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NICO´NIS DROMUS

NICO´NIS DROMUS (Νίκωνος δρόμος, Peripl. Mar. Erythr. p. 9, ed. Hudson; Τονίκη, Ptol. 4.7.11; Νίκι, Ptol. 1.17.12), one of the “Runs” of Azania, on the E. coast of Africa, seven (days' stations) in all. Passing the Noti Cornu of Ptolemy (El-Khaïl), the voyager arrived at the “Strands” (αἰγιαλοί), the Little and the Great, extending six days according to the Periplus, eight according to Ptolemy's authorities, though he would reduce the distance to four natural days. The Little Strand, which occurs first, is doubtless the Seïf Tawíl, or “Long Sword,” of the Arab pilots, so called from its curvature. The Great Strand is probably the district now called Merút, “Dry Desert.” These have an extent of 300 miles. Next comes the peopled shore where Ptolemy (1.17.11) places 3 towns, ESSINA (Ἔσσινα), the SARAPIONIS PORTUS (Σαραπίωνος ὅρμος), and TONICE or NICI, the Nicon of the Periplus. These towns must be placed in the Bara Somauli, or the land of the Somauli, or Shúmáli, a mild people of pastoral habits, confined to the coast, which they occupy from the Red Sea to the river Juba. The “Port of Sarapion” corresponds with Markah, while the “Run of Nicon” agrees with the point called Torre in Owen's map. (Narrative of Voyages to explore the Shores of Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar, performed in H. M. ships Leven and Barracouta, London, 1833; comp. Cooley, Claudius Ptolemy and the Nile, p. 64.)

[E.B.J]

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