Charles Anthon.

A system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges online

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it lay the town of the same name. Pliny calls this promontory
OlarsOj and Marcianus larso.

OBS. 1. According to the ancient writers, the Promontory of Calpe was one
of the Pillars of Hercules, the other being Mount Abila, on the African shore.
The name of the latter is written by Dionysius (Perieg., 336) A Auto/, Alyba.
Eustathius informs us (ad Dionys., p. 64) that in his time the promontory on
the Spanish side was called Calpe by the barbarians, but Alyba by the Greeks ;
and that Abila, on the African shore, was called by the natives Abenna. At
what time, however, the present Gibraltar began to be called Calpe is difficult
to determine, but it was certainly long antecedent to the time of Eustathius.
Calpe itself is only Alyba shortened, and pronounced with a strong Oriental as
pirate. In the word Alyba we likewise detect the root of the term Alp, or rather
the term itself, which may be traced directly to the Celtic radical Alb, indicat
ing a lofty mountain.

2. A great variety of opinions were entertained among the ancients as to the
spot where the Pillars of Hercules were to be sought for, and also what these
Pillars actually were. Some placed them at Gades, as, for example, Pindar,
who calls them IIMaf Tadeipidas (Nem., iii., 36) ; some, again, were in doubt
whether they were pillars, cities, mountains, or promontories ; while some made
them actual statues of Hercules. Tacitus makes mention of Columns of Her
cules in the north of Europe, which tradition placed somewhere in the vicinity
of the Baltic. (Germ., c. 3 and 34. Compare Serv. ad Virg., 2En., xi., 262.)
So, again, the appellations for the Columns of Hercules were various. Many
of the Greek writers knew them merely by the name of 2r?}Aa*. (Herod., iv.,
42, 181 ; Scylax, 1 ; Polyb., iii., 35 ; Diod. Sic., iv., 18.) The Latin writers, on
the other hand, called them Herculis Columns, or Heraclca Columns, and Flo-
rus, in his florid phraseology, Herculis Specula (iv., 2). Dionysius styled them
Tep,uara i2/ceavoio. (Compare Schwartz., Diss. de Col. Here. : Altorf, 1749, 4to.
Popowitsch, Untersuch. -com Mccre, &c. Gossdin, Reck., t. iv., &c.)


THE chief rivers of Hispania are eight in number, namely,
the Iberus, Sucro, Bcetis, Anas, Tagus, Munda, Durius, and

I. Iberus, called by the Greeks "I%> and *I57]po, now the
Ebro, a large, navigable river, rose in the territory of the Can-
tabri, not far from Juliobriga, in what is now the range of
Mount Santillana, forming part of the ancient chain of Idube-
da. Its whole course, including windings, is rather more than
four hundred miles. According to the ancient accounts, it was
navigable from Varia, now Varea, in the territory of the Ve-
rones, not far from Lograno. Modem statements, however,
make it now begin to be navigable for boats at Tudela, the
ancient Tutola, below Calagurris. The Iberus ran directly
through Hispania Tarraconensis, in a southeastern direction,


after having first pursued a course east-southeast as far as the
town of Doubriga, in the territory of the Berones ; and it falls
into the Mediterranean, by the Tenebrium Promontorium, in
a southeast direction from Dertosa, the modern Tortosa. The
valley of this river, lying between the great Pyrenean chain
and the highlands of modern Castile, forms a natural division
between the northern provinces of Spain and the rest of the
Peninsula, and the course of the Ebro, therefore, has been often
assumed as a military line in the wars of this country. Pre
vious to the second Punic war, it formed the line of demarka-
tion between the dominions of Carthage and those of Rome.
It afterward formed the boundary between the dominions of
Charlemagne and his successors and those of the Moors. The
French, in their Spanish wars, have repeatedly purposed to
make the Ebro the boundary between France and Spain.

II. Sucro, called by the Greek writers 2ovpv, now the Xu-
car, a river of Hispania Tarraconensis, rose in the chain of
Mount Idubeda, and, separating the territories of the Contes-
tani from those of the Edetani, flowed into the Mediterranean
below Saguntum, giving name to the Sucronensis Sinus, or
Gulf of Valencia. Its whole course considerably exceeds two
hundred miles. At its mouth lay the town of Sucro, answer
ing, probably, to the modern Cullera. Strabo says it could be
passed on foot. The river at the present day also loses a con
siderable portion of its waters by the irrigation of the adjacent
country. Were it not for this, it would probably be navigable
for the last thirty or forty miles from its mouth.

III. Bcetis, called by the Greek writers BatTt$, now the Guad
alquivir, the principal river of Hispania Bsetica, to which it
also gave name, rose in the Saltus Tugiensis, near Tugia, now
Toia, in the chain of Mons Argentarius, now Sierra Segura.
It ran for the most part in a southwestern direction, and en
tered the Atlantic near Gades. The whole course of the Bse-
tis is given by the ancients at about three thousand stadia;
according to modern authorities, the length is short of three
hundred miles. From the sea to Hispalis, the modern Seville,
it was navigable for large vessels ; from Hispalis to Ilipa, the
modern Penaflor, for vessels of smaller size ; and from Ilipa to
Corduba, now Cordova, for boats. At the present day, it is
first navigable for river boats below Cordova, immediately after


it is joined by the River Genii, or Xenil, the ancient Singilis,
and sloops may ascend it to Seville. The banks of the river,
or their immediate vicinity, are said to have been covered with
numerous cities and towns. From a short distance below His-
palis, the Baetis, which has at present but one mouth, was con
tinued anciently by two streams to the sea, embracing an isl
and, which, in remote antiquity, was celebrated, according to
some, under the name of Tartessus. Of these two arms, the
lower one exists no more. The upper mouth of the river was
difficult of navigation, on account of the numerous sand-banks,
and also the sunken rocks ; and hence a pharos, or light-house,
was erected here, on the northwestern extremity of the island
of Tartessus, called Csepio s Tower, Ccepionis Turris. The
modern name of this stream is corrupted from the Arabic Wa-
da-l-Kebir, "the Great River."

IV. Anas, called by the Greeks "Avaf, now the Guadiana
(corrupted from the Arabic Wadi-Ana, " the River Ana"), rose
in the territory of the Oretani, in the chain of Mount Orospeda,
near the ancient Laminium, now Monticla in New Castile.
The ancient accounts agree substantially with the modern.
The Guadiana rises in a series of small lakes, and, after hav
ing run a few miles, disappears under ground, and continues
to run under ground for more than twelve miles, when it issues
from the earth as a strong stream between Villarta and Day-
miel. The place where the river reappears is called Los q/os
de la Guadiana ("the eyes of the Guadiana"), and consists
of several small lakes. The Anas, after this, ran in a westerly
direction for a considerable distance, until, near Pax Augusta,
it bent around, and flowed in a southwestern, and then south
ern direction, into the Atlantic, to the east of the Cuneus Prom-
ontorium. Its course exceeds four hundred and fifty miles.
According to Strabo and others, it entered the sea with two
mouths. It has little water, notwithstanding its length, and
can only be ascended by flat-bottomed, small river-barges to
Mertola in Portugal, the ancient Myrtilis, not much more
than thirty miles from its mouth.

V. Tagus, in Greek Tayof, called now Tajo by the Span
iards, and Tejo by the Portuguese, while in our own language
we have adopted the Roman name, rose among the Celtiberi,
between the ranges of Orospeda and Idubeda, in what is now


the Sierra Albarracin. It flowed in a direction between west
and southwest through the territories of the Vettones, Carpe-
tani, and Lusitani, into the Atlantic, a short distance above
the Barbarium Promontorium, and had at its mouth Olisipo,
the modern Lisbon or Lisboa. The whole course of the river
exceeds five hundred and fifty miles. It is described by the
ancient writers as abounding in oysters and fish, and as having
auriferous sands. Grains of gold are said to be still obtained
from it.

VI. Munda, now Mondego, rose in the territory of the Vet-
tones, in Lusitania, near the town of Lancia Oppidana, now
Guarda, and flowing by Conimbriga, now Coimbra, fell into
the Atlantic nearly midway between the Tagus and Durius.
It was not navigable far. Pliny calls it Munda ; Mela, how
ever, Monda, and Ptolemy, also, M6vda. Strabo styles it Mov-
kiddag. It must not be confounded with the city of Munda,
among the Bastuli Pceni, near Malaca, where Caesar fought his
desperate battle with the son of Pompey.

VII. Durms, called by Strabo Aovpto^, by Ptolemy and Ap-
pian Ac5p0, is now T in Portuguese the Douro, in Spanish the
Duero. This river, one of the principal streams of the Penin
sula, rose among the Pelendones, not far from Numantia, which
was situate upon it, in the range now called Sierra de Urbion,
part of the ancient range of Idubeda. It ran first for a short
distance to the south, then turned in a western direction until
it reached the confines of Lusitania, when it again bent off to
the south for some distance, when, resuming its westerly course,
it flowed on to the Atlantic coast, entering the sea near Calle,
the modern Oporto. The whole course of the Douro, with its
numerous windings, is nearly five hundred miles. According
to the ancients, it was navigable for eight hundred stadia, about
ninety English miles, from its mouth, and gold was said to be
found in its bed.

VIII. Minius, called in Greek Mmo?, and by Strabo Ralvi$
(B&nis)) now the Minho, rose in the northern part of the ter
ritory of the Callai ci, a little distance above Lucus Augusti,
the modern Lugo, in that part of the range of Mons Vinnius
which answers to the modern Montanas de Asturias. It ran
in a southwestern direction, receiving in its course a large trib
utary coming in from the east, now called the Sil, but which


the ancients appear to have regarded as the main stream, and
to have confounded with the Minius itself; and it flowed into
the Atlantic nearly midway between the mouth of the Durius
and the Artabrum Promontorium. The course of this river, in
a straight line, is about one hundred and fifteen miles, and,
along the windings, one hundred and sixty miles. Though
abundantly supplied with water, however, it is not navigable
within modern Spain, on account of its great rapidity.

OBS. 1. Various etymologies have been assigned for the ancient names of
some of the principal rivers of Spain, a specimen of which may here be given :
1. The Iberus, in all probability, derived its name from Iberia, one of the early
appellations of Spain, and an explanation of which may be found under <J 2,
Obs. 2. 2. The Balis is supposed to have been so called from the Phoenician
bitsi, " marshy," the tsade (ts) having been changed by the Greek and Roman
writers into t. This etymology may not be incorrect, the river being swampy
in some parts, especially toward its mouth, where the low and swampy islands
ofMenor and Mayor are formed. Hence, too, the Libystinus, in this quar
ter, mentioned by Avienus (Or. Mar., 289), which seems to contain the same root.
3. The Anas appears to derive its name from the Phoenician hanas, the explana
tion of which is sought to be obtained from the Arabic hanasa, " to withdraw
or hide one s self," and is thought to allude to the subterranean nature of the
stream in the early part of its course. 4. The Tagus is supposed to have been
so called from the Phoenician dag, " a fish," or dagi, " fishy," " abounding in fish,"
a character which the ancients expressly assign to this stream. 5. The Mmius,
according to Isidorus, took its name from the minium, or vermilion, which was
found abundantly in the country which it traversed. On all these etymologies,
consult the remarks of Bochart, Phakg., col. 626, seqq. ; col. 606.

2. According to Stephanus Byzantinus, the name given to the Baetis by the
natives themselves was Perkes (Ylepttrjc). Out of this Bochart makes Perka,
and derives this from the Phoenician berca, " stagnum," an etymology agreeing
with the one given above. In Livy, the ignorant copyists have corrupted this
into Certes or Ccrtis. (Liv., xxviii., 22.)

3. In giving the source of the Sucro we have followed Mannert. The editors
of the French Strabo maintain that Mannert is here in error, and that the chain
in which the river rises is not that of Idubeda, but of Orospeda. Their opinion,
however, is an untenable one.


THE smaller rivers of Hispania may be enumerated as fol
lows :

I. Of the tributaries of the Iberus, on the northern side, we
may name the Gallicus, the Cinga, and the Sicoris. The
Gallicus is now the Gallego,. and flows into the Ebro near
Saragassa. The Cinga is now the Cinca, and flowed into the
Sicoris. The Sicoris is now the Segre. It flowed past Ilerda,
now Lerida, and received the Cinga just before falling into the


II. Of the tributaries of the Iberus, on the southern side,
may be named the Salo, called also the Bilbilis, and running
by the town of Bilbilis, in the territory of the Celtiberi. The
waters of this river were famed for their property of tempering
iron. The modern name is Xalon.

III. Between the Iberus and Baetis we may name, 1. The
Uduba, now the Mijares ; 2. The Turia, now the Guadala-
viar ; 3. The Scctdbis, falling into the Sucro near its mouth,
now the Montesa ; 4. The Tader, now the Segura ; 5. The
Mcenoba, a little to the east of Malaca, now the Velez ; 6. The
Maldca, now the Guadalmedina ; 7. The Salduba, below
Munda, now the Verda ; 8. The Barbesula, near Carteia, now
the Guadiaro ; 9. The Belcv, on the Atlantic side of the straits,
at the mouth of which stood the town of Belon ; now the Bar

IV. Between the Beetis and the Anas we may name the
Urium, now the Tinto, and the Luxia, now the Odiel.

V. Between the Munda and Durius we find the Vacua, now

VI. Among the tributaries of the Durius may be named the
Astura, now the Esla, and Arcva, now the Urcero.

VII. Between the Durius and the Minius we have the Avo,
now Ave ; the Celddus, now Celado ; the Ncebis, now Neya ;
and the Limia, now Lima.

VIII. We find the following flowing into the Oceanus Can-
tabricus : 1. The Navilubio, now Navia ; 2. The Melsus, now
Abono ; 3. The Salia, now Sulla ; 4. The Saunium, now Sa-
ja, near Portus Victorise ; 5. The Magrada, now Urumca.

IX. Between the Iberus and the Pyrenees we have the Tul-
eis, now the Francoli, at Tarraco : the Rubricates, now Llo-
bregat ; and the Alba, now the Ter.

I. THE Iberi, before they yielded obedience to the Romans,
occupied a kind of middle station between barbarism and civil
ization, with a preponderance, however, in favor of the former.
They were equally formidable as cavalry and infantry ; for,
when the horse had broken the enemy s ranks, the men dis
mounted and fought on foot. Their dress consisted of a sag-urn,
or coarse woollen mantle ; they wore greaves made of hair, an


iron helmet adorned with a red feather, a round buckler, and a
broad two-edged sword, of so fine a temper as to pierce through
the enemy s armor. They were moderate in eating and drink
ing, especially the latter ; fond of decorating their persons, of
dancing and song, and of robbery and war. Their habitual
drink was a sort of hydromel, or mead, brought into the coun
try by foreign traders. The land was equally distributed, and
the harvests were divided among all the citizens ; the law pun
ished with death the person who appropriated more than his
just share. They were hospitable nay, they considered it a
special favor to entertain a stranger. They sacrificed human
victims to their divinities, and the priests pretended to read fu
ture events in their palpitating entrails. At every full moon
they celebrated the festival of a god without a name, and from
this circumstance their religion has been considered a corrupt
deism. They were acquainted with the art of writing. The
Turduli, an Iberian tribe, are said to have had among them
very ancient historical records, and also written poems and laws
in many thousand verses.

II. The Lusitani, a nation of freebooters, were distinguished
by their activity and their patient endurance of fatigue. Their
usual food was flour and sweet acorns ; beer was their common
beverage. They were swift in the race. They had a martial
dance, which the men danced while they advanced to battle.

III. The Turdetani were more enlightened than any other
people in Baetica, and were skilled in different kinds of industry
long before their neighbors. When the Phoenicians arrived on
their coasts, silver was so common among them that their or
dinary utensils were made of it. What was afterward done
by the Spaniards in America was then done by the Phoenicians
in Spain : they exchanged iron and other articles of little value
for silver ; nay, if ancient authors can be credited, they not only
loaded their ships with the same metal, but, if their anchors at
any time gave way, others of silver were used in their place.

IV. The Callaici or Gallceci, according to the ancients, had
no religious notions. The Vacccei were the least barbarous of
the Celtiberians. The fierce Cantdbri had a custom for two
to mount on the same horse when they went to battle. The
Cdncani, a Cantabrian tribe, showed their ferocity by mingling
the blood of horses with their drink. Among the Celtiberi, an

H i s p A N i A. 33

assembly, composed of old men, was held every year, a part of
whose duty it was to examine what the women had made with
their own hands within the twelvemonth, and to her, whose
work the assembly thought the best, a reward was given. An
ancient author mentions that corpulency was considered a re
proach by the same people ; for, in order to preserve their bod
ies light and active, the men were measured every year by a
cincture of a certain breadth, and some sort of punishment was
inflicted upon those who had become too large.

V. Strabo enters into some details concerning the dress of
the ancient Spaniards. The Lusitani covered themselves with
black mantles, because their sheep were mostly of that color.
The Celtiberian women wore iron collars, with rods of the same
metal rising behind and bent in front ; to these rods was at
tached a veil, their usual ornament. Others wore a sort of
broad turban, and some twisted their hair round a small ring
about a foot above the head, and unto the ring was appended a
black veil. Lastly, a shining forehead was considered a great
beauty ; and on that account they pulled out their hair, and
rubbed their brows with oil.

OBS. 1. The authorities from which the above has been drawn are as follows :
Strab., iil, p. 139, 158, 163, 164; Diod. Sic., v., 33, seq. ; Justin., xliv., 2; Liv.,
xxiii., 26 ; xxiv. r 42 ; xxviii., 12 ; Pint., Vit. Mar., 6 ; Vol. Max., Hi., 3 ; Hirt.,
Bell. Hisp., 8 Sil. Ital, i., 225 ; iii., 389 ; xvi., 471 ; Flor., ii., 18 ; Oros., v., 7 ;
Sickler, Hand, der alt. Geogr., i., p. 14; Malte Brun, Precis de la Geogr. Univ.,
iv., p. 318, seqq.

2. The passage relative to the Turduli is quoted by Strabo (iii., p. 139) from
Polybius, as follows : 2o<^raroi 6 it-sTa&vTat rtiv \6rjpuv OVTOI, Kal ypauaartK^
Xptivrai, Kal 7% Tra/lamf UVTJU^ eiovai TO. avy-ypdauara, Kal 7rotT?uara, Kal vouovf
tyuerpov? igQKtsx&fov errtiv, &$ (j>aa Kal oi aA/loi "\6rjpeg xP& VTai, ov
[ua Idea, ov&s: yap yAwrr?? I6ia. In giving the meaning of this passage, we have
adopted the emendation of Palmerius, namely, kiruv for kruv. It is much to be
regretted that all these curious monuments of early civilization were effaced by
Roman conquests.


