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1 From the Greek κασσίτερος, "tin." It is generally supposed that the "Tin Islands" were the Scilly Isles, in the vicinity of Cornwall. At the same time the Greek and Roman geographers, borrowing their knowledge from the accounts probably of the Phoenician merchants, seem to have had a very indistinct notion of their precise locality, and to have thought them to be nearer to Spain than to Britain. Thus we find Strabo, in B. iii., saying, that "the Cassiterides are ten in number, lying near each other in the ocean, towards the north from the haven of the Artabri." From a comparison of the accounts, it would almost appear that the ancient geographers confused the Scilly Islands with the Azores, as those, who enter into any detail, attribute to the Cassiterides the characteristics almost as much of the Azores and the sea in their vicinity, as of the Scilly Islands.
2 Cape Finisterre.
3 Or the "Islands of the Blest." We cannot do better than quote a portion of the article on this subject in Dr. Smith's "Dictionary of Ancient Geography." "' Fortunatæ Insulæ' is one of those geographical names whose origin is lost in mythic darkness, but which afterwards came to have a specific application, so closely resembling the old mythical notion, as to make it almost impossible to doubt that that notion was based, in part at least, on some vague knowledge of the regions afterwards discovered. The earliest Greek poetry places the abode of the happy departed spirits far beyond the entrance of the Mediterranean, at the extremity of the earth, and upon the shores of the river Oceanus, or in islands in its midst; and Horner's poetical description of the place may be applied almost word for word to those islands in the Atlantic, off the west coast of Africa, to which the name was given in the historical period. (Od. iv. 1. 563, seq.) 'There the life of mortals is most easy; there is no snow, nor winter, nor much rain, but Ocean is ever sending up the shrill breathing breezes of Zephyrus to refresh men.' Their delicious climate, and their supposed identity of situation, marked out the Canary Islands, the Madeira group, and the Azores, as worthy to represent the Islands of the Blest. In the more specific sense, however, the name was applied to the two former groups; while, in its widest application, it may have even included the Cape de Verde Islands, its extension being in fact adapted to that of maritime discovery." Pliny gives a further description of them in B. vi. c. 37.
4 The strait between the island and the mainland is now called the River of Saint Peter. The circuit of the island, as stated by Pliny, varies in the MSS. from fifteen to twenty-five miles, and this last is probably correct.
5 Julius Cæsar, on his visit to the city of Gades, during the Civil War in Spain, B.C. 49, conferred the citizenship of Rome on all the citizens of Gades. Under Augustus it became a municipium, with the title of 'Augusta urbs Julia Gaditana.' The modern city of Cadiz is built upon its site.
6 Or the Island of Venus.
8 If Gades was not the same as Tartessus (probably the Tarshish of Scripture), its exact locality is a question in dispute. Most ancient writers place it at the mouth of the river Bætis, while others identify it, and perhaps with more probability, with the city of Carteia, on Mount Calpe, the Rock of Gibraltar. The whole country west of Gibraltar was called Tartessis. See B. iii. c. 3.
9 Or more properly 'Agadir,' or 'Hagadir.' It probably received this name, meaning a 'hedge,' or 'bulwark,' from the fact of its being the chief Phœnician colony outside of the Pillars of Hercules.
10 Of Erythræ, or Erytheia. The monster Geryon, or Geryones, fabled to have had three bodies, lived in the fabulous Island of Erytheia, or the "Red Isle," so called because it lay under the rays of the setting sun in the west. It was originally said to be situate off the coast of Epirus, but was afterwards identified either with Gades or the Balearic islands, and was at all times believed to be in the distant west. Geryon was said to have been the son of Chrysaor, the wealthy king of Iberia.
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