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 The sea-coast next the Sacred Promontory forms on one side the commencement of the western coast of Spain as far as the outlet of the river Tagus; and on the other forms the southern coast as far as the outlet of another river, named the Guadiana.1 Both of these rivers descend from the eastern parts [of Spain]; but the former, which is much larger than the other, pursues a straight course towards the west, while the Guadiana bends its course towards the south.2 They enclose an extent of country peopled for the most part by Kelts and certain Lusitanians,3 whom the Romans caused to settle here from the opposite side of the Tagus. Higher up, the country is inhabited by the Carpetani,4 the Oretani,5 and a large number of Vettones.6 This district is moderately fertile, but that which is beyond it to the east and south, does not give place in superiority to any part of the habitable earth with which it may be compared, in the excellence of its productions both of land and sea. This is the country through which the river Guadalquiver7 flows. This river takes its rise from the same parts as the Guadiana8 and the Tagus, and is between these two in size.9 Like the Guadiana, the commencement of its course flows towards the west, but it afterwards turns to the south, and discharges itself at the same side of the coast as that river. From this river10 the country has received the name of Bætica; it is called Turdetania by the inhabitants, who are themselves denominated Turdetani, and Turduli. Some think these two names refer to one nation, while others believe that they designate two distinct people. Of this latter opinion is Polybius, who imagines that the Turduli dwell more to the north than the Turdetani. At the present day however there does not appear to be any distinction between them. These people are esteemed to be the most intelligent of all the Iberians; they have an alphabet, and possess ancient writings, poems, and metrical laws six thousand years old, as they say. The other Iberians are likewise furnished with an alphabet, although not of the same form, nor do they speak the same language. Their country,11 which is on this side the Guadiana, extends eastward as far as Oretania,12 and southward along the sea-coast from the outlets of the Guadiana to the Pillars [of Hercules]. But it is necessary that I should enter into further particulars concerning this and the neighbouring places, in order to illustrate their excellence and fertility.
2 The Tagus, the Guadiana, and the Guadalquiver, pursue a course nearly parallel to each other, and all incline towards the south before discharging themselves into the sea; the inclination of the Tagus is not equal to that of the other rivers.
3 Lusitania occupied the greater part of the present kingdom of Portugal. It was from the countries north of the Tagus that the Romans caused certain of the inhabitants to emigrate to the south side of that river.
4 The Carpetani occupied a portion of New Castile, where the cities of Madrid, Toledo, &c. are now situated.
5 These people inhabited the southern portions of New Castile, now occupied by the cities of Calatrava, Ciudad-real, Alcaraz, &c. They also possessed a part of the Sierra-Morena.
6 The Vettones inhabited that part of Estremadura, where the cities of Alcantara, Truxillo, &c. are now situated.
9 The course of the Guadiana is longer than that of the Guadalquiver.
11 Viz. Turdetania.
12 The mountainous country in which the Guadalquiver takes its source.
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