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The cause of the other things which are worthy of our admiration depends on the figure of the earth itself, which, together with all its waters, is proved, by the same arguments, to be a globe. This certainly is the cause why the stars of the northern portion of the heavens never set to us, and why, on the other hand, those in the south never rise, and again, why the latter can never be seen by the former, the globe of the earth rising up and concealing them. The Northern Wain is never seen in Troglodytice1, nor in Egypt, which borders on it2; nor can we, in Italy, see the star Canopus3, or Berenice's Hair4; nor what, under the Emperor Augustus, was named Cæsar's Throne, although they are, there5, very brilliant stars. The curved form of the earth is so obvious, rising up like a ridge, that Canopus appears to a spectator at Alexandria to rise above the horizon almost the quarter of a sign; the same star at Rhodes appears, as it were, to graze along the earth, while in Pontus it is not seen at all; where the Northern Wain appears considerably elevated. This same constellation cannot be seen at Rhodes, and still less at Alexandria. In Arabia, in the month of November, it is concealed during the first watch of the night, but may be seen during the second6; in Meroë it is seen, for a short time, in the evening, at the solstice, and it is visible at day-break, for a few days before the rising of Arcturus7. These facts have been principally ascertained by the expeditions of navigators; the sea appearing more elevated or depressed in certain parts8; the stars suddenly coming into view, and, as it were, emerging from the water, after having been concealed by the bulging out of the globe9. But the heavens do not, as some suppose, rise higher at one pole, otherwise10 its stars would be seen from all parts of the world; they indeed are supposed to be higher by those who are nearest to them, but the stars are sunk below the horizon to those who are more remote. As this pole appears to be elevated to those who are beneath it; so, when we have passed along the convexity of the earth, those stars rise up, which appear elevated to the inhabitants of those other districts; all this, however, could not happen unless the earth had the shape of a globe.

1 The Troglodytice of the ancients may be considered as nearly corresponding to the modern Abyssinia and Nubia.

2 This remark is incorrect, as far as respects nearly the whole of Egypt; see the remarks of Marcus, in Ajasson, ii. 245.

3 This is a star of the first magnitude in the southern constellation of Argo; we have a similar statement in Manilius, i. 216, 217.

4 The commentators suppose that the star or constellation here referred to cannot be the same with what bears this name on the modern celestial atlas; vide Hardouin in loco, also Marc. in Ajasson, ut supra. The constellation of Berenice's hair forms the subject of Catullus's 67th poem.

5 In Troglodytice and in Egypt.

6 The first watch of the night was from 6 P.M. to 9; the second from 9 to midnight.

7 According to Columella, xi. 2. 369, this was 9 Calend. Mart., corresponding to the 21st of February.

8 "In alia adverso, in alia prono mari." I have adopted the opinion of Alexandre, who explains the terms "adverso" and "prono," "ascendenti ad polum," and "ad austrum devexo;" a similar sense is given to the passage by Poinsinet and Ajasson, in their translations.

9 "Anfractu pilæ." See Manilius, i. 206 et seq. for a similar mode of expression.

10 "Aut;" as Poinsinet remarks, "aut est ici pour alioqui;" and he quotes another passage from our author, xix. 3, where the word is employed in a similar manner.

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