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Africa, then, was originally occupied by the Getulians and Libyans,1 rude and uncivilized tribes, who subsisted on the flesh of wild animals, or, like cattle, on the herbage of the soil. They were controlled neither by customs, laws, nor the authority of any ruler; they wandered about, without fixed habitations, and slept in the abodes to which night drove them. But after Hercules, as the Africans think, perished in Spain, his army, which was composed of various nations,2 having lost its leader, and many candidates severally claiming the command of it, was speedily dispersed. Of its constituent troops, the Medes, Persians, and Armenians,3 having sailed over into Africa, occupied the parts nearest to our sea.4 The Persians, however, settled more toward the ocean,5 and used the inverted keels of their vessels for huts, there being no wood in the country, and no opportunity of obtaining it, either by purchase or barter, from the Spaniards; for a wide sea, and an unknown tongue, were barriers to all intercourse. These, by degrees, formed intermarriages with the Getulians; and because, from constantly trying different soils, they were perpetually shifting their abodes, they called themselves NUMIDIANS.6 And to this day the huts of the Numidian boors, which they call mapalia, are of an oblong shape, with curved roofs; resembling the hulls of ships.

The Medes and Armenians connected themselves with the Libyans, who dwelled near the African sea; while the Getulians lay more to the sun,"7 not far from the torrid heats; and these soon built themselves towns,8 as, being separated from Spain only by a strait, they proceeded to open an intercourse with its inhabitants. The name of Medes the Libyans gradually corrupted, changing it, in their barbarous tongue, into Moors.9

Of the Persians10 the power rapidly increased; and at length, the children, through excess of population, separating from the parents, they took possession, under the name of Numidians, of those regions bordering on Carthage which are now called Numidia. In process of time, the two parties,11 each assisting the other, reduced the neighboring tribes, by force or fear, under their sway; but those who had spread toward our sea, made the greater conquests: for the Lybians are less warlike than the Getulians.12 At last nearly all lower Africa/un>13 was occupied by the Numidians; and all the conquered tribes were merged in the nation and name of their conquerors.

1 XVIII. Getulians and Libyans] “Gœtuli et Libyes.” “"See Pompon. Mel. i. 4; Plin. H. N. v. 4, 6, 8, v. 2, xxi. 13; Herod. iv. 159, 168."” Gerlach The name Gœtuli, is, however, unknown to Herodotus. They lay to the south of Numidia and Mauretania. See Strabo, xvii. 3. Libyes is a term applied by the Greek writers properly to the Africans of the North coast, but frequently to the inhabitants of Africa in general.

2 His army, which was composed of various nations] This seems to have been an amplification of the adventure of Hercules with Geryon, who was a king in Spain. But all stories that make Hercules a leader of armies appear to be equally fabulous.

3 Medes, Persians, and Armenians] De Brosses thinks that these were not real Medes, etc., but that the names were derived from certain companions of Hercules. The point is not worth discussion.

4 Our sea] The Mediterranean. See above, c. 17.

5 More toward the Ocean] “Intra oceanum magis.” “"Intra oceanum is differently explained by different commentators. Cortius, Müller and Gerlach, understand the parts bounded by the ocean, lying close upon it, and stretching toward the west; while Langius thinks that the regions more remote from the Atlantic Ocean, and extending toward the east, are meant. But Langius did not consider that those who had inverted keels of vessels for cottages, could not have strayed far from the ocean, but must have settled in parts bordering upon it. And this is what is signified by intra oceanum. For intra aliquam rem is not always used to denote what is actually in a thing, and circumscribed by its boundaries, but what approaches toward it, and reaches close to it."” Kritzius. He then instances intra modum, intra legem ; Hortensii scripït intra famam sunt, Quintil. xi. 3, 8. But the best example which he produces is Liv. xxv. 11: Fossa ingens ducta, et vallum intra eam erigitur. Cicero, in Verr. iii. 89, has also, he notices, the same expression, Locus intra oceanum jam nullus est--quò non nostrorum hominum libido iniquitasque pervaserit, i.e., locus oceano conterminus. Bernouf absurdly follows Langius.

6 Numidians] “Numidas.” The same as Nomades, or wanderers a term applied to pastoral nations, and which, as Kritzius observes, the Africans must have had from the Greeks, perhaps those of Sicily.

7 More to the sun] “sub sole magis.” I have borrowed this expression from Rose. The Getulians were more southward.

8 These soon built themselves towns] That is, the united Medes, Armenians, and Libyans.

9 Medes--into Moors] “Mauris pro Medis.” A most improbable, not to say impossible corruption.

10 Of the Persians] “Persarum.” That is, of the Persians and Getulians united.

11 The two parties] “Utrique.” The older Numidians, and the younger, who had emigrated toward Carthage.

12 Those who had spread toward our sea--for the Libyans are less warlike than the Getulians] “Magis hi, qui ad nostrum mare processerant ; quia Libyes quám Gœtuli minùs bellicosi.” The Persians and Getulians (under the name of Numidians), and their colonists, who were more toward the Mediterranean, and were more warlike than the Libyans (who were united with the Medes and Armenians) took from them portions of their territories by conquest. This is clearly the sense, as deducible from the preceding portion of the text.

13 Lower Africa] “Africa pars inferior.” The part nearest to the sea. The ancients called the maritime parts of a country the lower parts, and the inland parts the higher, taking the notion, probably, from the course of the rivers. Lower Egypt was the part at the mouth of the Nile.

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  • Cross-references to this page (21):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ATLA´NTICUM MARE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), GAETU´LIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HISPA´NIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), INTERNUM MARE
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), NUMI´DIA
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Afri
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Africa
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Africum (mare)
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Armenii
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Carthago
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Gaetuli
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Hercules
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Hispani
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Hispania
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Libyes
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Masinissa
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Mauri
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Medi
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Nomades
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Oceanus
    • Sallust, Catilina, Iugurtha, Orationes Et Epistulae index, Persae
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (31):
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