Charles Anthon.

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

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1. Islands in the Mediterranean.

I. Baledres, called, also, Gymnesice, and now Majorca and
Minorca. Both the ancient names are from the Greek, name
ly, BaA/Uapet (for which we have, also, Baheapi6e$, Bafopiat,
&c.) and TviiVTjaiat, vijaoi.

II. The word Baleares is from the Greek j3/U, u to throw,"
the original inhabitants having been very expert in the use of
the sling, to which they were trained in their infancy, and their
dexterity as slingers, while serving in the Carthaginian and
Roman armies, is often noticed by ancient authors. The name
Gymnesice has a more general reference to the same skill, on the
part of these islanders, in the use of missiles.

III. Strabo calls the present Majorca and Minorca by the



68 ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY.

name of Gymnesice, while he applies the term Pityusce to two
smaller islands nearer the coast of Spain; and he gives the
name of Baleares to the whole group. The Pityusse, however,
are more correctly kept distinct.

IV. The name Pityusce (Uirvovaai) is also of Greek origin,
meaning " Pine Islands" (from mrv$, " a pine-tree"), and has
reference to the thick growth of pine-trees with which the two
islands, but especially the larger one, abounded. The two
Pityusse were called by the Greeks, respectively, Ebusus and
Ophiusa (snake island), which last the Romans translated into
Colubraria.

V. The small island Capraria (goat island), to the south of
Majorca, is the modern Cabrera.

VI. The Phoenicians, it appears, were the first settlers of
the Balearic islands, which, however, had a race of original in
habitants. The Carthaginians, under Hanno, having made
themselves masters of the whole group, proceeded to form new
settlements, and founded the town of Mag-o, now Mahon, and
Jamno 9 now Ciudadela, in the smaller one. These islands
furnished .them with considerable bodies of troops in their wars
against Sicily and Rome, and a large force of their slingers ac
companied Hannibal in his passage across the Alps.

VII. When the Carthaginians were driven from Spain, the
islanders obtained their freedom, which they made use of to ap
ply themselves to piracy, till they were subdued by the Roman
consul Q. Metellus, who founded the cities of Palma and Pol-
lentia in Majorca, and took the surname of Balearicus. They
continued attached to the Roman republic as part of Hispania
Citerior, and subsequently to the empire, and belonged to the
Conventus of Carthago Nova.

VIII. From the reign of Constantine the Great till that of
Theodosius they had their own government. When Spain,
however, fell into the hands of the Vandals and Huns, a body
passed over to these islands, which became an easy conquest,
and afterward, with that peninsula, were subdued by the
Moors. We will now speak of the Baleares and Pityusse more
in detail.

1. Balearis Major.
The name Majorca comes from the Latin Major (Insula),



H I S P A N I A. 69

" the Larger" (island). Both Majorca and Minorca produced
anciently wheat, wine, rosin, timber, &c., and mules of large
size. The rabbits, however, did great injury to the crops here,
as in Spain.

In Majorca we find the following cities : 1. Palma, founded
by Metellus, now Palma, on the south side, lying on a spacious
bay. 2. Pollentia, also founded by Metellus, on the northern
side, now Pollenza. 3. Cmium, now probably Sineu, although
some are in favor of Calalonga. 4. Cumd, now Alcudia.
5. Bocchorum. Site unknown. The place was in ruins as
early as the time of Pliny.

2. Balearis Minor.

The name Minorca comes from the Latin Minor (Insula),
" the Smaller" (island). In this island we find, 1. Jamno or
Jamna, now Ciudadela. The ancient name, which is some
times, also, written Jammona, has reference, according to
Bochart, to the western situation of the place as compared
with that of the parent country, being derived from the Phoe
nician Jamma, " the West." 2. Sanisera. It appears to have
been situate near the middle of the island, and to answer to the
modern Ala/or. 3. Mago, or Magonis Portus, now Port Ma-
hon. The place derived its name, as already remarked, from
its founder, the Carthaginian Mago.



3. Pityusfe

These islands, as already remarked, were two in number,
Ebusus and Ophiusa, and received their names from the nu
merous pine-trees that grew upon them. Ebusus is now Iviga
or Ivyza. It was celebrated for its figs, which are still held in
high repute. It contained, also, as it still does, very good pas
tures. Its capital was Ebusus or Ebusium^ which has now the
same modern name as the island. Bochart derives the name
from the Phoenician lebuso or Ibuso, answering to the Latin
" exsiccatce" i. e., exsiccatse ficus, "dried figs," in allusion to
the fruit for which the island was anciently so famous.

The island of Ophiusa (Qtytovoa), or " Snake Island," re
ceived its name, as already remarked, from the Greeks, in
whose language otyis means " a snake." The modern name
is Las Columbretas, or Montcolibre.



70 ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY.

2. Islands in the Atlantic.

1. Cotinusa, already mentioned. Another name for the isl
and on which Gades was situated. 2. Landobris, off the coast
of Lusitania, and to the northwest of the Promontorium Olisi-
ponense. Marcianus calls it Lanucris. It is now Berlinguas.
3. Cicce, Aunios, and Corticata^ three small islands just above
the mouth of the Minius, now respectively Cies, Ons, and Sal-
vora.



G A L L I A.



1. EXTENT AND BOUNDARIES.

I. THE term Gallia was employed by the Romans in a double
sense : 1. As indicating Gaul proper, or Gaul beyond the Alps,
called Gallia simply, and also Gallia Ulterior and Gallia
Transalpina ; and, 2. Gaul this side of the Alps, with refer
ence to Rome, called Gallia Cisalpina, and forming subse
quently the northern part of Italy.

II. The consideration of Gallia Cisalpina belongs to the ge
ography of Italy. We will now proceed to that of Gaul prop
er, or Gallia Transalpina.

III. Gaul proper, or Transalpine Gaul, comprised modern
France, the Netherlands, the countries along the west bank of
the Rhine, and the greatest part of Switzerland.

IV. It was bounded on the south by the Mediterranean and
Hispania ; on the east by the Rhine, and a line drawn from
the sources of that river to the small river Varus, now the Var ;
or, in more general language, by the Rhine and the Alps ; on
the north by the Oceanus Britannicus or English Channel,
and the Lower Rhine, and on the west by the Atlantic.

OBS. In speaking of the Alps as forming part of the eastern boundary, it
must be borne in mind that the precise line of separation in this quarter, be
tween Gallia and Italia, was different at different times, according to the
progress of the Roman arms. Thus, for example, it differed, while the princi
pality of Cottius existed, from what became the dividing line after the posses
sions of that Alpine chieftain formed part of the Roman empire. Pliny even
after this assigns the Centrones, Caturiges, and Vagienni to Italy, and so, too,
does Ptolemy, but they belong correctly to Gaul. The River Varus became
the limit in the time of Augustus, and remained so thereafter.

2. NAMES.

I. WE find the first mention of Gaul among the Greek writ
ers, who name the country KekriKf), Celtica ; but the term was
at first applied by them, in a very extended sense, to the whole
of western and northwestern Europe.



72 ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY.

II. From the time of Timseus the name FaAarm, Galatia,
came into use, and at a later period the Greek writers are found
employing also the term TaXXia (Gallia), borrowed from the
Romans.

III. The Romans, on the other hand, gave the name of Gal-
lia to the whole country between the Rhine and Pyrenees ; and
afterward, in order to designate the division into provinces, they
employed the plural form Gallice. In order, moreover, to dis
tinguish between Gaul proper and Upper Italy, in the latter of
which countries Gallic tribes were also settled, they called the
former Gallia Ulterior or Transalpine as already remarked,
and the latter Gallia Citerior or Cisalpina.

IV. Another name employed by the Romans was Gallia Co-
mala. This was given to Gaul proper, with the exception of
Gallia Narbonensis, in the south, and had reference to the cus
tom prevalent among the inhabitants of wearing the hair long,
as a badge of valor.

V. We find, also, two other appellations in use, namely,
Gallia togata and Gallia braccata. The former of these was
given to Gallia Cisalpina, or, as Mannert thinks, to that part
of it which lay south of the Po, called otherwise Gallia Cis-
padana, and had reference to the adoption of the Roman dress
and customs on the part of the inhabitants, while the name of
Gallia braccata was given to the province of Narbonensis, in
allusion to the braccce worn by the inhabitants ; not that brac
cce were not also worn by the other Gauls, but because the
Romans saw them for the first time worn in this quarter.

OBS. 1. To designate Gallia Transalpina, as distinguished from Cisalpina, the
Greek writers use the expressions f] virep rC>v "A^nrcuv K&TIKTI : i] vTcspuhneiof
Ke^TiKrj : rj tfu KeAri/c?/, &e., while they call Gallia Cisalpina 57 r&v KOTU. rrjv
Ira/Uav Kc/lrwv x^ P a KeAfi/icj) i) evrof "Ahireuv : ?; /cdrw Fa/lar/a. At a later
period we find Ptolemy employing the term Ke?i~oya/larm for Gaul proper, or
beyond the Alps. This last-mentioned name derives elucidation from the re
mark of Diodorus Siculus (v.,32), that the inhabitants of the land to the north
of Massilia, and between the Pyrenees and the Alps, were called Celt a (Ke/l-
Toi) ; those, however, farther north, extending to the ocean and the Scythians,
were called Galata (raAurat)-

2. The Romans were well acquainted with the Cisalpine Gauls in the course
of the long wars which commenced with the attack upon Rome,. and terminated
in the subjugation of Gallia Cisalpina. They were aware of the identity of
these Gauls with the KaAroi of the Massilians. Caesar, moreover, in dividing
the inhabitants of Gaul without the province, and as yet unconquered by the
Romans, into three nations, and appropriating to one of them the name of Gal~



GAL LI A. 73

ii, identifies this particular nation with the previously-known Gauls or Celti in
Cisalpine Gaul and in the province. When he says, however, that the Romans
termed them Galli, and they themselves Cdtcc, his statement would probably
have been more correct had he reported that by the Greeks they were termed
Celti (KeAroi), and by the Romans Galli. It does not appear clear that the
Gauls ever recognized the name of Cclta as a national appellation. It proba
bly grew into general use among the Greeks from some particular tribe at first
so named. This may be collected from Strabo. (Prichard, Researches, vol. iii.,
p. 61, seq.)

3. The name Galli is evidently Gael Latinized. In like manner, the Greek
Fo/larfit may be traced to the same root. Etymologists derive this last from
Galltachd, " the land of the Gauls," but Celtic derivations begin to be looked upon
with an eye of suspicion, since of the language of the people of Gaul we have
now, in the opinion of the best scholars, few undoubted specimens ; and al
though there are strong grounds for believing that it was a kindred tongue with
the dialects of the British isles, yet it is evidently unsafe to have recourse, in
such a case as the present, to the modern Gaelic or any of its branches. The
meaning of the name Gael, therefore, must be left uncertain, although many re
gard it as a contracted form of Gadhcl or Gaidheal, and think that it denotes
"strangers," or "foes." A summary of all the learning on this subject may
be found in Diefenbach s Ccltica, vol. ii., p. 6, seqq.

4. The earlier history of the Celtic people is a subject of great interest, but
of difficult investigation. Were they aborigines of Gaul or of Germany 1 Ac
cording to all the testimony of history, or, rather, of ancient tradition collected
by the writers of the Roman empire, the migrations of the Gauls were always
from west to east ; the Celtic nations in Germany, as well as in Italy and in
the East, were supposed to have been colonies ftom Gaul, and the Celtae have
been considered, therefore, by many, to have been the immemorial inhabitants
of western Europe. But this opinion is altogether untenable. The remains of
the Celtic language prove them to have been a branch of the Indo-European
stock, and to have come, therefore, from the East ; and as we find so many
parts of Germany overspread by them in early times, whence they were after
ward expelled by German tribes, a strong suspicion forces itself upon our minds
that a part of the Celtic population may have always remained to the eastward
of the Rhine, which perhaps received accessions from tribes of the same race
returning in a later age from Gaul. (Prichard, Researches, vol. iii., p. 50, seq.)

5. It is impossible to determine with certainty whether the west of Europe
was wholly uninhabited at the era when the Celtee first occupied it. It is prob
able, however, that, as they preceded the Teutonic tribes, they must have come
into contact with nations of the Finnish stock. This would especially have
been the case on the shores of the Baltic, where they would have met with
the Jotuns or Finns, whom the Teutonic people afterward found in possession
of Scandinavia. (Prichard, I. c. Compare remarks on page 2 of this work.)

3. EARLY AND LATER INHABITANTS.

I. The primitive inhabitants of Gallia were probably, as al
ready remarked, of Finnish origin, and these were reduced to
subjection by the Celtee on the great immigration of the latter
race from the East.

II. At the period of Caesar s invasion we find the Celtic race



74 ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY.

separated into three great divisions, the Celtce, in the centre of
the country, the Belgce, to the north, and the Aquitam, to the
south.

III. The tribes whom Caesar calls the Celtce, and who ap
pear to have been, in fact, the main Gallic race, or, as we may
term them, the Gauls proper, occupied at this time nearly all
the midland, western, and southern parts of the country, ex
tending in one direction from the Gob (Bum Promontorium, now
Cape St. Make, in Bretagne, to the mountains of Switzerland
and Savoy , and perhaps to the frontiers of the Tyrol, and, in
another direction, from the banks of the Garumna, or Garonne,
to those of the Sequana and Matrona, or Seine and Marne.

IV. The northeastern parts of the country, from the Sequana
and Matrona to the Channel and the Rhine, were occupied by
the Belg-ce, a race, probably, of mixed Celtic and Germanic
blood, and the immediate vicinity of the Rhine was occupied
by some tribes of purer and more immediate German origin.
Prichard thinks, that in Caesar s time, some of the most warlike
tribes in the Belgic confederation were of the number of emi
grants from Germany, who had lately taken their place among
the inhabitants of Belgica, and had, perhaps, assumed the name
of Belgae. The great mass of the nation, however, were un
doubtedly Gauls.

V. The southwestern corner of the country was occupied by
the Aquitani, whose territory extended from the Garonne to
the Pyrenees ; and probably some Ligurian tribes were inter
mingled with the Celtse on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Some Greek settlements also occurred along that coast, and
Greek blood, though in a minute proportion, has mingled in
that of the modern inhabitants of Languedoc and Provence.

VI. Previously to Caesar s conquest, the Romans had formed
a praetorian province in the southern part of the country, on
the coast of the Mediterranean. More particular mention of
this, however, will be made under the succeeding section.

VII. The subjugation of Gaul by the Romans produced an
intermixture, though probably not a great one, of Romans with
the natives ; but it was not until the overthrow of the vast
fabric of the Roman empire, and the settlement of the northern
barbaric nations within its limits, that the population of Gaul
underwent any important modification. But, however little



GALLIA. 75

the population might have been affected, the habits of the Celts
had undergone material changes under the Roman dominion ;
and the modern French language shows how extensive and how
permanent has been the influence of the Latin tongue.

VIII. At the breaking up of the Roman empire, three of the
invading tribes possessed themselves of Gaul, namely, the Visi
goths, south and west of the Loire ; the Burgundians, in the
southeast, extending from the Sadne and the Rhone to the Jura
and the Alps ; and the Franks, in the north and east. A branch
of the Celtic nation, moreover, migrating from the British isles,
and differing in dialect and language from their kindred tribes
in Gaul, settled in the extreme west, and have transmitted to
the present age their peculiarity of language, and the name of
the island (Bretag-ne or Britain) from which they came.

IX. Politically, the ascendency of the Franks extinguished
the independence of their co-invaders ; but the tribes which
succumbed to their yoke remained in the settlements they had
acquired, and have influenced more or less the characteristics
of their descendants. But, notwithstanding these admixtures,
the CeJtae may still be regarded as the main stock of the French
people, and it has been considered that the national characters
of the ancient and the modern race bear no inconsiderable re
semblance to each other.

X. As the predominance of the Celtic race may be inferred
from that of their adopted language in the greater part of
France, so the local predominance of other tribes is indicated
by that of their peculiar tongue. The Breton, an adulterated
form of the language imported by the British settlers, is still
the language of the rural districts and of the poorer classes in
Bretag-ne, and is subdivided into four dialects : the Basque is
yet found at the foot of the Pyrenees, and may be considered
as the representative of the ancient dialect of the Aquitani :
the Lampourdan, one of its principal dialects, is spoken in the
Pays de Labour and in Basse Navarre. In Alsace the Ger
man language is predominant ; a circumstance which may be
ascribed to that province s having been more completely occu
pied by those tribes which overthrew the Roman empire, and
which have preserved their own language, and also to the long
incorporation of Alsace with Germany, and its comparatively
late annexation to the rest of France.



76 ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY.

4. HISTORICAL EPOCHS.

I. IMMIGRATION of the great Celtic race from the East, con
sisting of the priestly and military classes. They find the
country- occupied by Finnish nations, whom they reduce to
vassalage, and hence arises a lower caste, deprived of all civil
rights, and looked upon as mere vassals or serfs.

II. The wants of an increasing population lead the Celtic
tribes settled in Gallia to send out two vast emigrating bodies,
during the reign of the elder Tarquin at Rome, about B.C. 600.
One of these enters Italy, the northern part of which was sub
dued and peopled by them, while the other moves eastward
into Germany and what is now Hungary.

III. Greek colonies settle on the Mediterranean coast of
Gaul. The earliest and most important of these was MaaoaAia
or Massilia (now Marseilles), founded by the people of Phocsea,
itself a Greek colony of Asia Minor, B.C. 600, and augmented
by the emigration of the main body of the Phocseans, when
they sought refuge, B.C. 546, from the pressure of the Persian
monarchy.

IV. The power or influence of Massilia extends over the
neighboring districts, and several colonies are founded on the
coasts of Gaul, Italy, Spain, or Corsica, such as Agatha, now
Agde ; Antipolis, now Antibes ; Nicsea, now Nice, &c.

