James Playfair.

A system of geography, ancient and modern (Volume 4) online

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1. The HISTORY of GEOGRAPHY from its
origin to its latest improvements, — PHYSI-
RIES of the EARTH.

2. Ancient and modern Lineal Measures re-
duced to the English Standard. The extent
and POPULATION of the Globe. — A Survey
of the Ocean, &c. — Longitudes and La-
titudes of places alphabetically arranged.

3. A Review of all the Empires, Kingdoms, and
Provinces in EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA,
and AMERICA; ascertaining their bouni>a-
aiES, extent, subdivisions, and dependen-

cies ; tracing chains of mountains, rivers,
BATS, promontories, &c. ; specifying the
Climate and Soil of every Country ; its pro-
ducts, population, and manners of its In-
habitants; giving an account of its Manufac-
tures, Commerce, Literature, Religion, Go-
vernment, Revenue, &c. — its ancient and mo-
dern History ; together with the Situation,
Magnitude, and Antiquities of every City, re-
markable Town and Edifice ; including recent
Discoveries, political Alterations, &c.

4. A COMPLETE ATLAS, ancient and mo-
dern, in folio, accurately constructed, and en-
graved by the most eminent Artists.

By JAMES PLAYFAIR, D.D. F.R.S. c^- F.A.S. Edinburgh,

principal^ of the united college of ST ANDREWS,

and historiographer to his royal highness the prince of wales.













Vindelicia - - - « .

RhEBtia - - - . .

Noricum - - - . .

Germany during the middle age

Modern Geum ANT, description of .

■ — ancient principa-l

lities of f

——^—~——^— New Ariiangcmcnts

" Rlaps








Austrian Dominions


Bohemian Silesia


Austria, description of

' Archdutchy of

"■ Lower


Austrian Lordships
Countries in Swabia


' ■ Linibur"

■ ' ■ '■ — LuxcmLun


' ' • Flanders

— Henncgau

'— — ■ Hicent Airangcraents



- 55

















Circle of Westphalia

Lower Rhine

• Upper Rhine

— Swabia

— Bavaria


Upper Saxony

Silesia, description of

Pomerania ...

Circle of Lower Saxony

Lordships depending on the Empire'

New arrangements

Routes through Germany

Countries beyond the Adriatic Sea.
Pannonia >

Dacia . .

Sarmatia Europcea

















Revolutions in those countries 436

HUNGARY, description of
Lower Hungary

Upper .

Hungarian Illyricum

POLAND, description of
Great Poland

Little .-






J. iw' -^ V> -i. -Hk




PRUSSIA, description of - - 514

German territories - 523

Prussian Litliuania - 529

Polish Prussia - - 531

Moesia ... - 539

Thracia - • - 543

Graecia . - « ■ 549

Macedonia . - . 554

Graecia Propria, description of • 563

Insulae Graciie


EUROPEAN TURKEY, description of 626

Islands in the Ionian, Mediterranean, and

iEgean Seas . - - 672

European provinces tributary to the Ot-
toman Porte « « ■ 682

Pcyssoncl's Geography - - 688

iniies • - ■ . 692






1 HE limits of ancient Germany were very different from those of
the modern Empire. The former was separated from Gaul by the
Rhine, and from Sarmatia by the Weissel. On the north it was
bounded by the German Ocean and the Baltic, and on the south by
the Danube. This extensive region, almost a third part of Europe,
comprehended the greater part. of modern Germany and of the United
Provinces, together with the western territories of Hungary, Prussia, and
Poland, it was called Germania Antiqua, Transrhenana, Magna, Bar-
bara, and Alemannia, in reference to its antiquity, situation, extent
civilization, and inhabitants. The general appellation of Deutsche is
derived from the Teutones, who occupied the southern parts of Scandi-
navia, thence made incursions into the Roman territories, and afterwards
settled between the Weissel and the Rhine. It received the name of
Vol. IV. A Germania


Germania from the collection of tribes who denominated themselves
Geiermans, or warriors, and first crossed the Rhine to invade Gaul. The
designs tion of Alemannia was not known before the time of Caracalla,
when many different tribes of Suevi, having assumed the title of Ale-
manni, or All-men, united against the Romans, and settled near the

