of people. There are lakes in front of the city and of the palaces, which at present are in ruins and deserted. They are situated upon an eminence, and extend as far as the lower part of the city.

Close to this place are a grove and a lake. [33]

At the distance of 40 stadia from Memphis is a brow of a hill, on which are many pyramids, the tombs of the kings.64 Three of them are considerable. Two of these are reckoned among the seven wonders [of the world]. They are a stadium in height, and of a quadrangular shape. Their height somewhat exceeds the length of each of the sides.65 One pyramid is a little larger than the other. At a moderate height in one of the sides66 is a stone, which may be taken out; when that is removed, there is an oblique passage [leading] to the tomb. They are near each other, and upon the same level. Farther on, at a greater height of the mountain, is the third pyramid, which is much less than the two others, but constructed at much greater expense; for from the found- ation nearly as far as the middle, it is built of black stone. Mortars are made of this stone, which is brought from a great distance; for it comes from the mountains of Ethiopia, and being hard and difficult to be worked, the labour is attended with great expense. It is said to be the tomb of a courtesan, built by her lovers, and whose name, according to Sappho the poetess, was Doriche. She was the mistress of her brother Charaxus, who traded to the port of Naucratis with wine of Lesbos. Others call her Rhodopis.67 A story is told of her, that, when she was bathing, an eagle snatched one of her sandals from the hands of her female attendant and carried it to Memphis; the eagle soaring over the head of the king, who was administering justice at the time, let the sandal fall into his lap. The king, struck with the shape of the sandal, and the singularity of the accident, sent over the country to discover the woman to whom it belonged. She was found in the city of Naucratis, and brought to the king, who made her his wife. At her death she was honoured with the above-mentioned tomb. [34]

One extraordinary thing which I saw at the pyramids must not be omitted. Heaps of stones from the quarries lie in front of the pyramids. Among these are found pieces which in shape and size resemble lentils.68 Some contain substances like grains half peeled. These, it is said, are the remnants of the workmen's food converted into stone; which is not probable.69 For at home in our country (Amasia), there is a long hill in a plain, which abounds with pebbles of a porus stone,70 resembling lentils. The pebbles of the sea-shore and of rivers suggest somewhat of the same difficulty [respecting their origin]; some explanation may indeed be found in the motion [to which these are subject] in flowing waters, but the investigation of the above fact presents more difficulty. I have said elsewhere,71 that in sight of the pyramids, on the other side in Arabia, and near the stone quarries from which they are built, is a very rocky mountain, called the Trojan mountain; beneath it there are caves, and near the caves and the river a village called Troy, an ancient settlement of the captive Trojans who had accompanied Menelaus and settled there.72 [35]

Next to Memphis is the city Acanthus, situated also in Libya, and the temple of Osiris, and the grove of the Thebaïc acantha, from which gum is procured. Next is the Aphroditopolite Nome, and the city in Arabia of the same name, where is kept a white cow, considered sacred. Then follows the Heracleote Nome, in a large island, near which is the canal on the right hand, which leads into Libya, in the direction of the Arsinoïte Nome; so that the canal has two entrances, a part of the island on one side being interposed between them.73 This nome is the most considerable of all in appearance, natural properties, and embellishment. It is the only nome planted with large, full-grown olive trees, which bear fine fruit. If the produce were carefully collected, good oil might be obtained; but this care is neglected, and although a large quantity of oil is obtained, yet it has a disagreeable smell. (The rest of Egypt is without the olive tree, except the gardens near Alexandreia, which are planted with olive trees, but do not furnish any oil.) It produces wine in abundance, corn, pulse, and a great variety of other grains. It has also the remarkable lake Mœris, which in extent is a sea, and the colour of its waters resembles that of the sea. Its borders also are like the sea-shore, so that we may make the same suppositions respecting these as about the country near Ammon. For they are not very far distant from one another and from Parætonium; and we may conjecture from a multitude of proofs, that as the temple of Ammon was once situated upon the sea, so this tract of country also bordered on the sea at some former period. But Lower Egypt and the country as far as the Lake Sirbonis were sea, and confluent perhaps with the Red Sea at Heroopolis, and the Ælanitic recess of the gulf. [36]

We have treated these subjects at length in the First Book of the Geography. At present we shall make a few remarks on the operations of nature and of Providence conjointly.—On the operations of nature, that all things converge to a point, namely, the centre of the whole, and assume a spherical shape around it. The earth is the densest body, and nearer the centre than all others: the less dense and next to it is water; but both land and water are spheres, the first solid, the second hollow, containing the earth within it.—On the operations of Providence, that it has exercised a will, is disposed to variety, and is the artificer of innumerable works. In the first rank, as greatly surpassing all the rest, is the generation of animals, of which the most excellent are gods and men, for whose sake the rest were formed. To the gods Providence assigned heaven; and the earth to men, the extreme parts of the world; for the extreme parts of the sphere are the centre and the circumference. But since water encompasses the earth, and man is not an aquatic, but a land-animal, living in the air, and requiring much light, Providence formed many eminences and cavities in the earth, so that these cavities should receive the whole or a great part of the water which covers the land beneath it; and that the eminences should rise and conceal the water beneath them, except so much as was necessary for the use of the human race, the animals and plants about it.

But as all things are in constant motion, and undergo great changes, (for it is not possible that things of such a nature, so numerous and vast, could be otherwise regulated in the world,) we must not suppose the earth or the water always to continue in this state, so as to retain perpetually the same bulk, without increase or diminution, or that each preserves the same fixed place, particularly as the reciprocal change of one into the other is most consonant to nature from their proximity; but that much of the land is changed into water, and a great portion of water becomes land, just as we observe great differences in the earth itself. For one kind of earth crumbles easily, another is solid and rocky, and contains iron; and so of others. There is also a variety in the quality of water; for some waters are saline, others sweet and potable, others medicinal, and either salutary or noxious, others cold or hot Is it therefore surprising that some parts of the earth which are now inhabited should formerly have been occupied by sea, and that what are now seas should formerly have been inhabited land ? so also fountains once existing have failed, and others have burst forth; and similarly in the case of rivers and lakes: again, mountains and plains have been converted reciprocally one into the other. On this subject I have spoken before at length,74 and now let this be said: [37]

The lake Mœris, by its magnitude and depth, is able to sustain the superabundance of water which flows into it at the time of the rise of the river, without overflowing the inhabited and cultivated parts of the country. On the decrease of the water of the river, it distributes the excess by the same canal at each of the mouths; and both the lake and the canal preserve a remainder, which is used for irrigation. These are the natural and independent properties of the lake, but in addition, on both mouths of the canal are placed locks, by which the engineers store up and distribute the water which enters or issues from the canal.

We have here also the Labyrinth, a work equal to the Pyramids, and adjoining to it the tomb of the king who constructed the Labyrinth.75 After proceeding beyond the first entrance of the canal about 30 or 40 stadia, there is a table-shaped plain, with a village and a large palace composed of as many palaces as there were formerly nomes. There are an equal number of aulæ, surrounded by pillars, and contiguous to one another, all in one line and forming one building, like a long wall having the aulæ in front of it. The entrances into the aulæ are opposite to the wall. In front of the entrances there are long and numerous covered ways, with winding passages communicating with each other, so that no stranger could find his way into the aulæ or out of them without a guide. The (most) surprising circumstance is that the roofs of these dwellings consist of a single stone each, and that the covered ways through their whole range were roofed in the same manner with single slabs of stone of extraordinary size, without the intermixture of timber or of any other material. On ascending the roof,—which is not of great height for it consists only of a single story,—there may be seen a stone- field, thus composed of stones. Descending again and looking76 into the aulæ, these may be seen in a line supported by twenty-seven pillars, each consisting of a single stone. The walls also are constructed of stones not inferior in size to these.

At the end of this building, which occupies more than a stadium, is the tomb, which is a quadrangular pyramid, each side of which is about four plethra in length, and of equal height. The name of the person buried there is Imandes.77 They built, it is said, this number of aulæ, because it was the custom for all the nomes to assemble there together according to their rank, with their own priests and priestesses, for the purpose of performing sacrifices and making offerings to the gods, and of administering justice in matters of great importance. Each of the nomes was conducted to the aula appointed for it. [38]

Sailing along to the distance of 100 stadia, we come to the city Arsinoë, formerly called Crocodilopolis; for the inhabitants of this nome worship the crocodile. The animal is accounted sacred, and kept apart by himself in a lake; it is tame, and gentle to the priests, and is called Suchus. It is fed with bread, flesh, and wine, which strangers who come to see it always present. Our host, a distinguished person, who was our guide in examining what was curious, accompanied us to the lake, and brought from the supper table a small cake, dressed meat, and a small vessel containing a mixture of honey and milk. We found the animal lying on the edge of the lake. The priests went up to it; some of them opened its mouth, another put the cake into it, then the meat, and afterwards poured down the honey and milk. The animal then leaped into the lake, and crossed to the other side. When another stranger arrived with his offering, the priests took it, and running round the lake, caught the crocodile, and gave him what was brought, in the same manner as before. [39]

Next after the Arsinoïte and Heracleotic Nomes, is the city of Hercules, in which the ichneumon is worshipped, in opposition to the Arsinoïtes, who worship crocodiles; hence the canal and the lake Mœris is full of these animals, for they venerate them, and are careful to do them no harm: but the Heracleotæ worship the ichneumon, which is most destructive both to crocodiles and asps. The ichneumons destroy not only the eggs of the latter, but the animals themselves. The ichneumons are protected by a covering of mud, in which they roll, and then dry themselves in the sun. They then seize the asps by the head or tail, and dragging them into the river, so kill them.

They lie in wait for the crocodiles, when the latter are basking in the sun with their mouths open; they then drop into their jaws, and eating through their intestines and belly, issue out of the dead body. [40]

Next follows the Cynopolite Nome and Cynopolis, where they worship the dog Anubis, and pay certain honours to dogs; a subsistence is there provided for them, as sacred animals.

On the other side of the river is the city Oxyrynchus,78 and a nome of the same name. They worship the oxyrynchus, and have a temple dedicated to this animal; but all the other Egyptians worship the oxyrynchus.79 For all the Egyptians worship in common certain animals; three among the land animals, the ox, the dog, and the cat; two among the winged tribe, the hawk and the ibis; and two of the aquatic animals, the fish lepidotus and the oxyrynchus. There are also other animals which each people, independently of others, worship; as the Saïtæ and Thebaïtæ, a sheep; the Latopolitæ, the latus, a fish inhabiting the Nile; the people of Lycopolis, a wolf; those of Hermopolis,80 the cynocephalus; those of Babylon,81 near Memphis, a cephus, which has the countenance of a satyr, and in other respects is between a dog and a bear; it is bred in Ethiopia. The inhabitants of Thebes worship an eagle; the Leontopolitæ, a lion; the Mendesians, a male and female goat; the Athribitæ, a shrewmouse; different people worshipping different animals. They do not, however, assign the same reasons for this difference of worship. [41]

Then follows the Hermopolite Castle, a place where is collected the toll on merchandise brought down from the Thebaïs. At this place begins the reckoning by schœni of sixty stadia each, which is continued to Syene and Elephantina. Next is the Thebaïc Keep, and a canal leading to Tanis. Then follow Lycopolis, Aphroditopolis, and Panopolis, an old settlement belonging to masons and weavers of linen. [42]

Then follows Ptolemaïs,82 the largest city in the Thebais, not inferior to Memphis, with a form of government after the Grecian mode. Above this city is Abydos, where is the palace of Memnon, constructed in a singular manner, entirely of stone,83 and after the plan of the Labyrinth, which we have described, but not composed of many parts. It has a fountain situated at a great depth. There is a descent to it through an arched passage built with single stones, of remarkable size and workmanship.

There is a canal which leads to this place from the great river. About the canal is a grove of Egyptian acanthus, dedicated to Apollo. Abydos seems once to have been a large city, second to Thebes. At present it is a small town. But if, as they say, Memnon is called Ismandes by the Egyptians, the Labyrinth might be a Memnonium, and the work of the same person who constructed those at Abydos and at Thebes; for in those places, it is said, are some Memnonia. In the latitude of Abydos is the first Auasis (Oasis) of the three which are said to be in Africa. It is distant from Abydos a journey of seven days through a desert. It is an inhabited place, well supplied with good water and wine, and sufficiently provided with other articles. The second is that near the lake Mœris. The third is that at the oracle of Ammon: these are considerable settlements. [43]

Having before spoken at length of the temple of Ammon, we wish to add this only, that in ancient times divination in general and oracles were held in greater esteem than at present. Now they are greatly neglected ; for the Romans are satisfied with the oracles of the Sibyl, and with Tyrrhenian divination by the entrails of animals, the flight of birds, and portentous appearances. Hence the oracle of Ammon, which was formerly held in great esteem, is now nearly deserted. This appears chiefly from the historians who have recorded the actions of Alexander, adding, indeed, much that has the appearance of flattery, but yet relating what is worthy of credit. Callisthenes, for instance, says that Alexander was ambitious of the glory of visiting the oracle, because he knew that Perseus and Hercules had before performed the journey thither. He set out from Parætonium, although the south winds were blowing, and succeeded in his undertaking by vigour and perseverance. When out of his way on the road, he escaped being overwhelmed in a sand-storm by a fall of rain, and by the guidance of two crows, which directed his course. These things are stated by way of flattery, as also what follows: that the priest permitted the king alone to pass into the temple in his usual dress, whereas the others changed theirs; that all heard the oracles on the outside of the temple, except Alexander, who was in the interior of the building; that the answers were not given, as at Delphi and at Branchidæ, in words, but chiefly by nods and signs, as in Homer; “‘the son of Saturn nodded with his sable brows,’84” the prophet imitating Jupiter. This, however, the man told the king, in express terms, that he was the son of Jupiter. Callisthenes adds, (after the exaggerating style of tragedy,) that when Apollo had deserted the oracle among the Branchidæ, on the temple being plundered by the Branchidæ (who espoused the party of the Persians in the time of Xerxes,) and the spring had failed, it then re-appeared (on the arrival of Alexander); that the ambassadors also of the Milesians carried back to Memphis numerous answers of the oracle respecting the descent of Alexander from Jupiter, and the future victory which he should obtain at Arbela, the death of Darius, and the political changes at Lacedæmon. He says also that the Erythræan Athenais, who resembled the ancient Erythræan Sibyl, had declared the high descent of Alexander. Such are the accounts of historians. [44]

At Abydos Osiris is worshipped; but in the temple of Osiris no singer, nor player on the pipe, nor on the cithara, is permitted to perform at the commencement of the ceremonies celebrated in honour of the god, as is usual in rites celebrated in honour of the other gods. Next to Abydos is the lesser Diospolis,85 then the city Tentyra,86 where the crocodile is held in peculiar abhorrence, and is regarded as the most odious of all animals. For the other Egyptians, although acquainted with its mischievous disposition, and hostility towards the human race, yet worship it, and abstain from doing it harm. But the people of Tentyra track and destroy it in every way. Some however, as they say of the Psyllians of Cyrenæa, possess a certain natural antipathy to snakes, and the people of Tentyra have the same dislike to crocodiles, yet they suffer no injury from them, but dive and cross the river when no other person ventures to do so. When crocodiles were brought to Rome to be exhibited, they were attended by some of the Tentyritæ. A reservoir was made for them with a sort of stage on one of the sides, to form a basking-place for them on coming out of the water, and these persons went into the water, drew them in a net to the place, where they might sun themselves and be exhibited, and then dragged them back again to the reservoir. The people of Tentyra worship Venus. At the back of the fane of Venus is a temple of Isis ; then follow what are called the Typhoneia, and the canal leading to Coptos,87 a city common both to the Egyptians and Arabians. [45]

Then follows the isthmus, extending to the Red Sea near Berenice,88 which has no harbour, but good landing-places, because the isthmus is conveniently situated. Philadelphus is said to be the first person that opened, by means of his army, this road, which had no supply of water, and to have provided stations.89 This he did because the navigation of the Red Sea was difficult, particularly to those who set out from the recess of the bay. Experience showed the great utility of this plan, and at present all the Indian, Arabian, and such Ethiopian merchandise as is imported by the Arabian Gulf is carried to Coptos, which is the mart for such commodities. Not far from Berenice is Myos Hormus,90 a city with a naval station for vessels which navigate this sea; at no great distance from Coptos is the city of Apollo, so that two cities are the boundaries of the isthmus, one on each side. But at present Coptos and Myos Hormus are in repute, and they are frequented.

