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NEXT in order [after Iberia] comes Keltica beyond the Alps,1 the configuration and size of which has been already mentioned in a general manner; we are now to describe it more particularly. Some divide it into the three nations of the Aquitani, Belge, and Kelte.2 Of these the Aquitani differ completely from the other nations, not only in their language but in their figure, which resembles more that of the Iberians than the Galatæ. The others are Galatæ in countenance, although they do not all speak the same language, but some make a slight difference in their speech; neither is their polity and mode of life exactly the same. These writers give the name of Aquitani and Keltæ to the dwellers near the Pyrenees, which are bounded by the Cevennes. For it has been stated that this Keltica is bounded on the west by the mountains of the Pyrenees, which extend to either sea, both the Mediterranean and the ocean; on the east by the Rhine, which is parallel to the Pyrenees; on the north by the ocean, from the northern extremities of the Pyrenees to the mouths of the Rhine; on the south by the sea of Marseilles, and Narbonne, and by the Alps from Liguria to the sources of the Rhine. The Cevennes lie at right angles to the Pyrenees, and traverse the plains for about 2000 stadia, terminating in the middle near Lugdunum.3 They call those people Aquitani who inhabit the northern portions of the Pyrenees, and the Cevennes extending as far as the ocean, and bounded by the river Garonne; and Keltæ, those who dwell on the other side of the Garonne, towards the sea of Marseilles and Narbonne, and touching a portion of the Alpine chain. This is the division adopted by divus Cæsar in his Commentaries.4 But Augustus Cæsar, when dividing the country into four parts, united the Keltæ to the Narbonnaise; the Aquitani he preserved the same as Julius Cæsar, but added thereto fourteen other nations of those who dwelt between the Garonne and the river Loire,5 and dividing the rest into two parts, the one extending to the upper districts of the Rhine he made dependent upon Lugdunum, the other [he assigned] to the Belgæ. However, it is the duty of the Geographer to describe the physical divisions of each country, and those which result from diversity of nations, when they seem worthy of notice; as to the limits which princes, induced by a policy which circumstances dictate, have variously imposed, it will be sufficient for him to notice them summarily, leaving others to furnish particular details.
1 Transalpine Gaul.
2 Gaul is properly divided into the four grand divisions of the Narbonnaise, Aquitaine, Keltica, and Belgica. Strabo has principally copied Cæsar, who appears only to have divided Gaul into Aquitaine, Keltica, and Belgica. Cæsar however only speaks of the provinces he had conquered, and makes no mention of the Narbonnaise, which had submitted to the Romans before his time. Strabo seems to have thought that the Narbonnaise formed part of Keltica.
4 The whole of this passage, says Gosselin, is full of mistakes, and it would seem that Strabo quoted from an inexact copy of Cæsar. To understand his meaning, we must remember that he supposed the Pyrenees extended from north to south, instead of from east to west; and since he adds that these mountains divide the Cevennes at right angles, he must have supposed that this second chain extended from cast to west, instead of from north to south. He likewise fancied that the Garonne, the Loire, and the Seine ran from north to south like the Rhine. Starting from such premises, it was impossible he could avoid confusion; thus we find him describing the Aquitani as north of the Cevennes, when in fact they dwelt north of the Pyrenees, between those mountains and the Garonne, and west of the southern portions of the Cevennes. Where he says that the Kelts dwelt on the other side or east of the Garonne, and towards the sea of Narbonne and Marseilles, it is clear that he prolonged Keltica into the Narbonnaise, since this last province extended along the Mediterranean from the frontiers of Spain to the Alps. Cæsar had stated that the Gauls (the Kelts of Strabo) ipsorum lingua Keltæ, nostri Galli, dwelt between the Garonne, the Seine, the Marne, and the Rhine. Finally, Strabo appears to have assigned the greater part of Gaul to the Belgæ in making them extend from the ocean, and the mouth of the Rhine, to the Alps. This considerably embarrassed Xylander, but as we have seen that Strabo transported a portion of the Kelts into the Narbonnaise, it is easy to imagine that, in order to make these people border on the Belgæ, he was forced to extend them as far as the Alps, near the sources of the Rhine. Cæsar located the Belgæ between the Seine, the ocean, and the Rhine.
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