Pliny,   Natural History

-   Book 3 ,   sections 76-152

Translated by H.Rackham (1952), with some minor alterations. Click on the L symbols to go to the Latin text of each chapter.

In this web version, many of the place names have been altered to reproduce the Latin spellings - for instance, 'Massilia' instead of 'Marseilles'. Wherever possible, links are provided to further information about the places.

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L   [76] The first of all the islands scattered over these seas are called with the Greeks the Pityussae, from the pine trees that grow on them; each of these islands is now named Ebusus and in treaty with Rome, the channel between them being narrow. Their area is 46 miles, and their distance from Dianium 871 miles, which is the distance by land from Dianium to Carthago Nova, while at the same distance from the Pityussae out to sea are the two Balearic islands, and opposite the River Sucro lies Colubraria. [77] The Balearic islands, formidable in warfare with the sling have been designated by the Greeks the Gymnasiae. The larger island { Mallorca } is 100 miles in length and 475 in circumference. It contains towns of Roman citizen colonists, Palma and Pollentia, towns with Latin rights, Guium and Tucis; a treaty town of the Bocchi, no longer existing. The smaller island { Menorca } is 30 miles away from the larger island; its length is 40 miles and its circumference 150; it contains the states of Iamo, Sanisera and Mago. [78] Twelve miles out to sea from the larger island is Capraria, treacherous for shipwrecks, and right off the city of Palma lie the Menariae and Tiquadra and the small Island of Hannibal.

The soil of Ebusus drives away snakes, but that of Colubraria breeds snakes, and consequently that land is dangerous to all people except those who bring earth from Ebusus; the Greeks called it Snake Island. Ebusus does not breed rabbits either, which ravage the crops of the Balearics. [79] The sea is full of shoals, and there are about twenty other small islands; off the coast of Gaul at the mouth of the Rhone is Metina, and then the island named Blascorum, and the three which the neighbouring people of Massilia call the Row of Islands because of their arrangement, their Greek names being First Island, Middle Island, also called Pomponiana, and the third Hypaea; next to these are Iturium, Phoenice, Phila, Lero, and opposite Antipolis Lerina, on which according to local tradition there was once a town called Berconum.

{6.} L   [80] In the Ligurian Sea, but adjoining the Tuscan, is the island of Corsica, the Greek name of which is Cyrnos; it lies in a line from north to south, and is 150 miles long and at most points 50 miles broad: its circumference measures 325 miles; it is 62 miles from the Shallows of Volaterrae. It contains 32 states, and the colonies of Mariana founded by Gaius Marius and Aleria founded Sulla when dictator. Nearer the mainland is Oglasa, and inside that, and 60 miles from Corsica, Planasia, so named from its appearance, as it is level with the sea and consequently treacherous to vessels. [81] Then Urgo, a larger island, and Capraria, the Greek name of which is Aegilion, and also Igilium and Dianium, in Greek Artemisia, both opposite the coast at Cosa, and Barpana, Menaria, Columbaria, Venaria, Ilva with its iron mines, an island 100 miles round and 10 miles from Populonium, called by the Greeks Aethalia; the distance between Ilva and Planasia is 28 miles. After these beyond the mouths of the Tiber and off the coast of Antium is Astura, then Palmaria, Sinonia, and opposite to Formiae Pontiae. [82] In the gulf of Puteoli are Pandateria, Prochyta (so called not after Aeneas's nurse but because it was formed of soil deposited by the current from Aenaria), Aenaria (named from having given anchorage to the fleet of Aeneas but called Inarime in Homer) and Pithecusa (named not from its multitude of monkeys, as some people have supposed, but from its pottery factories). Between Pausilypus and Neapolis is Megaris; then, 8 miles from Surrentum, Capreae, celebrated for the Castle of the Emperor Tiberius - the island is 11 miles round; Leucothea; [83] and out of sight, being on the edge of the African Sea, Sardinia, which is less than 8 miles from the end of Corsica, and moreover the channel is narrowed by the small islands called the Rabbit Warrens, and also by the islands of Phintonis, and Fossae, from which comes the Greek name of the Straits themselves, Taphros.

{7.} L   [84] The east coast of Sardinia is 188 miles long, the west coast 175, the south coast 77 and the north coast 125; its circumference is 565 miles; and at Cape Caralitanum its distance from Africa is 200 miles and from Gades 1400. It also has two islands off Cape Gorditanum called the Islands of Hercules, one off Sulci called Enosis, and one off Caralis called Ficaria. [85] Near it some authorities also place the islands of Berelis, Callodes and the one called the Baths of Hera. The best-known peoples in Sardinia are the Ilienses, Balari, Corsi (who occupy 18 towns), Sulcitani, Valentini, Neapolitani, Vitenses, Caralitani (who have the Roman citizenship), and the Norenses; and one colony called at the Tower of Libiso. Sardinia itself was called by Timaeus Sandaliotis, from the similarity of its shape to the sole of a shoe, and by Myrsilus Ichnusa, from its resemblance to a footprint. Opposite to the Bay of Paestum is Leucasia, called after the Siren buried there; and opposite Velia are Pontia and Isacia, both included under the one name of the Oenotrides, which is evidence that Italy was once in the possession of the Oenotrians; and opposite to Vibo are the small islands called the Isles of Ithaca, from the watch-tower of Ulysses that stands there.

