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 Large quantities of corn and wine are exported from Turdetania, besides much oil, which is of the first quality;1 also wax, honey, pitch, large quantities of the kermes- berry,2 and vermilion not inferior to that of Sinope.3 The country furnishes the timber for their shipbuilding. They have likewise mineral salt, and not a few salt streams. A considerable quantity of salted fish is exported, not only from hence, but also from the remainder of the coast beyond the Pillars, equal to that of Pontus. Formerly they exported large quantities of garments, but they now send the [unmanufactured] wool, which is superior even to that of the Coraxi,4 and remarkable for its beauty. Rams for the pur- pose of covering fetch a talent. The stuffs manufactured by the Saltiatæ5 are of incomparable texture. There is a super- abundance of cattle, and a great variety of game: while, on the other hand, of destructive animals there are scarcely any, with the exception of certain little hares which burrow in the ground, and are called by some leberides.6 These creatures destroy both seeds and trees by gnawing their roots. They are met with throughout almost the whole of Iberia,7 and extend to Marseilles, infesting likewise the islands. It is said that formerly the inhabitants of the Gymnesian islands8 sent a deputation to the Romans soliciting that a new land might be given them, as they were quite driven out of their country by these animals, being no longer able to stand against their vast multitudes.9 It is possible that people should be obliged to have recourse to such an expedient for help in waging war in so great an extremity, which however but seldom happens, and is a plague produced by some pestilential state of the atmosphere, which at other times has produced serpents and rats in like abundance; but for the ordinary increase of these little hares, many ways of hunting have been devised, amongst others by wild cats from Africa,10 trained for the purpose. Having muzzled these, they turn them into the holes, when they either drag out the animals they find there with their claws, or compel them to fly to the surface of the earth, where they are taken by people standing by for that purpose. The large amount of the exports from Turdetania is evinced by the size and number of their ships. Merchant- vessels of the greatest size sail thence to Dicæarchia11 and Ostia, a Roman port; they are in number nearly equal to those which arrive from Libya.
1 In his third book, Strabo, speaking of Campania, regards the oil of Venafrum as superior to any other. In this he agrees with Pliny, who places in the second class the oils of Bætica and Istria. Pausanias considers these two oils, both for beauty of colour and excellence of flavour, inferior to that produced at Tithorea in Phocis, and which was sent to Rome for the service of the emperor's table.
2 Coccus tinctorius, used to dye scarlet.
3 Sinoub, still a Turkish city of importance.
4 A people inhabiting the western parts of the Caucasus.
5 This name occurs only in Strabo: of the various conjectures which have been hazarded on the subject, one of the most probable seems to be that we should read Saltigetæ, a people of Bastetania, mentioned by Ptolemy.
6 These were evidently rabbits.
8 Majorca and Minorca.
9 According to Pliny, (lib. viii. c. 55,) this deputation was sent to Augustus to demand of him a military force, apparently for the purpose of assisting the inhabitants in destroying the rabbits. The same writer has brought together a variety of instances in which cities have been abandoned or destroyed through similar causes. Vide lib. viii. c. 29. The inhabitants of Abdera in Thrace were forced to quit their city on account of the rats and frogs, and settled on the frontiers of Macedonia. (Justin. lib. xv. c. 2.)
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