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PALAESIMUNDUM (Plin. Nat. 6.22. s. 24), a great town in the ancient Taprobane (Ceylon), an account of which was given to the Romans by Annius Plocamus, who spent six months there during the reign of the emperor Claudius. According to him, it was situated on a river of the same name, which, flowing from a great internal lake, entered the sea by three mouths. It is probable that it is represented by the present Trincomalee, in the neighbourhood of which are the remains of enormous ancient works for the regulation of the course of the river--now called the Malhavella-Ganga. (Brooke, Geogr. Journ. vol. iii. p 223.) The name occurs under the form Palaesimundu in the Periplus Mar. Erythr., and in Marcian's Peripl. Maris Exteri as the name of the island itself. Thus the first speaks of νῆσος λεγομένη Παλαισιμούδδου, but anciently Taprobane (100.61, ed. Muller); and the second states that the island of Taprobane was formerly called Palaesimundu, but is now called Salice (100.35, ed. Müller). Ptolemy and Stephanus, who follows him, state that the island Πάλαι μὲν ἐκαλεῖτο Σιμόυνδου, νῦν δὲ Σαλική (7.4.1). It is very probable, however, that this is in both cases to be considered as an erroneous reading, and that the true name was Palaesimundum. Lassen considers that it is derived from the Sanscrit words Páli Símanta, the Head of the Holy Law. (Dissert. de Insula Taprobane, p. 14.)


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.22
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