Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

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Near the Elbe were the Angli and Saxones, progenitors of the English, and the

Longobardi, who founded the kingdom of Lombardy, in the north of Italy. The
nations on the Danube were the Hermundurii, steadfast allies of the Romans ; the Mar
comanni, who retured hither after their expulsion from the Rhine ; the Narisci
and Quadi, who waged a dreadful war with the Romans during the reign of Marcus

% 14. The Germans had no regular towns, and indeed a continuity of houses was
forbidden by their laws. The only places of note were, consequently, forts built by

the Romans, to repress the incursions of the natives. A great part of Germany

was occupied by the Hercynian forest, which extended, as was said, nine days' jour-
ney from south to north, and more than sixty from west to east. A portion of the
Sylva Hercynia is now called the Black Forest, which still has its fabled terrors.

§ 15. The largest river in the northern division of Europe was the Pha, now Wolg-o.
It was called Atel or Etel by the Byzantine writers (P. V, '^ 23'la) and others in the



middle ages. It had 70 mouths discharging, and ^\'ith more water formerly than now
mto the Mare Caspium. It was in part the eastern boundary of Europe, separating
Sarmatia from Scythia. — The river next in size was the Borysthenes, called in the
middle ages Danapris, whence its modern name Dnieper. Just at its entrance into
i[\ePonlus Euxinus,\i was joined by the iJ?/;)G7a's, called in the middle ages Bogus, and
now the Bog. The long narrow beach at the mouth of the Borysthenes was called
Dromxis Achillei. — Between the Borysthenes and the Rha was the Tanais, the
present Don, which separated Sarmatia Europea from Sarmatia Asiatica, and flowed
mto the Paliis Mceotis or modern sea of Azof ; near its mouth was a city of extensive
commerce, called Ta?mis Emporium. The strait connecting the Palus Maeotis with
the Euxine was called Bosphorus Cimmerius. — Another river discharging into the
Pontus Euxinus, was the Tyras, the modern Dniester : it flowed between Sarmatia
and Dacia, and formed in part the southern boundary of what is included in our
northern division of Europe. — Two rivers, from sources near those of the Tyras,
flowed in a northerly course to the Baltic, the ancient Smus Codanus ; they were the
Vistula, still so called, and the Viader or Oder. The principal streams discharging
into the Oceanus Germanims were the Alhis, Elbe, and the Ekenus, Rhine, which
formed the western boundary of the division of Eurooe now under notice, dividing
Germania and Galha.


^ 16. We will begin v^dth Gallia, which is at the western extremity of the divisioa
The Romans called this extensive country Gallia Transalpitia, to distinguish it from
the province of Gallia Cisalpina in the north of Italy. The Greeks gave h the name
of Galatia, and subsequently western Galatia, to distinguish it from Galatia m Asia
Minor, where the Gauls had planted a colony.

Ancient Gaul comprehended, in addition to France, the terrhories of Flanders, Hol-
land, Switzerland, and part of the south-west of Germany. Its boundaries were the
Atlantic ocean, the British sea, the Rhine, the Alps, the Medherranean, and the
Pyrenees. — The country, in the time of Julius Caesar, was possessed by three great
nations, divided into a number of subordinate tribes. Of these the CelicB were the
most numerous and powerful ; their territory reached from the Sequana, Seine, to the
Garum7ia, Garonne ; the Beiges lay between the Sequana and lower Rhine, where
they united with the Germain tribes ; the Aquita7ii possessed the country between
the Garumna and the Pyrenees.

§ 17. Augustus Caesar divided Gaul into four provinces ; Galha Narhonensis, Aqut
tania, Gallia Celtica, and Belgica.