Formerly, the camel-merchants travelled in the night, directing their course by observing the stars, and, like mariners, carried with them a supply of water. But now watering-places are provided: water is also obtained by digging to a great depth, and rain-water is found, although rain rarely falls, which is also collected in reservoirs. It is a journey of six or seven days.

On this isthmus are mines, in which the emeralds and other precious stones are found by the Arabians, who dig deep subterraneous passages. [46]

Next to the city of Apollo is Thebes, now called Diospolis, “‘with her hundred gates, through each of which issue two hundred men, with horses and chariots,’91” according to Homer, who mentions also its wealth; “‘not all the wealth the palaces of Egyptian Thebes contain.’92

Other writers use the same language, and consider Thebes as the metropolis of Egypt. Vestiges of its magnitude still exist, which extend 80 stadia in length. There are a great number of temples, many of which Cambyses mutilated. The spot is at present occupied by villages. One part of it, in which is the city, lies in Arabia; another is in the country on the other side of the river, where is the Memnonium. Here are two colossal figures near one another, each consisting of a single stone. One is entire; the upper parts of the other, from the chair, are fallen down, the effect, it is said, of an earthquake. It is believed, that once a day a noise as of a slight blow issues from the part of the statue which remains in the seat and on its base. When I was at those places with Ælius Gallus, and numerous friends and soldiers about him, I heard a noise at the first hour (of the day), but whether proceeding from the base or from the colossus, or produced on purpose by some of those standing around the base, I cannot confidently assert. For from the uncertainty of the cause, I am disposed to believe anything rather than that stones disposed in that manner could send forth sound.

Above the Memnonium are tombs of kings in caves, and hewn out of the stone, about forty in number; they are executed with singular skill, and are worthy of notice. Among the tombs93 are obelisks with inscriptions, denoting the wealth of the kings of that time, and the extent of their empire, as reaching to the Scythians, Bactrians, Indians, and the present Ionia; the amount of tribute also, and the number of soldiers, which composed an army of about a million of men.

The priests there are said to be, for the most part, astronomers and philosophers. The former compute the days, not by the moon, but by the sun, introducing into the twelve months of thirty days each five days every year. But in order to complete the whole year, because there is (annually) an excess of a part of a day, they form a period from out of whole days and whole years, the supernumerary portions of which in that period, when collected together, amount to a day.94 They ascribe to Mercury all knowledge of this kind. To Jupiter, whom they worship above all other deities, a virgin of the greatest beauty and of the most illustrious family (such persons the Greeks call pallades) is dedicated. She prostitutes herself with whom she pleases, until the time occurs for the natural purification of the body; she is afterwards married; but before her marriage, and after the period of prostitution, they mourn for her as for one dead. [47]

Next after Thebes is the city Hermonthis, in which both Apollo and Jupiter are worshipped. They also keep an ox there (for worship).

Next is the city of Crocodiles, the inhabitants of which worship this animal; then Aphroditopolis (the city of Venus),95 and next to it, Latopolis, where Minerva is worshipped, and the (fish) Latus; next, the city of Eileithyia, and a temple. In the country on the other side of the river is Hieraconpolis (the city of hawks), where a hawk is worshipped; then Apollonopolis, the inhabitants of which are at war with crocodiles. [48]

Syene is a city situated on the borders of Ethiopia and Egypt. Elephantina is an island in the Nile, at the distance of half a stadium in front of Syene; in this island is a city with a temple of Cnuphis, and a nilometer like that at Memphis. The nilometer is a well upon the banks of the Nile, constructed of close-fitting stones, on which are marked the greatest, least, and mean risings of the Nile; for the water in the well and in the river rises and subsides simultaneously. Upon the wall of the well are lines, which indicate the complete rise of the river, and other degrees of its rising. Those who examine these marks communicate the result to the public for their information. For it is known long before, by these marks, and by the time96 elapsed from the commencement, what the future rise of the river will be, and notice is given of it. This information is of service to the husbandmen with reference to the distribution of the water; for the purpose also of attending to the embankments, canals, and other things of this kind. It is of use also to the governors, who fix the revenue; for the greater the rise of the river, the greater it is expected will be the revenue.

At Syene there is a well which indicates the summer solstice, because these places lie under the tropical circle,97 [and occasions the gnomons to cast no shadows at midday].98 For on proceeding from the places in our country, in Greece I mean, towards the south, the sun is there first over our head, and occasions the gnomons to be without shadows at noon. When the sun is vertical to us, it must necessarily cast its rays down wells, however deep they may be, to the water. For we ourselves stand in a perpendicular position, and wells are dug perpendicular to the surface.

Here are stationed three Roman cohorts as a guard. [49]

A little above Elephantine is the lesser cataract, where the boatmen exhibit a sort of spectacle to the governors.

The cataract is in the middle of the river, and is formed by a ridge of rock, the upper part [or commencement] of which is level, and thus capable of receiving the river, but terminating in a precipice, where the water dashes down. On each side towards the land there is a stream, up which is the chief ascent for vessels. The boatmen sail up by this stream, and, dropping down to the cataract, are impelled with the boat to the precipice, the crew and the boats escaping unhurt.

A little above the cataract is Philæ, a common settlement, like Elephantina, of Ethiopians and Egyptians, and equal in size, containing Egyptian temples, where a bird, which they call hierax, (the hawk,) is worshipped; but it did not appear to me to resemble in the least the hawks of our country nor of Egypt, for it was larger, and very different in the marks of its plumage. They said that the bird was Ethiopian, and is brought from Ethiopia when its predecessor dies, or before its death. The one shown to us when we were there was sick and nearly dead. [50]

We came from Syene to Philæ in a waggon, through a very flat country, a distance of about 100 stadia.99 Along the whole road on each side we could see, in many places, very high rocks, round, very smooth, and nearly spherical, of black hard stone, of which mortars are made: each rested upon a greater stone, and upon this another: they were like hermæa.100 Sometimes these stones consisted of one mass. The largest was not less than twelve feet in diameter, and all of them exceeded this size by one half. We crossed over to the island in a pacton, which is a small boat made of rods, whence it resembles woven-work. Standing then in the water, (at the bottom of the boat,) or sitting upon some little planks, we easily crossed over, with some alarm indeed, but without good cause for it, as there is no danger if the boat is not overloaded. [51]

Throughout the whole of Egypt, the palm tree is of a bad species, and produces no good edible fruit in the places about the Delta and Alexandreia; yet the best kind is found in the Thebais. It is a subject of surprise how countries in the same latitude as Judæa, and bordering upon the Delta and Alexandreia, should be so different; for Judæa, in addition to other kinds of date-palms, produces the caryotic, which is not inferior to the Babylonian. There are, however, two kinds of dates in the Thebaïs and in Judæa, the caryotic and another. The Thebaic is firmer, but the flavour is more agreeable. There is an island remarkable for producing the best dates, and it also furnishes the largest revenue to the governors. It was appropriated to the kings, and no private person had any share in the produce; at present it belongs to the governors. [52]

Herodotus101 and other writers trifle very much when they introduce into their histories the marvellous, like (an interlude of) music and song, or some melody; for example, in asserting that the sources of the Nile are near the numerous islands, at Syene and Elephantina, and that at this spot the river has an unfathomable depth. In the Nile there are many islands scattered about, some of which are entirely covered, others in part only, at the time of the rise of the waters. The very elevated parts are irrigated by means of screw-pumps. [53]

Egypt was from the first disposed to peace, from having resources within itself, and because it was difficult of access to strangers. It was also protected on the north by a harbourless coast and the Egyptian Sea; on the east and west by the desert mountains of Libya and Arabia, as I have said before.102 The remaining parts towards the south are occupied by Troglodytæ, Blemmyes, Nubæ, and Megabari, Ethiopians above Syene. These are nomades, and not numerous nor warlike, but accounted so by the ancients, be- cause frequently, like robbers, they attacked defenceless persons. Neither are the Ethiopians, who extend towards the south and Meroë, numerous nor collected in a body; for they inhabit a long, narrow, and winding tract of land on the riverside, such as we have before described; nor are they well prepared either for war or the pursuit of any other mode of life.

At present the whole country is in the same pacific state, a proof of which is, that the upper country is sufficiently guarded by three cohorts, and these not complete. Whenever the Ethiopians have ventured to attack them, it has been at the risk of danger to their own country. The rest of the forces in Egypt are neither very numerous, nor did the Romans ever once employ them collected into one army. For neither are the Egyptians themselves of a warlike disposition, nor the surrounding nations, although their numbers are very large.

Cornelius Gallus, the first governor of the country appointed by (Augustus) Cæsar, attacked the city Heroopolis, which had revolted,103 and took it with a small body of men. He suppressed also in a short time an insurrection in the Thebais, which originated as to the payment of tribute. At a later period Petronius resisted, with the soldiers about his person, a mob of myriads of Alexandrines, who attacked him by throwing stones. He killed some, and compelled the rest to desist.

We have before104 related how Ælius Gallus, when he invaded Arabia with a part of the army stationed in Egypt, exhibited a proof of the unwarlike disposition of the people; and if Syllæus had not betrayed him, he would have conquered the whole of Arabia Felix. [54]

The Ethiopians, emboldened in consequence of a part of the forces in Egypt being drawn off by Ælius Gallus, who was engaged in war with the Arabs, invaded the Thebais, and attacked the garrison, consisting of three cohorts, near Syene; surprised and took Syene, Elephantina, and Philæ, by a sudden inroad; enslaved the inhabitants, and threw down the statues of Cæsar. But Petronius, marching with less than 10,000 infantry and 800 horse against an army of 30,000 men, first compelled them to retreat to Pselchis, an Ethiopian city. He then sent deputies to demand restitution of what they had taken, and the reasons which had induced them to begin the war. On their alleging that they had been ill treated by the nomarchs, he answered, that these were not the sovereigns of the country, but Cæsar. When they desired three days for consideration, and did nothing which they were bound to do, Petronius attacked and compelled them to fight. They soon fled, being badly commanded, and badly armed; for they carried large shields made of raw hides, and hatchets for offensive weapons; some, however, had pikes, and others swords. Part of the insurgents were driven into the city, others fled into the uninhabited country; and such as ventured upon the passage of the river escaped to a neighbouring island, where there were not many crocodiles on account of the current. Among the fugitives, were the generals of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians in our time, a masculine woman, and who had lost an eye. Petronius, pursuing them in rafts and ships, took them all and despatched them immediately to Alexandreia. He then attacked Pselchis105 and took it. If we add the number of those who fell in battle to the number of prisoners, few only could have escaped.

From Pselchis Petronius went to Premnis,106 a strong city, travelling over the hills of sand, beneath which the army of Cambyses was overwhelmed by the setting in of a whirlwind. He took the fortress at the first onset, and afterwards advanced to Napata.107 This was the royal seat of Candace ; and her son was there, but she herself was in a neighbouring stronghold. When she sent ambassadors to treat of peace, and to offer the restitution of the prisoners brought from Syene, and the statues, Petronius attacked and took Napata, from which her son had fled, and then razed it. He made prisoners of the inhabitants, and returned back again with the booty, as he judged any farther advance into the country impracticable on account of the roads. He strengthened, however, the fortifications of Premnis, and having placed a garrison there, with two years' provisions for four hundred men, returned to Alexandreia. Some of the prisoners were publicly sold as booty, and a thousand were sent to Cæsar, who had lately returned from the Cantabrians,108 others died of various diseases.

In the mean time Candace109 attacked the garrison with an army of many thousand men. Petronius came to its assistance, and entering the fortress before the approach of the enemy, secured the place by many expedients. The enemy sent ambassadors, but he ordered them to repair to Cæsar: on their replying, that they did not know who Cæsar was, nor where they were to find him, Petronius appointed persons to conduct them to his presence. They arrived at Samos, where Cæsar was at that time, and from whence he was on the point of proceeding into Syria, having already despatched Tiberius into Armenia. The ambassadors obtained all that they desired, and Cæsar even remitted the tribute which he had imposed.


IN the preceding part110 of this work we have spoken at length of Ethiopia, so that its description may be said to be included in that of Egypt.

In general, then, the extreme parts of the habitable world adjacent to the intemperate region, which is not habitable by reason either of heat or cold, must necessarily be defective and inferior, in respect to physical advantages, to the temper- ate region. This is evident from the mode of life of the inhabitants, and their want of what is requisite for the use and subsistence of man. For the mode of life [of the Ethiopians] is wretched; they are for the most part naked, and wander from place to place with their flocks. Their flocks and herds are small in size, whether sheep, goats, or oxen; the dogs also, though fierce and quarrelsome, are small.111 It was perhaps from the diminutive size of these people, that the story of the Pygmies originated, whom no person, worthy of credit, has asserted that he himself has seen. [2]

They live on millet and barley, from which also a drink is prepared. They have no oil, but use butter and fat instead.112 There are no fruits, except the produce of trees in the royal gardens. Some feed even upon grass, the tender twigs of trees, the lotus, or the roots of reeds. They live also upon the flesh and blood of animals, milk, and cheese. They reverence their kings as gods, who are for the most part shut up in their palaces.

