, al. Μῆνιγξ
), an island off the N. coast of Africa, to the SE. of the Lesser Syrtis.
It is first described by Scylax (p. 48), who calls it BRACHION (Βραχείων
), and states that its length was 300 stadia, while its breadth was something less. Pliny (5.7
) makes the length 25 M. P. and the breadth 22 M. P. Its distance from the mainland was about 3 stadia (8 stadia, Stadiasm.
p. 455), and one day's sail from Taricheae.
It was the abode of the “dreamy Lotos-eaters” [LOTOPHAGI
], for which reason it was called LOTOPHAGITIS (Λωτοφαγῖτις, Ptol. 4.3.35
; Λωτοφάγων νῆσος, Plb. 1.39
; comp. Strab. i. p.25
, ii. p. 123, iii. p. 157, xvii. p. 834; Pomp. Mela, 2.7.7; Plin. l.c.
9.60; Dionys. v, 180). The Romans first became acquainted with it, by the disastrous expedition of C. Sempronius Blaesus, B.C. 253. (Polyb. l.c.;
comp. Zonar. 8.14
; Oros. 4.9
It contained two towns, Meninx and Thoar, and was the birthplace of the emperors Gallus Trebonianus, and his son, Volusianus (Aurel. Victor, Epit.
31), when it was already known by the name of GIRBA Jerbah,
as the island is now called, produces the “lotus Zizyphus,” a tree-fruit like beans. (Shaw, Trav.
p. 197; Rennell, Geog. of Herod.
vol. ii. p. 287; Barth, Wanderungen
pp. 263, 287.)