Gallia Narhonensis, called also the Roman province, extended along the sea
coast from the Pyrenees to the Alps ; including the territory of the modern provinces,
Languedoc, Provence, Dauphine, and Savoy. It contained several nations, the pnn-
cipal of which were the Allobroges, Salyes, and Volcae. The principal cities M^ere
Narbo Martins, the caphal, (Narbonne) ; MassilifB (Marseilles), founded by an Ionian
colony, from Phocaea, in Asia Minor ; Forum Julii (Frejus) ; Aquae Sexfice (ALx) ; and
Nemausus (Nismes), whose importance is manifest in the grand 37ir of its still existmg

Among the interesting monuments at Nismes are, tlie Square House, and the Jlrena; the latter being an amphitheatre, or circus,
of the Doric order, with walls composed of enormous masses of stone united with wonderful skill, 1200 feet in circumference, capable
of holding, it is said, 16,000 or 17,000 persons ; the former, a temple, 76 feet Ion?, 3S broad, and 42 high ; adorned with 30 beautiful
Corinthian columns. (Cf. Seynes and Menard, cited P. IV. § 243. 3.— Miih?i, Voyage dans les Departements du Midi.)

Aquitania extended from the Pyrenees to the Li gcr (Loire). The principal
nations were the TarbelU, south of the Garumna, and the Santones, Pictones, Eind
Lemovices, north of that river. The chief towns were Mediolanum (Saintes) ;
Partus Santonum (Rochelle) ; and Uxellodunum.

Gallia Celtica, or Lugdunensis, lay between the Liger and Sequana.— The
country along the coast was called Armorica, the inhabitants of which were very fierce
and warlike.— The principal nations were the Segusiani, ^dui, Mandubii, Parish, and
Rhedones. The principal cities were Lusduimm (Lyons), founded by Munatius
r Ian cus after the death of Julius Caesar; J3?ir«cfe, called dSierwaxAs Augustodunurn
(Autun); Alesia (Alise), the last city of Gaul that resisted the arms of Caesar; and
Partus Brivates (Brest), near the Promontorium GohcBum (Cape St. Malo).

Liitetia F a r i s i o r u m (Paris) was built by the Parisii, on a swampy island, before the time of Christ, but was of no importance
anf.i A. U. 360, when the Emperor Julian went into winter quarters there, and erected a palace for himself.

The remainder of Gaul was included in the province Belgica. This contained
a great number of powerful states ; the Helvetii occupying that part of modern Swit-
•?erland included between Lacus Lemanus (the lake of Geneva) and Lacus Briganfi-
■nus (the lake of Constance) ; the Sequaiu, possessing the present province of Franche
Comte ; and the Batavi, who inhabited Holland.— That part ot Belgic Gaul adjoming
the Rhine bel •'W Helvetia was called Germania, from the number of German tribe*


who haJ settled there, and was divided into Superior or Upper, the part nearer the
sources of the Rhine, z.nA Inferior or Lower, the part nearer its mouth. The pnncipal
of these tribes were the Treveri, Ubii, Menapii, and Nerv-ii. In the country of the
Treveri was the extensive forest Arduenna (Ardennes), traces of which still remain.

§ 18. The principal mountains of Gaul were Cebenna (the Cevennes), in Langue-
doc; Vogesus (the Vauge), in Lorraine; and Alpes (the Alps).— 1 he Alps were
subdivide'd into Alpes MarilinuB, joining the Etruscan sea ; Cotlice, over which Han-
nibal is supposed to have passed ; GrceccB, so called from the passage oi Hercules ;
FennincB, so called from the appearance of their tops (from petina, awing) ; EhcBtica,
joining Rhagtia ; Noriccs, bordering Noricum ; FannoniccB ; and JuUcb, the eastern
extrernity, terminating in the Sinus Flanaticus (Bay of Carnero), in Liburnia.

The chief rivers of Gaul were Ehenus (the Rhine); this river, near its mouth, at
present divides itself into three streams, the Waal, the Leek, and the Newlssel; the
last was formed by a great ditch cut by the army of Drusus ; the ancient mouth ot
the Rhine, which passed by Leyden, has been choked up by some concussion of
nature not mentioned in history ; jRhodanus (the Rhone), joined by the Arar (Saone) ;
Garumna (Garonne), which united with the Duranius (Dordogne) ; Liger (the Loire),
joined by the Elaver (AUier) ; and Seqiiana (the Seine).

The principal islands on the coast of Gaul were Uxantos (Ushant) ; Uliarus (Oleron) ;
Ccesarea (Jersey) ; Sarnia (Guernsey) ; and Riduna (Alderney) ; on the south coast
were the Sloechades or Ligustides insula (isles of Hieras).

$ 19. The government of ancient Gaul, previous to the Roman invasion, was aristocratical,
and so great was their hatred of royalty, that those who were even suspected of aiming at sove-
reign power, were instantly put to death. The priests and nobles, whom they called Druids
and knights, possessed the whole authority of the state ; the peasantry were esteemed as slaves ;
'n most of the states an annual masistrate was elected with powers similar to those of the Ro-
aan consul, but it was ordained that^bmh the magistrate and the electors should be of noble birth.—
n person, the Gauls are said to have been generally fair-complexioned, with long and ruddy
.-.air, whence their country is sometimes called Gallia Comata, or Hairy Gaul. In disposition
.hey are described as irascible, and of ungovernable fury when provoked ; their first onset was
very impetuous, but if vigorously resisted they did not sustain the fight with equal steadiness.

$ 20. The history of Gallia before the invasion of the Romans is involved in obscurity; we
only know that it must have been very populous from the numerous hordes who at different times
emigrated from Gaul in search of new settlements. They seized on the north of Italy, which
was from them called Cisalpine Gaul ; they colonized part of Germany; they invaded Greece;
and one tribe penetrated even to Asia, where, mingling with the Greeks, they seiziid on a pro-
vince, from thence called Galatia or Gallo-Grsecia.— Another body of Gauls, under the command
of Brennus, seized and burned Rome itself; and though they were subsequently routed by Camil-
lus. the Romans ever looked on the Gauls as their most formidable opponents, and designated a
Gallic war by the word Tumullus, implying that it was as dangerous as a civil war.

$ 21. The alliance between the people of Massilis (Marstilles) and the Romans furnished the
latter people with a pretext for intermeddling in the affairs of Gaul, which they eagerly embraced.
The first nation whom they attacked was the Salyes, who had refused them a passage into S[»ain;
the Salves were subdued by Caius Se.xtius, who planted a colony called afler his name, Aquje
Sextiffi; about four years after, the greater part of Gallia Narbonensis was subdued by Quinius
Martius Rex, who founded the colony Narbo Martins, and made it the capital of the Roman
province. — After the subjugation of Gallia Narbonensis, the Gauls remained unmolested until
the time of Cajsar, who after innumerable difficulties conquered the entire country, and annexed
it to the Roman dominions.

Though grievously oppressed by the Roman governors, the Gauls under the emperors made rapid advances in civilization ; they
are particularly noticed for their success in eloquence and law. A curious circumstance of the mode in which these studies were
pursued is recorded by many historians ; an annual contest in eloquence took place at Lugdunum, and the vanquished were com-
pelled to blot out their own compositions, and write new orations in praise of the victors, or else be whipped and plunged into the
Arar.— See Thierry, Histoire des Gaulois. Par. 1828. 3 vols. 8.

"2> 22. The country called V i n d e 1 i c i a was situated between the sources of the
Bhenus (Rhine), and the Danubius or Ister (Danube). Its chief town was Augusta
Vindelicorum (Augsburg, celebrated for the confession of the protestant faith, pre-
sented by Melancthon to the Diet assembled there at the commencement of the
Reformation). — Between Vindehcia and the Alps was Rh.etia, containing rather
more than the present territory of the Grisons. Its chief towns were Curia {Cone),
and Tridentum (Trent), where the last general council was assembled.;— Vindelicia
and Rhsetia were originally colonized by the Tuscans, and for a long time bravely
maintained their independence. They were eventually subdued during the reign of
Augustus Caesar, by Drusus the brother of Tiberius.

§ 23. NoRicxjM lay to the east of Vindelicia, from which it is separated by the rive
Mnus (Inn). Its savage inhabitants made frequent incursions upon the Roman terri
tories, and were, after a severe struggle, reduced by Tiberius Caesar. The iron of
Noricum was very celebrated, and swords made in that country were highly vahicd.
— East of Noricum was Paxnoxia, also subdued by Tiberius. It was divided into
Superior, the chief town of which was Vindohona (Vienna); and Inferior, whose
capital was Sirmium, a town of great importance in the later ages of the empire.
Noricum is now called Austria, and Pannonia. Hungary.

$ 24. The boimdaries of Illyricum have not been precisely ascertained : !t occu


pied the north-eastern shores of the Adriatic, and was subdivided into the three
provinces of Japydia, Lihurnia, and Dalmatia. It included the modern provinces,
Croatia, Bosnia, and Sclavonia. — The chief towns were Salona, near Spalatro, where
the emperor Dioclesian retired after his resignation of the imperial power ; Epidaurus
or Dioclea (Ragusi Vecchio), and Ragusa.

The Illyrians were infamous for their piracy and the cruelty with which they treated their
captives ; they possessed great skill in ship-building, and the light galleys of the Liburnians con-
tributed not a little to Augustus's victory at Actium. — The Romans declared war against the
Illyrians, in consequence of the murder of their ambassadors, who had been basely massacred by
Teuta, queen of that country. The Illyrians were obliged to beg a peace on the most humiliating
conditions, but having again attempted to recover their former power, they were finally subdued
by the praetor Anicius, who slew their king Gentius, and made the country a Roman province.

§ 25. McEsiA lay between Mount Hcemus (the Balkan) and the Danube, which after its
junction with the Savus was usually called Ister. It was divided into Superior, the
present province of Servia, and hiferior, now called Bulgaria. Part of Moesia Supe-
rior was possessed by the Scordisci, a Thracian tribe ; next to which was a district
called Dardania; that part of Moesia Inferior near the mouth of the Danube was
called Pontiis, which is frequently confounded with Pontus, a division of Asia Minor.
— The principal cities in Mtesia Superior were Sinsidunum (Belgrade), at the conflu-
ence of the Save and Danube ; Nicopolis, built by Trajan to commemorate his victory
over the Dacians ; and Naissus (Nissa), the birthplace of Constantine the Great. —
In Mccsia Inferior were 3Iarcianopolis, the capital ; Tomi, the place of Ovid's banish-
ment ; Odessus, south of Tomi, and JEgissus, near which was the bridge built by
Darius in his expedition against the Scythians.

§ 26. Dacia lay between the Danube and the Carpates, or AJpes BastarniccB {Carpa-
thian or Krapack mountains) ; including the territory of the modern provinces, Tran-
sylvania, Moldavia, and Wallachia. The celebrated Hercynian Forest, Sylva Hercynia
(cf. $ 14) , stretched over the north and west part of it. Dacia was inhabited by two
Scythian tribes, the Daci and GetoB, who for a long time resisted every effort to deprive
them of their freedom ; they were at length subdued by Trajan.

After having conquered the country, Trajan joined it to Mcesia by a magnificent bridge over the Danube, traces of which still
exist. His successor, Adrian, influenced either by jealousy of his predecessor's glory, or believing it njore expedient to contract than
to extend the bounds of the empire, broke down the bridge, and left Dacia to its fate.— This country was of considerable importance
to the Romans on account of its gold and silver mines. In IS07, an interesting monument of Roman writing was found in one of
these mines. (Cf. P. IV. § 118. 3.)

A people has been found among the Wallachiana, that now speak a language very similar to the Latin, and are therefore supposed
to be descended from the Roman colonists.— Mr. Brewer says he found so many words common to the Latin and the Wallacbian,
that by means of the Latin he could converse on common subjects with a Wallacbian merchant at Constantinople.—/. Brewer, Resi-
dence at Constantinople in 1827, &c New Haven, 1830. 12.— Cf. WalsKs Journey from Constantinople.