Though the greater part of Germany is a spacious plain consisting of
variety of soil, yet there are several chains or ridges of mountains.
Roman writers make mention of Taiuius Mons, now Hohe, opposite to
Mentz, and famous for a garrison and citadel of Drusus : Rhetlcoy Sie-
bengeberg, opposite to Bonn : Mclibaus Mons, in the Hartz, between
the Weser and the Elbe. Asciburgius, a chain that passes between
Silesia and Poland, extends to the Baltic, and is now called Tartary by
the Poles. Bohemia is environed by mountains called Hercynii Montes,
on which was a forest of the sam.e name that reached eastward through
Sarmatia, and in Its progress received the appellations of S'llvce Bacenses,
Csesia, Gabreta, Luna, Marcianx, &c. Montes Carpates rise from the
Danube, separate Silesia from Moravia, and proceed along the northern
boundary of Hungary and Transylvania, almost to the border of the
Euxine. There are several ranges in Swabia, in Upper and Lower
Rhine, and in Westphalia.

The most considerable rivers are the following, w'z. — o-^-*

1. Rhetiusy Rhine, the origin and progress of which has been already
described (See Gaul). ■ ^T

2. Fisurgis, Weser, is composed of the Werra and Fulda, which have
their sources near the south boundary of Hesse-Cassel, and unite at
Munden, where they assume the name of Weser. This river runs to '
the northward between the circles of Westphalia and Lower Saxony,
and, receiving the Aller at Werden, falls into the German Ocean below



3. Albis^ Elbe and Labe, rises in Mount Reissenberg near the border
of Silesia, and passes through Bohemia, where it is augmented by the
Moldaw which originates in the south ridge of Hercynii Montes. Flow-
ing north-west through Misnia, or Meissen, Saxony, Anlialt, Magdeburg,
Brandenburg, Denneberg, Lawenberg, and Holstein, it receives on the
left the Mulda below Prague, and the Saal above Magdeburg ; on the
right the Havel below Havelburg, and the Stor above its mouth. Near
Hamburg it divides into many branches ; and, uniting again into a
broad stream, it flows by the fortress of Gluckstadt, receives the deep
and navigable Stor at Wewelsflet, and at length discharges itself into the
German Ocean. This river divided ancient Germany into two equal
parts nearly, and is navigable 70 miles from the sea for vessels of 3 or
400 tons.

4. Viadrus^ Oder, rises near the common boundary of Silesia and
Moravia, runs north-west through the middle of Silesia, and northward
through Brandenburg and Poinerania. Traversing the lake Gross-hafF,
it falls into the Baltic. The Warta has its source in Little Poland, and
joins the Oder below Frankfort.

5. Vistula, Weissel, originates In the Carpathian mountains, on the
confines of Silesia, and flows noith-east to Zawichost in Little Poland.
Changing the direcuon of its course northward, it runs through Mazovia
and along the confines of Wladislaw. Having separated Prussia from
Polish Prussia, by several mouths it losses itself in Frisch-haflf and the
Baltic near Dantzick.

6. Dattubitis, Danube, or Donau, the noblest river in Europe, rises in
Mons Abnoba, Abenow or the black mountain in the dutchy of Wur-
temberg, near the south-west extremity of Germany, about thirty miles
from the source of the Rhme. Flowing eastward through Swabia, Bava-
ria, and Austria, it enters into Hungary below Vienne. Thence it runs
southward to the border of Sclavc^nia, where it is augmented by the

A 2 Drave.


Drave. Bending to the east it receives the Save at Be%rade; and,
separating Walachia from Bulgaria, it discharges Itself through six mouths
into the Euxine or Black Sea, after a course of 1300 miles for the most
part to the south-east. Broad, rapid, and deep, it abounds in cataracts and
whirlpools, and receives the tribute of sixty navigable rivers, the most
considerable of which will be described when we treat of the countries
through which they flow. The lower part of the Danube was anciently
called Ister.

