This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 They say that the greatest length of Tyrrhenia, which is along the coast from Luna to Ostia, is about 2500 stadia; and that its breadth in the direction of the mountains is less than half that number. Then from Luna to Pisa there are more than 400 stadia; from thence to Volaterræ1 280; thence to Pop- lonium 270; and from Poplonium to Cossa2 near 800, or as some say, 600. Polybius, however, says that there are not3 in all 1330.4 Of these Luna is a city and harbour; it is named by the Greeks, the harbour and city of Selene.5 The city is not large, but the harbour6 is very fine and spacious, containing in itself numerous harbours, all of them deep near the shore; it is in fact an arsenal worthy of a nation holding dominion for so long a time over so vast a sea. The harbour is surrounded by lofty mountains,7 from whence you may view the sea8 and Sardinia, and a great part of the coast on either side. Here are quarries of marble, both white and marked with green, so numerous and large, as to furnish tablets and columns of one block; and most of the material for the fine works, both in Rome and the other cities, is furnished from hence. The transport of the marble is easy, as the quarries lie near to the sea, and from the sea they are conveyed by the Tiber. Tyrrhenia likewise supplies most of the straightest and longest planks for building, as they are brought direct from the mountains to the river. Between Luna and Pisa flows the Macra,9 a division which many writers consider the true boundary of Tyrrhenia and Liguria. Pisa was founded by the Pisatæ of the Peloponnesus, who went under Nestor to the expedition against Troy, but in their voyage home wandered out of their course, some to Metapontium,10 others to the Pisatis; they were, however, all called Pylians. The city lies between the two rivers Arno11 and Æsar,12 at their point of confluence; the former of which, though very full, descends from Arretium13 not in one body, but divided into three; the second flows down from the Apennines. Where they fall into one current, the shock between them is so great as to raise the water to that height, that people standing on either bank are not able to see each other; so that necessarily the voyage up from the sea is difficult. This voyage is about 20 stadia. There is a tradition, that when these rivers first descended from the mountains they were impeded by the inhabitants of the district, lest falling together they should inundate the country; however, they promised not to inundate it, and they have kept their word. This city appears to have been formerly flourishing, and at the present day it still maintains its name, on account of its fertility, its marble-quarries, and its wood for building ships, which formerly they employed to preserve themselves from danger by sea; for they were more warlike than the Tyrrheni, and were constantly irritated by the Ligurians, troublesome neighbours, who dwelt on the coast. At the present day the wood is mostly employed for building houses in Rome, and in the country villas [of the Romans], which resemble in their gorgeousness Persian palaces.
2 Ruins near Ansedonia.
4 The French translation here gives 1460, and a note by Gosselin.
6 The bay of Spezia.
7 The mountains of Carrara.
8 The Mediterranean.
10 Near the mouth of the river Basiento.
11 The ancient Arnus.
12 Corresponding to the present Serchio, which discharges itself into the sea, and not into the Arno. The time when this change of direction took place is not recorded, but traces of the ancient name and course of the river remain in the Osari, which, after flowing a short distance through a marshy district, falls into the sea between the Serchio and Arno.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.