Their largest royal seat is the city of Meroë, of the same name as the island. The shape of the island is said to be that of a shield. Its size is perhaps exaggerated. Its length is about 3000, and its breadth 1000 stadia. It is very mountainous, and contains great forests. The inhabitants are nomades, who are partly hunters and partly husbandmen. There are also mines of copper, iron, gold, and various kinds of precious stones. It is surrounded on the side of Libya by great hills of sand, and on that of Arabia by continuous precipices. In the higher parts on the south, it is bounded by the confluent113 streams of the rivers Astaboras,114 Astapus,115 and Astasobas. On the north is the continuous course of the Nile to Egypt, with its windings, of which we have spoken before. The houses in the cities are formed by interweaving split pieces of palm wood or of bricks.116 They have fossil salt, as in Arabia. Palm, the persea117 (peach), ebony, and carob trees are found in abundance. They hunt elephants, lions, and panthers. There are also serpents, which encounter elephants, and there are many other kinds of wild animals, which take refuge, from the hotter and parched districts, in watery and marshy districts. [3]

Above Meroë is Psebo,118 a large lake, containing a well-inhabited island. As the Libyans occupy the western bank of the Nile, and the Ethiopians the country on the other side of the river, they thus dispute by turns the possession of the islands and the banks of the river, one party repulsing the other, or yielding to the superiority of its opponent.

The Ethiopians use bows of wood four cubits long, and hardened in the fire. The women also are armed, most of whom wear in the upper lip a copper ring. They wear sheepskins, without wool; for the sheep have hair like goats. Some go naked, or wear small skins or girdles of well-woven hair round the loins.

They regard as God one being who is immortal, the cause of all things; another who is mortal, a being without a name, whose nature is not clearly understood.

In general they consider as gods benefactors and royal persons, some of whom are their kings, the common saviours and guardians of all; others are private persons, esteemed as gods by those who have individually received benefits from them.

Of those who inhabit the torrid region, some are even supposed not to acknowledge any god, and are said to abhor even the sun, and to apply opprobrious names to him, when they behold him rising, because he scorches and tortures them with his heat; these people take refuge in the marshes.

The inhabitants of Meroë worship Hercules, Pan, and Isis, besides some other barbaric deity.119

Some tribes throw the dead into the river; others keep them in the house, enclosed in hyalus (oriental alabaster ?). Some bury them around the temples in coffins of baked clay. They swear an oath by them, which is reverenced as more sacred than all others.

Kings are appointed from among persons distinguished for their personal beauty, or by their breeding of cattle, or for their courage, or their riches.

In Meroë the priests anciently held the highest rank, and sometimes sent orders even to the king, by a messenger, to put an end to himself, when they appointed another king in his place. At last one of their kings abolished this custom, by going with an armed body to the temple where the golden shrine is, and slaughtering all the priests.

The following custom exists among the Ethiopians. If a king is mutilated in any part of the body, those who are most attached to his person, as attendants, mutilate themselves in the same manner, and even die with him. Hence the king is guarded with the utmost care. This will suffice on the subject of Ethiopia. [4]

To what has been said concerning Egypt, we must add these peculiar products; for instance, the Egyptian bean, as it is called, from which is obtained the ciborium,120 and the papyrus, for it is found here and in India only; the persea (peach) grows here only, and in Ethiopia; it is a lofty tree, and its fruit is large and sweet; the sycamine, which produces the fruit called the sycomorus, or fig-mulberry, for it resembles a fig, but its flavour is not esteemed. The corsium also (the root of the Egyptian lotus) grows there, a condiment like pepper, but a little larger.

There are in the Nile fish in great quantity and of different kinds, having a peculiar and indigenous character. The best known are the oxyrynchus,121 and the lepidotus,122 the latus,123 the alabes,124 the coracinus,125 the chœrus, the phagrorius, called also the phagrus. Besides these are the silurus, the citharus,126 the thrissa,127 the cestreus,128 the lychnus, the physa, the bous (or ox), and large shell-fish which emit a sound like that of wailing

The animals peculiar to the country are the ichneumon and the Egyptian asp, having some properties which those in other places do not possess. There are two kinds, one a span in length, whose bite is more suddenly mortal than that of the other; the second is nearly an orguia129 in size, according to Nicander. the author of the Theriaca.

Among the birds, are the ibis and the Egyptian hawk, which, like the cat, is more tame than those elsewhere. The nycticorax is here peculiar in its character; for with us it is as large as an eagle, and its cry is harsh; but in Egypt it is the size of a jay, and has a different note. The tamest animal, however, is the ibis; it resembles a stork in shape and size. There are two kinds, which differ in colour; one is like a stork, the other is entirely black. Every street in Alexandreia is full of them. In some respects they are useful; in others troublesome. They are useful, because they pick up all sorts of small animals and the offal thrown out of the butchers' and cooks' shops. They are troublesome, because they devour everything, are dirty, and with difficulty prevented from polluting in every way what is clean and what is not given to them. [5]

Herodotus130 truly relates of the Egyptians, that it is a practice peculiar to them to knead clay with their hands, and the dough for making bread with their feet. Caces is a peculiar kind of bread which restrains fluxes. Kiki (the castor-oil bean) is a kind of fruit sowed in furrows. An oil is expressed from it which is used for lamps almost generally throughout the country, but for anointing the body only by the poorer sort of people and labourers, both men and women.

The coccina are Egyptian textures made of some plant,131 woven like those made of rushes, or the palm-tree.

Barley beet is a preparation peculiar to the Egyptians. It is common among many tribes, but the mode of preparing it differs in each.

This, however, of all their usages is most to be admired, that they bring up all children that are born. They circumcise the males, and spay the females, as is the custom also among the Jews, who are of Egyptian origin, as I said when I was treating of them.132

According to Aristobulus, no fishes ascend the Nile from the sea, except the cestreus, the thrissa, and dolphins, on account of the crocodiles; the dolphin, because it can get the better of the crocodile; the cestreus, because it is accompanied by the chœri along the bank, in consequence of some physical affinity subsisting between them. The crocodiles abstain from doing any hurt to the chœri, because they are of a round shape, and have spines on their heads, which are dangerous to them.. The cestreus runs up the river in spring, when in spawn; and descends a little before the setting of the pleiad, in great numbers, when about to cast it, at which time they are taken in shoals, by falling into inclosures (made for catching them). Such also, we may conjecture, is the reason why the thrissa is found there.

So much then on the subject of Egypt.


WE shall next describe Africa, which is the remaining portion of the whole description of the earth.

We have before said much respecting it; but at present I shall further describe what suits my purpose, and add what has not been previously mentioned.133

The writers who have divided the habitable world according to continents, divide it unequally. But a threefold division denotes a division into three equal parts. Africa, however, wants so much of being a third part of the habitable world, that, even if it were united to Europe, it would not be equal to Asia; perhaps it is even less than Europe; in resources it is very much inferior, for a great part of the inland and maritime country is desert. It is spotted over with small habitable parts, which are scattered about, and mostly belonging to nomade tribes. Besides the desert state of the country, its being a nursery of wild beasts is a hindrance to settlement in parts which could be inhabited. It comprises also a large part of the torrid zone.

All the sea-coast in our quarter, situated between the Nile and the Pillars, particularly that which belonged to the Carthaginians, is fertile and inhabited. And even in this tract, some spots destitute of water intervene, as those about the Syrtes, the Marmaridæ, and the Catabathmus.

The shape of Africa is that of a right-angled triangle, if we imagine its figure to be drawn on a plane surface. Its base is the coast opposite to us, extending from Egypt and the Nile to Mauretania and the Pillars; at right angles to this is a side formed by the Nile to Ethiopia, which side we continue to the ocean; the hypothenuse of the right angle is the whole tract of sea-coast lying between Ethiopia and Mauretania.

As the part situated at the vertex of the above-mentioned figure, and lying almost entirely under the torrid zone, is inaccessible, we speak of it from conjecture, and therefore cannot say what is the greatest breadth of the country. In a former134 part of this work we have said, that the distance proceeding from Alexandreia southwards to Meroë, the royal seat of the Ethiopians, is about 10,000 stadia; thence in a straight line to the borders of the torrid zone and the habitable country, 3000 stadia. The sum, therefore, may be assumed as the greatest breadth of Africa, which is 13,000 or 14,000 stadia: its length may be a little less than double this sum. So much then on the subject of Africa in general. I am now to describe its several parts, beginning from the most celebrated on the west. [2]

Here dwell a people called by the Greeks Maurusii, and by the Romans and the natives Mauri, a populous and flourishing African nation, situated opposite to Spain, on the other side of the strait, at the Pillars of Hercules, which we have frequently mentioned before. On proceeding beyond the strait at the Pillars, with Africa on the left hand, we come to a mountain which the Greeks call Atlas, and the barbarians Dyris. Thence projects into the sea a point formed by the foot of the mountain towards the west of Mauretania, and called the Coteis.135 Near it is a small town, a little above the sea, which the barbarians call Trinx; Artemidorus, Lynx; and Eratosthenes, Lixus.136 It lies on the side of the strait opposite to Gadeira,137 from which it is separated by a passage of 800 stadia, the width of the strait at the Pillars between both places. To the south, near Lixus and the Coteis, is a bay called Emporicus,138 having upon it Phoenician mercantile settlements. The whole coast continuous with this bay abounds with them. Subtracting these bays, and the projections of land in the triangular figure which I have described, the continent may rather be considered as increasing in magnitude in the direction of south and east. The mountain which extends through the middle of Mauretania, from the Coteis to the Syrtes, is itself inhabited, as well as others running parallel to it, first by the Maurusii, but deep in the interior of the country by the largest of the African tribes, called Gætuli. [3]

Historians, beginning with the voyage of Ophelas (Apellas ?),139 have invented a great number of fables respecting the sea-coast of Africa beyond the Pillars. We have mentioned them before, and mention them now, requesting our readers to pardon the introduction of marvellous stories, whenever we may be compelled to relate anything of the kind, being unwilling to pass them over entirely in silence, and so in a manner to mutilate our account of the country.

It is said, that the Sinus Emporicus (or merchants' bay) has a cave which admits the sea at high tide to the distance even of seven stadia, and in front of this bay a low and level tract with an altar of Hercules upon it, which, they say, is not covered by the tide. This I, of course, consider to be one of the fictitious stories. Like this is the tale, that on other bays in the succeeding coast there were ancient settlements of Tyrians, now abandoned, which consisted of not less than three hundred cities, and were destroyed by the Pharusii140 and the Nigritæ. These people, they say, are distant thirty days' journey from Lynx. [4]

Writers in general are agreed that Mauretania is a fertile country, except a small part which is desert, and is supplied with water by rivers and lakes. It has forests of trees of vast size, and the soil produces everything. It is this country which furnishes the Romans with tables, formed of one piece of wood, of the largest dimensions, and most beautifully variegated. The rivers are said to contain crocodiles and other kinds of animals similar to those in the Nile. Some suppose that even the sources of the Nile are near the extremities of Mauretania. In a certain river leeches are bred seven cubits in length, with gills, pierced through with holes, through which they respire. This country is also said to produce a vine, the girth of which two men can scarcely compass, and bearing bunches of grapes of about a cubit in size. All plants and pot-herbs are tall, as the arum and dracontium;141 the stalks of the staphylinus,142 the hippomarathum,143 and the scolymus144 are twelve cubits in height, and four palms in thickness. The country is the fruitful nurse of large serpents, elephants, antelopes, buffaloes, and similar animals; of lions also, and panthers. It produces weasels (jerboas ?) equal in size and similar to cats, except that their noses are more prominent; and multitudes of apes, of which Poseidonius relates, that when he was sailing from Gades to Italy, and approached the coast of Africa, he saw a forest low upon the sea-shore full of these animals, some on the trees, others on the ground, and some giving suck to their young. He was amused also with seeing some with large dugs, some bald, others with ruptures, and exhibiting to view various effects of disease. [5]

Above Mauretania, on the exterior sea (the Atlantic), is the country of the western Ethiopians, as they are called, which, for the most part, is badly inhabited. Iphicrates145 says, that camel-leopards are bred here, and elephants, and the animals called rhizeis,146 which in shape are like bulls, but in manner of living, in size, and strength in fighting, resemble elephants. He speaks also of large serpents, and says that even grass grows upon their backs; that lions attack the young of the elephants, and that when they have wounded them, they fly on the approach of the dams; that the latter, when they see their young besmeared with blood, kill them; and that the lions return to the dead bodies, and devour them; that Bogus king of the Mauretanians, during his expedition against the western Ethiopians, sent, as a present to his wife, canes similar to the Indian canes, each joint of which contained eight chœnices,147 and asparagus of similar magnitude. [6]

On sailing into the interior sea, from Lynx, there are Zelis148 a city and Tingis,149 then the monuments of the Seven Brothers,150 and the mountain lying below, of the name of Abyle,151 abounding with wild animals and trees of a great size. They say, that the length of the strait at the pillars is 120 stadia, and the least breadth at Elephas152 60 stadia On sailing further along the coast, we find cities and many rivers, as far as the river Molochath,153 which is the boundary between the territories of the Mauretanians and of the Masæsyli. Near the river is a large promontory, and Metagonium,154 a place without water and barren. The mountain extends along the coast, from the Coteis nearly to this place. Its length from the Coteis to the borders of the Masæsylii155 is 5000 stadia. Metagonium is nearly opposite to New Carthage.156 Timosthenes is mistaken in saying that it is opposite to Massalia.157 The passage across from New Carthage to Metagonium is 3000 stadia, but the voyage along the coast to Massalia is above 6000 stadia. [7]

Although the Mauretanians inhabit a country, the greatest part of which is very fertile, yet the people in general continue even to this time to live like nomades. They bestow care to improve their looks by plaiting their hair, trimming their beards, by wearing golden ornaments, cleaning their teeth, and paring their nails; and you would rarely see them touch one another as they walk, lest they should disturb the arrangement of their hair.

They fight for the most part on horseback, with a javelin; and ride on the bare back of the horse, with bridles made of rushes. They have also swords. The foot-soldiers present against the enemy, as shields, the skins of elephants. They wear the skins of lions, panthers, and bears, and sleep in them. These tribes, and the Masæsylii next to them, and for the most part the Africans in general, wear the same dress and arms, and resemble one another in other respects; they ride horses which are small, but spirited and tractable, so as to be guided by a switch. They have collars158 made of cotton or of hair, from which hangs a leading-rein. Some follow, like dogs, without being led.

They have a small shield of leather, and small lances with broad heads. Their tunics are loose, with wide borders; their cloak is a skin, as I have said before, which serves also as a breastplate.

The Pharusii and Nigretes, who live above these people, near the western Ethiopians, use bows and arrows, like the Ethiopians. They have chariots also, armed with scythes. The Pharusii rarely have any intercourse with the Mauretanians in passing through the desert country, as they carry skins filled with water, fastened under the bellies of their horses. Sometimes, indeed, they come to Cirta,159 passing through places abounding with marshes and lakes. Some of them are said to live like the Troglodytæ, in caves dug in the ground. It is said that rain falls there frequently in summer, but that during the winter drought prevails. Some of the barbarians in that quarter wear the skins of serpents and fishes, and use them as coverings for their beds. Some say that the Mauretanians160 are Indians, who accompanied Hercules hither. A little before my time, the kings Bogus and Bocchus, allies of the Romans, possessed this country; after their death, Juba succeeded to the kingdom, having received it from Augustus Cæsar, in addition to his paternal dominions. He was the son of Juba who fought, in conjunction with Scipio, against divus Cæsar. Juba died161 lately, and was succeeded by his son Ptolemy, whose mother was the daughter of Antony and Cleopatra. [8]

Artemidorus censures Eratosthenes for saying that there is a city called Lixus, and not Lynx, near the extremities of Mauretania; that there are a very great number of Phoenician cities destroyed,162 of which no traces are to be seen; and that among the western Ethiopians, in the evenings and the mornings, the air is misty and dense;—for how could this take place where there is drought and excessive heat? But he himself relates of these same parts what is much more liable to objection. For he speaks of some tribes of Lotophagi, who had left their own country, and might have occupied the tract destitute of water; whose food might be a lotus, a sort of herb, or root, which would supply the want of drink; that these people extend as far as the places above Cyrene, and that they live there on milk and flesh, although they are situated in the same latitude.

Gabinius, the Roman historian, indulges in relating marvellous stories of Mauretania. He speaks of a sepulchre of Antæus at Lynx, and a skeleton of sixty feet in length, which Sertorius exposed, and afterwards covered it with earth.163 His stories also about elephants are fabulous. He says, that other animals avoid fire, but that elephants resist and fight against it, because it destroys the forests; that they engage with men in battle, and send out scouts before them; that when they perceive their enemies fly, they take to flight themselves; and that when they are wounded, they hold out as suppliants branches of a tree, or a plant, or throw up dust. [9]

Next to Mauretania is the country of the Masesylii, beginning from the river Molocath, and ending at the promontory which is called Tretum,164 the boundary of the country of the Masæsyli and of the Masylies. From Metagonium to Tretum are 6000 stadia; according to others, the distance is less.

Upon the sea-coast are many cities and rivers, and a country which is very fertile. It will be sufficient to mention the most renowned. The city of Siga.165 the royal seat of Syphax, is at the distance of 1000 stadia from the above-mentioned boundaries. It is now razed. After Syphax, the country was in the possession of Masanasses, then of Micipsa, next of his successors, and in our time of Juba, the father of the Juba who died lately. Zama,166 which was Juba's palace, was destroyed by the Romans. At the distance of 600 stadia from Siga is Theon-limen (port of the gods);167 next are some other obscure places.

Deep in the interior of the country are mountainous and desert tracts scattered here and there, some of which are inhabited and occupied by Gætuli extending to the Syrtes. But the parts near the sea are fertile plains, in which are numerous cities, rivers, and lakes. [10]

Poseidonius says, but I do not know whether truly, that Africa is traversed by few, and those small rivers; yet he speaks of the same rivers, namely those between Lynx and Carthage, which Artemidorus describes as numerous and large. This may be asserted with more truth of the interior of the country, and he himself assigns the reason of it, namely, that in the northern parts of Africa (and the same is said of Ethiopia) there is no rain; in consequence therefore of the drought, pestilence frequently ensues, the lakes are filled with mud only, and locusts appear in clouds.

Poseidonius besides asserts that the eastern parts are moist, because the sun quickly changes its place after rising; and that the western parts are dry, because the sun there turns in his course. Now, drought and moisture depend upon the abundance or scarcity of water, and on the presence or absence of the sun's rays. But Poseidonius means to speak of the effects produced by the sun, which all writers determine by the latitude, north or south; but east and west, as applied to the residence of men, differ in different places, according to the position of each inhabited spot and the change of horizon; so that it cannot be asserted generally of places indefinite in number, that those lying to the east are moist, and those to the west dry: but as applied to the whole earth and such extremes of it as India and Spain, his expressions (east and west) may be just; yet what truth or probability is there in his (attempted) explanation (of the causes of drought and moisture)? for in the continuous and unceasing circuit of the sun, what turn can there be in his course? The rapidity too of his passage through every part is equal. Besides, it is contrary to evidence to say, that the extreme parts of Spain or Mauretania towards the west are drier than all other places, when at the same time they are situated in a temperate climate and have water in great abundance. But if we are to understand the turning of the sun in this way, that there at the extremities of the habitable world he is above the earth, how does that tend to produce drought ? for there, and in other places situated in the same latitude, he leaves them for an equal portion of the night and returns again and warms the earth. [11]

Somewhere there, also, are copper mines; and a spring of asphaltus; scorpions of enormous size,168 both with and without wings, are said to be found there, as well as tarantulas, remarkable for their size and numbers. Lizards also are mentioned of two cubits in length. At the base of the mountains precious stones are said to be found, as those called the Lychnitis (the ruby) and the Carchedonius (the carbuncle?). In the plains are found great quantities of oyster and mussel shells, similar to those mentioned in our description of Ammon. There is also a tree called melilotus, from which a wine is made. Some obtain two crops from the ground and have two harvests, one in the spring, the other in the summer. The straw is five cubits in height, and of the thickness of the little finger; the produce is 250-fold. They do not sow in the spring, but bush-harrow the ground with bundles of the paliurus, and find the seed-grain sufficient which falls from the sheaves during harvest to produce the summer crop. In consequence of the number of reptiles, they work with coverings on the legs; other parts of the body also are protected by skins. [12]

On this coast was a city called Iol,169 which Juba, the father of Ptolemy, rebuilt and changed its name to Cæsarea. It has a harbour and a small island in front of it. Between Cæsarea and Tretum170 is a large harbour called Salda,171 which now forms the boundary between the territories subject to Juba and the Romans; for the country has been subject to many changes, having had numerous occupants; and the Romans, at various times, have treated some among them as friends, others as enemies, conceding or taking away territories without observing any established rule.

The country on the side of Mauretania produced a greater revenue and was more powerful, whilst that near Carthage and of the Masylies was more flourishing and better furnished with buildings, although it suffered first in the Carthaginian wars, and subsequently during the war with Jugurtha, who successfully besieged Adarbal in Ityca (Utica),172 and put him to death as a friend of the Romans, and thus involved the whole country in war. Other wars succeeded one another, of which the last was that between divus Cæsar and Scipio, in which Juba lost his life. The death of the leaders was accompanied by the destruction of the cities Tisiæus,173 Vaga,174 Thala,175 Capsa176 (the treasure-hold of Jugurtha), Zama,177 and Zincha. To these must be added those cities in the neighbourhood of which divus Cæsar obtained victories over Scipio, namely, first at Ruspinum,178 then at Uzita, then at Thapsus and the neighbouring lake, and at many others. Near are the free cities Zella and Acholla.179 Cæsar also captured at the first onset the island Cercinna,180 and Thena, a small city on the seacoast. Some of these cities utterly disappeared, and others were abandoned, being partly destroyed. Phara was burnt by the cavalry of Scipio. [13]

After Tretum follows the territory of the Masylies, and that of the Carthaginians which borders upon it. In the interior is Cirta, the royal residence of Masanasses and his successors. It is a very strong place and well provided with everything, which it principally owes to Micipsa, who established a colony of Greeks in it, and raised it to such importance, that it was capable of sending out 10,000 cavalry and twice as many infantry. Here, besides Cirta, are the two cities Hippo,181 one of which is situated near Ityca, the other further off near Tretum, both royal residences. Ityca is next to Carthage in extent and importance. On the destruction of Carthage it became a metropolis to the Romans, and the head quarters of their operations in Africa. It is situated in the very bay itself of Carthage, on one of the promontories which form it, of which the one near Ityca is called Apollonium, the other Hermæa. Both cities are in sight of each other. Near Ityca flows the river Bagradas.182 From Tretum to Carthage are 2,500 stadia, but authors are not agreed upon this distance, nor on the distance (of Carthage) from the Syrtes. [14]

Carthage is situated upon a peninsula, comprising a circuit of 360 stadia, with a wall, of which sixty stadia in length are upon the neck of the peninsula, and reach from sea to sea. Here the Carthaginians kept their elephants, it being a wide open place. In the middle of the city was the acropolis, which they called Byrsa, a hill of tolerable height with dwellings round it. On the summit was the temple of Esculapius, which was destroyed when the wife of Asdrubas burnt herself to death there, on the capture of the city. Below the Acropolis were the harbours and the Cothon, a circular island, surrounded by a canal communicating with the sea (Euripus), and on every side of it (upon the canal) were situated sheds for vessels. [15]

Carthage was founded by Dido, who brought her people from Tyre. Both this colony and the settlements in Spain and beyond the Pillars proved so successful to the Phoenicians, that even to the present day they occupy the best parts on the continent of Europe and the neighbouring islands. They obtained possession of the whole of Africa, with the exception of such parts as could only be held by nomade tribes. From the power they acquired they raised a city to rival Rome, and waged three great wars against her. Their power became most conspicuous in the last war, in which they were vanquished by Scipio Æmilianus, and their city was totally destroyed. For at the commencement of this war, they possessed 300 cities in Africa, and the population of Carthage amounted to 700,000 inhabitants. After being besieged and compelled to surrender, they delivered up 200,000 complete suits of armour and 3000183 engines for throwing projectiles, apparently with the intention of abandoning all hostilities; but having resolved to recommence the war, they at once began to manufacture arms, and daily deposited in store 140 finished shields, 300 swords, 500 lances, and 1000 projectiles for the engines, for the use of which the women-servants contributed their hair. In addition to this, although at this moment they were in possession of only twelve ships, according to the terms of the treaty concluded in the second war, and had already taken refuge in a body at the Byrsa, yet in two months they equipped 120 decked vessels; and, as the mouth of the Cothon was closed against them, cut another outlet (to the sea) through which the fleet suddenly made its appearance. For wood had been collected for a long time, and a multitude of workmen were constantly employed, who were maintained at the public expense.

Carthage, though so great, was yet taken and levelled to the ground.

The Romans made a province of that part of the country which had been subject to Carthage, and appointed ruler of the rest Masanasses and his descendants, beginning with Micipsa. For the Romans paid particular attention to Masanasses on account of his great abilities and friendship for them. For he it was who formed the nomades to civil life, and directed their attention to husbandry. Instead of robbers he taught them to be soldiers. A peculiarity existed among these people; they inhabited a country favoured in everything except that it abounded with wild beasts; these they neglected to destroy, and so to cultivate the soil in security; but turning their arms against each other, abandoned the country to the beasts of prey. Hence their life was that of wanderers and of continual change, quite as much as that of those who are compelled to it by want and barrenness of soil or severity of climate. An appropriate name was therefore given to the Masæsylii, for they were called Nomades.184 Such persons must necessarily be sparing livers, eaters of roots more than of flesh, and supported by milk and cheese. Carthage remained a desolate place for a long time, for nearly the same period, indeed, as Corinth, until it was restored about the same time (as the latter city) by divus Cæsar, who sent thither such Romans to colonize it as elected to go there, and also some soldiers. At present it is the most populous city in Africa. [16]

About the middle of the gulf of Carthage is the island Corsura.185 On the other side of the strait opposite to these places is Sicily and Lilybæum,186 at the distance of (about) 1500 stadia; for this is said to be the distance from Lilybæum to Carthage. Not far from Corsura and Sicily are other islands, among which is Ægimurus.187 From Carthage there is a passage of 60 stadia to the nearest opposite coast, from whence there is an ascent of 120 stadia to Nepheris, a fortified city built upon a rock. On the same gulf as Carthage, is situated a city Tunis; hot springs and stone quarries are also found there; then the rugged promontory Hermæa,188 on which is a city of the same name; then Neapolis; then Cape Taphitis,189 on which is a hillock named Aspis, from its resemblance (to a shield), at which place Agathocles, tyrant of Sicily, collected inhabitants when he made his expedition against Carthage. These cities were destroyed by the Romans, together with Carthage. At the distance of 400 stadia from Taphitis is an island Cossuros, with a city of the same name, lying opposite to the river Selinus in Sicily. Its circuit is 150 stadia, and its distance from Sicily about 600 stadia. Melite,190 an island, is 500 stadia distant from Cossuros. Then follows the city Adrumes,191 with a naval arsenal; then the Taracheiæ, numerous small islands; then the city Thapsus.192 and near it Lopadussa,193 an island situated far from the coast; then the promontory of Ammon Balithon, near which is a look-out for194 the approach of thunny; then the city Thena, lying at the entrance of the Little Syrtis.195 There are many small cities in the intervening parts, which are not worthy of notice. At the entrance of the Syrtis, a long island stretches parallel to the coast, called Cercinna; it is of considerable size, with a city of the same name; there is also another smaller island Cercinnitis. [17]

Close, in the neighbourhood (of these islands), is the Little Syrtis, which is also called the Syrtis Lotophagitis (or the lotus-eating Syrtis). The circuit of this gulf is 1600, and the breadth of the entrance 600 stadia; at each of the promontories which form the entrance and close to the mainland is an island, one of which, just mentioned, is Cercinna, and the other Meninx;196 they are nearly equal in size. Meninx is supposed to be the ‘land of the lotus-eaters’197 mentioned by Homer. Certain tokens (of this) are shown, such as an altar of Ulysses and the fruit itself. For the tree called the lotus-tree is found in abundance in the island, and the fruit is very sweet to the taste. There are many small cities in it, one of which bears the same name as the island. On the coast of the Syrtis itself are also some small cities. In the recess (of the Syrtis) is a very considerable mart for commerce, where a river discharges itself into the gulf. The effects of the flux and reflux of the tides extend up to this point, and at the proper moment the neighbouring inhabitants eagerly rush (to the shore) to capture the fish (thrown up). [18]

After the Syrtis, follows the lake Zuchis, 400 stadia (in circuit?), with a narrow entrance, where is situated a city of the same name, containing factories for purple dyeing and for salting of all kinds; then follows another lake much smaller; after this the city Abrotonon198 and some others. Close by is Neapolis, which is also called Leptis.199 From hence the passage across to the Locri Epizephyrii200 is a distance of 3600 stadia. Next is the river [Cinyps].201 Afterwards is a walled darn, constructed by the Carthaginians, who thus bridged over some deep swamps which extend far into the country. There are some places here without harbours, although the rest of the coast is provided with them. Next is a lofty wooded promontory, which is the commencement of the Great Syrtis, and called Cephalæ (The Heads),202 from whence to Carthage is a distance of a little more than 5000 stadia. [19]

Above the sea-coast from Carthage to Cephalæ (on the one hand) and to the territory of the Masæsyli (on the other) lies the territory of the Libo-Phœnicians, extending (into the interior) to the mountainous country of the Gætuli, which belongs to Africa Proper. Above the Gætuli is the country of the Garamantes, lying parallel to the former, and from whence are brought the Carthaginian pebbles (carbuncles). The Garamantes are said to be distant from the Ethiopians, who live on the borders of the ocean, nine or ten days' journey, and from the temple of Ammon fifteen days. Between the Gætuli and the coast of our sea (the Mediterranean) there are many plains and many mountains, great lakes and rivers, some of which sink into the earth and disappear. The inhabitants are simple in their mode of life and in their dress; they marry numerous wives, and have a numerous offspring; in other respects they resemble the nomade Arabians. The necks both of horses and oxen are longer than in other countries.

