WE shall next describe Africa, which is the remaining portion of the whole description of the earth.

We have before said much respecting it; but at present I shall further describe what suits my purpose, and add what has not been previously mentioned.1

The writers who have divided the habitable world according to continents, divide it unequally. But a threefold division denotes a division into three equal parts. Africa, however, wants so much of being a third part of the habitable world, that, even if it were united to Europe, it would not be equal to Asia; perhaps it is even less than Europe; in resources it is very much inferior, for a great part of the inland and maritime country is desert. It is spotted over with small habitable parts, which are scattered about, and mostly belonging to nomade tribes. Besides the desert state of the country, its being a nursery of wild beasts is a hindrance to settlement in parts which could be inhabited. It comprises also a large part of the torrid zone.

All the sea-coast in our quarter, situated between the Nile and the Pillars, particularly that which belonged to the Carthaginians, is fertile and inhabited. And even in this tract, some spots destitute of water intervene, as those about the Syrtes, the Marmaridæ, and the Catabathmus.

The shape of Africa is that of a right-angled triangle, if we imagine its figure to be drawn on a plane surface. Its base is the coast opposite to us, extending from Egypt and the Nile to Mauretania and the Pillars; at right angles to this is a side formed by the Nile to Ethiopia, which side we continue to the ocean; the hypothenuse of the right angle is the whole tract of sea-coast lying between Ethiopia and Mauretania.

As the part situated at the vertex of the above-mentioned figure, and lying almost entirely under the torrid zone, is inaccessible, we speak of it from conjecture, and therefore cannot say what is the greatest breadth of the country. In a former2 part of this work we have said, that the distance proceeding from Alexandreia southwards to Meroë, the royal seat of the Ethiopians, is about 10,000 stadia; thence in a straight line to the borders of the torrid zone and the habitable country, 3000 stadia. The sum, therefore, may be assumed as the greatest breadth of Africa, which is 13,000 or 14,000 stadia: its length may be a little less than double this sum. So much then on the subject of Africa in general. I am now to describe its several parts, beginning from the most celebrated on the west. [2]

Here dwell a people called by the Greeks Maurusii, and by the Romans and the natives Mauri, a populous and flourishing African nation, situated opposite to Spain, on the other side of the strait, at the Pillars of Hercules, which we have frequently mentioned before. On proceeding beyond the strait at the Pillars, with Africa on the left hand, we come to a mountain which the Greeks call Atlas, and the barbarians Dyris. Thence projects into the sea a point formed by the foot of the mountain towards the west of Mauretania, and called the Coteis.3 Near it is a small town, a little above the sea, which the barbarians call Trinx; Artemidorus, Lynx; and Eratosthenes, Lixus.4 It lies on the side of the strait opposite to Gadeira,5 from which it is separated by a passage of 800 stadia, the width of the strait at the Pillars between both places. To the south, near Lixus and the Coteis, is a bay called Emporicus,6 having upon it Phoenician mercantile settlements. The whole coast continuous with this bay abounds with them. Subtracting these bays, and the projections of land in the triangular figure which I have described, the continent may rather be considered as increasing in magnitude in the direction of south and east. The mountain which extends through the middle of Mauretania, from the Coteis to the Syrtes, is itself inhabited, as well as others running parallel to it, first by the Maurusii, but deep in the interior of the country by the largest of the African tribes, called Gætuli. [3]

Historians, beginning with the voyage of Ophelas (Apellas ?),7 have invented a great number of fables respecting the sea-coast of Africa beyond the Pillars. We have mentioned them before, and mention them now, requesting our readers to pardon the introduction of marvellous stories, whenever we may be compelled to relate anything of the kind, being unwilling to pass them over entirely in silence, and so in a manner to mutilate our account of the country.

It is said, that the Sinus Emporicus (or merchants' bay) has a cave which admits the sea at high tide to the distance even of seven stadia, and in front of this bay a low and level tract with an altar of Hercules upon it, which, they say, is not covered by the tide. This I, of course, consider to be one of the fictitious stories. Like this is the tale, that on other bays in the succeeding coast there were ancient settlements of Tyrians, now abandoned, which consisted of not less than three hundred cities, and were destroyed by the Pharusii8 and the Nigritæ. These people, they say, are distant thirty days' journey from Lynx. [4]

Writers in general are agreed that Mauretania is a fertile country, except a small part which is desert, and is supplied with water by rivers and lakes. It has forests of trees of vast size, and the soil produces everything. It is this country which furnishes the Romans with tables, formed of one piece of wood, of the largest dimensions, and most beautifully variegated. The rivers are said to contain crocodiles and other kinds of animals similar to those in the Nile. Some suppose that even the sources of the Nile are near the extremities of Mauretania. In a certain river leeches are bred seven cubits in length, with gills, pierced through with holes, through which they respire. This country is also said to produce a vine, the girth of which two men can scarcely compass, and bearing bunches of grapes of about a cubit in size. All plants and pot-herbs are tall, as the arum and dracontium;9 the stalks of the staphylinus,10 the hippomarathum,11 and the scolymus12 are twelve cubits in height, and four palms in thickness. The country is the fruitful nurse of large serpents, elephants, antelopes, buffaloes, and similar animals; of lions also, and panthers. It produces weasels (jerboas ?) equal in size and similar to cats, except that their noses are more prominent; and multitudes of apes, of which Poseidonius relates, that when he was sailing from Gades to Italy, and approached the coast of Africa, he saw a forest low upon the sea-shore full of these animals, some on the trees, others on the ground, and some giving suck to their young. He was amused also with seeing some with large dugs, some bald, others with ruptures, and exhibiting to view various effects of disease. [5]

Above Mauretania, on the exterior sea (the Atlantic), is the country of the western Ethiopians, as they are called, which, for the most part, is badly inhabited. Iphicrates13 says, that camel-leopards are bred here, and elephants, and the animals called rhizeis,14 which in shape are like bulls, but in manner of living, in size, and strength in fighting, resemble elephants. He speaks also of large serpents, and says that even grass grows upon their backs; that lions attack the young of the elephants, and that when they have wounded them, they fly on the approach of the dams; that the latter, when they see their young besmeared with blood, kill them; and that the lions return to the dead bodies, and devour them; that Bogus king of the Mauretanians, during his expedition against the western Ethiopians, sent, as a present to his wife, canes similar to the Indian canes, each joint of which contained eight chœnices,15 and asparagus of similar magnitude. [6]

On sailing into the interior sea, from Lynx, there are Zelis16 a city and Tingis,17 then the monuments of the Seven Brothers,18 and the mountain lying below, of the name of Abyle,19 abounding with wild animals and trees of a great size. They say, that the length of the strait at the pillars is 120 stadia, and the least breadth at Elephas20 60 stadia On sailing further along the coast, we find cities and many rivers, as far as the river Molochath,21 which is the boundary between the territories of the Mauretanians and of the Masæsyli. Near the river is a large promontory, and Metagonium,22 a place without water and barren. The mountain extends along the coast, from the Coteis nearly to this place. Its length from the Coteis to the borders of the Masæsylii23 is 5000 stadia. Metagonium is nearly opposite to New Carthage.24 Timosthenes is mistaken in saying that it is opposite to Massalia.25 The passage across from New Carthage to Metagonium is 3000 stadia, but the voyage along the coast to Massalia is above 6000 stadia. [7]

Although the Mauretanians inhabit a country, the greatest part of which is very fertile, yet the people in general continue even to this time to live like nomades. They bestow care to improve their looks by plaiting their hair, trimming their beards, by wearing golden ornaments, cleaning their teeth, and paring their nails; and you would rarely see them touch one another as they walk, lest they should disturb the arrangement of their hair.

They fight for the most part on horseback, with a javelin; and ride on the bare back of the horse, with bridles made of rushes. They have also swords. The foot-soldiers present against the enemy, as shields, the skins of elephants. They wear the skins of lions, panthers, and bears, and sleep in them. These tribes, and the Masæsylii next to them, and for the most part the Africans in general, wear the same dress and arms, and resemble one another in other respects; they ride horses which are small, but spirited and tractable, so as to be guided by a switch. They have collars26 made of cotton or of hair, from which hangs a leading-rein. Some follow, like dogs, without being led.

They have a small shield of leather, and small lances with broad heads. Their tunics are loose, with wide borders; their cloak is a skin, as I have said before, which serves also as a breastplate.

The Pharusii and Nigretes, who live above these people, near the western Ethiopians, use bows and arrows, like the Ethiopians. They have chariots also, armed with scythes. The Pharusii rarely have any intercourse with the Mauretanians in passing through the desert country, as they carry skins filled with water, fastened under the bellies of their horses. Sometimes, indeed, they come to Cirta,27 passing through places abounding with marshes and lakes. Some of them are said to live like the Troglodytæ, in caves dug in the ground. It is said that rain falls there frequently in summer, but that during the winter drought prevails. Some of the barbarians in that quarter wear the skins of serpents and fishes, and use them as coverings for their beds. Some say that the Mauretanians28 are Indians, who accompanied Hercules hither. A little before my time, the kings Bogus and Bocchus, allies of the Romans, possessed this country; after their death, Juba succeeded to the kingdom, having received it from Augustus Cæsar, in addition to his paternal dominions. He was the son of Juba who fought, in conjunction with Scipio, against divus Cæsar. Juba died29 lately, and was succeeded by his son Ptolemy, whose mother was the daughter of Antony and Cleopatra. [8]

Artemidorus censures Eratosthenes for saying that there is a city called Lixus, and not Lynx, near the extremities of Mauretania; that there are a very great number of Phoenician cities destroyed,30 of which no traces are to be seen; and that among the western Ethiopians, in the evenings and the mornings, the air is misty and dense;—for how could this take place where there is drought and excessive heat? But he himself relates of these same parts what is much more liable to objection. For he speaks of some tribes of Lotophagi, who had left their own country, and might have occupied the tract destitute of water; whose food might be a lotus, a sort of herb, or root, which would supply the want of drink; that these people extend as far as the places above Cyrene, and that they live there on milk and flesh, although they are situated in the same latitude.

Gabinius, the Roman historian, indulges in relating marvellous stories of Mauretania. He speaks of a sepulchre of Antæus at Lynx, and a skeleton of sixty feet in length, which Sertorius exposed, and afterwards covered it with earth.31 His stories also about elephants are fabulous. He says, that other animals avoid fire, but that elephants resist and fight against it, because it destroys the forests; that they engage with men in battle, and send out scouts before them; that when they perceive their enemies fly, they take to flight themselves; and that when they are wounded, they hold out as suppliants branches of a tree, or a plant, or throw up dust. [9]

Next to Mauretania is the country of the Masesylii, beginning from the river Molocath, and ending at the promontory which is called Tretum,32 the boundary of the country of the Masæsyli and of the Masylies. From Metagonium to Tretum are 6000 stadia; according to others, the distance is less.

Upon the sea-coast are many cities and rivers, and a country which is very fertile. It will be sufficient to mention the most renowned. The city of Siga.33 the royal seat of Syphax, is at the distance of 1000 stadia from the above-mentioned boundaries. It is now razed. After Syphax, the country was in the possession of Masanasses, then of Micipsa, next of his successors, and in our time of Juba, the father of the Juba who died lately. Zama,34 which was Juba's palace, was destroyed by the Romans. At the distance of 600 stadia from Siga is Theon-limen (port of the gods);35 next are some other obscure places.

Deep in the interior of the country are mountainous and desert tracts scattered here and there, some of which are inhabited and occupied by Gætuli extending to the Syrtes. But the parts near the sea are fertile plains, in which are numerous cities, rivers, and lakes. [10]

Poseidonius says, but I do not know whether truly, that Africa is traversed by few, and those small rivers; yet he speaks of the same rivers, namely those between Lynx and Carthage, which Artemidorus describes as numerous and large. This may be asserted with more truth of the interior of the country, and he himself assigns the reason of it, namely, that in the northern parts of Africa (and the same is said of Ethiopia) there is no rain; in consequence therefore of the drought, pestilence frequently ensues, the lakes are filled with mud only, and locusts appear in clouds.

