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The region of Cyrenaica, also called Pentapolis1, is rendered famous by the oracle of Hammon2, which is distant 400 miles from the city of Cyrene; also by the Fountain of the Sun3 there, and five cities in especial, those of Berenice4, Arsinoë5, Ptolemais6, Apollonia7, and Cyrene8 itself. Berenice is situate upon the outer promontory that bounds the Syrtis; it was formerly called the city of the Hesperides (previously mentioned9), according to the fables of the Greeks, which very often change their localities. Not far from the city, and running before it, is the river Lethon, and with it a sacred grove, where the gardens of the Hesperides are said to have formerly stood; this city is distant from Leptis 375 miles. From Berenice to Arsinoë, commonly called Teuchira, is forty-three miles; after which, at a distance of twenty-two, we come to Ptolemais, the ancient name of which was Barce; and at a distance of forty miles from this last the Promontory of Phycus10, which extends far away into the Cretan Sea, being 350 miles distant from Tænarum11, the promontory of Laconia, and from Crete 225. After passing this promontory we come to Cyrene, which stands at a distance of eleven miles from the sea. From Phycus to Apollonia12 is twenty-four miles, and from thence to the Chersonesus13 eighty-eight; from which to Catabathmos14 is a distance of 216 miles. The Marmaridæ15 inhabit this coast, extending from almost the region of Parætonium16 to the Greater Syrtis; after them the Ararauceles, and then, upon the coasts of the Syrtis, the Nasamones17, whom the Greeks formerly called Mesammones, from the circumstance of their being located in the very midst of sands18. The territory of Cyrene, to a distance of fifteen miles from the shore, is said to abound in trees, while for the same distance beyond that district it is only suitable for the cultivation of corn: after which, a tract of land, thirty miles in breadth and 250 in length, is productive of nothing but laser [or silphium19].

After the Nasamones we come to the dwellings of the Asbystæ and the Macæ20, and beyond them, at eleven days' journey to the west of the Greater Syrtis, the Amantes21, a people also surrounded by sands in every direction. They find water however without any difficulty at a depth mostly of about two cubits, as their district receives the overflow of the waters of Mauritania. They build houses with blocks of salt22, which they cut out of their mountains just as we do stone. From this nation to the Troglodytæ23 the distance is seven days' journey in a south-westerly direction, a people with whom our only intercourse is for the purpose of procuring from them the precious stone which we call the carbuncle, and which is brought from the interior of Æthiopia. Upon the road to this last people, but turning off towards the deserts of Africa, of which we have previously24 made mention as lying beyond the Lesser Syrtis, is the region of Phazania25; the nation of Phazanii, belonging to which, as well as the cities of Alele26 and Cilliba27, we have subdued by force of arms, as also Cydamus28, which lies over against Sabrata. After passing these places a range of mountains extends in a prolonged chain from east to west: these have received from our people the name of the Black Mountains29, either from the appearance which they naturally bear of having been exposed to the action of fire, or else from the fact that they have been scorched by the reflection of the sun's rays. Beyond it30 is the desert, and then Talgæ, a city of the Garamantes, and Debris, at which place there is a spring31, the waters of which, from noon to midnight, are at boiling heat, and then freeze for as many hours until the following noon; Garama too, that most famous capital of the Garamantes; all which places have been subdued by the Roman arms. It was on this occasion that Cornelius Balbus32 was honoured with a triumph, the only foreigner indeed that was ever honoured with the triumphal chariot, and presented with the rights of a Roman citizen; for, although by birth a native of Gades, the Roman citizenship was granted to him as well as to the elder Balbus33, his uncle by the father's side. There is also this remarkable circumstance, that our writers have handed down to us the names of the cities above-men- tioned as having been taken by Balbus, and have informed us that on the occasion of his triumph34, besides Cydamus and Garama35, there were carried in the procession the names and models of all the other nations and cities, in the following order: the town of Tabudium36, the nation of Niteris, the town of Nigligemella, the nation or town of Bubeium37, the nation of Enipi, the town of Thuben, the mountain known as the Black Mountain, Nitibrum, the towns called Rapsa, the nation of Discera38, the town of Debris39, the river Nathabur40, the town of Thapsagum41, the nation of Nannagi, the town of Boin, the town of Pege42, the river Dasibari; and then the towns, in the following order, of Baracum, Buluba, Alasit, Galia, Balla, Maxalla43, Zizama, and Mount Gyri44, which was preceded by an inscription stating that this was the place where precious stones were produced.