{8.} L   [86] But before all the islands of the Mediterranean in renown stands Sicily, called by Thucydides Sicania and by a good many authors Trinacria or Trinacia from its triangular shape. The measurement of its circumference, according to Agrippa, is 528 miles. In former times it was attached to the southern part of Italy, but later it was separated from it by an overflow of the sea, forming a strait 15 miles long and 1 miles wide at the Royal Pillar: this monument of the formation of the gap is the origin of the Greek name of the town situated on the Italian coast, Rhegium. [87] In these Straits is the rock of Scylla and also the whirlpool of Charybdis, both notoriously treacherous. Sicily itself is triangular in shape, its points being the promontory mentioned before named Pelorum, pointing towards Italy, opposite Scylla, Pachynum towards Greece, the Peloponnese being 440 miles away, and Lilybaeum towards Africa, at a distance of 150 miles from the Promontory of Mercury and 190 from Cape Caralitanum in Sardinia. The following are the distances of these promontories from one another and the length of the coast lines: from Pelorum to Pachynum by land is 186 miles, from Pachynum to Lilybaeum 200 miles, and from Lilybaeum to Pelorum 142 miles.

[88] Sicily contains five colonies and sixty-three cities and states. Starting from Pelorum, on the coast facing the Ionian Sea is the town of Messana, whose denizens called Mamertines have the Roman citizenship, the promontory of Trapani, the colony of Tauromenium, formerly Naxos, the river Asines, and Mount Etna with its wonderful displays of fire at night: the circuit of its crater measures 21 miles; the hot ashes reach as far as Tauromenium and Catina, and the noise to Maroneus and Gemelli. [89] Then come the three Rocks of the Cyclopes, the Harbour of Ulysses, the colony of Catina, and the rivers Symaethum and Terias. Inland are the Laestrygonian Plains. Then there are the towns of Leontini, Megaris, the river Pantacyes, the colony of Syracuse with the Spring of Arethusa (although the territory of Syracuse is also supplied with water by the springs of Temenitis, Archidemia, Magea, Cyane and Milichie), the harbour of Naustathmus, the river Elorum, the promontory of Pachynum. On this side of Sicily are the river Hyrminus, the town of Camarina, the river Gelas; the town of Acragas, called Agrigentum in our language; [90] the colony of Thermae; the rivers Achates, Mazara, Hypsa and Selinus; the town of Lilybaeum and the promontory to which it gives its name, Drepana, Mount Eryx, the towns of Panormum, Solvus, Himera with its river, Cephaloedis, Aluntium, Agathyrnum; the colony of Tyndaris, the town of Mylae, and the district of Pelorum from which we began.

[91] In the interior the towns having Latin rights are those of the Centuripini, Netini and Segestani; tributaries are the Assorini, the Aetnenses, the Agyrini, the Acestaei, the Acrenses, the Bidini, the Cetarini, the Cacyrini, the Drepanitani, the Ergetini, the Echetlienses, the Erycini, the Entellini, the Enini, the Enguini, the Gelani, the Galatini, the Halesini, the Hennenses, the Hyblenses, the Herbitenses, the Herbessenses, the Herbulenses, the Halicyenses, the Hadranitani, the Imacarenses, the Ipanenses, the Ietenses, the Mutustratini, the Magellini, the Murgentini, the Mutycenses, the Menanini, the Naxii, the Noini, the Petrini, the Paropini, the Phthinthienses, the Semellitani, the Scherini, the Selinuntii, the Symaethii, the Talarenses, the Tissinenses, the Triocalini, the Tyracinenses, and the Zancleans, a Messenian settlement on the Straits of Sicily.

[92] The islands on the side towards Africa are Gaulos, adjacent Melita (which is 87 miles from Camerina and 113 from Lilybaeum), Cossyra, Hieronnesos, Caene, Galata, Lopadusa, Aethusa (written by others Aegusa), Bucinna, Osteodes (75 miles from Solus), and Ustica opposite to Paropus. On the Italian side of Sicily facing the river Metaurus, at a distance of nearly 25 miles from Italy, are the seven islands called the Aeolian and also the Liparean: their Greek name is the Hephaestiades, and the Roman Vulcan's Islands; they are called Aeolian from King Aeolus who reigned there in the Homeric period.

{9.} L   [93] Lipara, with a town possessing rights of Roman citizenship, takes its name from King Liparus, who succeeded Aeolus - it was previously called Milogonis or Meligunis; it is 25 miles from Italy, and its circumference measures a little less than 5 miles. Between it and Sicily is another island formerly called Therasia, and now Hiera {"Holy Island"} because it is sacred to Vulcan, on it being a hill that vomits out flames in the night. [94] The third island is Strongyle, six miles to the east of Lipara; here Aeolus reigned. It differs from Lipara only in the fact that its flame is more liquid; the local population are reported to be able to foretell from its smoke three days ahead what winds are going to blow, and this is the source of the belief that the winds obeyed the orders of Aeolus. The fourth of the islands, Didyme, is smaller than Lipara. The fifth, Eriphusa, and the sixth, Phoenicusa, are left to provide pasture for the flocks of the neighbouring islands; the last and also the smallest is Euonymus. So far as to the first gulf of Europe.

{10.} L   [95] At Locri begins the projection of Italy called Magna Graecia, retiring into the three bays of the Ausonian Sea, so called from its first inhabitants the Ausones. According to Varro its length is 86 miles, but most authorities have made it 75. On this coast are rivers beyond count; but the places worthy of mention, beginning at Locri, are the Sagra and the ruins of the town of Caulon, Mustiae, Camp Consilinum, Cocynthum (thought by some to be the longest promontory in Italy), then the gulf and city of Scolagium, called by the Athenians when founding it Scylletium. This part of the country is made into a peninsula by the Gulf of Terina which runs up to it, and on it is the harbour called Hannibal's Camp. It is the narrowest part of Italy, which is here 20 miles across, and consequently the elder Dionysius wanted to cut a canal across the peninsula in this place, and annex it to Sicily. [96] The navigable rivers in this district are the Carcinus, Crotalus, Semirus, Arogas and Thagines; it contains the inland town of Petilia, the Mount Clibanus, and the promontory of Lacinium, off the coast of which ten miles out lies the Island of the Sons of Zeus and another called Calypso's Island, which is thought to be Homer's island of Ogygia, and also Tyris, Eranusa and Meloessa. According to Agrippa the distance of the promontory of Lacinium from Caulon is 70 miles.

