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Eth. AR´TABRI (Eth.Ἄρταβροι, Eth. Ἀροτρέβαι, Eth. Arrotrebae), a people in the extreme NW. of Hispania Tarraconensis, about the promontory Nerium (C. Finis terre), and around a bay called by their name [ARTABRORUM SINUS], on which there were several sea-port towns, which the sailors who frequented them called the Ports of the Artabri (Ἀρτάβρων λιμένας). Strabo states that in his time the Artabri were called Arotrebae. He places them in Lusitania, which he makes to extend as far as the N. coast of the peninsula. We may place them along that part of the coast of Gallicia, which looks to the NW. between C. Ortegal and C. Finisterre (Strab. iii. pp. 147, 153, 154; Ptol. 2.6.22). Strabo speaks of the Celtici, in connection with the Artabri, as if the latter were a tribe of the former (p. 153); which Mela expressly states (3.1.9 ; but the text is doubtful). Ptolemy also assigns the district of the Artabri to the Gallaeci Lucenses (Καλλαϊκῶν Λουκηνσίων, i. e. having Lucus Augusti for their capital: 2.6. § § 2, 4).

Pliny (4.20, 22. s. 34, 35) places the Arrotrebae, belonging to the conventus of Lucus Augusti, about the promontory Celticum, which, if not the same as the Nerium of the others, is evidently in its immediate neighbourhood; but he confuses the whole matter by a very curious error. He mentions a promontory called Artabrum as the headland at the NW. extremity of Spain; the coast on the one side of it looking to the N. and the Gallic Ocean, on the other side to the W. and the Atlantic Ocean. But he considers this promontory to be the W. headland of the estuary of the Tagus, and adds that some called it Magnum Pr., and others Olisipone, from the city of Olisipo (Lisbon). He assigns, in fact, all the W. coast of Spain, down to the mouth of the Tagus, to the N. coast; and, instead of being led to detect his error by the resemblance of name between his Artabrum Pr. and his Arrotrebae (the Artabri of his predecessors, Strabo and Mela), he perversely finds fault with those who had placed about the promontory Artabrum a people of the same name, who never were there (ibi gentem Artabrum quae nunquam fuit, manifesto errore. Arrotrebas enim, quos ante Celticum diximus promontorium, hoc in loco posuere, litteris permutatis: Plin. Nat. 4.22. s. 35; comp. 2.118. s. 112).

Ptolemy (l.c.) mentions Claudionerium (Κλαυδιονέριον) and Novium (Νοούιον) as cities of the Artabri.

Strabo relates, on the authority of Posidonius, that, in the land of the Artabri, the earth on the surface contained tin mixed with silver, which, being carried down by the rivers, was sifted out by the women on a plan apparently similar to the “goldwashings” of California (Strab.iii.p. 147).


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.20
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 4.22
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 2.6
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