), one of the most lofty summits of the Alps, which, from its prominent position near the plains of Italy, and its great superiority in height over any of the neighbouring peaks, is one of the most conspicuous mountains of the whole Alpine range as viewed from the Italian side. Hence it is one of the very few individual summits of the Alps of which the ancient name can be identified with certainty.
It is mentioned by both Pliny. and Mela as containing the sources of the Padus; and the former adds that it was the highest summit of the Alps, which is a mistake, but not an unnatural one, considering its really great elevation (12,580 feet) and its comparatively isolated position. (Plin. Nat. 3.16. s. 20
; Mela, 2.4.4.) Virgil also mentions the forests of “the pine-clad Vesulus” as affording shelter to numerous wild boars of the largest size. (Verg. A. 10.708
; Serv. ad loc.