previous next


But the system of Hipparchus altogether teems with difficulties. Reflect for an instant on the following absurdity; after admitting that the southern extremity of India is under the same degree of latitude as Meroe, and that the distance from Meroe to the Strait of Byzantium is about 18,0001 stadia, lie then makes the distance from the southern extremity of India to the mountains 30,000 stadia. Since Byzantium and Marseilles are under the same parallel of latitude, as Hipparchus tells us they are, on the authority of Pytheas, and since Byzantium and the Dnieper2 have also the same meridian, as Hipparchus equally assures us, if we take his assertion that there is a distance of 37003 stadia between Byzantium and the Dnieper, there will of course be a like difference between the latitude of Marseilles and the Dnieper. This would make the latitude of the Dnieper identical with that of Keltica next the Ocean; for on proceeding 3700 stadia [north of Marseilles], we reach the ocean.4

1 Read 18,100 stadia.

2 The mouth of the Dnieper.

3 Hipparchus stated 3800 stadia, not 3700.

4 Gosselin remarks that these 3700, or rather 3800 stadia, on proceeding from Marseilles, would reach the latitude of Paris, and that of the coasts in the neighbourhood of Tréguier. Eratosthenes and Hipparchus were out but 14′ and some seconds in their calculation of the latitude of Marseilles; but Strabo's error touching the same amounted to 3° 43′ 28″; he consequently fixed the northern coasts of France at 45° 17′ 18″, which is about the latitude of the mouth of the Garonne.

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 (2 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: