Pliny,   Natural History

-   Book 3 ,   sections 1-75

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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{1.} L   [1] So much as to the situation and the marvels of land and water and of the stars, and the plan and dimensions of the universe.

Now to describe its parts, although this also is considered an endless task, not lightly undertaken without some adverse criticism, though in no field does enquiry more fairly claim indulgence, only granting it to be by no means wonderful that one born a human being should not possess all human knowledge. For this reason I shall not follow any single authority, but such as I shall judge most reliable in their several departments, since I have found it a characteristic common to virtually all of them that each gave the most careful description of the particular region in which he personally was writing. [2] Accordingly I shall neither blame nor criticise anyone. The bare names of places will be set down, and with the greatest brevity available, their celebrity and its reasons being deferred to their proper sections; for my topic now is the world as a whole. Therefore I should like it to be understood that I specify the bare names of the places without their record, as they were in the beginning before they had achieved any history, and that though their names are mentioned, it is only as forming a portion of the world and of the natural universe.

[3] The whole circuit of the earth is divided into three parts, Europe, Asia and Africa. The starting point is in the west, at the Straits of Gades, where the Atlantic Ocean bursts in and spreads out into the inland seas. On the right as you enter from the ocean is Africa and on the left Europe, with Asia between them; the boundaries are the river Tanais and the river Nile. The ocean straits mentioned are fifteen miles long and five miles broad, from the village of Mellaria in Spain to the White Cape in Africa, as given by Turranius Gracilis, a native of the neighbourhood [4] while Livy and Cornelius Nepos state the breadth at the narrowest point as seven miles and at the widest as ten miles: so narrow is the mouth through which pours so boundless an expanse of water. Nor is it of any great depth, so as to lessen the marvel, for recurring streaks of whitening shoal-water terrify passing keels, and consequently many have called this place the threshold of the Mediterranean. At the narrowest part of the Straits stand mountains on either side, enclosing the channel, Abyla in Africa and Calpe in Europe; these were the limits of the labours of Hercules, and consequently the inhabitants call them the Pillars of that deity, and believe that he cut the channel through them and thereby let in the sea which had hitherto been shut out, so altering the face of nature.

[5] To begin then with Europe, nurse of the race that has conquered all the nations, and by far the loveliest portion of the earth, which most authorities, not without reason, have reckoned to be not a third part but a half of the world, dividing the whole circle into two portions by a line drawn from the river Tanais to the Straits of Gades. The ocean, pouring the Atlantic sea through the passage I have described, and in its eager progress overwhelming all the lands that shrank in awe before its coming, washes also those that offer resistance with a winding and broken coastline: Europe especially it hollows out with a succession of bays, but into four chief gulfs, of which the first bends in a vast curve from the rock of Calpe, which, as I have said, is the extremity of Spain, right to Locri on the cape of Bruttium.

[6] The first land situated on this gulf is called Further Spain or Baetica, and then, from the frontier at Murgis, Hither Spain or Tarraconensis, extending to the chain of the Pyrenees. Further Spain is divided lengthwise into two provinces, Lusitania extending along the north side of Baetica and separated from it by the river Anas. This rises in Hither Spain, in the territory of Laminium and now spreading out into meres, now contracting into narrows, or burrowing entirely underground and gaily emerging again several times over, discharges itself into the Atlantic Ocean. Tarraconensis adjoins the Pyrenees, running down along the whole of one side of the chain and also extending across from the Iberian Sea to the Gallic Ocean, and is separated from Baetica and Lusitania by Mount Solorius and by the ranges of the Oretani and Carpentani and of the Astures.

[7] Baetica, named after the river Baetis which divides it in two, stands first among the whole of the provinces in the richness of its cultivation and in a sort of peculiar fertility and brilliance of vegetation. It comprises four jurisdictions, those of Gades, Corduba, Astigi and Hispalis. Its towns number in all 175, of which 9 are colonies, 10 municipalities of Roman citizens, 27 towns granted early Latin rights, 6 free towns, 3 bound by treaty to Rome and 120 paying tribute. Worthy of mention in this district, or easily expressed in Latin, are: on the ocean coast beginning at the river Anas, the town Ossonoba, surnamed Aestuaria, at the confluence of the Luxia and the Urium; the Hareni Mountains; the river Baetis; the winding bay of the Coast of Curum, opposite to which is Gades, to be described among the islands; the Promontory of Juno; Port Vaesippo; the town of Baelo; Mellaria, the strait entering from the Atlantic; Carteia, called by the Greeks Tartesos; the rock of Calpe. [8] Next, on the coast inside the straits, are: the town of Barbesula with its river; ditto Salduba; the town of Suel; Malaca with its river, one of the treaty towns. Then comes Maenuba with its river; Firmum Julium surnamed Sexum; Sel; Abdara; Murgis, which is the boundary of Baetica. The whole of this coast was thought by Marcus Agrippa to be of Carthaginian origin; but beyond the Anas and facing the Atlantic Ocean is the territory of the Bastuli and Turduli. Marcus Varro records that the whole of Spain was penetrated by invasions of Hiberi, Persians, Phoenicians, Celts and Carthaginians; for he says that it was the sport {lusus} of Father Liber, or the frenzy {lyssa} of those who revelled with him, that gave its name to Lusitania, and that Pan was the governor of the whole of it. The stories related of Hercules, Pyrene or Saturn I regard as absolutely mythical.

[9] The Baetis rises in Tarraconensis, not at the town of Mentesa, as some authorities have said, but in the Tugiensian Forest bordered by the river Tader that waters the territory of Carthago; at Ilorci it avoids the 'Pyre of Scipio' and, turning westward, makes for the Atlantic Ocean, giving its name to the province; it is first of moderate size, but it receives many tributaries, from which it takes their glory as well as their waters. It first enters Baetica at Ossigetania, gliding gently in a picturesque channel past a series of towns situated on both its banks.

[10] Between this river and the Ocean coast the most famous places inland are: Segida surnamed Augurina; Julia or Fidentia; Urgao or Alba; Ebura or Cerialis; Iliberri or Liberini; Ilipula or Laus; Artigi or Julienses; Vesci or Faventia; Singili, Ategua, Arialdunum, Agla Minor, Baebro, Castra Vinaria, Cisimbrium, New Hippo, Illurco, Osca, Oscua, Sucaelo, Unditanum, Old Tucci - all of which are places in that part of Bastetania which stretches towards the sea. In the jurisdiction of Corduba in the neighbourhood of the actual river are Ossigi surnamed Latonium, Iliturgi or Forum Julium, Ipra, Isturgi or Triumphale, Sucia, and 17 miles inland Obulco or Pontificense, then Ripa, Epora (a treaty town), Sacili Martialium, Onuba, and on the right bank the colony of Corduba surnamed Patricia. At this point the Baetis first becomes navigable, and there are the towns of Carbula and Detum, the river Singilis flowing into the Baetis on the same side.

[11] The towns of the jurisdiction of Hispalis are Celti, Axati, Arua, Canama, Evia, Ilipa surnamed Ilpa Italica; on the left bank is the colony Hispal surnamed Romulensis, while on the opposite side are the towns Osset surnamed Julia Constantia, Vergentum or Juli Genius, Orippo, Caura, Siarum, and the river Maenuba, a tributary of the Baetis on its right. Between the estuaries of the Baetis are the towns of Nabrissa, surnamed Veneria, and Colobana, with two colonies, Hasta, which is called Regia, and inland Asido, which is called Caesarina.

[12] The river Singilis, joining the Baetis at the place in the list already mentioned, washes the colony of Astigi, surnamed Augusta Firma, from which point it becomes navigable. The other colonies in this jurisdiction exempt from tribute are Tucci, surnamed Augusta Gemella, Iptuci or Virtus Julia, Ucubi or Claritas Julia, Urso or Genetiva Urbanorum; and among these once was Munda, which was taken with the younger Pompeius. The free towns are Old Astigi and Ostippo, with the tributary towns of Callet, Callicula, Castra Gemina, Ilipula Minor, Marruca, Sacrana, Obulcula, Oningis, Sabora and Ventippo. At no great distance, on the Maenuba, another navigable river, are the settlements of Olontigi, Laelia and Lastigi.

[13] The region stretching from the Baetis to the river Anas beyond the places already mentioned is called Baeturia, and is divided into two parts and the same number of races, the Celtici bordering on Lusitania, of the jurisdiction of Hispalis, and the Turduli, who dwell on the borders of Lusitania and Tarraconensis, but are in the jurisdiction of Corduba. That the Celtici came from the Celtiberi in Lusitania is proved by their religion, their language, and the names of their towns, which in Baetica are distinguished by surnames: [14] Seria has the additional name of Fama Julia, Nertobriga that of Concordia Julia, Segida that of Restituta Julia, Ugultunia that of Contributa Julia (in which now is also included the town of Curiga), Lacimurga that of Constantia Julia, and Stereses the surname of Fortunales and Callenses that of Aeneanici. Besides these places there are in Celtica Acinipo, Arunda, Arunci, Turobriga, Lastigi, Salpesa, Saepone, Serippo. The other part of Baeturia, which we have said belongs to the Turduli and to the jurisdiction of Corduba, contains the not undistinguished towns of Arsa, Mellaria, Mirobriga Regina, Sosintigi and Sisapo. [15] To the jurisdiction of Gades belong Regina, with Roman citizens, Laepia Regia with Latin citizens, Carisa surnamed Aurelia, Urgia surnamed Castrum Julium, and also Caesaris Salutariensis; the tributary towns of Besaro, Beippo, Barbesula, Blacippo, Baesippo, Callet, Cappacum, Oleastro, Iptuci, Ibrona, Lascuta, Saguntia, Saudo, Usaepo.

[16] The total length of Baetica according to Marcus Agrippa is 475 miles, and its breadth 258 miles, but this was when its bounds extended as far as Carthago: such extensions comparatively often give rise to great errors in the measurements of distances, as they sometimes cause alterations in the boundary of provinces and sometimes an increase or reduction of the mileage of roads. During so long a period of time the seas have been encroaching on the land or the shores have been moving forward, and rivers have formed curves or have straightened out their windings. Moreover different persons take different starting-points for their measurements and follow different lines; and the consequence is that no two authorities agree.

{2.} L   [17] At present the length of Baetica from the frontier of the town of Castulo to Gades is 250 miles, and from the sea-front of Murgis 25 miles more; its breadth from Carteia along the coast to the Anas is 234 miles. Agrippa was a very painstaking man, and also a very careful geographer; who therefore could believe that when intending to set before the eyes of Rome a survey of the world he made a mistake, and with him the deified Augustus? for it was Augustus who completed the portico containing a plan of the world that had been begun by his sister in accordance with the design and memoranda of Marcus Agrippa.

{3.} L   [18] The old shape of Hither Spain has been considerably altered, as has been that of several provinces, in as much as Pompey the Great on his trophies which he set up in the Pyrenees testified that he had brought into subjection 876 towns between the Alps and the borders of Further Spain. Today the whole province is divided into seven jurisdictions, namely those of Carthago, Tarraco, Caesaraugusta, Clunia, Asturica, Lucus Augusti, Bracara. In addition there are the islands which will be mentioned separately, but the province itself contains, besides 293 states dependent on others, 189 towns, of which 12 are colonies, 13 are towns of Roman citizens, 18 have the old Latin rights, one is a treaty town and 135 are tributary.

[19] The first people, on the coast, are the Bastuli, and after them in the following order proceeding inland come the Mentesani, the Bretani, the Carpetani on the Tagus, and next to them the Vaccaei, the Vettones and the Celtiberian Arevaci. The towns nearest the coast are Urci and Barea that belongs to Baetica, then the district of Bastitania, next after which comes Contestania and the colony of Carthago Nova, from the promontory of which, called the Cape of Saturn, the crossing to Caesarea, a city of Mauretania, is 197 miles. There remain to be mentioned on the coast the river Tader and the tax-free colony of Ilici, from which the Ilicitan Gulf takes its name; to this colony the Icositani are subordinate. [20] Next come Lucentum, with Latin rights, Dianium, a tributary town, the river Sucro and in former days a town of the same name, forming the boundary of Contestania. The district of Metania comes next, with a lovely expanse of lake in front of it, and reaching back to Celtiberia. The colony of Valentia three miles from the sea, the river Turium, Saguntum, also three miles from the sea, a town with Roman citizenship, famous for its loyalty, and the river Udiva. [21] The district of the Ilergaones, the river Ebro, rich in ship-borne trade, rising in the district of the Cantabri not far from the town of Juliobrica, with a course of 450 miles, for 260 of which from the town of Vareia it is navigable for ships, and because of it the Greeks have called the whole of Spain by the name of Iberia. Next the district of Cessetania, the river Subi, the colony Tarraco, which was founded by the Scipios, as Carthago was by the Carthaginians. The district of the Ilergetes comes next, the town of Subur and the river Rubricatum, after which begin the Lacetani and the Indigetes. [22] After them in the following order proceeding inland from the foot of the Pyrenees are the Ausetani, the Jacetani, the Cerretani along the Pyrenees, and then the Vaseones. On the coast is the colony of Barcino, surnamed Faventia, the Roman towns of Badalona and Iluro, the River Arnuni, Blandae, the river Alba, Amporias, one part of which is inhabited by the original natives and the other by Greeks descended from the Phocaeans, and the river Ticer. From it the Pyrenean Venus on the other side of the promontory is 40 miles distant.

[23] We will now take the jurisdictions in order and give noteworthy facts about them in addition to those mentioned above. Forty-two peoples are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of Tarraco; of them the best known are - with the rights of Roman citizens, the people of Dertosa and the Bisgargitani; with Latin rights, the Ausetani, the Cerretani surnamed Juliani, and those surnamed Augustani, the Edetani, Gerundenses, Gessorienses, and Teari or Julienses; tributaries, the Aquicaldenses, Aesonenses and Baeculonenses.

[24] Caesaraugusta, a colony that pays no taxes, is washed by the river Ebro; its site was once occupied by a town called Salduba, belonging to the district of Edetania. It is the centre for 55 peoples; of these with the rights of Roman citizens are the Bilbilitani, the Celsenses (once a colony), the Calagurritani (surnamed Nasici), the Ilerdenses belonging to the race of the Surdaones next to the river Sicoris, the Oscenses of the district of Suessetania, and the Turiassonenses; with the old Latin rights are the Cascantenses, Ergavicenses, Graccurritani, Leonicenses and Osieerdenses; bound by treaty are the Tarracenses; tributary are the Arcobrigenses, Andelonenses, Aracelitani, Bursaonenses, Calagurritani surnamed Fibularenses, Conplutenses, Carenses, Cincienses, Cortonenses, Damanitani, Ispallenses, Ilursenses, Iluberitani, Jacetani, Libienses, Pompelonenses and Segienses.

[25] At Carthago assemble sixty-five peoples, not including inhabitants of islands: from the colony of Accitana Gemellensis and from Libisosana named Foroaugustana, to both of which Italic rights have been given, from the colony of Salaria; townsmen with the rights of old Latium, the Castulonenses, also called Caesarii Iuvenales, the Saetabitani or Augustani, and the Valerienses. Of the tributary peoples the best known are the Alabanenses, Bastitani, Consaburrenses, Dianenses, Egelestani, Iloreitani, Laminitani, Mentesani or Oretani, Mentesani or Bastuli, the Oretani surnamed Germani, and the people of Segobriga, capital of Celtiberia, the people of Toletum on the Tagus, the capital of Carpetania, and then the Viatienses and the Virgilienses.

[26] To the jurisdiction of Clunia the Varduli bring fourteen peoples, of whom we would mention only the Alabanenses, and the Turmogidi bring four, including the Segisamonenses and the Segisamajulieuses. To the same jurisdiction go the Carietes and the Vennenses with five states, of whom the Velienses form one. Thither too go the Pelendones of the Celtiberians with four peoples, of whom the Numantines were once famous, as among the seventeen states of the Vaccaei were the Intercatienses, Palantini, Lacobrigenses and Caucenses. [27] Then among the Cantabrici, seven peoples, one state only, Juliobriga, need be mentioned, and Tritium and Virovesca among the ten states of the Autrigones. The Arevaci got their name from the river Areva; to them belong six towns, Secontia and Uxama, common names in other regions, also Segovia and Nova Augusta, with Termes and Clunia itself, the end of Celtiberia. The rest of the country stretches towards the ocean, and here are the Varduli of those already mentioned and the Cantabri.

[28] Adjoining these are twenty-two peoples of the Astures, divided into the Augustani and the Transmontani, with the splendid city of Asturica; these include the Gigurri, Pescii, Lancienses and Zoelae. The total number of the population amounts to 240,000 free persons.

The jurisdiction of Lucus contains 15 peoples, unimportant and bearing outlandish names, excepting the Celtici and Lemavi, but with a free population amounting to about 166,000.

In a similar way the twenty-four states of Bracara contain 286,000 persons, of whom besides the Bracari themselves may be mentioned, without wearying the reader, the Biballi, Coelerni, Callaeci, Equaesi, Limici and Querquerni.

[29] The length of Hither Spain from the Pyrenees to the frontier of Castulo is 607 miles, and a little more along the coast; its breadth from Tarraco to the shore of Olarson is 307 miles, starting from the foot of the Pyrenees, where the country forms the shape of a wedge between the two seas; then gradually it widens out, and where it touches Further Spain it adds more than as much again to its breadth.

[30] Nearly the whole of Spain is covered with mines of lead, iron, copper, silver and gold, Hither Spain with muscovite mines also; Baetica abounds in cinnabar as well. There are besides quarries of marble. The Emperor Vespasian Augustus bestowed Latin rights on the whole of Spain when it had been storm-tossed by civil disorders. The frontier between the Spanish and the Gallic provinces is formed by the mountains of the Pyrenees, with headlands projecting into the two seas on either side.

{4.} L   [31] The part of the Gauls washed by the Mediterranean is entitled the province of Narbonensis, having previously had the name of Bracata. It is divided from Italy by the river Varus, and by the ranges of the Alps, a very secure protection for the Roman Empire, and from the rest of Gaul on the north by the Cebenna and Jura mountains. Its agriculture, the high repute of its men and manners and the vastness of its wealth make it the equal of any other province: it is, in a word, not so much a province as a part of Italy. [32] On the coast there is the district of the Sordones, and more inland that of the Consuarani; the rivers are the Tetum and the Vernodubrum, and the towns Illiberis, the mere shadow of what was once a mighty city, and Ruscino, which has Latin rights. Then come the river Atax, which flows from the Pyrenees through the lake Rubrensis. Narbo Martius, a colony of the tenth legion twelve miles from the sea, and the rivers Araris and Liria. Apart from those mentioned there are but few towns, owing to the marshes that fringe the coast. [33] There is Agatha, formerly belonging to Massilia, the district of the Volcae Tectosages, and the former site of Rhoda, a colony of Rhodes, that has given its name to the Rhone, the most fertile river of the two Gauls, which rushes from the Alps though Lake Lemannus, bringing along the sluggish Araris and the Isara and Druantia which are as rapid as itself. Of its mouths the two smaller are called Libica, one the Spanish, the other the Metapinian; the third and largest is the Massaliotic. [34] Some authorities state that at the mouth of the Rhone there was once a town called Heraclea. Beyond are the canals leading out of the Rhone, famous as the work of Gaius Marius whose distinguished name they bear, Lake Mastromela and the town of Maritima of the Avatici, and above are the Stony Plains, where tradition says that Hercules fought battles, the district of the Anatilii, and inland those of the Dexivates and Cavares. Returning to the sea we have the districts of the Tricores and inland those of the Tritolli, Vocontii and Segovellauni, and after them the Allobroges. On the coast is Massilia, founded by the Greeks of Phocaea and now a confederate city, then the promontory of Zao, [35] the harbour of Citharista, the district of the Camactulici, then the Suelteri and above them the Verucini. On the coast too are Athenopolis of the Massilians, Forum Juli, a colony of the eighth legion, called Pacensis and Classica, a river named Argenteus, the district of the Oxubii and Ligauni, beyond whom come the Suebri, Quariates and Adunicates. On the coast is the town of Antipolis with Latin rights, the district of the Deciates and the river Varus, which rises in Mount Caenia in the Alps.