§ 27. In treating of this division we will also commence with the most western
country, which was Hispania. This name included the modern kingdoms of Spain
and Portugal. The country was also called Iberia, Hesperia, and (to distinguish it
from Italy, sometimes termed Hesperia, from its western situation,) Hesperia Ultima.
The Romans at first divided it into Hispa7iia Citerior, or Spain at the eastern side of
the Iberus, and Hispania Ulterior, at the western side ; but by Augustus Caesar, the
country was divided into three provinces; Tarraconesis, Bcetica, and Lusiiania. Like
the provinces of Gaul, these were inhabited by several distinct tribes.

§28. Tarraconensis exceeded the other two provinces together, both in size and
importance. It extended from the Pyrenees to the mouth of the Durius, on the Atlantic,
and to the Orospeda Mons separating it from Beetica, on the Mediterranean ; and re-
ceived hs name from its capital, Tarraco (Tarragona), in the district of the Cosetani.

The other principal towns were Saguntum, on the Mediterranean, whose siege by
Hannibal caused the second Punic war; some remains of this city still exist, and are
called Murviedro, a corruption of Muri veteres (old walls) ; Carthago Nova (Carthagena),
built by Asdrubal, the brother of Hannibal, also on the Mediterranean : in the interior,
north-east of the capital, Ilerda (Lerida) , the capital of the Ilergetes, where Caesar
defeated Pompey's lieutenants, Afranius and Petreius ; Numantia, near the sources of
the Durius, whose inhabitants made a desperate resistance to the Roman invaders, and,
when unable to hold out longer, burned themselves and the city sooner than yield to
the conquerors; Bilbilis, the birthplace of Martial, among the Celtiberi; Ccesarea
Augusta (Saragossa), capital of the Edetani ; Toletum (Toledo); Complutum (Alcala),
and Kibora (Talavera) , in the same district ; Calagurris, in the territory of the Vascones,
whose inhabitants suffered dreadfully from famine in the Sertorian war, being reduced
to such straits, that the inhabitants (as Juvenal says) actually devoured each other.
Near the modern town of Segovia, retaining the name and site of Segovia among the
ArevacI, are the remains of a splendid aqueduct, built by Trajan. Calle (Oporto) , at
the mouth of the Durius, was also called Portus Gallorum, from some Gauls who
settled thfxo, and hence the name of the present kingdom of Portugal. The north


of Tarraconensis was possessed by the Cantahri, a fierce tribe, who for a long time
resisted the utmost efforts of the Romans ; their territory is the modern province of

$ 29. The southern part of Spain, between the Anas and Mediterranean, was called
Bob tic a, from the river Bagtis. Its chief towns were Corduha (Cordova), at first
called Colonia Patricia, the birthplace of the two Senecas, and the poet Lucan ; in
this town are the remains of a splendid mosque, built by the Moorish king, Almanzor ;
it is more than 500 feet long, and 400 wide ; the roof is richly ornamented, and supported
by 800 columns of alabaster, jasper, and black marble ; Hif^palis (Seville) ; Italica, the
native city of Trajan, Adrian, and the poet Silius Itahcus ; Custulo, called also Parnassia,
because it was founded by a Phocian colony; all on the Baetis. — The south-western
extremity of Baetica was possessed by a Phoenician colony, called the Bastuh Poeni, to
distinguish them from the Libyan Poeni, or Carthaginians; their capital was Gades
(Cadiz) , on an island at the mouth of the Boetis; near it were the little island Tartes-
sus, now part of the continent, and Ju?ionis Promontorium (Cape Trafalgar) . — At
the entrance of the straits of Hercules or Gades, stood Carteia, on mount Calpe, which
is now called Gibraltar, a corruption of Gebel Tarik, i. e. the mountain of Tarik, the
first Moorish invader of Spain. Mount Calpe and mount Abyla (on the opposite coast
of Africa) were named the pillars of Hercules, and supposed to have been the bounda-
ries of that hero's western conquests. North of this was Munda, where Ccesar fought
his last battle with Labienus, and the sons of Pompey.

