previous next


The country above this is bounded principally by the surrounding mountains and rivers. Of these the Rhone is the most remarkable, being both the largest, and capable of being navigated farther than any of the others, and also receiving into it a greater number of tributaries; of these we must speak in order. Commencing at Marseilles, and proceeding to the country between the Alps and the Rhone, to the river Durance, dwell the Salyes for a space of 500 stadia. From thence you proceed in a ferry-boat to the city of Caballio;1 beyond this the whole country belongs to the Cavari as far as the junction of the Isère with the Rhone; it is here too that the Cevennes approach the Rhone. From the Durance to this point is a distance of 700 stadia.2 The Salyes occupy the plains and mountains above these. The Vocontii, Tricorii, Icomi, and Medylli, lie above the Cavari.3 Between the Durance and the Isère there are other rivers which flow from the Alps into the Rhone; two of these, after having flowed round the city of the Cavari, discharge themselves by a common outlet into the Rhone. The Sulgas,4 which is the third, mixes with the Rhone near the city of Vindalum,5 where Cnæus Ænobarbus in a decisive engagement routed many myriads of the Kelts. Between these are the cities of Avenio,6 Arausio,7 and Aëria,8 which latter, remarks Artemidorus, is rightly named aërial, being situated in a very lofty position. The whole of this country consists of plains abounding in pasturage, excepting on the route from Aëria to Avenio, where there are narrow defiles and woods to traverse. It was at the point where the river Isère and the Rhone unite near the Cevennes, that Quintus Fabius Maximus Æmilianus,9 with scarcely 30,000 men, cut to pieces 200,000 Kelts.10 Here he erected a white stone as a trophy, and two temples, one to Mars, and the other to Hercules. From the Isère to Vienne, the metropolis of the Allobroges, situated on the Rhone, the distance is 320 stadia. Lugdunum11 is a little above Vienne at the confluence of the Saone12 and the Rhone. The distance by land [from this latter city] to Lugdunum, passing through the country of the Allobroges, is about 200 stadia, and rather more by water. Formerly the Allobroges engaged in war, their armies consisting of many myriads; they now occupy themselves in cultivating the plains and valleys of the Alps. They dwell generally in villages, the most notable of them inhabiting Vienne, which was merely a village, although called the metropolis of their nation; they have now improved and embellished it as a city; it is situated on the Rhone. So full and rapid is the descent of this river from the Alps, that the flow of its waters through Lake Leman may be distinguished for many stadia. Having descended into the plains of the countries of the Allobroges, and Segusii, it falls into the Saone, near to Lugdunum, a city of the Segusii.13 The Saone rises in the Alps,14 and separates the Sequani, the Ædui, and the Lincasii.15 It afterwards receives the Doubs, a navi- gable river which rises in the same mountains,16 still however preserving its own name, and consisting of the two, mingles with the Rhone. The Rhone in like manner preserves its name, and flows on to Vienne. At their rise these three rivers flow towards the north, then in a westerly direction, afterwards uniting into one they take another turn and flow towards the south, and having received other rivers, they flow in this direction to the sea. Such is the country situated between the Alps and the Rhone.

1 Cavaillon.

2 From the mouth of the Durance to the mouth of the Isère, following the course of the Rhone, the distance is 24 leagues, or 720 Olympic stadia.

3 The Vocontii occupied the territories of Vaison and Die. The Tricorii appear to have inhabited a small district east of Die, on the banks of the Drac. The Iconii were to the east of Gap; and the Medylli in La Maurienne, along the Aar.

4 The Sorgue.

5 Vedene.

6 Avignon.

7 Orange.

8 Le mont Ventoux.

9 Casaubon remarks that Æmilianus is a name more than this Roman general actually possessed.

10 Livy states that 120,000 Kelts were slain, and Pliny, 130,000.

11 Lyons.

12 ῎αοͅαοͅ.

13 The Allobroges and Segusii were separated by the Rhone; the former inhabiting the left bank of the river.

14 The Saone rises in the Vosges.

15 These people are elsewhere called by Strabo Lingones, the name by which they are designated by other writers.

16 The Doubs rises in the Jura, not in the Alps. Ptolemy falls into the same mistake as Strabo.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1877)
hide References (1 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: