View Full Version : περίπλους η τῶν βάρβαρον Εὐρώπη: A Gazetteer for EB2

01-06-2009, 14:36
περίπλους της τῶν βάρβαρών Εὐρώπς
Hekastos allotrioi barbaros esti

Huge Map of Everything (http://www.unc.edu/awmc/downloads/eaaRegionsLrg.jpg)

For a selection of 25 excellent maps A.G. Findlay's Classical Atlas (http://books.google.ie/books?id=WC0BAAAAQAAJ&pg=PT4&dq=A+Classical+Atlas+of+Ancient+Geography+by+Alexander+G.+Findlay&client=firefox-a) can be downloaded for free as a PDF from google books. Though rich in detail, these maps are mostly based on the high Roman Empire ca. 117 AD.

I had been considering updating and porting to this forum the Bibliography thread which I started more than two years ago, but the discussions and speculations about new factions for EB2 have really gotten me interested in the state of the world in 272 BCE, so much so that I am introducing a new project: a modern Periplous for Europa Barbarorum.

The goal of this project is to provide an immersive geography of the world covered by EB2, but not restricted by the same limits as the game. Ultimately I hope to have a fully interactive, stand-alone map (perhaps on a Googlemaps model) that will provide historically accurate information on the world of the 3rd century BCE, although this functionality is far away. In the short term, I intend to post working materials for the project that are of interest in their own right: accurate maps, primary texts, extracts from books and journals, and some web material. I do not intend to use Wikipedia (no disrespect to Jimmy Wales) as a primary source, and I hope to be able to provide sufficient annotation and references for those interested in further study.

I expect these goals to take a fair amount of time to fulfill.

My first step will be to start to locate all the cities, settlements, tribes, nations, kingdoms, federations and so on of the time, not just those included as "factions" in Europa Barbarorum.

Table of Contents

I. The Pillars of Heracles: Iberia and Mauretania (https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=111532)
II. On the Trail of Pytheas: Three Massaliots, Three Gauls, Three Islands
III. The Land of Calves: Italy and Rome
IV. Always Something New: The Africa of Carthage and Numidia
IV.a. Islands in the Stream: Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, the Balearics
V. Navel of the Earth: Greece, Macedonia and Crete
VI. The Mother of All Rivers: Lands of the Danube; Illyria, Moesia, Dacia and Thrace
VII. Land of the Sunrise: Ionia, Rhodes, Pontus, Galatia and Anatolia
VIII. Between the Rivers: Syria and Babylonia
IX. Armenia, Adiabene, Atropatene and the Caucasus
X. The Dark, Hospitable Sea: The Cimmerian Bosporus, Colchis and Scythia
XI. Egypt and the Levant (with Cyprus)
XII. Persia, Bactria, Sogdiana
XIII. The Erythraean Shores: India, Arabia And Eritrea

There are some people missing: the Germans and all Eastern Europeans generally and the Sarmatian and Saka nomads are the main ones. This is mostly because I know nothing about these people at the present and it'll be a while until I can try and rectify that.

Travel in the Ancient World
The Tabula Peutingeriana, an itinerarium showing the cursus publicus of the Roman Empire (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/TabulaPeutingeriana.jpg)

Getting from one place to another in 272 BCE for most people usually consisted of walking. Riding animals and wheeled transport did exist, but for most of the world covered by Europa Barbarorum, the roads and paths were far too rough for extensive carriage traffic, and our time period largely predates the justly famous Roman Roads, even in Italy with perhaps only the Via Appia qualifying as a high-way.

For a long voyage, or for anything heavy, there were navigable rivers and of course the sea. In the Mediterranean, trade ships sailed almost exclusively between the months of March and October, that is in favourable weather conditions, and the absence of steady winds (such as the Trades) created considerable problems for long voyages, given the particular kind of sails in use: the fact that winds were variable often caused ships to be held up for days at a time. At the same time however, trade could take place in all directions, irrespective of seasonal factors, and was not compelled to follow longer and often time-wasting alternative routes. On close examination a map of the Mediterranean shows that there are few stretches of sea which must be navigated without coastal reference points. In fact, since commercial crafts were able to sail at a speed of around two to three knots, they could cover more than 50 nautical miles a day and therefore, apart from some exceptionally wide crossings, they would always come within sight of the coasts. The longest voyages without coastal reference points were across the Channel of Sardinia, and the Balearic Sea, from the African Coast to the Balearic Islands, or from these islands to the Western coast of Sardinia.

This section will be expanded with some basic travel times and information on trade routes.

Primary Texts
Twelve Classical Texts on Voyages and Geography
Hanno the Navigator
Attributed to the 6th Century CE

A Carthaginian Exploration of the West African Coast.

It was decreed by the Carthaginians, that Hanno should undertake a voyage beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and found Liby-Phoenician cities. He sailed accordingly with sixty ships of fifty oars each, and a body of men and women to the number of thirty thousand, and provisions and other necessaries

When we had passed the Pillars[2] on our voyage, and had sailed beyond them for two days, we founded the first city which we named Thymiaterium[3]. Below it lay an extensive plain. Proceeding thence towards the west, we came to Soloeis[4], a promontory of Libya, a place thickly covered with trees, where we erected a temple to Neptune; and again proceeded for the space of half a day towards the east, until we arrived at a lake lying not far from the sea. and filled with abundance of large reeds. Here elephants, and a great number of other wild beasts, were feeding.

Having passed the lake about a day s sail, we founded cities near the sea, called Cariconticos, and Gytte, and Acra, and Melitta, and Arambys.[5] Thence we came to the great river Lixus[6], which flows from Libya. On its banks the Lixitae, a shepherd tribe, were feeding flocks, amongst whom we continued some time on friendly terms. Beyond the Lixitae dwelt the inhospitable Ethiopians, who pasture a wild country intersected by large mountains, from which they say the river Lixus flows. In the neighbourhood of the mountains lived the Troglodytae, men of various appearances, whom the Lixitae described as swifter in running than horses.

Having procured interpreters from them, we coasted along a desert country towards the south two days. Thence we proceeded towards the east the course of a day. Here we found in a recess of a certain bay a small island, containing a circle of five stadia, where we settled a colony, and called it Cerne.[7] We judged from our voyage that this place lay in a direct line with Carthage; for the length of our voyage from Carthage to the Pillars, was equal to that from the Pillars to Cerne.

We then came to a lake, which we reacted by sailing up a large river called Chretes[8] This lake had three islands, larger than Cerne from which proceeding a day's sail, we came to the extremity of the lake, that was overhung by large mountains, inhabited by savage men clothed in skins of wild beasts, who drove us away by throwing stones, and hindered us from landing. Sailing thence we came to another river, that was large and broad, and full of crocodiles, and river horses[9]; whence returning back we came again to Cerne

Thence we sailed towards the south twelve days, coasting the shore, the whole of which is inhabited by Ethiopians, who would not wait our approach, but fled from us. Their language was not intelligible even to the Lixitae who were with us. Towards the last day we approached some large mountains covered with trees, the wood of which was sweet-scented and variegated. Having sailed by these mountains for two days, we came to an immense opening of the sea; on each side of which, towards the continent, was a plain; from which we saw by night fire arising at intervals in all directions, either more or less.

Having taken in water there, we sailed forwards five days near the land, until we came to a large bay, which our interpreters informed us was called the Western Horn.[10] In this was a large island, and in the island a saltwater lake, and in this another island, where, when we had landed, we could discover nothing in the daytime except trees; but in the night we saw many fires burning, and heard the sound of pipes, cymbals, drums, and confused shouts. We were then afraid, and our diviners ordered us to abandon the island.

Sailing quickly away thence we passed a country burning with fires and perfumes; and streams of fire supplied from it fell into the sea. The country was impassable on account of the heat. We sailed quickly thence, being much terrified; and passing on for four days, we discovered at night a country full of fire. In the middle was a lofty fire, larger than the rest, which seemed to touch the stars. When day came we discovered it to be a large hill, called the Chariot of the Gods. On the third day after our departure thence, having sailed by those streams of fire, we arrived at a bay called the Southern Horn[11]; at the bottom of which lay an island like the former, having a lake, and in this lake another island, full of savage people, the greater part of whom were women, whose bodies were hairy, and whom our interpreters called Gorillae. Though we pursued the men we could not seize any of them; but all fled from us, escaping over the precipices, and defending themselves with stones. Three women were however taken; but they attacked their conductors with their teeth and hands, and could not be prevailed upon to accompany us. Having killed them, we flayed them, and brought their skins with us to Carthage. We did not sail farther on, our provisions failing us.

An annotation of Hannos voyage from Livius.org

An analysis of Hannos voyage by Stecchini

The Voyage of Hanno

“The Voyage of Hanno, King of the Carthaginians, to the Libyan regions of the earth, beyond the Pillars of Heracles...” These are the opening words of the Periplus of Hanno, a Greek translation of a Punic inscription that had been set up in the temple of the chief god of Carthage, Ba’al Hammon.1 In this document the shophet Hanno relates how he conducted an expedition that brought new colonists to four Carthaginian settlements established where the chain of the Atlas reaches the Atlantic and then, having founded a new colony at the Tropic, proceeded from there to explore the coast of Africa as far as the Equator.

Except for a few omissions the document provides data that are precise and permit a detailed reconstruction of Hanno’s voyage. But the interpretation of this precious text has been handicapped by the dogma that the ancients were vague in matters of measurement and used elastic standards. The general view is summarized by one commentator: “The distances are given in terms of day’s sail, a variable unit more than usually uncertain in such strange waters.”2 If this were true Hanno would have composed a useless document, which would have been of benefit only to classical scholars to write upon it equally useless commentaries. But it can be shown that the ancients were extremely careful when they expressed their ideas in writing and, more specifically, that they left nothing to chance when they cut inscriptions.3 The account of Hanno was cut in stone as an inscription and therefore was intended to be open and public. According to its own words, it had been “dedicated in the temple of Kronos, in order to make it known.”4

The purpose of Hanno’s voyage is described thus:

The Carthaginians decided that Hanno should sail outside of the Pillars of of Herakles and found cities of the Libyphoenicians. And he sailed off with a fleet of sixty fifty-oared ships, and a large number of men and women to the number of thirty thousand, and with wheat and other provisions.

Several commentators state that the number of 30,000 colonists, men and women, is a gross exaggeration, whereas it is perfectly reasonable.5

Hanno’s enterprise was so momentous that when the Romans in 146 B.C. razed the capital of the Carthaginians to the ground with such thoroughness that excavators today have difficulty in even tracing its outline, they must have felt that this achievement of their enemies could not be ignored. It is possible that the Romans, when they proceeded to destroy systematically the traces of Carthaginian glory, felt some piety before the inscription of Hanno and had it translated into Greek. The victor of Carthage, Scipio Africanus, sent his friend, the Greek historian Polybius, with an expedition to retrace step by step the route of Hanno. Perhaps the Romans could not believe in the truth and accuracy of Hanno’s report. Perhaps it was the intellectual Polybius, being kept a prisoner by the Romans, and trying to educate them, who asked Scipio to grant him the use of a fleet for the purpose.6 It is significant that Pliny, writing about 250 years after the fall of Carthage, speaks of Hanno’s report (commentarii) which we have, as no longer extant, and being substituted with longer accounts by Greek and Roman writers who expanded it with fabulous material (V. 1. 8).

The Greek of the translation could have been written at the time of Carthage’s fall. It definitely belongs to the Hellenistic age, even though many peculiarities of style, such as the lack of connective particles, must be explained by the influence of the Semitic original. The Greek of the translation can be compared with the Septuagint translation of the Bible; it tries rather laboriously to produce an accurate Greek, but it is sufficiently literal so that we can still appreciate that vivid directness and simplicity of Canaanite literature which we have learned to appreciate in the Old Testament.7 Possibly the Greek translation was introduced in the geographical part of Polybius’ history which must have contained also the account of Polybius’ own voyage that Pliny quotes. In introducing Polybius’ account, Pliny qualifies him as annalium conditor, which suggests that the account was in these annales or chronological narratives.

The essence of Polybius’ report is transmitted by Pliny.8 It can be gathered that Polybius’ report followed verbatim that of Hanno and apparently had the sole purpose of indicating that Hanno was not telling fabulous stories.9 However, whereas Hanno had provided data only in terms of latitude and longitude, Pliny, writing for a less scientific audience, converted the figures into Roman miles measured along the course of the coast.

From Avienus and Pliny we learn that Hanno and his brother Himilko were sent from Carthage beyond the Pillars of Hercules to explore the extreme lands of the world, Himilko being expected to move to the north and Hanno to the south, circumnavigating Africa. According to Pliny (II. 67. 169) Hanno went on a voyage that took him to the limit of Arabia:

Also Hanno, at the time when the power of Carthage flourished, sailed round from Gades as far as Arabia, and published an account of his voyage, just as Himilko, sent at the same time to explore the outer regions of Europe.10

There are those who claim that the expedition mentioned by Pliny is the same one as that reported by Hanno; but Hanno’s inscription does not mention that another expedition was sent at the same time under his brother. Avienus refers to Himilco’s exploration of the northern regions: “The Carthaginian Himilco reports that the voyage can be made in less than four months, as he can testify by his own experience.”11 It is sophistry to argue that Avienus cannot be believed because there is no record of Himilko’s voyage, when nothing of the extensive literature of the Carthaginians has remained, and when Hanno’s report of a previous voyage has survived in a single manuscript.

It seems perfectly sensible that after the success of Hanno’s first enterprise he tried to complete it by going all the way around Africa, while his brother went to the north of Europe; there is no reason to doubt this information, except for the assumption that one would be ascribing too much of a rational soul to the Carthaginians if he believed that they would have engaged in such a methodical process of exploration. Having rejected this statement as preposterous, scholars discount the concomitant statement that Hanno and Himilko were the sons of the shophet Hamilkar who commanded the Carthaginians against the Greeks at the battle of Himera in -480.12 In this battle the Greeks of Sicily defeated the Carthaginians at the very time that the Greeks of the mainland were defeating the Persians at Salamis. When the battle was turning against his side Hamilkar, in a vain last effort to retrieve the situation, threw himself into a fire, hoping to be accepted by the gods as a scapegoat in place of his army. The sons remained faithful to this spirit of fortitude and devotion to public service. Himilco succeeded his father as shophet in 480 B.C.; and it can be presumed that Hanno came into office roughly twenty years later. Thus Hanno was a contemporary of Herodotus, although scholars assign to him dates that range from 570 B.C. to about 450 B.C.13

Hanno begins his narrative at the point where the fleet leaves the Mediterranean: “When we passed through the Pillars we went on and, sailing beyond them for two days, we founded a first city which we called Thymiaterion.” Samuel Bochart recognized that Thymiaterion derives from the Punic Dumathiria, meaning “a plain.” In Arabic dumathir or dumthor means “level ground.” This derivation is confirmed by the sentence that follows: “It is situated in the midst of a wide plain.”

“Afterwards,” the narrative continues, “sailing towards the west, we came to Soloention, a promontory of Libya, overgrown with trees.” Soloention evidently derives from the Hebrew Soloeis, meaning “shore.” Our text does not specify the distance between Thymiaterion and Soloention; yet from the writings of Pliny and others we know that Soloention is today’s Cape Cantin (32°37’N); thus the distance proves to be exactly half a day.

Hanno’s account continues:

Having erected there [Soloention] a temple to Poseidon, we again sailed toward the east for half a day, until we reached a marsh not far from the sea thickly covered with tall reeds. There we saw a great many elephants and other animals pasturing.

There is general agreement that this lagoon is the estuary of the Tensift (32°00’N).

Going beyond the marsh a day’s sailing, we settled cities by the sea named the wall [or fortress] of Karikon and Gytta, and Akra, and Melitta, and Arambi.

It seems that the Carthaginians had reasons for wishing to strengthen their colonies established in that stretch of coast between Mogador and Agadir where the chain of the Atlas abuts the sea.14 This stretch of coast, which is referred to today as Littoral of the Moroccans, was enclosed by two fortified places, situated at the two ends of the Atlas, which received the Punic name agadir. This designation is the equivalent of the Hebrew gader, “wall, fortified town,” and was translated into Greek as teikhos, “wall, fortress.” Today in the Berber language of Morocco, agadir means “fortified town.” The name of Agadir has remained attached to the city at the southern end. The name of the northern gader is still heard in its present name Mogador.15 In our text it is distinguished by an adjective that the Greeks rendered as Karikon. The Greek geographer Ephorus mentions the “Fortress of Karikon” (Karikon teikhos) as “a city of Libya, outside of the pillars of Herakles.”16 Perhaps Karikon is a rendering of a Punic equivalent of the common Hebrew noun for “city,” qiriah which occurs in the name of Carthage itself, “Holy City.”17 Movers understood it as referring to a settlement of Carians, the renowned sea-farers of antiquity, allies of the Phoenicians.

Gytta was understood by Bochart as referring to a place where cattle is raised.18 It may however be another rendering of gader.

Akra apparently derives from Hebro-Phoenician hakra, i.e., fortress.

Melitta is derived from the Hebro-Phoenician melet, meaning cement or concrete.19 It may be a reference to white cement walls of the fortress. The name of the island of Malta is derived from the same root. The geographer Hekataeus, who wrote in the generation before Herodotus, mentions “Melissa, a city of the Libyans.”20

Intriguing is the term Arambi, because Homer in the Odyssey (IV 83-85) presents Menelaos as relating: “I have wondered as far as Cyprus, Phoenicia, and Egypt, I have gone as far as the Aithiopes, the Sidonioi, the Eremboi, and Libya.” The ancients argued on the question where was the land of the Eremboi or Aremboi; some suggested that it was Arabia, which is a poor explanation, but better than the modern one that the Erembians or Arambians were Arameians. I suggest that the Aramboi are the dwellers of the Maghreb, since Herodotus calls the mountainous part of the Maghreb by the name of “midland of the wild beasts” and Hanno speaks of “hostile Ethiopians in a land land populated by wild beasts” in referring to the chain of the Atlas. Hence, Aramboi could be explained by the Hebrew ereb, “place of the wild beasts.” However Bochart understood Arambi as derived from the Hebrew har-anbin, a mountain producing grape-vines.21 One could wonder whether Arambi is Marrakesh which gave its name to the country of Morocco.

It has been suggested that these five settlements are minor centers between Fortress Karikon and Gytta; but it would be more reasonable to infer from the text that they are inland centers on the valley of the Sous which ends at Gytta, i.e., Agadir.22

Having reinforced the Carthaginian colonies of the Atlas, the expedition proceeded southward: “Sailing thence we arrived at the great river Lixos, flowing out of Libya.” Our text does not give the distance between the five cities at the foot of the Atlas and the river Lixos. But since, as is generally agreed, the Lixos can be identified as the Dra (28°45’N), we can conclude that the distance was a day’s sailing. The Dra is the largest river in the area, and marks the southernmost limit of cultivable land. This well corresponds to Hanno’s account. In the vicinity of the river Hanno found

Some nomadic people, the Lixitai, pasturing their flocks: We stayed with them for a while, having become friends.

Above them lived the hostile Aithiopes, in a land populated by wild beasts, divided by great mountains out of which, they say, the Lixos flows. On these mountains live men of different shapes, the Cave-Dwellers. They can run swifter than horses, according to what the Lixitai say.

Taking interpreters from among them, we sailed southward alongside a desert for two days. After this we again sailed toward the rising sun for one day. There, in the innermost part of a bay, we found a small island five stadia in circumference. We settled it, naming it Kerne.

Certainly the area of Kerne was known to the Carthaginians because they would hardly have sent a colony to an unknown place. Later I will show that Kerne was of interest to the Carthaginians because it was 12° to the west of an important salt mine that they used to reach through the Sahara.

As Samuel Bochart was the first to recognize, the name Kerne derives from the Phoenician Khernaa, meaning, the last habitation, corresponding to the Hebrew akharon; in Greek mythology the river Acheron separates “the last habitation” where the souls of the dead dwell, from the land of the living. Hence Kerne became known as ultima Kerne among the Romans. Most scholars identify Kerne with the Island of Herne (23°50’N) in the Western Sahara, near the present town of Dakhla (formerly Villa Cisneros). This identification is no doubt correct,23 and serves to confirm Bochart’s etymology; the suggestion that the name Kerne/Herne may be derived from the Hebro-Phoenician qeren, meaning “horn,” must be rejected, since the Hebrew koph could not be be transformed into a soft h, but a cheth could. The antiquity of the modern place-name Herne has been traced by Carcopino.24

The manuscript states that the island of Kerne has a circuit of 5 stadia, but, as Bochart suggested, this must be an error of transcription for 15, since Pliny (X 8, 22) who always computes 8 stadia to a Roman mile, says “under two miles” on the authority of Cornelius Nepos (VI.35); this well corresponds to the circuit of the Island of Herne.25

Those who have tried to identify Kerne with the island of Arguin, which lies further south enclosed within the promontory of Cap Blanc, have needed to emend the text, since the voyage from the Draa would take considerably longer than the three days allowed by the text.

None of the score of writers who identify Kerne with the Island of Herne (23°50’N) mentions the fundamental fact that it is placed on the Tropic. The Greeks computed the Tropic as being at 23°51’N; it was about 23°45’N in the age of Hanno. It was because Kerne was the most extreme Carthaginian colony and was on the Tropic, that Hanno relates its position to that of Carthage:

We estimated from the sailing that Kerne lay in direct line with Carthage, because it seems that the navigation from Carthage to the Columns of Herakles is the same as that to Kerne.

This passage is the most specific datum for the interpretation of the entire text, but up to now it has not been understood. Carl Kaeppel wonders “If the Greek text means anything at all.” It specifies that one can draw a geodetic square with a side equal to the segment of parallel from Carthage to the Columns of Herakles and a side equal to the difference of latitude between Kerne and the Columns of Herakles. The difference of latitude between Kerne (23°50’N) and the Pillars of Herakles, measured at Ponta Almina (35°54’N), is 12°. Since at latitude 36° the degree of longitude was computed as 4/5 of the basic degree, 12 degrees of latitude are equal to 15 degrees of longitude, the difference between Ponta Almina and Carthage (10°17-18’E).

Because the Phoenicians did not establish any colonies beyond Kerne, the Greeks and Romans assumed that the sea beyond Kerne was not navigable.26

The true voyage of exploration began from Kerne, but the text indicates that the area was known to the people of Lixos, who were engaged as interpreters. After establishing the colony of Kerne, Hanno proceeded to a preliminary exploratory voyage in which he came upon a river called Chretes:

Sailing across a great river, Khretes, we came to a lake. This lake had three islands in it, each larger than Kerne. From there, after a day’s sailing, we came to the innermost part of the lake above which rose great mountains, full of savage men dressed in animal skins, who by throwing stones at us prevented us from landing.

There is wide agreement that this river is the Senegal which can be ascended for about 600 miles by modern ships during the rainy season that begins in May. The Lake mentioned in the narrative may be Lac de Guiers, which connects to the Senegal. Aristotle (Meteorologica I, 13) mentions a river Khremetes “one of the greatest rivers of Libya that flow into the outer sea, where formerly the Nile used to flow.”27 If Khretes is the equivalent of the Hebrew hires or hereth, “forest,” frequently occurring as a geographical name; it means that the river was already known to Phoenician or Punic sailors.28

Sailing thence we came to another river, great and broad, full of crocodiles and hippopotami. Then turning around once more, we went back to Kerne.

Most interpreters identify this river with the estuary of the Gambia, but I would suggest the coastal lagoon formed by the river Siwa, also called Bum, of Sierra Leone. Most of the interpreters have neglected the fact that crocodiles and hippopotami are not found in salty waters: The estuary of the Gambia is salty for a great distance inland. This river must be the same as the one that Pliny calls Bambotum, describing it as “infested with crocodiles and hippopotami” (V. 1. 10). The river Bum or Siwa of Sierra Leone forms a coastal lagoon that opens into the sea at the same point where there ends the She. The opening of this estuary is called Bamba in the Survey Map issued by the British Administration of Sierra Leone. The map of Guillaume Deslisle (Amsterdam, 1792) places there the mouth of a river called Madrebomba. It has been already suggested by Bochart that the name Bambotum of Pliny could be explained by the well-known Hebrew term bihemoth, “hippopotamus.” The fact that localities below Kerne acquired Phoenician names indicates that the area was well frequented by Phoenician traders after Hanno’s expedition, particularly since names of rivers are those that are the most resistant to change.29 The point of which I speak, the Sherbro Entrance, is at 7°23’N 12°32’ W; Polybius, who counts the distances along the coast, places it at 616 miles (= 911 km) from Cape Verde, whereas by opening a compass on a map I have obtained an approximate distance of 950 km.

After returning to Kerne, Hanno set out once more toward the south. It is in the second voyage that Hanno establishes the key geographical points, giving their distance.

From there we sailed south for six days,30 keeping close to the land, inhabited by the Aithiopes, who fled from us, and would not stay. They spoke a strange language which even the Lixitai who were with us did not understand.

Then, on the last day, we observed great mountains covered with forests. There was also a fragrant grove of various species of trees.

This wooded promontory is Cape Verde, the westernmost point of Africa, where today is the major port of Dakar.

The realism and the practical value of Hanno’s account may be evinced by comparing his description of Cape Verde with a modern one: “The peninsula consists of moderately high land rising gradually to the hillocks of Cape Verde; the two highest, Les Mamelles, are 311 and 344 feet high and appear as islets from a distance. Les Mamelles are quite distinct and are covered with stunted vegetation during the rainy season, when they form quite a contrast to the barren coast to the northwards.”31 It follows that Hanno saw Cape Verde in the rainy season from May to September, as it could be expected.

We can compare Polybius’ report through Pliny’s summary, which in its second part reads: “Then there comes a gulf of 616 miles, closed by the promontory of Mount Barce, running to the occident, which is called Surrentium.” The promontory running to the occident must be Cape Verde. To those from the north, the coast that turns to the east after Cape Verde may have appeared as a gulf. By the time of Polybius this promontory had acquired the Punic name of Barce, “lightning,” (Hebrew baraq), the name of Hannibal’s family. As to the term Surrentium, I would tentatively suggest that it may be a Punic name for the western wind.32 Pliny reports that the gulf has a length of 616 miles (= 911 km), that is, extends up to the middle of Sierra Leone, since Polybius’ report measures distances along the coast.

Up to here my interpretations agree quite substantially with the current ones; I have tried only to introduce more precision by considering Hanno’s statements about longitudes and by considering the Punic background of the Greek text. According to ancient standards a day of navigation by sail corresponds to 1_ degrees or 30 Persian parasangs. On the principle that a day of navigation by sail is 1_°, I formulate the following computation:

Pillars of Herakles—35°54’N
2 days = 3°

Thymiaterion = Mazagan—33°16’N
_ day = 0°45’

Soleis = Cape Contin—32°33’N
_ day = 0°45’

Lagoon with reeds = Tensift—32°00’N
1 day = 1°30’

Fortress Karikon = Mogador

Gilta = Agadir—30°25’N

Akra, Melitta, Arambi
1 day = 1°30’

Lixos = Dra—28°46’N

3 days = 4°30’

Kerne = Herne—23°50’N
6 days = 9°

Wooded promontory = Cape Verde—14°47’N

The total is 14 days = 21°. The computation is precise for Kerne and Cape Verde that are the points of main concern.33 The great disagreement concerns the last part of Hanno’s voyage, which is the part of vital interest.

Sailing round these [mountains] for two days, we came to an immense opening in the sea: On each side of it was a plain. From it we saw at night fires which burned now more, now less, on all sides.

The “immense opening” is to be identified with the estuary of the Gêba in today’s Guinea-Bissau which is really immense because it is enclosed by the islands of the Arquipelago dos Bijagos. This must be the same as the river Palsum mentioned by Pliny,34 unless Pliny is referring to another entrance to the Gêba at 11°50’N. Hanno places it at 2 days = 3° below Cape Verde. Those who identify the “immense opening” with the estuary of the Gambia have difficulty in explaining the figure of two days’s journey given in the text, since even by making a day’s sail a flexible unit variable according to local conditions, Hanno’s progress would have been unusually leisurely along this stretch of the coast.

Hanno’s account continues: “Then, taking on water, we sailed onward for five days along the coast, until we arrived at a great gulf which our interpreters said called ‘The Western Horn.’” The Western Horn must be Cape Palmas, the beginning of the Gulf of Guinea. Five days corresponds to 5_°, which well corresponds to the distance between the Gêba and Cape Palmas.

In [this bay] there was a great island and in the island a lake of the sea; in this lake there was another island. Landing there, we saw nothing but forests during the day, and at night many fires burning; and we heard the sound of pipes, and the din of cymbals and drums, and much shouting. Fear seized us, and soothsayers bade us leave the island.

Our text has dropped the number of days of navigation from east to west, from the Western Horn to the great island, but Pliny in his account of Polybius’ voyage mentions that the distance from the Hesperion Promontory to the mountain called Theon Okhema is ten days and ten nights of navigation. According to Hanno, the Theon Okhema was four days’ sailing from the great island, i.e., 6°. This means that the distance from the Western Horn to the great island was six days, or nine degrees.

The description of the Great Island corresponds point by point to the island within the bay of Lagos, which encloses a lake that is also an arm of the sea, with smaller islands within it.

The purpose of Hanno was probably to establish contact with the great culture of Benin, located inland of this landing; but apparently the natives were unfriendly.

Sailing rapidly, we passed by a fiery region filled with vapors, from which great torrents of fire flowed down to the sea. The land could not be approached because of the heat.

We sailed away from there quickly, being struck with fear. Then, having sailed for four days, we sighted at night a land full of flames. And in the midst of it there was a fire higher than the rest which seemed to touch the stars. By day we discerned it to be a mountain of great height named Theon Ochema.

In describing a volcanic eruption from a high mountain towering over the sea Hanno mentions such details as sulphuric fumes and streams of lava. The only volcanic area in West Africa is represented by Mount Cameroon, which is still active today.35 It is located at the deepest point of the Gulf of Guinea, where it rises suddenly from the seashore, reaching a height of over 4000 meters. The peak of Mount Cameroon is at 4°13’N, 9°10’E. almost exactly 6° (equal to four days’ sailing) east of the Great Island of Lagos. Those who have seen it from the sea consider it one of the most impressive sights in the world. The natives call it Mongana-Loba, “Mountain of the Gods,” which well agrees with the Greek Theon Ochema, “Chariot of the Gods,” of our text.36 Hanno could hardly have been more specific and effective in the description of what he saw, but it is the universal agreement among scholars that it is impossible that he may have seen Mount Cameroon: the ancients were too primitive to be able to navigate as far as the Gulf of Guinea. What Hanno described as a volcano would be the Sierra Leone. The interpretation of the text is simple if one rejects the premises that Hanno was a “primitive” and “primitives” could never have navigated beyond Cape Palmas. Those who, not being committed to the rigid dogmas of the academy, as the noted explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, have recognized Mount Cameroon in the mountain mentioned by Hanno, have been greeted with cacchinations.37

The prevailing opinion is that what Hanno saw were bonfires lighted by the natives. It is said that the streams of lava could have been the phosphorescence of leaves (Del Turco). But, if Hanno was a pathological character who lied outrageously or distorted facts beyond all proportions, there is no point in writing monograph after monograph comparing his report with geographical data.

Del Turco improves on the current opinion by suggesting that Hanno saw a forested mountain of the Sierra Leone that at the moment happened to be on fire. The description of the event as a volcanic eruption would have resulted from “the dazzlement of minds devoid of our scientific cognitions.” What, one wonders, are our scientific cognitions of which Del Turco speaks? Perhaps it is his display of technical terms of mathematical geography that obviously he does not understand. Or perhaps it is the sense of responsibility of Del Turco, who for the sake of rhetorical effect states that Hanno’s inscription was cut on a golden table (p. 44). Or perhaps it is the logic of Stephane Gsell who in his monumental history of Africa in ancient times argues that Hanno saw a volcano, but that this volcano was in the Republic of Guinea, even though he admits that according to geologists there could never have been volcanic activities in that part of Africa.38

The course of Hanno’s expedition was retraced in the second century B.C. by Polybius, one of the most careful historians of antiquity, who is quoted by Pliny (VI 35, 197) as having spoken of an imminens mari mons excelsus aeternis ardet ignibus, Theon Ochema dictus—“a mountain of great height, close to the sea, burning with perpetual fires, called Theon Okhema.”39 Did Polybius, too, mistake bonfires for a huge volcano? Or was the forest fire suggested by Del Turco still smoldering three hundred years later?

On the third day after the sighting of Theon Okhema, Hanno came to the Southern Horn:

For three days we sailed thence sailing past torrents of flame, till we arrived at a bay named Southern Horn.

Three days being equivalent to 4_° of latitude, the Southern Horn must be the great estuary of the Gabon. Hanno, because of the volcanic eruption, fled up the lagoon of Fernando Vaz (1°38’ S), which is navigable for many miles inland, up to the vicinity of Lambaréné, where the river spreads into a great lake in which there are numerous small islands.

This interpretation is confirmed by a passage of the geographer Statius Sebosus, quoted by Pliny (VI 36, 201) as stating that there are 40 days of sail from the Atlas to the island of the Gorgons (Hesperidum insula) and one more day to the Horn of Hesperium (the name that later Greek and Roman geographers gave to the Southern Horn).

The account of Hanno’s voyage ends with this observation:

In the recess of this bay [i.e., the Southern Horn] there was an island, like the former one, having a lake, in which there was another island, full of savage men. There were women, too, in even greater number. They had hairy bodies, and the interpreters called them Gorillae. When we pursued them we were unable to take any of the men; for they had all escaped, by climbing the steep places and defending themselves with stones; but we took three of the women, who bit and scratched their leaders, and would not follow us. So we killed them and flayed them, and brought their skins to Carthage. For we did not voyage further, provisions failing us.

Hanno had spoken of having found women with hairy bodies that the interpreters called gorillas. Since the poet Hesiod had spoken of “the Gorgons who live beyond the Ocean, towards the distant kingdom of the night, where there live the Hesperides,” the source of Mela and Pliny identified the last place visited by Hanno, where he saw the gorillas, with the fabulous Island of the Hesperides, here called Island of the Gorgons. It is because of the Hesperides that Statius Sebosus calls the Southern Horn of Hanno by the name of Hesperium, or Western. Pliny makes clear that the cape called by him Hesperium is confine Africae—at the limit of Africa. The figure of 30 days is obtained by counting 30° or 20 days from the Equator to the foot of the Atlas at Agadir and adding 15° or 10 days for the distance east-west along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea.

From the region of the estuary of the Niger Hanno cut across the Bight of Biafra to Cape Lopez, which closes the Gabon at the south. During this navigation he saw Mount Cameroon in eruption. The intention was to stop in the waters of the Gabon, the Southern Horn, which is at the Equator, but apparently the wind was carrying the ashes to the south, so that he stopped further south about the lagoon of Fernan Vaz.

Since interpreters have not recognized that Hanno’s report is a serious scientific document, they have thought that its ending with the mention of the gorillas is a picturesque detail, whereas it concerns the main purpose of the voyage. It has been debated whether Hanno met with chimpanzees or with pygmies; in the text there are arguments for supporting either interpretation. I believe that the ambiguity is in a way intentional. The Pygmies were an object of great interest to the Egyptians, since they lived at the Equator where there are the sources of the Nile. At present Pygmy tribes are found in an area that extends 5° north and 5° south of the Equator, from the great lakes to the sea. For this reason Pygmies are often portrayed on Egyptian monuments, as early as the Old Kingdom. Later they appear on Greek vases. Down to the Ptolemaic Dynasty, the Pygmies were included in the list of the nations that pay tribute to the King of Egypt, because the authority of the Egyptian crown had to extend to the sources of the Nile, to the Equator. Some Egyptian kings had a guard of Pygmies. But, in spite of this, scholars up to a century ago, when they were directly confronted with the facts, dismissed the Pygmies as an imaginary entity; just the fact that the ancients speak so persistently of them was taken as evidence that they were fabulous creatures. In 1863 Vivien de Saint-Martin wrote:

The fable of the pygmies is among the most ancient, and one should say, to account for the credence it has received through all antiquity, that even today it is one of the most widespread and commonly accepted legends of the lands that border on Abyssinia.40

The very fact that the ancients are so persistent in speaking of them was used at the time to dismiss the account of the first European explorers who had seen them. Aristotle had said (Hist. of Animals, VIII): “The cranes go up as far as the lakes of Egypt, where the Nile originates; there the Pygmies live. And this is not a fable, but pure truth.” Since it was assumed a priori that Aristotle could not have known that the Nile originates from the great equatorial lakes, this passage was considered further evidence that the Pygmies were figments of the imagination. Homer (Iliad III 6) had spoken of the Pygmies as living on the shores of Oceanus (the river that continues the Nile along the Equatorial line). What else was needed to prove that the Pygmies did not exist? Hanno needed to bring back some Pygmies as evidence that he had reached the Equator, as Columbus brought back some people that he called Indians and we have called Indians ever since. Pliny (VI 36, 200) reports that two of the hides brought back by Hanno were to be seen in Carthage in the Temple of Juno (Tanit Pne Ba’al, the wife of Ba’al Hammon, or Kronos) up to the destruction of the city by the Romans; his wording, argumenti gratia, makes clear that they were brought back as evidence. This is the reason why Hanno goes into details to explain why he was not able to bring them back alive and returned with the skins of three female specimens. Hanno intended to bring back some Pygmies, but he might have gotten hold of some gorillas. Even though the Pygmies have more body hair than most other Africans, they can hardly be said to have hairy bodies. It is not easy to flay humans and their hides would not be particularly impressive. The behavior of the gorillas who climb on rocks, throw stones, defend themselves by butting and scratching, well fits the habits of gorillas. Those who read Hanno since the Renaissance have understood that he was referring to anthropoid apes, and as a result the term gorilla has entered European languages. To me it is very significant that Hanno, who is detailed in his description, does not refer to the gorillas as speaking. According to what I have been told, the natives of the Gulf of Guinea used to tell that the anthropoidal apes really are humans who pretend not to be able to speak, lest the white man put them to work. It is also significant that Hanno does not speak of the gorillas as being small, whereas he would have stressed the small size of Pygmies. The point is made complicated by the circumstance that the habitat of the gorillas coincides more or less with the territory where the Pygmies dwell.

But Hanno reports that the interpreters, who must have spoken Berber, called the wild humans by the name of gorilla. Since in the Fulani languages the noun for “man” is gorko and its diminutive form is gorel, it appears that the interpreters learned to apply the term gorel to the Pygmies from the Fulani-speaking tribes who lived between them and the land of the Pygmies. Perhaps the interpreters tried to please Hanno by assuring him that the gorillas he had captured really were the gorel, “little men,” he was looking for.

Some further details about Hanno’s expedition may be gleaned from the Argonautica of Dionysius of Mitylene. Since this poem was a geographical epic in which the heroes roam all over the world, the author took the story of Hanno, gave a few twists to it, and included it in his composition. According to Dionysos’ story, as related by Diodorus of Sicily (III. 52-55), the Amazons, after fighting several Numidian and African tribes, founded a city in the morass of Triton, which they called Chersonesos, or Peninsula. The Lake of Triton is the Little Syrtis. The story up to here has simply the purpose of changing the Amazons into Carthaginians. The queen of the Amazons gathered an army of 30,000 foot soldiers and 3,000 horsemen and attacked the city of Kerne in the land of the Atlanteans (i. e., the Berbers) who dwelt in a prosperous country and possessed great cities. They lived along the shore of Oceanus and mythology places the birth of the gods among them. This is the story of the king Hanno who led 30,000 colonists and established the colony of Kerne in the land of the Berbers or Atlantes.

The Amazons captured the city of Kerne, the Atlantean men were massacred and their women enslaved, but later the Amazons made peace with the rest of the Atlantes. Since the Atlantes were attacked by the Gorgons, the queen of the Amazons was asked to invade the land of the Gorgons. They captured 3,000 Gorgons, but the others escaped into the forest. The 3,000 prisoners attacked the Amazons by surprise and killed some of them. As a result the Gorgon prisoners were slain and the Amazons returned to their own country.

It is easy to recognize that we have here a repetition of the story of the three gorillas; but the variation on the story of Hanno provides most valuable information. The Carthaginian king Hanno with 30,000 men attacked the city of Kerne and settled there, but later established good relations with the Atlanteans, that is, the Berbers. The Berbers were in conflict with the Gorgons, that is, the Ful-speaking people in whose language a man is called gork. Since many African tribes are called by the term meaning “man” in their language, the Fulani-speaking tribes were called gorko. But this must not be the name they applied to themselves, since gorko is a singular and the plural is quite different.

The story indicates that the gorko or Ful-speaking people were bordering on the Berbers, and that the expedition of Hanno was directed towards gorko territory. The Carthaginians conducted an expedition against the Gorgons and captured 3 gorillas, whereas the others fled. But the gorillas fought back and were killed. Today the gorko constitute scattered groups in Mauretania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, along the course of the Niger, and in the former French Cameroon; but the evidence of Hanno’s voyage indicates that they were more solidly established in the territory in which they are now a minority. Apparently they occupied a great part of the territory between the Pygmies and the Berbers, so that the Berbers learned to call the pygmies by the Fulani term gorel. Hanno’s interpreters apparently knew Fulani, and his remarks that some of the people of West Africa spoke a language that the interpreters could not understand could mean that they did not understand Mande languages.

As a result the Southern Horn of Hanno was identified with the island of the Hesperides where the Gorgons live. This created a confusion by which the Southern Horn (Cape Lopez) is called Hesperium, the name that Hanno applied to Cape Palmas. The terms Western Horn and Southern Horn apparently were already established ones; they represent the limits of the Gulf of Guinea, of which the Chariot of the Gods is the center. The Southern Horn is at the Equator, at the point at which navigation to the south meets the resistance of the Benguela Current moving up along the coast from South Africa. But Xenophon of Lampakos was somewhat more scientific and observed that the point reached by Hanno was not an island. Hence, he placed the islands Gorgades, the two islands of the Hesperides, two days from the continent against the cape. Most likely he refers to the island of São Tomé which is almost at the Equator (0°01’N to 0°24’N) and is at longitude 6°20’E, about two days = 3 degress from Cape Lopez (9°30’E). There was enough scientific accuracy in Xenophon to observe that the Gorgons were no longer to be seen there: Gorgonum quondam domus, reports Pliny (VI 36, 200). Pliny observed that omnia circa hoc incerta sunt, because Statius Sebosus, combining two versions, placed the island of the Gorgons 40 days from the chain of the Atlas, that is, at the Equator, but identified the island of the Hesperides with the last stop of Hanno (lagoon of Fernan Vaz), placing them correctly one day before what he calls Cape Hesperium (Pliny, VI 36, 201).

Polybius placed Kerne “against Mount Atlas” (Pliny, VI 36, 199); this means that he placed Kerne at the latitude of the Mount Atlas mentioned by Herodotus as being also called the Pillar of the Sky. The Pillar of the Sky is the highest peak of the Ahoggar range which dominates the central Sahara and was used as a geodetic point, being at the Tropic. The Pillar of the Sky was on the line of the geodetic square established by Hanno to link Kerne with Carthage. Pliny states that Polybius is in error when he places the Atlas within the space of 10 days east of Cape Hesperium (Cape Palmas) towards the Chariot of the Gods; Pliny objects that all other writers place the Atlas at the extreme limit of Mauretania (at Agadir) meaning what we call today the Chain of the Atlas. But Pliny (VI 36, 198) further reports that, besides Kerne, Polybius mentioned another island, called Atlantis, and also placed “against Mount Atlas.” from which there are two days of sailing to Cape Hesperium. Polybius included in this context some calculations of latitude and longitude that later generations could not understand. He mentioned a geodetic square in which the northern line was the Tropic from Kerne to Mount Atlas (Pillar of the Sky, Ahoggar) and the eastern side went from this Mount Atlas to an island called Atlantis, which is 2 days = 3° from the western Ethiopians and what the Romans call Cape Hesperium (Cape Lopez). Hence, the Island of Atlantis is São Tomé. That the Island of the Gorgades is the same as the Island of Atlantis is proved by the fact tht both are said to be 2 days’ journey from Cape Hesperion. Since Kerne is at 15°48’ W, there must have been calculated a standard geodetic unit of 20° from it to Mount Atlas of the Ahoggar, considered at 5°48’E.

The value of the degree of longitude at the Tropic must have been considered as 9/10 of the basic degree, which in reality is correct for the latitude of Thebes in Egypt (25°43’N). Herodotus speaks of the Pillar of the Sky as being on the line of Thebes. Hence, 21°36’ of longitude was considered equal to 24° of latitude. The eastern side of the geodetic square went from the Pillar of the Sky to the Equator. In order to obtain a calculation that caused the world to be rational, the position of São Tomé must have been combined with the other island of the Gorgades, Annobom. Annobom (1°35 S, 5°3’E) is against the last stop of Hanno, the place of the gorillas, whereas São Tomé (0°10’N, 6°20’E) is against the Southern Horn; combining the latitude of São Tomé with the longitude of Annobom, there was obtained the geodetic point Atlantis which completes the geodetic square Kerne-Atlas-Atlantis. A calculation of this sort cannot have been performed by Polybius, but it must have been contained in the work of Hanno. Apparently Hanno in order to avoid the eruption of Mount Cameroon returned home by keeping away from the coast and touching first Annobom and then São Tomé. Our text of his report cut out the mention of the return trip and ended with the dramatic story of the gorillas.

In my opinion the question whether the ancients had circumnavigated Africa cannot be solved by deciding a priori whether they had reached an adequate cultural level, but by considering whether there are precise geographical data about the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope.41

Herodotus (IV 43) reports that King Xerxes (-485 to -469) remitted the sentence of death meted upon a relative by the name of Sataspes on condition that he circumnavigate Africa from the west. Sataspes left with an Egyptian ship and an Egyptian crew, but returned without accomplishing his mission on the ground that upon reaching the land of the Pygmies his ship was brought to a standstill and could not proceed any further. As a result the original sentence was executed upon Sataspes.

An expedition like that of Sataspes could not have been sent without the approval of the Carthaginians, since by that time they controlled all the coast from their city at least as far as Soleis. If Hanno had not been the first to reach the Gulf of Guinea, he would have spoken in different terms. It seems reasonable to assume that when king Xerxes heard of the exploit of Hanno, he thought that the moment had come to go one step further and to circumnavigate Africa. The Carthaginians were interested in going as far as there was gold to be acquired, but putting the Gulf of Guinea in contact with the Indian Ocean would have been of great advantage to the subjects of the Persian Empire around the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Herodotus states that Sataspes failed to proceed further after reaching the land of the Pygmies, the Equator, whereas the Phoenicians that came from the east succeeded. This is perfectly reasonable, since Sataspes met the resistance of the Benguela current, whereas this would have helped the Phoenicians all along their trip.

Herodotus (IV 43) indicates that it was after the failure of Sataspes’ voyage that Phoenicians sailed from the Arabian Gulf to the Pillars of Herakles. He declares that he doubts their report that they had the sun to the right, that is, to the north. Since they reported a fact that apparently was against accepted cosmology, it must be a matter of empirical experience. They must have gone below the Tropic of Cancer, whereas the maximum extension of the Oikoumene accepted by a Greek geographer is 24 degrees South.


1. The document is preserved in a single manuscript, dating from the 10th century (Codex Heidelbergensis 398); it was published by Sigmund Gelenius in Basel in 1533.
2. J. Oliver Thomson
3. I do not believe in the existence of inscriptions intended to be kept confidential, and have strongly disagreed with epigraphists on the possibility of the existence of cryptic inscriptions. Information intended to be kept confidential was written on tablets which were folded and sealed, with a summary statement written on the outside.
4. It is true that the Carthaginians aimed at excluding Greek-speaking merchants from their area of trade, but they obtained this result by occupying the key ports along the routes, not by withholding information. The Carthaginians tried to close the Western Mediterranean to the Greeks by occupying Sardinia and Corsica; the First Punic War started when the Carthaginians occupied the straits of Messina and thereby threatened to seal off completely the Western Mediterranean; when the Romans broke the Carthaginian blockade by forcing them to abandon Sicily and Sardinia in the treaty that followed the First Punic War, Hannibal tried to keep the blockade effective by occupying Spain.
5. The assumption is that the ancients used numbers at random; a history of Carthage even develops what it calls “a psychoanalytic theory of ancient history” to explain the wild use of numbers by ancient writers. Pierre Hubac, Carthage second ed. (Paris, 1952), pp. 122f.
6. The words of Pliny (V. 1. 9) accepta classe could be understood to have such a meaning.
7. L. del Turco, who has edited the Greek text with a translation and commentary, has put forth the theory that Hanno set up the inscription in two languages, and that the Greek text is as old as the Punic original. (Annone, Il Periplo Florence, 1958, p. 12). This proves only that Del Turco, who has no respect for the contents of the text, does not give any consideration to its grammatical form either. There are words that are used in a sense occurring only in writers of the Hellenistic age; the systematic use of the aorist tense for the perfect is a certain sign of a late date.
8. Pliny makes use of his customary technique in which separate data are combined together and short quotations from other authors, often irrelevant or relevant only in terms of a misunderstanding of the original, are intercalated. The method of Pliny is similar to that of students who prepare outlines by underscoring mechanically each fourth or fifth paragraph.
9. Similar accusations were much later to be leveled against another explorer, Marco Polo.
10. Et Hanno Carthaginis potentia florente circumvectus a Gadibus ad finem Arabiae eam navigationem prodidit scripto: sicut ad extera Europae noscenda missus eodem tempore Himilco.
11. Quae Himilco Poenus mensibus vix quatuor, ut ipse semet re probasse retulit enavigantem, posse transmitti adserit.
12. Iustinus, Pompei Trogi Historiae Phil. Epitomus, XIX.2.
13. The date of 570 was suggested by Bougainville, Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions, vol. XXVIII, (or is it XVII?] p. 288.
14. The text implies that these colonies had been established earlier. The founding of Phoenician colonies on the western coast of Morocco at an early date is discussed by Carcopino, Le Maroc Antique, (Paris, 1948); but cf. Rousseaux, “Hannon au Maroc,” Revue Africaine, vol. 93 (1949), p. 175.
15. Mogador is a Portuguese or Spanish version of the name Amogdul, mentioned by al-Bakri in the eleventh century A.D.; today Mogador is called Sarai, “small enclosure,” by the Arabs. Archaeological explorations of the island of Mogador have revealed traces of Phoenician presence from the second half of the seventh century B.C. to the first half of the sixth. A. Jodin, “Note préliminaire sur l’établissement pré-romain de Mogador,” Bulletin d’Archéologie marocaine, Vol. II, 1957, pp. 9–40 and Mogador, comptoir phénicien du Maroc Atlantique, (Tangier, 1966)
16. Cited by Stephanus Byzantinus.
17. In the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament we find the same place called polis Arbok or Kariaqarbok; polis Iareim and Kariaqiareim. Karikon Teikhos is mentioned by Ephorus (fl. 350 B.C.?) fr. 96, in Müller, Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (Paris, 1849), I. p. 261.
18. From the Aramaic geth, pl. gitthin. Phaleg,
19. As Bochart noted, the root melet is found in Jeremiah 43:9 as an expression for cconcrete made from sand and cement.
20. Cited by Stephanus Byzantinus.
21. Bochart, Phaleg. Pliny (V, 1) and Strabo mention flourishing viticulture in these regions.
22. I strongly suspect that the translator misunderstood the Punic text. Perhaps the text spoke of two places called Kariogadir and gave the corresponding names in Berber; in a West-Semitic language an explanation or translation would be introduced by a vau, which the Greeks render by kai in the Semitic phrases that have entered their language.
23. The case of Herne has been made by E. H. Bunbury, A History of Ancient Geography among the Greeks and Romans from the Earliest Ages till the Fall of the Roman Empire (London, 1879), Vol. I, p. 324, and in some detail by Carcopino, Maroc Antique (Paris, 1948). Cf. A. A. Merlin, “La Véritable portée du Périple d’Hannon,” Journal des Savants, 1944, pp. 62-76.
24. Maroc Antique, pp. 130ff. Müller in his commentary (Geographi Graeci Minores) refers to a marine chart published in Paris in 1852 which mentions Herne by name: Côte occidentale d’Afrique. Partie comprise entre le Cap Bojador et le fleuve de Sierra Leone. Dépôt général de la marine.
25. According to Pliny, Polybios said that Kerne was 8 stadia, that is, a Roman mile, from the land (Natural History, VI. 199): “Polybius in extrema Mauretania, contra montem Atlantem, a terra stadia VIII abesse prodidit Cernen.” Pliny quotes Cornelius Nepos as saying that it is p. X, “10 miles” from the mainland, (loc. cit.) but probably this is a material error for p. M. “one mile” for 10 stadia.
26. Scylax, Periplus, Geographi Graeci Minores, ed. by H. H. Müller.
27. Cf. Nonnus, Dionys. XIII, 347, XXXI, 163; Hesychius and Suidas, s.v.
28. Bochart suggested a derivation from the Phoenician naar cheremat, “river of vines” and in support of it brought the statement of Scylax about the Ethiopians dwelling inland of Kerne, who cultivate the grape. Cf. H. H. Müller’s comments in Geographi Graeci Minores.
29. Many rivers of western Europe have Ligurian names; in Japan the names of rivers often predate the arrival of the present population; and the names of rivers are the greatest contribution of the Indians to the present civilization of the United States.
30. The figure of 2 for the number of days between Kerne and the wooded promontory is the result of an error of transcription; several interpreters propose that the number 12 be substituted. I emend the 2 into 6.
31. Sailing directions issued by the U. S. Hydrographic Service.
32. In Hebrew there is a root ZRH, “to scatter,” which forms the name of a wind called mizrah, the wind that scatters the clouds, clearing the sky, and comes from east or north. The name may have been given to an easterly wind under the conditions of that part of the coast of Africa. The Surrentium may have been the wind opposed to the one called today harmattan, “evil one,” which is an oppressive and dust-laden wind blowing from the interior. In that part of Africa the main distinction is between harmattan and the welcome winds from the sea that blow mainly from west and north. The shift in the names of winds is indicated by the circumstance that the French-speaking inhabitants of Dakar refer to the harmattan, blowing from east or north-east, as vent de l’est or scirocco. In Italy and France the scirocco is a wind from the south or south-east.
33. The computation is confirmed by a passage of the geography of Africa written by Juba of Mauretania in the age of Caesar, quoted by Pliny (VI 34, 175). From the place called in Greek Leuke Akte, “Narrow Cape,” and Latin Drepanum, “Sickle,” (Ponta Almina, the southern Pillar of Herkules), there are 1500 Roman miles = 20° to the island of Malichu (the island of Arguin, at 20° ’ N, that replaced Kerne as the stopping point in Portuguese times); 225 miles = 3° to Scaeni (the mouth of the Senegal at 18° 20’ N); 150 miles = 2° to the island of Sardanus (Capo Verde) “where the coast turns in an easterly direction towards the Atlantic at the island Atlantis.” The island Atlantis, as I shall indicate later, is the island of Sao Tome, at the Equator, in the Gulf of Guinea.
34. The Punic name Palsum corresponds to the Akkadian noun pelsu, “breach, breakthrough,” and to the Hebrew root PLS, “to open the way.”
35. The explorer Richard F. Burton was the first to identify Mount Cameroon as the Theon Okhema of Hanno. See his Abeokuta and the Camaroons Mountains,vol. II (London, 1863), pp. 208-210. R. Hennig’s emendation of Theon Okhema (Chariot of the Gods) to Theon Oikema (Dwelling of the Gods), is probably correct.Terrae Incognitae (Leiden, 1944), Vol. I, p. 93.
36. Illing, p. 40.
37. Illing, pp. 39-40, and Mer, p. 53, have followed Burton’s interpretation, as has, more recently, Jacques Ramin, The Periplus of Hanno (BAR Supplementary Series 3, 1976), pp. 72-73
38. Connaissances geographiques des Grecs sur les côtes africaines de l’ocean, (Paris, 1928). Cf. idem, Histoire ancienne de l’Afrique du Nord, (Paris, 1914-1928).
39. Cf. Pliny II 90, 238: Maximo tamen ardet incendio Theon Ochema dictum Aethiopum iugum, torrentesque solis ardoribus flammas egerit. Cf. Mela III. 9.
40. La fable des pygmees est des plus anciennes; et l’on doit dire, pour justifier la creance qu’elle a trouvee dans toute l’antiquite, que meme aujourd’hui c’est une des legendes les plus repandue et les plus universellement affirmee dans les contree qui avoisinent l’Abyssinie.
41. Maximus of Tyre distorts all data for the purpose of proving that Africa has an immense extension to the south, but he quotes the information that a certain Diogenes was pushed to the south from the Promontory of Aromas (Cape Guardafui, 11° 50’ N)

Pausanias, Description of Greece (http://www.theoi.com/Text/Pausanias1A.html)
2nd Century CE

Strabo (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Strabo/home.html)
1st Century BCE

4th or 3rd Century BCE

SKYLAX OF KARYANDA, his circumnavigation of the inhabited sea, Europe,
Asia, and Libya, and how many and of what kind are the several nations in
sequence, and territories and harbours and rivers, and how great are the lengths of
the voyages, and the [seven] islands that are inhabited, in what manner each lies in
relation to the mainland.
1. And I shall begin from the pillars of Herakles in Europe as far as the pillars of Herakles in
Libya, and as far as the great Ethiopians. And the pillars of Herakles are right by one another,
and are distant from one another a voyage of a day. [And two islands are at hand here, which
have the name Gadeira. One of these has a city that is distant a day’s voyage from the pillars of
Herakles.] From the pillars of Herakles in Europe there are many trading-towns of the
Carthaginians, and mud and flood-tides and open seas.
2. IBERIANS. In Europe the first people are Iberians, a nation of Iberia, with* the river
Iber[—]. Then Emporion [a Hellenic city which has the name Emporion]: and these people are
colonists from the Massaliots. The coastal voyage of Iberia of seven days and seven nights.
3. LIGYANS AND IBERIANS. And from Iberians there adjoin the Ligyans and Iberians
mixed, as far as the river Rhodanos. The coastal voyage of Ligyans from Emporion as far as
Rhodanos river of two days and of one night.
4. LIGYES. From Rhodanos river there adjoin Ligyans as far as Antion. In this territory is a
Hellenic city, Massalia, with* a harbour **. These cities are colonists from Massalia. And the
coastal voyage of this territory is from Rhodanos river as far as Antion of 4 days and four nights.
And from the pillars of Herakles as far as Antion all this territory has good harbours.
5. TYRRHENOI [Etruscans]. And from Antion the Tyrrhenian nation as far as the city of
Rome. The coastal voyage of four days and four nights.
6. KYRNOS [Corsica]. And by Tyrrhenia lies the island of Kyrnos. And there-is from
Tyrrhenia the voyage to Kyrnos of a day and a half, with an island in the middle of this voyage,
inhabited, which has the name Aithalia, and many other deserted islands.
7. SARDO [Sardinia]. And from Kyrnos island to Sardo island a voyage of a day’s third part,
with a deserted island in between. And from Sardo to Libya a voyage of a day and a night, and to
Sicily from Sardo a voyage of two days and a night. And I return again onto the mainland,
whence I turned aside to Kyrnos.
8. LATINS. To Tyrrhenians there adjoin Latins as far as the Kirkaion. Also the monument of
Elpenor is of the Latins. Of Latins the coastal voyage is of a day and a night.
9. OLSOI [Volsci]. And to Latins there adjoin Olsians. Of Olsians the coastal voyage is of one
10. CAMPANIANS. And to Olsians there adjoin Campanians. And there are the following
Hellenic cities in Campania: Kyme, Neapolis. By these is Pithekoussa island with a Hellenic city.
And the coastal voyage of Campania is of one day.
11. SAUNITAI [Samnites]. And to Campanians there adjoin Saunitai. And the coastal voyage
of the Saunitai is a day’s half.
12. LEUKANOI. And to Saunitai there adjoin Leukanoi as far as Thouria. And the voyage
beside Leukania is of 6 days and 6 nights. And Leukania is a headland . In this are the following
Hellenic cities: Poseidonia; Elea; Laos, a colony of Thourians; Pandosia; Plateeis; Terina;
Hipponion; Mesma; and Rhegion, a promontory with a city.
13. SICILY [Sikelia]. And by Rhegion is Sicily island, distant from Europe 12 stades to
Pelorias from Rhegion. And in Sicily are the following barbarian nations: Elymians, Sikanians,
Sikels, Phoenicians, Trojans. Now these are barbarians, but Hellenes also live here. And the
promontory of Sicily is Pelorias. And there a re Hellenic cities from Pelorias, the following:
Messene with a harbour, Tauromenion, Naxos, Katane, Leontinoi; and to Leontinoi by Terias
river a voyage inland of 20 stades. Symaithos, a river, with a city, Megaris, and a harbour,
Xiphoneios. And adjoining Megaris is a city, Syracuse, with two harbours in it, one of these
inside a fort, and the other outside. And after this a city, Heloron, and Pachynos, a promontory .
And from Pachynos the Hellenic cities are the following: Kamarina, Gela, Akragas, Selinous, and
Lilybaion promontory . And from Lilybaion there is a Hellenic city, Himera, and after Himera
city is Lipara island, and a Hellenic city, Mylai, with a harbour. And there is from Mylai up to
Lipara island a voyage of a day’s half [And Sicily is triangular: and each limb of it is
approximately of 1,500 stades.]
And I return again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside. For from Rhegion the cities are
the following: Lokroi, Kaulonia, Kroton, Lakinion, sacred to Hera, and the island Kalypso, in
which Odysseus dwelt beside Kalypso, and river Krathis and Sybaris and Thouria city. These are
the Hellenes in Leukania.
14. IAPYGIA. And after Leukania are the Iapygian nation, as far as Orion Mountain in the
Adriatic gulf. The coastal voyage beside Iapygia is of six days and six nights. And in Iapygia live
Hellenes, and the cities are the following: Herakleion, Metapontion, Taras and a harbour,
Hydrous, up to the mouth of the Adriatic or of the Ionian gulf.
15. SAUNITAI. And after Iapygians from Orion is the Saunitian nation. [And in this nation
are the following tongues, or indeed mouths: Laternioi, Opikoi, Kramones, Boreontinoi,
Peuketieis], extending from the Tyrsenian open sea to the Adriatic. The coastal voyage of the
Saunitis territory is of two days and a night.
16. OMBRIKOI [Umbrians]. And after Saunitai is the nation Ombrikoi, and in it is a city,
Ankon. And this nation worships Diomedes, having received benefaction from him: and there is
a sanctuary of him. And the coastal voyage of Ombric territory is of two days and a night.
17. TYRRHENOI. And after the Ombric nation, Tyrrhenians. And these extend from the
Tyrrhenic open sea outside to the Adriatic: and there is a Hellenic city in it [sc. this territory],
[Spina,] with a river: and voyage inland to the city by river of about 20 stades. And there is up to
it from Pise city a road of three days.
18. KELTOI. And after Tyrrhenians are the Celtic nation, left behind from the expedition,
upon narrows as far as Adriatic [extending]. And here is the inner end of the Adriatic gulf.
19. ENETOI [Veneti]. And after Celts are the Enetian nation, and river Eridanos in them.
And from here the coastal voyage is of one day.
20. ISTROI. And after Enetians are the Istrian nation, and river Istros. This river also into the
Ponton discharges endieskeunos* to Egypt. And the coastal voyage of the Istrianians’ [sic] territory
is of a day and a night.
21. LIBYRNOI. And after Istrians are the Libyrnian nation. And in this nation there are cities
beside the sea, Lias, Idassa, Attienites, Dyÿrta, Aloupsoi, Olsoi, Pedetai, Hemionoi. These are
ruled by women and the women are free from men, and they mingle with their own slaves and
with the men of the nearby territory. By this territory are the following islands of which I can tell
the names, and there are also many others without name: Istris, island of 210 stades and width
120, Elektrides, Mentorides, and these islands are great; Katarbates river. The coastal voyage of
the Liburnid territory is of two days.
22. ILLYRIOI. And after Libyrnians are the Illyrian nation, and the Illyrians live along beside
the sea as far as Chaonia by Kerkyra, the island of Alkinoös. And there is a Hellenic city here,
which has the name Herakleia, with a harbour. The barbarians called Lotus-eaters are the
following: Hierastamnai, Boulinoi (Hyllinoi), coterminous with Boulinoi the Hylloi. And these
say Hyllos son of Herakles settled them: and they are barbarians. And they occupy a peninsula a
little lesser than the Peloponnese. And from peninsula parastonion* is upright: Boulinoi live beside
this. And Boulinoi are an Illyric nation. And the coastal voyage is of the territory of Boulinoi of a
long day up to Nestos river.
23. NESTIANS. And from Nestou the voyage is gulf-shaped. And all this gulf is called
Manios. And the coastal voyage is of one day. And there are in this gulf islands, Proteras,
Krateiai, Olynta. And these from one another are distant 2 stades or a little more, by Pharos and
Issa. For here is New Pharos, a Hellenic island, and Issa island, and these are Hellenic cities.
Before sailing along-the-coast up to the Naron river, much territory extends very much into the
sea. And there is an island near the coastal territory, which has the name Melite [Malta], and
another island near this, which has the name Kerkyra the Black: and this island runs out very
much with one of the promontories from the coastal territory, and with the other promontory it
comes down to the Naron river. And from Melite it is distant 20 stades, and from the coastal
territory it is distant 8 stades.
24. MANIANS. And from Nestians is the Naron river: and the voyage into the Narona is not
narrow: and even a trireme voyages into it, and boats into the upper trading-town, being distant
from the sea 80 stades. And these are Illyrian by nation, the Manians. And there is a lake inland
from the trading-town, a great one, and the lake extends to Autariatai, an Illyric nation. And
there is an island in the lake of 120 stades: and this island is very much well farmed. And from
this lake the Naron river flows. And from the Naron up to the Arion river is a day’s voyage: and
from the Arion river [up to the Rhizous river] a voyage of a day’s half: and Kadmos’s and
Harmonia’s stones are here, and a sanctuary [not] far from the Rhizous river. And from the
Rhizous river to Bouthoë the voyage ** and the trading-town.
25. ENCHELEIS. A nation of Illyrians are the Encheleis, adjoining the Rhizous. And out of

Bouthoë to Epidamnos, Hellenic city, voyage of a day and a night, and a road of three days.
26. TAULANTIOI. And of the Taulantians is the Illyric nation, in which Epidamnos is, and a
river flows beside the city which has the name Palamnos. And out of Epidamnos to Apollonia, a
Hellenic city, is a road of two days. And Apollonia is distant from the sea 50 stades, and the river
Aias flows beside the city. And from Apollonia into Amantia is 320 stades. And the Aias river
from the Pindos Mountain flows beside Apollonia. [And] towards [Amantia] inland, somewhat
into the Ionian gulf is Orikos. It comes down from Orikia to the sea 90 stades, and from
Amantia 60 stades. Sharing a border with all these in the interior are Atintanes above Orikia and
Karia* as far as Dodonia. And in the Kestris territory is said to be a pedion, name Erytheia. Here
Geryones is said to come and pasture his oxen. By these places are the Keraunian mountains in
Epeiros, and there is an island beside these places, a small one, which has the name Sason. From
here to Orikos city is a coastal voyage of a day’s third part.
27. [O RIKOI. And the Orikoi occupy [. . .] of the Amanian territory.] And the [Amantians],
from Boulinoi as far as here, are Illyrians. And the mouth of the Ionian gulf is from Keraunian
mountains as far as cape Iapygia. And up to Hydroëis city in Iapygia from the Keraunian
mountains, the stades of the voyage across are about 500, [which] is the mouth of the gulf: and
the places inside are the Ionian gulf. There are many harbours in the Adriatic: and the same thing
is the Adriatic and the Ionian.
28. CHAONES. And after Illyrians, Chaonians. And Chaonia has good harbours: and the
Chaonians live in villages. And the coastal voyage of Chaonia is a half of a day.
29. KORKYRA. And by Chaonia is an island, Korkyra, and a Hellenic city in it, having three
harbours by the city: of these the one is enclosed. And Korkyra belongs also to Thesprotia more
than Chaonia. And I return again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside.
30. THESPROTIANS. And after Chaonia are the Thesprotian nation. And these too live in
villages: and this territory also has good harbours. Here is a harbour, which has name Elaia. Into
this the harbour the river Acheron emits: and there is lake Acherousia, out of which the Acheron
fiver flows. And the coastal voyage of Thesprotias is a half of a day.
31. KASSOPIANS. And after Thesprotia is the nation Kassopia. And these too live in
villages. And these live beside as far as into the Anaktoric gulf. And the coastal voyage of the
Kassopians’ territory is a half of a day; and the Anaktoric gulf is a little less from its mouth as far
as into the inner end, 120 stades. And the mouth has width 4 stades.
32. MOLOTTIA. And after Kassopia are the Molottian nation. And these live in villages: and
they come down only a little here to the sea, and largely into the interior. And the coastal voyage
of Molottian territory is of 40 stades.
33. AMBRAKIA. And after Molottia, Ambrakia, a Hellenic city: and this is distant from sea 80
stades. And there is also upon the sea a fort and an enclosed harbour. From here Hellas begins
to be continuous as far as Peneios river and Homolion, a city of Magnesian territory, which is
beside the river. And the coastal voyage of Ambrakia is of 120 stades.
34. AKARNANIA. And after Ambrakia is the nation Akarnania, and the first city on this spot
is Argos the Amphilochian, and Anaktorion with a harbour, and outside the Anaktoric gulf the
following cities: Akte and the city Leukas with a harbour: this city stands forth upon the
Leukatas, which is a promontory from afar in the sea*. This city they formerly used to name
Epileukadioi. And Akarnanes having made civil war took out of Corinth one thousand resettlers:
and the re-settlers having killed them hold their territory themselves. And this city is now
an island, having cut off the isthmus with a ditch [Euripos dug through in the isthmus]. And
after these places a city, Phara, and by these places there is an island, Ithaca, with a city and a
harbour. After these places an island, Kephalenia. And I return again onto the mainland, whence
I left. After these places a city, Alyzia, and by this an island, Karnos, and a city, Astakos, with a
harbour, and the river Acheloös, and Oiniadai city: and to these [cities] there is a voyage inland
by the Acheloös. And there are also other cities of Akarnanians in the interior. And the coastal
voyage of Akarnania is of two days*. And Akarnania all has good harbours: and by these places
many islands lie beside, which the Acheloios by silting up is making mainland. The islands are
called Echinades: and they are deserted.
35. AITOLIA. And after Akarnania is the nation Aitolia, and the cities in it are the following:
Kalydon, Halikarna, Molykreia: and the Delphic gulf: and the mouth of the gulf is 10 stades, and
upon it is a sanctuary, and Naupaktos city: and upon it (sc. Naupaktos) are many other cities of
the Aitolians in the interior. And the coastal voyage of Aitolia is of one day. And Aitolia
stretches along all of Lokris from the interior as far as the Ainianians.
36. LOKRIANS. And after Aitolians are the Lokrian nation, in-whom are the so-called
Ozolai, and the following cities: Euanthis, Amphissa. And these people also have cities in the
interior. And the coastal voyage of the Lokrians’ territory is the half of a day.
37. PHOKIANS. And after Lokrians are the nation Phokians by the Kirrhaian plain, and the
sanctuary of Apollo, and Delphi city, and Antikyra city, where the best hellebore treatment is
available. And the coastal voyage of the Phokians’ territory is a half of a day.
38. BOIOTIANS. And after Phokians are the Boiotian nation, and the following cities:
Korsiai, Siphai with a harbour, Eutretos with a fort of the Boiotians. And the coastal voyage of
Boiotia is a half of a day or less.
39. MEGARIANS. And after Boiotians are the Megarian nation, and the following cities:
Aigosthena, Pegai, fort Geraaneia, Aris. And the coastal voyage of the Megarians’ territory is 100
40. CORINTH. And after Megarians, Corinth city with a sanctuary, Lechaion, and the
Isthmus. From here already begins the Peloponnese. And from the sea the road towards the sea
on our side through the isthmus is 40 stades. These places are all gulf-shaped. And the coastal
voyage of the Corinthians’ territory is a half of a day.
41. SIKYON. And after Corinth, Sikyon city. Of this the coastal voyage is of 120 stades.
42. ACHAIOI. And after Sikyon, the nation Achaians, and in them are the following cities:
Pellene, Aigeira, Aigai, Aigion, Rhypes, and outside Rhion Patrai and Dyme. And the coastal
voyage of the territory of Achaia is 700 stades.
43. ELIS. And after Achaians is the nation Elis, and in it the following cities: Kyllene with a
harbour, and the river Alpheios: and there is also another cohabitation of cities called Elis in the
interior. By this territory is and island, Zakynthos, in which there is both a city and a harbour.
And the coastal voyage of the Eleians’ territory right up to the . . . of the Lepreates* is 700
44. ARKADIA. And after Elis is the nation Arkadia. And Arkadia comes down to the sea by
Lepreon out of the interior. And their cities in the interior, the great ones, are the following:
Tegea, Mantineia, Heraia, Orchomenos, Stymphalos. And there are also other cities. And the
coastal voyage of the Lepreates’ territory is 100 stades.
45. MESSENE. And after Arkadia is the nation Messene, and in it the following cities: [the
first is Messene with a harbour:] Kyparissos, being distant from the sea 7 stades, Ithome in the
interior being distant from the sea 80 stades. And the coastal voyage of the territory Messenia is
300 stades.
46. LAKEDAIMON. ** the nation Lakedaimon, and in it the following cities: Asine,
Mothone, Achilleios harbour and bak to back with this Psamathous harbour. In the middle of
both these projecting into the sea is a sanctuary of Poseidon, Tainaros; and Las city with a
harbour; Gytheion, in which is a shipyard, and a fort], and river Eurotas, and Boïa city, and
Malea cape. [KYTHERA.] By this territory lies Kythera island with a city and a harbour. And by
this is Crete island. And after the aforesaid cape Malea, Side city with a harbour, Epidauros city
with a harbour, Prasia city with a harbour, Methana [i.e. Anthana] city with a harbour. And there
are also many other cities of Lakedaimonians. And in the interior is Sparta and many others. And
the coastal voyage of the Lakedaimonians’ territory is of three days.
47. CRETE. By Lakedaimon lies Crete island: for of Europe Lakedaimon lies closest. And
voyage across from Lakedaimon as far as to the promontory of Crete upon which is the city
Phalasarna, is the course of a day. And from Phalasarna there is Goat’s Brow promontory . And
towards the south wind, the voyage to Libya, and upon the peninsula [or Chersonesos] called the
Haliades of the Cyrenaeans, is the voyage of a day and a night. And Crete is 2,500 stades long,
and narrow, and extends from sun’s settings towards sun’s risings. And there live in Crete
Hellenes, some colonists from the Lakedaimonians, others from the Argives, others from the
Athenians, others from the rest of Hellas from wherever it chanced. And some of them are
aboriginal. Many cities in Crete.
POSITION OF CRETE. * about promontory the first city towards the setting sun is the
aforesaid Phalasarna with an enclosed harbour; then Polyrrhenia, and it extends from north to
south: the Diktynnaion, a sanctuary of Artemis, towards the north wind, part of the territory of
Pergamia: and towards the south Hyrtakina: Kydonia wiith an enclosed harbour towards the
north; and in the interior Elyros city; and towards the south Lissa city with a harbour beside
Goat’s Brow: and towards the north wind the Apteraia territory: then the Lampaia, and this
extends on both sides, and in it is the river Mesapios; ** and after Osmidas is Eleuthernai
towards the north; and towards the south Sybrita ** with a harbour: towards the south Phaistos:
towards the north Oaxos and Knossos: and towards the south Gortyna and Rhaukos: and in the
interior Lyktos, and this extends on both sides: and towards the north wind Mount Kadiston
with a harbour in it called Olous, and all *: Praisos extends on both sides; Granos is the
promontory of Crete towards the rising sun. And there are also other cities in Crete: and it is said
to be hundred-citied.
48. CYCLADES ISLANDS. And the inhabited Cyclades are the following by the
Lakedaimonian territory: Melos with a harbour, and by this Kimolos, and by this Oliaros, and by
this Sikinos; this is also a city; and by this Thera, and by this Anaphe, and by this Astypalaia. And
I return again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside.
49. ARGOS. And after Lakedaimon is a city, Argos, and in it Nauplia city with a harbour: and
in the Interior Kleonai and Mykenai and Tiryns. The coastal voyage of the Argive territory in a
circle (for it is a gulf, called the Argolic) is 150 stades.
50. EPIDAUROS. And after Argos the territory Epidauros: for it comes down into this gulf
30 stades. And after the Epidaurian territory Halia with a harbour. This is upon the mouth of the
Argolic gulf. Voyage around this is of one hundred stades.
51. HERMION. And after this is Hermion city with a harbour. And the circumnavigation of
this is of 80 stades. And after Hermion Skyllaion is the promontory of the gulf towards the
Isthmus: and Skyllaion is part of Troizenian territory. And right by it is Sounion, the promontory
of the Athenians’ territory. And by this (sc. Skyllaion) is an island, Belbina, with a city. Of this
gulf, from this mouth inwards to the Isthmus, there are 740 stades. And this gulf itself is widest
at the mouth.
52. TROIZENIA. And after Hermion Troizenia, a city with harbour. And the coastal voyage
of it is [1]30 stades. And after these places is an island, Kalauria, with a city and a harbour. And
the coastal voyage of it is 300 stades.
53. AIGINA. And by this is an island with a city, Aigina, with two harbours. And I return
again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside.
54. EPIDAUROS. And after Troizenia, a city, Epidauros, with a harbour. And the coastal
voyage of the territory of Epidauros is [100] 30 stades.
55. KORINTHIA. And after Epidauros is the Corinthians’ territory [the one] towards the
dawn, and a fort, Kenchreiai, and the Isthmus, where is a sanctuary of Poseidon. Here the
Peloponnese stops. And the Corinthians also have territory outside the Isthmus, and a fort,
Sidous, a nd the other fort, Kremmyon. And the coastal voyage of the Corinthians’ territory as far
as the frontiers of the Megarians is 300 stades.
56. MEGARA. And from the Corinthians’ territory is Megara city, with a harbour and the
Nisaia fort. And the coastal voyage of the Megarians’ territory as far as Iapis (for this is a
boundary of the Athenians’ territory) is 140 stades.
57. ATTICA. And after Megarians are cities of the Athenians. And first in Attica Eleusis,
where the sanctuary of Demeter is, and a fort. By this is Salamis island, with a city and a harbour.
Next the Peiraieus and The Legs [i.e. Long Walls?] and Athens. And the Peiraieus has 3
harbours. Then Anaphlystos, a fort with a harbour; Sounion, a promontory with fort; a sanctuary
of Poseidon; Thorikos, a fort with two harbours; Rhamnous, a fort. And there are also many
other harbours in Attica. Circumnavigation of the Athenians’ territory 1,140 stades: from the
Iapis territory up to Sounion 490 stades, from Sounion as far as borders of the Boiotians 650
58. ISLANDS OF CYCLADES. And by Attica are the islands called Cyclades, and the
following cities in the islands: Keos (this four-citied: [Poieëssa, a city] with a harbour, Koressia,
Ioulis, Karthaia); Helene; Kythnos, an island with a city; Seriphos, an island with a city and a
harbour; Siphnos; Paros having two harbours, of which the one enclosed; Naxos; Delos; Rhene;
Syros; Mykonos (this two-citied); Tenos with a harbour; Andros with a harbour. Now these are
the Cyclades islands. And under these are the following other islands towards the south: Ios with
a harbour (in this Homer is buried); Amorgos (this three-citied, with a harbour); Ikaros (twocitied).
And after Andros Euboia island; this four-citied. And there are in it Karystos, Eretria
with a harbour, Chalkis with a harbour, Hestiaia with a harbour. And Euboia from the sanctuary
of Kenaios Zeus up to Geraistos, Poseidon’s sanctuary, has 1,350 stades, and in width Euboia is
narrow. And in the Aegean open sea are the following islands: by E retria Skyros, with a city; Ikos
(this two-citied); Peparethos (this three-citied, with a harbour); Skiathos (this two-citied, with a
harbour). After these places I return again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside.
59. BOIOTIANS. And after Athens is the Boiotian nation: for these, too, come down to this
sea. And there is in it, first, a sanctuary, Delion; Aulis, a sanctuary; Euripos, a fort; Anthedon, a
fort; Thebes; Thespiai; Orchomenos in the interior. And there are also other cities. And the
coastal voyage of the territory Boiotia from Delion as far as the frontiers of the Lokrians is 250
60. LOKRIANS. And after Boiotians are the Lokrian nation. And they have by Euboia the
following cities: Larymna, Kynos, Opous, Alope; and they Lokrians also have many others. And
the coastal voyage of their territory is 200 stades.
61. PHOKIANS. And after Lokrians are Phokians: for these too extend to this sea. And they
have the following cities: Thronion, Knemis, Elateia, Panopeus. And they have also other cities
in the interior. And the coastal voyage of the Phokians’ territory is 200 stades.
62. MELIANS. And after Phokians are Melians and Melian gulf. In this gulf are the so-called
Limodorans, the following: Erineos, Boion, Kytinion. Here are Thermopylai, Trachis, Oite,
Herakleia, Spercheios river. MALIANS. And after Melians the Malian nation. And the Malians
have as the first of their cities Lamia, and as the last Echinos: and they also have other cities, as
far as where the gulf reaches. And against the Malians’ territory dwell Ainianians from above in
the interior. And through them flows the Spercheios river.
63. ACHAIOI. And outside the Malian gulf are the Achaians of Phthiotis, a nation: and they
are also in the Pagasetic gulf in the left as one sails in, to about halfway up the gulf. Achaians’
cities are the following: Antrones, Larissa, Melitaia, Demetrion, Thebai: and the Achaians also
have other cities in the interior.
64. THESSALY. And after Achaians Thessaly comes down to the sea out of the interior in a
narrow way to the Pagasetic gulf, 30 stades. And there are in Thessaly the following cities upon
the sea: Amphanaion [sic], Pagasai: and in the interior Pherai, Larissa, Pharsalos, Kieron,
Pelinnaion, Skotousa, Krannon. And there are also other cities of Thessalians in the interior.
And Thessaly stretches along in the interior above Ainianians and Dolopians and Malians and
Achaians and Magnesians as far as Tempe. And the Pagasetic gulf’s length is, from the mouth to
the inner end of Pagasai, a voyage before lunch. And the mouth of it is 5 stades. And in the
Pagasetic gulf is an island, Kikynethos, with a city.
65. MAGNESIANS. There is a nation of Magnesians beside the sea, and the following cities:
Iolkos, Methone, Korakai, Spalauthra, Olizon, a nd Isai, a harbour. And outside the gulf of
Pagasai Meliboia, Rhizous, Eurymenai, and Myrai. And in the interior the nation Perrhaibians
occupy it, who are Hellenes. As far as here Greece is continuous from Ambrakia: and pretty
much also all the territory) upon the sea [in] Hellas is similarly [continuous].
66. MACEDONIA. And from Penetes river are the Macedonian nation, and the gulf of
Therma. First city of Macedonia Herakleion; then Dion; Pydna; a Hellenic city; Methone, a
Hellenic city; and the Haliakmon river; Aloros, a city with the river Lydias; Pella, a city with a
royal seat in it, and there is a voyage inland to it up the Lydias; the Axios river; the Echedoros
river; Therme, a city; Aineia, Hellenic; Pallene, a long cape stretching up into the open sea; and
the following Hellenic cities in Pallene: Potidaia barring the isthmus in the middle; Mende,
Aphytis, Thrambeïs; Skione; Kanastraion, the sacred promontory of Pallene. And outside the
isthmus the following cities: Olynthos, Hellenic; Mekyberna, Hellenic; Sermylia, Hellenic, with
the Sermylic gulf; Torone, a Hellenic city with a harbour; Dion, Hellenic; Thyssos, Hellenic;
Kleonai, Hellenic; Athos Mountain; Akrothoöi, Hellenic; Charadrous, Hellenic; Olophyxos,
Hellenic; Akanthos, Hellenic; Alapta, Hellenic; Arethousa, Hellenic; Bolbe Lake; Apollonia,
Hellenic. And there are also many others in Macedonia in the interior. And it is gulf-shaped: And
the coastal voyage around the gulfs is of two days. And after Macedonia the Strymon river; this
bounds Macedonia and Thrace.
67. THRACE. And Thrace extends from Strymon river as far as Istros river in the Euxeinos
Pontos. And there are in Thrace the following Hellenic cities: Amphipolis, Phagres, Galepsos,
Oisyme, and other trading-towns of Thasians. By these places is Thasos island, with a city and
two harbours; of these one is enclosed. And I return again whence I turned aside. Neapolis; by
this Daton a Hellenic city, which Kallistratos of Athens founded; with river Nestos; Abdera, a
city; Koudetos river; with cities Dikaia and Maroneia. By these places Samothrace, an island with
a harbour. By this on the mainland are trading-towns Drys, Zone; the river Hebros with a fort,
Douriskos, on it; Ainos, a city with a harbour; forts of the Ainians in Thrace; Black Gulf; Black
River; Deris, a trading-town; Kobrys, a trading-town of Kardians, and another, Kypasis. By the
Black Gulf is Imbros, an island with a city; and Lemnos, an island with a harbour.
I return again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside. And after the Melas [Black] gulf is
the Thracian Chersonese, and the following cities it: Kardia, Ide, Paion, Alopekonnesos, Araplos,
Elaious, Madytos, Sestos upon the mouth of the Propontis; [which] it is of 6 stades. And within
the Aix [Goat] river are Kressa, Krithote, Paktyë. As far as here is the Thracian Chersonese. And
out of Paktyë to Kardia through the neck on foot is 40 stades, out of the sea into the sea; and
there is a city in the middle, which has name Agora [Marketplace]. Chersonese’s length out of
Kardias to Elaious (for here it is longest) stades 400. And after the Chersonese are the following
Thracian forts: first Leuke headland , Teiristasis, Herakleia, Ganos, Ganiai, Neon Teichos [New
Fort]; Perinthos, a city with a harbour; Daminon, a fort; Selymbria, a city with a harbour. From
this up to the mouth of the Pontos there are 500 stades. The place is called Anaplous [Voyage
inland] up the Bosporos as far as you come to Hieron [The Sanctuary]. And from Hieron the width
of the mouth of the Pontos is 7 stades. And there are in the Pontos the following Hellenic cities
in Thrace: Apollonia, Mesembria, Odessopolis, Kallatis, and the river Istros. And the coastal
voyage of Thrace from the Strymon river as far as Sestos is of two days and two nights, and
from Sestos as far as the mouth of the Pontos of two days and two nights, and from the mouth
as far as the Istros river of three days and three nights. The total circumnavigation from Thraikhs
and the river Strymon as far as the Istros river is of eight days and eight nights.
68. SKYTHIA. TAURIANS. And after Thrace are the Skythian nation, and the Hellenic cities
in them are the following: Tyris river; Nikonion, a city; Ophiousa, a city. And against the
Skythian territory the Taurian nation occupy a promontory of the mainland: and into the sea is
the promontory . And in the Taurike live Hellenes*, the following: Cherronesos, a trading-town;
Goat’s Brow, a promontory of the Taurike. And after these places are Skythians again, and the
following Hellenic cities in it: Theudosia, Kytaia with Nymphaia, Pantikapaion, Myrmekeion.
The coastal voyage straight from Istros up to Goat’s Brow is of three days and three nights, and
that beside land is double: for it is a gulf. And in this gulf is an island, and the island is deserted,
which has the name Leuke, sacred to Achilles. And from Goat’s Brow is a voyage to
Pantikapaion of a day and a night: And from Pantikapaion up to the mouth of the Maiotis lake is
20 stades. And the Maiotis lake is said to belong half to the Pontos. And in the Maiotis lake, as
one sails straight in, are on the left Skythians: for they come down out of the outside sea above
the Taurike to the Maiotis lake.
SYRMATAI. [And after Skythians, the Syrmatai] nation and the river Tanaïs which bounds
Asia and Europe.
69. COASTAL VOYAGE OF ALL OF EUROPE. From the pillars of Herakles in Europe,
as one circumnavigates the gulfs beside land, and, as many nights as are written, instead of these
calculates days, and, where stades are written, instead of the 500 stades the daily voyage, the
coastal voyage of Europe, the half part of the Pontos being equal to the Maiotis lake, becomes
150 days and three. And the greatest rivers in Europe are the Tanaïs, the Istros, and the
70. SAUROMATAI. And from Tanaïs river begins Asia, and the first nation of it is in the
Pontos, the Sauromatai. And among the Sauromatians is a nation ruled by women.
71. MAIOTAI. Those ruled by women are adjoined by Maiotai.
72. SINDOI. And after Maiotai, the Sindoi nation: for these extend also to the outside of the
lake: and there are the following Hellenic cities in them: Phanagoras’s city; Kepoi [Gardens];
Sindikos, a harbour, Patous.
73. KERKETAI. And after Sindikos harbour the Kerketai nation.
74. [TORETAI. And after Kerketai, the Toretai nation] and a Hellenic a city, Torikos, with a
75. ACHAIANS. And after Toretai, the Achaian nation.
76. HENIOCHOI [Charioteers]. And after Achaians, the Heniochoi nation.
77. [KORAXOI. And after Heniochoi, the Koraxoi nation.]
78. KOLIKE. And after Koraxoi, the Kolike nation.
79. MELANCHLAINOI [Black-cloaks]. And after Kolike, the Melanchlainoi nation, and a
river in them, Metasoris, and Aigipios, a river.
80. GELONES. And after Melanchlainoi, Gelones.
81. KOLCHIANS. And after these the Kolchian nation with Dioskouris, a city; and Gyenos, a
Hellenic city, with Gyenos, a river; and Cherobios, a river; Chorsos, a river; Arios, a river; Phasis,
a river, with Phasis, a Hellenic city; and there is a voyage inland up the river of 180 stades, to a
great barbarian city, whence Medea came; here is Rhis, a river; Isis, a river; Pirates’ river;
Apsaros, a river.
82. BYZERES. And after the Kolchians the Byzeres nation, and the river of the Daraanoi,
and Arion, a river.
83. EKECHEIRIEIS [Truce-makers?]. And after Byzeres the Ekecheirieis nation, and the river
Pordanis, and Arabis, a river; Limne [Lake], a city; Odeinios, a Hellenic city.
84. BECHEIRIKE. After Ekecheirieis, the Becheiroi nation; Becheirikos, a harbour;
Becheirias, a Hellenic city.
85. MAKROKEPHALOI[Long-heads]. And after Becheiras the Makrokephaloi nation, and
Psoron harbour; Trapezous, a Hellenic city.
86. MOSSYNOIKOI. And after Makrokephaloi, the Mossynoikoi nation, with Zephyrios, a
harbour; Choirades, a Hellenic city; Areos, an island. These occupy mountains.
87. TIBARENOI. And after Mossynoi [sic] is the nation Tibarenoi.
88. CHALYBES. And after Tibarenoi are the Chalybian nation; and Genetes, an enclosed
harbour, Stameneia, a Hellenic city; and Iasonia, a Hellenic acropolis.
89. ASSYRIA. And after the Chalybes is the nation Assyria, and the river Thermodon, and a
Hellenic city, Themiskyra; Lykastos, a river with a Hellenic city; Halys, a river with Karoussa, a
Hellenic city; Sinope, a Hellenic city; Kerasous, Hellenic city, with Ocherainos, a river; Harmene,
a Hellenic city with a harbour; Tetrakis, a Hellenic city.
90. PAPHLAGONIA. And after Assyria is the nation on Paphlagonia. And there is in it
Stephane, a harbour; Koloussa, a Hellenic city; Kinolis, a Hellenic city; Karambis, a Hellenic city;
Kytoris, a Hellenic city; Sesamos, a Hellenic city, with Parthenios, a river; Tieion, a Hellenic city
with a harbour; Psylla with a river, Kallichoros.
91. MARIANDYNIANS. And after Paphlagonia are the Mariandynian nation. Here is a city,
Herakleia, Hellenic; and a river, Lykos; and another river, Hypios.
92. BITHYNIANS. And after the Mariandynians are the nation Thracian Bithynians, and the
river Sagarios, and another river, Artanes, and an island, Thynias (and Herakletos live in it), and
the river Rhebas. Then straight on are the strait and the aforesaid sanctuary in the mouth of the
Pontos, and after this a city, Chalkedon, outside* Thrace, after which the gulf of Olbia. The
coastal voyage from the Mariandynians as far as the inner end of the gulf of Olbia (for so great is
the Bithynians’ Thrace) is of three days. And from the mouth of the Pontos as far as [up to] the
mouth of the Maiotis lake, the voyage is of like size is the voyage, beside both Europe and Asia.
93. MYSIA. And after Thrace the nation Mysia. And it is the left siade of the Olbian gulf as
one sails into the Kian gulf as far as Kios. And Mysia is a headland . And in it are the following
Hellenic cities: Olbia with a harbour; Kallipolis with a harbour, the promontory of the Kian gulf;
and on the left Kios, a city, and Kios, a river. And the coastal voyage of Mysias to Kios is of one
94. PHRYGIA. And after Mysia is the nation Phrygia, and the Hellenic cities are the
following: Myrleia with Rhyndakos, a river, and upon it Besbikos, an island, and a city, Plakia,
and Kyzikos in the isthmus barring the isthmus, and within the isthmus Artake. By this is an
island with a city, Prokonnesos, and another island, with good harbours, Elaphonnesos: and
Prokonnesians farm it. And on the mainland there is a city, Priapos; Parion; Lampsakos; Perkote;
Abydos; and this is the mouth by Sestos of the Propontis.
95. TROAS. And from here Troas begins, and in it are the following Hellenic cities:
Dardanos; Rhoiteion; Ilion (and it is distant from the sea 25 stades) with the river Skamandros in
it. And an island lies by these places, Tenedos, with a harbour, whence Kleostratos the
astronomer came. And on the mainland Sigê and Achilleion and the Achaians’ Mixing-bowls
[Krateres]; Kolonai; Larissa; Hamaxitos with a sanctuary of Apollo, where Chryses served as
96. AIOLIS. And from here is called the territory of Aiolis. And there are in it the following
Aiolian cities upon the sea: ** Kebren, Skepsis, Neandreia, Pityeia. The coastal voyage of Phrygia
from Mysia as far as Antandros is **.
97. LESBOS. By these places is an Aiolian island, Lesbos, having in itself the following 5
cities: Methymna, Antissa, Eresos, Pyrrha with a harbour, Mitylene having two harbours. And by
this is an island with a city: and the name of this is Pordoselene. And I return again onto the
mainland, whence I turned aside onto the islands.
98. LYDIA. Now from Antandros and downwards from the Aiolic territory the territory was
formerly in its own right Mysia as far as Teuthrania, but is now Lydia. And Mysians migrated up
to the mainland. And there are the following Hellenic cities in it and in Lydia: Astyra, where is
the sanctuary [of Artemis, and] Adramyttion. And the territory is Lesbian: and above this is the
Chians’ territory and a city, Atarneus: and below these places upon the sea a harbour, Pitane, and
a river, Kaïkos. After Pitane Elaia, Gryneion, Achaians’ harbour: in this the Achaians are said to
have taken counsel against Telephos, whether to march or depart; a city, Myrina, with a harbour;
Kyme with a harbour; and above Kyme in the interior is a Hellenic city, Aigai; and Leukai, with a
harbours; and Smyrna, in which Homer was; Phokaia with a harbour and the Hermos river;
Klazomenai with a harbour; Erythrai with a harbour. And by these is an island, Chios, with a
harbour. I return again onto the mainland. Gerai, a city with a harbour; Teos, a city with a
harbour; Lebedos; Kolophon in the interior; Notion with a harbour; sanctuary of Apollo Klarios
sanctuary; Kaÿstros, a river; Ephesos with a harbour; Marathesion with, on the mainland,
Magnesia, a Hellenic city; Anaia; Panionion; Erasistratios; Charadrous; Phokaia; Akadamis;
Mykale: these places are in the Samians’ territory. And before Mykale is Samos, an island, having
a city and an enclosed harbour. This island is not lesser than Chios. And I return again onto the
mainland, whence I turned aside. Upon Mykale is a city, Priene, having two harbours, of which
the one is enclosed: then a river, Maiandros. And the coastal voyage of Mysias and Lydia, from
Astyra as far as the Maiandros river, is of two days and one night.
99. KARIA. And after Lydia is the nation Karia, and in it the following Hellenic cities:
Herakleia; then Miletos; then Myndos with a harbour; Halikarnassos with an enclosed harbour
and another harbour around the island and a river; Kalymna, an island; Karyanda, an island with
a city and harbour (these people are Karians); an island, Kos, with a city and an enclosed
harbour. By these places is the Keramiac gulf of Karia, and an island, Nisyros, with a harbour.
I return again onto the mainland. A sacred promontory , Triopion; Knidos, a Hellenic city,
with the territory of the Rhodians, the one on the mainland; Kaunos, a Karian city with an
enclosed harbour; Kryassos, a promontory . By this Rhodes, and island with a city: and an
ancient triple city in it, the following cities: Ialysos, Lindos, Kameiros. And by Rhodes there are
the following inhabited islands: Chalkeia, Telos, Kasos, Karpathos: this last is three-citied. And
the coastal voyage of Karia, from Maiandros river up to Kryassos, which is Karia’s promontory ,
is of two days. I return again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside.
100. LYKIA. And from Karia is the nation Lykia: and Lykians have the following cities:
Telmissos with a harbour, and a river, Xanthos, through which is a voyage inland to [Xanthos, a
city,] Patara, a city [which], and it has a harbour; Phellos, a city with a harbour; by these places is
an island of the Rhodians, Megiste; Limyra, a city, to which the voyage inland is by the river.
Then Gagaia, a city; then Chelidoniai, a promontory with two islands and Dionysias, an island;
the promontory and harbour of Sidero. Above this is a sanctuary of Hephaistos in the mountain,
and much spontaneous fire burns out of the land and is never quenched. And if you go forward
from the sea higher, there is Phaselis, a city with a harbour (and this is a gulf); and Idyros, a city;
an island, Lyrnateia; Olbia; Magydos with the river Katarraktes; Perge, a city with a sanctuary of
Artemis. And in a straight line the coastal voyage of Lykia from * is of a day and a night: and the
voyage beside land is double this, for it is gulf-shaped.
101. PAMPHYLIA. And after Lykia is the nation Pamphylia, and in it the following cities:
Aspendos, a city; to this the voyage inland takes place by river; and the river is Eurymedon; then
a city, Sylleion; another city, Side, a colony of Kymaians, with a harbour. The coastal voyage of
Pamphylia from Perge is a half of a day. And there are also other cities of Pamphylia: Kibyra,
then Korakesion.
102. KILIKIA. And after Pamphylia is the nation Kilikia, and in it the following cities:
Selinous; Charadrous, a city with a harbour; Anemourion, a cape with a city; Nagidos, a city,
[which] and it has an island. And towards the Seton harbour is Poseideion; Salon; Myous;
Kelenderis, a city with a harbour, Aphrodisios, and another harbour; Holmoi, a Hellenic city *
being distant; Sarpedon, a deserted city with a river; Soloi, a Hellenic city; Zephyrion, a city; a
river, Pyramos, and a city, Mallos, to which the voyage inland is by the river; a trading-town,
Adane, with a harbour, Myriandos of the Phoenicians; Thapsakos, a river. The coastal voyage of
Kilikia from the frontiers of Pamphylia as far as the Thapsakos river is of three days and two
nights. And out of Sinope in the Pontos, through the mainland and Kilikia to Soloi, the road
from sea to sea is of 5 days.
103. CYPRUS. And by Kilikia is an island, Cyprus, and in it the following cities: Salamis,
Hellenic, having an enclosed winter harbour; Karpaseia; Keryneia; Lepethis of the Phoenicians;
Soloi (this too has a winter harbour); Marion, Hellenic; Amathous (they are aboriginal); all these
having deserted harbours. And there are also other, barbarian cities in the interior. And I return
again onto the mainland, whence I turned aside.
104. SYRIA AND PHOENICIA. There is after Kilikia the nation Syrians. And in Syria there
live in the seaward part the nation Phoenicians, upon a narrow space less than up to forty stades
from the sea, and in some places not even up to 10 stades in width. And from the Thapsakos
river is the Tripolis of the Phoenicians; Arados, an island with a harbour; the royal seat of Tyre,
about 8 stades from the land; and in the peninsula another city, Tripolis [or ‘three-citied’]: this is
made up of Arados and Tyre and Sidon: in the same are three cities and an enclosure wall for
each city has the same of the fort; and a mountain, God’s Face; Trieres, [a city] with a harbour;
Berytos, a city with a harbour; Borinos; Purpledyers’ City; Sidon, a city with an enclosed harbour;
Birds’ City of the Sidonians (from Lions’ City as far as Birds’ City is **); a city of Tyrians,
Sarapta; another city, Tyre, having a harbour within a fort; and this island is the royal seat of the
Tyrians, and is distant 3 stades from the sea: Palaityros, a city, with a river [which] flows through
the middle; and a city of the [Ekdippoi], with a river; and Ake, a city; somewhere outside, a city
of the Ty[rians; Karmelos,] a mountain sacred to Zeus; Arados, a city of the Sidonians . . . and a
river of the Tyrians; Doros, a city of the Sidonians; [Ioppe, a city.] They say Androm[eda] was
[stret]ched out here [for the monster; Aska] lon, a city of the Tyrian and a royal seat. Her[e is the
boundary of Hollow] Syria. The coastal voyage of Hollow Syria [from the Thapsakos river as far
as] Askalon is 2,700 stades.
A[RABIA. And after Syria are] the nation [Arabs], horse-riding pastoralists [and having pastures
of all kinds of ani]mals: sheep and goats . . . and camels; and thi[s] is . . . most are . . . Egypt . . .
in it . . . is out of the . . . [out]side se[a] . . . [s]ea . . . and . . . .. . . . . . . [The coastal voyage . . .]
{page 94} [of A]rabia de itself from the frontiers of Syria as far as the mouth of the [Nile i]n
Pelousion, for this is a mountain of Arabia, is 1,300 stades. . . . [A]rabia of Egypt as far as the
Nile out of which Ara - . . . Egyptians; and they bring tribute to Eg- . . . always to the Arabs.
EGYPT. [And after Arabia is] the nation [Egypt]; and the cities in it are [the following:
Pelousion, a city with a harbour] and a royal seat, where the [Pelousiac] mouth [of the river Nile
is], the first [one, a mountain] in Arabia; [the second mouth is the Tanic, upon which is also a
roy]al [city]; the third is the [Mendesian, with a city; 4th Phatniti]c: fifth Sebenny[tic, with a city,
Sebennytos; Boutos, a lake, wh]ere there is a city and a ro[yal seat; sixth the Bolbitic, with a roy]al
[city]; seventh [the Canobic, with Thonis, a city: After these places a lake] which has the name
[Mareia. And this lake is already in ] Libya . . . and . . . [c]ouncil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . {page
95; from here [ ] once more indicate words to be excised or inserted} and the Pelousiac. And
again it is split apart. And the Sebennytic, on the one hand into the Mendesian, on the other
hand into the sea. And from the Mendesian into the Phatnitic mouth. And from the Pelousiac
into the Tanic mouth. And the part from the Kanopic as far as the Sebennytic lake, and the
Bolbitine mouth flows out of the lake. And for the most part the lakes and marshes of Egypt are
beside the sea. And Egypt is such in shape like an axe. For it is by the sea broad, and by the
interior narrower, and by Memphis the narrowest of itself; and next, as one goes into the interior
from Memphis, wider; and by the uppermost part of itself widest. The part of Egypt above
Memphis, or the part beside the sea, is the most substantial. And the Kanopic mouth bounds
Asia and Libya. And the coastal voyage of Egypt from the Pelousian [sic] mouth is 1,300 stades.
And of Asia the circumnavigation (for it is round), as one calculates by the same manner which
has been written about Europe, is is of 87 days. And upon the Kanopic mouth is a deserted
island, which has the name Kanopos: and on it is a memorial of Menelaos, the steersman from
Troy, whose name is Kanopos, that is, the memorial. And the Egyptians and their neighbours in
these places that Pelousios came to Kasios, and Kanopos came to the island where is the
memorial of the steersman.
107. LIBYA. Libya begins from the Kanopic mouth of the Nile. ADYRMACHIDAI. A
nation of Libyans, the Adyrmachidai. And out of Thonis there is a voyage to Pharos, a deserted
island (but it has good harbours and has no water) is of 150 stades. And in Pharos are many
harbours. And they take water out of the Mareia lake: for it is drinkable. And the voyage inland
to the lake is short out of Pharos. And there is also a peninsula and a harbour; and it is at 200
stades of the coastal voyage. And from Peninsula is the Plinthine gulf. And the mouth of the
Plinthine gulf to Leuke headland is a voyage of a day and a night, and that to the inner end of the
Plinthine gulf twice as much. And it is surrounded by inhabitants in a circle. And from Leuke
headland to Laodamanteios harbour the voyage is a half of a day. And from Laodamanteios
harbour to Paraitonios harbour the voyage is a half of a day. It is adjoined by Apis, a city.
Therefore as far as here Egyptians rule.
108. MARMARIDAI. And from Apis is a nation of Libyans, the Marmaridai, as far as to
Hesperides. And from Apis up to Tyndarian Peaks, voyage of a day. And from Tyndarian Peaks
to Plynoi harbour, voyage of a day. Out of Plynoi to Petras the Great, voyage a half of a day. Out
of Petras to Menelaos, voyage of a day. Out of Menelaos to Kyrthaneios, voyage of a day. From
Kyrthaneios is Antipygos [‘Back-to-back’] harbour; voyage a half of a day. And from Antipygos
is Petras the Small, a harbour; voyage a half of a day. From Petras [the] Small are Achil(l)id
Chersoneses, a harbour (these places are in Cyrenaean territory), voyage of a day. And in the
middle of Petras and Chersonese [singular] are islands, Aëdonia and Plateiai. And there are
anchorages under them. From here the silphion begins to grow of acre *: and it stretches along
from Chersonese through the interior as far as Hesperides, a voyage beside land of nearly 1,500
stades approximately. Aphrodisias island, an anchorage; Naustathmos, a harbour. Voyage from
Chersonese of one day, and from Naustathmos to harbour of Cyrene 100 stades. And out of the
harbour to Cyrene eighty stades. And Cyrene is in the interior. And these are all-purpose
harbours. And there are other refuges under islets, and there are anchorages and many headlands
in the territory between. And out of the harbour of Cyrene as far as the harbour by Barke, 500
stades. And the city of the Barkaians is distant from the sea 100 stades. And out of the harbour
by Barke up to Hesperides, 620 stades. And out of Cyrene are harbours, and there are the
following split settlements as far as Hesperides: Phykous, a gulf; and inland here is the garden of
the Hesperides. And it is a place 18 fathoms deep, sheer in a circle, nowhere having a descent;
and it is of two stades every way, not less, width and length. This is shaded with trees woven in
one another, to the densest possible. The trees are lotus, apple-trees of all kinds, pomegranatetrees,
pear-trees, strawberries, mulberries, vines, myrtles, bay-trees, ivy, olive-trees, wild olivetrees,
almond-trees, walnut-trees. Among the settlements which have not been told is [and], by
the garden, Ampelos [Vine]; Apios [Pear] (it exchanges 30 stades); Chersonese; very many
gardens; Zenertis; Taucheira; Kaukalos’s village; Hesperides, a city with a harbour, and a river
upon the city, Ekkeios. By These settlements from the Cherroneses of the Antides, some are of
the Cyrenaeans, others of the Barkaians as far as Hesperides.
109. NASAMONES AND MAKAI. And from Hesperides there is a great gulf, which has
name Syrtis, and, so to say, as one guesses approximately, of 5,000 stades. In width it is, from
Hesperides to Neapolis [New City] on the other side, a voyage of three days and three nights.
And there lives around it the Libyans’ nation Nasamones as far as the inner end on the left. And
to these are adjacent the Libyans’ nation, beside the Syrtis as far as the mouth of the Syrtis, of the
Makai. And as one sails into the Syrtis from Hesperides, there are Herakles’ Banks; and adjacent
to these are Drepanon; the three Pontiai islands; then among these some are called Leukai [White
Islands]. And in the most hollow part of the Syrtis, in the inner end, Philainos’s altars; a seaport;
Ammon’s halous* of the Syrtis. From this, living beside the Syrtis, the Makai winter upon the sea,
shutting in their animals, and in the summer, with the waters receding, they drive away their
animals into the interior, inland, with themselves. And after the Syrtis, outside the Syrtis, is a find
settlement and city, which has the name Kinyps; and it is deserted. And from Neapolis the
distance to the Syrtis is 80 stades [on every side]: and under it is the river Kinyps, and an island is
below towards the river. And the depth of the Syrtis inside Hesperides towards Philainos’s altars,
to the inner end of the gulf, voyage of 3 days and nights; and width from Kinyps river towards
the Leukai islands, voyage of four days and four nights.
110. LOTUS-EATERS. And beside the part outside the Syrtis live Libyans, the nation Lotuseaters,
as far as the mouth of the other Syrtis. These people use lotus as food and drink. And
from Neapolis in Carthaginian territory is Graphara, a city. Of this the coastal voyage is of one
day from Neapolis. And from Grapharon is Abrotonon, a city with a harbour. Of this the coastal
voyage is of one day. And from Abrotonon Taricheiai, a city with a harbour. The coastal voyage
from Abrotonon is of one day. And by these places is an island, which has the name Bracheion,
after the Lotus-eaters by Taricheiai. And this island is of 300 stades, and its width a little less.
And it is distant from the mainland about 3 stades. And in the island grows a lotus which they
eat, and another of which they make wine. And the fruit of the lotus is in size as big as a
strawberry. And they make much oil out of wild olive-trees. And the island bears much produce,
namely wheat and barley. And the island has good earth. Voyage from Taricheiai to the island of
one day. And after the island is Epichos, a city. And from the island to Epichos, voyage of half a
day. And from Eschides * [to Makomas or Neapolis], voyage of a day: and an island is at hand by
it, deserted. And after this Kerkinitis, an island with a city; and by this Thapsos. Coastal voyage
from this to Thapsos of a day and half. And from Thapsos ** [and Lepteus] the Small and
Adrymetos is a great gulf inside, in which is the Small Syrtis, called Kerkinitis, much more
dangerous and hard to sail than the other Syrtis, whose circumference is 2 stades. In this Syrtis is
established the island called Tritonis with a river, Triton, and right here is a sanctuary of Athena
Tritonis. And the lake has a small mouth, and in the mouth an island is at hand; and whenever
there is an ebbing, sometimes the lake appears not to have a way to sail in. And this lake is great,
having its circumference of one thousand stades. And there live around it all the Libyans *
nation, and a city beyond towards the sun’s setting; for all these people * Libyans are said to be
fair-haired, frugal * and very beautiful. And this territory is excellent and very productive, and
they have animals both very large and very numerous; and they themselves are very rich [and
very beautiful]. And after this Syrtis is Neapolis. And the coastal voyage from Adrymetos up to
Neapolis is of a day. And after Neapolis, Hermaia, a cape with a city. The coastal voyage from
Neapolis to Hermaia is of a day and a half. And from Neapolis to the isthmus is 180 stades on
foot towards the other sea, towards Carthage. And there is a headland , through which is an
isthmus. The coastal voyage from the river, from here to Carthage, a half of a day. And the
territory of the Carthaginians is in a gulf.
111. CARTHAGE. And after the isthmus is Carthage, a city of Phoenicians with a harbour.
The coastal voyage from Hermaia, a half of a day to Carthage. And islets are at hand in Cape
Hermaia, Pontia island and Kosyros. And the voyage from Hermaia up to Kosyros is of a day.
From Hermaia cape towards the sun at it rises (a small way from Hermaia) are three small islands
by this place, inhabited by Carthaginians: Melite, a city with a harbour; Gaulos, a city; Lampas
(this has two or three towers). And from Kosyros up to Lilybaion, a promontory of Sicily, a
voyage of one day. After Carthage Ityke [Utica], a city with a harbour. And the coastal voyage
from Carthage to Ityke, of one day. From Itykes is Horse’s Cape [or] Horses’ City, and upon it is
a lake, and islands in the lake, and around the lake the following cities [in the islands]: Psegas, a
city, and right opposite it many Naxian islands: Pithekousai with a harbour; opposite them both
an island and a city in the island, named Euboia; Thapsa, both a city and a harbour; Kaukakis, a
city with a harbour; Sida, a city; Ioulios’s cape, a city and a harbour; Hebdomos, a city with a
harbour; Akion, an island, and a city with a harbour is to hand; Psamathos, an island, and a city
with a harbour; and a gulf. And in the gulf Bartas, an island with a harbour; Chalka, a city in the
river; Arylon, a city; Mes, a city with a harbour; Sigê, a city in the river; and before the river an
island, Akra, with a great city [and a] harbour; Akros, the city and the gulf in it; a deserted island,
Drinaupa by name; the Pillar of Herakles in Libya; a cape, Abilyke, [and] a city in a river and
opposite it Gadeira, which are islands. From Carthage in this direction, up to the pillars of
Herakles, the coastal voyage of the best sailing is of seven days and nights seven. GADEIRA.
These are islands towards Europe; of these, one has a city: and the pillars of Herakles are by
these, the one in Libya low, but the one in Europe high. And these are capes right by one
another; and these are apart from one another a voyage of a day. The coastal voyage of Libya
from Egypt, from the Kanopic mouth as far as the pillars of Herakles, the reckoning being put in
the same terms as has been written in Asia and Europe, as you sail by the gulfs in a circle, is of
74 days. As many townships or trading-towns as have been written in Libya, from the Syrtis by
Hesperides as far as the pillars of Herakles in Libya, are all of the Carthaginians.
112. And after the pillars of Herakles, as one sails to the outside, holding Libya on the left,
there is a great gulf as far as Cape Hermaia. For here, too, is Cape Hermaia. And by the middle
of the gulf lies Pontion, a place with a city. And around the city likes a great lake, and in this lake
like many islands. And around the lake grows reed and galingale and wool-tufted reed and rush.
And the Meleagrid birds are here, and nowhere else unless they are exported from here. And this
lake has the name Kephisia, and the gulf Kotes. And it is in between the pillars of Herakles and
Cape Hermaia. And from Cape Hermaia extend great reefs, indeed from Libya up to Europe,
not projecting from the water: and it washes over them in some places. And the reef extends up
to another cape of Europe, right opposite: and this cape has the name Holy Promontory . And
from Cape Hermaia is a river, Anides: and this emits into a great lake. And after Anides [then]
there is another great river, Lixos, and a city of the Phoenicians, Lixos; and there is another city
of Libyans beyond the river, with a harbour. And after Lixos, Krabis, a river, and a harbour and a
city of Phoenicians, named Thymiateria. From Thymiateria * to Cape Soloeis, which projects
approximately into the ocean. And all this territory, part of Libya, is the most renowned and
sacred. And upon the promontory of the cape there is a great altar, of blood-money * of
Poseidon. And on the altar are carved human images, lions, and dolphins; and they say Daidalos
made them. And from Cape Soloeis there is a river, which has the name Xion. Around this river
live sacred Ethiopians. And by these places is an island, which has the name Kerne. And the
coastal voyage from the pillars of Herakles up to Cape Hermaia is of two days. And from Cape
Hermaia to Cape Soloeis, coastal voyage of three days. And from Soloeis to Kerne, coastal
voyage of seven days. And in total this coastal voyage, from the pillars of Herakles to Kerne
island, is of twelve days. And the places beyond Kerne island are no longer sailable because of
the shallowness of the sea and because of mud and seaweed. And the seaweed is the breadth of a
hand, and is sharp above, so that it stabs. And the traders, on the one hand, are Phoenicians; but
whenever they arrive at the island of Kerne, they on-the-one-hand anchor the round-boats,
making tents on Kerne for themselves; but taking out the cargo themselves they transport it in
small boats to the mainland. And there are Ethiopians towards the mainland. And these are the
Ethiopians towards whom they are setting out their wares. And they sell in return for skins of
deer and lions and leopards, and skins and teeth of elephants and of domestic animals. The
Ethiopians use for decoration * tattooed, for drinking-vessels bowls of the ivory; and their
women use for decoration bracelets of the ivory; and they also use on their horses ivory
decoration. And these Ethiopians are the largest of all humans whom we know, larger than four
cubits tall, and some of them are even five cubits tall; and they are beard-wearing and longhaired,
and these are the most beautiful of all humans. And there rules over them whoever is
tallest. And they are also horse-riders and javelin-men and archers, and use their weapons firehardened.
And the Phoenician traders import to them perfumed oil, Egyptian stone, beaten [. . .],
Attic tile and pitchers: for moulded objects are for sale in the festival of the Choës (Pitchers).
And these Ethiopians are meat-eaters, milk-drinkers, and make much wine from vines: and the
very same do the Phoenicians bring. And they also have a great city, towards which the
Phoenicians who are traders sail in. And some say that this Ethiopians stretch along continuously
inhabiting from here to Egypt, and that this sea is continuous, and that Libya is a headland.
113. PARTITION. Through the sea [from] Europe to Asia pretty much directly straight. And
the partition begins from Euripos by Chalkis, and is up to Geraistos 850 stades. From Geraistos
up to Paionion in Andros, 80 stades. From [Paionion] in Andros up to Aulon, 280 stades.
Voyage across from Aulon to Tenos, 12 stades. From this island up to the promontory by
Rhenaia, 150 stades. Of the voyage across to Rhenaia, 40 stades. And of Rhenaia itself and the
voyage across to Mykonos, 40 stades. And from Mykonos the voyage across up to the Melantian
Peaks a little less than a voyage before lunch, of [1]40 stades. And from Melantian peaks, a
voyage to Ikaros before lunch. And of Ikaros 300 stades lengthwise. And from Ikaros, a voyage
to Samos before lunch. And of Samos itself, 200 stades. Out of Samos to Mykale, [1]7 stades of
the voyage across. The whole, if they sail out of Samos before lunch, 2,370 stades, not being
included the sailing [out of Mykale to Samos].
Another partition straightly direct. [From Malea] as far as Kythera, [1]30 stades. And the
length of Kythera itself, 100 [200?] stades. To Aigilia, a voyage before lunch. [Length of Aigilia
itself, 50 stades. From Aigilia to Crete, a voyage before lunch.] Length of Crete itself, 2,500
[1,500?]. From Crete to Karpathos, 100 [500?] stades. Length of Karpathos itself, 100 [300]
stades. To Rhodes from Karpathos, a voyage of 100 [300?] stades. Length of Rhodes itself, 600
stades. From Rhodes to Asia, 100 stades. The partition of the voyage across is 4,270 stades.
114. SIZES OF ISLANDS. Greatest Sardo. Second Sicily. Third Crete. Fourth Cyprus. Fifth
Euboia. Sixth Kyrnos. Seventh Lesbos. Eighth Rhodos. Ninth Chios. Tenth Samos. Eleventh
Korkyra. Twelfth Kasos. Thirteenth Kephallenia. Fourteenth Naxos. Fifteenth Kos. Sixteenth
Zakynthos. Seventeenth Lemnos. Eighteenth Aigina. Nineteenth Imbros. Twentieth Thasos.

Massaliote Periplus/Ora Maritima of Avienus
Massaliote attributed to 6th Century BCE, Avienus (claims to quote it) wrote in the 4th Century CE

[Text in Latin; I'll provide a translation someday]


Quaesisse temet saepe cogitans, Probe,
animo atque sensu, Taurici ponti situs
capi ut valeret his probabili fide
quos distinerent spatia terrarum extima,
subi libenter id laboris, ut tibi 5
desideratum carmine hoc claresceret.
fas non putavi quippe prolixa die
non subiacere sensui formam tuo
regionis eius quam vetustis paginis
et quam per omnem spiritus nostri diem 10
secretiore lectione acceperam.
alii invidere namque, quod dispendio
tibi haud sit ullo, agrestis et duri reor.
his addo et illud, liberum temet loco
mihi esse amore sanguinisque vinculo. 15
neque sat sit istud, ni sciam te litteras
hiantibusque faucibus veterum abdita
hausisse semper, esse patuli pectoris,
sensu capacem, talium iugem sitim
tuo esse cordi et esse te prae ceteris 20
memorem intimati. cur inefficaciter
secreta rerum in non tenacem effunderem?
in non seguacem quis profunda ogganniat?
multa ergo, multa compulere me, Probe,
efflagitatam rem tibi ut persolverem. 25
quin et parentis credidi officium fore,
desideratum si tibi locupletius
profusiusque Musa promeret mea.
dare expetitum quippe non parci viri est,
augere porro muneris summam novo 30
mentis benignae satque liberalis est.
interrogati, si tenes, Maeotici
situs quis esset aequoris. Sallustium
noram id dedisse, dicta et eius omnibus
praeiudicatae auctoritatis ducier 35
non abnuebam. ad eius igitur inclytam,
descriptionem, qua locorum formulam
imaginemque expressor efficax stili
et veritatis paene in optutus dedit
lepore linguae, multa rerum iunximus 40
ex plurimorum sumpta commentariis.
Hecataeus istic quippe erit Milesius
Hellanicusque Lesbius, Phileus quoque
Atheniensis, Caryandaeus Scylax,
Pausimachus inde, prisca quem genuit Samos, 45
quin et Damastus nobili natus Sige
Rhodoque Bacoris ortus, Euctemon quoque
popularis urbe Atticae Siculus Cleon,
Herodotus ipse Thurius, tum qui decus
magnum loquendi est, Atticus Thucydides. 50
hic porro habebis, pars mei cordis Probe,
quicquid per aequor insularum attollitur
(per aequor illud scilicet, quod post cava
hiantis orbis a freto Tartessio
Atlanticisque fluctibus procul sitam 55
in usque glaeba proruit nostrum mare)
sinusque curvos atque prominentia,
(ut se supino porrigat litus situ,
ut longe in undas inserant sese iuga)
celsaeque ut urbes alluantur aequore, 60
quis ortus amnis maximos effuderit,
ut prona ponti gurgitem intrant flumina
ut ipsa rursum saepe cingant insulas
sinuentque late ut tuta portus bracchia,
ut explicentur stagna, ceu iaceant lacus, 65
scruposum, ut alti verticem montes levent
stringatque nemora ut unda cana gurgitis.
laboris autem terminus nostri hic erit,
Scythicum ut profundum et aequor Euxini sali
et siquae in illo marmore insulae tument, 70
edisserantur. reliqua porro scripta sunt
nobis in illo plenius volumine,
quod de orbis oris partibusque fecimus.
ut aperta vero tibimet intimatio
sudoris huius et laboris sit mei 75
narrationem opusculi paulo altius
exordiemur. tu per intimum iecur
prolata conde, namque fulcit haec fides
petita longe et eruta ex auctoribus.
Terrae patentis orbis effuse iacet 80
orbique rursus unda circumfunditur.
sed qua profundum semet insinuat saxum
Oceano ab usque, ut gurges hic nostri maris
longe explicetur, est Atlanticus sinus.
hic Gadir urbs est, dicta Tartessus prius, 85
hic sunt columnae pertinacis Herculis
Abila atque Calpe, haec laeva dicti caespitis,
Libyae propinqua est Abila. duro perstrepunt
et prominentis hic iugi surgit caput,
Oestrymnin istud dixit aevum antiquius, 90
molesque celsa saxei fastigii
tota in tepentem maxime vergis notum.
sub huius autem prominentis vertice
sinus dehiscit incolis Oestrymnicus,
in quo insulae sese exerunt Oestrymnides, 95
laxe iacentes et metallo divites
stanni atque plumbi. multa vis hic gentis est,
superbus animus, efficax solertia,
negotiandi cura iugis omnibus,
netisque cumbis turbidum late fretum 100
et beluosi gurgitem Oceani secant.
non hi carinas quippe pinu texere
et acere norunt, non abiete, ut usus est,
curvant faselos, sed rei ad miraculum
navigia iunctis semper aptant pellibus 105
corioque vastum saepe percurrunt salum.
ast hinc duobus in sacram, sic insulam
dixere prisci, solibus cursus rati est.
haec inter undas multam caespitem iacet,
eamque late gens Hiernorum colit. 110
propinqua rursus insula Albionum patet.
Tartessiisque in terminos Oestrumnidum
negotiandi mos erat. Carthaginis
etiam coloni et vulgus inter Herculis
agitans columnas haec adibant aequora, 115
quae Himilco Poenus mensibus vix quattuor
ut ipse semet re probasse rettulit
enavigantem, posse transmitti adserit.
sic nulla late flabra propellunt ratem,
sic segnis umor aequoris pigri stupet. 120
adicit et illud: plurimum inter gurgites
extare fucum et saepe virgulti vice
retinere puppim. dicit hic nihilominus
non in profundum terga demitti maris
parvoque aquarum vix supertexi solum. 125
obire semper huc et huc ponti feras,
navigia lenta et languide repentia
internatare beluas. siquis dehinc
ab insulis Oestrymnicis lembum audeat
urgere in undas, axe qua Lycaonis 130
rigescit aethra, caespitem Ligurum subit
cassum incolarum. namque Celtarum manu
crebrisque dudum proeliis vacua arva sunt
Liguresque pulsi, ut saepe fors aliquos agit,
plerumque dumos. creber his scrupus locis 135
rigidaeque rupes atque montium minae
caelo inseruntur. et fugax gens haec quidem
diu inter arta cautium duxit diem
secreta ab undis. nam sali metuens erat
priscum ob periclum, post quies et otium 140
securitate roborante audaciam
persuasit altis devehi cubilibus
atque in marinos iam locos descendere.
post illa rursum quae supra facti sumus
magnus patescit aequoris fusi sinus 145
Ophiussam ad usque. rursum ab huius litore
internum ad aequor, qua mare insinuare se
dixi ante terris, quodque Sardum nuncupant,
septem dierum tenditur pediti via.
Ophiussa porro tanta panditur latus 150
quantam iacere Pelopis audis insulam
Graiorum in agro. haec dicta primo Oestrymnis est
locos et arva Oestrymnicis habitantibus,
post multa serpens effugavit incolas
vacuamque glaebam nominis fecit sui. 155
circumlatratque pontus insulas duas
tenue ob locorum inhospitas. Aryium
rursum tumescit prominens in asperum
septentrionem cursus autem hinc classibus
usque in columnas efficacis Herculis 160
quinque est dierum. post pelagia est insula
herbarum abundans adque Saturno sacra.
sed vis in illa tanta naturalis est,
ut siquis hanc innavigando accesserit,
mox excitetur propter insulam mare, 165
quatiatur ipsa et omne subsiliat salum
alte intremescens cetero ad stagni vicem
pelago silente. prominens surgit dehinc
Ophiussae in auras, abque Arvii iugo
in haec locorum bidui cursus patet. 170
at qui dehiscit inde prolixe sinus,
non totus uno facile navigabilis
vento recedit; namque medium accesseris
zephyro vehente, reliqua deposcunt notum.
et rusus inde si petat quisquam pede 175
Tartessiorum litus, exuperet viam
vix luce quarta. siquis ad nostrum mare
Malacaeque portum semitam tetenderit,
in quinque soles est iter. tum Cempsicum
iugum intumescit. subiacet porro insula 180
Achale vocata ab incolis. aegre est fides
narrationi prae rei miraculo,
sed quam frequens auctoritas sat fulciat,
aiunt in huius insulae confiniis
numquam esse formam gurgiti reliquo parem. 185
splendorem ubique quippe inesse fluctibus
vitri ad nitorem et per profundum marmoris
coeaneam in undis esse certum imaginem est.
confundi at illic aequor immundo luto
memorant vetusti semper atque sordibus 190
ut faeculentos gurgites haerescere.
Cempsi atque Sefes arduos collis habent
Ophiussae in agro. propter hos pernix Ligus
Draganumque proles sub nivoso maxime
septentrione conlocaverant larem. 195
Poetanion autem est insula ad Sefum latus
patulusque portus. inde Cempsis adiacent
populi Cynetum. tum Cyneticum iugum,
qua sideralis lucis inclinatio est,
alte tumescens ditis Europae extimum 200
in beluosi vergit Oceani salum.
Ana amnis illic per Cynetas effluit
sulcatque glaebam. panditur rursus sinus
cavusque caespes in meridiem patet.
memorato ab amni gemina sese flumina 205
scindunt repente perque praedicti sinus
crassum liquorem (quippe pinguescit luto
omne hic profundum) lenta trudunt agmina.
hic insularum semet alte subrigit
vertex duarum. nominis minor indiga est, 210
aliam vocavit mos tenax Agonida.
inhorret inde rupibus cautes sacra
Saturni et ipsa. fervet inlisum mare
litusque late saxeum distenditur.
hirtae hic capellae et multus incolis caper 215
dumosa semper intererrant caespitum,
castrorum in usum et nauticis velamina
productiores et graves setas alunt.
hinc dictum ad amnem solis unius via est,
genti et Cynetum hic terminus. Tartessius 220
ager his adhaeret adluitque caespitem
Tartessus amnis. inde tenditur iugum
Zephyro sacratum. denique arcis summitas
Zephyris vocata. celsa sed fastigia
iugo eriguntur verticis. multus tumor 225
conscendit auras et supersidens quasi
caligo semper nubilum condit caput.
regio omnis inde maxime herboso solo est,
nebulosa iuge his incolis convexa sunt,
coactus aer atque crassior dies 230
noctisque more ros frequens. nulla, ut solet,
flabra inferuntur, nullus aethram discutit
superne venti spiritus, pigra incubat
caligo terras et solum late madet.
Zephyridos arcem siquis excedat rate 235
et inferatur gurgiti nostri maris,
flabris vehetur protinus favonii.
Iugum inde rursus et sacrum infernae deae
divesque fanum, penetral abstrusi cavi
adytumque caecum. multa propter est palus 240
Erebea dicta. quin et Herbi civitas
stetisse fertur his locis prisca die,
quae proeliorum absumpta tempestatibus
famam atque nomen sala liquit caespiti.
at Hiberus inde manat amnis et locos 245
fecundat unda. plurimi ex ipso ferunt
dictos Hiberos, non ab illo flumine
nam quicquid amnem gentis huius adiacet
occiduum ad axem, Hiberiam cognominant.
pars porro eoa continet Tartessios 250
et Cilbicenos. Cartare post insula est
eamque pridem, influxa et est satis fides,
tenuere Cempsi. proximorum postea
pulsi duello, varia quaesitum loca
se protulere. Cassius inde mons tumet. 255
et Graia ab ipso lingua cassiterum prius
stannum vocavit. inde fani est prominens
et quae vetustum Graeciae nomen tenet,
Gerontis arx est eminus. namque ex ea
Geryona quondam nuncupatum accepimus. 260
hic ora late sunt sinus Tartessii.
dictoque ab amni in haec locorum puppibus
via est diei. Gadir hic est oppidum,
nam Punicorum lingua consaeptum locum
Gadir vocabat. ipsa Tartessus prius 265
cognominata est. multa et opulens civitas
aevo vetusto, nunc egena, nunc brevis,
nunc destituta, nunc ruinarum agger est.
nos hic locorum, praeter Herculaneam
solemnitatem vidimus miri nihil. 270
at vis in illis tanta vel tantum decus
aetate prisca sub fide rerum fuit,
rex ut superbus omniumque praepotens,
quos gens habebat forte tum Maurusia,
Octaviano principi acceptissimus 275
et litterarum semper in studio Iuba
interfluoque separatus aequore,
inlustriorem semet urbis istius
duumviratu crederet. sed insulam
Tartessus amnis ex Ligustino lacu 280
per aperta fusus undique adlapsu ligat.
neque iste tractu simplici provolvitur
unusve sulcat subiacentem caespitem,
tria ora quippe parte eoi luminis
infert in agros, ore bis gemino quoque 285
meridiana civitatis adluit.
at mons paludem incumbit Argentarius
sic a vetustis dictus ex specie sui.
stagno iste namque latera plurimo nitet
magisque in auras eminus lucem evomit, 290
cum sol ab igni celsa perculerit iuga.
idem amnis autem fluctibus stagni gravis
ramenta volvit invehitque moenibus
dives metallum. qua dehinc ab aequore
salsi fluenti vasta per medium soli 295
regio recedit, gens Etmaneum accolit.
atque inde rursus usque Cempsorum sata
Ileates agro se feraci porrigunt.
maritima vero Cilbiceni possident.
Gerontis arcem et prominens fani, ut supra 300
sumus elocuti, distinet medium salum
interque celsa, cautium cedit sinus.
iugum ad secundum flumen amplum evolvitur.
Tartessiorum mons dehinc attollitur
silvis opacus. hinc Erythia est insula 305
diffusa glaebam et iuris olim Punici.
habuere primo quippe eam Carthaginis
priscae coloni interfluoque scinditur
a continente quinque per stadia mari
Erythia. ab arce qua diei occasus est, 310
Veneri marinae consecrata est insula
templumque in illa veneris et penetral cavum
oraculumque. monte ab illo, quem tibi
horrere silvis dixeram, cum veneris,
litus recline et molle harenarum iacet, 315
in quas Besilus atque Cilbus flumina
urgent fluentum. post in occiduum diem
Sacrum superbas erigit cautes iugum.
locum, hunc vocavit Herma quondam Graecia.
est Herma porro caespitum munitio, 320
interfluumque altrinsecus munit lacum.
aliique rursus Herculis dicunt viam
stravisse quippe maria fertur Hercules,
iter ut pateret facile captivo gregi.
porro illud Herma iure sub Libyci soli 325
fuisse pridem plurimi auctores ferunt.
nec respuendus testis est Dionysius,
Libyae esse finem qui docet Tartessium.
Europae in agro, quod vocari ab incolis
Sacrum indicavi, prominens subducitur. 330
locos utrosque interfluit tenue fretum.
quod Herma porro aut Herculis dictum est via,
Amphipolis urbis incola Euctemon ait,
non plus habere longitudinis modo
quam porriguntur centum et octo milia 335
et distineri terras milibus tribus.
hic Herculanae stant columnae, quas modum
utriusque haberi continentis legimus.
sunt paria porro saxa prominentia
Abila atque Calpe. Calpe in Hispano solo, 340
Maurusiorum est Abila. namque Abilam vocant
gens Punicorum, mons quod altus barbaro est,
id est Latino, dici ut auctor Plautus est.
Calpeque rursum in Graecia species cavi
teretisque vis nuncupatur urcei. 345
Atheniensis dicit Euctemon item
non esse saxa aut vertices adsurgere
parte ex utraque. caespitem Libyci soli
Europae et oram memorat insulas duas
interiacere; nuncupari has Herculis 350
ait columnas; stadia triginta refert
has distinere; horrere silvis undique
inhospitasque semper esse nauticis.
inesse quippe dicit ollis Herculis
et templa et aras. invehi advenas rate, 355
deo litare, abire festino pede,
nefas putatum demorari in insulis.
circum atque iuxta plurimo tractu iacens
manere tradit tenue prolixe mare.
navigia onusta adire non valent locos 360
breve ob fluentum et pingue litoris lutum.
sed si voluntas forte quem subegerit
agere carinam, eximere classi pondera,
levique cymba sic superferri salo.
sed ad columnas quicquid interfunditur 365
undae aestuantis, stadia septem vix ait
Damastus esse. Caryandaeus Scylax
medium fluentum inter columnnas adserit
tantum patere quantus aestus Bosporo est.
ultra has columnas propter Europae latus 370
vicos et urbis incolae Carthaginis
tenuere quondam. mos at ollis hic erat,
ut planiore texerent fundo rates,
quo cymba tergum fusior brevius maris
praelaberetur. porro in occiduam plagam 375
ab his columnis gurgitem esse interminum,
late patere pelagus, extendi salum
Himilco tradit. nullus haec adiit freta,
nullus carinas aequor illud intulit,
desint quod alto flabra propellentia 380
nullusque puppim spiritus caeli iuvet,
dehinc quod aethram quodam amictu vesti at
caligo, semper nebula condat gurgitem
et crassiorem nubilum perstet die.
Oceanus iste est, orbis effusi procul 385
circumlatrator, iste pontus maximus,
hic gurges oras ambiens, hic intimi
salis inrigator, hic parens nostri maris.
plerosque quippe extrinsecus curvat sinus
nostrumque in orbem vis profundi inlabitur. 390
sed nos loquemur maximos tibi quattuor.
prima huius ergo in caespitem insinuatio est
Hesperius aestus atque Atlanticum salum;
Hyrcana rursus unda, Caspium mare;
salum Indicorum, terga fluctus Persici; 395
Arabsque gurges sub tepente iam noto.
hunc usus olim dixit Oceanum vetus.
Hyrcana rursus unda, Caspium mare;
longo explicatur gurges huius ambitu
produciturque latere prolixe vago. 400
Plerumque porro tenue tenditur salum,
ut vix harenas subiacentis occulat.
exuperat autem gurgitem fucus frequens,
atque impeditur aestus hic uligine.
vis beluarum pelagus omne internatat 405
multusque terror ex feris habitat freta.
haec olim Himilco Poenus Oceano super
spectasse semet et probasse rettulit.
haec nos ab imis Punicorum annalibus
prolata longo tempore edidimus tibi. 410
nunc iam recursus ad priora sit stilo.
igitur columnae, ut dixeram, Libystidis
Europae in agro adversa surgit altera.
hic Chrysus amnis intrat altum gurgitem,
ultra citraque quattuor gentes colunt. 415
nam sunt feroces hoc Libyphoenices loco
sunt Massieni, regna Cilbicene sunt
feracis agri et divites Tartessii,
qui porriguntur in Calacticum sinum.
hos propter autem mox iugum Barbetium est 420
Malachaeque flumen urbe cum cognomine
Menace priore quae vocata est saeculo.
Tartessiorum iuris illic insula
antistat urbem, Noctilucae ab incolis
sacrata pridem. in insula stagnum quoque 425
tutusque portus. oppidum Menace super.
qua sese ab undis regio dicta subtrahit,
Silurus alto mons tumet cacumine.
adsurgit inde vasta cautes et mare
intrat profundum. pinus hanc quondam frequens 430
ex se vocari sub sono Graio dedit.
fanumque ad usque veneris ac veneris iugum
litus recumbit. porro in isto litore
stetere crebrae civitates antea
Phoenixque multus habuit hos pridem locos. 435
inhospitales nunc harenas porrigit
deserta tellus, orba cultorum sola
squalent iacentque. veneris ab dicto iugo
spectatur Herma caespitis Libyci procul,
quod ante dixit. litus hic rursum patet 440
vacuum incolarum nunc et abiecti soli.
porro ante et urbes hic stetere plurimae
populique multi concelebrarunt locos.
Namnatius inde portus oppidum prope
se Massienum curvat alto ab aequore 445
sinuque in imo surgit altis moenibus
urbs Massiena. post iugum Trete eminet
brevisque iuxta Strongyle stat insula.
dehinc in huius insulae confiniis
immensa tergum latera diffundit palus. 450
Theodorus illic (nec stupori sit ibi
quod in feroci barbaroque sat loco
cognomen huius Graeciae accipis sono)
prorepit amnis. ista Phoenices prius
loca incolebant. rursus hinc se litoris 455
fundunt harenae et litus hoc tres insulae
cinxere late. hic terminus quondam stetit
Tartessiorum, hic Herna civitas fuit.
Gymnetes istos gens locos insederant
Sicani ad usque praefluentis alveum, 460
nunc destitutus et diu incolis carens
sibi sonorus Alebus amnis effluit.
post haec per undas insula est Gymnesia,
populo incolarum quae vetus nomen dedit,
Pityussae et inde proferunt sese insulae 465
Baliarium ac late insularum dorsa sunt.
et contra Hiberi in usque Pyrenae iugum
ius protulere propter interius mare
late locati. prima eorum civitas
Ilerda surgit. litus extendit dehinc 470
steriles harenas. Hemeroscopium quoque
habitata pridem hic civitas. nunc iam solum
vacuum incolarum languido stagno madet.
attollit inde se Sicana civitas,
propinquo ab amni sic vocata Hibericis. 475
neque longe ab huius fluminis divortio
praestringit amnis Tyrius oppidum Tyrin.
dumosa late terga regio porrigit.
Berybraces illic, gens agrestis et ferox,
pecorum frequentis intererrabat greges. 480
hi lacte semet atque pingui caseo
praedure alentes proferebant spiritum
vicem ad ferarum. post Crabrasiae iugum
procedit alte ac nuda litorum iacent
ad usque Onussae Cherronesi terminos. 485
palus per illa Naccararum extenditur.
hoc nomen isti nam paludi mos dedit
stagnique medio parva surgit insula
ferax olivi et hinc Minervae stat sacra.
fuere propter civitates plurimae. 490
quippe hic Hylactes Hystra Sarna et nobiles
Tyrichae stetere. nomen oppido vetus,
gazae incolarum maxime memorabiles,
per orbis oras. namque praeter caespitis
fecunditatem, qua pecus, qua palmitem, 495
qua dona flavae Cereris educat solum,
peregrina Hibero subvehuntur flumine.
iuxta superbum mons Sacer caput exerit
Oleumque flumen proxima agrorum secans
geminos iugorum vertices interfluit. 500
mons quippe Sellus nomen hoc monti est vetus,
ad usque celsa nubium subducitur
adstabat istum civitas Lebedontia
priore saeclo, nunc ager vacuus lare
lustra et ferarum sustinet cubilia. 505
post haec harenae plurimo tractu iacent,
per quas Salauris oppidum quondam stetit,
in quis et olim prisca Callipolis fuit,
Callipolis illa, quae per altam moenium
proceritatem et celsam per fastigia 510
subibat auras, quae laris vasti ambitu
latere ex utroque piscium semper ferax
stagnum premebat. inde Tarraco oppidum
et Barcilonum amoena sedes ditium.
nam pandit illic tuta portus brachia, 515
uvetque semper dulcibus tellus aquis.
post Indigetes asperi se proferunt,
gens ista dura, gens ferox venatibus
lustrisque inhaerens. tum iugum Celebanticum
in usque salsam dorsa porrigit Thetim. 520
hic adstitisse civitatem Cypselam
iam fama tantum est. nulla nam vestigia
prioris urbis asprum servat solum.
dehiscit illic maximo portus sinu
cavumque late caespitem inrepit salum. 525
post quae recumbit litus Indiceticum.
Pyrenae ad usque prominentis verticem.
post litus illud, quod iacere diximus
tractu supino, se Malodes exerit
mons inter undas et tument scopuli duo 530
geminusque vertex celsa nubium petit.
hos inter autem portus effuse iacet
nullisque flabris aequor est obnoxium.
sic omne, late praelocatis rupibus,
latus ambiere cautium cacumina, 535
interque saxa immobilis gurges latet,
quiescit aequor, pelagus inclusum stupet.
stagnum inde Toni montium in radicibus
Tononitaeque attollitur rupis iugum.
per quae sonorus volvit aequor spumeum 540
Anystus amnis et salum fluctu secat.
haec propter undas atque salsa sunt freta,
at quicquid agri cedit alto a gurgite,
Ceretes omne et Ausoceretes prius
habuere duri, nunc pari sub nomine 545
gens est Hiberum. Sordus inde denique
ac pertinentes usque ad interius mare
qua piniferae stant Pyrenae vertices
inter ferarum lustra ducebant diem
et arva late et gurgitem ponti premunt. 550
in Sordiceni caespitis confinio
quondam Pyrene civitas ditis laris
stetisse fertur hicque Massiliae incolae
negotiorum saepe versabant vices.
sed in Pyrenen ab columnis Herculis 555
Atlanticoque gurgite et confinio
Zephyridis orae cursus est celeri rati
septem dierum. post Pyrenaeum iugum
iacent harenae litoris Cynetici,
easque late sulcat amnis Rhoscynus. 560
hoc Sordicenae, ut diximus, glaebae solum est.
stagnum hic palusque quippe diffuse patet,
et incolae istam Sordicem cognominant.
praeterque vasti gurgitis crepulas aquas
(nam propter amplum marginis laxae ambitum 565
ventis tumescit saepe percellentibus)
stagno hoc ab ipso Sordus amnis effluit.
rursusque ab huius effluentis ostiis
* * *
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . <litus dehinc> 570
sinuatur alto et propria per dispendia
caespes cavatur, repit unda largior
molesque multa gurgitis distenditur.
tris namque in illo maximae stant insulae
saxisque duris pelagus interfunditur. 575
nec longe ab isto caespitis rupti sinus
alter dehiscit insulasque quattuor
(at priscus usus dixit has omnis Piplas)
ambit profundo. gens Elesycum prius
loca haec tenebat atque Naro civitas 580
erat ferocis maximum regni caput.
hic salsum in aequor amnis Attagus ruit
Heliceque rursus hic palus iuxta. dehinc
Besaram stetisse fama casca tradidit.
at nunc Heledus, nunc et Orobus flumina 585
vacuos per agros et ruinarum aggeres
amoenitatis indices priscae meant.
nec longe ab istis Thyrius alto evolvitur
. . . . . + cinorus agmen +. . . . . . . . . .
* * * 590
* * *
numquam excitentur fluctuum volumina
sternatque semper gurgitem Alcyonae quies.
vertex at huius cautis e regione se
illi eminenti porrigit, quod Candidum 595
dixi vocari. Blasco propter insula est
teretique forma caespes editur salo.
in continenti et inter adsurgentium
capita iugorum rursum harenosi soli
terga explicantur seque fundunt litora 600
orba incolarum. Setius inde mons tumet
procerus arcem et pinifer. Setii iugum
radice fusa in usque Taurum pertinet.
Taurum paludem namque gentici vocant
Orani propinquam flumini. huius alveo 605
Hibera tellus adque Ligyes asperi
intersecanur. hic sat angusti laris
tenuique censu civitas Polygium est.
tum Mansa vicus oppidumque Naustalo
et urbs impendet + haesicae gentis salo 610
* * *
* * *
* * *
eiusque in aequor Cassius amnis influit.
at Cimenice regio discedit procul 615
salso ab fluento, fusa multo caespite
et opaca silvis. nominis porro auctor est
mons dorsa celsus. huius imos aggeres
stringit fluento Rhodanus atque scrupeam
molem imminentis intererrat aequore. 620
Ligures ad undam semel interni maris
procul extulere. sed quasi exposcit locus
Rhodani ut fluentum plenius tibi disseram.
stili immorantis patere tracta, mi Probe.
quippe amnis ortum, gurgitis lapsum vagi, 625
quas iste gentis lambat unda fluminis
quantoque manet incolis compendio
et ostiorum fabimur divortia.
nivosum in auras erigunt Alpes iugum
a solis ortu et arva Gallici soli 630
intersecantur scrupeo fastigio
et anhela semper flabra tempestatibus.
effusus ille et ore semet exigens
hiantis antri vi truci sulcat sola
aquarum in ortu et fonte primo naviger 635
at rupis illud erigentis se latus,
quod edit amnem, gentici cognominant
solis columnam. tanto enim fastigio
in usque celsa nubium subducitur
meridianus sol ut oppositu iugi 640
conspicuus haut sit, cum relaturus diem
septentrionum accesserit confinia.
scis nam fuisse eius modi sententiam
Epicureorum: non eum occasu premi,
nullos subire gurgites, numquam occuli, 645
sed obire mundum, obliqua caeli currere,
animare terras, alere lucis pabulo
convexa cuncta et invicem regionibus
certis negati candidam Phoebi facem.
resi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 650
* * *
* * *
* * *
meridianam cum secuerit orbitam,
cum lumen axi Atlantico inclinaverit, 655
ut in supremos ignem Hyperboreos agat,
Acaemenioque semet ortui ferat,
discreta in aethrae flectitur curvo ambitu
metamque transit. cumque nostro obtutui
iubar negarit atra nox caelo ruit, 660
caecaeque nostra protinus tenebrae tegunt.
dies at illos clara tunc inluminat,
septentrione qui superposito rigent.
cum rursus umbra noctis arctoos habet,
genus omne nostrum splendidum ducit diem. 665
meat amnis autem a fonte per Tylangios,
per Daliternos, per Clahilcorum sata
Lemenicum et agrum - dura sat vocabula
auremque primam cuncta vulnerantia,
sed non silenda tibimet ob studium tuum 670
nostramque curam. panditur porro in decem
flexus recursu gurgitum. stagnum grave,
plerique tradunt, inserit semet dehinc,
vastam paludem, quam vetus mos Graeciae
vocitavit Accion, atque praecipites aquas 675
stagni per aequor egerit. rursum effluus
artansque sese fluminum ad formam, dehinc
Atlanticos in gurgites, nostrum in mare
et occidentem contuens, evolvitur
patulasque harenas quinque sulcat hostiis. 680
Arelatus illic civitas attollitur,
Theline vocata sub priore saeculo
Graio incolente. multa nos Rhodano super
narrare longo res subegerunt stilo.
at numquam in illud animus inclinabitur, 685
Europam ut isto flumine et Libyam adseram
disterminari. Phileus hoc quamquam vetus
putasse dicat incolas. despectui
derisuique inscitia haec sit barbara
et competente denotetur nomine. 690
cursus carnae biduo et binoctio est.
gens hinc Nearchi Bergineque civitas,
Salyes atroces, oppidum Mastrabalae
priscum paludis, terga celsum prominens,
quod incolentes Cecylistrium vocant, 695
Massilia et ipsa est, cuius urbis hic situs:
pro fronte litus praeiacet, tenuis via
patet inter undas, latera gurges adluit,
stagnum ambit urbem et unda lambit oppidum
laremque fusa civitas paene insula est, 700
sic aequor omne caespiti infudit manus.
labos at olim conditorum diligens
formam locorum et arva naturalia
evicit arte. siquae prisca te iuvat
haec in novella nominum deducere. 705

Periplus of the Erythaean Sea
1st Century CE

Map of the Periplus of the Erythaean Sea

Text of the Periplus of the Erythaean Sea
Ancient History Sourcebook:
The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea:
Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century

1. Of the designated ports on the Erythraean Sea, and the market-towns around it, the first is the Egyptian port of Mussel Harbor. To those sailing down from that place, on the right hand, after eighteen hundred stadia, there is Berenice. The harbors of both are at the boundary of Egypt, and are bays opening from the Erythraean Sea.

2. On the right-hand coast next below Berenice is the country of the Berbers. Along the shore are the Fish-Eaters, living in scattered caves in the narrow valleys. Further inland are the Berbers, and beyond them the Wild-flesh-Eaters and Calf-Eaters, each tribe governed by its chief; and behind them, further inland, in the country towards the west, there lies a city called Meroe.

3. Below the Calf-Eaters there is a little market-town on the shore after sailing about four thousand stadia from Berenice, called Ptolemais of the Hunts, from which the hunters started for the interior under the dynasty of the Ptolemies. This market-town has the true land-tortoise in small quantity; it is white and smaller in the shells. And here also is found a little ivory like that of Adulis. But the place has no harbor and is reached only by small boats.

4. Below Ptolemais of the Hunts, at a distance of about three thousand stadia, there is Adulis, a port established by law, lying at the inner end of a bay that runs in toward the south. Before the harbor lies the so-called Mountain Island, about two hundred stadia seaward from the very head of the bay, with the shores of the mainland close to it on both sides. Ships bound for this port now anchor here because of attacks from the land. They used formerly to anchor at the very head of the bay, by an island called Diodorus, close to the shore, which could be reached on foot from the land; by which means the barbarous natives attacked the island. Opposite Mountain Island, on the mainland twenty stadia from shore, lies Adulis, a fair-sized village, from which there is a three-days' journey to Coloe, an inland town and the first market for ivory. From that place to the city of the people called Auxumites there is a five days' journey more; to that place all the ivory is brought from the country beyond the Nile through the district called Cyeneum, and thence to Adulis. Practically the whole number of elephants and rhinoceros that are killed live in the places inland, although at rare intervals they are hunted on the seacoast even near Adulis. Before the harbor of that market-town, out at sea on the right hand, there lie a great many little sandy islands called Alalaei, yielding tortoise-shell, which is brought to market there by the Fish-Eaters.

5. And about eight hundred stadia beyond there is another very deep bay, with a great mound of sand piled up at the right of the entrance; at the bottom of which the opsian stone is found, and this is the only place where it is produced. These places, from the Calf-Eaters to the other Berber country, are governed by Zoscales; who is miserly in his ways and always striving for more, but otherwise upright, and acquainted with Greek literature.

6. There are imported into these places, undressed cloth made in Egypt for the Berbers; robes from Arsinoe; cloaks of poor quality dyed in colors; double-fringed linen mantles; many articles of flint glass, and others of murrhine, made in Diospolis; and brass, which is used for ornament and in cut pieces instead of coin; sheets of soft copper, used for cooking-utensils and cut up for bracelets and anklets for the women; iron, which is made into spears used against the elephants and other wild beasts, and in their wars. Besides these, small axes are imported, and adzes and swords; copper drinking-cups, round and large; a little coin for those coming to the market; wine of Laodicea and Italy, not much; olive oil, not much; for the king, gold and silver plate made after the fashion of the country, and for clothing, military cloaks, and thin coats of skin, of no great value. Likewise from the district of Ariaca across this sea, there are imported Indian iron, and steel, and Indian cotton cloth; the broad cloth called monache and that called sagmatogene, and girdles, and coats of skin and mallow-colored cloth, and a few muslins, and colored lac. There are exported from these places ivory, and tortoiseshell and rhinoceros-horn. The most from Egypt is brought to this market from the month of January to September, that is, from Tybi to Thoth; but seasonably they put to sea about the month of September.

7. From this place the Arabian Gulf trends toward the east and becomes narrowest just before the Gulf of Avalites. After about four thousand stadia, for those sailing eastward along the same coast, there are other Berber market-towns, known as the 'far-side' ports; lying at intervals one after the other, without harbors but having roadsteads where ships can anchor and lie in good weather. The first is called Avalites; to this place the voyage from Arabia to the far-side coast is the shortest. Here there is a small market-town called Avalites, which must be reached by boats and rafts. There are imported into this place, flint glass, assorted; juice of sour grapes from Diospolis; dressed cloth, assorted, made for the Berbers; wheat, wine, and a little tin. There are exported from the same place, and sometimes by the Berbers themselves crossing on rafts to Ocelis and Muza on the opposite shore, spices, a little ivory, tortoise-shell, and a very little myrrh, but better than the rest. And the Berbers who live in the place are very unruly.

8. After Avalites there is another market-town, better than this, called Malao, distant a sail of about eight hundred stadia. The anchorage is an open roadstead, sheltered by a spit running out from the east. Here the natives are more peaceable. There are imported into this place the things already mentioned, and many tunics, cloaks from Arsinoe, dressed and dyed; drinking-cups, sheets of soft copper in small quantity, iron, and gold and silver coin, not much. There are exported from these places myrrh, a little frankincense, (that known as far-side), the harder cinnamon, duaca, Indian copal and macir, which are imported into Arabia; and slaves, but rarely.

9. Two days' sail, or three, beyond Malao is the market-town of Mundus, where the ships lie at anchor more safely behind a projecting island close to the shore. There are imported into this place the things previously set forth, and from it likewise are exported the merchandise already stated, and the incense called mocrotu. And the traders living here are more quarrelsome.

10. Beyond Mundus, sailing toward the east, after another two days' sail, or three, you reach Mosyllum, on a beach, with a bad anchorage. There are imported here the same things already mentioned, also silver plate, a very little iron, and glass. There are shipped from the place a great quantity of cinnamon, (so that this market-town requires ships of larger size), and fragrant gums, spices, a little tortoise shell, and mocrotu, (poorer, than that of Mundus), frankincense, (the far-side), ivory and myrrh in small quantities.

11. Sailing along the coast beyond Mosyllum, after a two days' course you come to the so-called Little Nile River, and a fine spring, and a small laurel-grove, and Cape Elephant. Then the shore recedes into a bay, and has a river, called Elephant, and a large laurel-grove called Acannae; where alone is produced the far-side frankincense, in great quantity and of the best grade.

12. Beyond this place, the coast trending toward the south, there is the Market and Cape of Spices, an abrupt promontory, at the very end of the Berber coast toward the east. The anchorage is dangerous at times from the ground-swell, because the place is exposed to the north. A sign of an approaching storm which is peculiar to the place, is that the deep water becomes more turbid and changes its color. When this happens they all run to a large promontory called Tabae, which offers safe shelter. There are imported into this market town the things already mentioned; and there are produced in it cinnamon (and its different varieties, gizir, asypha, areho, iriagia, and moto) and frankincense.

13. Beyond Tabae, after four hundred stadia, there is the village of Pano. And then, after sailing four hundred stadia along a promontory, toward which place the current also draws you, there is another market-town called Opone, into which the same things are imported as those already mentioned, and in it the greatest quantity of cinnamon is produced, (the arebo and moto), ind slaves of the better sort, which are brought to Egypt in increasing numbers; and a great quantity of tortoiseshell, better than that found elsewhere.

14. The voyage to all these farside market-towns is made from Egypt about the month of July, that is Epiphi. And ships are also customarily fitted out from the places across this sea, from Ariaca and Barygaza, bringing to these far-side market-towns the products of their own places; wheat, rice, clarified butter, sesame oil, cotton cloth, (the monache and the sagmatogene), and girdles, and honey from the reed called sacchari. Some make the voyage especially to these market-towns, and others exchange their cargoes while sailing along the coast. This country is not subject to a King, but each market-town is ruled by its separate chief.

15. Beyond Opone, the shore trending more toward the south, first there are the small and great bluffs of Azania; this coast is destitute of harbors, but there are places where ships can lie at anchor, the shore being abrupt; and this course is of six days, the direction being south-west. Then come the small and great beach for another six days' course and after that in order, the Courses of Azania, the first being called Sarapion and the next Nicon; and after that several rivers and other anchorages, one after the other, separately a rest and a run for each day, seven in all, until the Pyralax islands and what is called the channel; beyond which, a little to the south of south-west, after two courses of a day and night along the Ausanitic coast, is the island Menuthias, about three hundred stadia from the mainland, low and and wooded, in which there are rivers and many kinds of birds and the mountain-tortoise. There are no wild beasts except the crocodiles; but there they do not attack men. In this place there are sewed boats, and canoes hollowed from single logs, which they use for fishing and catching tortoise. In this island they also catch them in a peculiar wav, in wicker baskets, which they fasten across the channel-opening between the breakers.

16. Two days' sail beyond, there lies the very last market-town of the continent of Azania, which is called Rhapta; which has its name from the sewed boats (rhapton ploiarion) already mentioned; in which there is ivory in great quantity, and tortoise-shell. Along this coast live men of piratical habits, very great in stature, and under separate chiefs for each place. The Mapharitic chief governs it under some ancient right that subjects it to the sovereignty of the state that is become first in Arabia. And the people of Muza now hold it under his authority, and send thither many large ships; using Arab captains and agents, who are familiar with the natives and intermarry with them, and who know the whole coast and understand the language.

17. There are imported into these markets the lances made at Muza especially for this trade, and hatchets and daggers and awls, and various kinds of glass; and at some places a little wine, and wheat, not for trade, but to serve for getting the good-will of the savages. There are exported from these places a great quantity of ivory, but inferior to that of Adulis, and rhinoceros-horn and tortoise-shell (which is in best demand after that from India), and a little palm-oil.

18. And these markets of Azania are the very last of the continent that stretches down on the right hand from Berenice; for beyong these places the unexplored ocean curves around toward the west, and running along by the regions to the south of Aethiopia and Libya and Africa, it mingles with the western sea.

19. Now to the left of Berenice, sailing for two or three days from Mussel Harbor eastward across the adjacent gulf, there is another harbor and fortified place, which is called White Village, from which there is a road to Petra, which is subject to Malichas, King of the Nabataeans. It holds the position of a market-town for the small vessels sent there from Arabia; and so a centurion is stationed there as a collector of one-fourth of the merchandise imported, with an armed force, as a garrison.

20. Directly below this place is the adjoining country of Arabia, in its length bordering a great distance on the Erythraean Sea. Different tribes inhabit the country, differing in their speech, some partially, and some altogether. The land next the sea is similarly dotted here and there with caves of the Fish-Eaters, but the country inland is peopled by rascally men speaking two languages, who live in villages and nomadic camps, by whom those sailing off the middle course are plundered, and those surviving shipwrecks are taken for slaves. And so they too are continually taken prisoners by the chiefs and kings of Arabia; and they are called Carnaites. Navigation is dangerous along this whole coast of Arabia, which is without harbors, with bad anchorages, foul, inaccessible because of breakers and rocks, and terrible in every way. Therefore we hold our course down the middle of the gulf and pass on as fast as possible by the country of Arabia until we come to the Burnt Island; directly below which there are regions of peaceful people, nomadic, pasturers of cattle, sheep and camels.

21. Beyond these places, in a bay at the foot of the left side of this gulf, there is a place by the shore called Muza, a market-town established by law, distant altogether from Berenice for those sailing southward, about twelve thousand stadia. And the whole place is crowded with Arab shipowners and seafaring men, and is busy with the affairs of commerce; for they carry on a trade with the far-side coast and with Barygaza, sending their own ships there.

22. Three days inland from this port there is a city called Saua, in the midst of the region called Mapharitis; and there is a vassal-chief named Cholaebus who lives in that city.

23. And after nine days more there is Saphar, the metropolis, in which lives Charibael, lawful king of two tribes, the Homerites and those living next to them, called the Sabaites; through continual embassies and gifts, he is a friend of the Emperors.

24. The market-town of Muza is without a harbor, but has a good roadstead and anchorage because of the sandy bottom thereabouts, where the anchors hold safely. The merchandise imported there consists of purple cloths, both fine and coarse; clothing in the Arabian style, with sleeves; plain, ordinary, embroidered, or interwoven with gold; saffron, sweet rush, muslins, cloaks, blankets (not many), some plain and others made in the local fashion; sashes of different colors, fragrant ointments in moderate quantity, wine and wheat, not much. For the country produces grain in moderate amount, and a great deal of wine. And to the King and the Chief are given horses and sumpter-mules, vessels of gold and polished silver, finely woven clothing and copper vessels. There are exported from the same place the things produced in the country: selected myrrh, and the Gebanite-Minaean stacte, alabaster and all the things already mentioned from Avalites and the far-side coast. The voyage to this place is made best about the month of September, that is Thoth; but there is nothing to prevent it even earlier.

25. After sailing beyond this place about three hundred stadia, the coast of Arabia and the Berber country about the Avalitic gulf now coming close together, there is a channel, not long in extent, which forces the sea together and shuts it into a narrow strait, the passage through which, sixty stadia in length, the island Diodorus divides. Therefore the course through it is beset with rushing currents and with strong winds blowing down from the adjacent ridge of mountains. Directly on this strait by the shore there is a village of Arabs, subject to the same chief, called Ocelis; which is not so much a market-town as it is an anchorage and watering-place and the first landing for those sailing into the gulf.

26. Beyond Ocelis, the sea widening again toward the east and soon giving a view of the open ocean, after about twelve hundred stadia there is Eudaemon Arabia, a village by the shore, also of the Kingdom of Charibael, and having convenient anchorages, and watering places, sweeter and better than those at Ocelis; it lies at the entrance of a bay, and the land recedes from it. It was called Eudaemon, because in the early days of the city when the voyage was not yet made from India to Egypt, and when they did not dare to sail from Egypt to the ports across this ocean, but all came together at this place, it received the cargoes from both countries, just as Alexandria now receives the things brought both from abroad and from Egypt. But not long before our own time Charibael destroyed the place.

27. After Eudaemon Arabia there is a continuous length of coast, and a bay extending two thousand stadia or more, along which there are Nomads and Fish-Eaters living in villages; just beyond the cape projecting from this bay there is another market-town by the shore, Cana, of the Kingdom of Eleazus, the Frankincense Country; and facing it there are two desert islands, one called Island of Birds, the other Dome Island, one hundred and twenty stadia from Cana. Inland from this place lies the metropolis Sabbatha, in which the King lives. All the frankincense produced in the country is brought by camels to that place to be stored, and to Cana on rafts held up by inflated skins after the manner of the country, and in boats. And this place has a trade also with the far-side ports, with Barygaza. and Scythia and Ommana and the neighboring coast of Persia.

28. There are imported into this place from Egypt a little wheat and wine, as at Muza; clothing in the Arabian style, plain and common and most of it spurious; and copper and tin and coral and storax and other things such as go to Muza; and for the King usually wrought gold and silver plate, also horses, images, and thin clothing of fine quality. And there are exported from this place, native produce, frankincense and aloes, and the rest of the things that enter into the trade of the other ports. The voyage to this place is best made at the same time as that to Muza, or rather earlier.

29. Beyond Cana, the land receding greatly, there follows a very deep bay stretching a great way across, which is called Sachalites; and the Frankincense Country, mountainous and forbidding, wrapped in thick clouds and fog, and yielding frankincense from the trees. These incense-bearing trees are not of great height or thickness; they bear the frankincense sticking in drops on the bark, just as the trees among us in Egypt weep their gum. The frankincense is gathered by the King's slaves and those who are sent to this service for punishment. For these places are very unhealthy, and pestilential even to those sailing along the coast; but almost always fatal to those working there, who also perish often from want of food.

30. On this bay there is a very great promontory facing the east, called Syagrus; on which is a fort for the defence of the country, and a harbor and storehouse for the frankincense that is collected; and opposite this cape, well out at sea, there is an island, lying between it and the Cape of Spices opposite, but nearer Syagrus: it is called Dioscorida, and is very large but desert and marshy, having rivers in it and crocodiles and many snakes and great lizards, of which the flesh is eaten and the fat melted and used instead of olive oil. The island yields no fruit, neither vine nor grain. The inhabitants are few and they live on the coast toward the north, which from this side faces the continent. They are foreigners, a mixture of Arabs and Indians and Greeks, who have emigrated to carry on trade there. The island produces the true sea-tortoise, and the land-tortoise, and the white tortoise which is very numerous and preferred for its large shells; and the mountain-tortoise, which is largest of all and has the thickest shell; of which the worthless specimens cannot be cut apart on the under side, because they are even too hard; but those of value are cut apart and the shells made whole into caskets and small plates and cake-dishes and that sort of ware. There is also produced in this island cinnabar, that called Indian, which is collected in drops from the trees.

31. It happens that just as Azania is subject to Charibael and the Chief of Mapharitis, this island is subject to the King of the Frankincense Country. Trade is also carried on there by some people from Muza and by those who chance to call there on the voyage from Damirica and Barygaza; they bring in rice and wheat and Indian cloth, and a few female slaves; and they take for their exchange cargoes, a great quantity of tortoise-shell. Now the island is farmed out under the Kings and is garrisoned.

32. Immediately beyond Syagrus the bay of Omana cuts deep into the coast-line, the width of it being six hundred stadia; and beyond this there are mountains, high and rocky and steep, inhabited by cave-dwellers for five hundred stadia more; and beyond this is a port established for receiving the Sachalitic frankincense; the harbor is called Moscha, and ships from Cana call there regularly; and ships returning from Damirica and Barygaza, if the season is late, winter there, and trade with the King's officers, exchanging their cloth and wheat and sesame oil for frankincense, which lies in heaps all over the Sachalitic country, open and unguarded, as if the place were under the protection of the gods; for neither openly nor by stealth can it be loaded on board ship without the King's permission; if a single grain were loaded without this, the ship could not clear from the harbor.

33. Beyond the harbor of Moscha for about fifteen hundred stadia as far as Asich, a mountain range runs along the shore; at the end of which, in a row, lie seven islands, called Zenobian. Beyond these there is a barbarous region which is no longer of the same Kingdom, but now belongs to Persia. Sailing along this coast well out at sea for two thousand stadia from the Zenobian Islands, there meets you an island called Sarapis, about one hundred and twenty stadia from the mainland. It is about two hundred stadia wide and six hundred long, inhabited by three settlements of Fish-Eaters, a villainous lot, who use the Arabian language and wear girdles of palm-leaves. The island produces considerable tortoise-shell of fine quality, and small sailboats and cargo-ships are sent there regularly from Cana.

34. Sailing along the coast, which trends northward toward the entrance of the Persian Sea, there are many islands known as the Calxi, after about two thousand stadia, extending along the shore. The inhabitants are a treacherous lot, very little civilized.

35. At the upper end of these Calaei islands is a range of mountains called Calon, and there follows not far beyond, the mouth of the Persian Gulf, where there is much diving for the pearl-mussel. To the left of the straits are great mountains called Asabon, and to the right there rises in full view another round and high mountain called Semiramis; between them the passage across the strait is about six hundred stadia; beyond which that very great and broad sea, the Persian Gulf, reaches far into the interior. At the upper end of this Gulf there is a market-town designated by law called Apologus, situated near Charax Spasini and the River Euphrates.

36. Sailing through the mouth of the Gulf, after a six-days' course there is another market-town of Persia called Ommana. To both of these market-towns large vessels are regularly sent from Barygaza, loaded with copper and sandalwood and timbers of teakwood and logs of blackwood and ebony. To Ommana frankincense is also brought from Cana, and from Ommana to Arabia boats sewed together after the fashion of the place; these are known as madarata. From each of these market-towns, there are exported to Barygaza and also to Arabia, many pearls, but inferior to those of lndia; purple, clothing after the fashion of the place, wine, a great quantity of dates, gold and slaves.

37. Beyond the Ommanitic region there is a country also of the Parsids, of another Kingdom, and the bay of Gedrosia, from the middle of which a cape juts out into the bay. Here there is a river affording an entrance for ships, with a little market-town at the mouth, called Oraea; and back from the place an inland city, distant a seven days' journey from the sea, in which also is the King's court; it is called ----- (probably Rhambacia). This country yields much, wheat, wine, rice and dates; but along the coast there is nothing but bdellium.

38. Beyond this region, the continent making a wide curve from the east across the depths of the bays, there follows the coast district of Scythia, which lies above toward the north; the whole marshy; from which flows down the river Sinthus, the greatest of all the rivers that flow into the Erythraean Sea, bringing down an enormous volume of water; so that a long. way out at sea, before reaching this country, the water of the ocean is fresh from it. Now as a sign of approach to this country to those coming from the sea, there are serpents coming forth from the depths to meet you; and a sign of the places just mentioned and in Persia, are those called graoe. This river has seven mouths, very shallow and marshy, so that they are not navigable, except the one in the middle; at which by the shore, is the market-town, Barbaricum. Before it there lies a small island, and inland behind it is the metropolis of Scythia, Minnagara; it is subject to Parthian princes who are constantly driving each other out.

39. The ships lie at anchor at Barbaricum, but all their cargoes are carried up to the metropolis by the river, to the King. There are imported into this market a great deal of thin clothing, and a little spurious; figured linens, topaz, coral, storax, frankincense, vessels of glass, silver and gold plate, and a little wine. On the other hand there are exported costus, bdellium, lycium, nard, turquoise, lapis lazuli, Seric skins, cotton cloth, silk yarn, and indigo. And sailors set out thither with the Indian Etesian winds, about the, month of July, that is Epiphi: it is more dangerous then, but through these winds the voyage is more direct, and sooner completed.

40. Beyond the river Sinthus there is another gulf, not navigable, running in toward the north; it is called Eirinon; its parts are called separately the small gulf and the great; in both parts the water is shallow, with shifting sandbanks occurring continually and a great way from shore; so that very often when the shore is not even in sight, ships run aground, and if they attempt to hold their course they are wrecked. A promontory stands out from this gulf, curving around from Eirinon toward the East, then South, then West, and enclosing the gulf called Baraca, which contains seven islands. Those who come to the entrance of this bay escape it by putting about a little and standing further out to sea; but those who are drawn inside into the gulf of Baraca are lost; for the waves are high and very violent, and the sea is tumultuous and foul, and has eddies and rushing whirlpools. The bottom is in some places abrupt, and in others rocky and sharp, so that the anchors lying there are parted, some being quickly cut off, and others chafing on the bottom. As a sign of these places to those approaching from the sea there are serpents, very large and black; for at the other places on this coast and around Barygazal, they are smaller, and in color bright green, running into gold.

41. Beyond the gulf of Baraca is that of Barygaza and the coast of the country of Ariaca, which is the beginning of the Kingdom of Nambanus and of all India. That part of it lying inland and adjoining Scythia is called Abiria, but the coast is called Syrastrene. It is a fertile country, yielding wheat and rice and sesame oil and clarified butter, cotton and the Indian cloths made therefrom, of the coarser sorts. Very many cattle are pastured there, and the men are of great stature and black in color. The metropolis of this country is Minnagara, from which much cotton cloth is brought down to Barygaza. In these places there remain even to the present time signs of the expedition of Alexander, such as ancient shrines, walls of forts and great wells. The sailing course along this coast, from Barbaricum to the promontory called Papica opposite Barygaza, and before Astacampra, is of three thousand stadia.

42. Beyond this there is another gulf exposed to the sea-waves, running up toward the north, at the mouth of which there is an island called Baeones; at its innermost part there is a great river called Mais. Those sailing to Barygaza pass across this gulf, which is three hundred stadia in width, leaving behind to their left the island just visible from their tops toward the east, straight to the very mouth of the river of Barygaza; and this river is called Nammadus.

43. This gulf is very narrow to Barygaza and very hard to navigate for those coming from the ocean; this is the case with both the right and left passages, but there is a better passage through the left. For on the right at the very mouth of the gulf there lies a shoal, long and narrow, and full of rocks, called Herone, facing the village of Cammoni; and opposite this on the left projects the promontory that lies before Astacampra, which is called Papica, and is a bad anchorage because of the strong current setting in around it and because the anchors are cut off, the bottom being rough and rocky. And even if the entrance to the gulf is made safely, the mouth of the river at Barygaza is found with difficulty, because the shore is very low and cannot be made out until you are close upon it. And when, you have found it the passage is difficult because of the shoals at the mouth of the river.

44. Because of this, native fishermen in the King's service, stationed at the very entrance in well-manned large boats called tappaga and cotymba, go up the coast as far as Syrastrene, from which they pilot vessels to Barygaza. And they steer them straight from the mouth of the bay between the shoals with their crews; and they tow them to fixed stations, going up with the beginning of the flood, and lying through the ebb at anchorages and in basins. These basins are deeper places in the river as far as Barygaza; which lies by the river, about three hundred stadia up from the mouth.

45. Now the whole country of India has very many rivers, and very great ebb and flow of the tides; increasing at the new moon, and at the full moon for three days, and falling off during the intervening days of the moon. But about Barygaza it is much greater, so that the bottom is suddenly seen, and now parts of the dry land are sea, and now it is dry where ships were sailing just before; and the rivers, under the inrush of the flood tide, when the whole force of the sea is directed against them, are driven upwards more strongly against their natural current, for many stadia.

46. For this reason entrance and departure of vessels is very dangerous to those who are inexperienced or who come to this market-town for the first time. For the rush of waters at the incoming tide is irresistible, and the anchors cannot hold against it; so that large ships are caught up by the force of it, turned broadside on through the speed of the current, and so driven on the shoals and wrecked; and smaller boats are overturned; and those that have been turned aside among the channels by the receding waters at the ebb, are left on their sides, and if not held on an even keel by props, the flood tide comes upon them suddenly and under the first head of the current they are filled with water. For there is so great force in the rush of the sea at the new moon, especially during the flood tide at night, that if you begin the entrance at the moment when the waters are still, on the instant there is borne to you at the mouth of the river, a noise like the cries of an army heard from afar; and very soon the sea itself comes rushing in over the shoals with a hoarse roar.

47. The country inland from Barygaza is inhabited by numerous tribes, such as the Arattii, the Arachosii, the Gandaraei and the people of Poclais, in which is Bucephalus Alexandria. Above these is the very warlike nation of the Bactrians, who are under their own king. And Alexander, setting out from these parts, penetrated to the Ganges, leaving aside Damirica and the southern part of India; and to the present day ancient drachmae are current in Barygaza, coming from this country, bearing inscriptions in Greek letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander, Apollodorus and Menander.

48. Inland from this place and to the east, is the city called Ozene, formerly a royal capital; from this place are brought down all things needed for the welfare of the country about Barygaza, and many things for our trade: agate and carnelian, Indian muslins and mallow cloth, and much ordinary cloth. Through this same region and from the upper country is brought the spikenard that comes through Poclais; that is, the Caspapyrene and Paropanisene and Cabolitic and that brought through the adjoining country of Scythia; also costus and bdellium.

49. There are imported into this market-town, wine, Italian preferred, also Laodicean and Arabian; copper, tin, and lead; coral and topaz; thin clothing and inferior sorts of all kinds; bright-colored girdles a cubit wide; storax, sweet clover, flint glass, realgar, antimony, gold and silver coin, on which there is a profit when exchanged for the money of the country; and ointment, but not very costly and not much. And for the King there are brought into those places very costly vessels of silver, singing boys, beautiful maidens for the harem, fine wines, thin clothing of the finest weaves, and the choicest ointments. There are exported from these places spikenard, costus, bdellium, ivory, agate and carnelian, lycium, cotton cloth of all kinds, silk cloth, mallow cloth, yarn, long pepper and such other things as are brought here from the various market-towns. Those bound for this market-town from Egypt make the voyage favorably about the month of July, that is Epiphi.

50. Beyond Barygaza the adjoining coast extends in a straight line from north to south; and so this region is called Dachinabades, for dachanos in the language of the natives means 'south.' The inland country back from the coast toward the east comprises many desert regions and great mountains; and all kinds of wild beasts -- leopards, tigers, elephants, enormous serpents, hyenas, and baboons of many sorts; and many populous nations, as far as the Ganges.

51. Among the market-towns of Dachinabades there are two of special importance; Paethana, distant about twenty days' journey south from Barygaza; beyond which, about ten days' journey east, there is another very great city, Tagara. There are brought down to Barygaza from these places by wagons and through great tracts without roads, from Paethana carnelian in great quantity, and from Tagara much common cloth, all kinds of muslins and mallow cloth, and other merchandise brought there locally from the regions along the sea-coast. And the whole course to the end of Damirica is seven thousand stadia; but the distance is greater to the Coast Country.

52. The market-towns of this region are, in order, after Barygaza: Suppara, and the city of Calliena, which in the time of the elder Saraganus became a lawful market-town; but since it came into the possession of Sandares the port is much obstructed, and Greek ships landing there may chance to be taken to Barygaza under guard.

53. Beyond Calliena there are other market-towns of this region; Semylla, Mandagora, Palaepatmoe, Melizigara, Byzantium, Togarum and Aurannoboas. Then there are the islands called Sesecrienae and that of the Aegidii, and that of the Caenitae, opposite the place called Chersonesus (and in these places there are pirates), and after this the White Island. Then come Naura and Tyndis, the first markets of Damirica, and then Muziris and Nelcynda, which are now of leading importance.

54. Tyndis is of the Kingdom of Cerobothra; it is a village in plain sight by the sea. Muziris, of the same kingdom, abounds in ships sent there with cargoes from Arabia, and by the Greeks; it is located on a river, distant from Tyndis by river and sea five hundred stadia, and up the river from the shore twenty stadia. Nelcynda is distant from Muziris by river and sea about five hundred stadia, and is of another Kingdom, the Pandian. This place also is situated on a river, about one hundred and twenty stadia from the sea.

55. There is another place at the mouth of this river, the village of Bacare, to which ships drop down on the outward voyage from Nelcynda, and anchor in the roadstead to take on their cargoes; because the river is full of shoals and the channels are not clear. The kings of both these market-towns live in the interior. And as a sign to those approaching these places from the sea there are serpents coming forth to meet you, black in color, but shorter, like snakes in the head, and with blood-red eyes.

56. They send large ships to these market-towns on account of the great quantity and bulk of pepper and malabathrum. There are imported here, in the first place, a great quantity of coin; topaz, thin clothing, not much; figured linens, antimony, coral, crude glass, copper, tin, lead; wine, not much, but as much as at Barygaza; realgar and orpiment; and wheat enough for the sailors, for this is not dealt in by the merchants there. There is exported pepper, which is produced in quantity in only one region near these markets, a district called Cottonara. Besides this there are exported great quantities of fine pearls, ivory, silk cloth, spikenard from the Ganges, malabathrum from the places in the interior, transparent stones of' all kinds, diamonds and sapphires, and tortoise-shell; that from Chryse Island, and that taken among the islands along the coast of Damirica. They make the voyage to this place in a favorable season who set out from Egypt about the month of July, that is Epiphi.

57. This whole voyage as above described, from Cana and Eudaemon Arabia, they used to make in small vessels, sailing close around the shores of the gulfs; and Hippalus was the pilot who by observing the location of the ports and the conditions of the sea, first discovered how to lay his course straight across the ocean. For at the same time when with us the Etesian winds are blowing, on the shores of India the wind sets in from the ocean, and this southwest wind is called Hippalus, from the name of him who first discovered the passage across. From that time to the present day ships start, some direct from Cana, and some from the Cape of Spices; and those bound for Damirica throw the shlp's head considerably off the wind; while those bound for Barygaza and Scythia keep along shore not more than three days and for the rest of the time hold the same course straight out to sea from that region, with a favorable wind, quite away from the land, and so sail outside past the aforesaid gulfs.

58. Beyond Bacare there is the Dark Red Mountain, and another district stretching along the coast toward the south, called Paralia. The first place is called Balita; it has a fine harbor and a village by the shore. Beyond this there is another place called Comari, at which are the Cape of Comari and a harbor; hither come those men who wish to consecrate themselves for the rest of their lives, and bathe and dwell in celibacy; and women also do the same; for it is told that a goddess once dwelt here and bathed.

59. From Comari toward the south this region extends to Colchi, where the pearl-fisheries are; (they are worked by condemned criminals); and it belongs to the Pandian Kingdom. Beyond Colchi there follows another district called the Coast Country, which lies on a bay, and has a region inland called Argaru. At this place, and nowhere else, are bought the pearls gathered on the coast thereabouts; and from there are exported muslins, those called Argaritic.

60. Among the market-towns of these countries, and the harbors where the ships put in from Damirica and from the north, the most important are, in order as they lie, first Camara, then Poduca, then Sopatma; in which there are ships of the country coasting along the shore as far as Damirica; and other very large vessels made of single logs bound together, called sangara; but those which make the voyage to Chryse and to the Ganges are called colandia, and are very large. There are imported into these places everything made in Damirica, and the greatest part of what is brought at any time from Egypt comes here, together with most kinds of all the things that are brought from Damirica and of those that are carried through Paralia.

61. About the following region, the course trending toward the east, lying out at sea toward the west is the island Palaesimundu, called by the ancients Taprobane. The northern part is a day's journey distant, and the southern part trends gradually toward the west, and almost touches the opposite shore of Azania. It produces pearls, transparent stones, muslins, and tortoise-shell.

62. About these places is the region of Masalia stretching a great way along the coast before the inland country; a great quantity of muslins is made there. Beyond this region, sailing toward the cast and crossing the adjacent bay, there is the region of Dosarene, yielding the ivory known as Dosarenic. Beyond this, the course trending toward the north, there are many barbarous tribes, among whom are the Cirrhadae, a race of men with flattened noses, very savage; another tribe, the Bargysi; and the Horse-faces and the Long-faces, who are said to be cannibals.

63. After these, the course turns toward the east again, and sailing with the ocean to the right and the shore remaining beyond to the left, Ganges comes into view, and near it the very last land toward the east, Chryse. There is a river near it called the Ganges, and it rises and falls in the same way as the Nile. On its bank is a market-town which has the same name as the river, Ganges. Through this place are brought malabathrum and Gangetic spikenard and pearls, and rnuslins of the finest sorts, which are called Gangetic. It is said that there are gold-mines near these places, and there is a gold coin which is called caltis. And just opposite this river there is an island in the ocean, the last part of the inhabited world toward the cast, under the rising sun itself; it is called Chryse; and it has the best tortoise-shell of all the places on the Erythraean Sea.

64. After this region under the very north, the sea outside ending in a land called This, there is a very great inland city called Thinae, from which raw silk and silk yarn and silk cloth are brought on foot through Bactria to Barygaza, and are also exported to Damirica by way of the river Ganges. But the land of This is not easy of access; few men come from there, and seldom. The country lies under the Lesser Bear, and is said to border on the farthest parts of Pontus and the Caspian Sea, next to which lies Lake Maeotis; all of which empty into the ocean.

65. Every year on the borders of the land of This there comes together a tribe of men with short bodies and broad, flat faces, and by nature peaceable; they are called Besatae, and are almost entirely uncivilized. They come with their wives and children, carrying great packs and plaited baskets of what looks like green grape-leaves. They meet in a place between their own country and the land of This. There they hold a feast for several days, spreading out the baskets under themselves as mats, and then return to their own places in the interior. And then the natives watching them come into that place and gather up their mats; and they pick out from the braids the fibers which they call petri. They lay the leaves closely together in several layers and make them into balls, which they pierce with the fibers from the mats. And there are three sorts; those made of the largest leaves are called the large-ball malabathrum; those of the smaller, the medium-ball; and those of the smallest, the small-ball. Thus there exist three sorts of malabathrum, and it is brought into India by those who prepare it.

66. The regions beyond these places are either difficult of access because of their excessive winters and great cold, or else cannot be sought out because, of some divine influence of the gods.


W.H. Schoff (tr. & ed.), The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century (London, Bombay & Calcutta 1912).

Periplus Ponti Euxini, "Indica"
Arrian, 2nd Century CE

Both these links are for downloadable pdfs from googlebooks
Arrians Voyage Round the Euxine Sea (http://books.google.com/books?id=ldQTAAAAYAAJ&dq=arrian%27s+voyage+round+the+euxine+sea&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=MUMgsa77fp&sig=eBqPuxUCrBDm5W9_pleBNmVoblk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPP7,M1)

The Voyage of Nearchus (http://books.google.ie/books?id=j28GAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:Arrian&lr=)

Arrians Indica
Tr. E. Iliff Robson (1933)

I. ALL the territory that lies west of the river Indus up to the river Cophen is inhabited by Astacenians and Assacenians, Indian tribes. But they are not, like the Indians dwelling within the river Indus, tall of stature, nor similarly brave in spirit, nor as black as the greater part of the Indians. These long ago were subject to the Assyrians; then to the Medes, and so they became subject to the Persians; and they paid tribute to Cyrus son of Cambyses from their territory, as Cyrus commanded. The Nysaeans are not an Indian race; but part of those who came with Dionysus to India; possibly even of those Greeks who became past service in the wars which Dionysus waged with Indians; possibly also volunteers of the neighbouring tribes whom Dionysus settled there together with the Greeks, calling the country Nysaea from the mountain Nysa, and the city itself Nysa. And the mountain near the city, on whose foothills Nysa is built, is called Merus because of the incident at Dionysus' birth. All this the poets sang about Dionysus; and I leave it to the narrators of Greek or Eastern history to recount them. Among the Assacenians is Massaca, a great city, where resides the chief authority of the Assacian land; and another city Peucela, this also a great city, not far from the Indus. These places then are inhabited on this side of the Indus towards the west, as far as the river Cophen.

II. But the parts from the Indus eastward, these I shall call India, and its inhabitants Indians. The boundary of the land of India towards the north is Mount Taurus. It is not still called Taurus in this land; but Taurus begins from the sea over against Pamphylia and Lycia and Cilicia; and reaches as far as the Eastern Ocean, running right across Asia. But the mountain has different names in different places; in one, Parapamisus, in another Hemodus; elsewhere it is called Imaon, and perhaps has all sorts of other names; but the Macedonians who fought with Alexander called it Caucasus; another Caucasus, that is, not the Scythian; so that the story ran that Alexander came even to the far side of the Caucasus. The western part of India is bounded by the river Indus right down to the ocean, where the river runs out by two mouths, not joined together as are the five mouths of the Ister; but like those of the Nile, by which the Egyptian delta is formed; thus also the Indian delta is formed by the river Indus, not less than the Egyptian; and this in the Indian tongue is called Pattala. Towards the south this ocean bounds the land of India, and eastward the sea itself is the boundary. The southern part near Pattala and the mouths of the Indus were surveyed by Alexander and Macedonians, and many Greeks; as for the eastern part, Alexander did not traverse this beyond the river Hyphasis. A few historians have described the parts which are this side of the Ganges and where are the mouths of the Ganges and the city of Palimbothra, the greatest Indian city on the Ganges.

III. I hope I may be allowed to regard Eratosthenes of Cyrene as worthy of special credit, since he was a student of Geography. He states that beginning with Mount Taurus, where are the springs of the river Indus, along the Indus to the Ocean, and to the mouths of the Indus, the side of India is thirteen thousand stades in length. The opposite side to this one, that from the same mountain to the Eastern Ocean, he does not reckon as merely equal to the former side, since it has a promontory running well into the sea; the promontory stretching to about three thousand stades. So then he would make this side of India, to the eastward, a total length of sixteen thousand stades. This he gives, then, as the breadth of India. Its length, however, from west to east, up to the city of Palimbothra, he states that he gives as measured by reed-measurements; for there is a royal road; and this extends to ten thousand stades; beyond that, the information is not so certain. Those, however, who have followed common talk say that including the promontory, which runs into the sea, India extends over about ten thousand stades; but farther north its length is about twenty thousand stades. But Ctesias of Cnidus affirms that the land of India is equal in size to the rest of Asia, which is absurd; and Onesicritus is absurd, who says that India is a third of the entire world; Nearchus, for his part, states that the journey through the actual plain of India is a four months' journey. Megasthenes would have the breadth of India that from east to west which others call its length; and he says that it is of sixteen thousand stades, at its shortest stretch. From north to south, then, becomes for him its length, and it extends twenty-two thousand three hundred stades, to its narrowest point. The Indian rivers are greater than any others in Asia; greatest are the Ganges and the Indus, whence the land gets its name; each of these is greater than the Nile of Egypt and the Scythian Ister, even were these put together; my own idea is that even the Acesines is greater than the Ister and the Nile, where the Acesines having taken in the Hydaspes, Hydraotes, and Hyphasis, runs into the Indus, so that its breadth there becomes thirty stades. Possibly also other greater rivers run through the land of India.

IV. As for the yonder side of the Hyphasis, I cannot speak with confidence, since Alexander did not proceed beyond the Hyphasis. But of these two greatest rivers, the Ganges and the Indus, Megasthenes wrote that the Ganges is much greater than the Indus, and so do all others who mention the Ganges; for (they say) the Ganges is already large as it comes from its springs, and receives as tributaries the river Cainas and the Erannoboas and the Cossoanus, all navigable; also the river Sonus and the Sittocatis and the Solomatis, these likewise navigable. Then besides there are the Condochates and the Sambus and Magon and Agoranis and Omalis; and also there run into it the Commenases, a great river, and the Cacuthis and Andomatis, flowing from the Indian tribe of the Mandiadinae; after them the Amystis by the city Catadupas, and the Oxymagis at the place called Pazalae, and the Errenysis among the Mathae, an Indian tribe, also meet the Ganges. Megasthenes says that of these none is inferior to the Maeander, where the Maeander is navigable. The breath therefore of the Ganges, where it is at its narrowest, runs to a hundred stades; often it spreads into lakes, so that the opposite side cannot be seen, where it is low and has no projections of hills. It is the same with the Indus; the Hydraotes, in the territory of the Cambistholians, receives the Hyphasis in that of the Astrybae, and the Saranges from the Cecians, and the Neydrus from the Attacenians, and flows, with these, into the Acesines. The Hydaspes also among the Oxydracae receives the Sinarus among the Arispae and it too flows out into the Acesines. The Acesines among the Mallians joins the Indus; and the Tutapus, a large river, flows into the Acesines. All these rivers swell the Acesines, and proudly retaining its own name it flows into the Indus. The Cophen, in the Peucelaetis, taking with it the Malantus, the Soastus, and the Garroeas, joins the Indus. Above these the Parenus and Saparnus, not far from one another, flow into the Indus. The Soanus, from the mountains of the Abissareans, without any tributary, flows into it. Most of these Megasthenes reports to be navigable. It should not then be incredible that neither Nile nor Ister can be even compared with Indus or Ganges in volume of water. For we know of no tributary to the Nile; rather from it canals have been cut through the land of Egypt. As for the Ister, it emerges from its springs a meagre stream, but receives many tributaries; yet not equal in number to the Indian tributaries which flow into Indus or Ganges; and very few of these are navigable; I myself have only noticed the Enus and the Saus. The Enus on the line between Norica and Rhaetia joins the Ister, the Saus in Paeonia. The country where the rivers join is called Taurunus. If anybody is aware of other navigable rivers which form tributaries to the Ister, he certainly does not know many.

V. I hope that anyone who desires to explain the cause of the number and size of the Indian rivers will do so; and that my remarks may be regarded as set down on hearsay only. For Megasthenes has recorded names of many other rivers, which beyond the Ganges and the Indus run into the eastern and southern outer ocean; so that he states the number of Indian rivers in all to be fifty-eight, and these all navigable. But not even Megasthenes, so far as I can see, travelled over any large part of India; yet a good deal more than the followers of Alexander son of Philip did. For he states that he met Sandracottus, the greatest of the Indian kings, and Porus, even greater than he was. This Megasthenes says, moreover, that the Indians waged war on no men, nor other men on the Indians, but on the other hand that Sesostris the Egyptian, after subduing the most part of Asia, and after invading Europe with an army, yet returned back; and Indathyrsis the Scythian who started from Scythia subdued many tribes of Asia, and invaded Egypt victoriously; but Semiramis the Assyrian queen tried to invade India, but died before she could carry out her purposes; it was in fact Alexander only who actually invaded India. Before Alexander, too, there is a considerable tradition about Dionysus as having also invaded India, and having subdued the Indians; about Heracles there is not much tradition. As for Dionysus, the city of Nysa is no mean memorial of his expedition, and also Mount Merus, and the growth of ivy on this mountain then the habit of the Indians themselves setting out to battle with the sound of drums and cymbals; and their dappled costume, like that worn by the bacchanals, of Dionysus. But of Heracles the memorials are slight. Yet the story of the rock Aornos, which Alexander forced, namely, that Heracles could not capture it, I am inclined to think a Macedonian boast; just as the Macedonians called Parapamisus by the name of Caucasus, though it has nothing to do with Caucasus. And besides, learning that there was a cave among the Parapamisadae, they said that this was the cave of Prometheus the Titan, in which he was crucified for his theft of the fire. Among the Sibae, too, an Indian tribe, having noticed them clad with skins they used to assert that they were relics of Heracles' expedition. What is more, as the Sibae carried a club, and they brand their cattle with a club, they referred this too to some memory of Heracles' club. If anyone believes this, at least it must be some other Heracles, not he of Thebes, but either of Tyre or of Egypt, or some great king of the higher inhabited country near India.

VI. This then must be regarded as a digression, so that too much credence may not be given to the stories which certain persons have related about the Indians beyond the Hyphasis; for those who served under Alexander are reasonably trustworthy up to the Hyphasis. For Megasthenes tells us this also about an Indian river; its name is Silas, it flows from a spring of the same name as the river through the territory of the Sileans, the people also named both from river and spring; its water has the following peculiarity; nothing is supported by it, nothing can swim in it or float upon it, but everything goes straight to the bottom; so far is this water thinner and more aery than any other. In the summer there is rain through India; especially on the mountains, Parapamisus and Hemodus and the Imaus, and from them the rivers run great and turbulent. The plains of India also receive rain in summer, and much part of them becomes swamp; in fact Alexander's army retired from the river Acesines in midsummer, when the river had overflowed on to the plains; from these, therefore, one can gauge the flooding of the Nile, since probably the mountains of Ethiopia receive rain in summer, and from them the Nile is swollen and overflows its banks on to the land of Egypt the Nile therefore also runs turbid this time of the year, as it probably would not be from melting snow; nor yet if its stream was dammed up by the seasonal winds which blow during the summer; and besides, the mountains of Ethiopia are probably not snowcovered, on account of the heat. But that they receive rain as India does is not outside the bounds of probability; since in other respects India is not unlike Ethiopia, and the Indian rivers have crocodiles like the Ethiopian and Egyptian Nile; and some of the Indian rivers have fish and other large water animals like those of the Nile, save the river-horse: though Onesicritus states that they do have the river-horse also. The appearance of the inhabitants, too, is not so far different in India and Ethiopia; the southern Indians resemble the Ethiopians a good deal, and, are black of countenance, and their hair black also, only they are not as snub-nosed or so woolly-haired as the Ethiopians; but the northern Indians are most like the Egyptians in appearance.

VII. Megasthenes states that there are one hundred and eighteen Indian tribes. That there are many, I agree with Megasthenes; but I cannot conjecture how he learnt and recorded the exact number, when he never visited any great part of India, and since these different races have not much intercourse one with another. The Indians, he says, were originally nomads, as are the non-agricultural Scythians, who wandering in their waggons inhabit now one and now another part of Scythia; not dwelling in cities and not reverencing any temples of the gods; just so the Indians also had no cities and built no temples; but were clothed with the skins of animals slain in the chase, and for food ate the bark of trees; these trees were called in the Indian tongue Tala, and there grew upon them, just as on the tops of palm trees, what look like clews of wool. They also used as food what game they had captured, eating it raw, before, at least, Dionysus came into India. But when Dionysus had come, and become master of India, he founded cities, and gave laws for these cities, and became to the Indians the bestower of wine, as to the Greeks, and taught them to sow their land, giving them seed. It may be that Triptolemus, when he was sent out by Demeter to sow the entire earth, did not come this way; or perhaps before Triptolemus this Dionysus whoever he was came to India and gave the Indians seeds of domesticated plants; then Dionysus first yoked oxen to the plough and made most of the Indians agriculturists instead of wanderers, and armed them also with the arms of warfare. Further, Dionysus taught them to reverence other gods, but especially, of course, himself, with clashings of cymbals and beating of drums and dancing in the Satyric fashion, the dance called among Greeks the 'cordax'; and taught them to wear long hair in honour of the god, and instructed them in the wearing of the conical cap and the anointings with perfumes; so that the Indians came out even against Alexander to battle with the sound of cymbals and drums.

VIII. When departing from India, after making all these arrangements, he made Spatembas king of the land, one of his Companions, being most expert in Bacchic rites; when Spatembas died, Budyas his son reigned in his stead; the father was King of India fifty-two years, and the son twenty years; and his son, again, came to the throne, one Cradeuas; and his descendants for the most part received the kingdom in succession, son succeeding father; if the succession failed, then the kings were appointed for some pre-eminence. But Heracles, whom tradition states to have arrived as far as India, was called by the Indians themselves 'Indigenous.' This Heracles was chiefly honoured by the Surasenians, an Indian tribe, among whom are two great cities, Methora and Cleisobora, and the navigable river Iobares flows through their territory. Megasthenes also says that the garb which this Heracles wore was like that of the Theban Heracles, as also the Indians themselves record; he also had many sons in his country, for this Heracles too wedded many wives; he had only one daughter, called Pandaea; as also the country in which she was born, and to rule which Heracles educated her, was called Pandaea after the girl; here she possessed five hundred elephants given by her father, four thousand horsemen, and as many as a hundred and thirty thousand foot-soldiers. This also some writers relate about Heracles; he traversed all the earth and sea, and when he had rid the earth of evil monsters he found in the sea a jewel much affected by women. And thus, even to our day, those who bring exports from India to our country purchase these jewels at great price and export them, and all Greeks in old time, and Romans now who are rich and prosperous, are more eager to buy the sea pearl, as it is called in the Indian tongue for that Heracles, the jewel appearing to him charming, collected from all the sea to India this kind of pearl, to adorn his daughter. And Megasthenes says that this oyster is taken with nets; that it is a native of the sea, many oysters being together, like bees; and that the pearl oysters have a king or queen, as bees do. Should anyone by chance capture the king, he can easily surround the rest of the oysters; but should the king slip through, then the others cannot be taken; and of those that are taken, the Indians let their flesh rot, but use the skeleton as an ornament. For among the Indians this pearl sometimes is worth three times its weight in solid gold, which is itself dug up in India.

IX. In this country where Heracles' daughter was queen, the girls are marriageable at seven years, and the men do not live longer than forty years. About this there is a story among the Indians, that Heracles, to whom when in mature years this daughter was born, realizing that his own end was near, and knowing of no worthy husband to whom he might bestow his daughter, himself became her husband when she was seven, so that Indian kings, their children, were left behind. Heracles made her then marriageable, and hence all the royal race of Pandaea arose, with the same privilege from Heracles. But I think, even if Heracles was able to accomplish anything so absurd, he could have lengthened his own life, so as to mate with the girl when of maturer years. But really if this about the age of the girls in this district is true, it seems to me to tend the same way as the men's age, since the oldest of them die at forty years. For when old age comes on so much sooner and death with age, maturity will reasonably be earlier, in proportion to the end; so that at thirty the men might be on the threshold of old age, and at twenty, men in their prime, and manhood at about fifteen, so that the women might reasonably be marriageable at seven. For that the fruits ripen earlier in this country than elsewhere, and perish earlier, this Megasthenes himself tells us. From Dionysus to Sandracottus the Indians counted a hundred and fifty-three kings, over six thousand and forty-two years, and during this time thrice [Movements were made] for liberty . . . this for three hundred years; the other for a hundred and twenty years; the Indians say that Dionysus was fifteen generations earlier than Heracles; but no one else ever invaded India, not even Cyrus son of Cambyses, though he made an expedition against the Scythians, and in all other ways was the most energetic of the kings in Asia; but Alexander came and conquered by force of arms all the countries he entered; and would have conquered the whole world had his army been willing. But no Indian ever went outside his own country on a warlike expedition, so righteous were they.

X. This also is related; that Indians do not put up memorials to the dead; but they regard their virtues as sufficient memorials for the departed, and the songs which they sing at their funerals. As for the cities of India, one could not record their number accurately by reason of their multitude; but those of them which are near rivers or near the sea, they build of wood; for if they were built of brick, they could not last long because of the rain, and also because their rivers overflow their banks and fill the plains with water. But such cities as are built on high and lofty places, they make of brick and clay. The greatest of the Indian cities is called Palimbothra, in the district of the Prasians, at the confluence of the Erannoboas and the Ganges; the Ganges, greatest of all rivers; the Erannoboas may be the third of the Indian rivers, itself greater than the rivers of other countries; but it yields precedence to the Ganges, when it pours into it its tributary stream. And Megasthenes says that the length of the city along either side, where it is longest, reaches to eighty stades its breadth to fifteen; and a ditch has been dug round the city, six plethra in breadth, thirty cubits high; and on the wall are five hundred and seventy towers, and sixty-four gates. This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave.

XI. The Indians generally are divided into seven castes. Those called the wise men are less in number than the rest, but chiefest in honour and regard. For they are under no necessity to do any bodily labour; nor to contribute from the results of their work to the common store; in fact, no sort of constraint whatever rests upon these wise men, save to offer the sacrifices to the gods on behalf of the people of India. Then whenever anyone sacrifices privately, one of these wise men acts as instructor of the sacrifice, since otherwise the sacrifice would not have proved acceptable to the gods. These Indians also are alone expert in prophecy, and none, save one of the wise men, is allowed to prophesy. And they prophesy about the seasons of the year, or of any impending public calamity: but they do not trouble to prophesy on private matters to individuals, either because their prophecy does not condescend to smaller things, or because it is undignified for them to trouble about such things. And when one has thrice made an error in his prophecy, he does not suffer any harm, except that he must for ever hold his peace; and no one will ever persuade such a one to prophesy on whom this silence has been enjoined. These wise men spend their time naked, during the winter in the open air and sunshine, but in summer, when the sun is strong, in the meadows and the marsh lands under great trees; their shade Nearchus computes to reach five plethra all round, and ten thousand men could take shade under one tree; so great are these trees. They eat fruits in their season, and the bark of the trees; this is sweet and nutritious as much as are the dates of the palm. Then next to these come the farmers, these being the most numerous class of Indians; they have no use for warlike arms or warlike deeds, but they till the land; and they pay the taxes to the kings and to the cities, such as are self-governing; and if there is internal war among the Indians, they may not touch these workers, and not even devastate the land itself; but some are making war and slaying all comers, and others close by are peacefully ploughing or gathering the fruits or shaking down apples or harvesting. The third class of Indians are the herdsmen, pasturers of sheep and cattle, and these dwell neither by cities nor in the villages. They are nomads and get their living on the hillsides, and they pay taxes from their animals; they hunt also birds and wild game in the country.

XII The fourth class is of artisans and shopkeepers; these are workers, and pay tribute from their works, save such as make weapons of war; these are paid by the community. In this class are the shipwrights and sailors, who navigate the rivers. The fifth class of Indians is the soldiers' class, next after the farmers in number; these have the greatest freedom and the most spirit. They practise military pursuits only. Their weapons others forge for them, and again others provide horses; others too serve in the camps, those who groom their horses and polish their weapons, guide the elephants, and keep in order and drive the chariots. They themselves, when there is need of war, go to war, but in time of peace they make merry; and they receive so much pay from the community that they can easily from their pay support others. The sixth class of Indians are those called overlookers. They oversee everything that goes on in the country or in the cities; and this they report to the King, where the Indians are governed by kings, or to the authorities, where they are independent. To these it is illegal to make any false report; nor was any Indian ever accused of such falsification. The seventh class is those who deliberate abbut the community together with the King, or, in such cities as are self-governing, with the authorities. In number this class is small, but in wisdom and uprightness it bears the palm from all others; from this class are selected their governors, district governors, and deputies, custodians of the treasures, officers of army and navy, financial officers, and overseers of agricultural works. To marry out of any class is unlawful -- as, for instance, into the farmer class from the artisans, or the other way; nor must the same man practise two pursuits; nor change from one class into another, as to turn farmer from shepherd, or shepherd from artisan. It is only permitted to join the wise men out of any class; for their business is not an easy one, but of all most laborious.

XIII. Most wild animals which the Greeks hunt the Indians hunt also, but these have a way of hunting elephants unlike all other kinds of hunting, just as these animals are unlike other animals. It is this they choose a place that is level and open to the sun's heat, and dig a ditch in a circle, wide enough for a great army to camp within it. They dig the ditch five fathoms broad, and four deep. The earth which they throw out of the ditch they heap on either side of the ditch, and so use it as a wall; then they make shelters for themselves, dug out of the wall on the outside of the ditch, and leave small windows in them; through these the light comes in, and also they watch the animals coming in and charging into the enclosure. Then within the enclosure they leave some three or four of the females, those that are tamest, and leave only one entrance by the ditch, making a bridge over it; and here they heap much earth and grass so that the animals cannot distinguish the bridge, and so suspect any guile. The hunters then keep themselves out of the way, hiding under the shelters dug in the ditch. Now the wild elephants do not approach inhabited places by daylight, but at night they wander all about and feed in herds, following the largest and finest of their number, as cows do the bulls. And when they approach the ditch and hear the trumpeting of the females and perceive them by their scent, they rush to the walled enclosure; and when, working round the outside edge of the ditch, they find the bridge, they push across it into the enclosure. Then the hunters, perceiving the entry of the wild elephants, some smartly remove the bridge, others hurrying to the neighbouring villages report that the elephants are caught in the enclosure; and the inhabitants on hearing the news mount the most spirited, and at the same time most disciplined elephants, and then drive them towards the enclosure, and when they have driven them thither they do not at once join battle, but allow the wild elephants to grow distressed by hunger and to be tamed by thirst. But when they think they are sufficiently distressed, then they erect the bridge again, and enter the enclosure; and at first there is a fierce battle between the tamed elephants and the captives, and then, as one would expect, the wild elephants are tamed, distressed as they are by a sinking of their spirits and by hunger. Then the riders dismounting from the tamed elephants tie together the feet of the now languid wild ones; then they order the tamed elephants to punish the rest by repeated blows, till in their distress they fall to earth; then they come near them and throw nooses round their necks; and climb on them as they lie there. And that they may not toss their drivers nor do them any injury, they make an incision in their necks with a sharp knife, all round, and bind their noose round the wound, so that by reason of the sore they keep their heads and necks still. For were they to turn round to do mischief, the wound beneath the rope chafes them. And so they keep quiet, and perceiving that they are conquered, they are led of by the tamed elephants by the rope.

XIV. Such elephants as are not yet full grown or from some defect are not worth the acquiring, they allow to depart to their own laim, Then they lead of their captives to the villages and first of all give them green shoots and grass to eat; but they, from want of heart, are not willing to eat anything; so the Indians range themselves about them and with songs and drums and cymbals, beating and singing, lull them to sleep. For if there is an intelligent animal, it is the elephant. Some of them have been known, when their drivers have perished in battle, to have caught them up and carried them to burial; others have stood over them and protected them. Others, when they have fallen, have actively fought for them; one, indeed, who in a passion slew his driver, died from remorse and grief. I myself have seen an elephant clanging the cymbals, and others dancing; two cymbals were fastened to the player's forelegs, and one on his trunk, and he rhythmically beat with his trunk the cymbal on either leg in turn; the dancers danced in circle, and raising and bending their forelegs in turn moved also rhythmically, as the player with the cymbals marked the time for them. The elephants mate in spring, as do oxen and horses, when certain pores about the temples of the females open and exhale; the female bears its offispring sixteen months at the least, eighteen at most; it has one foal, as does a mare; and this it suckles till its eighth year. The longest-lived elephants survive to two hundred years; but many die before that by disease; but as far as mere age goes, they reach this age. If their eyes are affected, cow's milk injected cures them; for their other sicknesses a draught of dark wine, and for their wounds swine's flesh roast, and laid on the spot, are good. These are the Indian remedies for them.

XV. The Indians regard the tiger as much stronger than the elephant. Nearchus writes that he had seen a tiger's skin, but no tiger; the Indians record that the tiger is in size as great as the largest horse, and its swiftness and strength without parallel, for a tiger, when it meets an elephant, leaps on to the head and easily throttles it. Those, however, which we see and call tigers are dappled jackals, but larger than ordinary jackals. Nay, about ants also Nearchus says that he himself saw no ant, of the sort which some writers have described as native of India; he saw, however, several of their skins brought into the Macedonian camp.Megasthenes, however confirms the accounts given about these ants; that ants do dig up gold, not indeed for the gold, but as they naturally burrow, that they may make holes, just as our small ants excavate a small amount of earth; but these, which are bigger than foxes, dig up earth also proportionate to their size; the earth is auriferous, and thus the Indians get their gold. Megasthenes, however, merely quotes hearsay, and as I have no certainty to write on the subject, I readily dismiss this subject of ants. But Nearchus describes, as something miraculous, parrots, as being found in India, and describes the parrot, and how it utters a human voice. But I having seen several, and knowing others acquainted with this bird, shall not dilate on them as anything remarkable; nor yet upon the size of the apes, nor the beauty of some Indian apes, and the method of capture. For I should only say what everyone knows, except perhaps that apes are anywhere beautiful. And further Nearchus says that snakes are hunted there, dappled and swift; and that which he states Peithon son of Antigenes to have caught, was upwards of sixteen cubits; but the Indians (he proceeds) state that the largest snakes are much larger than this. No Greek physicians have discovered a remedy against Indian snake-bite; but the Indians themselves used to cure those who were struck. And Nearchus adds that Alexander had gathered about him Indians very skilled in physic, and orders were sent round the camp that anyone bitten by a snake was to report at the royal pavilion. But there are not many illnesses in India, since the seasons are more temperate than with us. If anyone is seriously ill, they would inform their wise men, and they were thought to use the divine help to cure what could be cured.

XVI. The Indians wear linen garments, as Nearchus says, the linen coming from the trees of which I have already made mention. This linen is either brighter than the whiteness of other linen, or the people's own blackness makes it appear unusually bright. They have a linen tunic to the middle of the calf, and for outer garments, one thrown round about their shoulders, and one wound round their heads. They wear ivory ear-rings, that is, the rich Indians; the common people do not use them. Nearchus writes that they dye their beards various colours; some therefore have these as white-looking as possible, others dark, others crimson, others purple, others grass-green. The more dignified Indians use sunshades against the summer heat. They have slippers of white skin, and these too made neatly; and the soles of their sandals are of different colours, and also high, so that the wearers seem taller. Indian war equipment differs; the infantry have a bow, of the height of the owner; this they poise on the ground, and set their left foot against it, and shoot thus; drawing the bowstring a very long way back; for their arrows are little short of three cubits, and nothing can stand against an arrow shot by an Indian archer, neither shield nor breastplate nor any strong armour. In their left hands they carry small shields of untanned hide, narrower than their bearers, but not much shorter. Some have javelins in place of bows. All carry a broad scimitar, its length not under three cubits; and this, when they have a hand-to-hand fight -- and Indians do not readily fight so among themselves -- they bring down with both hands in smiting, so that the stroke may be an effective one. Their horsemen have two javelins, like lances, and a small shield smaller than the infantry's. The horses have no saddles, nor do they use Greek bits nor any like the Celtic bits, but round the end of the horses' mouths they have an untanned stitched rein fitted; in this they have fitted, on the inner side, bronze or iron spikes, but rather blunted; the rich people have ivory spikes; within the mouth of the horses is a bit, like a spit, to either end of which the reins are attached. Then when they tighten the reins this bit masters the horse, and the spikes, being attached thereto, prick the horse and compel it to obey the rein.

XVII. The Indians in shape are thin and tall and much lighter in movement than the rest of mankind. They usually ride on camels, horses, and asses; the richer men on elephants. For the elephant in India is a royal mount; then next in dignity is a four-horse chariot, and camels come third; to ride on a single horse is low. Their women, such as are of great modesty, can be seduced by no other gift, but yield themselves to anyone who gives an elephant; and the Indians think it no disgrace to yield thus on the gift of an elephant, but rather it seems honourable for a woman that her beauty should be valued at an elephant. They marry neither giving anything nor receiving anything; such girls as are marriageable their fathers bring out and allow anyone who proves victorious in wrestling or boxing or running or shows pre-eminence in any other manly pursuit to choose among them. The Indians eat meal and till the ground, except the mountaineers; but these eat the flesh of game. This must be enough for a description of the Indians, being the most notable things which Nearchus and Megasthenes, men of credit, have recorded about them. But as the main subject of this my history was not to write an account of the Indian customs but the way in which Alexander's navy reached Persia from India, this must all be accounted a digression.

XVIII. For Alexander, when his fleet was made ready on the banks of the Hydaspes, collected together all the Phoenicians and all the Cyprians and Egyptians who had followed the northern expedition. From these he manned his ships, picking out as crews and rowers for them any who were skilled in seafaring. There were also a good many islanders in the army, who understood these things, and Ionians and Hellespontines. As commanders of triremes were appointed, from the Macedonians, Hephaestion son of Amyntor, and Leonnatus son of Eunous, Lysimachus son of Agathocles, and Asclepiodorus son of Timander, and Archon son of Cleinias, and Demonicus son of Athenaeus, Archias son of Anaxidotus, Ophellas son of Seilenus, Timanthes son of Pantiades; all these were of Pella. From Amphipolis these were appointed officers: Nearchus son of Androtimus, who wrote the account of the voyage; and Laomedon son of Larichus, and Androsthenes son of Callistratus; and from Orestis. Craterus son of Alexander, and Perdiccas son of Orontes. Of Eordaea, Ptolemaeus son of Lagos and Aristonous son of Peisaeus; from Pydna, Metron son of Epicharmus and Nicarchides son of Simus. Then besides, Attalus son of Andromenes, of Stympha Peucestas son of Alexander, from Mieza; Peithon son of Crateuas, of Alcomenae; Leonnatus son of Antipater, of Aegae; Pantauchus son of Nicolaus, of Aloris; Mylleas son of Zoilus, of Beroea; all these being Macedonians. Of Greeks, Medius son of Oxynthemis, of Larisa; Eumenes son of Hieronymus, from Cardia; Critobulus, son of Plato, of Cos; Thoas son of Menodorus, and Maeander, son of Mandrogenes, of Magnesia; Andron son of Cabeleus, of Teos; of Cyprians, Nicocles son of Pasicrates, of Soh; and Nithaphon son of Pnytagoras, of Salamis. Alexander appointed also a Persian trierarch, Bagoas son of Pharnuces; but of Alexander's own ship the helmsman was Onesicritus of Astypalaea; and the accountant of the whole fleet was Euagoras son of Eucleon, of Corinth. As admiral was appointed Nearchus, son of Androtimus, Cretan by race, and he lived. in Amphipolis on the Strymon. And when Alexander had made all these dispositions, he sacrificed to the gods, both the gods of his race and all of whom the prophets had warned him, and to Poseidon and Amphitrite and the Nereids and to Ocean himself and to the river Hydaspes, whence he started, and to the Acesines, into which the Hydaspes runs, and to the Indus, into which both run; and he instituted contests of art and of athletics, and victims for sacrifice were given to all the army, according to their detachments.

XIX. Then when he had made all ready for starting the voyage, Alexander ordered Craterus to march by the one side of the Hydaspes with his army, cavalry and infantry alike; Hephaestion had already started along the other, with another army even bigger than that under Craterus. Hephaestion took with him the elephants, up to the number of two hundred. Alexander himself took with him all the peltasts, as they are called, and all the archers, and of the cavalry, those called 'Companions'; in all, eight thousand. But Craterus and Hephaestion, with their forces, were ordered to march ahead and await the fleet. But he sent Philip, whom he had made satrap of this country, to the banks of the river Acesines, Philip also with a considerable force; for by this time a hundred and twenty thousand men of fighting age were following him, together with those whom he himself had brought from the sea-coast; and with those also whom his officers, sent to recruit forces, had brought back; so that he now led all sorts of Oriental tribes, and armed in every sort of fashion. Then he himself loosing his ships sailed down the Hydaspes to the meeting-place of Acesines and Hydaspes. His whole fleet of ships was eighteen hundred, both ships of war and merchantmen, and horse transports besides and others bringing provisions together with the troops. And how his fleet descended the rivers, and the tribes he conquered on the descent, and how he endangered himself among the Mallians, and the wound he there received, then the way in which Peucestas and Leonnatus defended him as he lay there -- all this I have related already in my other history, written in the Attic dialect. This my present work, however, is a story of the voyage, which Nearchus successfully undertook with his fleet starting from the mouths of the Indus by the Ocean to the Persian Gulf, which some call the Red Sea.

XX. On this Nearchus writes thus: Alexander had a vehement desire to sail the sea which stretches from India to Persia; but he disliked the length of the voyage and feared lest, meeting with some country desert or without roadsteads, or not properly provided with the fruits of the earth, his whole fleet might be destroyed; and this, being no small blot on his great achievements, might wreck all his happiness; but yet his desire to do something unusual and strange won the day; still, he was in doubt whom he should choose, as equal to his designs; and also as the right man to encourage the personnel of the fleet, -- sent as they were on an expedition of this kind, so that they should not feel that they were being sent blindly to manifest dangers. And Nearchus says that Alexander discussed with him whom he should select to be admiral of this fleet; but as mention was made of one and another, and as Alexander rejected some, as not willing to risk themselves for his sake, others as chicken-hearted, others as consumed by desire for home, and finding some objection to each; then Nearchus himself spoke and pledged himself thus : '0 King, I undertake to lead your fleet! And may God help the emprise! I will bring your ships and men safe to Persia, if this sea is so much as navigable and the undertaking not above human powers.' Alexander, however, replied that he would not allow one of his friends to run such risks and endure such distress; yet Nearchus, did not slacken in his request, but besought Alexander earnestly; till at length Alexander accepted Nearchus' willing spirit, and appointed him admiral of the entire fieet, on which the part of the army which was detailed to sail on this voyage and the crews felt easier in mind, being sure that Alexander would never have exposed Nearchus to obvious danger unless they also were to come through safe. Then the splendour of the whole preparations and the smart equipment of the ships, and the outstanding enthusiasm of the commanders of the triremes about the different services and the crews had uplifted even those who a short while ago were hesitating, both to bravery and to higher hopes about the whole affair; and besides it contributed not a little to the general good spirits of the force that Alexander himself had started down the Indus and had explored both outlets, even into the Ocean, and had offered victims to Poseidon, and all the other sea gods, and gave splendid gifts to the sea. Then trusting as they did in Alexander's generally remarkable good fortune, they felt that there was nothing that he might not dare, and nothing that he could not carry through.

XXI. Now when the trade winds had sunk to rest, which continue blowing from the Ocean to the land all the summer season, and hence render the voyage impossible, they put to sea, in the archonship at Athens of Cephisodorus, on the twentieth day of the month Boedromion, as the Athenians reckon it; but as the Macedonians and Asians counted it, it was ... the eleventh year of Alexander's reign. Nearchus also sacrificed, before weighing anchor, to Zeus the Saviour, and he too held an athletic contest. Then moving out from their roadstead, they anchored on the first day in the Indus river near a great canal, and remained there two days; the district was called Stura; it was about a hundred stades from the roadstead. Then on the third day they started forthand sailed to another canal, thirty stades' distance, and this canal was already-salt; for the sea came up into it, especially at full tides, and then at the ebb the water remained there, mingled with the river water. This place was called Caumara. Thence they sailed twenty stades and anchored at Coreestis, still on the river. Thence they started again and sailed not so very far, for they saw a reef at this outlet of the river Indus, and the waves were breaking violently on the shore, and the shore itself was very rough. But where there was a softer part of the reef, they dug a channel, five stades long, and brought the ships down it, when the flood tide came up from the sea. Then sailing round, to a distance of a hundred and fifty stades, they anchored at a sandy island called Crocala, and stayed there through the next day; and there lives here an Indian race called Arabeans, of whom I made mention in my larger history; and that they have their name from the river Arabis, which runs through their country and finds its outlet in the sea, forming the boundary between this country and that of the Oreitans. From Crocala, keeping on the right hand the hill they call Irus, they sailed on, with a low-lying island on their left; and the island running parallel with the shore makes a narrow bay. Then when they had sailed through this, they anchored in a harbour with good anchorage; and as Ne'archus considered the harbour a large and fine one, he called it Alexander's Haven. At the heads of the harbour there lies an island, about two stades away, called Bibacta; the neighbouring region, however, is called Sangada. This island, forming a barrier to the sea, of itself makes a harbour. There constant strong winds were blowing off the ocean. Nearchus therefore, fearing lest some of the natives might collect to plunder the camp, surrounded the place with a stone wall. He stayed there thirty-three days; and through that time, he says, the soldiers hunted for mussels, oysters, and razor-fish, as they are called; they were all of unusual size. much larger than those of our seas. They also drank briny water.

XXII. On the wind falling, they weighed anchor; and after sailing sixty stades they moored off a sandy shore; there was a desert island near the shore. They used this, therefore, as a breakwater and moored there: the island was called Domai. On the shore there was no water, but after advancing some twenty stades inland they found good water. Next day they sailed up to nightfall to Saranga, some three hundred stades, and moored off the beach, and water was found about eight stades from the beach. Thence they sailed and moored at Sacala, a desert spot. Then making their way through two rocks, so close together that the oar-blades of the ships touched the rocks to port and starboard, they moored at Morontobara, after sailing some three hundred stades. The harbour is spacious, circular, deep, and calm, but its entrance is narrow. They called it, in the natives' language, 'The Ladies' Pool,' since a lady was the first sovereign of this district. When they had got safe through the rocks, they met great waves, and the sea running strong; and moreover it seemed very hazardous to sail seaward of the cliffs. For the next day, however, they sailed with an island on their port beam, so as to break the sea, so close indeed to the beach that one would have conjectured that it was a channel cut between the island and the coast. The entire passage was of some seventy stades. On the beach were many thick trees, and the island was wholly covered with shady forest. About dawn, they sailed outside the island, by a narrow and turbulent passage; for the tide was still falling. And when they had sailed some hundred and twenty stades they anchored in the mouth of the river Arabis. There was a fine large harbour by its mouth; but there was no drinking water; for the mouths of the Arabis were mixed with sea-water. However, after penetrating forty stades inland they found a water-hole, and after drawing water thence they returned back again. By the harbour was a high island, desert, and round it one could get oysters and all kinds of fish. Up to this the country of the Arabeans extends; they are the last Indians settled in this direction; from here on the territory, of the Oreitans begins.

XXIII. Leaving the outlets of the Arabis they coasted along the territory of the Oreitans, and anchored at Pagala, after a voyage of two hundred stades, near a breaking sea; but they were able all the same to cast anchor. The crews rode out the seas in their vessels, though a few went in seach of water, and procured it. Next day they sailed at dawn, and after making four hundred and thirty stades they put in towards evening at Cabana, and moored on a desert shore. There too was a heavy surf, and so they anchored their vessels well out to sea. It was on this part of the voyage that a heavy squall from seaward caught the fleet, and two warships were lost on the passage, and one galley; the men swam off and got to safety, as they were sailing quite near the land. But about midnight they weighed anchor and sailed as far as Cocala, which was about two hundred stades from the beach off which they had anchored. The ships kept the open sea and anchored, but Nearchus disembarked the crews and bivouacked on shore; after all these toils and dangers in the sea, they desired to rest awhile. The camp was entrenched, to keep off the natives. Here Leonnatus, who had been in charge of operations against the Oreitans, beat in a great battle the Oreitans, along with others who had joined their enterprise. He slew some six thousand of them, including all the higher officers; of the cavalry with Leonnatus, fifteen fell, and of his infantry, among a few others, Apollophanes satrap of Gadrosia. This I have related in my other history, and also how Leonnatus was crowned by Alexander for this exploit with a golden coronet before the Macedonians. There provision of corn had been gathered ready, by Alexander's orders, to victual the host; and they took on board ten days' rations. The ships which had suffered in the passage so far they repaired; and whatever troops Nearchus thought were inclined to malinger he handed over to Leonnatus, but he himself recruited his fleet from Leonnatus' soldiery.

XXIV. Thence they set sail and progressed with a favouring wind; and after a passage of five hundred stades the anchored by a torrent, which ,was called Tomerus. There was a lagoon at the mouths of the river, and the depressions near the bank were inhabited by natives in stifling cabins. These seeing the convoy sailing up were astounded, and lining along the shore stood ready to repel any who should attempt a landing. They carried thick spears, about six cubits long; these had no iron tip, but the same result was obtained by hardening the point with fire. They were in number about six hundred. Nearchus observed these evidently standing firm and drawn up in order, and ordered the ships to hold back within range, so that their missiles might reach the shore; for the natives' spears, which looked stalwart, were good for close fighting, but had no terrors against a volley. Then Nearchus took the lightest and lightest-armed troops, such as were also the best swimmers, and bade them swim off as soon as the word was given. Their orders were that, as soon as any swimmer found bottom, he should await his mate, and not attack the natives till they had their formation three deep; but then they were to raise their battle cry and charge at the double. On the word, those detailed for this service dived from the ships into the sea, and swam smartly, and took up their formation in orderly manner, and having made a phalanx, charged, raising, for their part, their battle cry to the God of War, and those on shipboard raised the cry along with them; and arrows and missiles from the engines were hurled against the natives. They, astounded at the flash of the armour, and the swiftness of the charge, and attacked by showers of arrows and missiles, half naked as they were, never stopped to resist but gave way. Some were killed in flight; others were captured; but some escaped into the hills. Those captured were hairy, not only their heads but the rest of their bodies; their nails were rather like beasts' claws; they used their nails (according to report) as if they were iron tools; with these they tore asunder their fishes, and even the less solid kinds of wood; everything else they cleft with sharp stones; for iron they did not possess. For clothing they wore skins of animals, some even the thick skins of the larger fishes.

XXV. Here the crews beached their ships and repaired such as had suffered. On the sixth day from this they set sail, and after voyaging about three hundred stades they came to a country which was the last point in the territory of the Oreitans: the district was called Malana. Such Oreitans as live inland, away from the sea, dress as the Indians do, and equip themselves similarly for warfare; but their dialect and customs differ. The length of the coasting voyage along the territory of the Arabeis was about a thousand, stades from the point of departure; the length of the Oreitan coast sixteen hundred. As they sailed along the land of India for thence onward the natives are no longer Indians --Nearchus states that their shadows were not cast in the same way; but where they were making for the high seas and steering a southerly course, their shadows appeared to fall southerly too; but whenever the sun was at midday, then everything seemed shadowless. Then such of the stars as they had seen hitherto in the sky, some were completely hidden, others showed themselves low down towards the earth; those they had seen continually before were now observed both setting, and then at once rising again. I think this tale of Nearchus' is likely; since in Syene of Egypt, when the sun is at the summer solstice, people show a well where at midday one sees no shade; and in Meroe, at the same season, no shadows are cast. So it seems reasonable that in India too, since they are far southward, the same natural phenomena may occur, and especially in the Indian Ocean, just because it particularly runs southward. But here I must leave this subject.

XXVI. Next to the Oreitans, more inland, dwelt the Gadrosians, whose country Alexander and his army had much pains in traversing; indeed they suffered more than during all the rest of his expedition: all this I have related in my larger history. Below the Gadrosians, as you follow the actual coast, dwell the people called the Fish-eaters. The fleet sailed past their country. On the first day they unmoored about the second watch, and put in at Bagisara; a distance along the coast of about six hundred stades. There is a safe harbour there, and a village called Pasira, some sixty stades from the sea; the natives about it are called Pasireans. The next day they weighed anchor earlier than usual and sailed round a promontory which ran far seaward, and was high, and precipitous. Then they dug wells; and obtained only a little water, and that poor and for that day they rode at anchor, because there was heavy surf on the beach. Next day they put in at Colta after a voyage of two hundred stades. Thence they departed at dawn, and after voyaging six hundred stades anchored at Calyba. A village is on the shore, a few date-palms grew near it, and there were dates, still green, upon them. About a hundred stades from the beach is an island called Carnine. There the villagers brought gifts to Nearchus, sheep and fishes; the mutton, he says, had a fishy taste, like the flesh of the sea-birds, since even the sheep feed on fish; for there is no grass in the place. However, on the next day they sailed two hundred stades and moored off a beach, and a village about thirty stades from the sea; it was called Cissa, an Carbis was the name of the strip of coast. There they found a few boats, the sort which poor fishermen might use; but the fishermen themselves they did not find, for they had run away as soon as they saw the ships anchoring. There was no corn there, and the army had spent most of its store; but they caught and embarked there some goats, and so sailed away. Rounding a tall cape running some hundred and fifty stades into the sea, they put in at a calm harbour; there was water there, and fishermen dwelt near; the harbour was called Mosarna.

XXVII. Nearchus tells us that from this point a pilot sailed with them, a Gadrosian called Hydraces. He had promised to take them as far as Carmania; from thence on the navigation was not difficult, but the districts were better known, up to the Persian Gulf. From Mosarna they sailed at night, seven hundred and fifty stades, to the beach of Balomus. Thence again to Barna, a village, four hundred stades, where there were many date-palms and a garden; and in the garden grew myrtles and abundant flowers, of which wreaths were woven by the natives. There for the first time they saw garden-trees, and men dwelling there not entirely like animals. Thence they coasted a further two hundred stades and reached Dendrobosa and the ships kept the roadstead at anchor. Thence about midnight they sailed and came to a harbour Cophas, after a voyage of about four hundred stades; here dwelt fishermen, with small and feeble boats; and they did not row with their oars on a rowlock, as the Greeks do, but as you do in a river, propelling the water on this side or that like labourers digging I the soil. At the harbour was abundant pure water. About the first watch they weighed anchor and arrived at Cyiza, after a passage of eight hundred stades, where there was a desert beach and a heavy surf. Here, therefore, they anchored, and each ship took its own meal. Thence they voyaged five hundred stades and arrived at a small town built near the shore on a hill. Nearchus, who imagined that the district must be tilled, told Archias of Pella, son of Anaxidotus, who was sailing with Nearchus, and was a notable Macedonian, that they must surprise the town, since he had no hope that the natives would give the army provisions of their good-will; while he could not capture the town by force, but this would require a siege and much delay; while they in the meanwhile were short of provisions. But that the land did produce corn he could gather from the straw which they saw lying deep near the beach. When they had come to this resolve, Nearchus bade the fleet in general to get ready as if to go to sea; and Archias, in his place, made all ready for the voyage; but Nearchus himself was left behind with a single ship and went off as if to have a look at the town.

XXVIII. As Nearchus approached the walls, the natives brought him, in a friendly way, gifts from the city; tunny-fish baked in earthen pans; for there dwell the westernmost of the Fish-eating tribes, and were the first whom the Greeks had seen cooking their food; and they brought also a few cakes and dates from the palms. Nearchus said that he accepted these gratefully; and desired to visit the town, and they permitted him to enter. But as soon as he passed inside the gates, he bade two of the archers to occupy the postern, while he and two others, and the interpreter, mounted the wall on this side and signalled to Archias and his men as had been arranged: that Nearchus should signal, and Archias understand and do what had been ordered. On seeing the signal the Macedonians beached their ships with all speed; they leapt in haste into the sea, while the natives, astounded at this manoeuvre, ran to their arms. The interpreter with Nearchus cried out that they should give corn to the army, if they wanted to save their city; and the natives replied that they had none, and at the same time attacked the wall. But the archers with Nearchus shooting from above easily held them up. When, however, the natives saw that their town was already occupied and almost on the way to be enslaved, they begged Nearchus to take what corn they had and retire, but not to destroy the town. Nearchus, however, bade Archias to seize the gates and the neighbouring wall; but he sent with the natives some soldiers to see whether they would without any trick reveal their corn. They showed freely their flour, ground down from the dried fish; but only a small quantity of corn and barley. In fact they used as flour what they got from the fish; and loaves of corn flour they used as a delicacy. When, however, they had shown all they had, the Greeks provisioned themselves from what was there, and put to sea, anchoring by a headland which the inhabitants regarded as sacred to the Sun: the headland was called Bageia.

XXIX. Thence, weighing anchor about midnight, they voyaged another thousand stades to Talmena, a harbour giving good anchorage. Thence they went to Canasis, a deserted town, four hundred stades farther; here they found a well sunk; and near by were growing wild date-palms. They cut out the hearts of these and ate them; for the army had run short of food. In fact they were now really distressed by hunger, and sailed on therefore by day and night, and anchored off a desolate shore. But Nearchus, afraid that they would disembark and leave their ships from faint-heartedness, purposely kept the ships in the open roadstead. They sailed thence and anchored at Canate, after a voyage of seven hundred and fifty stades. Here there are a beach and shallow channels. Thence they sailed eight hundred stades, anchoring at Troea; there were small and poverty-stricken villages on the coast. The inhabitants deserted their huts and the Greeks found there a small quantity of corn, and dates from the palms. They slaughtered seven camels which had been left there, and ate the flesh of them. About daybreak they weighed anchor and sailed three hundred stades, and anchored at Dagaseira; there some wandering tribe dwelt. Sailing thence they sailed without stop all night andday, and after a voyage of eleven hundred stades they got past the country of the Fish-eaters, where they had been much distressed by want of food. They did not moor near shore, for there was a long line of surf, but at anchor, in the open. The length of the voyage along the coast of the Fish-eaters is a little above ten thousand stades. These Fish-eaters live on fish; and hence their name; only a few of them fish, for only a few have proper boats and have any skill in the art of catching fish; but for the most part it is the receding tide which provides their catch. Some have made nets also for this kind of fishing; most of them about two stades in length. They make the nets from the bark of the date-palm, twisting the bark like twine. And when the sea recedes and the earth is left, where the earth remains dry it has no fish, as a rule; but where there are hollows, some of the water remains, and in this a large number of fish, mostly small, but some large ones too. They throw their nets over these and so catch them. They eat them raw, just as they take them from the water, that is, the more tender kinds; the larger ones, which are tougher, they dry in the sun till they are quite sere and then pound them and make a flour and bread of them; others even make cakes of this flour. Even their flocks are fed on the fish, dried; for the country has no meadows and produces no grass. They collect also in many places crabs and oysters and shell-fish. There are natural salts in the country; from these they make oil. Those of them who inhabit the desert parts of their country, treeless as it is and with no cultivated parts, find all their sustenance in the fishing but a few of them sow part of their district, using the corn as a relish to the fish, for the fish form their bread. The richest among them have built huts; they collect the bones of any large fish which the sea casts up, and use them in place of beams. Doors they make from any flat bones which they can pick up. But the greater part of them, and the poorer sort, have huts made from the fishes' backbones.

XXX. Large whales live in the outer ocean, and fishes much larger than those in our inland sea. Nearchus states that when they left Cyiza, about daybreak they saw water being blown upwards from the sea as it might be shot upwards by the force of a waterspout. They were astonished, and asked the pilots of the convoy what it might be and how it was caused; they replied that these whales as they rove about the ocean spout up the water to a great height; the sailors, however, were so startled that the oars fell from their hands. Nearchus went and encouraged and cheered them, and whenever he sailed past any vessel, he signalled them to turn the ship's bow on towards the whales as if to give them battle; and raising their battle cry with the sound of the surge to row with rapid strokes and with a great deal of noise. So they all took heart of grace and sailed together according to signal. But when they actually were nearing the monsters, then they shouted with all the power of their throats, and the bugles blared, and the rowers made the utmost splashings with their oars. So the whales, now visible at the bows of the ships, were scared, and dived into the depths; then not long afterwards they came up astern and spouted the sea-water on high. Thereupon joyful applause welcomed this unexpected salvation, and much praise was showered on Nearchus for his courage and prudence. Some of these whales go ashore at different parts of the coast; and when the ebb comes, they are caught in the shallows; and some even were cast ashore high and dry; thus they would perish and decay, and their flesh rotting off them would leave the bones convenient to be used by the natives for their huts. Moreover, the bones in their ribs served for the larger beams for their dwellings; and the smaller for rafters; the jawbones were the doorposts, since many of these whales reached a length of five-and-twenty fathoms.

XXXI. While they were coasting along the territory of the Fish-eaters, they heard a rumour about an island,' which lies some little distance from the mainland in this direction, about a hundred stades, but is uninhabited. The natives said that it was sacred to the Sun and was called Nosala, and that no human being ever of his own will put in there; but that anyone who ignorantly touched there at once disappeared. Nearchus, however, says that one of his galleys with an Egyptian crew was lost with all hands not far from this island, and that the pilots stoutly averred about it that they had touched ignorantly on the island and so had disappeared. But Nearchus sent a thirty-oar to sail round the island, with orders not to put in, but that the crew should shout loudly, while coasting round as near as they dared; and should call on the lost helmsman by name, or any of the crew whose name they knew. As no one answered, he tells us that he himself sailed up to the island, and compelled his unwilling crew to put in; then he went ashore and exploded this island fairy-tale. They heard also another current story about this island, that one of the Nereids dwelt there; but the name of this Nereid was not told. She showed much friendliness to any sailor who approached the island; but then turned him into a fish and threw him into the sea. The Sun then became irritated with the Nereid, and bade her leave the island; and she agreed to remove thence, but begged that the spell on her be removed; the Sun consented; and such human beings as she had turned into fishes he pitied, and turned them again from fishes into human beings, and hence arose the people called Fish-eaters, and so they descended to Alexander's day. Nearchus shows that all this is mere legend; but I have no commendation for his pains and his scholarship; the stories are easy enough to demolish; and I regard it as tedious to relate these old tales and then prove them all false.

XXXII. Beyond these Fish-eaters the Gadrosians inhabit the interior, a poor and sandy territory; this was where Alexander's army and Alexander himself suffered so seriously, as I have already related in my other book. But when the fleet, leaving the Fish-eaters, put in at Carmania, they anchored in the open, at the point where they first touched Carmania; since there was a long and rough line of surf parallel with the coast. From there they sailed no further due west, but took a new course and steered with their bows pointing between north and west. Carmania is better wooded than the country of the Fisheaters, and bears more fruits; it has more grass, and is well watered. They moored at an inhabited place called Badis, in Carmania; with many cultivated trees growing, except the olive tree, and good vines; it also produced corn. Thence they set out and voyaged eight hundred stades, and moored off a desert shore; and they sighted a long cape jutting out far into the ocean; it seemed as if the headland itself was a day's sail away. Those who had knowledge of the district said that this promontory belonged to Arabia, and was called Maceta; and that thence the Assyrians imported cinnamon and other spices. From this beach of which the fleet anchored in the open roadstead, and the promontory, which they sighted opposite them, running out into the sea, the bay (this is my opinion, and Nearchus held the same) runs back into the interior, and would seem to be the Red Sea. When they sighted this cape, Onesicritus bade them take their course from it and sail direct to it, in order not to have the trouble of coasting round the bay. Nearchus, however, replied that Onesicritus was a fool, if he was ignorant of Alexander's purpose in despatching the expedition. It was not because he was unequal to the bringing all his force safely through on foot that he had despatched the fleet; but he desired to reconnoitre the coasts that lay on the line of the voyage, the roadsteads, the islets; to explore thoroughly any bay which appeared, and to learn of any cities which lay on the sea-coast; and to find out what land was fruitful, and what was desert. They must therefore not spoil Alexander's undertaking, especially when they were almost at the close of their toils, and were, moreover, no longer in any difficulty about provisions on their coasting cruise. His own fear was, since the cape ran a long way southward, that they would find the land there waterless and sun-scorched. This view prevailed; and I think that Nearchus evidently saved the expeditionary force by this decision; for it is generally held that this cape and the country about it are entirely desert and quite denuded of water.

XXXIII. They sailed then, leaving this part of the shore, hugging the land; and after voyaging some seven hundred stades they anchored off another beach, called Neoptana. Then at dawn they moved off seaward, and after traversing a hundred stades, they moored by the river Anamis; the district was called Harmozeia. All here was friendly, and produced fruit of all sorts, except that olives did hot grow there. There they disembarked, and had a welcome rest from their long toils, remembering the miseries they had endured by sea and on the coast of the Fish-eaters; recounting one to another the desolate character of the country, the almost bestial nature of the inhabitants, and their own distresses. Some of them advanced some distance inland, breaking away from the main force, some in pursuit of this, and some of that. There a man appeared to them, wearing a Greek cloak, and dressed otherwise in the Greek fashion, and speaking Greek also. Those who first sighted him said that they burst into tears, so strange did it seem after all these miseries to see a Greek, and to hear Greek spoken. They asked whence he came, who he was; and he said that he had become separated from Alexander's camp, and that the camp, and Alexander himself, were not very far distant. Shouting aloud and clapping their hands they brought this man to Nearchus; and he told Nearchus everything, and that the camp and the King himself were distant five days' journey from the coast. He also promised to show Nearchus, the governor of this district and did so; and Nearchus took counsel with him how to march inland to meet the King. For the moment indeed he returned to the ship; but at dawn he had the ships drawn up on shore, to repair any which had been damaged on the voyage; and also because he had determined to leave the greater part of his force behind here. So he had a double stockade built round the ships' station, and a mud wall with a deep trench, beginning from the bank of the river and going on to the beach, where his ships had been dragged ashore.

XXXIV. While Nearchus was busied with these arrangements, the governor of the country, who had been told that Alexander felt the deepest concern about this expedition, took for granted that he would receive some great reward from Alexander if he should be the first to tell him of the safety of the expeditionary force, and that Nearchus would presently appear before the King. So then he hastened by the shortest route and told Alexander: 'See, here is Nearchus coming from the ships.' On this Alexander, though not believing what was told him, yet, as he naturally would be, was pleased by the news itself. But when day succeeded day, and Alexander, reckoning the time when he received the good news, could not any longer believe it, when, moreover, relay sent after relay, to escort Nearchus, either went a part of the route, and meeting no one, came back unsuccessful, or went on further, and missing Nearchus' party, did not themselves return at all, then Alexander bade the man be arrested for spreading a false tale and making things all the worse by this false happiness; and Alexander showed both by his looks and his mind that he was wounded with a very poignant grief. Meanwhile, however, some of those sent to search for Nearchus, who had horses to convey him, and chariots, did meet on the way Nearchus and Archias, and five or six others; that was the number of the party which came inland with him. On this meeting they recognized neither Nearchus nor Archias -- so altered did they appear; with their hair long, unwashed, covered with brine, wizened, pale from sleeplessness and all their other distresses; when, however, they asked where Alexander might be, the search party gave reply as to the locality and passed on. Archias, however, had a happy thought, and said to Nearchus: 'I suspect, Nearchus, that these persons who are traversing the same road as ours through this desert country have been sent for the express purpose of finding us; as for their failure to recognize us, I do not wonder at that; we are in such a sorry plight as to be unrecognizable. Let us tell them who we are and ask them why they come hither.' Nearchus approved; they did ask whither the party was going; and they replied: 'To look for Nearchus and his naval force.' Whereupon, 'Here am I, Nearchus,' said he, 'and here is Archias. Do you lead on; we will make a full report to Alexander about the expeditionary force.'

XXXV. The soldiers took them up in their cars and drove back again. Some of them , anxious to be beforehand with the good news, ran forward and told Alexander: 'Here is Nearchus; and with him Archias and five besides, coming to your presence.' They could not, however, answer any questions about the fleet. Alexander thereupon became possessed of the idea that these few had been miraculously saved, but that his whole army had perished; and did not so much rejoice at the safe arrival of Nearchus and Archias, as he was bitterly pained by the loss of all his force. Hardly had the soldiers told this much, when Nearchus and Archias approached; Alexander could only with great difficulty recognize them; and seeing them as he did long-haired and ill-clad, his grief for the whole fleet and its personnel received even greater surety. Giving his right hand to Nearchus and leading him aside from the Companions and the bodyguard, for a long time he wept; but at length recovering himself he said: 'That you come back safe to us, and Archias here, the entire disaster is tempered to me; but how perished the fleet and the force?' 'Sir,' he replied, 'your ships and men are safe; we are come to tell with our own lips of their safety.' On this Alexander wept the more, since the safety of the force had seemed too good to be true; and then he enquired where the ships were anchored. Nearchus replied: 'They are all drawn up at the mouth of the river Anamis, and are undergoing a refit.' Alexander then called to witness Zeus of the Greeks and the Libyan, Ammon that in good truth he rejoiced more at this news than because he had conquered all Asia since the grief he had felt at the supposed loss of the fleet cancelled all his other good fortune.

XXXVI. The governor of the province, however, whom Alexander had arrested for his false tidings, seeing Nearchus there on the spot, fell at his feet:

'Here,' he said, 'am I, who reported your safe arrival to Alexander; you see in what plight I now am.' So Nearchus begged Alexander to let him go, and he was let off. Alexander then sacrificed thank-offerings for the safety of his host, to Zeus the Saviour, Heracles, Apollo the Averter of Evil, Poseidon and all the gods of the sea; and he held a contest of art and of athletics, and also a procession; Nearchus was in the front row in the procession, and the troops showered on him ribbons and flowers. At the end of the procession Alexander said to Nearchus: 'I will not let you, Nearchus, run risks or suffer distresses again like those of the past; some other admiral shall henceforth command the navy till he brings it into Susa.' Nearchus, however, broke in and said: 'King, I will obey you in all things, as is my bounden duty; but should you desire to do me a gracious favour, do not this thing, but let me be the admiral of your fleet right up to the end, till I bring your ships safe to Susa. Let it not be said that you entrusted me with the difficult and desperate work, but the easy task which leads to ready fame was taken away and put into another's hands.' Alexander checked his speaking further and thanked him warmly to boot; and so he sent him back a signal giving him a force as escort, but a small one, as he was going through friendly territory. Yet his journey to the sea was not untroubled; the natives of the country round about were in possession of the strong places of Carmania, since their satrap had been put to death by Alexander's orders, and his successor appointed, Tlepolemus, had not established his authority. Twice then or even thrice on the one day the party came into conflict with different bodies of natives who kept coming up, and thus without losing any time they only just managed to get safe to the sea-coast. Then Nearchus sacrificed to Zeus the Saviour and held an athletic meeting.

XXXVII. When therefore Nearchus had thus duly performed all his religious duties, they weighed anchor. Coasting along a rough and desert island, they anchored off another island, a large one, and inhabited; this was after a voyage of three hundred stades, from their point of departure. The desert island was called Organa, and that off which they moored Oaracta. Vines grew on it and date-palms; and it produced corn; the length of the island was eight hundred stades. The governor of the island, Mazenes, sailed with them as far as Susa as a volunteer pilot. They said that in this island the tomb of the first chief of this territory was shown; his name was Erythres, and hence came the name of the sea. Thence they weighed anchor and sailed onward, and when they had coasted about two hundred stades along this same island they anchored off it once more and sighted another island, about forty stades from this large one. It was said to be sacred to Poseidon, and not to be trod by foot of man. About dawn they put out to sea, and were met by so violent an ebb that three of the ships ran ashore and were held hard and fast on dry land, and the rest only just sailed through the surf and got safe into deep water. The ships, however, which ran aground were floated off when next flood came, and arrived next day where the main fleet was. They moored at another island, about three hundred stades from the mainland, after a voyage of four hundred stades. Thence they sailed about dawn, and passed on their port side a desert island; its name was Pylora. Then they anchored at Sisidona, a desolate little township, with nothing but water and fish; for the natives here were fish-eaters whether they would or not, because they dwelt in so desolate a territory. Thence they got water, and reached Cape Tarsias, which runs right out into the sea, after a voyage of three hundred stades. Thence they made for Cataea, a desert island, and low-lying; this was said to be sacred to Hermes and Aphrodite; the voyage was of three hundred stades. Every year the natives round about send sheep and goats as sacred to Hermes and Aphrodite, and one could see them, now quite wild from lapse of time and want of handling.

XXXVIII. So far extends Carmania; beyond this is Persia. The length of the voyage along the Carmanian coast is three thousand seven hundred stades. The natives' way of life is like that of the Persians, to whom they are also neighbours; and they wear the same military equipment. The Greeks moved on thence, from the sacred island, and were already coasting along Persian territory; they put in at a place called Eas, where a harbour is formed by a small desert island, which is called Cecandrus; the voyage thither is four hundred stades. At daybreak they sailed to another island, an inhabited one, and anchored there; here, according to Nearchus, there is pearl fishing, as in the Indian Ocean. They sailed along the point of this island, a distance of forty stades, and there moored. Next they anchored off a tall hill, called Ochus, in a safe harbour; fishermen dwelt on its banks. Thence they sailed four hundred and fifty stades, and anchored off Apostana; many boats were anchored there, and there was a village near, about sixty stades from the sea. They weighed anchor at night and sailed thence to a gulf, with a good many villages settled round about. This was a voyage of four hundred stades; and they anchored below a mountain, on which grew many date-pahns and other fruit trees such as flourish in Greece. Thence they um-noored and sailed along to Gogana, about six hundred stades, to an inhabited district; and they anchored off the torrent, called Areon, just at its outlet. The anchorage there was uncomfortable; the entrance was narrow, just at the mouth, since the ebb tide caused shallows in all the neighbourhood of the outlet. After this they anchored again, at another river-mouth, after a voyage of about eight hundred stades. This river was called Sitacus. Even here, however, they did not find a pleasant anchorage; in fact this whole voyage along Persia was shallows, surf, and lagoons. There they found a great supply of corn; brought together there by the King's orders, for their provisioning; there they abode twenty-one days in all; they drew up the ships, and repaired those that had suffered, and the others too they put in order.

XXXIX. Thence they started and reached the city of Hieratis, a populous place. The voyage was of seven hundred and fifty stades; and they anchored in a channel running from the river to the sea and called Heratemis. At sunrise they sailed along the coast to a torrent called Padagrus; the entire district forms. a peninsula. There were many gardens, and all sorts of fruit trees were growing there; the name of the place was Mesambria. From Mesambria they sailed and after a voyage of about two hundred stades anchored at Taoce on the river Granis. Inland from here was a Persian royal residence, about two hundred stades from the mouth of the river. On this voyage, Nearchus says, a great whale was seen, stranded on the shore, and some of the sailors sailed past it and measured it, and said it was of ninety cubits' length. Its hide was scaly, and so thick that it was a cubit in depth; and it had many oysters, limpets, and seaweeds growing on it. Nearchus also says that they could see many dolphins round the whale, and these larger than the Mediterranean dolphins. Going on hence, they put in at the torrent Rogonis, in a good harbour; the length of this voyage was two hundred stades. Thence again they sailed four hundred stades and bivouacked on the side of a torrent; its name was Brizana. Then they found difficult anchorage; there were surf, and shallows, and reefs showing above the sea. But when the flood tide came in, they were able to anchor; when, however,, the tide retired again, the ships were left high and dry. Then when the flood duly returned, they sailed out, and anchored in a river called Oroatis, greatest, according to Nearchus, of all the rivers which on this coast run into the Ocean.

XL. The Persians dwell up to this point and the Susians next to them. Above the Susians lives another independent tribe; these are called Uxians, and in my earlier history I have described them as brigands. The length of the voyage along the Persian coast was four thousand four hundred stades. The Persian land is divided, they say, into three climatic zones. The part which lies by the Red Sea is sandy and sterile, owing to the heat. Then the next zone, northward, has a temperate climate; the country is grassy and has lush meadows and many

vines and all other fruits except the olive; it is rich with all sorts of gardens, has pure rivers running through, and also lakes, and is good both for all sorts of birds which frequent rivers and lakes, and for horses, and also pastures the other domestic animals, and is well wooded, and has plenty of game. The next zone, still going northward, is wintry and snowy, Nearchus. tells us of some envoys from the Black Sea who after quite a short journey met Alexander traversing Persia and caused him no small astonishment; and they explained to Alexander how short the journey was. I have explained that the Uxians are neighbours to the Susians, as the Mardians they also are brigands live next the Persians, and the Cossaeans come next to the Medes. All these tribes Alexander reduced, coming upon them in winter-time, when they thought their country unapproachable. He also founded cities so that they should no longer be nomads but cultivators, and tillers of the ground, and so having a stake in the country might be deterred from raiding one another. From here the convoy passed along the Susian territory. About this part of the voyage Nearchus says he cannot speak with accurate detail, except about the roadsteads and the length of the voyage. This is because the country is for the most part marshy and ruins out well into the sea, with breakers, and is very hard to get good anchorage in. So their voyage was mostly in the open sea. They sailed out, therefore from the mouths of the river, where they had encamped, just on the Persian border, taking on board water for five days; for the pilots said that they would meet no fresh water.

XLI. Then after traversing five hundred stades they anchored in the mouth of a lake, full of fish, called Cataderbis: at the mouth was a small island called Margastana. Thence about daybreak they sailed out and passed the shallows in columns of single ships; the shallows were marked on either side by poles driven down, just as in the strait between the island Leucas and Acarnania signposts have been set up for navigators so that the ships should not ground on the shallows. However, the shallows round Leucas are sandy and render it easy for those aground to get off; but here it is mud on both sides of the channel, both deep and tenacious; once aground there, they could not possibly get of. For the punt-poles sank into the mud and gave them no help, and it proved impossible for the crews to disembark and push the ships off, for they sank up to their breasts in the ooze. Thus then they sailed out with great difficulty and traversed six hundred stades, each crew abiding by its ship; and then they took thought for supper. During the night, however, they were fortunate in reaching deep sailing water and next day also, up to the evening; they sailed nine hundred stades, and anchored in the mouth of the Euphrates near a village of Babylonia, called Didotis; here the merchants gather together frankincense from the neighbouring country and all other sweet-smelling spices which Arabia produces. From the mouth of the Euphrates to Babylon Nearchus says it is a voyage of three thousand three hundred stades.

XLII. There they heard that Alexander was departing towards Susa. They therefore sailed back, in order to sail up the Pasitigris and meet Alexander. So they sailed back, with the land of Susia on their left, and they went along the lake into which the Tigris runs. It flows from Armenia past the city of Ninus, which once was a great and rich city, and so makes the region between itself and the Euphrates; that is why it is called 'Between the Rivers.' The voyage from the lake up to the river itself is six hundred stades, and there is a village of Susia called Aginis; this village is five hundred stades from Susa. The length of the voyage along Susian territory to the mouth of the Pasitigris is two thousand stades. From there they sailed up the Pasitigris through inhabited and prosperous country. Then they had sailed up about a hundred and fifty stades they moored there, waiting for the scouts whom Nearchus had sent to see where the King was. He himself sacrificed to the Saviour gods, and held an athletic meeting, and the whole naval force made merry. And when news was brought that Alexander was now approaching they sailed again up the river; and they moored near the pontoon bridge on which Alexander intended to take his army over to Susa. There the two forces met; Alexander offered sacrifices for his ships and men, come safe back again, and games were held; and whenever Nearchus appeared in the camp, the troops pelted him with ribbons and flowers. There also Nearchus and Leonnatus were crowned by Alexander with a golden crown; Nearchus for the safe conveying of the ships, Leonnatus for the victory he had achieved among the Oreitans and the natives who dwelt next to them. Thus then Alexander received safe back his navy, which had started from the mouths of the Indus.

XLIII. On the right side of the Red Sea beyond Babylonia is the chief part of Arabia, and of this a part comes down to the sea of Phoenicia and Palestinian Syria, but on the west, up to the Mediterranean, the Egyptians are upon the Arabian borders. Along Egypt a gulf running in from the Great Sea makes it clear that by reason of the gulf's joining with the High Seas one might sail round from Babylon into this gulf which runs into Egypt. Yet, in point of fact, no one has yet sailed round this way by reason of the heat and the desert nature of the coasts, only a few people who sailed over the open sea. But those of the army of Cambyses who came safe from Egypt to Susa and those troops who were sent from Ptolemy Lagus to Seleucus Nicator at Babylon through Arabia crossed an isthmus in a period of eight days and passed through a waterless and desert country, riding fast upon camels, carrying water for themselves on their camels, and travelling by night; for during the day they could not come out of shelter by reason of the heat. So far is the region on the other side of this stretch of land, which we have demonstrated to be an isthmus from the Arabian gulf running into the Red Sea, from being inhabited, that its northern parts are quite desert and sandy. Yet from the Arabian gulf which runs along Egypt people have started, and have circumnavigated the greater part of Arabia hoping to reach the sea nearest to Susa and Persia, and thus have sailed so far round the Arabian coast as the amount of fresh water taken aboard their vessels have permitted, and then have returned home again. And those whom Alexander sent from Babylon, in order that, sailing as far as they could on the right of the Red Sea, they might reconnoitre the country on this side, these explorers sighted certain islands lying on their course, and very possibly put in at the mainland of Arabia. But the cape which Nearchus says his party sighted running out into the sea opposite Carmania no one has ever been able to round, and thus turn inwards towards the far side. I am inclined to think that had this been navigable,ft and had there been any passage, it would have been proved navigable, and a passage found, by the indefatigable energy of Alexander. Moreover, Hanno the Libyan started out from Carthage and passed the pillars of Heracles and sailed into the outer Ocean, with Libya on his port side, and he sailed on towards the east, five-and-thirty days all told. But when at last he turned southward, he fell in with every sort of difficulty, want of water, blazing heat, and fiery streams running into the sea. But Cyrene, lying in the more desert parts of Africa, is grassy and fertile and well-watered; it bears all sorts of fruits and animals, right up to the region where the silphium grows; beyond this silphium belt its upper parts are bare and sandy. Here this my history shall cease, which, as well as my other, deals with Alexander of Macedon son of Philip.

Gestae Divi Augusti (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Augustus/Res_Gestae/1*.html) in Latin, Greek and English from Lacus Curtius

01-06-2009, 14:37
Periplus of the West

Map of the Greek and Phoenician Colonies in the West


The Pillars of Heracles: a Periplus Thread on Iberia and Mauretania (https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?p=2108020#post2108020)


Cities of Iberia

Tribes of Iberia

Language Groups of Iberia

Texts and Other Resources
The tribes of Iberia (just a list so far, commentary to come)

Turduli Veteres
Turdulorum Oppida

Britain and Ireland


Tribes of Britain

Roman Britain



Northern Gaul and Britain in Roman Times

Tribes of Gaul

Caesar's Gaul

Roman Gaul in Detail

Texts and Other Resources

The Geography of Roman Gaul (http://www.sc.edu/ltantsoc/geogmain.htm)

Tribes of Gaul (Yes it's from wikipedia but I'm in a hurry. I'll revise it soon.)

Ambarri.........near junction of Rhône & Saône rivers
Belgae...........Gallia Belgica
Boii...............Boii (Boui near Entrain)
Boii Boates.....Boates (La Tête de Buch)
Brannovices...near Mâcon?
Cadurci..........Uxellodunum (Issoudun)
Cenomani.......Le Mans
Helvetii...........La Tène
Morini.............Boulogne sur Mer
Raurici.............Kaiseraugst (Augusta Raurica)
Redones ..........Rennes
Vindelici.............Augusta Vindelicorum
Volcae Arecomic..Languedoc

Germany and Central Europe


http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/tacitusc/germany/g2.jpgTacitus' Germania

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Ancient_Germania_-_New_York,_Harper_and_Brothers_1849.jpgLate Roman Germania

Texts and Other Resources
Tribes of Germany as listed by Tacitus


Tacitus, Germania
Written around 100 CE, so the information is anachronistic

1. The country we know under the name of Germany is separated from Gaul, on the one hand, and from Rhaetia and Pannonia, on the other, by the rivers Rhine and Danube, from Sarmatia and Dacia by the barrier of mutual fear or mountain ranges. Its northern coasts, with their broad promontories and vast islands beyond, are lapped by Ocean. It is only in recent times that war has revealed the existence there of nations and kings unknown before. The Rhine rises in a remote and precipitous peak of the Rhaetian Alps and bends gently westward to lose itself in the northern ocean. The Danube flows from a gentle grassy slope of Mount Abnoba and passes more peoples than the Rhine in its course, before it discharges by six channels into the Black Sea. Its seventh mouth is swallowed up in marshes.

2. The Germans themselves, I am inclined to think, are natives of the soil and extremely little affected by immigration or friendly intercourse with other nations. For, in ancient times, if you wished to change your habitat, you travelled by sea and not by land; and the vast ocean that lies beyond and, so to speak, defies intruders, is seldom visited by ships from our world. Besides—to say nothing of the perils of a wild and unknown sea—who would leave Asia, Africa or Italy to visit Germany, with its unlovely scenery, its bitter climate, its general dreariness to sense and eye, unless it were his home?

In their ancient songs, their only form of recorded history, the Germans celebrate the earth-born god, Tuisto. They assign to him a son, Mannus, the author of their race, and to Mannus three sons, their founders, after whom the people nearest Ocean are named Ingaevones, those of the centre Herminones, the remainder Istaevones. The remote past invites guesswork, and so some authorities record more sons of the god and more national names, such as Marsi, Gambrivii, Suebi and Vandilici; and the names are indeed genuine and ancient. As for the name of Germany, it is quite a modern coinage, they say. The first people to cross the Rhine and oust the Gauls are now called Tungri, but were then called Germans. It was the name of this tribe, not that of a nation, that gradually came into general use. And so, in the first place, they were all called Germans after the conquerors because of the terror these inspired, and finally adopted and applied the new name to themselves.

3. Hercules, among others, is said to have visited them, and they chant his praises before those of other heroes on their way into battle. They have also a different kind of chant. Its recital—barritus, to use their own name— serves to kindle their courage and helps them by its sound to forecast the issue of the coming battle. They inspire or feel terror according to which army roars the louder, and they regard the competition as one of valour rather than voice. What they aim at most is a harsh tone and hoarse murmur, and so they put their shields before their mouths, in order to make the voice swell fuller and deeper as it echoes back. Ulysses, too, in those long and fabled wanderings of his, is thought by some to have reached this ocean, visited the German lands and founded and named Asciburgium, a place still inhabited to-day on the banks of the Rhine. They even add that an altar, consecrated by Ulysses and giving also the name of his father, Laertes, was found long since on the same spot, and that certain monuments on barrows, inscribed with Greek letters, are still to be seen on the borders of Germany and Rhaetia. I am not disposed either to sustain or refute such assertions by evidence; my readers may believe or disbelieve at their own discretion.

4.For myself I accept the view that the peoples of Germany have never been tainted by intermarriage with other peoples, and stand out as a nation peculiar, pure and unique of its kind. Hence the physical type, if one may generalize at all about so vast a population, is everywhere the same wild, blue eyes, reddish hair and huge frames that excel only in violent effort. They have no corresponding power to endure hard work and exertion, and have little capacity to bear thirst and heat; but their climate and soil have taught them to bear cold and hunger.

5. The country in general, while varying somewhat in character, either bristles with woods or festers with swamps. It is wetter where it faces Gaul, windier where it faces Noricum and Pannonia. Though fertile in grain crops, it is unkind to fruit trees. It is rich in flocks, but they are for the most part undersized. Even the cattle lack the splendid brows that are their natural glory. It is numbers that please, numbers that constitute their only, their darling, form of wealth. Heaven has denied them gold and silver—shall I say in mercy or in wrath? But I would not go so far as to assert that Germany has no lodes of silver and gold. Who has ever prospected for them? The Germans take less than the normal pleasure in owning and using them. One may see among them silver vessels, which have been given as presents to their envoys and chiefs, as lightly esteemed as earthenware. The Germans nearest us do, however, value gold and silver for their use in trade, and recognize and prefer certain types of Roman money. The peoples of the interior, truer to the plain old ways, employ barter. They like money that is old and familiar, denarii with the notched edge and the type of the two-horse chariot. Another point is that they try to get silver in preference to gold. They have no predilection for the metal, but find plenty of silver change more serviceable in buying cheap and common goods.

6. There is not even any great abundance of iron, as may be inferred from the character of their weapons. Only a very few use swords or lances. The spears that they carry—frameae is the native word—have short and narrow heads, but are so sharp and easy to handle, that the same weapon serves at need for close or distant fighting. The horseman asks no more than his shield and spear, but the infantry have also javelins to shower, several per man, and can hurl them to a great distance; for they are either naked or only lightly clad in their cloaks. There is nothing ostentatious in their turn-out. Only the shields are picked out with carefully selected colours. Few have breastplates; only here and there will you see a helmet of metal or hide. Their horses are not distinguished either for beauty or for speed, nor are they trained in Roman fashion to execute various turns. They ride them straight ahead or with a single swing to the right, keeping the wheeling line so perfect that no one drops behind the rest. On a general survey, their strength is seen to he rather in their infantry, and that is why they combine the two arms in battle. The men whom they select from the whole force and station in the van are fleet of foot mid fit admirably into cavalry action. The number of these select men ' is exactly fixed. A hundred are drawn from each district, and ` the hundred' is the name they bear at home. What began as a mere number ends as a title of distinction. The line is made up of wedge formations. To retreat, provided that you return to the attack, is considered crafty rather than cowardly. They bring in the bodies of the fallen even when the battle hangs in the balance. To throw away one's shield is the supreme disgrace; the guilty wretch is debarred from sacrifice or council. Men have often survived battle only to end their shame by hanging themselves.

7. They choose their kings for their noble birth, their leaders for their valour. The power even of the kings is not absolute or arbitrary. As for the leaders, it is their example rather than their authority that wins them special admiration—for their energy, their distinction, or their presence in the van of fight. Capital punishment, imprisonment and even flogging are allowed to none but the priests, and are not inflicted merely as punishments or on the leaders' orders, but in obedience to the god whom they believe to preside over battle. They also carry into the fray figures and emblems taken from their sacred groves. Not chance or the accident of mustering makes the troop or wedge, but family and friendship, and this is a very powerful incitement to valour. A man's dearest possessions are at hand; he can hear close to him the laments of his women and the wailing of his children. These are the witnesses that a man reverences most, to them he looks for his highest praise. The men take their wounds to their mothers and wives, and the latter are not afraid of counting and examining the blows, and bring food and encouragement to the fighting men.

8. It stands on record that armies wavering on the point of collapse have been restored by the women. They have pleaded heroically with their men, thrusting their bosoms before them and forcing them to realize the imminent prospect of their enslavement—a fate which they fear more desperately for their women than for themselves. It is even found that you can secure a surer hold on a state if you demand among the hostages girls of noble family. More than this, they believe that there resides in women an element of holiness and prophecy, and so they do not scorn to ask their advice or lightly disregard their replies. In the reign of the deified Vespasian we saw Veleda long honoured by many Germans as a divinity, whilst even earlier they showed a similar reverence for Aurinia and others, a reverence untouched by flattery or any pretence of turning women into goddesses.

9. Above all gods they worship Mercury, and count it no sin to win his favour on certain days by human sacrifices. They appease Hercules and Mars with the beasts normally allowed. Some of the Suebi sacrifice to Isis also. I cannot determine the origin and meaning of this foreign cult, but her emblem, made in the form of a light war-vessel, proves that her worship came in from abroad. They do not, however, deem it consistent with the divine majesty to imprison their gods within walls or represent them with anything like human features. Their holy places are the woods and groves, and they call by the name of god that hidden presence which is seen only by the eye of reverence.

10. For auspices and the casting of lots they have the highest possible regard. Their procedure in casting lots is uniform. They break off a branch of a fruit-tree and slice it into strips; they distinguish these by certain runes and throw them, as random chance will have it, on to a white cloth. Then the priest of the State if the consultation is a public one, the father of the family if it is private, after a prayer to the gods and an intent gaze heavenward, picks up three, one at a time, and reads their meaning from the runes scored on them. If the lots forbid an enterprise, there can be no further consultation that day; if they allow it, further confirmation by auspices is required. Their practice of questioning the notes and flights of birds is, of course, known also to us; peculiar to the Germans is the seeking of presentiments and warnings from horses. These horses are kept at the public expense in those sacred woods and groves that I have already mentioned; they are pure white and undefiled by work for man. The priest or king or chief of the State yokes them to a sacred chariot and goes along with them, noting their neighings and snortings. No form of auspices inspires greater trust, not only among the commons, but even among the nobles and priests. They themselves are only the servants, the horses are the confidants of the gods. There is yet another kind of auspices used to forecast the issue of serious wars. They somehow or other contrive to secure a captive from the nation with which they are at war and match him against a champion of their own, each armed in native style. The victory of one or the other is taken as a test case.

11. On matters of minor importance only the chiefs debate, on major affairs the whole community; but, even where the commons have the decision, the case is carefully considered in advance by the chiefs. Except in case of accident or emergency they assemble on fixed days, when the moon is either crescent or nearing her full orb. These, they hold, are the most auspicious times for embarking on any new enterprise. They count, not like us, by days, but by nights. It is by nights that they fix dates or make appointments. Night is regarded as ushering in the day. It is a defect of their freedom that they do not assemble at once or in obedience to orders, but waste two or three days in their dilatory gathering. When the mass so decide, they take their seats fully armed. Silence is then demanded by the priests, who on that occasion have also power to enforce obedience. Then such hearing is given to the king or chief as age, rank, military distinction or eloquence can secure; but it is rather their prestige as counsellors than their authority that tells. If a proposal displeases them, the people roar out their dissent; if they approve, they clash their spears. No form of approval can carry more honour than praise expressed by arms.

12.One can launch an accusation before the Council or bring a capital charge. The punishment varies to suit the crime. The traitor and deserter are hanged on trees, the coward, the shirker and the unnaturally vicious are drowned in miry swamps under a cover of wattled hurdles. The distinction in the punishments implies that deeds of violence should be paid for in the full glare of publicity, but that deeds of shame should be suppressed. Even for lighter offences the punishment varies. The man who is found guilty is fined so and so many horses or cattle. Part of the fine is paid to the King or State, part to the injured man or his relatives. In the same councils are elected the chiefs, who dispense justice through the country districts and villages. Each of them is attended by a hundred companions, drawn from the commons, both to advise him and to add weight to his decisions.

13. No business, public or private, is transacted except in arms. But it is the rule that no one shall take up his arms until the State has attested that he is likely to make good. When that time comes, one of the chiefs or the father or a kinsman equips the young warrior with shield and spear in the public council. This with the Germans is the equivalent of our toga—the first public distinction of youth. They cease to rank merely as members of the household and are now members of the state. Conspicuous ancestry or great services rendered by their fathers can win the rank of chief for boys still in their teens. They are attached to the other chiefs, who are more mature and approved, and no one blushes to be seen thus in the ranks of the companions. This order of companions has even its different grades, as determined by the leader, and there is intense rivalry among the companions for the first place by the chief, among the chiefs for the most numerous and enthusiastic companions. Dignity and power alike consist in being continually attended by a corps of chosen youths. This gives you consideration in peace-time and security in war. Nor is it only in a man's own nation that he can win name and fame by the superior number and quality of his companions, but in neighbouring states as well. Chiefs are courted by embassies and complimented by gifts, and they often virtually decide wars by the mere weight of their reputation.

14. On the field of battle it is a disgrace to the chief to be surpassed in valour by his companions, to the companions not to come up to the valour of their chief. As for leaving a battle alive after your chief has fallen, that means lifelong infamy and shame. To defend and protect him, to put down one's own acts of heroism to his credit that is what they really mean by `allegiance'. The chiefs fight for victory, the companions for their chief. Many noble youths, if the land of their birth is stagnating in a protracted peace, deliberately seek out other tribes, where some war is afoot. The Germans have no taste for peace; renown is easier won among perils, and you cannot maintain a large body of companions except by violence and war. The companions are prodigal in their demands on the generosity of their chiefs. It is always `give me that war-horse' or `give me that bloody and victorious spear'. As for meals with their plentiful, if homely, fare, they count simply as pay. Such open-handedness must have war and plunder to feed it. You will find it harder to persuade a German to plough the land and to await its annual produce with patience than to challenge a foe and earn the prize of wounds. He thinks it spiritless and slack to gain by sweat what he can buy with blood.

15. When not engaged in warfare, they spend some little time in hunting, but more in idling, abandoned to sleep and gluttony. All the heroes and grim warriors dawdle their time away, while the care of house, hearth and fields is left to the women, old men and weaklings of the family. The warriors themselves lose their edge. They are so strangely inconsistent. They love indolence, but they hate peace. It is usual for states to make voluntary and individual contributions of cattle or agricultural produce to the chiefs. These are accepted as a token of honour, but serve also to relieve essential needs. The chiefs take peculiar pleasure in gifts from neighbouring states, such as are sent not only by individuals, but by the community as well—choice horses, splendid arms, metal discs and collars; the practice of accepting money payments they have now learnt—from us.

16. It is a well-known fact that the peoples of Germany never live in cities, and will not even have their houses set close together. They live apart, dotted here and there, where spring, plain or grove has taken their fancy. Their villages are not laid out in Roman style, with buildings adjacent or interlocked. Every man leaves an open space round his house, perhaps as a precaution against the risk of fire, perhaps because they are such inexpert builders. They do not even make any use of little stone blocks or tiles; what serves their every purpose is ugly timber, both unimpressive and unattractive. They smear over some parts of their houses with an earth that is so pure and brilliant that it looks like painting or coloured mosaics. They have also the habit of hollowing out caves underground and heaping masses of refuse on the top. In these they can escape the winter's cold and store their produce. In such shelters they take the edge off the bitter frosts; and, should an invader come, he ravages the open country, but the secret and buried stores may pass altogether unnoticed or escape detection, simply because they have to be looked for.

17. The universal dress is the short cloak, fastened with a brooch or, failing that, a thorn. They pass whole days by the hearth fire wearing no garment but this. The richest are not distinguished, like the Persians and Sarmatians, by a long flowing robe, but by a tight one that shows the shape of every limb. They also wear the pelts of wild animals, the tribes near the Rhine without regard to appearance, the more distant peoples with some refinement of taste, for there is no other finery that they can buy. These latter peoples make careful choice of animal, then strip off the pelt and mottle it with patches of the spotted skins of the beasts that live in the outer ocean —and the unknown sea. The dress of the women differs from that of the men in two respects only. The women often wear undergarments of linen, embroidered with purple, and, as the upper part does not extend to sleeves, forearms and upper arms are bare. Even the breast, where it comes nearest the shoulder, is exposed too.

18. For all that, marriage in Germany is austere, and there is no feature in their morality that deserves higher praise. They are almost unique among barbarians in being satisfied with one wife each. The exceptions, which are exceedingly rare, are of men who receive offers of many wives because of their rank; there is no question of sexual passion. The dowry is brought by husband to wife, not by wife to husband. Parents and kinsmen attend and approve of the gifts, gifts not chosen to please a woman's whim or gaily deck a young bride, but oxen, horse with reins, shield, spear and sword. For such gifts a man gets his wife, and she in her turn brings some present of arms to her husband. In this interchange of gifts they recognize the supreme bond, the holy mysteries, the presiding deities of marriage. A woman must not imagine herself free to neglect the manly virtues or immune from the hazards of war. That is why she is reminded, in the very ceremonies which bless her marriage at its outset, that she is coming to share a man's toils and dangers, that she is to be his partner in all his sufferings and adventures, whether in peace or war. That is the meaning of the team of oxen, of the horse ready for its rider, of the gift of arms. On these terms she must live her life and bear her children. She is receiving something that she must hand over unspoilt and treasured to her children, for her son's wives to receive in their turn and pass on to the grandchildren.

19. Thus it is that the German women live in a chastity that is impregnable, uncorrupted by the temptations of public shows or the excitements of banquets. Clandestine love-letters are unknown to men and women alike. Adultery in that populous nation is rare in the extreme, and punishment is summary and left to the husband. He shaves off his wife's hair, strips her in the presence of kinsmen, thrusts her from his house and flogs her through the whole village. They have, in fact, no mercy on a woman who prostitutes her chastity. Neither beauty, youth nor wealth can find the sinner a husband. No one in Germany finds vice amusing, or calls it `up-to-date' to debauch and be debauched. It is still better with those states in which only virgins marry, and the hopes and prayers of a wife are settled once and for all. They take one husband, like the one body or life that they possess. No thought or desire must stray beyond him. They must not love the husband so much as the married state. To restrict the number of children or to put to death any born after the heir is considered criminal. Good morality is more effective in Germany than good laws in some places that we know.

20. The children grow up in every home, naked and dirty, to that strength of limb and size of body which excite our admiration. Every mother feeds her child at the breast and does not depute the task to maids and nurses. The master is not to be distinguished from the slave by any pampering in his upbringing. They grow up together among the same flocks and on the same ground, until maturity sets apart the free and the spirit of valour claims them as her own. The young men are slow to mate, and their powers, therefore, are never exhausted. The girls, too, are not hurried into marriage. As old and full-grown as the men, they match their mates in age and strength, and the children reproduce the might of their parents. The sons of sisters are as highly honoured by their uncles as by their own fathers. Some even go so far as to regard this tie of blood as peculiarly close and sacred, and, in taking hostages, insist on having them of this class; they think that this gives them a firmer grip on men's hearts and a wider hold on the family. However, a man's heirs and successors are his own children, and there is no such thing as a will; where there are no children, the next to succeed are, first, brothers, and then uncles, first on the father's, then on the mother's side. The larger a man's kin and the greater the number of his relations by marriage, the stronger is his influence when he is old. Childlessness in Germany is not a paying profession.

21. A man is bound to take up the feuds as well as the friendships of father or kinsman. But feuds do not continue unreconciled. Even homicide can be atoned for by a fixed number of cattle or sheep, and the satisfaction is received by the whole family. This is much to the advantage of the community, for private feuds are peculiarly dangerous side by side with liberty.

No nation abandons itself more completely to banqueting and entertainment than the German. It is accounted a sin to turn any man away from your door. The host welcomes his guest with the best meal that his means allow. When supplies run out, the host takes on a fresh role; he directs and escorts his guest to a new hostelry. The two go on, uninvited, to the nearest house. It makes no difference; they are welcomed just as warmly. No distinction is ever made between acquaintance and stranger as far as the right to hospitality is concerned. As the guest takes his leave, it is usual to let him have anything he asks for; the host, too, is no more shy in asking. They take delight in presents, but ask no credit for giving them and admit no obligation in receiving them. There is a pleasant courtesy in the relations between host and guest.

22. As soon as they rise from their sleep, which is often protracted well into the day, they wash in water that is usually warm; can one wonder, where winter holds such sway? After washing, they breakfast; each has his special place and his special table. Then they sally forth in arms to business or, as often as not, to banquets. Drinking bouts, lasting a day and night, are not considered in any way disgraceful. Such quarrels as inevitably arise over the cups are seldom settled by mere hard words, more often by blows and wounds. None the less, they often make banquets an occasion for discussing such serious affairs as the reconciliation of enemies, the forming of marriage alliances, the adoption of new chiefs, and even the choice of peace or war. At no other time, they feel, is the heart so open to frank suggestions or so quick to warm to a great appeal. The Germans are neither canny nor cunning, and take advantage of the occasion to unbosom themselves of their most secret thoughts; every soul is naked and exposed. The next day, comes reconsideration, and so due account is taken of both occasions. They debate at a time which cuts out pretence, they decide at a time that precludes mistake.

23. For drink they extract a juice from barley or grain, which is fermented to make something not unlike wine. The Germans who live nearest the Rhine can actually get wine in the market. Their food is plain—wild fruit, fresh game or curdled milk. They satisfy their hunger without any elaborate service or appetizers. But they show no corresponding self-control in drinking. You have only to indulge their intemperance by supplying all that they crave, and you will gain as easy a victory through their vices as through your own arms.

24.. They have only one form of public show, which is the same wherever they foregather. Naked youths, trained to the sport, dance among swords and spears that are levelled at them. Practice begets skill, and skill grace, but they are not professionals or paid. However adventurous the play, their only reward is the pleasure they give the spectators. But they go in for dicing, if you can believe it, in all seriousness and in their sober hours, and are so recklessly keen about winning or losing that, when everything else is gone, they stake their personal liberty on the last decisive throw. The loser goes into slavery without complaint; younger or stronger he may be, but he suffers himself to be bound. Such is their perverse persistence, or, to use their own word, their honour. Slaves of this sort are sold and passed on, so that the winner may be clear of the shame that even he feels in his victory.

25. Slaves in general are not allotted, as we allot them, to special duties in the establishment. Each has control of his own house and home. The master imposes a fixed charge of grain, cattle or clothing, as he would on a tenant, and up to this point the slave will obey; but domestic tasks, as a whole, are performed by a man's wife and children. It is seldom that they flog a slave or punish him with imprisonment or forced labour; but they often put one to death, in no spirit of stern discipline, but in a fit of passion, as they might an enemy—only they have not to pay for it. Freedmen rank little higher than slaves; they have seldom any serious influence in the household, never in the State,, excepting only in nations under the rule of kings. There they mount high above free men and nobles. With the rest the inferiority of freedmen is the hall-mark of liberty.

26. The practice of usury and compound interest is simply unknown. Ignorance here is a surer defence than any ban. Lands are taken into occupation, turn and turn about, by whole villages in proportion to the number of cultivators, and are then allotted in order of rank. The distribution is made easy by the vast extent of open land. They change their plough-lands yearly, and still there is ground to spare. The fact is that their soil is fertile and plentiful, but they refuse to give it the labour it deserves. They plant no orchards, fence off no meadows, water no gardens; the only levy on the earth is the corn crop. Hence it comes that they divide the year into fewer seasons than we do. Winter, spring and summer are familiar to them both as ideas and as names, but autumn is as unknown to them, as are the gifts she has to bring.