The breeding of horses is most carefully attended to by the kings (of the country); so much so, that the number of colts is yearly calculated at 100,000. Sheep are fed with milk and flesh, particularly near Ethiopia. These are the customs of the interior. [20]

The circuit of the Great Syrtis is about 3930 stadia,203 its depth to the recess is 1500 stadia, and its breadth at the mouth is also nearly the same. The difficulty of navigating both these and the Lesser Syrtis [arises from the circumstances of] the soundings in many parts being soft mud. It sometimes happens, on the ebbing and flowing of the tide, that vessels are carried upon the shallows, settle down, and are seldom recovered. Sailors therefore, in coasting, keep at a distance (from the shore), and are on their guard, lest they should be caught by a wind unprepared, and driven into these gulfs. Yet the daring disposition of man induces him to attempt everything, and particularly the coasting along a shore. On entering the Great Syrtis on the right, after passing the promontory Cephalæ, is a lake of about 300 stadia in length, and 70 stadia in breadth, which communicates with the gulf, and has at its entrance small islands and an anchorage. After the lake follows a place called Aspis, and a harbour, the best of all in the Syrtis. Near this place is the tower Euphrantas, the boundary between the former territory of Carthage and Cyrenaïca under Ptolemy (Soter). Then another place, called Charax,204 which the Carthaginians frequented as a place of commerce, with cargoes of wine, and loaded in return with silphium and its juice, which they received from merchants who brought it away clandestinely from Cyrene; then the Altars of the Philæni;205 after these Automola, a fortress defended by a garrison, and situated in the recess of the whole gulf. The parallel passing through this recess is more to the south than that passing through Alexandreia by 1000 stadia, and than that passing through Carthage by less than 2000 stadia; but it would coincide with the parallel passing, on one side, through Heroopolis, which is situated in the recess206 of the Arabian Gulf, and passing, on the other, through the interior of the territory of the Masæsylii and the Mauretanians. The rest of the sea-coast, to the city Berenice,207 is 1500 stadia in length. Above this length of coast, and extending to the Altars of the Philæni, are situated an African nation called Nasamones. The intervening distance (between the recess of the Syrtis and Berenice) contains but few harbours, and watering-places are rare.

On a promontory called Pseudopenias is situated Berenice, near a lake Tritonis, in which is to be observed a small island with a temple of Venus upon it. There also is a lake of the Hesperides, into which flows a river (called) Lathon. On this side of Berenice is a small promontory called Boreion208 (or North Cape), which with Cephalæ forms the entrance of the Syrtis. Berenice lies opposite to the promontories of Peloponnesus, namely, those called Ichthys209 and [Chelonatas],210 and also to the island Zacynthus,211 at an interval of 3600 stadia. Marcus Cato marched from this city, round the Syrtis, in thirty days, at the head of an army composed of more than 10,000 men, separated into divisions on account of the watering-places; his course lay through deep sand, under burning heat. After Berenice is a city Taucheira,212 called also Arsinoë; then Barca,213 formerly so called, but now Pto- lemaïs; then the promontory Phycus,214 which is low, but ex- tends further to the north than the rest of the African coast: it is opposite to Tænarum,215 in Laconia, at the distance216 of 2800 stadia; on it there is also a small town of the same name as the promontory. Not far from Phycus, at a distance of about 170 stadia, is Apollonias, the naval arsenal of Cyrene; from Berenice it is distant 1000 stadia, and 80 stadia from Cyrene, a considerable city situated on a table-land, as I observed it from the sea. [21]

Cyrene was founded by the inhabitants of Thera,217 a Lacedæmonian island which was formerly called Calliste, as Callimachus says, “‘Calliste once its name, but Thera in later times, the mother of my home, famed for its steeds.’” The harbour of Cyrene is situated opposite to Criu-Metopon,218 the western cape of Crete, distant 2000 stadia. The passage is made with a south-south-west wind. Cyrene is said to have been founded by Battus,219 whom Callimachus claims to have been his ancestor. The city flourished from the excellence of the soil, which is peculiarly adapted for breeding horses, and the growth of fine crops. It has produced many men of distinction, who have shown themselves capable of worthily maintaining the freedom of the place, and firmly resisting the barbarians of the interior; hence the city was independent in ancient times, but subsequently220 it was attacked [successfully] by the Macedonians, (who had conquered Egypt, and thus increased their power,) under the command of Thibron the murderer of Harpalus: having continued for some time to be governed by kings, it finally came under the power of the Romans, and with Crete forms a single province. In the neighbourhood of Cyrene are Apollonia, Barca, Taucheira, Berenice, and other small towns close by. [22]

Bordering upon Cyrenaica is the district which produces silphium, and the juice called Cyrenaic, which the silphium discharges from incisions made in it. The plant was once nearly lost, in consequence of a spiteful incursion of barbarians, who attempted to destroy all the roots. The inhabitants of this district are nomades.

Remarkable persons of Cyrene were Aristippus,221 the Socratic philosopher, who established the Cyrenaïc philosophy, and his daughter named Arete, who succeeded to his school; she again was succeeded by her son Aristippus, who was called Metrodidactos, (mother-taught,) and Anniceris, who is supposed to have reformed the Cyrenaic sect, and to have introduced in its stead the Anniceric sect. Callimachus and Eratosthenes222 were also of Cyrene, both of whom were held in honour by the kings of Egypt; the former was both a poet and a zealous grammarian; the latter followed not only these pursuits, but also philosophy, and was distinguished above all others for his knowledge of mathematics. Carneades223 also came from thence, who by common consent was the first of the Academic philosophers, and Apollonius Cronos, the master of Diodorus the Dialectician, who was also called Cronos, for the epithet of the master was by some transferred to the scholar.

The rest of the sea-coast of Cyrene from Apollonia to Catabathmus is 2200 stadia in length; it does not throughout afford facilities for coasting along it; for harbours, anchorage, habitations, and watering-places are few. The places most in repute along the coast are the Naustathmus,224 and Zephyrium with an anchorage, also another Zephyrium, and a promontory called Chersonesus,225 with a harbour situated opposite to and to the south of Corycus226 in Crete, at the distance of 2500 stadia; then a temple of Hercules, and above it a village Paliurus; then a harbour Menelaus, and a low promontory Ardanixis, (Ardanis,)227 with an anchorage; then a great harbour, which is situated opposite to Chersonesus in Crete, at a distance of about 3000 (2000 ?) stadia; for the whole of Crete, which is (a) long and narrow (island), lies opposite and nearly parallel to this coast. After the great harbour is another harbour, Plynos, and about it Tetra-pyrgia (the four towers). The place is called Catabathmus.228 Cyrenæa extends to this point; the remainder (of the coast) to Parætonium,229 and from thence to Alexandreia, we have spoken of in our account of Egypt.230 [23]

The country deep in the interior, and above the Syrtis and Cyrenæa, a very sterile and dry tract, is in the possession of Libyans. First are the Nasamones, then Psylli, and some Gætuli, then Garamantes; somewhat more towards the east (than the Nasamones) are the Marmaridæ, who are situated for the most part on the boundaries of Cyrenæa, and extend to the temple of Ammon. It is asserted, that persons directing their course from the recess of the Great Syrtis, (namely,) from about the neighbourhood of Automala,231 in the direction of the winter sunrise, arrive on the fourth day at Augila.232 This place resembles Ammon, and is productive of palm trees, and is well supplied with water. It is situated beyond Cyrenæa to the south: for 100 stadia the soil produces trees; for another 100 stadia the land is only sown, but from excessive heat does not grow rice.

Above these parts is the district which produces silphium, then follows the uninhabited tract, and the country of the Garamantes. The district which produces silphium is narrow, long, and dry, extending in an easterly direction about 1000 stadia, but in breadth 300 stadia, or rather more, at least as far as has been ascertained. For we may conjecture that all countries which lie on the same parallel (of latitude) have the same climate, and produce the same plants; but since many deserts intervene, we cannot know every place. In like manner, we have no information respecting the country beyond (the temple of) Ammon, nor of the oases, as far as Ethiopia, nor can we state distinctly what are the boundaries of Ethiopia, nor of Africa, nor even of the country close upon Egypt, still less of the parts bordering on the ocean. [24]

Such, then, is the disposition of the parts of the world which we inhabit.233 But since the Romans have surpassed (in power) all former rulers of whom we have any record, and possess the choicest and best known parts of it, it will be suitable to our subject briefly to refer to their Empire.

It has been already stated234 how this people, beginning from the single city of Rome, obtained possession of the whole of Italy, by warfare and prudent administration; and how, afterwards, following the same wise course, they added the countries all around it to their dominion.

Of the three continents, they possess nearly the whole of Europe, with the exception only of the parts beyond the Danube, (to the north,) and the tracts on the verge of the ocean, comprehended between the Rhine and the Tanaïs (Don).

Of Africa, the whole sea-coast on the Mediterranean is in their power; the rest of that country is uninhabited, or the inhabitants only lead a miserable and nomade life.

Of Asia likewise, the whole sea-coast in our direction (on the west) is subject to them, unless indeed any account is to be taken of the Achei, Zygi, and Heniochi,235 who are robbers and nomades, living in confined and wretched districts. Of the interior, and of the parts far inland, the Romans possess one portion, and the Parthians, or the barbarians beyond them, the other; on the east and north are Indians, Bactrians, and Scythians; then (on the south) Arabians and Ethiopians; but territory is continually being abstracted from these people by the Romans.

Of all these countries some are governed by (native) kings, but the rest are under the immediate authority of Rome, under the title of provinces, to which are sent governors and collectors of tribute; there are also some free cities, which from the first sought the friendship of Rome, or obtained their freedom as a mark of honour. Subject to her also are some princes, chiefs of tribes, and priests, who (are permitted) to live in conformity with their national laws. [25]

The division into provinces has varied at different periods, but at present it is that established by Augustus Cæsar; for after the sovereign power had been conferred upon him by his country for life, and he had become the arbiter of peace and war, he divided the whole empire into two parts, one of which he reserved to himself, the other he assigned to the (Roman) people. The former consisted of such parts as required military defence, and were barbarian, or bordered upon nations not as yet subdued, or were barren and uncultivated, which though ill provided with everything else, were yet well furnished with strongholds. and might thus dispose the inhabitants to throw off the yoke and rebel. All the rest, which were peaceable countries, and easily governed without the assistance of arms, were given over to the (Roman) people. Each of these parts was subdivided into several provinces, which received respectively the titles of ‘provinces of Cæsar’ and ‘provinces of the People.’

To the former provinces Cæsar appoints governors and administrators, and divides the (various) countries sometimes in one way, sometimes in another, directing his political conduct according to circumstances.

But the people appoint commanders and consuls to their own provinces, which are also subject to divers divisions when expediency requires it.

(Augustus Cæsar) in his first organization of (the Empire) created two consular governments, namely, (1.) the whole of Africa in possession of the Romans, excepting that part which was under the authority, first of Juba, but now of his son Ptolemy; and (2.) Asia within the Halys and Taurus, except the Galatians and the nations under Amyntas, Bithynia, and the Propontis. He appointed also ten consular governments in Europe and in the adjacent islands. Iberia Ulterior (Further Spain) about the river Bætis236 and Celtica Narbonensis237 (composed the two first). The third was Sardinia, with Corsica; the fourth Sicily; the fifth and sixth Illyria, districts near Epirus, and Macedonia; the seventh Achaia, extending to Thessaly, the Ætolians, Acarnanians, and the Epirotic nations who border upon Macedonia; the eighth Crete, with Cyrenæa; the ninth Cyprus; the tenth Bithynia, with the Propontis and some parts of Pontus.

Cæsar possesses other provinces, to the government of which he appoints men of consular rank, commanders of armies, or knights;238 and in his (peculiar) portion (of the empire) there are and ever have been kings, princes, and (municipal) magistrates.

1 B. xvi. c. iv, § 2 and § 14.

2 Genadil.

3 Assouan.

4 Thus Eratosthenes calculated, in following the windings of the Nile, 12,900 stadia, which is 7900 stadia more than he calculated in a straight line, as he made the distance between the same points (Meroë and Syene, i. ii. c. v. § 7) to be 5000 stadia. M. Falconer suspects that there is an error in the text; but the error lies further off. I believe that it is attributable to Eratosthenes himself, and that that geographer did nothing more than convert the days' marches into stadia. According to Pliny, Timosthenes, commander of the fleet of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and consequently anterior to Eratosthenes, said that from Syene to Meroë was a march of 60 days ; and this statement agrees tolerably well with that of Herodotus, who calculated 56 days' march between Elephantina and Meroë, besides a small distance the extent of which he does not state. Procopius, a learned writer, estimates a day's march at 210 stadia; and the employment of this value, in the whole course of his history, proves that it was generally adopted. Now, if we multiply 60 by 210, we shall have 12,600 stadia, and dividing 12,900 by 60, we have 215 stadia, or nearly the amount of a day's march according to Procopius. I am therefore of opinion that Eratosthenes did nothing more than multiply 210 or 215 by the number of 60 days, furnished by Timosthenes ; and as the excessive length of 12,900 stadia could not agree with the 5000 stadia, which he had calculated in a straight line for the same interval, he imagined this great difference arose from the excessive winding course of the Nile; consequently he supposed the Nile to change frequently the direction of its course.

This opinion had its influence in the construction of Ptolemy's map, which presents to us nearly all the inflexions which Eratosthenes imagined; in calculating the intervals of positions assigned by Ptolemy along the river, we find a total of 1260 minutes; and adding about 1/6 for the small windings, we have a total of 1470 minutes, which are equal to 12,400 stadia of the module (700 to the degree) adopted by that geographer.

