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 The Hercynian Forest1 is extremely dense, and overgrown with very large trees, covering an immense circuit of country, fortified by nature. In the midst of it is situated the region well suited for habitation, of which we have spoken. Near this forest are the sources of the Danube and the Rhine, and the lake2 situated between these, together with the marshes formed by the Rhine. The circuit of the lake is more than 3003 stadia, and the distance across about 200. In this lake is an island which served Tiberius as an arsenal, in the naval war with the Vindelici. This lake is south of the sources of the Danube and the Hercynian Forest, so that in passing from Keltica4 to the forest, one has first to cross the lake, then the Danube, and afterwards by a more passable country, and over elevated plains, you approach the forest. When Tiberius had proceeded but one day's journey from the lake, he came in sight of the sources of the Danube.5 The territory of the Rhæti6 borders some portion of this lake, but the greater part of the shores belong to the Helvetii7 and Vindelici8 [the Norici come next after the Vindelici in an easterly direction,]9 and the desert of the Boii.10 The nations as far as the Pannonians,11 but more especially the Helvetii and Vindelici, inhabit high table lands. The Rhæti and the Norici,12 verging towards Italy, extend over the very summits of the Alps; the former confining with the Insubri,13 the latter the Carni,14 and the districts about Aquileia. There is likewise another great forest, named Gabreta, on this side the territory of the Suevi, while beyond them lies the Hercynian Wood, which also is in their possession.
1 Schwartz Wald, or Black Forest.
2 The Lake Constance.
3 Strabo could hardly have intended 300, since the diameter of the lake is given at 200. Velser conjectures that 500 or 600 would be the proper reading. Its exact circumference is about 550 stadia.
4 Gossellin considers that by Keltica we are to understand Cisalpine Gaul, and the neighbourhood of Milan and Mantua.
5 Gossellin says that the sources of the Danube are about 14 leagues distant from the western extremity of the Lake Constance.
6 The Rhæti possessed the countries of the Grisons and the Tyrol, extending to the eastern shores of the Lake Constance.
7 The Helvetii, or Swiss, possessed the southern borders of the Lake Constance.
8 The Vindelici occupied the country on the northern borders of the lake, with the regions of Swabia and Bavaria south of the Danube, and reaching to the Inn. Gossellin.
9 It is evident that some words have been omitted in this place. The words we have inserted are the conjecture of Cluverius and Groskurd.
10 As far as we can make out from Strabo and Pliny, book iii. cap. 27, the desert of the Boii stretched along the shores of the Danube from the river Inn to the mountains a little west of Vienna, which were the boundary between the Norici and the Pannonians. This strip of land is now called the Wiener-Wald, or Forest of Vienna. Doubtless it took its name of Desert of the Boii on account of its contiguity to the south of the country occupied by those people, and which still bears the name of Bohemia.
11 The Pannonians occupied the districts of Hungary west of the Danube.
12 The Norici inhabited that part of Austria which lies between the Danube and the Alps.
13 The Insubri occupied the Milanese.
14 The Carni have left their name to Carniola.
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