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 The Massilians live under a well-regulated aristocracy. They have a council composed of 600 persons called timuchi,1 who enjoy this dignity for life. Fifteen of these preside over the council, and have the management of current affairs; these fifteen are in their turn presided over by three of their number, in whom rests the principal authority; and these again by one. No one can become a timuchus who has not children, and who has not been a citizen for three generations.2 Their laws, which are the same as those of the Ionians, they expound in public. Their country abounds in olives and vines, but on account of its ruggedness the wheat is poor. Consequently they trust more to the resources of the sea than of the land, and avail themselves in preference of their excellent position for commerce. Nevertheless they have been enabled by the power of perseverance to take in some of the surrounding plains, and also to found cities: of this number are the cities they founded in Iberia as a rampart against the Iberians, in which they introduced the worship of Diana of Ephesus, as practised in their father-land, with the Grecian mode of sacrifice. In this number too are Rhoa3 [and] Agatha,4 [built for defence] against the barbarians dwelling around the river Rhone; also Tauroentium,5 Olbia,6 Antipolis7 and Nicæa,8 [built as a rampart] against the nation of the Salyes and the Ligurians who inhabit the Alps. They9 possess likewise dry docks and armouries. Formerly they had an abundance of vessels, arms, and machines, both for the purposes of navigation and for besieging towns; by means of which they defended themselves against the bar- barians, and likewise obtained the alliance of the Romans, to whom they rendered many important services; the Romans in their turn assisting in their aggrandizement. Sextius, who defeated the Salyes, founded, not far from Marseilles, a city10 which was named after him and the hot waters, some of which they say have lost their heat.11 Here he established a Roman garrison, and drove from the sea-coast which leads from Marseilles to Italy the barbarians, whom the Massilians were not able to keep back entirely. However, all he accomplished by this was to compel the barbarians to keep at a distance of twelve stadia from those parts of the coast which possessed good harbours, and at a distance of eight stadia where it was rugged. The land which they thus abandoned, he presented to the Massilians. In their city are laid up heaps of booty taken in naval engagements against those who disputed the sea unjustly. Formerly they enjoyed singular good fortune, as well in other matters as also in their amity with the Romans. Of this [amity] we find numerous signs, amongst others the statue of Diana which the Romans dedicated on the Aventine mount, of the same figure as that of the Massilians. Their prosperity has in a great measure decayed since the war of Pompey against Cæsar, in which they sided with the vanquished party. Nevertheless some traces of their ancient industry may still be seen amongst the inhabitants, especially the making of engines of war and ship-building. Still as the surrounding barbarians, now that they are under the dominion of the Romans, become daily more civilized, and leave the occupation of war for the business of towns and agriculture, there is no longer the same attention paid by the inhabitants of Marseilles to these objects. The aspect of the city at the present day is a proof of this. For all those who profess to be men of taste, turn to the study of elocution and philosophy. Thus this city for some little time back has become a school for the barbarians, and has communicated to the Galatæ such a taste for Greek literature, that they even draw contracts on the Grecian model. While at the present day it so entices the noblest of the Romans, that those desirous of studying resort thither in preference to Athens. These the Galatæ observing, and being at leisure on account of the peace, readily devote themselves to similar pursuits, and that not merely individuals, but the public generally; professors of the arts and sciences, and likewise of medicine, being employed not only by private persons, but by towns for common instruction. Of the wisdom of the Massilians and the simplicity of their life, the following will not be thought an insignificant proof. The largest dowry amongst them consists of one hundred gold pieces, with five for dress, and five more for golden ornaments. More than this is not lawful. Cæsar and his successors treated with moderation the offences of which they were guilty during the war, in consideration of their former friendship; and have preserved to the state the right of governing according to its ancient laws. So that neither Marseilles nor the cities dependent on it are under submission to the governors sent [into the Narbonnaise]. So much for Marseilles.
2 We have seen no reason to depart from a literal rendering of the Greek in this passage, its meaning, ‘whose ancestors have not been citizens,’ &c., being self-evident.
3 This name has evidently been corrupted, but it seems difficult to determine what stood originally in the text; most probably it was Rhodanusia.
9 The people of Marseilles.
10 Aquæ Sextiæ, now Aix.
11 Solinus tells us that in his day the waters had lost their virtue, and that their fame had declined. ‘Quarum calor, olim acrior, exhalatus per tempora evaporavit; nec jam par est fame priori.’Solin. cap. 8. The victory of Sextius, mentioned by Strabo, is said to have been gained in the year of Rome 629.
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