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As to the southern part of Germany beyond the Elbe, the country which adjoins the bank of that river is now occupied by the Suevi. Next lies the country of the Getæ, at first narrow, its southern side extends along the Danube, and the opposite side along the mountains of the Hercynian Forest, even including part of those mountains, it then becomes broader towards the north, and extends as far as the Tyregetæ; however, we are unable to declare its boundaries with accuracy; and it is on account of our ignorance of these places that those who relate fables of the Riphæan mountains and the Hyperboreans have received credit; as also that which Pytheas of Marseilles has forged concerning the countries bordering on the Northern Ocean, making use of his acquaintance with astronomy and mathematics to fabricate his false narration: let us therefore pass over them; as also what Sophocles, speaking of Orithya in one of his tragedies, says, that she, being snatched by the north wind, was carried “ Over the whole ocean, to the extremities of the earth,
Even to the place where night received its birth,
Where the opposite side of the heavens is beheld,
And where is situated the ancient garden of Phœbus.
” This is of no value to our present inquiry, but must be omitted, as Socrates has done in the Phædrus of Plato. We will relate only what we have learnt from ancient accounts, and the reports made in our times.
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