According to this hypothesis, the distance in Strabo will be thus divided: Setting out from Meroë, the Nile runs,

1. 2700 stadia to the north12ċ8
2. 3700 to the S. and S. W.17ċ6
3. 5300 to the N. 1/4 E.25
4. 1200 to the N.5ċ7

which nearly corresponds with the account of Timosthenes. The number of days corresponds tolerably well with the distance given by the explorers sent by Nero for the discovery of Meroë: they reported the distance to be 873 miles. If we divide this number by 60, we shall have for the day's mean march 14ċ55 Roman miles, or 11ċ64 geographical miles, which is in fact the day's mean march, according to Major Rennell. Letronne.

In carefully measuring, upon a large map of Egypt in 47 sheets, the course of the Nile through all its windings, and with the compass opened to 1000 metres, I find—

From the middle of Syene to Luxor in the ancient territory of Thebes218,900
From Luxor to Becous situated at the point of the Delta727,500
From Becous following the Damietta branch to that city234,000

This measure reduced to mean degrees of the earth equals 637°25′, and represents 5312 stadia of 500 (to the degree). I certainly did not expect to find such an agreement between the new and the ancient measures. The periodic rising of the Nile, I think, must have produced, since the time of Eratosthenes, some partial changes in the windings of the river; but we must acknowledge that these changes, for greater or for less, compensate one another on the whole.

We observe, moreover, as I have already often observed, that the use of the stadium of 500 to the degree is anterior to the Alexandrine school; for at the time of Eratosthenes the stadium of 700 was more particularly made use of in Egypt. Gossellin.

5 Although generally described as an island, it was, like Mesopotamia, a district included between rivers: the city Meroë was situated in lat. 16° 44.

6 Tacazze.

7 Bahr-el-Azrek, or Blue river.

8 See b. xvi. c. iv. § 8, and Herod. ii. 30, who calls the Sembritæ, Automoloi, that is, persons who had voluntarily quitted their abode.

9 The Nile valley was parcelled out into a number of cantons, varying in size and number. Each of these cantons was called a nome (νομὸς) by the Greeks, ‘præfectura oppidorum’ by the Romans. Each had its civil governor, the Nomarch, who collected the crown revenues, and presided in the local capital and chief court of justice. Each nome too had its separate priesthood, its temple, chief and inferior towns, its magistrates, registration and peculiar creed, ceremonies and customs; and each was apparently independent of every other nome. At certain seasons, delegates from the various cantons met in the palace of the Labyrinth, for consultation on public affairs (b. xvii. c. i. § 37). According to Diodorus, the nomes date from Sesostris. But they did not originate from that monarch, but emanated probably from the distinctions of animal worship; and the extent of the local worship probably determined the boundary of the nome. Thus in the nome of Thebais, where the ram-headed deity was worshipped, the sheep was sacred, the goat was eaten and sacrificed: in that of Mendes, where the goat was worshipped, the sheep was a victim and an article of food. Again, in the nome of Ombos, divine honours were paid to the crocodile: in that of Tentyra, it was hunted and abominated: and between Ombos and Tentyra there existed an internecine feud. “Ardet adhuc Ombos et Tentyra: summus utrinque
Inde furor vulgo, quod numina vicinorum
Odit uterque locus, cum solos credat habendos
Esse deos, quos ipse colit. Juv. xv. 35.
” The extent and number of the nomes cannot be ascertained. They probably varied with the political state of Egypt. See Smith, art. Ægyptus.

10 See b. xvi. c. ii. § 24.

11 In the text ὀστράκινα ποοͅθμεῖα ‘earthen-ware ferry boats.’ The translation is not literal, but a paraphrase. “Hac sævit rabie imbelle et inutile vulgus
Parvula fictilibus solitum dare vela phaselis,
Et brevibus pictæ remis incumbere testæ.
” Juv xv. 12i.

12 In the text κειοͅίᾳ ψυχομένῃ ἐπὶ μῆκο, which is evidently corrupt. Kramer proposes to read ἀναπτυσσομένῃ or ἀνεπτυγμένῃ, and Groskurd reads αὐξομένῃ for ψυχομένῃ, ‘lengthened out.’ Alii alia proposuerunt, infelicia omnia.

13 The Mediterranean.

14 Od. iv. 581.

15 ἐγὼ γουῦν ἀποοͅύμενος ἀντιγοͅάφων εἰς τὴν ἀντιβολὴν ἐκ θατέοͅου θάτερον ἀντέβαλον. Casaubon, who narrates a similar circumstance which occurred to himself, thus explains the passage: Our author, being in want of codices to correct imperfections in his own, and to form a complete copy, availed himself of another author whose account was identical, being either, as he says, the original or a transcript from the first.

16 The words ‘Sostratus of Cnidus, son of Dexiphanes, to the gods preservers,’ are rejected by Kramer as being introduced from the margin.

17 Od. xvii. 266.

18 Some word, such as κατοικίαι, seems here to be wanting; όδοὶ, which some commentators suppose to be here understood, would be unsuitable to the passage, nor would it convey a proper meaning. Kramer.

19 The word ἐοͅαστής must be here understated, and not υἱὸς. Groskurd.

20 The celebrated general of Mithridates.

21 See b. xii. c. i. § 2.

22 He was prevented from carrying on this war by the senate. See b. xii. c. iii. § 34

23 The elder sister of Cleopatra.

24 Six months after.

25 About B. C. 49.

26 B. ix. c. v. § 6.

27 I have adopted the reading, ἀπολιτικὸν, ‘not understanding or ill-adapted for the duties of citizens,’ suggested by Kramer.

28 Od. iv. 481.

29 No longer existing.

30 Akabet el Kebira or Marsa Sollom.

31 Baretoun, or Berek-Marsa. ‘Alexander, after passing 1600 stadia through that part of the desert where water was to be found to Parætonium, then turned inland to visit the oracle of Ammon.’ Arrian, b. iii. § 3

32 ‘Wines which have been very carefully prepared with sea-water never cause head-aches.’ Athenœus, b. i. c. i. 59, p. 54. Bohn's Classical Library.

33 Cape Deras.

34 The exact site is not ascertained, but it was not far from Aboukir.

35 ‘Hellanicus says that the vine was first discovered in Plinthine, a city of Egypt,’ and that for those ‘who, on account of their poverty, could not get wine, there was introduced a custom of drinking beer made of barley.’ Athenœus, b. i. c. i. 61, p. 56. Bohn's Classical Library.

36 ‘The Mareotic wine is erroneously stated by Athenæus (p. 55. Bohn's Classical Library) to have obtained its name from a fountain called Marea. The fountain and town derived their name from Maro, who was one of the companions of Bacchus.’ The wine is praised by Horace, Odes I.xxxvii. 14: “Mentemque lymphatam Mareotico
Redegit in veros timores.
” Virgil, Geor. ii. 91, calls a vine by this name: “Sunt Thasiæ vites, sunt et Mareotides albæ.”

37 The Papyrus.

38 ‘There is also the ciborium. Hegesander the Delphian says that Euphorion the poet, when supping with Prytanis, his host, exhibited to him some ciboria, which appeared to be made in a most exquisite and costly manner. Didymus says that it is a kind of drinking-cup, and perhaps it may be the same as that which is called scyphium, which derives its name from being contracted to a narrow space at the bottom, like the Egyptian ciboria.’ Athenœus, b. xi. § 54, p. 761. Bohn's Classical Library.

39 The two kinds known at present are the Egyptian and the Syracusan, which, according to Professor Parlatori, have the same general appearance, but differ in the number of flower-lobes.

40 That is, the juice was extracted for its sugar; see b. xvi c. ii. § 41, and Pliny, xiii. 12.

41 Od. iv. 228.

42 The Canobic mouth was situated in the bay of Aboukir; the Bolbitine is the Rosetta mouth; the Sebennytic is the Burlos mouth; the Phatnitic, the Damietta mouth; the Mendesian is that at Dibeh; the Tanitic, that at Omm. Faregeh; the Pelusiac, that at Terraneh.

43 The watch-tower of Perseus was at the western end of the Delta, according to Herodotus, ii. 15.

44 The horned Pan.

45 The people of Busiris worshipped Isis, and at one epoch, according to Hellenic tradition, sacrificed red men, who came over the sea, i. e. the nomades of Syria and Arabia.

46 Od. iv. 481.

47 In this nome tradition affirmed that the Hebrew legislator was born and educated.

48 καὶ is omitted in the translation, as Groskurd proposes.

49 Memphis was the residence of the Pharaohs, who succeeded Psammitichus, B. C. 616. The Memphite Nome rose into importance on the decline of the kingdom of Thebais, and was itself in turn eclipsed by the Hellenic kingdom of Alexandria. The village of Mitranieh, half concealed in a grove of palm trees, about ten miles south of Gizeh, marks the site of the ancient Memphis. The successive conquerors of the land, indeed, nave used its ruins as a stone quarry, so that its exact situation has been a subject of dispute. Major Rennell, however, brings incontestable evidence of the correspondence of Mitranieh with Memphis. Its remains extend over many hundred acres of ground, which are covered with blocks of granite, broken obelisks, columns, and colossal statues. The principal mound corresponds probably with the area of the great temple of Ptah. Smith.

50 The Egyptians say that the ox Mneyis is sacred to the sun, and that Apis is dedicated to the moon. Ælian de Nat. Animal. ii. 11.

51 Saïs stood in lat. 30° 4′ N., on the right bank of the Canopic arm of the Nile. The site of the ancient city is determined not only by the appellation of the modern town Sa-el-Hadjar, which occupies a portion of its area, but also by mounds of ruin corresponding in extent to the importance of Sais, at least, under the later Pharaohs. The city was artificially raised high above the level of the Delta to be out of the reach of the inundations of the Nile, and served as a landmark to all who ascended the arms of the river, from the Mediterranean to Memphis. Its ruins have been very imperfectly explored, yet traces have been found of the lake on which the mysteries of Isis were performed, as well as of the temple of Neith (Athene) and the necropolis of the Saïte kings. The wall of unburnt brick which surrounded the principal buildings of the city was 70 feet thick, and probably, therefore, at least 100 feet high. It enclosed an area 2325 feet in length by 1960 in breadth. Beyond this enclosure were also two large cemeteries, one for the citizens generally, and the other reserved for the nobles and priests of the higher orders. Saïs was one of the sacred cities of Egypt: its principal deities were Neith, who gave oracles there, and Isis. The mysteries of the latter were celebrated with unusual pomp on the evening of the Feast of Lamps. Herodotus (ii. 59) terms this festival the third of the great feasts in the Egyptian calendar. It was held by night; and every one intending to be present at the sacrifices was required to light a number of lamps in the open air around his house. At what season of the year the feast of burning lamps was celebrated, Herodotus knew, but deemed it wrong to tell (ii. 62); it was, however, probably at either the vernal or autumnal equinox, since it apparently had reference to one of the capital revolutions in the solar course. An inscription, in the temple of Neith, declared her to be the Mother of the Sun. It ran thus, ‘I am the things that have been, and that are, and that will be; no one has uncovered my skirts; the fruit which I brought forth became the Sun.’ It is probable. accordingly, that the kindling of the lamps referred to Neith, as the author of light. On the same night, apparently, were performed what the Egyptians designated as the ‘Mysteries of Isis.’ Sais was one of the supposed places of interment of Osiris, for that is evidently the deity whom Herodotus will not name (ii. 171), when he says that there is a burial- place of him at Saïs in the temple of Athene. The mysteries were symbolical representations of the sufferings of Osiris, especially his dismemberment by Typhon. They were exhibited on the lake behind the temple of Neith. Portions of the lake may be still discerned near the hamlet Sa-el-Hadjar. Smith. Diet. of Greek and Roman Geography, Art. Saïs.

52 The evil or destroying genius.

53 Suez.

54 Pharaoh Necho, under whom and in the execution of the work 120,000 labourers perished. Herod. ii. 158.

55 κλειτὸν ἐποίησαν τὸν εὔριπον, ‘closed the Euripus.’ Diodorus Siculus, i. 33, thus speaks of this same work. ‘Darius the Persian left the canal unfinished, as he was informed by some persons, that by cutting through the isthmus he would be the cause of inundating Egypt; for they pointed out to him that the Red Sea was higher than the level of Egypt. The second Ptolemy afterwards completed the canal, and in the most convenient part constructed an artfully contrived barrier, (διάφοͅαημα,) which he could open when he liked for the passage of vessels, and quickly close again, the operation being easily performed.’ The immediate communication therefore between the sea and the canal was cut off by a lock; and as there must have been two, there would be a flux and reflux of water between them on the passage of vessels. This probably suggested to our author the word Euripus, and is to be understood as applying to that portion of the canal included between the locks. By the word Euripus is generally understood the channel between Negropont and the mainland, which is subject to an ebb and flow of the sea. The storing up of water, and the distribution of it for the purposes of irrigation, was no doubt well known to the Egyptians. Diodorus, b. i. 19, ascribes to Osiris the invention. "Osiris confined the Nile by embankments on both sides, so that at the period of its rising it might not inconveniently spread over the country, but that, by gates (διὰ θυοͅῶν) adapted for the purpose, the stream might be gently discharged as occasion required.

56 B. i. c. i. § 20.

57 Bubastis or Artemis, Diana. Herod. ii. 59, 67, 137.

58 Among those no doubt now at Rome.

59 This description is illustrated by the remains of the great temple at Philæ, dedicated to Ammon Osiris.

60 οὐδὲ γοͅαφικόν. These words have been understood by some writers as signifying that there were no paintings, but Letronne has clearly shown that they dc not convey this meaning.

61 George (Syncellus, or companion of the Patriarch), a writer of the eighth century, and who had the reputation of being well versed in history, says that "Ptolemy Philadelphus collected all the writings of Greeks, Chaldæans, Egyptians, and Romans, and had such of them as were not Greek translated into that language, and deposited 100,000 volumes at Alexandria. M. Letronne is disposed to think that Hipparchus, Eratosthenes, Ptolemy, and others borrowed from these sources.

62 ‘Sesoosis (Sesostris) raised two obelisks of hard stone, 120 cubits in height, on which were inscribed the greatness of his power, the amount of his revenue, and the number of the nations which he had conquered. At Memphis, in the temple of Vulcan, he erected monolithe images of himself and his wife, 30 cubits in height, and images of his sons, 20 cubits in height,’ in memory of his escape from fire when his brother Armais attempted to burn him with his wife and children. Diod. Sic. i. 57.

63 Probably the statue of Venus bore a crescent on the forehead.

64 We have reason to be surprised that Strabo, who had seen the pyramids, has said so little concerning them. Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus enter into more particulars, and in general are more exact. Some idea of the immense labour required may be obtained from considerations such as follow:— The base and height being given, we find for the solid contents—

cubic yards.
1. of the great pyramid2,864,000
2. of Chephren2,056,000
3. of Mycerinus211,000

So that if a wall of (three metres) about 9 1/4 feet in height, and a foot ii thickness, were built with the materials of these pyramids, we should have a wall—

1. from the great pyramid in length1626
2. from Chephren or Cheops1167
3. from Mycerinus117

The stones, therefore, of the three pyramids would form such a wall 2910 miles in length, or one sufficient to reach from Alexandreia to the coast of Guinea. Letronne.