Lusitania, which occupied the greatest part of the present kingdom of Portugal,
contained but few places of note ; the most remarkable were Augusta Emerita (Merida)
and Olisippo (Lisbon), said to have been founded by Ulysses.

§ 30. '^I'he principal Spanish rivers were, Iberus (Ebro) ; Tagus (Tajo) ; Durius
(Douro) ; Bails (Guadalquiver) ; Anas (Guadiana). — The promontory at the north-
western extremity of the peninsula was named Artabrum or Celticum (Finisterre); that
at the south-western, Sacrum, because the chariot of the sun was supposed to rest there ;
it is now called Cape St. Vincent.

$ 31. Spain was first made known to the ancients by the conquests of Hercules. In later times
the Carthaginians became masters of the greater part of the country ; they were in their turn
expelled by the Romans, who kept possession of the peninsula for several centuries.— Dur-
ing the civil wars of Rome, Spain was frequently devastated by the contending parties. Here
Sertorius, after the deatli of Marius, assembled the fugitives of the popular party, and for a long
time resisted the arms of Sylla : here, Afranius and Petreius, the lieutenants of Pompey, made
a gallant stand against Julius Ceesar ; and here, after the death of Pompey, his sons made a
fruitless effort to vindicate their own rights, and avenge their father's misfortunes. — Upon the
overthrow of the Roman empire, Spain was conquered by the Vandals, who gave to one of the
provinces the name Vandaiusia, now corrupted into Andalusia.

§ 32. Italy, Italia, has justly been denominated the garden of Europe both by
ancient and modern writers, from the beauty of its climate and the fertihty of its soil.
The Italian boundaries, like those of Spain, have remained unaltered; on the north are
the Alps, on the east the Adriatic, or upper sea, on the South the Sicilian strait, and
on the west the Tuscan, or lower sea. By the poets the country was called Saturnia,
Ausonia, and CEnotria ; by the Greeks it was named Hesperia, because it lay to the
west of their country.

Italy has always been subdivided into a number of petty states, more or less independent of
each other. We shall treat it as comprehended in two parts, denominated the northern and
southern ; and as the chief city and capital of the country is of such celebrity, shall enter into a
more particular description of Rome; adopting the following arrangement; 1. The Geography
of the northern portion of Italy ; 2. The Geography of the southern portion; 3. The Topography
of the city of Rome.

§ 33. (1) Geography of the Northern portion of Italia. The principal ancient divi
sions of this part, were Gallia Cisalpina, Etruria, Umbria, Picenum, and Latium.

Gallia Cisalpina, called also Togata, from the inhabitants adopting, after the
Social war, the toga, or distinctive dress of the Romans, lay between the Alps and the
river Rubicon. It was divided by the river Eridanus, or Padus, into Transpadana, at
the north side of the river, and Cispadana at the south ; these were subdivided into
several smaller districts.

North of the Padus, or Po, was the territory of the Taurini, whose chief town,
Augusta Taurinorum, is now called Turin ; next to these were the Insubres, whose
principal towns were Mediolanum (Milan) ; and Ticinum (Pavia), on the river Ticinus,
where Hannibal first defeated the Romans, after his passage over the Alps ; the Ceno-
manni, possessing the towns of Brixia (Brescia); Cremona; and Mantua, the birth
place of Virgil ; and the Euganei, whose chief towns were Tridentum (Trent) ; ana
Verona, the birthplace of Catullus. — Next to these were the Veneti and Carni; their
chief towns were Patavimn (Padua) , the birthplace of Livy, built by the Trojan Ante-
nor, after the destruction of Troy ; and Aquihia, retaining its former 'xime but not


former consequence ; it is celebrated for its desperate resistance to Attila king of tho
Huns. Next to these was tlie province Histria, or Istria; chief town, Tergeste

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 6 of 153)