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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,1 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.2 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.

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

2 Plutarch Sertorius.

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