[36] The colonies in the interior are: Arelate, the station of the sixth legion, Baeterrae of the seventh, Arausio of the second, Valentia in the territory of the Cavares, and Vienna in that of the Allobroges. The towns with Latin rights are Aquae Sextiae in the territory of the Salluvii, Avennio of the Cavares, Apta Julia of the Vulgientes, Alaebaece of the Reii Apollinares, Alba of the Helvi, Augusta of the Tricastini, Anatilia, Aetea, the Bormani, the Comani, Carellio, Carcasum of the Volcae Tectosages, Cessero, Carpentoracte of the Memini, the Caenicenses, the Cambolectri surnamed Atlantici, [37] Forum Voconi, Glanum Libii, the Lutevani also called Foroneronienses, Nemausum of the Arecomici, Piscinae, the Ruteni, the Samnagenses, the Tolosani of the Tectosages on the border of Aquitania, the Tasgoduni, the Tarusconienses, the Umbranici, the two capitals of the confederate state of the Vocontii, Vasio and Lucus Augusti; and also unimportant towns to the number of 19, as well as 24 assigned to the people of Nemausum. The Emperor Galba added to the list two peoples dwelling in the Alps, the people of Avantici and the Bodiontici, whose town is Dinia. According to Agrippa the length of the province of Narbonensis is 370 miles and the breadth 248.

{5.} L   [38] After this comes Italy, the first people of it being the Ligurians, after whom come Etruria, Umbria and Latium, where are the mouths of the Tiber and Rome, the capital of the world, sixteen miles from the sea. Afterwards come the coast of the Volsci and of Campania, then of Picenum and Lucania and the Bruttii, the southernmost point to which Italy juts out into the sea from the almost crescent-shaped chain of the Alps. After the Bruttii comes the coast of Magna Graecia, followed by the Sallentini, Poediculi, Apulians, Paeligni, Frentani, Marrucini, Vestini, Sabines, Picentes, Gauls, Umbrians, Etruscans, Veneti, Carni, Iapudes, Histri and Liburni. [39] I am well aware that I may with justice be considered ungrateful and lazy if I describe in this casual and cursory manner a land which is at once the nursling and the mother of all other lands, chosen by the providence of the gods to make heaven itself wore glorious, to unite scattered empires, to make manners gentle, to draw together in converse by community of language the jarring and uncouth tongues of so many nations, to give mankind civilisation, and in a word to become throughout the world the single fatherland of all the races. [40] But what am I to do? The great fame of all its places - who could touch upon them all - and the great renown of the various things and peoples in it give me pause. In that list even the city of Rome alone, a . . . countenance and one worthy of so glorious a neck, what elaborate description it merits! In what terms to describe the coast of Campania taken by itself, with its blissful and heavenly loveliness, so as to manifest of that there is one region where nature has been at work in her joyous mood! [41] And then again all that invigorating healthfulness all the year round, the climate so temperate, the plains so fertile, the hills so sunny, the glades so secure, the groves so shady! Such wealth of various forests, the breezes from so many mountains, the great fertility of its corn and vines and olives, the glorious fleeces of its sheep, the sturdy necks of its bulls, the many lakes, the rich supply of rivers and springs flowing over all its surface, its many seas and harbours and the bosom of its lands offering on all sides a welcome to commerce, the country itself eagerly running out into the seas as it were to aid mankind. [42] I do not speak of the character and customs of its people, its men, the nations that its language and its might have conquered. The Greeks themselves, a people most prone to gushing self-praise, have pronounced sentence on the land by conferring on but a very small part of it the name of Great Greece! The truth is that in this part of my subject I must do what I did when I spoke about the heavens - touch upon particular points and only a few of the stars. I merely ask my readers to remember that I am hastening on for the purpose of setting forth in detail all the contents of the entire world.

[43] In shape, then, Italy much resembles an oak leaf, being far longer than it is broad, bending towards the left at its top and ending in the shape of an Amazon's shield, the projection in the centre being called Cocynthos, while it sends out two horns along bays of crescent shape, Leucopetra on the right and Lacinium on the left. Its length extends for 1020 miles, beginning from Praetoria Augusta at the foot of the Alps and passing through Rome and Capua in a winding course to the town of Rhegium situated on its shoulder, where begins the curve, as it were, of the neck. The measure would be much greater if the line were carried on to Lacinium, but with that bend the line would seem to diverge to one side. [44] The breadth varies, being four hundred and ten miles between the rivers Varus and Arsia where they flow into the Mediterranean and the Adriatic, but about at the middle, in the neighbourhood of the city of Rome, from the mouth of the river Aternus, which flows into the Adriatic Sea, to the mouths of the Tiber, its breadth is 136 miles, and a little less from Castrum Novum on the Adriatic Sea to Alsium on the Tuscan Sea, in no place exceeding a width of 200 miles. The circuit of the entire coast from the Varus round to the Arsia is 2049 miles. Its distances from the countries that surround it are as follows: [45] from Istria and Liburnia in certain places 100 miles, from Epirus and Illyricum, 50 miles, from Africa, according to Marcus Varro, less than 200, from Sardinia 120, from Sicily 1, from Corcyra less than 80, from Issa 50. It stretches through the seas in a southerly direction, but a more careful and accurate calculation would place it between due south and sunrise at midwinter. 

[46] We will now give an account of a circuit of Italy, and of its cities. Herein it is necessary to premise that we intend to follow the authority of the deified Augustus, and to adopt the division that he made of the whole of Italy into eleven regions, but to take them in the order that will be suggested by the coast-line, it being indeed impossible, at all events in a very cursory account, to keep the neighbouring cities together; and so in going on to deal with the inland districts we shall follow the alphabetical arrangement of Augustus, adopting the enumeration of the colonies that he set out in that list. Nor is it easy to trace their sites and origins, the Ligurian Ingauni, for example - not to mention the other peoples - having received grants of land on thirty occasions.

[47] Therefore starting from the river Varus we have Nicaea, founded by the people of Massilia, the river Palo, the Alps and the Alpine tribes with many names, of which the chief is the Capillati; Cemenelo, the town of the state of the Vediantii, the port of Hercules Monoecus, and the Ligurian coast. Of the Ligurians beyond the Alps the most famous are the Sallui, Deciates and Oxubi; on this side, the Veneni, Turri, Soti, Vagienni, Statielli, Binbelli, Maielli, Cuburniates, Casmonates, Velleiates, and the tribes whose towns on the coast we shall mention next. [48] The river Rutuba, the town of Album Intimilium, the river Merula, the town of Album Ingaunum, the port of Vada Sabatium, the river Porcifera, the town of Genua, the river Fertor, Portus Delphini, Tigulia inland, Segesta of the Tigullii, and the river Macra, which is the boundary of Liguria. Behind all the above-mentioned lie the Apennines, the largest range of mountains in Italy, extending in an unbroken chain from the Alps to the Sicilian Straits. [49] On one side of the range, along the Po, the richest river of Italy, the whole country is studded with famous and flourishing towns: Libarna, the colony of Dertona, Iria, Vardacas, Industria, Pollentia, Correa surnamed Potentia, Forum Fulvi or Valentinum, Augusta of the Bagienni, Alba Pompeia, Hasta, Aquae of the Statielli. Under the partition of Augustus this is the ninth region. The coast of Liguria extends 211 miles between the rivers Varus and Magra.

[50] The adjoining region is the seventh, in which is Etruria, beginning at the river Macra, a district that has often changed its name. From it in ancient times the Umbri were driven out by the Pelasgi, and these by the Lydians, who after a king of theirs were styled Tyrrheni, but later in the Greek language Tusci, from their ritual of offering sacrifice. The first town in Etruria is Luna, famous for its harbour; then the colony of Luca, some way from the sea and nearer to Pisa, between the rivers Auser and Arnus, which owes its origin to the Pelopidae or to the Greek tribe of the Teutani; then come the Marshes of Volaterrae the river Caecina and Populonium, once the only Etruscan town on the coast. [51] After these is the river Prile, and then the navigable river Umbro, at which begins the district of Umbria, the port of Telamo, Cosa of the Volcientes, founded by the Roman people, Graviscae, Castrum Novum, Pyrgi, the river and the town of Caere, seven miles inland, called Agylla by the Pelasgians who founded it, Alsium, Fregenae, and the river Tiber, 284 miles from the Macra. Inland are the colonies of Falisca, founded according to Cato by the Argives and surnamed Falisca of the Etruscans, Lucus Feroniae, Rusellana, Seniensis and Sutrina. [52] The remaining people are the Arretini Veteres, Arretini Fidentiores, Arretini Julienses, Amitinenses, Aquenses surnamed Taurini, Blerani, Cortonenses, Capenates, Clusini Novi, Clusini Veteres, the Florentini on the bank of the Arnus that flows by, Faesulae, Ferentinum, Fescennia, Hortanum, Herbanum, Nepet, Nine Villages, the Claudian Prefecture of Foroclodium, Pistorium, Perusia, the Suanenses, the Saturnini formerly called the Aurini, the Subertani, Statonenses, Tarquinienses, Tuscanienses, Vetulonienses, Veientani, Vesentini, Volaterrani, the Volcentani surnamed Etrusci, and Volsinienses. In the same district the territories of Crustumerium and Caletra still keep the names of the ancient towns.

[53] The Tiber, the former name of which was Thybris, and before that Albula, rises in about the middle of the Apennine chain in the territory of Arretium. At first it is a narrow stream, only navigable when its water is dammed by sluices and then discharged, in the same way as its tributaries, the Tinia and the Glanis, the waters of which must be so collected for nine days, unless augmented by showers of rain. But the Tiber, owing to its rugged and uneven channel, is even so not navigable for a long distance, except for rafts, or rather logs of wood; in a course of 150 miles it divides Etruria from the Umbrians and Sabines, passing not far from Tifernum Perusia and Ocriculum, and then, less than 16 miles from Rome, separates the territory of Veii from that of Crustumerium, [54] and afterwards that of Fidenae and Latium from Vaticanus. But below the confluence of the Glanis from Arretium it is augmented by forty-two tributaries, the chief being the Nar and the Anio (which latter is itself navigable, and encloses Latium in the rear), while it is equally increased by the aqueducts and the numerous springs carried through to the city; and consequently it is navigable for vessels of whatever size from the Mediterranean, and is a most tranquil trafficker in the produce of all the earth, with perhaps more villas on its banks and overlooking it than all the other rivers in the whole world. [55] And no river is more circumscribed and shut in on either side; yet of itself it offers no resistance, though it is subject to frequent sudden floods, the inundations being nowhere greater than in the city itself. But in truth it is looked upon rather as a prophet of warning, its rise being always construed rather as a call to religion than as a threat of disaster.

[56] Old Latium has preserved the original limits, extending from the Tiber to Cerceii, a distance of 50 miles; so exiguous at the beginning were the roots of the Empire. Its inhabitants have often changed: at various times it has been occupied by various peoples - the Aborigines, the Pelasgi, the Arcades, the Siculi, the Aurunci, the Rutuli, and beyond Cerceii the Volsci, Osci and Ausones, owing to which the name of Latium came to be extended as far as the river Liris. To begin with there is Ostia, a colony founded by a Roman king, the town of Laurentum, the grove of Jupiter Indiges, the river Numicius, and Ardea, founded by Danaë the mother of Perseus. [57] Then comes the site of what was once Aphrodisium, the colony of Antium, the river and island called Astura, the river Nymphaeus, the Clostra Romana, Cerceii, once an island surrounded by a boundless sea, if we are to believe Homer, but now surrounded by a plain. The facts that we are able to publish for the information of the world on this matter are remarkable. Theophrastus, the first foreigner to write with special care about the Romans - for Theopompus, before whom nobody mentioned them, merely states that Rome was taken by the Gauls, and Clitarchus, the next after him, only that an embassy was sent to Alexander - [58] Theophrastus, I say, relying on more than rumour, has actually given the measurement of the island of Cerceii as 80 stades in the volume that he wrote in the archonship of Nicodorus at Athens, which was the 440th year of our city {314 B.C.}. Whatever land therefore has been joined to the island beyond the circumference of 10 miles was added to Italy after that year. [59] Another marvel not far from Circeii is the Pomptine Marsh, a place which Mucianus, who was three times consul, has reported to be the site of 24 cities. Then comes the river Aufentum, above which is the town of Tarracina, called Anxur in the dialect of the Volsci, and the site of Amyclae, or Amynclae, the town destroyed by serpents, then the place called the Grottoes, Lake Fundanus, the port of Caiete, the town of Formiae, called also Hormiae, the ancient abode, it has been thought, of the Laestrygones. Beyond this formerly stood the town of Pirae, and still exists the colony of Minturnae, through which runs the river Liris, once called Clanis; and Sinuessa, the last town in the Extension of Latium, and stated by some authorities to have been once styled Sinope.

[60] Then comes the favoured country of Campania; in this valley begin those vine-clad hills with their glorious wine and wassail, famous all the world over, and (as old writers have said) the scene of the severest competition between Father Liber and Ceres. From this point stretch the territories of Setia and Caecubum, with which march the Falernian and those of Cales. Then rise up Mount Massicus, Gauranus and the hills of Surrentum. Here spread the plains of Leboriae, where the spelt crop is sedulously tended as a delicacy. These shores are watered by hot springs, and are noted beyond all others throughout the whole of the sea for their famous shell and other fish. Nowhere is there nobler olive oil - another competition to gratify man's pleasure. Its occupants have been Oscans, Greeks, Umbrians, Etruscans and Campanians. [61] On the coast are the river Savo, the town of Volturnum with the river of the same name, Liternum, the Chalcidian colony of Cumae, Misenum, the port of Baiae, Bauli, the Lucrine lake, Lake Avernus near which formerly stood the town of Cimmerium, then Puteoli, formerly called the Colony of Dicaearchia; after which come the Phlegraean Fields and the Acherusian Swamp near Cumae. [62] On the coast stands Neapolis, itself also a colony of the Chalcidians, named Parthenope from the tomb of one of the Sirens, Herculaneum, Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in view not far off and watered by the river Sarnus, the Nucerian territory and nine miles from the sea Nuceria itself, and Surrentum with the promontory of Minerva that once was the abode of the Sirens. From this place the distance by sea from Cerceii is 78 miles. [63] This region, beginning from the Tiber, under the partition made by Augustus is regarded as the first region of Italy.

Inland are the following colonies: Capua, so named from its forty miles of plain {campus}, Aquinum, Suessa, Venafrum, Sora, Teanum surnamed Sidicinum, and Nola; and the towns of Abellinum, Aricia, Alba Longa, the Acerrani, the Allifani, the Atinates, the Aletrinates, the Anagnini, the Atellani, the Aefulani, the Arpinates, the Auximates, the Abellani, the Alfaterni (both those that take their surname from the Latin territory, and from the Hernican, and from the Labican), Bovillae, Caiatiae, Casinum, Calenum, Capitulum of the Hernici, the Cereatini who have the surname of Mariani, the Corani descended from the Trojan Dardanus, the Cubulterini, the Castrimoenienses, the Cingulani, [64] the Fabienses on Mount Albanus, the Foropopulienses from the Falernian district, the Frusinates, the Ferentinates, the Freginates, the Old Fabraterni, the New Fubraterni, the Ficolenses, the Fregellani, Forum Appi, the Forentani, the Gabini, the Interamnates Sucasini, also called the Lirenates, the Ilionenses, the Lanivini, the Norbani, the Nomentani, the Praenestini with their city once called Stephane, the Privernates, the Setini, the Signini, the Suessulani, the Telesini, the Trebulani surnamed Ballienses, the [65] Trebani, the Tusculani, the Verulani, the Veliterni, the Ulubrenses, the Urbanates; and besides all these Rome itself, whose other name it is held to be a sin to utter except at the ceremonies of the mysteries, and when Valerius Soranus divulged the secret religiously kept for the weal of the state, he soon paid the penalty. It seems pertinent to add at this point an instance of old religion established especially to inculcate this silence: the goddess Angerona, to whom sacrifice is offered on December 21, is represented in her statue with a sealed bandage over her mouth.