{11.} L   [97] At the promontory of Lacinium begins the second Gulf of Europe; it curves round in a large bay and ends in Acroceraunium, a promontory of Epirus; the distance from cape to cape is 75 miles. Here are the town of Croton, the river Neaethus, and the town of Thurii between the river Crathis and the river Sybaris, on which once stood the city of the same name. Likewise Heraclea, once called Siris, lies between the Siris and the Aciris. Then the rivers Acalandrum and Casuentum, and the town of Metapontum, at which the third region of Italy ends. [98] The only inland community of the Bruttii are the Aprustani, but in the interior of Lucania are the Atinates, Bantini, Eburini, Grumentini, Potentini, Sontini, Sirini, Tergilani, Ursentini and Volcentani adjoining whom are the Numestrani. Moreover it is stated by Cato that the town of Thebes in Lucania has disappeared and Theopompus says that there was once a city of the Lucanians named Mardonia, in which Alexander of Epirus died.

[99] Adjoining this district is the second region of Italy, embracing the Hirpini, Calabria, Apulia and the Sallentini with the 250-mile bay named after the Laconian town of Tarentum (this is situated in the innermost recess of the bay and has had attached to it the sea-board colony that had settled there, and it is 136 miles distant from the promontory of Lacinium), throwing out Calabria which is opposite to Lacinium to form a peninsula. The Greeks called it Messapia from their leader Messapus, and previously Peucetia from Peucetius the brother of Oenotrius, and it was in the Sallentine territory. The distance between the two headlands is 100 miles; and the breadth of the peninsula overland from Tarentum to Brundisium is 35 miles, and considerably less if measured from the port of Sasine. [100] The towns inland from Tarentum are Uria, which has the surname of Messapia to distinguish it from Uria in Apulia, and Sarmadium; on the coast are Senum and Callipolis, the present Anxa, 75 miles from Tarentum. Next, 33 miles farther, the promontory called the Iapygian Point, where Italy projects farthest into the sea. Nineteen miles from this point are the towns of Basta and Hydruntum, at the boundary between the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic, where is the shortest crossing to Greece, opposite to the town of Apollonia, separated by an arm of the sea not more than 50 miles wide. [101] King Pyrrhus of Epirus first conceived the plan of carrying a causeway over this gap by throwing bridges across it, and after him Marcus Varro had the same idea when commanding the fleets of Pompey in the Pirate War; but both were prevented by other commitments. After Hydruntum comes the deserted site of Soletum, then Fratuertium, the harbour of Tarentum, the roadstead of Miltope, Lucia, Balesium, Caelius, and then Brundisium, 50 miles from Hydruntum, one of the most famous places in Italy for its harbour and as offering a more certain crossing albeit a longer one, ending at the city of Dyrrachium in Illyria, a passage of 225 miles.

[102] Adjacent to Brundisium is the territory of the Paediculi, whose twelve tribes were the descendants of nine youths and nine maidens from the Illyrians. The towns of the Paediculi are Rudiae, Egnatia and Barium; their rivers are the Iapyx, named from the son of Daedalus, the king who also gives his name to the Iapygian Point, the Pactius and the Aufidus, which runs down from the Hirpini mountains and past Canusium.

[103] Here begins Apulia, called Apulia of the Daunii, who were named after their chief, the father-in-law of Diomedes; in Apulia is the town of Salapia, famous as the scene of Hannibal's amour with a courtesan, Sipontum, Uria, the river Cervaro marking the boundary of the Daunii, the harbour of Agassus, the promontory of Mount Garganus (the distance round Garganus from the promontory of Sallentinum or Iapygia being 234 miles), the port of Garna, Lake Pantanus, the river Fertor which forms a harbour, Teanum of the Apuli and Larinum of the Apuli, Cliternia, and the river Tifernus, at which begins the district of the Frentani. [104] Thus the Apulians comprise three different races: the Teani, so called from their chief, of Graian descent; the Lucanians who were subdued by Calchas and who occupied the places that now belong to the Atinates; and the Daunians, including, beside the places mentioned above, the colonies of Luceria and Venusia and the towns of Canusium and Arpi, formerly called Argos Hippium when founded by Diomedes, and afterwards Argyripa. Here Diomedes destroyed the tribes of the Monadi and Dardi and two cities whose names have passed into a proverbial joke, Apina and Trica. [105] Besides these there are in the interior of the second region one colony of the Hirpini formerly called Maleventum and now more auspiciously, by a change of name, Beneventum, the Ausculani, Aquiloni, Abellinates surnamed Protropi, Compsani, Candini, Ligurians with the surnames Baebiani, Vescellani, Aeclani, Aletrini, Abellinates surnamed Marsi, Atrani, Aceani, Alfellani, Atinates, Arpani, Boreani, Collatini, Corinenscs, Cannae celebrated for the Roman defeat, Dirini, Forentani, Genusini, Herdonienses, Irini, Larinates surnamed Frentani, the Merinates from Mount Garganus, Mateolani, Neretini, Natini, Rubustini, Silvini, Strapellini, Turnantini, Vibinates, Venusini, Ulurtini. Inland Calabrian peoples are the Aegetini, Apamestini, Argentini, Butuntinenses, Deciani, Grumbestini, Norbanenses, Palionenses, Stulnini and Tutini; inland Sallentini are the Aletini, Basterbint Neretini, Uzentini and Veretini.

{12.} L   [106] There follows the fourth region, which includes the very bravest races in Italy. On the coast, in the territory of the Frentani, after Tifernum are the river Trinium, affording a harbour, and the towns of Histonium, Buca and Hortona and the river Aternus. Inward are the Anxani surnamed Frentani, the Upper and Lower Caretini and the Lanuenses; and in the Marrucine territory the Teatini; in the Paelignian, the people of Corfinium; Superaequum and Sulmo; in the Marsian, those of Anxanum, Atina, the Fucentes, and the people of Luca and Marruvium; in the Albensian region the town of Alba on The Fucine Lake; in the Aequiculan, Cliternia and Carseoli; [107] in the Vestinian, Angulum, Penna and Peltuinum, adjoining which is Aufina South of the Mountain; in the region of the Samnites, who once were called Sabelli and by the Greeks Saunitae, the colony of Old Bovianum and the other Bovianum that bears the name of the Eleventh Legion, Aufidena, Aesernia, the Fagifulani, Ficolenses, Saepinates, and Tereventinates; in the Sabine, Amiternum, Cures, Forum of Decius, Forum Novum, Fidenae, Interamnia, Nursia, Nomentum, Reate, Trebula Mutuesca, Trebula Suffena, Tibur, Tarinum. [108] In this district, of the tribes of the Aequicoli the Comini, Tadiates, Caedici and Alfaterni have disappeared. It is stated by Gellianus that a Marsian town of Archippe, founded by the Lydian commander Marsyas, has been submerged in the Fucine Lake, and also Valerianus says that the town of the Vidicini in Picenum was destroyed by the Romans. The Sabines (according to some opinions called Sebini from their religious beliefs and ritual) live on the lush dewy hills by the Veline Lakes. [109] Those lakes drain into the river Nar, which from these derives the river Tiber with its sulphurous waters, and they are replenished by the Avens which runs down from Mount Fiscellus near the Groves of Vacuna and Reate and loses itself in the lakes in question. In another direction the Anio rising in the mountain of the Trebani drains into the Tiber three lakes famous for their beauty, from which Sublaqueum takes its name. In the district of Reate is the lake of Cutilia, which is said by Marcus Varro to be the central point of Italy, and to contain a floating island. Below the Sabine territory lies Latium, on one side of it Picenum, and behind it Umbria, while the ranges of the Apennines fence it in on either side.

{13.} L   [110] The fifth region is that of Picenum, which formerly was very densely populated: 360,000 Picentines took the oath of allegiance to Rome. They derived their origin from the Sabines, who had made a vow to celebrate a Holy Spring. The territory that they took possession of began at the river Aternus, where are now the district and colony of Hadria, 6 miles from the sea. Here is the river Vomanus, the territories of the Praetutii and Palmenses, also Castrum Novum, the river Batinus, Truentum with its river, the only Liburnian settlement left in Italy, the rivers Albula, Tessuinum, and Helvinum where the region of the Praetutii ends and that of Picenum begins; [111] the town of Cupra, the Castle of the Firmani, and above it the colony of Asculum, the most famous in Picenum. Inland is Novana, and on the coast Cluana, Potentia, Numana founded by the Sicilians, and Ancona, a colony founded by the same people on the promontory of Cunerus just at the elbow of the coast where it bends round, 183 miles from Mount Garganus. Inland are Auximum, Beregra, Cingula, Cupra surnamed Montana, Falerium, Pausula, Planina, Ricinum, Septempedum, Tollentinum, Treia, and the people from Pollentia settled at Urbisalvia.

{14.} L   [112] Adjoining to this will come the sixth region, embracing Umbria and the Gallic territory this side of Ariminium. At Ancona begins the Gallic coast named Gallia Togata. The largest part of this district was occupied by Sicilians and Liburnians, especially the territories of the Palmenses, the Praetutii and Adria. They were expelled by the Umbrians, and these by Etruria, and Etruria by the Gauls. The Umbrians are believed to be the oldest race of Italy, being thought to be the people designated as Ombrii by the Greeks on the ground of their having survived the rains after the flood. [113] We find that 300 of their towns were conquered by the Etruscans. On this coast at the present time are the river Addis, Senagallia, the river Metaurus and the colonies of Fanum Fortunae and Pisaurum with the river of the same name and inland those of Hispellum and Tuder. Besides these there are the peoples of Ameria, Attidium, Asisium, Arna, Aesis, Camerinum, Casuentillum, Carsulae; the Dolates surnamed Sallentini; Fulginiae, Forum of Flaminius, Forum of Julius, surnamed Concupium, Forobrenta, Forum of Sempronius, Iguvium, Interamna on the Nar, Mevania, Mevaniola, Matilica, Narnia (the town formerly called Nequinum); [114] the people of Nuceria surnamed Favonienses and those surnamed Camellani; Ocricolum, Ostra; the Pitulani surnamed Pisuertes and others surnamed Mergentini; the Plestini; Sentinum, Sassina, Spoletum, Suasa, Sestinum, Suillum, Tadina, Trebiae, Tuficum, Tifernum on the Tiber, Tifernum on the Metaurus; Vesinica, Urvinum on the Metaurus and Urvinum of the Garden, Vettona, the Vindinates and the Visuentani. Peoples that have disappeared in this district are the Felignates and the inhabitants of Clusiolum above Interamna, and the Sarranates, together with the towns of Acerrae surnamed Vafriae and Turocaelum surnamed Vettiolum; also the Solinates, Suriates, Falinates and Sappinates. There have also disappeared the Arinates with the town of Crinivolum and the Usidicani and Plangenses, the Paesinates, the Caelestini. Ameria above-mentioned is stated by Cato to have been founded 963 years before the war with Perseus.