65 This is a palpable error, and greater than that of Herodotus, who makes the base equal to the height. The ratio of the height to the base in the great pyramid was as 0ċ627 to 1; and in the second, as 0ċ640 to 1. Diodorus approaches nearest of all to the truth, as he makes this ratio to be as 6 to 7 or as 0ċ817 to 1. Strabo should rather have said, ‘the sides are rather greater than the height;’ but all that he says respecting the pyramids is vague and inexact.

66 ἐν ὕψει μέσως πως μιᾶς τῶν πλευρῶν μιᾶς is adopted, although not introduced into the text, by Kramer; μέσως πως is connected with ἐν ὕψει, and not with τῶν πλευρῶν, in the sense of ‘moderately,’ in which it is also used in b. xi. c. ii. § 18. ‘The kings who succeeded to the possession of the country, (μέσως ἔπραττον) were moderately successful.’ The moveable stone has been taken away, and the aperture is at most at about one-twelfth the whole height of the pyramid from its base.

67 Chembes the Memphite built the largest of the three pyramids, which are reckoned among the seven most remarkable works in the world. They are situated by the side of Libya, distant 120 stadia from Memphis, and 45 from the Nile. These works, by their size and by the artifice and labour employed in their construction, strike the beholder with astonishment and wonder. The base of the largest, the plan of which is quadrilateral, is seven plethra on each side; the height is more than six plethra; the pyramid gradually contracts towards the top, of which each side measures six cubits, and the whole is built of hard stone. Its construction must have been accompanied with great difficulty, but its permanence will be eternal; for although, it is said, not less than a thousand years have passed away to our day (some even say more than 3400 years) since they were built, yet the stones still remain, preserving their original position, and their whole arrangement uninjured by time. The stone is said to have come from a great distance in Arabia, and the process of building was carried on by raising mounds of earth; for at that period no machines had been invented. But it is most marvellous that although such an immense undertaking has been completed, and the whole country around is composed of sand, not a single trace remains of the mounds raised, nor of the fragments of stone broken off by the workmen: indeed the pyramids do not seem to have been raised by the gradual labour of man, but to have been placed by some divine hand in a mass, perfectly formed, down upon the surrounding sands. Some Egyptians undertake to narrate wondrous stories respecting them, such, for instance, that the mounds above-mentioned were composed of salt and nitre, which melted away upon the rising of the river, and completely disappeared without the intervention of human labour. But this cannot be true, for the same number of hands which constructed the mounds would be able to reduce them again to their former state ; and 360,000 men, it is said, were employed in the undertaking. The whole was completed in a little less than twenty years. On the death of this king, he was succeeded by his brother Chephren, who reigned 56 years. According to some writers, it was not a brother, but a son, named Chabryis, who was his successor. But all agree that the successor, whoever he was, desired to imitate his predecessor's conception, and built the second pyramid, which resembled the first in its artificial construction, but was inferior to it in size, the sides of the base being a stadium each in length.

On the greater pyramid is an inscription which states the amount expended on herbs and radishes for the workmen, and it informs us that 1600 talents were paid for this purpose.

The lesser pyramid bears no inscription, and it has an ascent formed in it through an opening in one of the sides. But although the kings built these pyramids for their own tombs, yet it has so happened that none of them have ever been buried in them. For the population, in consequence of the misery to which these works exposed them, and of the cruelty and tyranny of the kings, were incensed against them as the causes of their sufferings; and moreover threatened to tear their bodies in pieces, and to cast them out with insult from their place of burial. Every king therefore, on the approach of death, enjoined his relations to bury his body secretly in a place undistinguished by marks.

These were succeeded by king Mycerinus, (whom some call Mecherinus,) son of the king who built the first pyramid. He designed to build a third, but died before he accomplished it. Each side of the base of this pyramid was three plethra in length, and fifteen tiers of the building were raised of black stone like the Thebaic stone, but the rest was filled up with a stone resembling that of the other pyramids. This work is inferior to the two former in size, but far surpasses them in artificial construction and in the expensiveness of the stone. On its northern side the name of Mycerinus is inscribed, as the person who caused it to be built. He is said to have held in abhorrence the cruelty of his predecessors, and to have been ambitious of leading a just life, and beneficial to his subjects. He performed many actions by which he called forth the affection of his people towards him; and among others he expended a great sum of money in public causes, rewarding the judges who delivered upright judgments, which was not commonly the case.

There are three other pyramids, the sides of which are two plethra in length; in workmanship they entirely resemble the others, except in magnitude. These pyramids, it is said, were built by the three before-mentioned kings in honour of their own wives. These works by universal consent are the most remarkable in Egypt, not only in their ponderous construction, but also in the art displayed. We ought, we are told, to admire more the architects than the kings, who supplied the means, for the architects brought their designs to completion by force of mind and the influence of an honourable ambition, but the kings by the power of that wealth which was their portion, or by injuries inflicted on others. There is no agreement whatever, either between the natives of the country or between authors, respecting the pyramids; for some assert that the kings before mentioned built them, others that they were not the builders, but that Armæus built the first and largest; Amasis, the second; and Inaro, the third: but this last is said by some to be the burial-place of Rhodopis, a courtesan, whose lovers were certain governors of nomes, who from affection towards her undertook this great work, and completed it at their common charge. Diodorus Siculus, b. . 63, 64.

68 Niebuhr says, that in these stones are found small petrified substances in the form of lentils, which appear to be of the same kind of shell of which he collected several at Bushir. Clarke also says, that at the base of the pyramids a variety of calcareous stone is found in detached masses, exactly such as Strabo has described, and appear to be the petrified remains of some unknown animal. Forskal calls them ‘testacea fossilia kakiensia.’ Diodorus, as quoted above, says that there are no vestiges of fragments.

69 The translation follows Letronne's correction, ἐπέοικε for ἀπέοικε.

70 In the text λίθου πωρείας, Groskurd reads πωρίνου, which word occurs in Herod. v. 62, and translates it ‘tufstein.’

71 No passage is to be found in his Geography to this effect, it has either been lost from the text, or existed in his other works.

72 ‘It is said that the captives from Babylon revolted from the king (Sesostris), being unable to endure the sufferings to which they were exposed in the public works. They seized upon a strong place on the banks of the river, and maintained for some time a contest with the Egyptians, destroying the neighbouring district. At last, having obtained security from molestation, they made a regular settlement of the place, and called it Babylon, after their native city. Under similar circumstances, it is said, a place received the name of Troy which still exists on the banks of the Nile. For Menelaus, on his return from Troy with captives, came to Egypt. The Trojan captives revolted, took up a position, and carried on a war, until having obtained safety for themselves by treaty, they founded a city bearing the name of their native place.’ I am aware that Ctesias gives a different account of these cities, and says that some of the soldiers who accompanied Semiramis in her invasion of Egypt founded these cities, and gave to them the names of their native cities. Diod. Sic. i. 56.

73 This passage presents great difficulties. Kramer expresses himself dissatisfied with any explanation hitherto given. Und so dass der Kanal zwei Mündungen hat, zwischen welche ein Theil der Insel seitwärts anfalt. Groskurd.

74 Book i. c. iii. § 4.

75 Herod. ii. 148; Diod. i. 66. See below, § 42.

76 The translator adopts Kramer's suggestion, of reading εἰσβλέποντα for ἐκπίπτοντα.

77 The founder, according to Diodorus Siculus, was Mendes or Marrus. B. i 61.

78 Bekneseh.

79 This fish, a species of sturgeon, received its name from the shape of the head (sharp-pointed), and was said to have been produced from the blood of the wounded Osiris. Ælian. Hist. Animal. x. 46.

80 Eshmoon.

81 Babout.

82 The ruins are supposed to be at the modem hamlet of Mensieh.

83 ὁλόλιθον, probably an interpolation. Kramer.

84 Il. i. 528.

85 Hu.

86 Dendera.

87 Keft.

88 The ruins are situated lat. 23° 56′ N., and about 35° 34′ E.

89 After σταθμοὺ, in the text, follows ὥσπερ τοὶς ἐμποοͅίοις ὁδεύμασι καὶ διὰ τῶν καμήλων, which Kramer considers to be an interpolation. Groskurd corrects, and reads σταθμοὺς προσφόρους τοῖς ἐμπόροις ὁδεύουσι καὶ πεζή̂ κὰ διὰ τῶν καμήλων, ‘stations for the service of travellers on foot and on camels.’

90 Near old Kosseir; the ‘Veneris Portus’ of Pliny. It was founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus, B. C. 274. The Greek name may signify, ‘Harbour of the Mouse,’ but more probably it means the ‘Harbour of the Mussel,’ (μύειν, to close, e. g. the shell,) since on the neighbouring coast the pearl-mussel is collected in large quantities. It is uncertain whether the ruins at the village of Abuschaar, represent the site of the ancient Myos Hormus. See Smith's Dict., art. Myos Hormus

91 Il. ix. 383.

92 Il. ix. 381.

93 For θήκαις, ‘tombs,’ in the text, Kramer is of opinion that we should read θήβαις, Thebes, which is also the translation of the passage by Guarini.

94 The meaning of the passage is clear, and can be understood, as critics have already explained, only as implying the intercalation of a 366th day every fourth year. Some have asserted that Julius Cæsar adopted this method of intercalating a day from the civil practice of the Alexandrines; others, on the contrary, appear disposed to believe that J. Cæsar was the first to give an idea of it, according to the advice of Sosigenes. There is truth and error in both these opinions. On the one hand, it is certain that Strabo, who visited Egypt a short time after the conquest of the country by the Romans, would not have omitted to attribute to them the institution of this year, if it really belonged to them. So far from doing so, he says (above, § 29) distinctly, that this method of intercalation was known and practised by the priests of Heliopolis and Thebes. Diodorus Siculus, who visited Egypt just at the time of the first arrival of the Romans, gives the same account as Strabo. Can we therefore believe that the Egyptians before this period were ignorant of the bissextile intercalation?

On the other hand; it is not less certain that this method of intercalation was only introduced into civil use at Alexandria from the time of Julius Cæsar: before this period, the incomplete year of 365 days was adopted throughout the whole of Egypt, as is attested by a host of authorities, and confirmed by the date of the Rosetta stone, which only applies to this method of reckoning. Hence we see (I.) that Julius Cæsar really obtained the idea of a fixed year of 365 1/4 days from the Egyptians, where it was employed for scientific or religious purposes only, whilst the incomplete year was the vulgar and common year; (II.) that he made this fixed year the common year, both among the Romans and Alexandrines, who were a people most readily disposed to adopt foreign innovations. It is, however, probable that the rest of Egypt preserved the ancient use of the incomplete year.

95 Strabo, I think, is the only author who places Crocodilopolis and Aphroditopolis in this part of Egypt. Letronne.

96 For καὶ τῶν ἡμερῶν of the text, Casaubon reads τεκμηρίων, ‘signs.’ Coraÿ proposes καὶ μέτρων, ‘measures.’ The expression in the text is obscure, and the translation is a conjecture of the meaning.

97 This was the general opinion of antiquity, and was reproduced by Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, and others; in short, by all the Alexandrine school. At the time of Eratosthenes, the obliquity of the ecliptic was 23° 45′ 17″. Syene was therefore 20′ 6″ from being exactly under the tropic; for 24° 5′ 23″ (latitude of Syene)—23° 45′ 17″ = 20′ 6″. This would be the distance of the centre of the sun from the zenith of Syene; whence it follows that the northern limb of the sun was about 5′ from it.

In the time of Strabo, the obliquity was only 23° 42′ 22″; the difference between the zenith of Syene and the northern limb of the sun was about 8′.

Lastly, about 140 of the vulgar era, the obliquity was reduced to 23° 41′ 7″. Syene was then 24′ 16″ from the tropic, and its zenith was about 10′ from the northern limb of the sun; when the shadows of gnomons of any tolerable size must have been perceptible, and Syene could not have been any longer considered as lying under the tropic.

As regards the well which served to ascertain the instant of the solstice, Pliny and Arrian both mention it. The formation of it no doubt belonged to a very remote period. In the time of Strabo, the rays of the sun could not have reached entirely to the bottom, but the shadow was so small that it was not sufficient to shake the ancient opinion. In fact, the angle being about 8′, and supposing the depth to have been 50 feet, the northern side would have projected a shadow of about 18 lines; the rest would have remained in fill light, and the reflexion would have caused the whole circumference of the well to appear illuminated. Letronne.

98 Kramer considers the passage between brackets to be an interpolation, as the same sense is conveyed in the passage which immediately follows.

99 The number here given is nearly twice too great. Kramer quotes G. Parthey (de Philis insula) for correcting the error to 50 stadia, and for perceiving that it arose from the very frequent substitution in manuscripts of the letter P (100) for N (50).

100 Unhewn stones, with a head of Mercury upon them.

101 Herod. ii. 28, who, however, seems to doubt the veracity of his informant.

102 Above, § 8.

103 B. C. 28.

104 B. xvi. c. 4, § 23.

105 The modem hamlet of Dakkeh occupies a portion of the site of ancient Pselchis.

106 Called Primis by Ptolemy and Pliny. It is placed by the former beyond Napata, and just above Meroë. Hence it is identified with Ibrim.

107 There is great difficulty in determining the true position of Napata, as our author places it much farther north than Pliny; and there is reason for supposing that it is the designation of a royal residence, which might be moveable, rather than of a fixed locality. Ritter brings Napata as far north as Primis and the ruins at Ipsambul, while Mannert, Ukert, and other geographers, believe it to have been Merawe, on the farthest northern point of the region of Meroë. It is, however, generally placed at the east extremity of that great bend of the Nile which skirts the desert of Bahiouda, and near Mount Birkel. Among the ruins which probably cover the site of the ancient Napata are two lions of red granite, one bearing the name of Amuneph Ill., the other Amuntuonch. They were brought to England by Lord Prudhoe, and now stand at the entrance of the Gallery of Antiquities in the British Museum. See Smith's Diet., art. Napata.

108 The inhabitants of Biscay. See b. iii. c. iii. § 8.

109 This name was common to the queens of Ethiopia. Acts viii. 27.

110 B. xvi. c. iv. § 8 et seqq.

111 Groskurd corrects the text, and translates, ‘the inhabitants also are small.’

112 The translation follows the proposed correction of the text by Kramer.

113 ταῖς συμβολαῖς. The passage presents a great difficulty, because Strabo has before asserted that Meroë is surrounded by these rivers, and that their union takes place below, that is, to the north, and not to the south of the city and island; and this notion corresponds with all the ancients have said on the subject. I declare, without hesitation, that I do not understand my author. Letronne. Groskurd attempts to avoid the difficulty by translating, ‘is within the compass of.’

