previous next

CHAP. 35. (21.)—LUSITANIA.

After passing the Durius, Lusitania1 begins. We here have the ancient Turdul2, the Pæsuri, the river Vaga3, the town of Talabrica, the town and river4 of Æminium, the towns of Conimbrica5, Collippo6, and Eburobritium7. A promontory8 then advances into the sea in shape of a large horn; by some it has been called Artabrum9, by others the Great Promon- tory, while many call it the Promontory of Olisipo, from the city10 near it. This spot forms a dividing line in the land, the sea, and the heavens. Here ends one side11 of Spain; and, when we have doubled the promontory, the front of Spain begins. (22.) On one side of it lie the North and the Gallic Ocean, on the other the West and the Atlantic. The length of this promontory has been estimated by some persons at sixty miles, by others at ninety. A considerable number of writers estimate the distance from this spot to the Pyrenees at 1250 miles; and, committing a manifest error, place here the nation of the Artabri, a nation that never12 was here. For, making a slight change in the name, they have placed at this spot the Arrotrebæ, whom we have previously spoken of as dwelling in front of the Celtic Promontory.

Mistakes have also been made as to the more celebrated rivers. From the Minius, which we have previously mentioned, according to Varro, the river Æminius13 is distant 200 miles, which others14 suppose to be situate elsewhere, and called Limæa. By the ancients it was called the "River of Oblivion," and it has been made the subject of many fabulous stories. At a distance of 200 miles from the Durius is the Tagus, the Munda15 lying between them. The Tagus is famous for its golden sands16. At a distance of 160 miles from it is the Sacred Promontory17, projecting from nearly the very middle of the front18 of Spain. From this spot to the middle of the Pyrenees, Varro says, is a distance of 1400 miles; while to the Anas, by which we have mentioned19 Lusitania as being separated from Bætica, is 126 miles, it being 102 more to Gades.

The peoples are the Celtici, the Turduli, and, about the Tagus, the Vettones20. From the river Anas to the Sacred Promontory21 are the Lusitani. The cities worthy of mention on the coast, beginning from the Tagus, are that of Olisipo22, famous for its mares, which conceive23 from the west wind; Salacia24, which is surnamed the Imperial City; Merobrica25; and then the Sacred Promontory, with the other known by the name of Cuneus26, and the towns of Ossonoba27, Balsa28, and Myrtili29.

The whole of this province is divided into three jurisdictions, those of Emerita, Pax, and Scalabis. It contains in all forty-six peoples, among whom there are five colonies, one municipal town of Roman citizens, three with the ancient Latin rights, and thirty-six that are tributaries. The colonies are those of Augusta Emerita30, situate on the river Anas, Metallinum31, Pax32, and Norba33, surnamed Cæsariana. To this last place of jurisdiction the people of Castra Servilia34 and Castra Cæcilia35 resort. The fifth jurisdiction is that of Scalabis36, which also has the name of Præsidium Julium37. Olisipo, surnamed Felicitas Julia38, is a municipal city, whose inhabitants enjoy the rights of Roman citizens. The towns in the enjoyment of the ancient Latin rights are Ebora39, which also has the name of Liberalitas Julia40, and Myrtili and Salacia, which we have previously mentioned. Those among the tributaries whom it may not be amiss to mention, in addition to those already41 alluded to among the names of those in Bætica, are the Augustobrigenses42, the Ammienses43, the Aranditani, the Arabricenses, the Balsenses, the Cesarobricenses, the Caperenses44, the Caurenses45, the Colarni, the Cibilitani, the Concordienses46, the Elbocorii, the Interannienses, the Lan- cienses47, the Mirobrigenses, surnamed48 Celtici, the Medubrigenses49, surnamed Plumbarii, the Ocelenses50 or Lancienses, the Turduli, also called Barduli, and the Tapori. Agrippa states, that Lusitania, with Asturia and Gallæcia, is 540 miles in length, and 536 in breadth. The provinces of Spain, measured from the two extreme51 promontories of the Pyrenees, along the sea-line of the entire coast, are thought to be 3922 miles in circumference; while some writers make them to be but 2600.

1 In a great degree corresponding with modern Portugal, except that the latter includes the tract of country between the Minho and Douro.

2 To distinguish them from the nation of the same name sprung from them, and occupying the Farther Spain. (B. iii. c. 3.) The Pæsuri occupied the site of the present towns of Lamego and Arouca.