Poseidonius besides asserts that the eastern parts are moist, because the sun quickly changes its place after rising; and that the western parts are dry, because the sun there turns in his course. Now, drought and moisture depend upon the abundance or scarcity of water, and on the presence or absence of the sun's rays. But Poseidonius means to speak of the effects produced by the sun, which all writers determine by the latitude, north or south; but east and west, as applied to the residence of men, differ in different places, according to the position of each inhabited spot and the change of horizon; so that it cannot be asserted generally of places indefinite in number, that those lying to the east are moist, and those to the west dry: but as applied to the whole earth and such extremes of it as India and Spain, his expressions (east and west) may be just; yet what truth or probability is there in his (attempted) explanation (of the causes of drought and moisture)? for in the continuous and unceasing circuit of the sun, what turn can there be in his course? The rapidity too of his passage through every part is equal. Besides, it is contrary to evidence to say, that the extreme parts of Spain or Mauretania towards the west are drier than all other places, when at the same time they are situated in a temperate climate and have water in great abundance. But if we are to understand the turning of the sun in this way, that there at the extremities of the habitable world he is above the earth, how does that tend to produce drought ? for there, and in other places situated in the same latitude, he leaves them for an equal portion of the night and returns again and warms the earth. [11]

Somewhere there, also, are copper mines; and a spring of asphaltus; scorpions of enormous size,36 both with and without wings, are said to be found there, as well as tarantulas, remarkable for their size and numbers. Lizards also are mentioned of two cubits in length. At the base of the mountains precious stones are said to be found, as those called the Lychnitis (the ruby) and the Carchedonius (the carbuncle?). In the plains are found great quantities of oyster and mussel shells, similar to those mentioned in our description of Ammon. There is also a tree called melilotus, from which a wine is made. Some obtain two crops from the ground and have two harvests, one in the spring, the other in the summer. The straw is five cubits in height, and of the thickness of the little finger; the produce is 250-fold. They do not sow in the spring, but bush-harrow the ground with bundles of the paliurus, and find the seed-grain sufficient which falls from the sheaves during harvest to produce the summer crop. In consequence of the number of reptiles, they work with coverings on the legs; other parts of the body also are protected by skins. [12]

On this coast was a city called Iol,37 which Juba, the father of Ptolemy, rebuilt and changed its name to Cæsarea. It has a harbour and a small island in front of it. Between Cæsarea and Tretum38 is a large harbour called Salda,39 which now forms the boundary between the territories subject to Juba and the Romans; for the country has been subject to many changes, having had numerous occupants; and the Romans, at various times, have treated some among them as friends, others as enemies, conceding or taking away territories without observing any established rule.

The country on the side of Mauretania produced a greater revenue and was more powerful, whilst that near Carthage and of the Masylies was more flourishing and better furnished with buildings, although it suffered first in the Carthaginian wars, and subsequently during the war with Jugurtha, who successfully besieged Adarbal in Ityca (Utica),40 and put him to death as a friend of the Romans, and thus involved the whole country in war. Other wars succeeded one another, of which the last was that between divus Cæsar and Scipio, in which Juba lost his life. The death of the leaders was accompanied by the destruction of the cities Tisiæus,41 Vaga,42 Thala,43 Capsa44 (the treasure-hold of Jugurtha), Zama,45 and Zincha. To these must be added those cities in the neighbourhood of which divus Cæsar obtained victories over Scipio, namely, first at Ruspinum,46 then at Uzita, then at Thapsus and the neighbouring lake, and at many others. Near are the free cities Zella and Acholla.47 Cæsar also captured at the first onset the island Cercinna,48 and Thena, a small city on the seacoast. Some of these cities utterly disappeared, and others were abandoned, being partly destroyed. Phara was burnt by the cavalry of Scipio. [13]

After Tretum follows the territory of the Masylies, and that of the Carthaginians which borders upon it. In the interior is Cirta, the royal residence of Masanasses and his successors. It is a very strong place and well provided with everything, which it principally owes to Micipsa, who established a colony of Greeks in it, and raised it to such importance, that it was capable of sending out 10,000 cavalry and twice as many infantry. Here, besides Cirta, are the two cities Hippo,49 one of which is situated near Ityca, the other further off near Tretum, both royal residences. Ityca is next to Carthage in extent and importance. On the destruction of Carthage it became a metropolis to the Romans, and the head quarters of their operations in Africa. It is situated in the very bay itself of Carthage, on one of the promontories which form it, of which the one near Ityca is called Apollonium, the other Hermæa. Both cities are in sight of each other. Near Ityca flows the river Bagradas.50 From Tretum to Carthage are 2,500 stadia, but authors are not agreed upon this distance, nor on the distance (of Carthage) from the Syrtes. [14]

Carthage is situated upon a peninsula, comprising a circuit of 360 stadia, with a wall, of which sixty stadia in length are upon the neck of the peninsula, and reach from sea to sea. Here the Carthaginians kept their elephants, it being a wide open place. In the middle of the city was the acropolis, which they called Byrsa, a hill of tolerable height with dwellings round it. On the summit was the temple of Esculapius, which was destroyed when the wife of Asdrubas burnt herself to death there, on the capture of the city. Below the Acropolis were the harbours and the Cothon, a circular island, surrounded by a canal communicating with the sea (Euripus), and on every side of it (upon the canal) were situated sheds for vessels. [15]

Carthage was founded by Dido, who brought her people from Tyre. Both this colony and the settlements in Spain and beyond the Pillars proved so successful to the Phoenicians, that even to the present day they occupy the best parts on the continent of Europe and the neighbouring islands. They obtained possession of the whole of Africa, with the exception of such parts as could only be held by nomade tribes. From the power they acquired they raised a city to rival Rome, and waged three great wars against her. Their power became most conspicuous in the last war, in which they were vanquished by Scipio Æmilianus, and their city was totally destroyed. For at the commencement of this war, they possessed 300 cities in Africa, and the population of Carthage amounted to 700,000 inhabitants. After being besieged and compelled to surrender, they delivered up 200,000 complete suits of armour and 300051 engines for throwing projectiles, apparently with the intention of abandoning all hostilities; but having resolved to recommence the war, they at once began to manufacture arms, and daily deposited in store 140 finished shields, 300 swords, 500 lances, and 1000 projectiles for the engines, for the use of which the women-servants contributed their hair. In addition to this, although at this moment they were in possession of only twelve ships, according to the terms of the treaty concluded in the second war, and had already taken refuge in a body at the Byrsa, yet in two months they equipped 120 decked vessels; and, as the mouth of the Cothon was closed against them, cut another outlet (to the sea) through which the fleet suddenly made its appearance. For wood had been collected for a long time, and a multitude of workmen were constantly employed, who were maintained at the public expense.