114 The Tacazze.

115 Bahr-el-Azrek, or Blue River.

116 Reading διαπλεκομένων πλίνθων for διαπλεκόμεναι τοίχων ἢπλίνθων.

117 The trees called persiai (or perseai) produce a fruit of great sweetness, which was introduced from Ethiopia by the Persians, when Cambyses conquered that country. Diod. Sic. i. 34.

118 Tsana.

119 According to Diod. Sic. iii. 9 this was Jupiter.

120 Above, c. i. § 15.

121 The sturgeon.

122 Cyprinus bynni.

123 Perea Nilotica. Cuvier, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons, xii. 5.

124 Silurus anguillaris. Linn.

125 Pliny, xxxii. 5. Coracini pisces Nilo quidem peculiares sunt. Athenæus, b. vii. c. 83, p. 484. Bohn's Classical Library.

126 Called by the Arabs gamor-el-Lelleh, or star of the night. Cuvier.

127 The shad.

128 The mullet.

129 About six feet. Nicander is the author of two Greek poems that are still extant, and of several others that have been lost. He may be supposed to have been in reputation for about fifty years, cir. B. C. 185—135. The longest of his poems that remains is named Theriaca. It treats (as the name implies) of venomous animals, and the wounds inflicted by them, and contains some curious and interesting zoological passages, together with numerous absurd fables. The other treats of poisons and their antidotes. His works are only consulted by those who are interested in points of zoological and medical antiquities. He is frequently quoted by Athenæus. See Smith's Dict. of Greek and Roman Biography, art. Nicander.

130 Herod. ii. 36.

131 Strabo does not appear to have been acquainted with the plant from which these tissues were made. Their true name seems to have been cucina, and were made from a palm-tree (the Doum palm), called by Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. 4, 2) κουκιοφόοͅον, and by Pliny ‘cuci’ (b. xiii. 9): ‘At e diverse, cuci in magno honore, palmæ similis, quando et ejus foliis utuntur ad textilia.’

132 B. xvi. c. 2. § 34.

133 B. ii. c. 3, § 4 and c. 4, § 3.

134 B. i. c. 4, § 2.

135 Cape Spartel, or Espartel. Ampelusia, vine-clad, was the Greek name,—a translation of the native name.

136 Groskurd reads Tinx, and also with Letronne observes that our author has mistaken two places for one. Tinx, or Trinx=Tangiers. Lixus=Al-Harâtch, or Laraiche.

137 Cadiz.

138 Situated between the town Sala (Salee) and Lixus (El-Harâch).

139 Tyrwhitt reads Apellas, for Ophellas of the text. Apellas was a Cyrenæan navigator, whose Periplus is mentioned by Marcianus of Heracleia. There was an Ophellas of Cyrene, who advanced at the head of an army along the coast, to unite himself to Agathocles, who was then besieging Carthage, B. C. 310. He was put to death by Agathocles soon after his arrival, and no Periplus of his said to have existed; his course also to Carthage was by land.

140 A people on the west coast of N. Africa, about the situation of whom Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy are in perfect agreement with one another, if the thirty days' journey of Strabo between them and Lixus on the west coast of Morocco, to the south of Cape Spartel, be set aside, as an error either of his information or of the text; which latter is not improbable, as numbers in MSS. are so often corrupt. Nor is this mere conjecture, because Strabo contradicts himself, by asserting in another place (b. xvii. c. 3. § 7) that the Pharusii had a great desert between them and Mauretania. When Ezekiel prophesies the fall of Tyre, it is said, (xxvii. 10,) ‘The men of Pheres (the common version reads Persia) and Lud and Phut were in thine armies.’ These Pheres thus joined with Phut, or Mauretanians, and the Ludim, who were nomads of Africa (the Septuagint and the Vulgate understand the Lydians), may be reasonably supposed to belong to the same region. Without the vowel points, the name will represent the powerful and warlike tribe whom the Greeks call Pharusii. Smith, art, Pharusii.

141 Arum esculentum (snake-weed), and arum dracunculus.

142 Parsnip (?).

143 Fennel.

144 Artichoke.

145 Groskurd reads Hypsicrates.

146 The rhinoceros.

147 About six quarts, according to the lowest value of the (chœnix).

148 Arzila.

149 Tiga in the text.

150 The Septem-Fratres of Pliny.

151 Jebel-el-Mina, or Ximiera, near Ceuta (a corruption of ἑπτὰ, or septem?).

152 Ape mountain.

153 The Muluwi, which now forms the frontier between Morocco and Algeria, as it did anciently between the Mauretanians and Numidians.

154 Cape Hone, or Ras-el-Harsbak. Groskurd corrects the text, and translates: ‘Near the river is a large promontory, and a neighbouring settlement called Metagonium.’ Kramer's proposed correction is followed.

155 Numidia is the central tract of country on the north coast of Africa, which forms the largest portion of the country now occupied by the French, and called Algeria, or Algérie. The continuous system of highlands which extends along the coast of the Mediterranean was in the earliest period occupied by a race of people consisting of many tribes, of whom the Berbers of the Algerine territories; or the Kabyles or Quabaily, as they are called by the inhabitants of the cities, are the representatives. These people, speaking a language which was once spoken from the Fortunate Islands in the west to the cataracts of the Nile, and which still explains many names in ancient African topography, and embracing tribes of quite different characters, whites as well as blacks (though not negroes), were called by the Romans Numidæ; not a proper name, but a common denomination from the Greek form, νομάδες. Afterwards Numida and Numidia became the name of the nation and the country. Sometimes they were called Maurusii Numidæ, while the later writers always speak of them under the general name of Mauri. The most powerful among these tribes were the Massyli, whose territories extended from the river Ampsaga to Tretum promontory; and the Massæsyli, occupying the country to the west, as far as the river Mulucha. Smith, Diet. art. Numidia.

156 Cartagena.

157 Marseilles.

158 The words περιτραχήλια ζύλινα offer some difficulty. Paul Louis Courier, who is of authority on this subject, says that Strabo, having little experience in horses, has mistaken the first word for another, and intended to speak of the horse's nose, and not his neck. Letronne and Groskurd both agree that ζύλινα is rightly to be translated, ‘of cotton.’

159 Constantine.

160 The Pharusii, and not the Mauretanians, came with Hercules from the East, according to Pliny, Mela, and Sallust; hence Letronne conjectures that we should read here Pharusii.

161 A. D. 18 or 19 at latest, but the exact date is uncertain.

162 Groskurd corrects the text, and translates, ‘there existed in the Bay Emporicus very many Phœnician cities.’

163 Plutarch Sertorius.

164 Ebba-Ras.

165 Probably Tafna.

166 Jama.

167 According to Shaw, who however did visit the place, its ruins are still to be seen by the present Tucumbrit; others identify it with Areschkul of the Arabs, at the mouth of the Tafna near Rasgun.

168 In the text μεγέθει δὲ ἑπτασπονδύλων, scorpions ‘of seven joints’ in the tail; the correction of Letronne, which Kramer supports, is adopted. Groskurd however retains the text, and reads μεγέθει δὲ [ὑπεοͅβαλλόντων καὶ ἐσθ᾽ ὅτε] ἑπτασπονδύλων, ‘of enormous size, and sometimes of seven joints.’

169 Cherchell, a corruption of Cæsarea-Iol.

170 Ebba Ras (the seven capes) or Bougaron.

171 Bougie.

172 Shaw has the merit of having first pointed out the true situation of this celebrated city. Before his time it was sought sometimes at Biserta, sometimes at Farina, but he fixed it near the little miserable ‘Douar,’ which has a holy tomb called Boushatter, and with this view many writers have agreed. Adherbal, however, was besieged and captured in Cirta (Constantine), B. C. 109.

173 An unknown name. Letronne supposes Thisica to be meant, mentioned by Ptolemy, iv. 3.

174 Vaga or Vacca, now Bayjah.

175 Shaw takes Ferreanah to have been the ancient Thala or Telepte, but Lapie seeks it at Haouch-el-Khima.

176 Cafsa.

177 Jama.

178 Probably near the ruins of Leptis Parva.

179 El Aliah.

180 Karkenah or Ramlah.

181 Hippo Regius, Bonah; and Hippo Zaritus, Bizerta.

182 Wady Mejerdah.

183 Letronne corrects this reading to 2000, which is the number given by Polybius and Arrian.

184 By the Romans, Numidæ.

185 Pantellaria.

186 Marsala.

187 Kramer is of opinion that this passage from the beginning of the section is an interpolation. Cossura (the island Pantellaria) is nowhere else spelt Corsura; Cossuros is the spelling observed immediately below. Its distance from Aspis is differently stated in b. vi. c. ii. § 11, to be 88 miles from Aspis. Ægimurus is the small island Zembra, near Cape Bon; near it is also another small low rocky island. From the shape and appearance of the former, more especially in some positions, we may attribute the name Aræ (altars), given to them, as in Pliny: ‘Ægimuree Aræ, scopuli verius quam insulæ;’ and they are the ‘Aræ’ of Virgil, Æn. i. 108.

188 i. e. sacred to Mercury. Cape Bon.

189 Cape Aclibia, from the Latin Clypea. B. vi. c. 2, § 11.

190 Malta.

191 Sousah.

192 Demass.

193 Lampedusa.

194 Kramer's proposed emendation is followed.

195 Gulf of Cabes.

196 Jerba or Zerbi. It produced the ‘lotus-zizyphus’ or the carob now common in the islands of the Mediterranean and on the continent.

197 Od. ix. 84.

198 Sabrata?

199 Lebida.

200 Gerace. See b. vi. c. i. § 7, 8.

201 The Cinifo or Wadi-Quasam.

202 Cape Canan or Mesrata

203 See b. ii. c. v. § 20.

204 Its position, like that of so many places on the Great Syrtis, can hardly be determined with certainty. A full discussion of these localities will be found in Barth's Wanderungen.

205 About the middle of the fourth century, B. c., according to a story in Sallust, these monuments commemorated the patriotic sacrifice of two Philæni, Carthaginian envoys.

206 Gulf of Suez.

207 Ben Ghazi. Berenice previously bore the name Hesperides, which name seems to have been derived from the fancy which found the fabled Gardens of the Hesperides in the fertile terraces of Cyrenaïca.

208 Ras-Teyonas.

209 Cape Catacolo.

210 Groskurd justly supposes that the name Chelonatas (Cape Tornese) is here wanting in the text.

211 Zante.

212 Tochira.

213 The name has survived to the present day in that of the district of which it was the capital, the province of Barca, in the regency of Tripoli. The position of Barca is accurately described by Scylax, who places its harbour 500 stadia from Cyrene, and 620 from Hesperides, and the city itself 100 stadia from the sea. It stood on the summit of the terraces which overlook the west coast of the Greater Syrtis, in a plain now called El-Merjeh; and the same name is often given to the ruins which mark the site of Barca, but the Arabs call them El-Medinah. See Smith, art. Barca.

214 Ras-al-Razat or Ras Sem. Scylax here placed the gardens and lake of the Hesperides.

215 Cape Matapan, which is more than a degree and a half more to the east than Phycus.

216 In b. viii. c. v. § 1, it is stated to be 3000.

217 Santorin.

218 Kavo Krio.

219 B. C. 631.

220 B. C. 330.

221 Flourished about B. C. 366. The Cyrenaïc system resembles in most points those of Heracleitus and Protagoras, as given in Plato's Theætetus. The doctrines that a subject only knows objects through the prism of the impression which he receives, and that man is the measure of all things, are stated or implied in the Cyrenaic system, and lead at once to the consequence, that what we call reality is appearance; so that the whole fabric of human knowledge becomes a fantastic picture. The principle on which it rests, viz. that knowledge is sensation, is the foundation of Locke's Modern Ideology, though he did not perceive its connexion with the consequences to which it led the Cyrenaïcs. To revive these was reserved for Hume. Smith's Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

222 This great astronomer and learned man, whose name so frequently occurs in the course of this work, was born about B. C. 276. He was placed, by Ptolemy Euergetes, over the library of Alexandria. His greatest work, and that which must always make his name conspicuous in scientific history, is the attempt which he made to measure the magnitude of the earth, in which he brought forward and used the method which is employed to this day. See vol. i. page 9, of this translation, note9.

223 Carneades was born about B. C. 213. In the year B. C. 155, when he was fifty-eight years old, he was chosen with Diogenes the Stoic, and Critolaus the Peripatetic, to go as ambassador to Rome, to deprecate the fine of 500 talents, which had been imposed on the Athenians, for the destruction of Oropus. During his stay at Rome, he attracted great notice from his eloquent declamations on philosophical subjects, and it was here that, in the presence of Cato the Elder, he delivered his famous orations on Justice. The first oration was in commendation of virtue; in the second justice was proved not to be a virtue, but a mere matter of compact, for the maintenance of civil society. The honest mind of Cato was shocked at this, and he moved the senate to send the philosopher home to his school, and save the Roman youth from his demoralizing doctrines. He left no writings, and all that is known of his lectures is derived from his intimate friend and pupil, Cleitomachus. See Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Biography.

224 Marsa-al-Halal or Al Natroun.

225 Ras-al-Tyn.

226 Grabusa.

227 Ras-el-Milhr.

228 Marsa Sollom, or Akabet-el-Kebira, the present boundary of Tripoli and Egypt.

229 Baretoun or Berek Marsa.

230 Kramer's reading of this passage is followed.

231 Groskurd has a long note on this passage, and reads τοὑς κατ᾽ αὐτὸν νασαμῶνας. The words in the original text, τοὺς κατ᾽ αὐτὸ μαλακῶς, present the great difficulty; but Kramer reads τοῦ for τοὺς, and has adopted in the text Falconer's proposed correction, κατ᾽ αὐτομάλά πως. The name Augila is wanting in the text; it is supplied by Groskurd, and approved by Kramer, who refers to Herod. iv. 172, 182.

232 Aujela, an oasis in the desert of Barca; it still retains its ancient name, and forms one of the chief stations on the caravan route from Cairo to Fezzan.

233 τῆς καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς οἰκουμένης, Groskurd translates as inhabited to our time; but Strabo refers to the then known world, having before, b. i. c. iv. § 6, in a remarkable manner conjectured the existence of other habitable worlds (such as America) in the latitude of Athens. ‘We call that (part of the temperate zone) the habitable earth (οἰκουμένην) in which we dwell, and with which we are acquainted; but it is possible, that in the same temperate zone there may be two or even more habitable earths, especially near the circle of latitude drawn through Athens and the Atlantic Ocean.’ The latitudes of Athens and Washington do not differ by one degree.

234 B. vi. c. iv. § 2.

235 B. ii. c. v. § 31.

236 Guadalquiver (Wad-el-Kebir, the Great River).

237 B. iv. c. i. § 6.

238 B. iii. c. iv. § 20.

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