3 The modern Vouga, which runs below the town of Aveiro, raised from the ruins of ancient Talabrica.

4 Agueda, which, according to Hardouin, is the name of both the river and the town.

5 Coimbra, formerly Condeja la Veja.

6 Leiria is supposed to occupy its site.

7 According to Hardouin, the modern Ebora de Alcobaza, ten leagues from Leiria.

8 The modern Cabo de la Roca, seven leagues from Lisbon.

9 Pliny, in C. 34, places the Arrotrebæ, belonging to the Conventus of Lucus Augusti, about the Promontorium Celticum, which, if not the same as the Nerium (or Cape Finisterre) of the others, is evidently in its immediate neighbourhood; but he confuses the whole matter by a very curious error. He mentions a promontory called Artabrum as the headland at the N. W. extremity of Spain; the coast on the one side of it looking to the north and the Gallic Ocean, on the other to the west and the Atlantic Ocean. But he considers this promontory to be the west headland of the estuary of the Tagus, and adds, that some called it Magnum Promontorium, or the "Great Promontory," and others Olisiponense, from the city of Olisipo, or Lisbon. He assigns, in fact, all the west coast of Spain, down to the mouth of the Tagus, to the north coast, and, instead of being led to detect his error by the resemblance of name between his Artabrum Promontorium and his Arrotrebæ (the Artabri of his predecessors, Strabo and Mela), he perversely finds fault with those who had placed above the promontory Artabrum, a people of the same name who never were there.

10 On the site of which the present city of Lisbon stands.

11 See note 18 in the preceding page.

12 See note18.

13 See note13 in the preceding page.

14 Among these is Pomponius Mela, who confounds the river Limia, mentioned in the last chapter, with the Æminius, or Agueda.

15 Now the river Mondego.

16 See B. xxxiii. c. 21.

17 Now Cape St. Vincent.

18 Pliny continues his error here, in taking part of the western side of Spain for the north, and part of the southern coast for the western.

19 B. iii. c. 2.

20 With the Vettones, situate in the province of the Alentejo. See B. iii. c. 3.

21 In the present province of Algarve.

22 Now Lisbon. Both Strabo, Solinus, and Martianus Capella make mention of a story that Ulysses came to Spain and founded this city.

23 See B. viii. c. 67 of the present work.

24 According to Hardouin, followed by D'Anville and Uckert, this place gives name to Alcazar do Sal, nearly midway between Evora and the sea-shore. Mannert says Setuval, which D'Anville however supposes to be the ancient Cetobriga.

25 On its site stands Santiago de Cacem, nearly midway between Lisbon and Cape St. Vincent.

26 Or the "Wedge," generally supposed to be Cabo de Santa Maria. Ansart however thinks that it is the Punta de Sagres, near Cape St. Vincent. Pliny's words indeed seem to imply a closer proximity than that of Capes St. Vincent and Santa Maria.

27 According to Hardouin, the modern Estombar; according to D'Anville, in the vicinity of Faro; but ten leagues from that place, according to Mannert.

28 Hardouin and D'Anville are of opinion that Tavira occupies its site.

29 Now Mertola, on the river Guadiana.

30 Now Merida, on the Guadiana. A colony of veterans (Emeriti) was planted there by Augustus.

31 Now Medellin, in the province of Estremadura.

32 Pax Julia, or Pax Augusta, in the country of the Turduli, or Turdetani; now Beja, in the province of the Alentejo

33 Now Alcantara, in the province of Estremadura.

34 Now Truxillo, so called from Turis Julia.

35 Now Caceres.

36 Now called Santarem, from Saint Irene, the Virgin.

37 "The Garrison of Julius."

38 "The Success of Julius."

39 Evora, between the Guadiana and the Tagus.

40 "The Liberality of Julius."

41 B. iii. c. 3.

42 Hardouin takes Augustobriga to have stood on the site of Villar del Pedroso on the Tagus. Other writers think that it is represented by the present Ponte del Arcobispo.

43 From Ammia, now Portalegre, on the frontier of Portugal. The sites of Arabrica and Balsa do not appear to have been ascertained.

44 Capera stood on the site now called Las Ventas de Capara, between Alcantara and Coria. The site of Cæsarobrica has not been ascertained.

45 Coria, in Estremadura, probably occupies the site of Caura.

46 Hardouin suggests that the modern Tomar occupies the site of Concordia.

47 Mannert is of opinion that the city of Lancia was situate in the north of Lusitania, on the river Durius, or Douro, near the modern Zamora.

48 To distinguish them from the Mirobrigenses, surnamed Turduli, mentioned in B. iii. c. 3. Some writers think that this Mirobriga is the present Ciudad Rodrigo; but Ambrose Morales takes it to be the place called Malabriga, in the vicinity of that city.

49 The name of Medubriga was afterwards Aramenha, of which Hardouin says the ruins only were to be seen. They were probably called Plumbarii, from lead mines in their vicinity.

50 According to Hardouin, Ocelum was in the vicinity of the modern Capara.

51 From Cape de Creuz to the Promontory between the cities of Fontarabia and Saint Sebastian.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (17 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: