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NIGRI´TAE

NIGRI´TAE, NIGRE´TES (Νιγρῖται, Strab. ii. p.131, xvii. p. 826; Ptol. 4.6.16; Agathem. 2.5; Mela, 1.4.3, 3.10.4; Plin. Nat. 5.8; Νίγρητες, Strab. xvii. p.828; Dionys. A. R. 5.215; Steph. B. sub voce an African tribe who with the Pharusii were said to have destroyed the Tyrian settlements on the coast of the Atlantic, and though adjacent to the W. Aethiopians, were distant only thirty journeys from Linx or Lixus (El-Araïsh). Strabo, as it appears, had no knowledge, or, at least, placed no confidence, in any information which may have reached him as to the countries more to the S. than Fezzán. But if he was so ignorant of Libya, and particularly of the position of the W. Aethiopians (comp. p. 839), no great weight can be attached to his testimony, that the Nigritae and Pharusii, whom he expressly states to have been near those Aethiopians, were only thirty journeys from Lixus, particularly when he accompanies the remark with the doubtful word φασὶ, and with his marvellous stories about the productions of Mauretania. Ptolemy (l.c.) places them on the N. of the river Nigeir, from which they took their name. It may be inferred, therefore, that they are to be sought in the interior between the Quorra or Djolibá and the Sāhăra in the Biledu-l-Súdń. Their chief town was called NIGEIRA (Νίγειρα μητρόπολις, Ptol. 4.6.27): the NIGRITIS LACUS (Νιγρῖτις λίμνη, § 14) may be identified with the lake Dibbeh to the SW. of Timbuktú.

[E.B.J]

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