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1 LXXIX. Philæni] The account of these Carthaginian brothers with a Greek name, φίλαινοι, praise-loving, is probably a fable. Cortius thinks that the inhabitants, observing two mounds rising above the surrounding level, fancied they must have been raised, not by nature, but by human labor, and invented a story to account for their existence. " The altars," according to Mr. Rennell (Geog. of Herod., p. 640), " were situated about seven ninths of the way from Carthage to Cyrene; and the deception," he adds, "would have been too gross, had it been pretended that the Carthaginian party had traveled seven parts in nine, while the Cyrenians had traveled no more than two such parts of the way." Pliny (H. N. v. 4) says that the altars were of sand; Strabo (lib. iii.) says that in his time they had vanished. Pomponius Mela and Valerius Maximus repeat the story, but without adding any thing to render it more probable.
2 Devoid of vegetation] “Nuda gignentium.” So c. 93, cuncta gignentium natura. Kritzius justly observes that gignentia is not to be taken in the sense of genita, as Cortius and others interpret, but in its own active sense; the ground was bare of all that was productive, or of whatever generates any thing. This interpretation is suggested by Perizonius ad Sanctü Minerv. i. 15.
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