When Germany first attracted the attention of the Romans, it was
much colder than it is at present. The Rhine and the Danube were
frequently frozen over and capable of supporting the heaviest waggons :
and the rein-deer was a native of those parts, though he cannot now sub-
sist in any country to the south of the Baltic. The extreme cold of
ancient Germany was no doubt owing chiefly to the extensive morasses
and forests that covered the surface of the country, and intercepted the
rays of the sun. The woods have been long ago cleared, the marshes
drained, and the soil cultivated ; so that the climate has become more

Anciently there were neither towns nor any places of strength in
Germany. The houses of the inhabitants were detached huts composed
of wood, turf, and straw, in situations best adapted for defence against
the cold. The places mentioned by Ptolemy, and other geographers,
were rude fortifications constructed in the centre of groves, for the
security of the tribes to which they belonged. The most ancient towns
in Germany were at first built, or, at least, enlarged by the Romans.

During the reign of the first Roman Emperors this extensive region
was divided among many independent tribes ; but the limits of each
tribe it is impossible to ascertain with precision. The same territory
frequently changed its proprietors and its designation. New associations
were daily formed, and new names were imposed, A tribe was some-


times split into several societies, every one of which was distinguished by
its proper appellation.

Pliny classes all the German tribes under five heads. 1. The Vandalt^
who were planted between the Weissel and the Elbe. 2. Ingaiiones^
along the coast of the German Ocean. 3. Istauones^ or Sicambri,
between the Weser and the Rhine. 4. liermiones^ in the interior parts
of the coimtry. 5. Peucini^ or Basternse, beyond the Weissel. Each of
these were subdivided into several independent societies.

The most noted tribes in Germany, with the principal places of can-
tonment, were as follows : —

1. Frisiiy or Frisiones, divided into majores and mhioreSy occupied
Friesland, on the sea-c^ast to the eastward of Flevo Lacus^ now Zuyder-
zee. Manarinants ^ a port on the north coast, at the mouth of the
Unsingis, a small river which bathed Corbulonis Mutiimentum^ now
Groningen, or some place in the neighbourhood. A colony of the Frisii
were cantoned on the west coast of the Zuyder-zee, in a tract now called
West Friesland.

2. Sturii, between Flevo Lacus and the north coast : but the whole of
their territory, a few islands excepted, is now a gulph of the sea.

3. Marsati, near the right mouth of the Rhine, in a district of Holland.
Lugdunum Batavorum^ Leyden.

. 4. Cauci^ or CauchI Majores, one of the most illustrious tribes in Ger-
many, and distinguished by the love of justice, inhabited the dutchy of
Bremen, between the mouths of fl. Visurgis, the Weser, and y^ldis, the
Elbe. Biramum^ Bremen, on the right bank of the Weser.

5. Amivariiy expelled from their settlements in the neighbourhood of
the Cauci, retired to the interior parts of the country, where they mixed
with other tribes.

6. Cauci Minpres, in West Friesland and Oldenburg, on the sea-coasf,
between the Weser and fl. Amisia, the Embs. Am'uia^ Embden.



7. Bructcr'i Minores, in Bentheim, Lingen, and part of Munster, above
the Cauci Minores, on the Embs. Nuasium^ Nienhus, destroyed by the
neiglibouring tribes in the time of Tacitus.

8. SaRi^ in Overeyssel,^ to the eastward of Flevo Lacus. Mediolaniim,

9. Chamavii and Angrivarii, behind the Bructeri, between the Weser
and Embs, in Hoya, Osnabruck, and Tecklenberg. Tecelia, Tecklen-
berg, on the right of the Embs.

10. Bructeri Majores, in Munster, on the Embs. Munit'ium^ Mun-
ster. This tribe was exterminated by the two preceding.

I _'ll. Tubantes succeeded the Marsi and Usipetes or Usipii, on the right
bank of the Rhine in Geulderland, south-cast of i^uyder-zee. Navalia^
Deventer, on a brancli of the Rhine which runs northward to the Zuy-
der-zee. Stereontium^ the situation of which is not known.

