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Of the islands which lie before Asia the first is the one situate in the Canopic Mouth of the Nile, and which received its name, it is said, from Canopus, the pilot of Menelaüs. A second, called Pharos, is joined by a bridge to Alexandria, and was made a colony by the Dictator Cæsar. In former times it was one day's sail1 from the mainland of Egypt; at the present day it directs ships in their course by means of the fires which are lighted at night on the tower2 there; for in consequence of the insidious nature of the shoals, there are only three channels by which Alexandria can be approached, those of Steganus3, Posideum4 and Taurus.

In the Phœnician Sea, before Joppe there is the island of Paria5, the whole of it forming a town. Here, they say, Andromeda was exposed to the monster: the island also of Arados, already mentioned6, between which and the continent, as we learn from Mucianus, at a depth of fifty cubits in the sea, fresh water is brought up from a spring at the very bottom by means of leather pipes7.

1 It is so described by Homer.

2 This was the light-house built upon it by Ptolemy II. Philadelphus, whence the name of pharus came to be applied to similar structures. It was here also that, according to the common story, the seventy Translators of the Greek version of the Old Testament, hence called the Septuagint, were confined while completing their work.

3 The narrow or fortified channel.

4 The Neptunian channel.

5 Mentioned also in C. 14 of the present Book.

6 In C. 17 of the present Book.

7 The boatmen of Ruad, the ancient Aradus, still draw fresh water from the spring Ain Ibrahim, in the sea, a few rods from the shore of the opposite coast.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CANO´BUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), LE´PSIA
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