THE products of ancient Hispania may be summed up briefly
as follows :

I. Good horses, similar to those of the Parthians ; mules ;
excellent wool.

II. Fish of different kinds, such as mackerel and tunny, salt
ed and dried.

HI. Oil, figs, wine, corn, honey, beer, flax, linen, Spanish



broom (spartum), used in the manufacture of mattresses, shoes,
shepherds cloaks, cordage, &c. ; various plants used in dyeing;

IV. Copper, silver, gold, quicksilver, cinnabar, tin, lead,
steel, &c.

OBS. The spartum, or Spanish broom, grew abundantly along the coast above
Carthago Nova, and gave to this region the name of Spartarius Campus. Pliny
says, that " in the part of Hispania Citerior about New Carthage, whole mount
ains were covered with spartum." The true Latin name was genista, the term
spartum being borrowed from the Greek (mrdprov ), and the use of the Greek
name in Hispania Citerior having been owing, probably, to the Grecian settle
ments on that coast from Massilia and other quarters. On the whole subject
of the sparlum, consult the learned and able remarks of Yates, in his Textrinum
Antiquorum, p. 318, scqq.

12. MINES, &c.

I. SPAIN was the Peru of antiquity. She was the richest
country in the ancient world for silver, and she also abounded
in gold, and in the less precious metals, especially tin.

II. The mine-works of the Phoenicians for the precious met
als seem to have been confined to the region afterward known
by the name of Bsetica. According to Strabo, the oldest of
these were situate on the Silver Mountain ("Opo$ Apyvpovv),
near which the Baetis took its rise, in the southeastern angle
of the country. Gold and silver were both found in Bsetica ;
the former, it is said, exclusively, unless we except the white
gold, as it was termed, that was found among the Callaici, and
that appears to have been a mixture of gold and silver, but
with a decided preponderance of the latter. The Phoenicians,
however, opened in other parts of the Peninsula valuable mines
of lead and iron, and they likewise had tin mines on the north
ern coast of Spain beyond Lusitania.

III. The Carthaginians, who succeeded the Phoenicians, dis
played much more energy in searching for the precious as well
as the more ordinary metals. The silver mines, about twenty
stadia from Carthago Nova, were particularly famous. In Ro
man times, these works comprised a circuit of four hundred
stadia, kept employed forty thousand laborers, and yielded daily
twenty-five thousand drachmas worth of metal, or about $4400.

IV. Cinnabar was found at Sisapo, in the northeastern angle
of BoDtica ; vermilion among the Callaici ; tin and lead among
this same people, and also in the vicinity of Castulo, on the


Bsetis. Iron was found nearly every where, but of a peculiarly
excellent quality on the Promontorium Dianium, at the north
eastern extremity of the Spartarius Campus, now Cape St.



I. LUSITANIA must be considered under two aspects : 1. Its
extent prior to the Roman division of Hispania into three prov
inces ; and, 2. Its dimensions under that division.

II. Lusitania, strictly speaking, meant at first merely the
territory of the Lusitani, and this territory extended only from
the Durius to the Tagus, and from the coast of the Atlantic to
what are now the eastern limits of the kingdom of Portugal.
As, however, these Lusitani were for the most part seen, dur
ing their inroads into the more southern parts of the country,
united with other tribes, which, though different in name, yet
resembled them in language, manners, mode of warfare, &c.,
the name Lusitani became gradually extended, and applied to
several of the communities dwelling south of the Tagus. This
is the earlier aspect under which the name is to be regarded.

III. When, however, the Romans divided the land into the
three provinces of Tarraconensis, Beetle a, and Lusitania, the
boundaries of Lusitania were as follows : On the north, the
River Durius or Douro ; on the south, the Atlantic, from the
mouth of the River Anas, or Guadiana, to the Sacrum Prom
ontorium, or Cape St. Vincent ; on the west, the Atlantic ; on
the east, a line separating it from Tarraconensis, drawn from
the Durius near Complutica, to the Anas above Sisapo ; and
on the southeast, the Anas to its mouth, separating it from

IV. Lusitania, therefore, according to this latter division,
comprehended, as we have before remarked, a less extent than

Online LibraryCharles AnthonA system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges → online text (page 4 of 89)