12. Gamhrivi^ afterwards Fosi, by some placed in Holstein, and by
others between the Elbe and Weser, in Hanover, and part of the dutchy
of Verden. FitUfurdum^ Verden.

13. Dulgib'ini, supposed to be a branch of the Cherusci, in the counties
of Minden and Schamberg, to the left of the Weser.

14. Cherusci, a numerous tribe, above the Fosi, in Brunswick and part
of Magdeburg, between the Weser and Elbe. Trophaa Drusi, Tanger-
mund, on the Elbe, a monument raised by Drusus to signalize his success
in that part of Germany. Idislavistis Campus^ a plain near the Weser,
where Germanicus defeated Arminius.

15. Chasuarii^ or Chattuarii, or Attuarli, above the Cherusci, between
the Elbe and' the Weser, in Hildesheim, Halberstadt, and Anhalt.

16. Marsi, at first in Guelderland, between the Rhine and Zuyder-
zee, afterwards in Ravensberg and Lieppe, on the left hand of the Weser.
Teutoburgiensis Saltus, a forest extending to Paderborn, and famous for
the defeat of Varus and three legions.



17. Slcambrt^ a warlike tribe, in the dutchy of Westphalia and county
of Mark, between the Rhine and Weser, to the left of fl. Lttp'ia^
Lippe. Lupia, Lipstadt, in Westphalia, on the border of a river of the
same name. Aliso^ Elsen, near Paderborn, at the conflux of the Aliso
and Lippe.

18. Tencteri, dexterous horsemen, in the dutchy of Berg, on the
right bank of the Rhine, above the Sicambri, with whom they soon
mixed. Sigodunum, Siegberg, on fl. Sigus^ Seig, which falls into the

The ten following tribes were branches of the Suevi, from whom
the interior parts of Germany were called Suevia : —

19. Catti, a warlike tribe, of whom the Mattiaci were a branch, on
the right hand of the Rhine, near the source of the Weser, in Wetterau
and Hesse-Cassel, eastward to the Elbe. Mattium^ Marpurg. Castel-
lum^ Cassel. Aquce Matiiacoe^ Wisbaden, opposite to Mentz, near the
conflux of the Maine and Rhine.

20. Semitones^ reputed the most ancient tribe of the Suevi, in Saxony
and Lusatia, from the Elbe to the other side of the Oder. Semana
Sylva^ Sonnenwald, a forest in this district consecrated to the purposes
of superstition, where the numerous tribes of Suevi, at stated periods,

21. Langobardt^ a brave nation, north of the Semnones, in Branden-
burg, near the conflux of the Hawel and Elbe. Colancerum^ Coin
near Berlin.

22. Campsani^ in Magdeburg, on the Elbe, above the influx of the
Hawel. MesiufTiy Magdeburg.

23. Saxones, in Holstein, near Cimbrica Chersonesus. Mariotiis
Hamburg, near the mouth of the Elbe. Treva^ Ludbeck, near the op-
posite border of the isthmus. Herthce Sacra insula^ Heilgeland, an



island at the mouth of the Elbe, a small part of which remains, the rest
of it having been destroyed by the sea.

24. yjngli, in Holsteln, on the border of Coda?ius S'uius, the Baltic.

25. Cimbri, once a numerous nation but diminished by emigrations,
in Jutland, then called Cimbtica Chersonesus.

26. Var'im and other small tribes, distinguished by the general ap-
pellation of Vandals or Vindili, in Mecklenburg, along the south coast
of the Baltic

27. Btirgtind'tones-Suev'i, in Pomerania, near the sea coast, between fl.
V'ladrus^ the Oder, and Vistula^ the Weissel. Rhugii, Lemovii, i^c.
were inferior tribes in Pomerania. Rhttglum, Rugenwald, a sea port ;
and Rugen an adjacent island.

28. Guthones, or Gothones, in Prussia, near the mouth of the Weissel ;
and Burgujita, at the conflux of the Oder and Warta.

29. Lugii, or Lygii, a considerable nation on the left hand of the
Weissel, where it bends westward in the form of a crescent, in part ot
Poland. Setidavia, Wladislaw : Ariscua^ Czersk, on the Weissel.
Ascihurgitis Mons, a chain that runs from north to south in the Pala-
tinate of Sirad, was the western boundary of the territory of this tribe.

