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 The Chelonophagi (or Turtle-eaters) live under the cover of shells (of turtles), which are large enough to be used as boats. Some make of the sea-weed, which is thrown up in large quantities, lofty and hill-like heaps, which are hollowed out, and underneath which they live. They cast out the dead, which are carried away by the tide, as food for fish. There are three islands which follow in succession, the island of Tortoises, the island of Seals, and the island of Hawks. Along the whole coast there are plantations of palm trees, olive trees, and laurels, not only within, but in a great part also without the straits. There is also an island [called the island] of Philip, opposite to it inland is situated the hunting-ground for elephants, called the chase of Pythangelus; then follows Arsinoë, a city with a harbour; after these places is Deire, and beyond them is a hunting-ground for elephants. From Deire, the next country is that which bears aromatic plants. The first produces myrrh, and belongs to the Icthyophagi and the Creophagi. It bears also the persea, peach or Egyptian almond,1 and the Egyptian fig. Beyond is Licha, a hunting-ground for elephants. There are also in many places standing pools of rain-water. When these are dried up, the elephants, with their trunks and tusks, dig holes and find water. On this coast there are two very large lakes extending as far as the promontory Pytholaus.2 One of them contains salt water, and is called a sea; the other, fresh water, and is the haunt of hippopotami and crocodiles. On the margin grows the papyrus. The ibis is seen in the neighbourhood of this place. The people who live near the promontory of Pytholaus (and beginning from this place) do not undergo any mutilation in any part of their body. Next is the country which produces frankincense; it has a promontory and a temple with a grove of poplars. In the inland parts is a tract along the banks of a river bearing the name of Isis, and another that of Nilus,3 both of which produce myrrh and frankincense. Also a lagoon filled with water from the mountains; next the watch-post of the Lion, and the port of Pythangelus. The next tract bears the false cassia. There are many tracts in succession on the sides of rivers on which frankincense grows, and rivers extending to the cinnamon country. The river which bounds this tract produces (phlous) rushes4 in great abundance. Then follows another river, and the port of Daphnus,5 and a valley called Apollo's, which bears, besides frankincense, myrrh and cinnamon. The latter is more abundant in places far in the interior. Next is the mountain Elephas,6 a mountain projecting into the sea, and a creek; then follows the large harbour of Psygmus, a watering-place called that of Cynocephali, and the last promontory of this coast, Notu-ceras (or the Southern Horn).7 After doubling this cape towards the south, we have no more descriptions, he says, of harbours or places, because nothing is known of the sea-coast beyond this point.8
1 Pliny, xiii. 17; xv. 13.
2 Perhaps Zeila. Strabo is here describing the coast of the modem kingdom of Adel.
3 The Periplus of the Erythræan Sea indicates on this coast a place called Niloptolemæum, which appears to correspond with the mouth of the river Pedra. Gossellin.
4 Phleus schæoris. Linn.
5 Daphnus Parvus of the Periplus of the Erythræan Sea.
6 Now Fellis or Fel, which signifies Elephant in Arabic.
7 I think that there is something here omitted and wanting in the text of Strabo, as he seems to make Artemidorus say, that a little after Mount Elephas we find the Horn, or the Cape of the South; for this last appellation appears to have been applied to Cape Guardafui. But this cape, from the time of Philadelphus, and consequently before the period in which Artemidorus wrote, was known by the name of the Promontory of the Aromatics; this author therefore could not have confounded it with the Southern Horn. I have already come to the conclusion that the Southern Horn corresponds with the Southern Cape of Bandel-caus, where commences the desert coast of Ajan, the ancient Azania, respecting which Artemidorus confesses that he was unable to procure any information. It therefore appears to me, that the description which this author must have given of the coast of Africa, from Mount Elephas to the Southern Horn, and which Strabo should have copied, is now wanting in the text. This omission seems to have been noticed by some copyist, who thought to supply it by naming again, to the south of Mount Elephas, the altars of Pytholaus, Lichas, Pythangelus, and Leon, which Artemidorus had already spoken of, and which navigators meet with on the west, and before arriving at Mount Elephas. Gossellin.
8 The text of this paragraph is corrupt; but the reading followed is that suggested in a note by Kramer.
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