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 We will now commence our detailed account, beginning from the Sacred Promontory. This is the most western point not only of Europe, but of the whole habitable earth. For the habitable earth is bounded to the west by two continents, namely, the extremities of Europe and Libya,1 which are inhabited respectively by the Iberians and the Maurusians.2 But the Iberian extremity, at the promontory3 we have mentioned, juts out beyond the other as much as 1500 stadia.4 The region adjacent to this cape they call in the Latin tongue Cu- neum,5 which signifies a wedge. The promontory which projects into the sea, Artemidorus (who states that he has himself been at the place) compares to a ship; three little islands, [he says,] each having a small harbour, contribute to give it this form; the former island resembling the beak of the ship, and the two latter the beams on each side of the ship's bows. [He adds] that there is no temple of Hercules shown there, as Ephorus falsely states, nor yet any altar [to him] nor to any other divinity; but in many parts there are three or four stones placed together, which are turned by all travellers who arrive there, in accordance with a certain local custom, and are changed in position by such as turn them incorrectly.6 It is not lawful to offer sacrifice there, nor yet to approach the place during the night, for it is said that then the gods take up their abode at the place. Those who go thither to view it stay at a neighbouring village over-night, and proceed to the place on the morrow, carrying water with them, as there is none to be procured there.
2 The Mauritanians.
3 Cape St. Vincent.
4 Cape St. Vincent is about 1600 stadia west of Cape Spartel in Africa. Strabo imagined that beyond this cape the African coast inclined to the south-east. In reality it advances eleven degrees and a half farther west to Cape Verd, which is 8° 29′ west of Cape St. Vincent.
5 Herodotus is the first who speaks of a people of Iberia, to whom he gives the name of κυνήσιοι or κύυητες: he describes them as inhabiting the most western part of Europe, beyond the Pillars of Hercules.
6 This passage of Strabo relative to the rocking-stones has occasioned much perplexity to the critics. We have attempted to render the Greek words as near as possible. Many curious facts relative to rocking and amber stones have been collected by Jabez Allies, F. S. A., in his work on the Antiquities of Worcestershire, now in the press.
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