Carthage, though so great, was yet taken and levelled to the ground.

The Romans made a province of that part of the country which had been subject to Carthage, and appointed ruler of the rest Masanasses and his descendants, beginning with Micipsa. For the Romans paid particular attention to Masanasses on account of his great abilities and friendship for them. For he it was who formed the nomades to civil life, and directed their attention to husbandry. Instead of robbers he taught them to be soldiers. A peculiarity existed among these people; they inhabited a country favoured in everything except that it abounded with wild beasts; these they neglected to destroy, and so to cultivate the soil in security; but turning their arms against each other, abandoned the country to the beasts of prey. Hence their life was that of wanderers and of continual change, quite as much as that of those who are compelled to it by want and barrenness of soil or severity of climate. An appropriate name was therefore given to the Masæsylii, for they were called Nomades.52 Such persons must necessarily be sparing livers, eaters of roots more than of flesh, and supported by milk and cheese. Carthage remained a desolate place for a long time, for nearly the same period, indeed, as Corinth, until it was restored about the same time (as the latter city) by divus Cæsar, who sent thither such Romans to colonize it as elected to go there, and also some soldiers. At present it is the most populous city in Africa. [16]

About the middle of the gulf of Carthage is the island Corsura.53 On the other side of the strait opposite to these places is Sicily and Lilybæum,54 at the distance of (about) 1500 stadia; for this is said to be the distance from Lilybæum to Carthage. Not far from Corsura and Sicily are other islands, among which is Ægimurus.55 From Carthage there is a passage of 60 stadia to the nearest opposite coast, from whence there is an ascent of 120 stadia to Nepheris, a fortified city built upon a rock. On the same gulf as Carthage, is situated a city Tunis; hot springs and stone quarries are also found there; then the rugged promontory Hermæa,56 on which is a city of the same name; then Neapolis; then Cape Taphitis,57 on which is a hillock named Aspis, from its resemblance (to a shield), at which place Agathocles, tyrant of Sicily, collected inhabitants when he made his expedition against Carthage. These cities were destroyed by the Romans, together with Carthage. At the distance of 400 stadia from Taphitis is an island Cossuros, with a city of the same name, lying opposite to the river Selinus in Sicily. Its circuit is 150 stadia, and its distance from Sicily about 600 stadia. Melite,58 an island, is 500 stadia distant from Cossuros. Then follows the city Adrumes,59 with a naval arsenal; then the Taracheiæ, numerous small islands; then the city Thapsus.60 and near it Lopadussa,61 an island situated far from the coast; then the promontory of Ammon Balithon, near which is a look-out for62 the approach of thunny; then the city Thena, lying at the entrance of the Little Syrtis.63 There are many small cities in the intervening parts, which are not worthy of notice. At the entrance of the Syrtis, a long island stretches parallel to the coast, called Cercinna; it is of considerable size, with a city of the same name; there is also another smaller island Cercinnitis. [17]

Close, in the neighbourhood (of these islands), is the Little Syrtis, which is also called the Syrtis Lotophagitis (or the lotus-eating Syrtis). The circuit of this gulf is 1600, and the breadth of the entrance 600 stadia; at each of the promontories which form the entrance and close to the mainland is an island, one of which, just mentioned, is Cercinna, and the other Meninx;64 they are nearly equal in size. Meninx is supposed to be the ‘land of the lotus-eaters’65 mentioned by Homer. Certain tokens (of this) are shown, such as an altar of Ulysses and the fruit itself. For the tree called the lotus-tree is found in abundance in the island, and the fruit is very sweet to the taste. There are many small cities in it, one of which bears the same name as the island. On the coast of the Syrtis itself are also some small cities. In the recess (of the Syrtis) is a very considerable mart for commerce, where a river discharges itself into the gulf. The effects of the flux and reflux of the tides extend up to this point, and at the proper moment the neighbouring inhabitants eagerly rush (to the shore) to capture the fish (thrown up). [18]

After the Syrtis, follows the lake Zuchis, 400 stadia (in circuit?), with a narrow entrance, where is situated a city of the same name, containing factories for purple dyeing and for salting of all kinds; then follows another lake much smaller; after this the city Abrotonon66 and some others. Close by is Neapolis, which is also called Leptis.67 From hence the passage across to the Locri Epizephyrii68 is a distance of 3600 stadia. Next is the river [Cinyps].69 Afterwards is a walled darn, constructed by the Carthaginians, who thus bridged over some deep swamps which extend far into the country. There are some places here without harbours, although the rest of the coast is provided with them. Next is a lofty wooded promontory, which is the commencement of the Great Syrtis, and called Cephalæ (The Heads),70 from whence to Carthage is a distance of a little more than 5000 stadia. [19]

Above the sea-coast from Carthage to Cephalæ (on the one hand) and to the territory of the Masæsyli (on the other) lies the territory of the Libo-Phœnicians, extending (into the interior) to the mountainous country of the Gætuli, which belongs to Africa Proper. Above the Gætuli is the country of the Garamantes, lying parallel to the former, and from whence are brought the Carthaginian pebbles (carbuncles). The Garamantes are said to be distant from the Ethiopians, who live on the borders of the ocean, nine or ten days' journey, and from the temple of Ammon fifteen days. Between the Gætuli and the coast of our sea (the Mediterranean) there are many plains and many mountains, great lakes and rivers, some of which sink into the earth and disappear. The inhabitants are simple in their mode of life and in their dress; they marry numerous wives, and have a numerous offspring; in other respects they resemble the nomade Arabians. The necks both of horses and oxen are longer than in other countries.

