From the Pyrenees to the river Narbo the country is
River Aude. The Tech and the Ruscino or Tet.
flat; and through it flow the Illeberis and Ruscinus, past some cities of the same name inhabited by Celts. In this plain there are found
what are called underground fish.
A mistake of Timaeus as to the Rhone.
The soil is
light, and produces a quantity of grass called agrostis;
this soil the earth is sandy for a depth of two or three cubits,
through which the overflow of the river percolates; and with
this water, as it makes its way, the fish also get below the soil
to feed, for they are exceedingly fond of the root of the
and have thus made the whole plain full of subterranean fish, which people dig up and
take. . . .
The Rhone has not five, but two mouths. . . .
The Liger discharges itself between the Pictŏnes and Namnitae.
Britain is quite unknown to the southern Gauls.
There was in ancient times an emporium
The Loire between Poitou and Nantes. Coiron.
on this river called Corbilo, but none of its inhabitants, nor those of Massalia or Narbo, could
any information worth mentioning on the subject
of Britain when questioned by him, though
they were the most important cities in that part
of the country; and yet Pytheas has ventured
on all those stories about it. . . .
An animal is produced on the Alps of a peculiar form; its
shape is that of a stag except its neck and coat,
which resemble that of a he-goat. Beneath its
chin it has an excrescence about a span long, hairy at the end,
about as thick as a colt's tail. . . .
Near Aquileia, in the territory of the Noric Taurisci, in my
A gold mine near Aquileia.
own time a gold mine was discovered, so easy to
work, that by scraping away the surface soil for
two feet, gold could be found immediately. The
seam of gold was not more than fifteen feet; some of it was
found unmixed with alloy in nuggets of the size of a bean or
lupine, only an eighth of it disappearing in the furnace; and
some wanted more elaborate smelting, but would still pay
thoroughly well. Accordingly, on the Italians joining the
barbarians in working this mine, in two months the price of
gold went down a third throughout Italy: and when the
Taurisci found out that, they expelled their Italian fellowworkers and kept the monopoly themselves. . . .
If we compare the mountains in Greece—Taygetus,
The four passes of the Alps,—the Cornice, Argentière, Genèvre (Val d'Aosta), Cenis.
Lycaeus, Parnassus, Olympus, Pelion, Ossa, and those in
Thrace—Haemus, Rhodope, Dunax, with the Alps, we
may state the case thus. Each one of the former may be
ascended or skirted by an active traveller in a single day; but
no one could ascend the Alps even in five days, the distance
from the plain being two thousand two hundred
Lago di Garda, Lago di Como.
There are but four passes, one through
Liguria, nearest the Tyrrhenian Sea; the next
through the Taurini, which was the one used
by Hannibal; the third through the Salassi;
and the last by the Rhaeti,2
all of them excessively precipitous.
There are several lakes in the mountains, three
of great size, the Benacus, five hundred by one
hundred and thirty stades, out of which the
Mincius flows; the Larius, four hundred stades long, and
somewhat narrower than the Benacus, discharging the Addua;
and thirdly, the Verbanus, about three hundred
stades by thirty, from which comes a considerable
river—the Ticinus. All these three rivers discharge
themselves into the Padus. . . .