30. Hclvaeones, a branch of the Lugii, in the south part of Guesne,
on the left of the Warta which originates in Cracovia, and runs north
west to the Oder. Calesia^ Kali&ch, on the small river Prosna, which
loses itself in the Warta.

31. Marsirigi, or Marsigni, or Marvingi, with Boncchse and BateinJB,
were planted in Silesia, on both sides of the Oder Leinosuleuni,
Lignitz, *

32. (. sit, in the south part of Silesia, near the source of the Oder.
53. Buriij in Cracovia, near the source of the Weissel.

34. E/f/siif Nii/iarvali and Didufn, in Cracovia and Sandomirz, little




■ S5. Qriadi, in Moravia a part of Austria, on the border ^of the
Danube. Medoslanium^ Nicolsburg on fl. Marus, the Mcrawa : Rho-
bodunum, or Ebrodunum, Brin : Meliodunum^ Znaym : Celcmantia^
Kalminz : Eburum^ Olmutz, on the Morawa : Sfrev'tfita^ Iglaw. A
small district of Austria, between Moravia and the Danube, was ancient-
ly called Adrabse Campus.

36. Carpi were scattered on Montes Carpates, the Carpathian moun-

37. BastarncE^ or Peucini, the common appellation of several small
tribes cantoned to the eastward of the Weissel, and extending to the
mouth of the Ister and the Euxine sea. Carrodunum^ Lemberg : Cle-
pidiiva, Kamieniec : Vibantaiiar'ium, Bar.

38. Venediy of Sarmatian extraction, occupied a district near the
mouth of the Weissel, on Sinus Vendicus., the Baltic. Expelled by the
Aestii, they ■ penetrated into Germany, and in the sixth century took
possession of a considerable part of the Transalpine territory, where they
settled under different designations.

39. -Soi/', ejected by the Marcomanni, retired to Bohemia which is
environed by Hercynii Montes and Hercynia Sylva. Maroboduum^
Prague : Budorges^ Budweis.

4(J. Hermanduri^ a powerful nation, to the westward of Bohemia, in
Franconia and Swabia.

41. Narisciy to the south east of the Hermanduri, between the
Danube and confines of Bohemia.

42. Alemanui, composed of many different tribes of Suevi, who took
possession of the settlements of the Marcomanni, Sedusii anJ Harudes,
in Franconia and Bavaria, with part of Swabia and the Upper Rhine.
AqiicSy Baden, on the right bank of the Rhine : Ara' Flaviie, Nordlingen,
south east of Badea.

43. -Sedusii z' d Harudes, expelled from these settlements in Fran-
conia and retreated into Bohemia where taeir uame^ were lost.

Vol. IV. B 44

10 lUROPE.

44. Marcomanni, in Mentz, Wurtzburg, and part of Swabia, near the
borders of the Rhine and the Mayne. Devona, Wurtzburg. This-
tribe afterwards removed to Bohemia and Moravia, where they establish-
ed a great and formidable monarchy.

A5. Nertereanes., in Fulda and Henneberg, at equal distances nearly
from the Rhine and the Elbe.

43. Danduti, in Altenburg and Voigtland, north of the Hermandurl,.
near the north east border of Bohemia.

47. Calulci^ on the Elbe, above the Semnones, in the north part of*

48. Ju Hones ^ or Ubii, in Cologne and Treves, on the right bank of
the Rhine, opposite to the influx of the Moselle. This tribe was re-
moved by Cgesar to the west side of the. Rhine, where several towns or
forts were built by the Romans,.

The four following provinces were sometimes included ia .ancient.
Germany, viz. :- — Helvetia, Rhcel'ujy Vmdelicia and Noriciim,


Helvetia, Switza-land, bounded by the Rhine, mount Jura, the Rhone
and the Alps, was . anciently divided into four provinces, or cantons,
viz. — Tigurinus, Tugenus, Ambronicus and Urblgenus.

