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 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,1 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 Eratosthenes2 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. Carneades3 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,4 and Zephyrium with an anchorage, also another Zephyrium, and a promontory called Chersonesus,5 with a harbour situated opposite to and to the south of Corycus6 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,)7 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.8 Cyrenæa extends to this point; the remainder (of the coast) to Parætonium,9 and from thence to Alexandreia, we have spoken of in our account of Egypt.10
1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 Marsa-al-Halal or Al Natroun.
8 Marsa Sollom, or Akabet-el-Kebira, the present boundary of Tripoli and Egypt.
9 Baretoun or Berek Marsa.
10 Kramer's reading of this passage is followed.
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