Up to the present time it has been found impracticable to keep open the road that leads to the country of the Garamantes, as the predatory bands of that nation have filled up the wells with sand, which do not require to be dug for to any great depth, if you only have a knowledge of the locality. In the late war45 however, which, at the beginning of the reign of the Emperor Vespasian, the Romans carried on with the people of Œa, a short cut of only four days' journey was discovered; this road is known as the "Pæter Caput Saxi46." The last place in the territory of Cyrenaica is Catabathmos, consisting of a town, and a valley with a sudden and steep descent. The length of Cyrenean Africa, up to this boundary from the Lesser Syrtis, is 1060 miles; and, so far as has been ascertained, it is 80047 in breadth.

1 So called, as mentioned below, from its five principal cities.

2 Where Jupiter Ammon or Hammon was worshiped under the form of a ram, the form he was said to have assumed when the deities were dispersed in the war with the Giants. Ancient Ammonium is the present oasis of Siwah in the Libyan Desert.

3 The same that has been already mentioned in B. ii. c. 106. It is mentioned by Herodotus and Pomponius Mela.

4 Previously called Hesperis or Hesperides. It was the most westerly city of Cyrenaica, and stood just beyond the eastern extremity of the Greater Syrtis, on a promontory called Pseudopenias, and near the river Lethon. Its historical importance only dates from the times of the Ptolemies, when it was named Berenice, after the wife of Ptolemy III. or Euergetes. Having been greatly reduced, it was fortified anew by the Emperor Justinian. Its ruins are to be seen at the modern Ben Ghazi.

5 So called from Arsinoë, the sister of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Its earlier name was Taucheira or Teucheira, which name, according to Marcus, it still retains.

6 Its ruins may still be seen at Tolmeita or Tolometa. It was situate on the N.W. coast of Cyrenaica, and originally bore the name of Barca. From which of the Ptolemies it took its name is not known. Its splendid ruins are not less than four miles in circumference.

7 Its ruins are still to be seen, bespeaking its former splendour, at the modern Marsa Sousah. It was originally only the port of Cyrene, but under the Ptolemies it flourished to such an extent as to eclipse that city. It is pretty certain that it was the Sozusa of the later Greek writers. Eratosthenes was a native of this place.

8 The chief city of Cyrenaica, and the most important Hellenic colony in Africa, the early settlers having extensively intermarried with wives of Libyan parentage. In its most prosperous times it maintained an extensive commerce with Greece and Egypt, especially in silphium or assafœtida, the plantations of which, as mentioned in the present chapter, extended for miles in its vicinity. Great quantities of this plant were also exported to Capua in Southern Italy, where it was extensively employed in the manufacture of perfumes. The scene of the 'Rudens,' the most picturesque (if we may use the term) of the plays of Plautus, is laid in the vicinity of Cyrene, and frequent reference is made in it to the extensive cultivation of silphium; a head of which plant also appears on the coins of the place. The philosophers Aristippus and Carneades were born here, as also the poet Callimachus. Its ruins, at the modern Ghrennah, are very extensive, and are indicative of its former splendour.

9 In C. 1 of the present Book. It was only the poetical fancy of the Greeks that found the fabled gardens of the Hesperides in the fertile regions of Cyrenaica. Scylax distinctly mentions the gardens and the lake of the Hesperides in this vicinity, where we also find a people called Hesperidæ, or, as Herodotus names them, Euesperidæ. It was probably in consequence of this similarity of name, in a great degree, that the gardens of the Hesperidcs were assigned to this locality.

10 Now called Ras-Sem or Ras-El-Kazat. It is situate a little to the west of Apollonia and N.W. of Cyrene.

11 According to Ansart, 264 miles is the real distance between Capes Ras-Sem and Tænarum or Matapan.

12 As already mentioned, Apollonia formed the harbour of Cyrene.

13 This was called the Chersonesus Magna, being so named in contradistinction to the Chersonesus Parva, on the coast of Egypt, about thirty-five miles west of Alexandria. It is now called Ras-El-Tin, or more commonly Raxatin.

14 So called from the peculiar features of the locality, the Greek word καταβαθμὸς, signifying "a descent." A deep valley, bounded east and west by ranges of high hills, runs from this spot to the frontiers of Egypt. It is again mentioned by Pliny at the end of the present Chapter. The spot is still known by a similar name, being called Marsa Sollern, or the "Port of the Ladder." In earlier times the Egyptian territory ended at the Gulf of Plinthinethes, now Lago Segio, and did not extend so far as Catabathmos.

15 This name was unknown to Herodotus. As Marcus observes, it was probably of Phœnician origin, signifying "leading a wandering life," like the term "nomad," derived from the Greek.

16 Now called El Bareton or Marsa-Labeit. This city was of considerable importance, and belonged properly to Marmaria, but was included politically in the Nomos Libya of Egypt. It stood near the promontory of Artos or Pythis, now Ras-El-Hazeit.

