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 [Italy], however, may be described in the following manner. The roots of the Alps are curved, and in the form of a gulf, the head turned towards Italy; the middle of the gulf in the country of the Salassi, and its extremities turned, the one towards Ocra and the head of the Adriatic, the other towards the coast of Liguria as far as Genoa, a mercantile city of the Ligurians, where the Apennines fall in with the Alps. Immediately under [the Alps] there is a considerable plain, of about an equal extent of 2100 stadia both in breadth and length; its southern side is closed by the coast of the Heneti1 and the Apennines, which extend to Ariminum and Ancona; for these mountains, commencing at Liguria, enter Tyrrhenia, leaving but a narrow sea-coast; they afterwards retire by degrees into the interior, and having reached the territory of Pisa, turn towards the east in the direction of the Adriatic as far as the country about Ariminum and Ancona, where they approach the sea-coast of the Heneti at right angles. Cisalpine Keltica is enclosed within these limits, and the length of the coast joined to that of the mountains is 6300 stadia; its breadth rather less than 2000. The remainder of Italy is long and narrow, and terminates in two promontories, one2 extending to the Strait of Sicily, the other3 to Iapygia. It is embraced on one side by the Adriatic,4 on the other by the Tyrrhenian Sea.5 The form and size of the Adriatic resembles that portion of Italy bounded by the Apennines and the two seas, and extending as far as Iapygia and the isthmus which separates the Gulf of Taranto from that of Posidonium.6 The greatest breadth of both is about 1300 stadia, and the length not much less than 6000. The remainder of the country is possessed by the Bruttii, and certain of the Leucani. Polybius tells us, that traversing the sea-coast on foot from Iapygia7 to the Strait [of Sicily] there are 3000 stadia, the coast being washed by the Sea of Sicily; but that going by water it is 500 stadia less. The Apennines, after approaching the country about Ariminum and Ancona, and determining the breadth of Italy at this point from sea to sea, change their direction and divide the whole country throughout its length. As far as the Peucetii and Leucani they do not recede much from the Adriatic, but on arriving at the Leucani they decline considerably towards the other sea,8 and traversing the remainder of the distance through the Leucani and Bruttii, terminate at Leucopetra,9 in Reggio. Such is a general description of the whole of present Italy. We will now endeavour to undertake a description of its various parts. And, first, of those situated below the Alps.
2 The peninsula occupied by the people named Brettii, or Bruttii.
3 The peninsula now designated Terra di Lecce, and called by the ancients sometimes Iapygia, at others Messapia, Calabria, and Salentina. The isthmus of this peninsula was supposed to be formed by a line drawn from Brindisi to Taranto.
4 The Gulf of Venice.
5 The Sea of Tuscany.
6 The Gulf of Salerno.
7 Capo di Leuca.
8 The Mediterranean.
9 Capo dell' Armi.
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