{15.} L   [115] The boundaries of the eighth region are marked by Ariminium, the Po and the Apennines. On its coast are the river Conca, the colony of Ariminium with the rivers Ariminum and Aprusa, and the river Rubicon, once the frontier of Italy. Then there are the Sapis, the Vitis and the Anemo; the Sabine town of Ravenna with the river Bedesis, and the Umbrian town of Butrium 105 miles from Ancona and not far from the sea. Inland are the colonies of Bononia (which at the time when it was the chief place in Etruria was called Felsina), Brixillum, Mutina, Parma, Placentia, and the towns of Caesena, Claterna, [116] the Forums of Clodius, of Livius, of Popilius, of the Truentini, of Cornelius, and of Licinius, Faventia, Fidentia, the Otesini, Padinum, Regium named from Lepidus, the Padinates, Groves of Gallius surnamed Aquinates, Tannetum, Veleia in old days surnamed Regias, Urbana. Peoples no longer existing in this region are the Boii, said by Cato to have comprised 112 tribes, and also the Senones who captured Rome.

{16.} L   [117] The source of the Po, which well deserves a visit, is a spring in the heart of Mount Vesulus, an extremely lofty Alpine peak in the territory of the Ligurian Vagienni; the stream burrows underground and emerges again in the district of Forum Vibii. It rivals all other rivers in celebrity; its Greek name was Eridanus, and it is famous as the scene of the punishment of Phaethon. The melting of the snows at the rising of the Dog-star causes it to swell in volume; but though its flooding does more damage to the fields adjacent than to vessels, nevertheless it claims no part of its plunder for itself, and where it deposits its spoil it bestows bounteous fertility. [118] Its length from its source is 300 miles, to which it adds 88 by its windings, and it not only receives navigable rivers from the Apennines and the Alps, but also immense lakes that discharge themselves into it, and it carries down to the Adriatic Sea as many as 30 streams in all. Among these the best-known are: flowing from the Apennine range, the Jactus, the Tanarus, the Trebia ( on which is Placentia ), the Tarus, the Incia, the Gabellus, the Scultenna and the Rhenus; flowing from the Alps, the Stura, Orgus, two Durias, Sesitis, Ticinus, Lambrus, Addua, Ollius and Mincius. [119] Nor does any other river increase so much in volume in so short a distance; in fact, the vast body of water drives it on and scoops out its bed with disaster to the land, although it is diverted into streams and canals between Ravenna and Altinum over a length of 120 miles; nevertheless where it discharges its water more widely it forms what are called the Seven Seas.

The Po is carried to Ravenna by the Canal of Augustus; this part of the river is called the Padusa, it’s name previously being Messanicus. the mouth nearest to Ravenna forms the large basin called the Harbour of the Vatrenus; it was here that Claudius Caesar sailed out into the Adriatic, in what was a vast palace rather than a ship, when celebrating his triumph over Britain. [120] This mouth was formerly called the Eridanus, and by others the Spineticus from the city of Spina that formerly stood near it, and that was believed on the evidence of its treasures deposited at Delphi to have been a very powerful place; it was founded by Diomedes. At this point the Po is augmented by the river Vatrenus from the territory of Forum of Cornelius.

The next mouth to this is the Caprasian month, then that of Sagis, and then Volane, formerly called Olane; all of these form the Flavian Canal, which was first made from the Sagis by the Etruscans, thus discharging the flow of the river across into the marshes of the Atriani called the Seven Seas, with the famous harbour of the Etruscan town of Atria which formerly gave the name of Atriatic to the sea now called the Adriatic. [121] Next come the deep-water mouths of Carbonaria and the Fossiones  Philistinae, called by others Tartarus, all of which originate from the overflow of the Philistina Canal, with the addition of the Atesis from the Tridentine Alps and of the Togisonus from the district of Patavium. A part of these streams also forms the neighbouring harbour of Brundulum, as likewise that of Aedron  is formed by the two Menduaci and the Clodian Canal. With these streams the Po unites and flows through them into the sea, according to most authorities forming between the Alps and the sea-coast the figure of a triangle, like what is called the Delta formed by the Nile in Egypt; the triangle measures 250 miles in circumference. [122] One is ashamed to borrow an account of Italy from the Greeks; nevertheless, Metrodorus of Scepsis says that the river has received the name of Padus because in the neighbourhood of its source there are a quantity of pine-trees of the kind called in the Gallic dialect padi, while in fact the Ligurian name for the actual river is Bodincus, a word that means 'bottomless.' This theory is supported by the fact that the neighbouring town of Industria, where the river begins to be particularly deep, had the old name of Bodincomagum.

{17.} L   [123] The eleventh region receives from the river the name of Transpadana; it is situated entirely inland, but the river carries to it on its bounteous channel the products of all the seas. Its towns are Forum Vibi and Segusio, and the colony of Augusta Taurinorum at the roots of the Alps (here the Po becomes navigable), sprung from an ancient Ligurian stock, and next that of Augusta Praetoria of the Salassi, near the twin gateways of the Alps, the Graian pass and the Pennine, - history says that the latter was the pass crossed by the Carthaginians and the former by Hercules - and the town of Eporedia, founded by the Roman nation by order of the Sibylline Books - the name comes from the Gallic word for a man good at breaking horses - [124] Vercellae, the town of the Libicii, founded from the Sallui, and Novaria founded from Vertamacori, a place belonging to the Vocontii and nowadays a village, not (as Cato thinks) belonging to the Ligurians; from whom the Laevi and Manici founded Ticinum not far from the Po, just as the Boii, coming from the tribes across the Alps, founded Laus Pompeia and the Insubres Mediolanum. According to Cato, Comum, Bergomum, Forum Licini and some surrounding peoples are of the Orumbovian stock, but he confesses that he does not know the origin of that race; whereas Cornelius Alexander states that it originated from Greece, arguing merely by the name, which he renders 'those who pass their lives in mountains.' [125] In this locality a town of the Orumbovii named Parra, said by Cato to be the original home of the people of Bergomum, has perished, its remains still showing its site to have been more lofty than advantageous. Other communities that have perished are the Caturiges, an exiled section of the Insubres, and the above-mentioned Spina, and also the exceptionally wealthy town of Melpum, which is stated by Cornelius Nepos to have been destroyed by the Insubres, Boii and Senones on the day on which Camillus took Veii.