17 So called from the words Matû-Ammon, "the tribe of Ammon," according to Bochart. The Nasamones were a powerful but savage people of Libya, who dwelt originally on the shores of the Greater Syrtis, but were driven inland by the Greek settlers of Cyrenaica, and afterwards by the Romans.

18 From μεσὸς "the middle," and ἄμμος "sand."

19 See note6 in p. 396.

20 Herodotus places this nation to the west of the Nasamones and on the river Cinyps, now called the Wadi-Quaham.

21 In most of the editions they are called 'Hammanientes.' It has been suggested that they were so called from the Greek word ἄμμος "sand."

22 This story he borrows from Herodotus, B. iv. c. 158.

23 From the Greek word τρωγλοδύται, "dwellers in caves." Pliny has used the term already (B. iv. c. 25) in reference to the nations on the banks of the Danube. It was a general name applied by the Greek geographers to various uncivilized races who had no abodes but caves, and more especially to the inhabitants of the western coasts of the Red Sea, along the shores of Upper Egypt and Æthiopia.

24 At the beginning of C. 4.

25 Which gives name to the modern Fezzan.

26 Now called Tanet-Mellulen, or the station of Mellulen, on the route from Gadamez to Oserona.

27 Zaouila or Zala, half way between Augyla and Mourzouk.

28 Now Gadamez, which, according to Marcus, is situate almost under the same meridian as Old Tripoli, the ancient Sabrata.

29 According to Marcus this range still bears the name of Gibel-Assoud, which in the Arabic language means the "Black Mountain."

30 In a southerly direction. He alludes probably to the Desert of Bildulgerid.

31 This spring is also mentioned by Pliny in B. ii. c. 106. Marcus suggests that the Debris of Pliny is the same as the Bedir of Ptolemy. He also remarks that the English traveller Oudney discovered caverns hewn out of the sides of the hills, evidently for the purposes of habitation, but of which the use is not known by the present people. These he considers to have been the abodes of the ancient Troglodytæ or "cave-dwellers." In the Tibesti range of mountains, however, we find a race called the Rock Tibboos, from the circumstance of their dwelling in caves.

32 Cornelius Balbus Gaditanus the Younger, who, upon his victories over the Garamantes, obtained a triumph in the year B.C. 19.

33 L. Cornelius Balbus the Elder, also at native of Gades. He obtained the consulship in B.C. 40, the first instance, as we find mentioned by Pliny, B. vii. c. 44, in which this honour had been conferred upon one who was not a Roman citizen.

34 On the occasion of a triumph by a Roman general, boards were carried aloft on "fercula," on which were painted in large letters the names of vanquished nations and countries. Here too models were exhibited in ivory or wood of the cities and forts captured, and pictures of the mountains, rivers, and other great natural features of the subjugated region, with appropriate inscriptions. Marcus is of opinion that the names of the places here mentioned do not succeed in any geographical order, but solely according to their presumed importance as forming part of the conquest of Balbus. He also thinks that Balbus did not penetrate beyond the fifteenth degree of north latitude, and that his conquests did not extend so far south as the banks of Lake Tchad.

35 The site of Garama still bears the name of 'Gherma,' and presents very considerable remains of antiquity. It is four days' journey north of Mourzouk, the capital of Fezzan.

36 Now Tibesti, according to Marcus.

37 Marcus suggests that this is probably the Febabo of modem geographers, to the N.E. of Belma and Tibesti.

38 Discera was the Im-Zerah of modern travellers, on the road from Sockna to Mourzouk, according to Marcus, who is of opinion that the places which follow were situate at the east and north-east of Thuben and the Black Mountain.

39 Om-El-Abid, to the N.W. of Garama or Gherma, according to Marcus, and Oudney the traveller.

40 The same, Marcus thinks, as the modem Tessava in Fezzan.

41 Marcus suggests that this may be the modern Sana.

42 The town of Winega mentioned by Oudney, was probably the ancient Pega, according to Marcus.

43 The modern Missolat, according to Marcus, on the route from Tripoli to Murmuck.

44 According to Marcus, this was the Mount Goriano of the English travellers Denham, Clapperton, and Oudney, where, confirming the statement here made by Pliny, they found quartz, jasper, onyx, agates, and cornelians.

45 Mentioned by Tacitus, B. iv. c. 50. The town of Œa has been alluded to by Pliny in C. 4.

46 Past the head of the rock." Marcus suggests that this is the Gibel-Gelat or Rock of Gelat spoken of by the English travellers Denham, Clapperton, and Oudney, forming a portion of the chain of Guriano or Gyr. He says, that at the foot of this mountain travellers have to pass from Old and New Tripoli on their road to Missolat, the Maxala of Pliny, and thence to Gerama or Gherma, the ancient capital of Fezzan.

47 As Marcus observes, this would not make it to extend so far south as the sixteenth degree of north latitude.

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