27. There is no pomp about their funerals. The one rule observed is that the bodies of famous men are burned with special kinds of wood. When they have heaped up the fire they do not throw robes or spices on the top; but only a man's arms, and sometimes his horse, too, are cast into the flames. The tomb is a raised mound of turf. They disdain to show honour by laboriously rearing high monuments of stone; they would only he heavy on the dead. Weeping and wailing are soon abandoned—sorrow and mourning not so soon. A woman may decently express her grief in public; a man should nurse his in his heart.

Such is the general account that we find given of the origin and customs of the Germans as a whole. I must now set forth the institutions and practices of the nations severally, so far as they are distinctive, and note the tribes that migrated into Gaul.

28. That the power of Gaul once exceeded that of Germany is recorded by that greatest of authorities, the deified Julius; and, in view of that, we may well believe that the Gauls in their time crossed into Germany. There was only a stream between, and how paltry an obstacle was that to stop any nation that grew strong enough from seizing and continuing to seize ever fresh lands, when they were no man's property and not yet partitioned between powerful kings! Thus, between the Hercynian forest and the rivers Rhine and Main, we find the Helvetii settled; beyond them, the Boii, both peoples of Gaul. The name of Bohemia still clings to the land and indicates its ancient history, even after its change of inhabitants. Whether the Aravisci came as immigrants to Pannonia from the German tribe of the Osi, or the Osi from the Aravisci into Germany, cannot be determined. Both speak the same language and have the same customs and character. Furthermore, of old, when both banks of the Rhine were equally poor and equally free, they offered identical advantages and disadvantages. The Treviri and Nervii even go out of their way to claim German descent. Such a glorious origin, they feel, should clear them of any resemblance to the nerveless Gauls. The actual bank of the Rhine is held by peoples of undoubted German originthe Vangiones, the Triboci and the Nemetes. Even the Ubii, for all that they have earned the rank of Roman colony and prefer to be called Agrippinenses, after Agrippina, their foundress, are not ashamed of their origin. They crossed the Rhine many years ago and, now that their loyalty to us is proved, they are stationed right on the river-bank, not to be under surveillance, but to keep the gate against intruders.

29. The most conspicuously courageous of all these peoples, the Batavi, hold little of the bank, but do hold the Rhine island. They were once a people of the Chatti, and on occasion of civil war migrated to their present homes—destined there to become a part of the Roman Empire. But the honour and distinction of their old alliance remain. They are not insulted by tribute or ground down by the tax-gatherer. Free from imposts and special levies, and reserved for battle, they are like weapons and armour, `only to be used in war'. No less dutiful is the nation of the Mattiaci, across the Rhine; for the greatness of Rome has spread the awe of her Empire even beyond the Rhine and the ancient frontiers. In geographical position they are on the German side, in heart and soul they are with us. They are similar to the Batavians in every way—except that soil and climate give a keener edge to their spirit.

I am inclined not to reckon among the people of Germany the cultivators of the Agri decumates, settled though they may be between Rhine and Danube. All the wastrels of Gaul, all the penniless adventurers seized on what was still no man's land. It was only later, when the frontier line of defence was drawn and the garrisons were moved forward, that they have become a sort of projection of the empire and a part of a province.

30. Beyond them dwell the Chatti, from the Hercynian forest onward, in a country less wide and marshy than the other states, which Germany stretches out to form. For the hills run on, and only thin out gradually, and the Hercynian forest, like a nurse with her infant cares, shows the Chatti on their way, and finally sets them down in the plain. This nation is distinguished by great physical hardiness, tautness of limb, savagery of expression and unusual mental vigour. They have plenty of judgment and acumen, as measured by the German standard. They pick the men to lead them, and proceed to obey them. They know how to keep their ranks, seize a chance, or delay an attack. They can map out the duties of the day or make sure the defences of the night. They reckon fortune a chance, but valour a certainty. They can also rise to an unusual achievement, usually reserved for Roman discipline: they place more dependence on the general than on the army. Their strength lies in their infantry, which, over and above its arms, has to bear the burden of entrenching tools and provisions. Other Germans may be seen going to battle, only the Chatti to war. It is but seldom that they engage in sallies or in broken fighting, such as really belong to cavalry, with its quick triumphs and its quick retreats. With infantry, speed is next door to cowardice, deliberate action approximates to courage.

31. A custom that in other German peoples is uncommon and depends on the enterprise of the individual has among the Chatti become a general rule—the letting the hair and beard grow long as soon as one has come of age, and only clearing the face of this covering, which has been vowed and pledged to valour, when one has slain an enemy. Over the bloodstained spoils they unbare the brow. `Now at last,' they cry, `we have paid the price of birth and shown ourselves worthy of country and parents.' The coward and the shirker remain still unkempt. The bravest also all wear an iron ring—which to the Chatti implies disgrace as a bond from which only the killing of an enemy can free them. Very many of the Chatti like this fashion and still signalize themselves by it even till their hair turns white—a mark for friend and foe alike. With such old warriors it always rests to begin the battle. They are always in the van and present a startling sight; even in peace they decline to soften the savagery of their expression. None of them has home, land or business of his own. To whatever host they choose to go, they get their keep from him, wasting the goods of others while despising their own, until old age drains their blood and incapacitates them for so exacting a form of heroism.

32. Next to the Chatti, along a Rhine that has now defined its channel and can serve as a boundary, live the Usipi and Tencteri. The Tencteri, while sharing in the general military glory, excel in skilful horsemanship. The infantry of the Chatti are not more famous than the cavalry of the Tencteri. That is their inherited tradition, which later ages continue to honour. The games of the children, the competitions of the young men, all take this same direction; even the old persist in it: Horses are handed down as part of the household with its protecting gods and the rights of the succession. They are inherited by a son, not necessarily, like the rest of the property, by the eldest, but by the one who is the keenest and ablest soldier.

33. Next to the Tencteri once came the Bructeri, but now the Chamavi and Angrivarii are said to have taken their place. The Bructeri were ousted and almost annihilated by a league of neighbouring tribes. Perhaps they were hated for their pride, or it may have been the lure of booty, or else the gods were kind to Rome. We were even gratified with the spectacle of a battle. Over 60,000 Germans fell, and not by Roman swords or javelins, but, more splendid still, to gladden Roman eyes. Long, I pray, may the Germans persist, if not in loving us, at least in hating one another; for the imperial destiny drives hard, and fortune has no longer any better gift for us than the disunion of our foes.

34. The Angrivarii and Chamavi are shut in from behind by the Dulgubnii, Chasuarii and other peoples of no special note, whilst in the West they are succeeded by the Frisii. The Frisii are called the `greater' and the `lesser', in accordance with the actual strength of the two peoples. Both tribes have the Rhine as their border right down to Ocean, and their settlements also extend round vast lakes, which have been sailed by Roman fleets. We have even felt our way into Ocean by this route, and rumour has it that there are pillars of Hercules beyond. Did Hercules really go there, or is it only our habit of assigning any conspicuous achievement anywhere to that famous name? Drusus Germanicus was not deficient in the courage of the explorer, but Ocean forbade further research into its own secrets or those of Hercules. Since then no one has tried to explore. It has been judged more pious and reverent to believe in what the gods have done than to investigate it.

35. This is as far as the Germany we know extends to the westward. To the north it comes back in a huge sweep. The very first nation here is that of the Chauci. They begin after the Frisians and hold a section of the coast, but they also lie along the flanks of all those nations that I have been describing, and finally curve back to meet the Chatti. This huge stretch of country is not merely occupied, but filled to overflowing by the Chauci. They are one of the noblest peoples of Germany, and one that actually prefers to maintain its greatness by righteous dealing. Unvexed by greed or lawless ambition, they dwell in quiet seclusion, never provoking a war, never robbing or plundering their neighbours. It is conspicuous proof of their valour and strength that their acknowledged superiority does not rest on aggression. Yet every man has arms ready to his hand, and, if occasion demands it, they have vast reserves of men and horses. So, even when they are at peace, their reputation does not fall.

36. On the flank of the Chauci and Chatti the Cherusci have been left free to enjoy a peace, too deep and overripe—a pleasant but perilous indulgence among powerful aggressors, where there is no true peace. When the strong hand decides, reasonableness and integrity have no meaning except as applied to the conqueror; and so the Cherusci, once the good and true, now hear themselves called the slovenly and slack. The luck of the victorious Chatti has come to rank as deep policy. In the fall of the Cherusci was involved the neighbouring tribe of the Fosi. They played second string to them in prosperity, but get an equal share of their adversity.

37. In the same bend of Germany, next to Ocean, dwell the Cimbri, a mighty name in history, though now but a tiny State. The traces of their ancient fame may still be seen far and wide, in vast encampments on both sides of the Rhine, which, by their huge girth, still supply a gauge of the mass and man-power of the nation and the historical truth of that great exodus. Rome was in her six hundred and fortieth year when the alarm of the Cimbrian arms was first heard, in the consulship of Caecilius Metellus and Papirius Carbo. Reckoning from that year to the second consulship of our Emperor Trajan, we get a total of just about two hundred and ten years. That is the time it is taking to conquer Germany. In the course of that long period much punishment has been given and taken by us. Neither from the Samnites nor from the Carthaginians, neither from Spain nor Gaul nor from the Parthians even, have we had more painful lessons. The freedom of Germany is a deadlier enemy than the despotism of Arsaces. After all, with what has the East to taunt us except the slaughter of Crassus? And after that it soon lost its own Pacorus and was humbled at the feet of Ventidius. But the Germans routed or captured Carbo, Cassius, Aurelius Scaurus, Servilius Caepio and Mallius Maximus, and robbed the Roman people, almost at one stroke, of five consular armies. From Caesar they stole Varus and his three legions. It was not without painful loss that C. Marius smote the Germans in Italy, that the deified Julius smote them in Gaul, that Drusus, Nero and Germanicus smote them in their own homes. Then the vast threats of Gaius Caesar ended in farce. After that ensued a peace, until the Germans took advantage of our dissensions and civil wars to storm the quarters of the legions and claim possession of Gaul. Driven back from these pretensions, they have in recent times supplied us with more triumphs than victories.

38. We must come now to speak of the Suebi, who do not, like the Chatti or Tencteri, constitute a single nation. They actually occupy more than half Germany, and are divided into a number of distinct tribes under distinct names, though all generically are called Suebi. It is the special characteristic of this nation to comb the hair sideways and fasten it below with a knot. This distinguishes the Suebi from the rest of the Germans; this, among the Suebi, distinguishes the freeman from the slave. In other nations that are either related in some degree to the Suebi or indulge in the common habit of imitation the practice does exist, but is uncommon and confined to early manhood. But with the Suebi the bristling hair, even till it turns white, is twisted back and often knotted on the very crown of the head. The chiefs use an even more elaborate style. Such attention do they pay to their personal appearance—and yet in all innocence; it is not to make love or inspire it that they build their hair to such a terrifying height; all this elaborate make-up is to impress the foe they will meet in battle.

39. The oldest and noblest of the Suebi, so it is said, are the Semnones, and the justice of this claim is confirmed by a religious rite. At a set time all the peoples of this blood gather, in their embassies, in a wood hallowed by the auguries of their ancestors and the awe of ages. The sacrifice in public of a human victim marks the grisly opening of their savage ritual. In another way, too, reverence is paid to the grove. No one may enter it unless he is bound with a cord. By this he acknowledges his own inferiority and the power of the deity. Should he chance to fall, he must not get up on his feet again. He must roll out over the ground. All this complex of superstition reflects the belief that in that grove the nation had its birth, and that there dwells the god who rules over all, while the rest of the world is subject to his sway. Weight is lent to this belief by the prosperity of the Semnones. They dwell in a hundred country districts and, in virtue of their magnitude, count themselves chief of all the Suebi.

40. The Langobardi, by contrast, are distinguished by the fewness of their numbers. Ringed round as they are by many mighty peoples, they find safety, not in obsequiousness but in battle and its perils. After them come the Reudigni, Aviones, Anglii, Varini, Eudoses, Suarini and Nuitones behind their ramparts of rivers and woods. There is nothing particularly noteworthy about these people in detail, but they are distinguished by a common worship of Nerthus, or Mother Earth. They believe that she interests herself in human affairs and rides through their peoples. In an island of Ocean stands a sacred grove, and in the grove stands a car draped with a cloth which none but the priest may touch. The priest can feel the presence of the goddess in this holy of holies, and attends her, in deepest reverence, as her car is drawn by kine. Then follow days of rejoicing and merry-making in every place that she honours with her advent and stay. No one goes to war, no one takes up arms; every object of iron is locked away; then, and then only, are peace and quiet known and prized, until the goddess is again restored to her temple by the priest, when she has had her fill of the society of men. After that, the car, the cloth and, believe it if you will, the goddess herself are washed clean in a secluded lake. This service is performed by slaves who are immediately afterwards drowned in the lake. Thus mystery begets terror and a pious reluctance to ask what that sight can be which is allowed only to dying eyes.

41. This section of Suebian territory that I have been describing juts out into the inner recesses of Germany. Nearer to us, if we now follow the course of the Danube, as we have been following that of the Rhine, come the Hermunduri, our faithful allies. It is because they are our allies that they are the only Germans who trade with us, not only on the river-bank, but deep inside our lines, in the brilliant colony that is the capital of Rhaetia. They come over where they will, and without a guard. To other nations we only show off our arms and our camps; to them we expose our palaces and our country mansions and they do not covet them. In the territory of the Hermunduri rises the river Elbe, once world-famous, now a mere name.

42. Next to the Hermunduri dwell the Naristi, followed by the Marcomanni and Quadi. The Marcomanni are conspicuous in renown and power; they won the very land they now hold by their bravery, when they drove out the Boii. Nor do the Naristi and Quadi fall below their high standard. These people form the front, so to speak, presented to us by Germany, where it is girt by the Danube. The Marcomanni and Quadi down to our own times retained kings of their own race, the noble line of Maroboduus and Tudrus, but now they submit to foreigners too. The might and power of the kings depend upon the authority of Rome. These kings occasionally receive our armed assistance, more often our financial, and it is equally effective.

43. The rear of the Marcommani and Quadi is shut in by the Marsigni, Cotini, Osi and Buri. Of these, the Marsigni and Buri, in language and mode of life, recall the Suebi. The Cotini and Osi are not Germans; that is proved by their languages, Gallic in the one case, Pannonian in the other, and also by the fact that they submit to paying tribute. Part of the tribute is levied by the Sarmatians, part by the Quadi, who regard them as men of foreign blood; the Cotini, more to their shame, have iron to mine. All these people are settled in country with little plain, but plenty of uplands, mountain peaks and high ground. Suebia, in fact, is parted down the middle by a range of mountains, and beyond that live a multitude of peoples, among whom the name of the Lugii is the widest spread, covering, as it does, a multitude of States. I need only give the names of the most powerful—the Harii, Helvecones, Manimi, Helisii and Naharvali. In the territory of the Naharvali one is shown a grove, hallowed from ancient times. The presiding priest dresses like a woman; the gods, translated into Latin, are Castor and Pollux. That expresses the character of the gods, but their name is Alci. There are no images, there is no trace of foreign cult, but they are certainly worshipped as young men and as brothers. As for the Harii, they are superior in strength to the other peoples I have just mentioned, and they pander to their savage instincts by choice of trickery and time. They black their shields and dye their bodies black and choose pitch dark nights for their battles. The terrifying shadow of such a fiendish army inspires a mortal panic, for no enemy can stand so strange and devilish a sight. Defeat in battle always begins with the eyes.

Passing the Lugii, we find the Gothones under the rule of kings. It is a slightly stricter rule than in the rest of the German peoples, but yet does not pass the bounds of freedom. Then, immediately bordering on the ocean, are the Rugii and Lemovii. All these peoples are distinguished by round shields, short swords and submission to regal authority.

44. The states of the Suiones that follow along the shore of Ocean are strong not only in arms and men but also in their fleets. The shape of their ships differs from the normal in having a prow at both ends, which is always ready to be put in to shore. They do not rig sails or fasten their oars in banks at the sides. Their oarage is loose, as one finds it on some rivers, and can be shifted, as need requires, from side to side. Wealth, too, is held in high honour, and that is why they obey one ruler, with no restrictions on his authority and with no mere casual claim to obedience. Arms are not, as in the rest of Germany, allowed to all and sundry, but are kept under custody, and the custodian is a slave. There are two reasons for this: the ocean makes any sudden invasion impossible, and men with arms in their hands easily get into mischief, if not fighting. As for putting no noble or freeman, or even freedman, in charge of the arms—that is part of royal policy.

45. Passing the Suiones, we find yet another sea that is sluggish and almost stagnant. The reason why this sea is believed to be the boundary that girds the earth is because the last radiance of the setting sun lasts here till dawn, with a brilliance that dims the stars. Rumour adds that you can hear the sound he makes as he leaves the waves and can see the shape of his horses and the rays on his head. At this point our real knowledge of the world ends. However, turning to the right shore of the Suebian sea, we find it washing the territories of the Aestii, who have the religion and general customs of the Suebi, but a language approximating to the British. They worship the Mother of the gods. They wear, as emblem of this cult, the masks of boars, which stand them in stead of armour or human protection and ensure the safety of the worshipper even among his enemies. They seldom use weapons of iron, but cudgels often. They cultivate grain and other crops with a patience quite unusual among lazy Germans. Nor do they omit to ransack the sea; they are the only people to collect the amber —glaesum is their own word for it—in the shallows or even on the beach. Like true barbarians, they have never asked or discovered what it is or how it is produced. For a long time, indeed, it lay unheeded like any other jetsam, until Roman luxury made its reputation. They have no use for it themselves. They gather it crude, pass it on unworked and are astounded at the price it fetches. Amber, however, is certainly a gum of trees, as you may see from the fact that creeping and even winged creatures are often seen shining in it. They got caught in the sticky liquid, and were imprisoned as it hardened. I imagine that in the islands and lands of the West, just as in the secret chambers of the East, where the trees sweat frankincense and balm, there must be woods and groves of unusual fertility. Their gums, drawn out by the rays of their near neighbour, the sun, flow in liquid state into the sea and are finally washed by violent storms on to the shores opposite. If you care to test the properties of amber by applying fire to it, you will find that it lights like a torch and gives off a thick and heavily scented flame; it then cools into a sticky solid like pitch or resin.

Continuous with the Suiones are the nations of the Sitones. They resemble them in all respects but one —woman is the ruling sex. That is the measure of their decline, I will not say below freedom, but even below decent slavery.

46. Here Suebia ends. I cannot make up my mind whether to assign the tribes of the Peucini, Venedi and Fenni to Germany or Sarmatia. The Peucini, however, who are sometimes called the Bastarnae, in language, social habits, mode of settlement and dwelling are like Germans. They are a squalid and slovenly people; the features of their nobles get something of the Sarmatian ugliness from intermarriage. The Venedi have borrowed largely from Sarmatian ways; their plundering forays take them over all that wooded and mountainous country that rises between the Peucini and the Fenni. Nevertheless they are to be classed as Germans, for they have settled houses, carry shields, and are fond of travelling—and travelling fast—on foot, in all these respects differing from the Sarmatians, who live in wagons or on horseback. The Fenni are astonishingly wild and horribly poor. They have no arms, no horses, no homes. They eat grass, dress in skins, and sleep on the ground. Their only hope is in their arrows, which, for lack of iron, they tip with bone. The same hunt provides food for men and women alike; for the women go everywhere with the men and claim a share in securing the prey. The only way they can protect their babies against wild beasts or foul weather is to hide them under a makeshift network of branches. This is the hovel to which the young men come back, this is where the old must lie. Yet they count their lot happier than that of others who groan over field labour, sweat over house-building, or hazard their own or other men's fortunes in the wild lottery of hope and fear. They care for nobody, man or god, and have gained the ultimate release: they have nothing to pray for. What comes after them is the stuff of fables—Hellusii and Oxiones with the faces and features of men, but the bodies and limbs of animals. On such unverifiable stories I will express no opinion.



City of Rome
Roman Forum

Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica



Illyria, Dacia, and Thrace


Greece and Macedonia


The Aitolian and Aechaean Leagues

Greece and the Aegean

Greece and Ionia


01-06-2009, 14:38
Periplus of the East and South

The Euxine


Colchis, Iberia and Albania

The Black Sea

The Cimmerian Bosporos

A clickable map of the Pontus Euxinus (http://www.geographicus.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?page=G/PROD/PontusEuxinus-spruneri-1855)

Asia Minor


Cities of Ionia

Roman Asia Minor

Texts and Other Resources

A History of Armenia, Vahan M. Kurkjian (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Asia/Armenia/_Texts/KURARM/home.html)

Asia, Persia, Parthia, and the Far East


Parthian Homeland

Full extent of Parthian Empire

Seleucids and Parthians

Parthian Dependencies

Texts and Other Resources

Far Eastern Sources
Chinese Sources on the Silk Road (http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/texts.html)
Extracts from Han Sources (http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/hantxt1.html#west)
The Western Regions from the Hou Hanshu (http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/hhshu/hou_han_shu.html)
The Peoples of the West from the Weilue (http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/weilue/weilue.html)

Parthian Sources
A History of Parthia, George Rawlinson (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16166/16166-h/16166-h.htm)
Index of Parthian Cities (http://www.parthia.com/parthia_cities.htm)

Parthian Stations, Isidore of Charax
1st Century BCE
see also here (http://www.parthia.com/doc/parthian_stations.htm)for more of Isidore from Parthia.org



Transcribed from the Original London Edition, 1914

Through Mesopotamia and Babylonia 171 Schoeni
" Apolloniatis 33 "
" Chalonitis 21 "
" Media 22 "
" Cambadena 31 "
" Upper Media 38 "
" Media Rhagiana 58 "
" Choarena 19 "
" Comisena 58 "
" Hyrcania 60 "
" Astauena 60 "
" Parthyena 25 "
" Apauarticena 27 "
" Margiana 30 "
" Aria 30 "
" Anaua 55 "
" Zarangiana 21 "
" Sacastana 63 "
" Arachosia 36 "
----- - -----------
Total 858 Schoeni

Mesopotamia and Babylonia 171 Schoeni

1. For those who cross the Euphrates, next to Zeugma is the city of Apamia, and then the village of Daeara. It is 3 schoeni distant from Apamia and the river Euphrates. Then Charax Sidae, called by the Greeks the city of Anthemusias, 5 schoeni: beyond which is Coraea, in Batana, a fortified place: 3 schoeni. To the right of this place is Mannuorrha Auyreth, a fortified place, and a well, from which the inhabitants get drinking water, 5 schoeni. Then Commisimbela, a fortified place: by which flows the river Bilecha, 4 schoeni. Then Alagma, a fortified place, a royal station, 3 schoeni; beyond which is Ichnae, a Greek city, founded by the Macedonians: it is situated on the river Balicha: 3 schoeni. Then Nicephorium by the Euphrates, a Greek city, founded by King Alexander, 5 schoeni. Farther on, by the river, is Galahatha, a deserted village, 4 schoeni. Then the village of Chumbana, 1 schoenus; farther on Thillada Mirrhada, a royal station , 4 schoeni. Then a royal place, a temple of Artemis, founded by Darius, a small town; close by is the canal of Semiramis, and the Euphrates is dammed with rocks, in order that by being thus checked it may overflow the fields; but also in summer it wrecks the boats; to this place, 7 schoeni. Then Allan, a walled village, 4 schoeni. Then Phaliga, a village on the Euphrates (that means in Greek half-way), 6 schoeni. From Antioch to this place, 120 schoeni; and from thence to Seleucia, which is on the Tigris, 100 schoeni. Nearby Phaliga is the walled village of Nabagath, and by it flows the river Aburas, which empties into the Euphrates; there the legions cross over to the Roman territory beyond the river. Then the village of Asich, 4 schoeni; beyond which is the city of Dura Nicanoris, founded by the Macedonians, also called by the Greeks Europus, 6 schoeni. Then Merrha, a fortified place, a walled village, 5 schoeni. Then the city of Giddan, 5 schoeni. Then Belesi Biblada, 7 schoeni. Beyond is an island in the Euphrates, 6 schoeni; there was the treasure of Phraates, who cut the throats of his concubines, when Tiridates who was exiled, invaded [the land]. Then Anatho, an island in the Euphrates, of 4 stadia, on which is a city, 4 schoeni; beyond which is Thilabus, an island in the Euphrates; there is the treasure of the Parthians, 2 schoeni. Then Izan, a city on an island, 12 schoeni. Then Aipolis, [the city of Is] where there are bituminous springs, 16 schoeni. Beyond is the city of Besechana, in which is a temple of Atargatis, 12 schoeni. Then Neapolis by the Euphrates, 22 schoeni. From that place those leaving the Euphrates and passing through Narmalchan come to Seleucia on the Tigris, 9 schoeni. To this place [extend] Mesopotamia and Babylonia; and from Zeugma to Seleucia there are 171 schoeni.

2. From that place begins Apolloniatis, which extends 33 schoeni. It has villages, in which there are stations; and a Greek city, Artemita; through the midst of which flows the river Silla. To that place from Seleucia is 15 schoeni. But now the city is called Chalasar.

3. From that place, Chalonitis, 21 schoeni; in which there are 5 villages, in which there are stations, and a Greek city, Chala, 15 schoeni beyond Apolloniatis. Then, after 5 schoeni, a mountain which is called Zagrus, which forms the boundary between the district of Chalonitis and that of the Medes.

4. From that place, [Lower] Media, which extends 22 schoeni. The beginning is at the district of Carina; in which there are 5 villages in which there are stations, but no city.

5. From that place, Cambadene, which extends 31 schoeni, in which there are 5 villages, in which there are stations, and a city, Bagistana, situated on a mountain; there is a statue and a pillar of Semiramis.

6. From that place, Upper Media, 38 schoeni; and at 3 schoeni from the very beginning of it is the city of Concobar; there is a temple of Artemis, 3 schoeni. Then Bazigraban, which is a custom house, 3 schoeni. Thence to Adrapana, the royal residence of those who ruled in Ecbatana, and which Tigranes the Armenian destroyed, 4 schoeni. Then Ecbatana, the metropolis of Media and the treasury, and a temple, sacred to Anaitis; they sacrifice there always; 12 schoeni. And beyond that place are 3 villages in which there are stations.

7. From that place [Rhagiana] Media, [58] schoeni. In it are 10 villages, and 5 cities. After 7 schoeni are Rhaga and Charax; of which Rhaga is the greatest of the cities in Media. And in Charax the first king Phraates settled the Mardi; it is beneath a mountain, which is called Caspius, beyond which are the Caspian Gates.

8. Beyond that place, for those passing through the Caspian Gates there is a narrow valley, and the district of Choarena [19 schoeni]; in which is the city of Apamia, after 4 schoeni; and there are 4 villages in which there are stations.

9. Beyond is Comisena, 58 schoeni, in which there are 8 villages in which there are stations, but there is no city.

10. Beyond is Hyrcania, 60 schoeni, in which there are 11 villages in which there are stations.

11. Beyond is Astauena, 60 schoeni, in which there are 12 villages in which there are stations; and the city of Asaac, in which Arsaces was first proclaimed king; and an everlasting fire is guarded there.

12. Beyond is Parthyena, 25 schoeni; within which is a valley, and the city of Parthaunisa after 6 schoeni; there are royal tombs. But the Greeks call it Nisaea. Then the city of Gathar after 6 schoeni. Then the city of Siroc after 5 schoeni. Of villages it has no more than one, which is called Saphri.

13. Beyond is Apauarcticena, 27 schoeni, in which is the city of Apauarctica. Then the city of Ragau and two villages.

14. Beyond is Margiana, 30 schoeni. There is Antiochia, called well-watered; but there are no villages.

15. Beyond is Aria, 30 schoeni. There are the city of Candac and the city of Artacauan and Alexandria of the Arii; and 4 villages.

16. Beyond is Anauon, a region of Aria, 55 schoeni, in which is a very great city, Phra, and the city of Bis, and the city of Gari and the city of Nia; but there is no village.

17. Beyond is Zarangiana, 21 schoeni. There are the city of Parin and the city of Coroc.

18. Beyond is Sacastana of the Scythian Sacae, which is also Paraetacena, 63 schoeni. There are the city of Barda and the city of Min and the city of Palacenti and the city of Sigal; in that place is the royal residence of the Sacae; and nearby is the city of Alexandria (and nearby is the city of Alexandropolis), and 6 villages.

19. Beyond is Arachosia, 36 schoeni. And the Parthians call this White India; there are the city of Biyt and the city of Pharsana and the city of Chorochoad and the city of Demetrias; then Alexandropolis, the metropolis of Arachosia; it is Greek, and by it flows the river Arachotus. As far as this place the land is under the rule of the Parthians.

The Parthian Stations of Isidore of Charax.



Arabia Felix

Arabian Maritime Trade

The Nabatean Kingdom

Texts and Other Sources
Nabataea.net (http://nabataea.net/index2.html) is a little touristy, and seems to regard the Bible as literal history. Linked for now with some reservations, because despite that there is a lot of information here. Caveat emptor.



Texts and Other Sources

The House of Ptolemy, Edwyn Bevan (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Africa/Egypt/_Texts/BEVHOP/home.html)

Carthage and Mauretania


Punic Settlements

Africa from Tingis to Alexandria

Texts and Other Sources

Cities in The Sand, Leptis Magna and Sabratha in Roman Africa, Kenneth Matthews (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Africa/Libya/_Texts/MATCIS/home.html)

Phoenicia.org (http://phoenicia.org/colonies.html)is a good website.

01-06-2009, 16:57
Bibliograhpy, Sources, References

Currently the maps are mostly from the Ancient World Mapping Center (http://www.unc.edu/awmc/), a project affiliated with the Barrington Atlas. The maps that I have used are available for free download in various formats, including blanks that I am working on annotating.

The translations and texts come from various sources: the Perseus Project (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cache/perscoll_Greco-Roman.html) (has many more resources than just texts), Googlebooks, and the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook.html) are the main ones.

Lacius Curtius, by Bill Thayer (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/home.html) is a really tremendous website that has already achieved many of the goals that I have set for this project.
www.parthia.com is an inspiration for my own project.
http://www.phoenician.org/ as well.
www.theoi.com is also a good source for texts.
The Encyclopaedia Iranica (http://www.iranica.com/newsite/home/index.isc)
Silk Road Seattle (http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/index.html) is an excellent site for an Eastern perspective.
e-Keltoi (http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/celtic/ekeltoi/volumes/vol6/index.html) is the online journal of interdisciplinary Celtic studies. The link is to volume 6, The Celts in the Iberian Peninsula, to see more click on Active Volumes.

And of course, wikipedia is indispensable for web research. As much as possible, I intend to use it as a portal to other sources. I do not intend to directly quote or depend on wikipedia articles.

Books in my own possession that will be used in this project so far include
The Cambridge Ancient History (1st and 2nd editions)
Empires of the Word, Nicholas Ostler

Disclaimer: This thread was my idea and not meant to be taken as an official source of information for Europa Barbarorum 1 or 2. It is a fan project.

I would also welcome any suggestions and/or collaboration, particularly with Part Three, the descriptions of Cities, Kingdoms, Tribes and Peoples that one might encounter on a journey around the world of 2281 years ago.

I hope that the posts themselves will be sufficient citation of the contributions of other forum members. I am grateful for everything that anyone might want to add.

V.T. Marvin started a project on city names (https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=105999)which is very useful

The Europa Barbarorum Bibliography (https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?p=1272989#post1272989) thread.

01-06-2009, 18:49
I'll post some info about Ireland either to-day or tomorrow. The hard part will be getting it narrowed down to early third century bc, but I'll give it a try.

General Appo
01-06-2009, 21:02
A 1000 balloons to you Oudysseos!

01-06-2009, 21:23
Amazing thread!

I've red all the books that you mentioned in the first post.
I've strongly recommend all of them.

For the spanish readers I recommend the excellent work done by Gredos (Biblioteca Clásica).

01-06-2009, 22:12
another brilliant initiative, oudysseos! :thumbsup:

EDIT: sorry for spamming your thread:worried2: delete this if you like

01-06-2009, 23:11
you guys look like you need a map of Ancient Arabia-I'll try to get one.

EDIT: ancient yemen:


Its all there was for now.

01-06-2009, 23:36
You know, I've been looking all over for maps of the ancient world to help me with a mod I'm doing for Civilization 4. I doubt that sort of thing is what you had in mind when you were brainstorming this, but you, my good sir, have just made my job much easier. Thank you. :beam:

01-07-2009, 18:22

THanks guys. You aint seen nothin yet: This is just the framework. It'll take some time to fill in though.

01-07-2009, 19:35
Thought you might be interested in this guy's work. It's nowhere near as detailed as yours, but it's good for overviews and finding sources.

01-07-2009, 21:25
Ibrahim- thanks, I'll add that in tomorrow. Subotan- thanks.

Format will be fluid for a while until I arrive at the right mix: I don't want the entries for cities etc to be too long or else the thread will be a monster. I am considering hosting documents on google and linking to them or something like that. I am also working on an overlay for google maps but I am not very satisfied with it yet.

I will start with Iberia and Gaul, most likely tomorrow, at first just lists of cities, tribes and political units. I hope to flesh that out with short descriptions, quotes from the primary sources, and links to other web material.

I have to emphasize at this point that none of the work is truly original yet: these are the resources which I intend to use to put together the final result. I will correctly link and attribute everything shortly.

I estimate that it'll take about a year to put it all together. I am thrilled by the interest so far and hope to have the basic framework of the periplus done in a week or so.

01-08-2009, 10:00
I am going to try and avoid bumping my own thread, but I have now updated the main posts to show something like the full framework, even though most of it is still empty. I hope that the nature of the work is becoming clear and that anyone is welcome to contribute. Of course, this is an alpha release, and any correction of errors will be greatly appreciated.

I do have a technical question: can anyone tell me how to turn long website links into single words? E.g. instead of the full http thing for the Mapping Center, I want to type "just click here", where "here" is the link to the website. Anyone know how?

01-08-2009, 17:55
I am going to try and avoid bumping my own thread, but I have now updated the main posts to show something like the full framework, even though most of it is still empty. I hope that the nature of the work is becoming clear and that anyone is welcome to contribute. Of course, this is an alpha release, and any correction of errors will be greatly appreciated.

I do have a technical question: can anyone tell me how to turn long website links into single words? E.g. instead of the full http thing for the Mapping Center, I want to type "just click here", where "here" is the link to the website. Anyone know how?

Yeah, there's a set of [ U R L =] [ / U R L ] tags that you use (without the spaces). After the equal sign, put in the URL, and between the two tags, put the word you want to be your link.

For example, here's (https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=70) a link to the EB subforum. Quote this message and you'll see how it's done.

01-08-2009, 17:58
Jabarto, thanks a million.

Main posts substantially reorganized and more content added.

Tellos Athenaios
01-08-2009, 22:39
There are THREAD tags as well, for instance:
December Poll


The benefit is the hyperlinks generated from thread tags will open inside the current window/tab rather than spawn a new window/tab. Which can be useful if ever you wanted to include a TOC with TOC-like behaviour.

01-09-2009, 09:35
At the risk of sounding dim, what's a TOC?

Gatalos de Sauromatae
01-09-2009, 11:46
Thank oudysseos these are really great information that some I missed. :coffeenews:
Cheer for ya. :medievalcheers:

01-09-2009, 14:27
At the risk of sounding dim, what's a TOC?

Table of content.

01-09-2009, 14:30
A-ha! Good idea, Tellos. Thanks for the tip.

01-14-2009, 08:08
The main posts have been updated with quite a lot of content, particularly links to important texts and informative websites.

01-15-2009, 01:09
I greatly appreciate all this supportive work for EB you do Oudysseos. When I'm unable to enjoy the main work of EB, I can still turn to your posts and find something new to learn about. :thumbsup:

V.T. Marvin
01-16-2009, 15:43
oudysseos, this truly amazing! Tremendous project and most fascinating read! Thank you so much and wish you best luck in your effort! :2thumbsup::bow::2thumbsup::bow:balloon2:

01-16-2009, 18:22
I don't want to appear guilty of false modesty when I go all "Aw shucks" and blush over the very kind comments of V.T. Marvin, Gazius and others, so I thought I'd better explain a little my motivation for this whole thing (which the more I look at it, the bigger and bigger it gets. I'm scared. Help. Seriously.)

Much as I would dearly love to be a member of the EB team and know what's going on behind the scenes, I cannot model, skin or write scripts or code, and more importantly I don't really have all that much time to commit to the project. I'm lucky enough that in part of my business day I often have an hour or so of dead time that I can use to geek out on the internet. So there's not much that I could claim to contribute to finishing the mod as such.

But I have come to think that Europa Barbarorum could (or already does) transcend the narrow confines of a modification for a game that is already two generations out of date. The EB2 project clearly shows that the idea has wings and the community has breadth: it would be fantastic if the "Europa Barbarorum" brand of historical modification made the jump to other game platforms" Civ 4, Europa Universalis, Age of Empires, The Settlers, take your pick. (If you listen carefully you can hear the dev team screaming).

The idea that commercial entertainment can still have serious academic value is very important. And why not beyond games? It is not impossible for the Europa Barbarorum web site to become one of the most important clearing houses for serious information about this period on the web, even though that is currently not its purpose.

Already through the google phenomenon, the EB forums have themselves become references: google 'Sweboz', 'Qarthadast' or 'Lusotanann' and see what I mean. This is certainly an unintended consequence as the public forums are not crucial to the development of the mod: as much as we poor peons complain about the secret faction list or whatever, in fact there have been other mods that have revealed nothing until release.

The point here is that the people on the forum who are not team members are nonetheless part of the wider EB phenomenon, and if we choose to we can make serious contributions to the collection and dissemination of knowledge, the correction of myths and fallacies, and the education of people whose only contact to their classical heritage is through games.

It's a serious responsibility, and one that is too big for one man. If you really like what you see so far of the periplus, and want to help me make the EB forum a better place, then please join the project.

Here's a provisional outline:

I. The Pillars of Heracles: Iberia and Mauretania
II. The Trail of Pytheas: Massilia and the Three Gauls (and Britain too)
III. The Land of Calves: Italy
IV. Always Something New: The Africa of Carthage (with Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica too)
V. Navel of the Earth: Greece, Macedonia and Crete
VI. The Mother of All Rivers: Lands of the Danube; Illyria, Moesia, Dacia and Thrace
VII. Land of the Sunrise: Ionia, Pontus, Galatia and Anatolia
VIII. Land Between the Rivers: Syria and Babylonia
IX. Armenia, Adiabene, Atropatene and the Caucasus
X. The Dark, Hospitable Sea: The Cimmerian Bosporus, Colchis and Scythia
XI. Egypt and the Levant
XII. Arabia And Eritrea
XIII. Persia, Bactria, Sogdiana and India

There are some people missing: the Germans and all Eastern Europeans generally and the Sarmatian and Saka nomads are the main ones. This is mostly because I know nothing about these people at the present and it'll be a while until I can try and rectify that. So if anyone can help with web links that go beyond wikipedia, or if anyone feels like doing some typing or scanning, you'd be my hero. I could also use technical help: the final format of the periplus has yet to be decided and I'd be grateful for any advice.

At the moment, I feel reasonably confident about the first 5 or 6 essays and can probably manage the rest eventually. I hope to finish The Pillars of Heracles soon and have already started on The Trail of Pytheas (it'll be a few weeks before I post it).

Main posts updated; some new content.

07-06-2009, 23:47
There are THREAD tags as well, for instance:
December Poll


The benefit is the hyperlinks generated from thread tags will open inside the current window/tab rather than spawn a new window/tab. Which can be useful if ever you wanted to include a TOC with TOC-like behaviour.
Great to know somebody except for my humble self does use them! :2thumbsup:

Similarly, there's the [post] tag too. :yes:

05-26-2023, 19:51
Does the project in question continue to be developed? I think he is trying to develop the following project as I understand it;

The project will include accurate maps, primary texts, extracts from books and journals, and some web material. The author intends to locate all the cities, settlements, tribes, nations, kingdoms, federations, and so on of the time, not just those included as "factions" in Europa Barbarorum. (https://decorationwin.com/royal-emblems-clothing-decorations-etc-a-guide-to-decorating-with-regal-symbols/) The project will cover various regions such as Iberia and Mauretania, Italy and Rome, Greece, Macedonia and Crete, Syria and Babylonia, and many more. The author also plans to include information on travel in the ancient world, including basic travel times and information on trade routes.