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Having now fully described the earth, both without1 as well as within, it seems only proper that we should succinctly state the length and breadth of its various seas.

(33.) Polybius has stated, that in a straight line from the Straits of Gades to the mouth of the Mæotis, it is a distance of three thousand four hundred and thirty-seven miles and a half, and that, starting from the same point,2 the distance in a straight line to Sicily is twelve hundred and fifty miles, from thence to Crete three hundred and seventy-five, to Rhodes one hundred and eighty-seven and a half, to the Chelidonian Islands the same distance, to Cyprus two hundred and twenty-five, and from thence to Seleucia Pieria, in Syria, one hundred and fifteen miles: the sum of all which distances amounts to two thousand three hundred and forty miles. Agrippa estimates this same distance, in a straight line from the Straits of Gades to the Gulf of Issus, at three thousand three hundred and forty miles; in which computation, however, I am not certain that there is not some error in the figures, seeing that the same author has stated that the distance from the Straits of Sicily to Alexandria is thirteen hundred and fifty miles. Taking the whole length of the sea-line throughout the gulfs above-men- tioned, and beginning at the same point,3 he makes it ten thousand and fifty-eight miles; to which number Artemidorus has added seven hundred and fifty-six: the same author, including in his calculation the shores of the Mæotis, makes the whole distance seventeen thousand three hundred and ninety miles. Such is the measurement given by men who have penetrated into distant countries, unaided by force of arms, and have, with a boldness that exhibits itself in the times of peace even, challenged, as it were, Fortune herself.

I shall now proceed to compare the dimensions of the various parts of the earth, however great the difficulties which may arise from the discrepancy of the accounts given by various authors: the most convenient method, however, will be that of adding the breadth to the length.4 Following this mode of reckoning, the dimensions of Europe will be eight thousand two hundred and ninety-four miles; of Africa, to adopt a mean between all the various accounts given by authors, the length is three thousand seven hundred and ninety-four miles, while the breadth, so far as it is inhabited, in no part exceeds two hundred and fifty miles.5 But, as Agrippa, including its deserts, makes it from Cyrenaica, a part of it, to the country of the Garamantes, so far as was then known, a further distance of nine hundred and ten miles, the entire length, added together, will make a distance of four thousand six hundred and eight miles. The length of Asia is generally admitted6 to be six thousand three hundred and seventy-five miles, and the breadth, which ought, properly, to be reckoned from the Æthiopian Sea to Alexandria,7 near the river Nile, so as to run through Meroë and Syene, is eighteen hundred and seventy-five. It appears then that Europe is greater than Asia, by a little less than one half of Asia, and greater than Africa by as much again of Africa and one-sixth. If all these sums are added together, it will be clearly seen that Europe is one-third, and a little more than one-eighth part of one-third, Asia one-fourth and one-four- teenth part of one-fourth, and Africa, one-fifth and one-sixtieth part of one-fifth of the whole earth.8

1 Hardouin takes this to mean, both as to the continent, with the places there situate, and the seas, with the islands there found; the continent being the interior, and the seas the exterior part. It is much more likely, however, that his description of the interior of the earth is that given in the 2nd Book, while the account of the exterior is set forth in the geographical notices contained in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th.

2 The Straits of Gades or Cadiz.

3 The Straits of Gades.

4 Littré has the following remark: "Is it possible that Pliny can have imagined that the extent of a surface could be ascertained by adding the length to the breadth?" It is just possible that such may not have been his meaning; but it seems quite impossible to divine what it was.

5 He means to say that the interior is not inhabited beyond a distance of 250 miles from the sea-coast.

6 See B. v. c. 9.

7 He is probably speaking only of that part of Asia which included Egypt, on the eastern side of the river Nile, according to ancient geography. His mode, however, of reckoning the breadth of Asia, i.e. from south to north, is singular. See p. 104.

8 On a rough calculation, these aliquot parts in all would make 4/4 2/2 6/9 4/0 3/0 parts of the unit. It is not improbable that the figures given above as the dimensions are incorrect, as they do not agree with the fractional results here given by Pliny.

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