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 Commencing our particular description from Calpe, there is [first] the mountain-chain of Bastetania and the Oretani. This is covered with thick woods and gigantic trees, and separates the sea-coast from the interior. In many places it also contains gold and other mines. The first city along the coast is Malaca,1 which is about as far distant from Calpe as Calpe is from Gades.2 It is a market for the nomade tribes from the opposite coast, and there are great stores of salt-fish there. Some suppose it to be the same as Mænaca, which tradition reports to be the farthest west of the cities of the Phocæi; but this is not the case, for Mænaca, which was situated at a greater distance from Calpe, is in ruins, and preserves traces of having been a Grecian city, whereas Malaca is nearer, and Phoenician in its configuration. Next in order is the city of the Exitani,3 from which the salted fish4 bearing that name takes its appellation.
3 Pomponius Mela gives this city the name of Hexi, or Ex, according to another reading; Pliny names it Sexi, with the surname of Firmum Julium; and Ptolemy, Sex. This is merely a difference relative to the aspiration of the word, which was sometimes omitted, at other times expressed by the letters H or S indifferently.
4 Mentioned by Pliny, Athenæus, Galen, and also by Martial, lib. vii.
Cum Saxetani ponatur cauda lacerti;
Et bene si cœnas, conchis inuncta tibi est;
Sumen, aprum, leporem, boletos, ostrea, mullos,
Mittis; habes nec cor, Papile, nec genium.
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