, Strab. xvi. p.770
; Diod. 3.39
; Agatharch, ap. Hudson, Geog Graec. Min
. p. 54), or Serpent-isle, was an island in the Red Sea, in Foul Bay,
nearly opposite the mouth of the harbour of Berenice; lat 24° N.
The topazes produced in this island were greatly prized both in the Arabian and Aegyptian markets; and it seems from Pliny (5.29. s. 34
) to have been by some denominated Topaz-isle (Topazos).
The cause of its more usual name is doubtful; but there has always been a tradition in the East that serpents and precious stones are found near one another.
The island of Agathon, i. e. the good genius (Ἀγάθωνος [p. 2.484] νῆσος, Ptol. 4.5.77
) was probably the same with Ophiodes, and answers to the present Zamargat.
The isle of Karnaka,
opposite the headland of Ras-el-Anf,
is, indeed, by some geographers supposed to be the true Ophiodes Insula. (Castro, Hist. Gen. des Voyages,
vol. i. p. 205.)