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DU´RIA

DU´RIA (Δουρίας, Strab.: Dora), the name of two rivers of Cisalpine Gaul, both of them rising in the Alps, and flowing into the Padus. (Plin. Nat. 3.16. s. 20.) They are commonly called by writers on ancient geography the Duria Major and Duria Minor, but we have no ancient authority for these appellations. Pliny calls them simply “Durias duas;” and Strabo mentions only one river of the name. This is evidently nothing more than the Celtic Dwr or Dur, water; which sufficiently accounts for its double employment. The two streams are now known as the Dora Baltea and Dora Riparia: the former name is apparently of very early origin, as the geographer of Ravenna in the ninth century calls* it “Duria Bantica.” (Geogr. Rav. 4.36.)


1.

The Dora Baltea, which is much the larger of the two streams, has its sources in the Pennine and Graian Alps (Great and Little St. Bernard), and flows through the great valley of the Salassi (Val d'Aosta), receiving on its course numerous tributaries from the glaciers of the Pennine Alps, so that it is one of the most important of the feeders or tributaries of the Padus. It flowed under the walls of Augusta Praetoria (Aosta) and Eporedia (Ivrea), and joined the Padus about 22 miles from the latter city, and the same distance below Augusta Taurinorum. Strabo, who correctly describes this river as flowing through the country of the Salassians, and turned to much account by that people for their gold-washings [SALASSI], has evidently confounded it with the other river of the same name, where he [p. 1.792]speaks of it as having its source close to that of the Druentia (Durance). (Strab. iv. pp. 203, 205.)


2.

The Duria Minor or Dora Riparia rises in the Cottian Alps (the Mont Genvre), almost in the same spot with the Druentia; it flows by Susa (Segusio), and falls into the Po at Turin (Augusta Taurinorum). The geographer of Ravenna calls it simply Duria, without any distinctive epithet. Though inferior to the preceding river, it is a large stream, having its source among the high Alps, and being fed by numerous torrents from perpetual snows and glaciers, so that at the point of its junction with the Po it is little inferior to that river. [E.H.B]

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