The breeding of horses is most carefully attended to by the kings (of the country); so much so, that the number of colts is yearly calculated at 100,000. Sheep are fed with milk and flesh, particularly near Ethiopia. These are the customs of the interior. [20]

The circuit of the Great Syrtis is about 3930 stadia,71 its depth to the recess is 1500 stadia, and its breadth at the mouth is also nearly the same. The difficulty of navigating both these and the Lesser Syrtis [arises from the circumstances of] the soundings in many parts being soft mud. It sometimes happens, on the ebbing and flowing of the tide, that vessels are carried upon the shallows, settle down, and are seldom recovered. Sailors therefore, in coasting, keep at a distance (from the shore), and are on their guard, lest they should be caught by a wind unprepared, and driven into these gulfs. Yet the daring disposition of man induces him to attempt everything, and particularly the coasting along a shore. On entering the Great Syrtis on the right, after passing the promontory Cephalæ, is a lake of about 300 stadia in length, and 70 stadia in breadth, which communicates with the gulf, and has at its entrance small islands and an anchorage. After the lake follows a place called Aspis, and a harbour, the best of all in the Syrtis. Near this place is the tower Euphrantas, the boundary between the former territory of Carthage and Cyrenaïca under Ptolemy (Soter). Then another place, called Charax,72 which the Carthaginians frequented as a place of commerce, with cargoes of wine, and loaded in return with silphium and its juice, which they received from merchants who brought it away clandestinely from Cyrene; then the Altars of the Philæni;73 after these Automola, a fortress defended by a garrison, and situated in the recess of the whole gulf. The parallel passing through this recess is more to the south than that passing through Alexandreia by 1000 stadia, and than that passing through Carthage by less than 2000 stadia; but it would coincide with the parallel passing, on one side, through Heroopolis, which is situated in the recess74 of the Arabian Gulf, and passing, on the other, through the interior of the territory of the Masæsylii and the Mauretanians. The rest of the sea-coast, to the city Berenice,75 is 1500 stadia in length. Above this length of coast, and extending to the Altars of the Philæni, are situated an African nation called Nasamones. The intervening distance (between the recess of the Syrtis and Berenice) contains but few harbours, and watering-places are rare.

On a promontory called Pseudopenias is situated Berenice, near a lake Tritonis, in which is to be observed a small island with a temple of Venus upon it. There also is a lake of the Hesperides, into which flows a river (called) Lathon. On this side of Berenice is a small promontory called Boreion76 (or North Cape), which with Cephalæ forms the entrance of the Syrtis. Berenice lies opposite to the promontories of Peloponnesus, namely, those called Ichthys77 and [Chelonatas],78 and also to the island Zacynthus,79 at an interval of 3600 stadia. Marcus Cato marched from this city, round the Syrtis, in thirty days, at the head of an army composed of more than 10,000 men, separated into divisions on account of the watering-places; his course lay through deep sand, under burning heat. After Berenice is a city Taucheira,80 called also Arsinoë; then Barca,81 formerly so called, but now Pto- lemaïs; then the promontory Phycus,82 which is low, but ex- tends further to the north than the rest of the African coast: it is opposite to Tænarum,83 in Laconia, at the distance84 of 2800 stadia; on it there is also a small town of the same name as the promontory. Not far from Phycus, at a distance of about 170 stadia, is Apollonias, the naval arsenal of Cyrene; from Berenice it is distant 1000 stadia, and 80 stadia from Cyrene, a considerable city situated on a table-land, as I observed it from the sea. [21]

Cyrene was founded by the inhabitants of Thera,85 a Lacedæmonian island which was formerly called Calliste, as Callimachus says, “‘Calliste once its name, but Thera in later times, the mother of my home, famed for its steeds.’” The harbour of Cyrene is situated opposite to Criu-Metopon,86 the western cape of Crete, distant 2000 stadia. The passage is made with a south-south-west wind. Cyrene is said to have been founded by Battus,87 whom Callimachus claims to have been his ancestor. The city flourished from the excellence of the soil, which is peculiarly adapted for breeding horses, and the growth of fine crops. It has produced many men of distinction, who have shown themselves capable of worthily maintaining the freedom of the place, and firmly resisting the barbarians of the interior; hence the city was independent in ancient times, but subsequently88 it was attacked [successfully] by the Macedonians, (who had conquered Egypt, and thus increased their power,) under the command of Thibron the murderer of Harpalus: having continued for some time to be governed by kings, it finally came under the power of the Romans, and with Crete forms a single province. In the neighbourhood of Cyrene are Apollonia, Barca, Taucheira, Berenice, and other small towns close by. [22]

Bordering upon Cyrenaica is the district which produces silphium, and the juice called Cyrenaic, which the silphium discharges from incisions made in it. The plant was once nearly lost, in consequence of a spiteful incursion of barbarians, who attempted to destroy all the roots. The inhabitants of this district are nomades.

Remarkable persons of Cyrene were Aristippus,89 the Socratic philosopher, who established the Cyrenaïc philosophy, and his daughter named Arete, who succeeded to his school; she again was succeeded by her son Aristippus, who was called Metrodidactos, (mother-taught,) and Anniceris, who is supposed to have reformed the Cyrenaic sect, and to have introduced in its stead the Anniceric sect. Callimachus and Eratosthenes90 were also of Cyrene, both of whom were held in honour by the kings of Egypt; the former was both a poet and a zealous grammarian; the latter followed not only these pursuits, but also philosophy, and was distinguished above all others for his knowledge of mathematics. Carneades91 also came from thence, who by common consent was the first of the Academic philosophers, and Apollonius Cronos, the master of Diodorus the Dialectician, who was also called Cronos, for the epithet of the master was by some transferred to the scholar.

