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 Again, Hipparchus, ever anxious to defend the [accuracy of the] ancient charts, instead of fairly stating the words of Eratosthenes concerning his third section of the habitable earth, wilfully makes him the author of an assertion easy of disproof. For Eratosthenes, following the opinion we before mentioned, that a line drawn from the Pillars of Hercules across the Mediterranean, and the length of the Taurus, would run due west and east,1 divides, by means of this line, the habit- able earth into two portions, which he calls the northern and southern divisions; each of these he again essays to subdivide into as many smaller partitions as practicable, which he denominates sections.2 He makes India the first section of the southern part, and Ariana3 the second; these two countries possessing a good outline, he has been able not only to give us an accurate statement of their length and breadth, but an almost geometrically exact description of their figure. He tells us that the form of India is rhomboidal, being washed on two of its sides by the southern and eastern oceans [respectively], which do not deeply indent its shores, The two remaining sides are contained by its mountains and the river [Indus], so that it presents a kind of rectilinear figure.4 As to Ariana, he considered three of its sides well fitted to form a parallelogram; but of the western side he could give no regular definition, as it was inhabited by various nations; nevertheless he attempts an idea of it by a line drawn from the Caspian Gates5 to the limits of Carmania, which border on the Persian Gulf. This side he calls western, and that next the Indus eastern, but he does not tell us they are parallel to each other; neither does he say this of the other sides, one bounded by the mountains, and the other by the sea; he simply calls them north and south.
1 This is rather free, but the text could not well otherwise be rendered intelligibly.
3 The name of a considerable portion of Asia.
4 From Eratosthenes' description of India, preserved by our author in his 15th book, we gather that he conceived the country to be something in the form of an irregular quadrilateral, having one right, two obtuse, and one acute angle, consequently none of its sides parallel to each other. On the whole Eratosthenes' idea of the country was not near so exact as that of Megasthenes.
5 The Caspian Gates are now known as the Strait of Firouz Koh.
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