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1 Britain was spoken of by some of the Greek writers as superior to all other islands in the world. Dionysius, in his Periegesis, says, "that no other islands whatsoever can claim equality with those of Britain."
2 Said to have been so called from the whiteness of its cliffs opposite the coast of Gaul.
3 Afterwards called Bononia, the modern Boulogne. As D'Anville remarks, the distance here given by Pliny is far too great, whether we measure to Dover or to Hythe; our author's measurement however is probably made to Rutupiæ (the modern Richborough), near Sandwich, where the Romans had a fortified post, which was their landing-place when crossing over from Gaul. This would make the distance given by Pliny nearer the truth, though still too much.
4 Probably the Grampian range is here referred to.
5 The people of South Wales.
6 The Orkney islands were included under this name. Pomponius Mela and Ptolemy make them but thirty in number, while Solinus fixes their number at three only.
7 Also called Æmodæ or Hæmodæ, most probably the islands now known as the Shetlands. Camden however and the older antiquarians refer the Hæmodæ to the Baltic sea, considering them different from the Acmodæ here mentioned, while Salmasius on the other hand considers the Acmodæ or Hæmodæ and the Hebrides as identical. Parisot remarks that off the West Cape of the Isle of Skye and the Isle of North Uist, the nearest of the Hebrides to the Shetland islands, there is a vast gulf filled with islands, which still bears the name of Mamaddy or Maddy, from which the Greeks may have easily derived the words αἱ μαδδαὶ, whence the Latin Hæmodæ.
8 The Isle of Anglesea.
9 Most probably the Isle of Man.
10 Camden and Gosselin (Rech. sur la Géogr. des Anciens) consider that under this name is meant the island of Racklin, situate near the north-eastern extremity of Ireland. A Ricina is spoken of by Ptolemy, but that island is one of the Hebrides.
11 This Vectis is considered by Gosselin to be the same as the small island of White-Horn, situate at the entrance of the Bay of Wigtown in Scotland. It must not be confounded with the more southern Vectis, or Isle of Wight.
12 According to Gosselin this is the island of Dalkey, at the entrance of Dublin Bay.
13 Camden thinks that this is the same as Bardsey Island, at the south of the island of Anglesea, while Mannert and Gosselin think that it is the island of Lambay.
14 According to Brotier these islands belong to the coast of Britanny, being the modern isles of Sian and Ushant.
15 As already mentioned, he probably speaks of the islands of Œland and Gothland, and Ameland, called Austeravia or Actania, in which glœsum or amber was found by the Roman soldiers. See p. 344.
16 The opinions as to the identity of ancient Thule have been numerous in the extreme. We may here mention six:—1. The common, and apparently the best founded opinion, that Thule is the island of Iceland. 2. That it is either the Ferroe group, or one of those islands. 3. The notion of Ortelius, Farnaby, and Schœnning, that it is identical with Thylemark in Norway. 4. The opinion of Malte Brun, that the continental portion of Denmark is meant thereby, a part of which is to the present day called Thy or Thyland. 5. The opinion of Rudbeck and of Calstron, borrowed originally from Procopius, that this is a general name for the whole of Scandinavia. 6. That of Gosselin, who thinks that under this name Mainland, the principal of the Shetland Islands, is meant. It is by no means impossible that under the name of Thule two or more of these localities may have been meant, by different authors writing at distant periods and under different states of geographical knowledge. It is also pretty generally acknowledged, as Parisot remarks, that the Thule mentioned by Ptolemy is identical with Thylemark in Norway.
17 B. ii. c. 77.
18 Brotier thinks that under this name a part of Cornwall is meant, and that it was erroneously supposed to be an island. Parisot is of opinion that the copyists, or more probably Pliny himself, has made an error in transcribing Mictis for Vectis, the name of the Isle of Wight. It is not improbable however that the island of Mictis had only an imaginary existence.
19 "White lead": not, however, the metallic substance which we understand by that name, but tin.
20 Commonly known as "coracles," and used by the Welch in modern times. See B. vii. c. 57 of this work, and the Note.
21 Brotier, with many other writers, takes these names to refer to various parts of the coast of Norway. Scandia he considers to be the same as Scania, Bergos the modern Bergen, and Nerigos the northern part of Norway. On the other hand, Gosselin is of opinion that under the name of Bergos the Scottish island of Barra is meant, and under that of Nerigos, the island of Lewis, the northern promontory of which is in the old maps designated by the name of Nary or Nery. Ptolemy makes mention of an island called Doumna in the vicinity of the Orcades.
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