The rest of the sea-coast of Cyrene from Apollonia to Catabathmus is 2200 stadia in length; it does not throughout afford facilities for coasting along it; for harbours, anchorage, habitations, and watering-places are few. The places most in repute along the coast are the Naustathmus,92 and Zephyrium with an anchorage, also another Zephyrium, and a promontory called Chersonesus,93 with a harbour situated opposite to and to the south of Corycus94 in Crete, at the distance of 2500 stadia; then a temple of Hercules, and above it a village Paliurus; then a harbour Menelaus, and a low promontory Ardanixis, (Ardanis,)95 with an anchorage; then a great harbour, which is situated opposite to Chersonesus in Crete, at a distance of about 3000 (2000 ?) stadia; for the whole of Crete, which is (a) long and narrow (island), lies opposite and nearly parallel to this coast. After the great harbour is another harbour, Plynos, and about it Tetra-pyrgia (the four towers). The place is called Catabathmus.96 Cyrenæa extends to this point; the remainder (of the coast) to Parætonium,97 and from thence to Alexandreia, we have spoken of in our account of Egypt.98 [23]

The country deep in the interior, and above the Syrtis and Cyrenæa, a very sterile and dry tract, is in the possession of Libyans. First are the Nasamones, then Psylli, and some Gætuli, then Garamantes; somewhat more towards the east (than the Nasamones) are the Marmaridæ, who are situated for the most part on the boundaries of Cyrenæa, and extend to the temple of Ammon. It is asserted, that persons directing their course from the recess of the Great Syrtis, (namely,) from about the neighbourhood of Automala,99 in the direction of the winter sunrise, arrive on the fourth day at Augila.100 This place resembles Ammon, and is productive of palm trees, and is well supplied with water. It is situated beyond Cyrenæa to the south: for 100 stadia the soil produces trees; for another 100 stadia the land is only sown, but from excessive heat does not grow rice.

Above these parts is the district which produces silphium, then follows the uninhabited tract, and the country of the Garamantes. The district which produces silphium is narrow, long, and dry, extending in an easterly direction about 1000 stadia, but in breadth 300 stadia, or rather more, at least as far as has been ascertained. For we may conjecture that all countries which lie on the same parallel (of latitude) have the same climate, and produce the same plants; but since many deserts intervene, we cannot know every place. In like manner, we have no information respecting the country beyond (the temple of) Ammon, nor of the oases, as far as Ethiopia, nor can we state distinctly what are the boundaries of Ethiopia, nor of Africa, nor even of the country close upon Egypt, still less of the parts bordering on the ocean. [24]

Such, then, is the disposition of the parts of the world which we inhabit.101 But since the Romans have surpassed (in power) all former rulers of whom we have any record, and possess the choicest and best known parts of it, it will be suitable to our subject briefly to refer to their Empire.

It has been already stated102 how this people, beginning from the single city of Rome, obtained possession of the whole of Italy, by warfare and prudent administration; and how, afterwards, following the same wise course, they added the countries all around it to their dominion.

Of the three continents, they possess nearly the whole of Europe, with the exception only of the parts beyond the Danube, (to the north,) and the tracts on the verge of the ocean, comprehended between the Rhine and the Tanaïs (Don).

Of Africa, the whole sea-coast on the Mediterranean is in their power; the rest of that country is uninhabited, or the inhabitants only lead a miserable and nomade life.

Of Asia likewise, the whole sea-coast in our direction (on the west) is subject to them, unless indeed any account is to be taken of the Achei, Zygi, and Heniochi,103 who are robbers and nomades, living in confined and wretched districts. Of the interior, and of the parts far inland, the Romans possess one portion, and the Parthians, or the barbarians beyond them, the other; on the east and north are Indians, Bactrians, and Scythians; then (on the south) Arabians and Ethiopians; but territory is continually being abstracted from these people by the Romans.

Of all these countries some are governed by (native) kings, but the rest are under the immediate authority of Rome, under the title of provinces, to which are sent governors and collectors of tribute; there are also some free cities, which from the first sought the friendship of Rome, or obtained their freedom as a mark of honour. Subject to her also are some princes, chiefs of tribes, and priests, who (are permitted) to live in conformity with their national laws. [25]

The division into provinces has varied at different periods, but at present it is that established by Augustus Cæsar; for after the sovereign power had been conferred upon him by his country for life, and he had become the arbiter of peace and war, he divided the whole empire into two parts, one of which he reserved to himself, the other he assigned to the (Roman) people. The former consisted of such parts as required military defence, and were barbarian, or bordered upon nations not as yet subdued, or were barren and uncultivated, which though ill provided with everything else, were yet well furnished with strongholds. and might thus dispose the inhabitants to throw off the yoke and rebel. All the rest, which were peaceable countries, and easily governed without the assistance of arms, were given over to the (Roman) people. Each of these parts was subdivided into several provinces, which received respectively the titles of ‘provinces of Cæsar’ and ‘provinces of the People.’

To the former provinces Cæsar appoints governors and administrators, and divides the (various) countries sometimes in one way, sometimes in another, directing his political conduct according to circumstances.

But the people appoint commanders and consuls to their own provinces, which are also subject to divers divisions when expediency requires it.

(Augustus Cæsar) in his first organization of (the Empire) created two consular governments, namely, (1.) the whole of Africa in possession of the Romans, excepting that part which was under the authority, first of Juba, but now of his son Ptolemy; and (2.) Asia within the Halys and Taurus, except the Galatians and the nations under Amyntas, Bithynia, and the Propontis. He appointed also ten consular governments in Europe and in the adjacent islands. Iberia Ulterior (Further Spain) about the river Bætis104 and Celtica Narbonensis105 (composed the two first). The third was Sardinia, with Corsica; the fourth Sicily; the fifth and sixth Illyria, districts near Epirus, and Macedonia; the seventh Achaia, extending to Thessaly, the Ætolians, Acarnanians, and the Epirotic nations who border upon Macedonia; the eighth Crete, with Cyrenæa; the ninth Cyprus; the tenth Bithynia, with the Propontis and some parts of Pontus.

Cæsar possesses other provinces, to the government of which he appoints men of consular rank, commanders of armies, or knights;106 and in his (peculiar) portion (of the empire) there are and ever have been kings, princes, and (municipal) magistrates.

1 B. ii. c. 3, § 4 and c. 4, § 3.

2 B. i. c. 4, § 2.

3 Cape Spartel, or Espartel. Ampelusia, vine-clad, was the Greek name,—a translation of the native name.

4 Groskurd reads Tinx, and also with Letronne observes that our author has mistaken two places for one. Tinx, or Trinx=Tangiers. Lixus=Al-Harâtch, or Laraiche.

