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 The mountains of the Salyes incline gently from west to north in proportion as they retire from the sea. The coast runs west, and extending a short distance, about 100 stadia, from Marseilles, it begins to assume the character of a gulf at a considerable promontory near to certain stone quarries, and extending to the Aphrodisium, the headland which terminates the Pyrenees,1 forms the Galatic Gulf,2 which is also called the Gulf of Marseilles: it is double, for in its circuit Mount Setium3 stands out together with the island of Blascon,4 which is situated close to it, and separates the two gulfs. The larger of these is properly designated the Galatic Gulf, into which the Rhone discharges itself; the smaller is on the coast of Narbonne, and extends as far as the Pyrenees. Narbonne is situated above the outlets of the Aude5 and the lake of Narbonne.6 It is the principal commercial city on this coast. On the Rhone is Arelate,7 a city and emporium of considerable traffic. The distance between these two cities is nearly equal to that which separates them from the aforesaid promontories, namely, Narbonne from the Aphrodisium, and Arelate from the cape of Marseilles. There are other rivers besides which flow on either side of Narbonne, some from the Cevennes, others from the Pyrenees. Along these rivers are situated cities having but little commerce, and that in small vessels. The rivers which proceed from the Pyrenees, are the Tet8 and the Tech;9 two cities10 are built on them, which bear respectively the same name as the rivers. There is a lake near to Ruscino,11 and a little above the sea a marshy district full of salt- springs, which supplies ‘dug mullets,’ for whoever digs two or three feet and plunges a trident into the muddy water, will be sure to take the fish, which are worthy of consideration on account of their size; they are nourished in the mud like eels. Such are the rivers which flow from the Pyrenees between Narbonne and the promontory on which is built the temple of Venus. On the other side of Narbonne the following rivers descend from the Cevennes into the sea. The Aude,12 the Orbe,13 and the Rauraris.14 On one of these15 is situated the strong city of Bætera,16 near to Narbonne; on the other Agatha,17 founded by the people of Marseilles.
1 The Cape de Creus, a promontory on which was the temple of the Pyrenæan Venus.
2 The Gulf of Lyons.
3 The Cape de Cette.
4 Gosselin says, ‘The Island of Blascon is a rock opposite Agde, on which remains a fortified castle, which preserves the name of Brescon. This rock has been connected with the mainland, to form the port of Agde.’
6 At the present day Narbonne is not situated on the Aude, the course of that river being changed. The lake of Narbonne, mentioned by Strabo, is not the present lake of Narbonne, but the lake of Rubine.
10 Viz. Ruscino, now superseded by Perpignan on the Tet; and Ilibirris, now Elne on the Tech.
11 ‘This ancient city,’ says Gosselin, "no longer exists, with the exception of an old tower, scarcely a league from Perpignan, which still bears the name of the Tower of Roussillon.
12 This river does not rise in the Cevennes, but in the Pyrenees.
14 This name is evidently corrupt; the Arauris of Mela and Ptolemy (the modern Herault) is probably intended.
15 The Orbe.
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