[66] Romulus left Rome possessing three or, to accept the statement of the authorities putting the number highest, four gates. The area surrounded by its walls at the time of the principate and censorship of the Vespasians, in the 826th of its foundation {73 A.D.}, measured 13 miles and 200 yards in circumference, embracing seven hills. It is itself divided into fourteen regions, with 265 crossways with their guardian Lares. If a straight line is drawn from the milestone standing at the head of the Roman forum to each of the gates, which today number thirty-seven (provided that the Twelve Gates be counted only as one each and the seven of the old gates that exist no longer be omitted), the result is a total of 20 miles 765 yards in a straight line. [67] But the total length of all the ways through the districts from the same milestone to the extreme edge of the buildings, taking in the praetorians' camp, amounts to a little more than 60 miles. If one were further to take into account the height of the buildings, a very fair estimate would be formed, that would bring us to admit that there has been no city in the whole world that could be compared to Rome in magnitude. On the east it is bounded by the Dyke of Tarquinius Superbus, a work among the leading wonders of the world, for he made it as high as the walls where the approach was flat and the city lay most open to attack. In other directions it had the protection of lofty walls or else of precipitous hills, except for the fact that the increasing spread of buildings has added a number of cities to it.

[68] The first region formerly included the following celebrated towns of Latium besides those mentioned: Satricum, Pometia, Scaptia, Politorium, Tellena, Tifata, Caenina, Ficana, Crustumerium, Ameriola, Medullum, Corniculum, Saturnia on the site of the present Rome, Antipolis, which today is Janiculum and a part of Rome, Antemnae, Camerium, Collatia, Amitinum, Norbe, Sulmo; [69] and together with these the Alban peoples who were accustomed to receive flesh on the Alban Hill, namely the Albani, Aesolani, Accienses, Abolani, Bubetani, Bolani, Cusuetani, Coriolani, Fidenates, Foreti, Hortenses, Latinienses, Longulani, Manates, Macrales, Munienses, Numinienses, Olliculani, Octulani, Pedani, Polluscini, Querquetulani, Sicani, Sisolemes, Tolerienses, Tutienses, Vimitellari, Velienses, Venetulani, Vitellenses. [70] Thus 53 peoples of Old Latium have perished without leaving a trace.

In the Campanian territory the town of Stabiae existed right down to April 29 in the consulship of Gnaeus Pompeius and Lucius Cato {89 B.C.}, when the legate Lucius Sulla in the Social War destroyed the place that has now been reduced to a farmhouse. Here also was Taurania, which has now perished; and the remains of Casilinum are in process of disappearance. Furthermore, Antias records that the Latin town of Apiolae was captured by King Lucius Tarquinius, who used the spoils of it to begin building the Capitol. The 30 miles of Picentine territory between the district of Surrentum and the river Silarus belonged to the Etruscans; it was famous for the temple of Argive Juno founded by Jason. Further inland was Picentia, a town of Salernum.

[71] At the Silarus begins the third region, the Lucanian and Bruttian territory; in this too there have been frequent changes of population. It has been occupied by Pelasgi, Oenotrians, Itali, Morgetes, Siculi, and mostly by peoples of Greece, and most recently by the Lucanians, Samnite in origin, whose leader was Lucius. The town of Paestum (called Posidonia by the Greeks), the bay of Paestum, the town of Thea, now Velia, Cape Palinurus, from which across the bay that here stretches inland the distance to the Royal Pillar is 100 miles. [72] Next is the river Melpes, the town of Buxentum (the Greek name of which is Pyxus) and the river Laus - there was once a town also of the same name. Here begins the coast of the Bruttii, with the town of Blanda, the river Baletum, the port of Parthenius, founded by the Phocaeans, the Bay of Vibo, the site of Clampetia, the town of Tempsa (the Greek name of which is Temese), and Terina, founded by the people of Croton, and the extensive Bay of Terina; and inland the town of Consentia. [73] On a peninsula is the river Acheron, which gives its name to the township of the Acherontians; Hippo, which we now call Vibo Valentia; the Port of Hercules, the river Metaurus, the town of Tauroentum, the Port of Orestes, and Medma; the town of Scyllaeum and the river Crataeis, known in legend as the Mother of Scylla; then the Royal Pillar, the Sicilian Straits and the two opposing headlands, Caenus on the Italian and Pelorum on the Sicilian side, the distance between them being 12 stades; Rhegium is 93 stades away. [74] Next comes the Apennine forest of Sila, and the promontory of Leucopetra 15 miles from it, and Epizephyrian Locri (called after the promontory of Zephyrium) 51 miles; it is 303 miles from the river Silarus. And this rounds off the first gulf of Europe.

The names of the seas that it contains are as follows: that from which it makes its entrance is the Atlantic, or as others call it, the Great Sea; the strait by which it enters is called by the Greeks Porthmos and by us the Straits of Gades; after it has entered, as far as it washes the coast of the Spains it is called the Spanish Sea, or by others the Iberian or the Balearic Sea; then the Gallic Sea as far as the Province of Narbonensis, and afterwards the Ligurian Sea; [75] from that point to the Island of Sicily the Tuscan Sea, which some of the Greeks call the Southern Sea and others the Tyrrhenian, but most of our own people the Lower Sea. Beyond Sicily, as far as the south-eastern point of Italy Polybius calls it the Ausonian Sea, but Eratosthenes calls all the part between the ocean inlet and Sardinia the Sardoan Sea, from Sardinia to Sicily the Tyrrhenian, from Sicily to Crete the Sicilian, and beyond Crete the Cretan.

Following sections (76-152)

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