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We must now return to the point whence we digressed. Herodotus having observed that there could be no such people as Hyperborean, inasmuch as there were no Hypernotii,1 Eratosthenes calls this argument ridiculous, and compares it to the sophism, that there are no epichærekaki,2 inasmuch as there are no epichæragathi;3 [adding] perhaps there are Hypernotii; since at all events in Ethiopia Notus does not blow, although lower down it does.

It would indeed be strange, since winds blow under every latitude, and especially the southern wind called Notus, if any region could be found where this latter was not felt. On the contrary, not only does Ethiopia experience our Notus, but also the whole country which lies above as far as the equator.4

If Herodotus must be blamed at all, it is for supposing that the Hyperboreans were so named in consequence of Boreas, or the north wind, not blowing upon them. The poets are allowed much licence in their modes of expression; but their commentators, who endeavour always to give us the correct view, tell us that the people who dwelt in the extreme north, were styled Hyperboreans. The pole is the boundary of the northern winds, and the equator of the southern; these winds have no other limit.

1 By Hyperboreans are meant people who dwelt beyond the point from whence the north wind proceeded: Hypernotii therefore should be those who lived beyond the point of the procession of the south wind. The remark of Herodotus will be found, lib. iv. § 36. It is simply this: Supposing Hyperboreans, there ought likewise to be Hypernotii.

2 Those who exult over the misfortunes of their neighbours.

3 Those who rejoice in others' prosperity.

4 Gosselin observes, that what Strabo here says, is in accordance with the geographical system of the ancients, who supposed that Africa did not extend as far as the equator. As they distinguished the continent situated in the northern from a continent which they believed to exist in the southern hemisphere, and which they styled the Antichthones, they called the wind, blowing from the neighbourhood of the equator, in the direction of the two poles, a south wind for either hemisphere. For example, if sailors should be brought to the equator by a north wind, and that same wind should continue to waft them on their course after having passed the line, it would no longer be called a north, but a south wind.

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