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Σαρδώ or Σαρδών; later Σαρδανία or Σαρδηνία). Sardinia, a large island in the Mediterranean, is in the shape of a parallelogram, upwards of 140 miles in length from north to south, with an average breadth of 60. It was regarded by the ancients as the largest of the Mediterranean islands, and this opinion, though usually considered an error, is now found to be correct; since it appears by actual measurement that Sardinia is a little larger than Sicily. Sardinia lies in almost a central position between Spain, Gaul, Italy, and Africa. A chain of mountains runs along the whole of the eastern side of the island from north to south, occupying about one third of its surface. These mountains were called by the ancients Insani Montes, a name which they probably derived from their wild and savage appearance, and from their being the haunt of numerous robbers. Sardinia was very fertile, but was not extensively cultivated, in consequence of the uncivilized character of its inhabitants. Still the plains in the western and southern parts of the island produced a great quantity of corn, of which much was exported to Rome every year. Among the products of the island one of the most celebrated was the Sardonica herba, a poisonous plant, which was said to produce fatal convulsions in the person who ate of it. These convulsions agitated and distorted the mouth so that the person appeared to laugh, though in excruciating pain; hence the wellknown risus Sardonicus (Σαρδώνιος γέλως, see Suidas, s. h. v.). Sardinia contained a large quantity of the precious metals, especially silver, the mines of which were worked in antiquity to a great extent. There were likewise numerous mineral

Valley of the Hermus with Acropolis of Sardis.

springs; and large quantities of salt were manufactured on the western and southern coasts. The Greeks called the island Ichnūsa (Ἰχνοῦσα), from its shape, which suggested a footprint, and Sandaliōtis as resembling a sandal (Pausan. x. 17, 2; Sil. Ital. xii. 358; Pliny , Pliny H. N. iii. 85).

The population of Sardinia was of a very mixed kind. To what race the original inhabitants belonged we are not informed; but it appears that Phœnicians, Tyrrhenians, and Carthaginians settled in the island at different periods. The Greeks are also said to have planted colonies in the island, but this account is very suspicious. Sardinia was known to the Greeks as early as B.C. 500, since we find that Histiaeus of Miletus promised Darius that he would render the island of Sardo tributary to his power. It was conquered by the Carthaginians at an early period, and continued in their possession until the end of the First Punic War. Shortly after this event the Romans availed themselves of the dangerous war which the Carthaginians were carrying on against their mercenaries in Africa to take possession of Sardinia, B.C. 238. It was now formed into a Roman province under the government of a praetor; but a large portion of it was only nominally subject to the Romans; and it was not till after many years and numerous revolts that the inhabitants submitted to the Roman dominion. Sardinia continued to belong to the Roman Empire till the fifth century, when it was taken possession of by the Vandals. See La Marmora, Voyage en Sardaigne, 5 vols. (2d ed. Paris, 1837-57); Edwardes, Sardinia and the Sardes (London, 1889); and the history by Manno, 4 vols. (Turin, 1825, and Florence, 1858).

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