{18.} L   [126] Next comes the tenth region of Italy, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. In it are Venetia, the river Silis that rises in the mountains of Tarvisium, the town of Altinum, the river Liquentia rising in the mountains of Opitergium, and the port of the same name, the colony of Concordia, the river and port of Reate, the Greater and Lesser Tiliaventum, the Anaxum, into which flows the Varanus, the Alsa, the Natiso, with the Turrus that flows past the colony of Aquileia situated 15 miles from the sea. [127] This is the region of the Carni, and adjoining it is that of the Iapudes, the river Timavus, Castellum Pucinum famous for its wine, the Gulf of Tergeste, and the colony of the same name, 33 miles from Aquileia. Six miles beyond Tergeste is the river Formio, 189 miles from Ravenna, the old frontier of the enlarged Italy and now the boundary of Istria. It has been stated by many authors, even including Nepos, who lived on the banks of the Po, that Istria takes its name from the stream called Ister flowing out of the river Danube (which also has the name of Ister) into the Adriatic, opposite the mouths of the Po, and that their currents, colliding from contrary directions, turn the intervening sea into a pool of fresh water; but these statements are erroneous, [128] for no river flows out of the Danube into the Adriatic. I believe that they have been misled by the fact that the ship Argo came down a river into the Adriatic not far from Tergeste, but it has not hitherto been decided what river this was. More careful writers say that the Argo was portaged on men's shoulders across the Alps, but that she had come up the Ister and then the Savus and then the Nauportus, a stream rising between Emona and the Alps, that has got its name from this occurrence.

{19.} L   [129] Istria projects in the form of a peninsula. Some authorities have given its breadth as 40 miles and its circuit as 125 miles, and the same dimensions for the adjoining territory of Liburnia and the Flanatic Gulf; others make it 225 miles, and others give the circuit of Liburnia as 180 miles. Some carry Iapudia, at the back of Istria, as far as the Flanatic Gulf, a distance of 130 miles, and then make the circuit of Liburnia 150 miles. Tuditanus, who conquered the Istrians, inscribed the following statement on his statue there: From Aquileia to the river Tityus 2000 stades. Towns in Istria with the Roman citizenship are Aegida, Parentium and the colony of Pola, the present Pietas Julia, originally founded by the Colchians, and 105 miles from Tergeste. Then comes the town of Nesactium and the river Arsia, now the frontier of Italy. The distance across from Ancona to Pola is 120 miles.

[130] In the interior of the tenth region are the colonies of Cremona and Brexia in the territory of the Cenomani, and Ateste in that of the Veneti, and the towns of Acelum, Patavium, Opitergium, Velunum, Vicetia and Mantua, the only remaining Etruscan town across the Po. According to Cato, the Veneti are descended from a Trojan stock, and the Cenomani lived among the Volcae in the neighbourhood of Massilia. There are also the Raetic towns of Feltrina, Tridentium and Berua, Verona which belongs to the Raeti and Euganei jointly, and Julium which belongs to the Carni; then peoples that we need not be concerned to designate with more particularity, the Alutrenses, Asseriates, Flamonienses Vanienses and other Flamonienses surnamed Curici, the Forojulienses surnamed Transpadani, Foretani, Nedinates, Quarqueni, Tarvisani, Togienses, Varvari. [131] In this district there have disappeared, on the coast-line, Irmene, Pellaon, Palsiciurn, Atina and Caelina belonging to the Veneti, Segesta and Ocra to the Carni, Noreia to the Taurisci. Also Lucius Piso states that a town 12 miles from Aquileia was destroyed by Marcus Claudius Marcellus, although against the wish of the senate.

This region also contains eleven famous lakes and the rivers of which they are the source, or which, in the case of those that after entering the lakes leave them again, are augmented by them - for instance the Addua that flows through Lake Larius, the Ticinus through Lake Verbannus, the Minucius through Lake Benacus, the Ollius  through the Lake Sebinnus and the Lambrus through Lake Eupilis - all of these streams being tributaries of the Po.

[132] The length of the Alps from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean is given by Caelius as 1000 milesTimagenes puts it at 25 miles less. Their breadth is given by Cornelius _Nepos as 100 miles, by Livy as 375 miles, but they take their measurements at different points; for occasionally the Alps exceed even 100 miles in breadth, where they divide Germany from Italy, while in the remaining part they are as it were providentially narrow and do not cover 70 miles. The breadth of Italy at the roots of the Alps, measured from the river Varus through Vada Sabatia, Taurinum, Comum, Brixia, Verona, Vicetia, Opitergium, Aquileia, Tergeste and Pola, to the river Arsia, amounts to 745 miles.

