previous next


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,1 in the direction of the winter sunrise, arrive on the fourth day at Augila.2 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.

1 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.

2 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.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1877)
hide References (6 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: