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 A river1 flows near to it, which has its sources in the Pyrenees; its outlet forms a port for the Emporitæ, who are skilful workers in flax. Of the interior of their country some parts are fertile, others covered with spartum, a rush which flourishes in marshes, and is entirely useless: they call this the June Plain. There are some who inhabit the Pyrenean mountains as far as the Trophies of Pompey, on the route which leads from Italy into Ulterior Iberia,2 and particularly into Bætica. This road runs sometimes close to the sea, sometimes at a distance therefrom, particularly in the western parts. From the Trophies of Pompey it leads to Tarraco,3 through the June Plain, the Betteres,4 and the plain called in the Latin tongue [the plain] of Marathon, on account of the quantity of fennel growing there. From Tarraco [the road runs] towards the passage of the Ebro at the city of Dertossa;5 from thence having traversed the city of Saguntum,6 and Setabis,7 it follows a course more and more distant from the sea, till it approaches the Plain of Spartarium, which signifies the Plain of Rushes. This is a vast arid plain, producing the species of rush from which cords are made, and which are exported to all parts, but particularly to Italy.8 Formerly the road passed on through the midst of the plain, and [the city of] Egelastæ,9 which was both difficult and long, but they have now constructed a new road close to the sea, which merely touches upon the Plain of Rushes, and leads to the same places as the former, [viz.] Castlon,10 and Obulco,11 through which runs the road to Corduba and Gades,12 the two greatest emporia [of Iberia]. Obulco is distant about 300 stadia from Corduba. Historians report that Cæsar came from Rome to Obulco, and to his army there, within the space of twenty-seven days, when about to fight the battle of Munda.13
1 Probably the river Fluvia, the Alba of the ancients.
2 Iberia, or Spain, was anciently divided into two grand divisions, to which the Romans gave the names of Citerior and Ulterior Iberia. Augustus subdivided this latter into the two provinces of Bætica and Lusitania, giving the name of Tarraco to Citerior Iberia. Nevertheless the ancient names of Citerior and Ulterior continued in use long after this division.
4 We are not exactly acquainted with this place, it is probably Vidre- ras; though others suppose it to be Colonia Sagerra.
8 The cordage of the famous vessel built by Hiero of Syracuse was formed from the spartum of Iberia. Vid. Athenæus, lib. v. p. 206.
12 Cordova and Cadiz.
13 Fought against Pompey.
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