{20.} L   [133] The Alps are inhabited by a great many nations, but the notable ones, between Pola and the district of Tergeste, are the Fecusses, Subocrini, Catali and Menoucaleni, and next to the Carni the peoples formerly called Taurisci and now Norici; adjoining these are the Raeti and Vindelici. All are divided into a number of states. The Raeti are believed to be people of Etruscan race driven out by the Gauls; their leader was named Raetus. Then, on the side of the Alps towards Italy, are the Euganean races having the Latin rights, whose towns listed by Cato number 34. [134] Among these are the Trumpilini, a people that sold themselves together with their lands, and then the Camunni and a number of similar peoples, assigned to the jurisdiction of the neighbouring municipal towns. Cato before mentioned considers the Lepontii and Salassi to be of Tauriscan origin, but almost all other authors give a Greek interpretation to their name and believe that the Lepontii are descended from companions of Hercules 'left behind' because their limbs had been frostbitten in crossing the Alps; and that the inhabitants of the Graian Alps were also Grai from the same band, and that the Euganei were of specially distinguished family, and took their name from that fact; and that the head of these are the Stoeni. [135] The Raetian tribes Vennones and Sarunetes live near the sources of the river Rhine, and the Lepontian tribe called the Uberi at the source of the Rhone in the same district of the Alps. There are also other native tribes that have received Latin rights; for instance, the Octodurenses and their neighbours the Centrones, the Cottian states and the Turi of Ligurian descent, the Ligurian Vagienni and those called the Mountain Ligurians, and several tribes of Long-haired Ligurians on the borders of the Ligurian Sea.

[136] It seems not out of place to append here the inscription from the triumphal arch erected in the Alps, which runs as follows:

To Imperator Caesar Augustus, son of the the deified { Julius }, pontifex maximus in his fourteenth year of imperium and seventeenth year of tribunicial authority - erected, by the Senate and People of Rome, to commemorate that under his leadership and auspices all the Alpine races stretching from the Adriatic Sea to the Mediterranean were brought under the dominion of the Roman people. Alpine races conquered - the Trumpilini, Camunni, Venostes, [137] Vennonetes, Isarci, Breuni, Genaunes, Focunates, four tribes of the Vindelici, the Cosuanetes, Rucinates, Licates, Catenates, Ambisontes, Rugusci, Suanetes, Calucones, Brixentes, Lepontii, Uberi, Nantuates, Seduni, Varagri, Salassi, Acitavones, Medulli, Ucenni, Caturiges, Brigiani, Sobionti, Brodicenti, Nemaloni, Edenates, Vesubiani, Veamini, Gallitae, Triulati, Ecdini, Vergunni, Eguituri, Nematuri, Oratelli, Nerusi, Felauni, Suetri.

[138] This list does not include the 15 states of the Cottiani which had not shown hostility, nor those that were placed by the Pompeian Law under the jurisdiction of municipal towns.

This then is Italy, a land sacred to the gods, and these are the races and towns of its peoples. Moreover this is that Italy which, in the consulship of Lucius Aemilius Papus and Gaius Atilius Regulus {225 B.C.}, on receipt of news of a rising in Gaul, single-handed and without any alien auxiliaries, and moreover at that date without aid from Gaul north of the Po, equipped an army of 80,000 horse and 700,000 foot. She is inferior to no country in abundance of mineral products of every kind; but mining is prohibited by an old resolution of the Senate forbidding the exploitation of Italy.

{21.} L   [139] The race of the Liburnians stretches from the Arsia to the river Tityus. Sections of it were the Mentores, Himani, Encheleae, Buni, and the people called by Callimachus the Peucetii, all of whom are now designated collectively by the one name of Illyrians. Few of the peoples are worthy of mention, nor are their names easy to pronounce. To the jurisdiction of Scardona resort the Iapudes and the 14 communities of the Liburnians, of which it may not be tedious to name the Lacinienses, Stulpini, Burnistae and Olbonenses. In this jurisdiction states having Italic rights are the Alutae, the Flanates from whom the gulf takes its name, the Lopsi, the Varvarini, the Asseriates who are exempt from tribute, and of the islands Fertinium and Curicum. [140] Moreover along the coast starting from Nesactium are Alvona, Flanona, Tarsatica, Senia, Lopsica, Ortoplinia, Vegium, Argyruntum, Corinium, Aenona, the city of the Pasini and the river Tedanius, at which Iapudia terminates. The islands of the gulf with their towns are, besides the above specified, Absortium, Arba, Crexi, Gissa, Portunata. Again on the mainland is the colony of Iader, 160 miles from Pola, and 30 miles from it the island of Colentum, and 18 miles from it the mouth of the river Titius.

{22.} L   [141] At the city of Scardona on the Titius, 12 miles from the sea, Liburnia ends and Dalmatia begins. Then comes the ancient region of the Tariotae and the fortress of Tariona, the Promontory of Diomedes, or as others name it the Peninsula of Hyllis, measuring 100 miles round, Tragurium, a place possessing Roman citizenship and famous for its marble, Siculi where the deified Claudius sent a colony of veterans; and the colony of Salona, 112 miles from Iader. Salona is the centre for jurisdiction of the Delmatae, se forces are divided into 342 tithings {decuriae}, Deuri into 25 tithings, Ditiones into 239, Maezaei 269, Sardeates 52. [142] In this district are Burnum, Andetrium and Tribulium, fortresses that are famous for battles. Island peoples also belonging to the same jurisdiction are the Issaeans, Colentini, Separi and Epetini. After these come the fortresses of Petuntium, Nareste and Onium, and the colony of Narona, the seat of the third centre, 85 miles from Salona, situated on the river also called Naron 20 miles from the sea. According to Marcus Varro 89 states used to resort to it, [143] but now nearly the only ones known are the Cerauni with 24 tithings {decuriae}, the Daversi with 17, Desitiates 103, Docleates 33, Deretini 14, Deraemestae 30, Dindari 33, Gunditiones 44, Melcumani 24, Naresi 102, Scirtari 72, Sicnlotae 24, and the Vardaei, once the ravagers of Italy, with not more than 20 tithings. Besides these this district was occupied by the Ozuaei, Partheni, Hemasini, Arthitae and Armistae. The colony of Epidaurum is 100 miles distant from the river Naron. [144] After Epidaurum come the following towns with Roman citizenship - Rhizinium, Acruium, Butuanum, Olcinium, formerly called Colchinium because it was founded by the Colchians; the river Drino, and upon it Scodra, a town with the Roman citizenship, 18 miles from the sea; and also a number of Greek towns and also powerful cities of which the memory is fading away, this district having contained the Labeatae, Endirudini, Sasaei and Grabaei; and the Taulanti and the Pyraei, both properly styled Illyrians. The promontory of Nymphaeum on the coast still retains its name. Lissus, a town having the Roman citizenship, is 100 miles from Epidaurum.

