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 As to the mouths of the Rhone, Polybius asserts that there are but two, and blames Timæus1 for saying five. Artemidorus says that there are three. Afterwards Marius, observing that the mouth was becoming stopped up and difficult of entrance on account of the deposits of mud, caused a new channel to be dug, which received the greater part of the river into it.2 This he gave to the people of Marseilles in recompense for their services in the war against the Ambrones and Toygeni.3 This canal became to them a source of much revenue, as they levied a toll from all those who sailed up or down it: notwithstanding, the entrance [to the river] still continues difficult to navigate, on account of its great impetuosity, its deposits, and the [general] flatness of the country, so that in foul weather you cannot clearly discern the land even when quite close. On this account the people of Marseilles, who wished by all means to inhabit the country, set up towers as beacons; they have even erected a temple to Diana of Ephesus on a piece of the land, which the mouths of the rivers have formed into an island. Above the outlets of the Rhone is a salt-lake which they call Stomalimnè.4 It abounds in shell and other fish. There are some who enumerate this amongst the mouths of the Rhone, especially those who say that it has seven5 mouths. But in this they are quite mistaken; for there is a mountain between, which separates the lake from the river. Such then is the disposition and extent of the coast from the Pyrenees to Marseilles.
1 The historian, son of Andromachus.
2 The mouths of the Rhone, like those of other impetuous rivers, are subject to considerable changes, and vary from one age to another. Ptolemy agrees with Polybius in stating that there are but two mouths to the Rhone, and those which he indicates are at the present day almost entirely filled up; the one being at Aigues-Mortes, the other the canal now called the Rhône-Mort.
3 Two Helvetian tribes who united themselves to the Cimbri to pass into Italy, and were defeated near Aix by Marius.
4 Now l'étang de Berre or de Martigues.
5 The French editors propose to read here five mouths, thus referring to the opinion of Timæus. This, Kramer observes, Strabo probably in- tended to do. Still, as there were some who were of opinion the Rhone has seven mouths, as appears from Apoll. Rhod. Argonaut. iv. 634, he did not venture to touch the text.
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