5 Cadiz.

6 Situated between the town Sala (Salee) and Lixus (El-Harâch).

7 Tyrwhitt reads Apellas, for Ophellas of the text. Apellas was a Cyrenæan navigator, whose Periplus is mentioned by Marcianus of Heracleia. There was an Ophellas of Cyrene, who advanced at the head of an army along the coast, to unite himself to Agathocles, who was then besieging Carthage, B. C. 310. He was put to death by Agathocles soon after his arrival, and no Periplus of his said to have existed; his course also to Carthage was by land.

8 A people on the west coast of N. Africa, about the situation of whom Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy are in perfect agreement with one another, if the thirty days' journey of Strabo between them and Lixus on the west coast of Morocco, to the south of Cape Spartel, be set aside, as an error either of his information or of the text; which latter is not improbable, as numbers in MSS. are so often corrupt. Nor is this mere conjecture, because Strabo contradicts himself, by asserting in another place (b. xvii. c. 3. § 7) that the Pharusii had a great desert between them and Mauretania. When Ezekiel prophesies the fall of Tyre, it is said, (xxvii. 10,) ‘The men of Pheres (the common version reads Persia) and Lud and Phut were in thine armies.’ These Pheres thus joined with Phut, or Mauretanians, and the Ludim, who were nomads of Africa (the Septuagint and the Vulgate understand the Lydians), may be reasonably supposed to belong to the same region. Without the vowel points, the name will represent the powerful and warlike tribe whom the Greeks call Pharusii. Smith, art, Pharusii.

9 Arum esculentum (snake-weed), and arum dracunculus.

10 Parsnip (?).

11 Fennel.

12 Artichoke.

13 Groskurd reads Hypsicrates.

14 The rhinoceros.

15 About six quarts, according to the lowest value of the (chœnix).

16 Arzila.

17 Tiga in the text.

18 The Septem-Fratres of Pliny.

19 Jebel-el-Mina, or Ximiera, near Ceuta (a corruption of ἑπτὰ, or septem?).

20 Ape mountain.

21 The Muluwi, which now forms the frontier between Morocco and Algeria, as it did anciently between the Mauretanians and Numidians.

22 Cape Hone, or Ras-el-Harsbak. Groskurd corrects the text, and translates: ‘Near the river is a large promontory, and a neighbouring settlement called Metagonium.’ Kramer's proposed correction is followed.

23 Numidia is the central tract of country on the north coast of Africa, which forms the largest portion of the country now occupied by the French, and called Algeria, or Algérie. The continuous system of highlands which extends along the coast of the Mediterranean was in the earliest period occupied by a race of people consisting of many tribes, of whom the Berbers of the Algerine territories; or the Kabyles or Quabaily, as they are called by the inhabitants of the cities, are the representatives. These people, speaking a language which was once spoken from the Fortunate Islands in the west to the cataracts of the Nile, and which still explains many names in ancient African topography, and embracing tribes of quite different characters, whites as well as blacks (though not negroes), were called by the Romans Numidæ; not a proper name, but a common denomination from the Greek form, νομάδες. Afterwards Numida and Numidia became the name of the nation and the country. Sometimes they were called Maurusii Numidæ, while the later writers always speak of them under the general name of Mauri. The most powerful among these tribes were the Massyli, whose territories extended from the river Ampsaga to Tretum promontory; and the Massæsyli, occupying the country to the west, as far as the river Mulucha. Smith, Diet. art. Numidia.

24 Cartagena.

25 Marseilles.

26 The words περιτραχήλια ζύλινα offer some difficulty. Paul Louis Courier, who is of authority on this subject, says that Strabo, having little experience in horses, has mistaken the first word for another, and intended to speak of the horse's nose, and not his neck. Letronne and Groskurd both agree that ζύλινα is rightly to be translated, ‘of cotton.’

27 Constantine.

28 The Pharusii, and not the Mauretanians, came with Hercules from the East, according to Pliny, Mela, and Sallust; hence Letronne conjectures that we should read here Pharusii.

29 A. D. 18 or 19 at latest, but the exact date is uncertain.

30 Groskurd corrects the text, and translates, ‘there existed in the Bay Emporicus very many Phœnician cities.’

31 Plutarch Sertorius.

32 Ebba-Ras.

33 Probably Tafna.

34 Jama.

35 According to Shaw, who however did visit the place, its ruins are still to be seen by the present Tucumbrit; others identify it with Areschkul of the Arabs, at the mouth of the Tafna near Rasgun.

36 In the text μεγέθει δὲ ἑπτασπονδύλων, scorpions ‘of seven joints’ in the tail; the correction of Letronne, which Kramer supports, is adopted. Groskurd however retains the text, and reads μεγέθει δὲ [ὑπεοͅβαλλόντων καὶ ἐσθ᾽ ὅτε] ἑπτασπονδύλων, ‘of enormous size, and sometimes of seven joints.’

37 Cherchell, a corruption of Cæsarea-Iol.

38 Ebba Ras (the seven capes) or Bougaron.

39 Bougie.

40 Shaw has the merit of having first pointed out the true situation of this celebrated city. Before his time it was sought sometimes at Biserta, sometimes at Farina, but he fixed it near the little miserable ‘Douar,’ which has a holy tomb called Boushatter, and with this view many writers have agreed. Adherbal, however, was besieged and captured in Cirta (Constantine), B. C. 109.

41 An unknown name. Letronne supposes Thisica to be meant, mentioned by Ptolemy, iv. 3.

42 Vaga or Vacca, now Bayjah.

43 Shaw takes Ferreanah to have been the ancient Thala or Telepte, but Lapie seeks it at Haouch-el-Khima.

44 Cafsa.

45 Jama.

46 Probably near the ruins of Leptis Parva.

47 El Aliah.

48 Karkenah or Ramlah.

49 Hippo Regius, Bonah; and Hippo Zaritus, Bizerta.

50 Wady Mejerdah.

51 Letronne corrects this reading to 2000, which is the number given by Polybius and Arrian.

52 By the Romans, Numidæ.

53 Pantellaria.

54 Marsala.

55 Kramer is of opinion that this passage from the beginning of the section is an interpolation. Cossura (the island Pantellaria) is nowhere else spelt Corsura; Cossuros is the spelling observed immediately below. Its distance from Aspis is differently stated in b. vi. c. ii. § 11, to be 88 miles from Aspis. Ægimurus is the small island Zembra, near Cape Bon; near it is also another small low rocky island. From the shape and appearance of the former, more especially in some positions, we may attribute the name Aræ (altars), given to them, as in Pliny: ‘Ægimuree Aræ, scopuli verius quam insulæ;’ and they are the ‘Aræ’ of Virgil, Æn. i. 108.