V. At the commencement of the second Punic war, Hanni
bal marches through Gaul, in his route from Spain into Italy ;
and Scipio, the Roman consul, who had conveyed his army by
sea to Massilia, in order to intercept him, sends a small body
of cavalry up the banks of the Rhodanus or Rhone, to recon
noitre, and these have a smart skirmish with a body of Hanni
bal s Numidians. Hannibal, however, marches onward into
Italy, to which country Scipio also returns, sending his army
forward under his brother Cnseus into Spain.

VI. After the close of the Punic wars the Romans gradually
extend their power in Gaul. Fulvius Flaccus, and his successor
Sextius Calvinus, conquer the Salyes, Vocontii, and some other
tribes. The coast of the Mediterranean is now secured by the
foundation of the Roman colony of Aquae Sextise, now Aix, B.C.
122, and that portion of Transalpine Gaul which the Romans
had subdued is shortly after formed into a praetorian province



GALLIA. 77

(B.C. 118), of which Narbo Martius, now Narbonne, colonized
the following year (B.C. 117), becomes the capital. Massilia,
nominally in alliance with, but really in subjection to Rome,
lies within this province.

VII. In the migratory invasion of the Cimbri, Teutones,
and Ambrones, the Roman province in Gaul is for several
years the seat of war. The Roman armies are repeatedly
defeated. In one dreadful battle (B.C. 104) they are said to
have lost 80,000 men. The province is, however, rescued from
the invaders by the great victory obtained by Marius (B.C. 101)
over the Teutones and Ambrones near Aquse Sextise. The
Cimbri have meantime marched into Italy.

VIII. The conquests of Cgesar reduced nearly the whole
country between the Rhine, the Alps, the Mediterranean, the
Pyrenees, and the Ocean, into subjection to Rome. The Aqui-
tani, and the tribes inhabiting the Alps, are not subdued till
afterward ; the former are conquered by Messala, but some of
the Alpine tribes retain their independence till the time of Nero.

IX. Under Augustus, Gaul is divided into four provinces, of
which, together with other subdivisions afterward made, men
tion will be found under the succeeding section.

X. In the decline of the Roman power, Gaul is ravaged by
the Franks, the Burgundians, and the Lygians (who had been
all driven out by Probus, A.D. 277) ; by the Bagauds, a body
of peasants, themselves Gauls, driven into rebellion (A.D. 284,
285) by the weight of their oppressions, and the distress con
sequent on the ravages of the barbarians, as well as the civil
dissensions of the empire ; again by the Franks and the Alle-
manni, who are repulsed by the emperors Julian (A.D. 355 to
361) and Valentinian (A.D. 365 to 375), and by the piratical
Saxons who ravage the coasts. The Roman power, however,
still suffices to keep these barbarians from settling in Gaul,
though it can not abate the pressure on the distant frontier, and
the decaying strength of the empire only protracts, but can not
avert, the final catastrophe.

XI. The Franks (i. e., the Freemen), a confederacy of Ger
man nations, are found in the fourth century settled on the
right bank of the Rhine, from the junction of the River Mayn
to the sea, and in the latter part of this same century, and
during a considerable portion of the next, appear to have been



78 .ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY.

in alliance with the empire. These Franks preserve their in
dependence even while confederated, and each tribe has its king.
Like the Saxon chieftains, who professed all to derive their lin
eage from Woden, the Prankish princes claimed a common an
cestor Meroveus (Meemoig-, "warrior of the sea"), from whom
they bore the common title of Merovingians. The era of Me
roveus is not ascertainable.

XII. Upon the downfall of the Roman empire, Gaul becomes
a prey to the barbarous nations by which the empire is dis
membered. There is no revival of national independence as
in Britain. The nationality of the Gauls had been lost when
the extension of the rights of Roman citizenship to all the na
tives of the provinces by Caracalla, A.D. 212, merged the dis
tinction previously maintained between the conquerors of the
world and their subjects ; and the national religion, Druidism,
had sunk beneath the edicts of the emperors and the growing
influence of Christianity.

XIII. On the last day of the year 406 the Rhine is crossed
by a host of barbarians, who never repass that frontier stream.
They consist of Vandals, Alans, Suevians, Burgundians, and
other nations. The Vandals, who first reach the bank, are de
feated by the Franks, who defend, as the allies of the empire,
the approach to the frontier ; but, on the arrival of the Alans,
the Franks in their turn are overcome, and the passage is ef
fected. The devastation of Gaul by this horde of invaders is
terrible ; the inhabitants of many towns are slaughtered or car



Online LibraryCharles AnthonA system of ancient and mediæval geography for the use of schools and colleges → online text (page 8 of 89)