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HESPE´RIDES or HE´SPERIS (Ἑσπερίδες, Ἑσπερίς), afterwards BERENI´CE (Βερενίκη: Ben Ghazi, Ru.), the westernmost city of the Cyrenaic Pentapolis, stood just outside the E. extremity of the Great Syrtis, on a promontory called Pseudopenias, and near the river Lathon. It seems to have derived its name from the fancy which found the fabled Gardens of the Hesperides in the fertile terraces of Cyrenaica; and Scylax distinctly mentions the gardens and the lake of the Hesperides in this neighbourhood, where we also find a people called Hesperidae, or, as Herodotus names them, Euesperidae. Its historical importance dates from the reign of the Ptolemies and it was then named Berenice after the wife of Ptolemy III. Euergetes. It had a large population of Jews. (Strab. xvii. p.836; Mela, 1.8; Plin. Nat. 5.5; Solin. 27, 54; Ammian. Marc. 22.16; Steph. B. sub voce Ἑσπερίς; Hierocles, p. 733, where the name is Βερονίκη; Stadiasm. p. 446, Βερνικίς; Itin. Ant. p. 67, Beronice; Tab. Peut., Bernicide; Ptol. 4.4.4, 8.15.3.) Having been greatly reduced by that decline of commercial importance and those ravages of the barbarians which were so severely felt by all the cities of the Pentapolis [CYRENAICA], it was fortified anew by Justinian, who also adorned it with baths. (Procop. de Aedif. 6.12.) Its name is sometimes as an epithet for Cyrenaica, in the form of the adjective Berenicis. (Sil. Ital. 3.249; Lucan 9.524: Beechey, Della Cella, Pacho, Barth.)


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