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1 The modern names of these localities will form the subject of consideration when we proceed, in c. 7, to a more minute description of Italy.
2 This passage is somewhat confused, and may possibly be in a corrupt state. He here speaks of the Apennine Alps. By the "lunata juga" he means the two promontories or capes, which extend east and west respectively.
3 This seems to be the meaning of "alumna," and not "nurse" or "foster-mother," as Ajasson's translation has it. Pliny probably implies by this antithesis that Rome has been "twice blessed," in receiving the bounties of all nations of the world, and in being able to bestow a commensurate return. Compared with this idea, "at once the nurse and mother of the world" would be tame indeed!
4 By adding its deified emperors to the number of its divinities. After what Pliny has said in his Second Book, this looks very much like pure adulation.
5 Or "Great Greece." This is a poor and frivolous argument used by Pliny in support of his laudations of Italy, seeing that in all probability it was not the people of Greece who gave this name to certain cities founded by Greek colonists on the Tarentine Gulf, in the south of Italy; but either the Italian tribes, who in their simplicity admired their splendour and magnificence, or else the colonists themselves, who, in using the name, showed that they clung with fondness to the remembrance of their mother-country; while at the same time the epithet betrayed some vanity and ostentation in wishing thus to show their superiority to the people of their mother-country.
6 The comparison of its shape to an oak leaf seems rather fanciful; more common-place observers have compared it to a boot: by the top (cacumen) he seems to mean the southern part of Calabria about Brundisium and Tarentum; which, to a person facing the south, would incline to the coast of Epirus on the left hand.
7 The 'Parma' or shield here alluded to, would be one shaped like a crescent, with the exception that the inner or concave side would be formed of two crescents, the extremities of which join at the central projection. He says that Cocinthos (now Capo di Stilo) would in such case form the central projection, while Lacinium (now Capo delle Colonne) would form the horn at the extreme right, and Leucopetra (now Capo dell' Armi) the horn on the extreme left.
8 The Tuscan or Etrurian sea, and the Adriatic.
9 The Varus, as already mentioned, was in Gallia Narbonensis, while the Arsia, now the Arsa, is a small river of Istria, which became the boundary between Italy and Illyricum, when Istria was annexed by order of Augustus to the former country. It flows into the Flanaticus Sinus, now Golfo di Quarnero, on the eastern coast of Istria, beyond the town of Castel Nuovo, formerly Nesactium.
10 Now the Pescara.
11 Now Palo, a city on the coast of Etruria, eighteen miles from Portus Augusti, at the mouth of the Tiber.
12 This distance is overstated: the circuit is in reality about 2500 miles.
13 For instance, from Pola to Ravenna, and from Iadera to Ancona.
14 Sardinia is in no part nearer to Italy than 140 miles.
15 Issa, now Lissa, is an island of the Adriatic, off the coast of Liburnia; it is not less than eighty miles distant from the nearest part of the coast of Italy.
16 That is to say, the south, which was so called by the Romans: the meaning being that Italy extends in a south-easterly direction.
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