56 i. e. sacred to Mercury. Cape Bon.

57 Cape Aclibia, from the Latin Clypea. B. vi. c. 2, § 11.

58 Malta.

59 Sousah.

60 Demass.

61 Lampedusa.

62 Kramer's proposed emendation is followed.

63 Gulf of Cabes.

64 Jerba or Zerbi. It produced the ‘lotus-zizyphus’ or the carob now common in the islands of the Mediterranean and on the continent.

65 Od. ix. 84.

66 Sabrata?

67 Lebida.

68 Gerace. See b. vi. c. i. § 7, 8.

69 The Cinifo or Wadi-Quasam.

70 Cape Canan or Mesrata

71 See b. ii. c. v. § 20.

72 Its position, like that of so many places on the Great Syrtis, can hardly be determined with certainty. A full discussion of these localities will be found in Barth's Wanderungen.

73 About the middle of the fourth century, B. c., according to a story in Sallust, these monuments commemorated the patriotic sacrifice of two Philæni, Carthaginian envoys.

74 Gulf of Suez.

75 Ben Ghazi. Berenice previously bore the name Hesperides, which name seems to have been derived from the fancy which found the fabled Gardens of the Hesperides in the fertile terraces of Cyrenaïca.

76 Ras-Teyonas.

77 Cape Catacolo.

78 Groskurd justly supposes that the name Chelonatas (Cape Tornese) is here wanting in the text.

79 Zante.

80 Tochira.

81 The name has survived to the present day in that of the district of which it was the capital, the province of Barca, in the regency of Tripoli. The position of Barca is accurately described by Scylax, who places its harbour 500 stadia from Cyrene, and 620 from Hesperides, and the city itself 100 stadia from the sea. It stood on the summit of the terraces which overlook the west coast of the Greater Syrtis, in a plain now called El-Merjeh; and the same name is often given to the ruins which mark the site of Barca, but the Arabs call them El-Medinah. See Smith, art. Barca.

82 Ras-al-Razat or Ras Sem. Scylax here placed the gardens and lake of the Hesperides.

83 Cape Matapan, which is more than a degree and a half more to the east than Phycus.

84 In b. viii. c. v. § 1, it is stated to be 3000.

85 Santorin.

86 Kavo Krio.

87 B. C. 631.

88 B. C. 330.

89 Flourished about B. C. 366. The Cyrenaïc system resembles in most points those of Heracleitus and Protagoras, as given in Plato's Theætetus. The doctrines that a subject only knows objects through the prism of the impression which he receives, and that man is the measure of all things, are stated or implied in the Cyrenaic system, and lead at once to the consequence, that what we call reality is appearance; so that the whole fabric of human knowledge becomes a fantastic picture. The principle on which it rests, viz. that knowledge is sensation, is the foundation of Locke's Modern Ideology, though he did not perceive its connexion with the consequences to which it led the Cyrenaïcs. To revive these was reserved for Hume. Smith's Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

90 This great astronomer and learned man, whose name so frequently occurs in the course of this work, was born about B. C. 276. He was placed, by Ptolemy Euergetes, over the library of Alexandria. His greatest work, and that which must always make his name conspicuous in scientific history, is the attempt which he made to measure the magnitude of the earth, in which he brought forward and used the method which is employed to this day. See vol. i. page 9, of this translation, note9.

91 Carneades was born about B. C. 213. In the year B. C. 155, when he was fifty-eight years old, he was chosen with Diogenes the Stoic, and Critolaus the Peripatetic, to go as ambassador to Rome, to deprecate the fine of 500 talents, which had been imposed on the Athenians, for the destruction of Oropus. During his stay at Rome, he attracted great notice from his eloquent declamations on philosophical subjects, and it was here that, in the presence of Cato the Elder, he delivered his famous orations on Justice. The first oration was in commendation of virtue; in the second justice was proved not to be a virtue, but a mere matter of compact, for the maintenance of civil society. The honest mind of Cato was shocked at this, and he moved the senate to send the philosopher home to his school, and save the Roman youth from his demoralizing doctrines. He left no writings, and all that is known of his lectures is derived from his intimate friend and pupil, Cleitomachus. See Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Biography.

92 Marsa-al-Halal or Al Natroun.

93 Ras-al-Tyn.

94 Grabusa.

95 Ras-el-Milhr.

96 Marsa Sollom, or Akabet-el-Kebira, the present boundary of Tripoli and Egypt.

97 Baretoun or Berek Marsa.

98 Kramer's reading of this passage is followed.

99 Groskurd has a long note on this passage, and reads τοὑς κατ᾽ αὐτὸν νασαμῶνας. The words in the original text, τοὺς κατ᾽ αὐτὸ μαλακῶς, present the great difficulty; but Kramer reads τοῦ for τοὺς, and has adopted in the text Falconer's proposed correction, κατ᾽ αὐτομάλά πως. The name Augila is wanting in the text; it is supplied by Groskurd, and approved by Kramer, who refers to Herod. iv. 172, 182.

100 Aujela, an oasis in the desert of Barca; it still retains its ancient name, and forms one of the chief stations on the caravan route from Cairo to Fezzan.

101 τῆς καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς οἰκουμένης, Groskurd translates as inhabited to our time; but Strabo refers to the then known world, having before, b. i. c. iv. § 6, in a remarkable manner conjectured the existence of other habitable worlds (such as America) in the latitude of Athens. ‘We call that (part of the temperate zone) the habitable earth (οἰκουμένην) in which we dwell, and with which we are acquainted; but it is possible, that in the same temperate zone there may be two or even more habitable earths, especially near the circle of latitude drawn through Athens and the Atlantic Ocean.’ The latitudes of Athens and Washington do not differ by one degree.

102 B. vi. c. iv. § 2.

103 B. ii. c. v. § 31.

104 Guadalquiver (Wad-el-Kebir, the Great River).

105 B. iv. c. i. § 6.

106 B. iii. c. iv. § 20.

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