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The first islands that we meet with in all these seas are the two to which the Greeks have given the name of Pityussæ1, from the pine-tree2, which they produce. These islands now bear the name of Ebusus, and form a federate state. They are separated by a narrow strait3 of the sea, and are forty-six4 miles in extent. They are distant from Dianium5 700 stadia, Dianium being by land the same distance6 from New Carthage. At the same distance7 from the Pityussæ, lie, in the open sea, the two Baleares, and, over against the river Sucro8, Colubraria9. The Baleares10, so formidable in war with their slingers11, have received from the Greeks the name of Gymnasiæ.

The larger island is 10012 miles in length, and 475 in circumference. It has the following towns; Palma13 and Pollentia14, enjoying the rights of Roman citizens, Cinium15 and Tucis, with Latin rights: Bocchorum, a federate town, is no longer in existence. At thirty miles' distance is the smaller island, 40 miles in length, and 15016 in circumference; it contains the states of Jamnon17, Sanisera, and Magon18.

In the open sea, at twelve miles' distance from the larger island, is Capraria19 with its treacherous coast, so notorious for its numerous shipwrecks; and, opposite to the city of Palma, are the islands known as the Mænariæ20, Tiquadra21, and Little Hannibalis22.

The earth of Ebusus has the effect of driving away serpents, while that of Colubraria produces them; hence the latter spot is dangerous to all persons who have not brought with them some of the earth of Ebusus. The Greeks have given it the name of Ophiusa23. Ebusus too produces no24 rabbits to destroy the harvests of the Baleares. There are also about twenty other small islands in this sea, which is full of shoals. Off the coast of Gaul, at the mouth of the Rhodanus, there is Metina25, and near it the island which is known as Blascon26, with the three Stœchades, so called by their neighbours the Massilians27, on account of the regular order in which they are placed; their respective names are Prote28, Mese29, also called Pomponiana, and Hypæa30. After these come Sturium31, Phœnice, Phila, Lero, and, opposite to Antipolis32, Lerina33, where there is a remembrance of a town called Vergoanum having once existed.

1 The modern Iviza and Formentera.

2 The Greek for which is πίτυς.

3 Less than two leagues in width.

4 The real distance is 34 miles from the northern point of Iviza, called Punta de Serra, to the southern point of Formentera, namely—across Iviza 22 miles, across the sea 5, and across Formentera 7.

5 Now Denia.

6 This is not correct: the distance is but 45 miles.

7 This is incorrect: taken at the very greatest, the distance is only 522 stadia, eight to the mile.

8 The Xucar in Spain.

9 We more generally find it stated that the isle of Formentera, one of the Pityusse, was called Colubraria. He probably refers to the islands of the group about twenty leagues from the coast of Spain, now known by the name of Columbrete; but they are not near the Xucar, from which, as well as from the Pityusss, they are distant about seventy miles. The latter islands are now generally considered as part of the group of the Baleares.

10 Now Majorca and Minorca, with the ancient Pityussæ.

11 They served as mercenaries, first under the Carthaginians and afterwards under the Romans. The ancient writers generally derive the name of the people from their skill as archers—βαλεαρεῖς, from βάλλω, "to throw "; but Strabo assigns to the name a Phœnician origin, as being equivalent to the Greek γυμνῆται "light-armed soldiers." It is probably from their light equipment that the Greeks gave to the islands the name of γυμνησἱαι. Livy says that they used to go naked during the summer.

12 Seventy miles is the real length of Majorca, and the circumference is barely 250 miles.

13 Still called Palma. This and Pollentia were Roman colonies settled by Metellus.

14 Now Pollenza.

15 Now Sineu on the Borga.

16 The circumference is about 110 miles, the length 32.

17 Now Ciudadela.

18 Now Port Mahon. The site of Sanisera, which was probably more inland, is unknown.

19 Now Cabrera. The distance is not twelve, but nine miles.

20 Now called the Malgrates.

21 Now Dragonera.

22 Now El Torre.

23 As already mentioned he seems to confound Formentera, which was called Ophiusa, with the present group of Columbrete, which islands were probably called Colubraria.

24 The former editions mostly omit "nec"; and so make it that Ebusus does produce the rabbits. Certainly, it does seem more likely that he would mention that fact than the absence of it, which even to Pliny could not appear very remarkable.

25 D'Anville thinks that this is Metapina, but D'Astruc thinks that the flat islands, called Les Tignes, are meant.

26 Now called Brescon, near Agde, according to D'Anville.

27 Who were of Greek origin, and so called them, because they stood in a row, στοῖχος.

28 Now called Porqueroles. Prote signifies the first, Mese the middle one, and Hypæa the one below the others.

29 Now Port Croz. D'Anville considers that Pliny is mistaken in identifying this island with Pomponiana or Pompeiana, which he considers to be the same with the peninsula now called Calle de Giens, which lies opposite to Porqueroles.

30 Now called the Ile du Levant or du Titan. The group is called the Islands of Hières or Calypso.

31 These are probably the little islands now known as Ratoneau, Pomègue, and If. It has however been suggested that these names belong to the islands of Hières already mentioned in the text, and that Sturium is the present Porquerolles, Phœnice Port-Croz, and Phila, Levant or Titan.

32 Now Antibes, or Antiboul in the Provençal idiom.

33 Now Saint Honorat de Lérins. The island of Lero is the present Sainte Marguerite de Lérins, and is nearer to Antibes than Lerina. The Lerinian monastery was much resorted to in the early ages of Christianity.

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