{23.} L   [145] At Lissum begins the province of Macedonia. Its races are the Partheni and in their rear the Dassaretae. The mountains of Candavia are 78 miles from Dyrrachium, and on the coast is Denda, a town with Roman citizenship, the colony of Epidamnum which, on account of the ill-omened sound of that name, has been renamed Dyrrachium by the Romans, the river Aous, called by some Aeas, and the former Corinthian colony of Apollonia 4 miles distant from the sea, in the territory of which is the famous Shrine of the Nymphs, with the neighbouring native tribes of the Amantes and Buliones. Actually on the coast is the town of Oricum, founded by the Colchians. Here begins Epirus, with the Acroceraunian mountains, at which we fixed the boundary of this Gulf of Europe. The distance between Oricum and the Sallentine Cape in Italy is 80 miles.

{24.} L   [146] Behind the Carni and Iapudes, along the course of the mighty Danube, the Raetians are adjoined by the Norici; their towns are Virunum, Celeia, Teurnia, Aguntum, Juvavum, Vianiomina, Claudia, Flavium Solvense. Adjoining the Norici is Lake Peiso, and the unoccupied lands of the Boii, now however inhabited by the people of Sabaria, a colony of the deified Claudius, and the town of Scarabantia Julia.

{25.} L   [147] Then come the acorn-producing lands of the province of Pannonia, where the chain of the Alps gradually becomes less formidable, and slopes to the right and left hand with gentle contours as it traverses the middle of Illyria from north to south. The part looking towards the Adriatic is called Dalmatia and Illyria mentioned above { §139 }, while the part stretching northward is Pannonia, terminating in that direction at the Danube. In it are the colonies of Emona and Siscia. Famous navigable rivers flowing into the Danube are the Draus from Noricum, a rather violent stream, and the Saus from the Carnic Alps which is more gentle, there being a space of 120 miles between them; the Draus flows through the Serretes, Sirapilli, Iasi and Andizetes; the Saus through the Colapiani and Breuci. [148] These are the principal peoples; and there are besides the Arviates, Azali, Amantini, Belgites, Catari, Cornacates, Eravisci, Hercuniates, Latovici, Oseriates and Vareiani, and Mount Claudius, in front of which are the Scordisci and behind it the Taurisci. In the Saus is the island of Metubarbis, the largest known island formed by a river. Other noteworthy rivers are the Colapis, which flows into the Saus near Siscia, where its channel divides and forms the island called Segestica, and another river the Bacuntius, flowing into the Saus at the town of Sirmium, the capital of the Sirmienses and Amantini. From Sirmium it is 45 miles to Taurunum, where the Saus joins the Danube; tributaries flowing into the Danube higher up are the Valdarus and the Urpanus, themselves also not inconsiderable streams.

{26.} L   [149] Adjoining Pannonia is the province called Moesia, which runs with the course of the Danube right down to the Black Sea, beginning at the confluence of the Danube and the Saus mentioned above. Moesia contains the Dardani, Celegeri, Triballi, Timachi, Moesi, Thracians and Scythians adjacent to the Black Sea. Its famous rivers are the Marcus, Pingus and Timachus rising in the territory of the Dardani, the Oescus in Mount Rhodope and the Utus, Asamus and Jeterus in Mount Haemus.

[150] Illyria covers 325 miles in width at its widest point, and 530 miles in length from the river Arsia to the river Drinius; its length from the Drinius to the Cape Acroceraunium is given by Agrippa as 175 miles, and the entire circuit of the Italian and Illyrian Gulf as 1700 miles. This gulf, delimited as we described it, contains two seas, in the first part the Ionian and more inland the Adriatic, called the Upper Sea.

[151] There are no islands deserving mention in the Ausonian Sea besides those already specified, and only a few in the Ionian - those lying on the coast of Calabria off Brundisium and by their position forming a harbour, and Diomedes' Island off the coast of Apulia, marked by the monument of Diomedes, and another island of the same name but by some called Teutria.

On the coast of Illyricum is a cluster of more than 1000 islands, the sea being of a shoaly nature and divided into a network of estuaries with narrow channels. The notable islands are those off the mouth of the Timavus, fed by hot springs that rise with the tide of the sea; Cissa near the territory of the Histri; and Pullaria and those called by the Greeks the Absyrtides, from Medea's brother Absyrtus who was killed there. [152] Islands near these the Greeks have designated the Electrides, because amber, the Greek for which is electron, was said to be found there; this is a very clear proof of Greek unreliability, seeing that it has never been ascertained which of the islands they mean. Opposite to the Iader are Lissa and the islands already mentioned; opposite the Liburni are several called the Crateae, and an equal number called the Liburnicae and Celadussae; opposite Tragurium Bavo and Brattia, the latter celebrated for its goats, Issa with the rights of Roman citizenship and Pharia, on which there is a town. Twenty-five miles from Issa is the island called Corcyra Melaena, with a town founded from Cnidos, and between Corcyra Melaena and Illyricum is Melite, from which according to Callimachus Maltese terriers get their name. Fifteen miles from Melite are the seven Elaphites {"Stag Islands"}, and in the Ionian Sea twelve miles from Oricum is Sasonis, notorious as a harbour for pirates.

Book 4

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