1. Pagus Tigurifius, so called from TurigOy Zurich, was bounded on
the north, east, and south by the Rhine, and on the west by fl. Limago,
the Linth, comprehending the modern cantons of Zurich, Switz, and.
Srhaifhausen, the territory of St Gall,, and a. snvall part of Jura.

2. Pagus Tugeiiusyixoxa Tugio, Zug, was bounded on the west by the



Reuss, on the east by the Linth, and on the south by a chain of moun-
tains between the sources of those rivers. It included Claris, Switz, Zug,
and part of Zurich. On the east was Zurich-zee, and on the west Lucern


3. Pagvs Ambronicus was bounded on the north by Mount Jura, on
the east by the river Linth, on the south by the Alps, and on the west
by the river Sana. It comprehended Lucern, Solothurn, Basil, Under-
wald, with some districts of Bern and of Frlburg.

4. Pagus Urbigenus, so called from Urba, Orbe, extended northward
from Lacus Lemafitius, the lake of Geneva, between Mount Jura and the
river Sana, and at present constitutes a part of the cantons of Bern and
Friburg, with the principality of Neufchatel and county of Vallengin.

The capital of the whole country was Aventlcum^ Avanche, Fr. Wef-
lisburg, Germ, (See Maxima Sequan. in Gall. Belgica).


Vindelkia was situate between the Danube, Lacus Br'igantinus^ Lake
Constance, and the river Inn. It comprehended part of the circles of
Swabia and Bavaria ; and received its designation from the Vindelici,
powerful tribe settled in the angle formed by the two rivers Vindo and
Licus. This territory was inhabited by various inconsiderable tribes,
•y/'z. Bruni and Cenauni near the western border ; Virucinates in the
north ; Leuni and Clautinates in the east ; Consuanetes and Estiones in
the south ; Licates and Isarci in the interior parts.

Among the towns and places of note in Vindelicia were the following :
Batava Castra^ or Patavium, P;issaw, on the border of Noricum; Quin-
t'lana^ Osterhoven ; berviodunum^ Straubing j Regina^ Ratisbon, or

B 2 Regenstauf,

12.. EUROPE; .

Regenstauf, in the neighbourhood; Celeusum, Kelhaim; Abusina, Abens-
berg ; G<fr;/?a«/Vtf?«, Woburg ; Bericiana nearly opposite to DonawertJ
GuNtia, Guntzburg : all of which are situate on the right bank of the
Danube. Damasia^ or Augusta, Augsburg, south-east of Guntia; Vana*
niay Wangen, near Lacus Briganthnis, Lake Constance ; Pons Oe/iiy
Muldorf, south-west of Passaw, on fl. Oemts^ the Inn ; Ara Flavia^ near
the north-east extremity of Lake Constance ; Juliomagus, to the westward
of that lake, at some distance from the Rhine ; , Arborfelix, Arbon, on
the west border, and Brigantia, Bregentz, at the eastern extremity of the
same lake; Cambodunum^ Kempten, north-east of Bregentz; Samulocenisy
to the north of Arx Flavise,. near the right bank of the Danube; Urusa^
Eurasburg, on a small lake, near the centre of the country ; Parsatitim^
Werenfels, to the south of Urusa ; Scarb'ia, Schartnitz, to the north of
Veldidcna^ Vilten, which is situate near Inspruck on the Inn..


The province of Rhcetia^ properly so called, was bounded on the
west by Helvetia, on the north by Vindelicia, on the west by Noricum, on
the south by the summit of the Alps ; comprehending modern Tyrol and
the country of the Grisons.

The most considerable rivers in this territory are the Rhine, and fl.
Oenus, or the Inn ; both of which originate in the Alps. The former
runs northward to Lake Constance, and the latter to the confines of

The Rhat'iy a colony of the Tusci in Italy, were subdued by Drusus
in the reign of Augustus, and, soon after, the Vindelici were reduced by
Tiberius. Both provinces were at first called Rhsetia ; but, during the
period of their subjection to the Roman power, they were separated and



distinguished by the appellations Rhsetia Prima and Seainda^ or Rhsetia

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