off Britain, mentioned by Pliny, Solinus, and in he Cosmography ascribed to Aethicus.
The notices are as follows:--“Sunt autem xl, Orcades modicis inter se discretae spatiis. Septem Acmodae et xxx. Hebudes.” (Plin. Nat. 4.30
.) “A Caledoniae promontorio Thylen petentibus, bidui navigatione perfect, excipiunt Hebrides insulae, quinque numero, quarum incolae nesciunt fruges, piscibus tantum et lacte vivunt. Secundam a continenti stationem Orcades praebent: sed Orcades ab Hebudibus porro sunt septem dierum, totidemque noctium cursu, numero tires. Vacant homine: non habent silvas: tanturn junceis herbis inhorrescunt. Ab Orcadibus Thylen usque v. dierum et noctium navigatio est.” (Solin. 100.23
.) The Cosmography
merely gives the form Heboso, as applied to an island or archipelago off Britain.
The difficulties raised by the text of Solinus apply to the geography of the Orkneys, Shetlands,
Isles, to some of which he has transferred the name Hebrides. [For this, see ORCADES
] The difficulties in the text of Pliny lie in the difference between the Acmodae and the Hebudes.
It is only clear that one word means the islands west, the other, the islands east, of the Minch. Now either
group will give us seven larger and twenty-three smaller islands, neither having so many as thirty islands of any considerable magnitude, and neither having so few as seven, if the smaller members of the group are included. Without deciding which are the Hebrides, and which the Acmodae, we may say that, on one side, we have Lewis
(with Harris), North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Barra,
&c.--on the other, Skye, Rum, Tiree, Coll, Mull, Jura, Islay,