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ALBIS Ἄλβις or Ἄλβιος: die Elbe), one of the great rivers of Germany. It flows from SE. to NW., and empties itself in the Northern or German Ocean, having its sources near the Schneekcoppe on the Bohemian side of the Riesengebirge. Tacitus (Germ. 41) places its sources in the country of the Hermunduri, which is too far east, perhaps because he confounded the Elbe with the Eger; Ptolemy (2.11) puts them too far from the Asciburgian mountains. Dio Cassius (55.1) more correctly represents it as rising in the Vandal mountains. Strabo (p. 290) describes its courseas parallel,and as of equal length with that of the Rhine, both of which notions are erroneous. The Albis was the most easterly and northerly river reached by the Romans in Germany. They first reached its banks in B.C. 9, under Claudius Drusus, but did not cross it. (Liv. Epit. 140; Dio Cass. l.c.) Domitius Ahenobarbus, B.C. 3, was the first who crossed the river (Tac. Ann. 4.44), and two years later he came to the banks of the lower Albis, meeting the fleet which had sailed up the river from the sea. (Tacit. l.c.; Vell. 2.106; D. C. 55.28.) After that time the Romans,not thinking it safe to keep their legions at so great a distance, and amid such warlike nations, never again proceeded as far as the Albis, so that Tacitus, in speaking of it, says: flumen inclutum et notum olim; nunc tantum auditor.


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Tacitus, Annales, 4.44
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.11
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