Pliny the Elder.

The Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) online

. (page 46 of 57)
Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 46 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Strabo, B. vii.

[2896] It is generally agreed that this is the modern island of
Borkhum, at the mouth of the river Amaiius or Ems.

[2897] To a bean, from which (_faba_) the island had its name of
Fabaria. In confirmation of this Hardouin states, that in his time
there was a tower still standing there which was called by the natives
_Het boon huys_, “the bean house.”

[2898] From the word _gles_ or _glas_, which primarily means ‘glass,’
and then figuratively “amber.” Probably Œland and Gothland. They will
be found again mentioned in the Thirtieth Chapter of the present Book.
See p. 351.

[2899] Now the Scheldt.

[2900] In a straight line, of course. Parisot is of opinion that in
forming this estimate Agrippa began at the angle formed by the river
Piave in lat. 46° 4′, measuring thence to Cape Rubeas (now Rutt) in
lat. 54° 25′. This would give 8° 21′, to which, if we add some twenty
leagues for obliquity or difference of longitude, the total would make
exactly the distance here mentioned.

[2901] As Parisot remarks, it is totally impossible to conceive the
source of such an erroneous conclusion as this. Some readings make the
amount 248, others 268.

[2902] As already mentioned, Zeuss has satisfactorily shown that the
Vandili or Vindili properly belonged to the Hermiones. Tacitus mentions
but three groups of the German nations; the Ingævones on the ocean, the
Hermiones in the interior, and the Istævones in the east and south of
Germany. The Vandili, a Gothic race, dwelt originally on the northern
coast of Germany, but afterwards settled north of the Marcomanni on the
Riesengebirge. They subsequently appeared in Dacia and Pannonia, and in
the beginning of the fifth century invaded Spain. Under Genseric they
passed over into Africa, and finally took and plundered Rome in A.D.
455. Their kingdom was finally destroyed by Belisarius.

[2903] It is supposed that the Burgundiones were a Gothic people
dwelling in the country between the rivers Viadus and Vistula, though
Ammianus Marcellinus declares them to have been of pure Roman origin.
How they came into the country of the Upper Maine in the south-west
of Germany in A.D. 289, historians have found themselves at a loss
to inform us. It is not improbable that the two peoples were not
identical, and that the similarity of their name arose only from the
circumstance that they both resided in “burgi” or burghs. See Gibbon,
iii. 99. _Bohn’s Ed._

[2904] The Varini dwelt on the right bank of the Albis or Elbe, north
of the Langobardi. Ptolemy however, who seems to mention them as the
Avarini, speaks of them as dwelling near the sources of the Vistula, on
the site of the present Cracow. See Gibbon, iv. 225. _Bohn’s Ed._

[2905] Nothing whatever is known of the locality of this people.

[2906] They are also called in history Gothi, Gothones, Gotones and
Gutæ. According to Pytheas of Marseilles (as mentioned by Pliny, B.
xxxvii. c. 2), they dwelt on the coasts of the Baltic, in the vicinity
of what is now called the Fritsch-Haff. Tacitus also refers to the
same district, though he does not speak of them as inhabiting the
coast. Ptolemy again speaks of them as dwelling on the east of the
Vistula, and to the south of the Venedi. The later form of their name,
_Gothi_, does not occur till the time of Caracalla. Their native name
was Gutthinda. They are first spoken of as a powerful nation at the
beginning of the third century, when we find them mentioned as ‘Getæ,’
from the circumstance of their having occupied the countries formerly
inhabited by the Sarmatian Getæ. The formidable attacks made by this
people, divided into the nations of the Ostrogoths and Visigoths, upon
the Roman power during its decline, are too well known to every reader
of Gibbon to require further notice.

[2907] The inhabitants of Chersonesus Cimbrica, the modern peninsula
of Jutland. It seems doubtful whether these Cimbri were a Germanic
nation or a Celtic tribe, as also whether they were the same race
whose numerous hordes successively defeated six Roman armies, and were
finally conquered by C. Marius, B.C. 101, in the Campi Raudii. The more
general impression, however, entertained by historians, is that they
were a Celtic or Gallic and not a Germanic nation. The name is said to
have signified “robbers.” See Gibbon, i. 273, iii. 365. _Bohn’s Ed._

[2908] The Teutoni or Teutones dwelt on the coasts of the Baltic,
adjacent to the territory of the Cimbri. Their name, though belonging
originally to a single nation or tribe, came to be afterwards applied
collectively to the whole people of Germany. See Gibbon, iii. 139.
_Bohn’s Ed._

[2909] Also called Cauchi, Cauci, and Cayci, a German tribe to the east
of the Frisians, between the rivers Ems and Elbe. The modern Oldenburg
and Hanover are supposed to pretty nearly represent the country of the
Chauci. In B. xvi. c. 1. 2, will be found a further account of them by
Pliny, who had visited their country, at least that part of it which
lay on the sea-coast. They are mentioned for the last time in the third
century, when they had extended so far south and west that they are
spoken of as living on the banks of the Rhine.

[2910] Mentioned by Tacitus as dwelling in the east and south of
Germany.

[2911] It has been suggested by Titzius that the words “quorum Cimbri,”
“to whom the Cimbri belong,” are an interpolation; which is not
improbable, or at least that the word “Cimbri” has been substituted for
some other name.

[2912] This appears to be properly the collective name of a great
number of the German tribes, who were of a migratory mode of life, and
spoken of in opposition to the more settled tribes, who went under the
general name of Ingævones. Cæsar speaks of them as dwelling east of the
Ubii and Sygambri, and west of the Cherusci. Strabo makes them extend
in an easterly direction beyond the Albis or Elbe, and southerly as far
as the sources of the Danube. Tacitus gives the name of Suevia to the
whole of the east of Germany, from the Danube to the Baltic. The name
of the modern Suabia is derived from a body of adventurers from various
German tribes, who assumed the name of Suevi in consequence of their
not possessing any other appellation.

[2913] A large and powerful tribe of Germany, which occupied the
extensive tract of country between the mountains in the north-west of
Bohemia and the Roman Wall in the south-west, which formed the boundary
of the Agri Decumates. On the east they bordered on the Narisci, on
the north-east on the Cherusci, and on the north-west on the Chatti.
There is little doubt that they originally formed part of the Suevi.
At a later period they spread in a north-easterly direction, taking
possession of the north-western part of Bohemia and the country about
the sources of the Maine and Saale, that is, the part of Franconia as
far as Kissingen and the south-western part of the kingdom of Saxony.
The name Hermunduri is thought by some to signify highlanders, and to
be a compound of _Her_ or _Ar_, “high,” and _Mund_, “man.”

[2914] One of the great tribes of Germany, which rose to importance
after the decay of the power of the Cherusci. It is thought by
ethnographers that their name is still preserved in the word “Hessen.”
They formed the chief tribe of the Hermiones here mentioned, and
are described by Cæsar as belonging to the Suevi, though Tacitus
distinguishes them, and no German tribe in fact occupied more
permanently its original locality than the Chatti. Their original abode
seems to have extended from the Westerwald in the west to the Saale in
Franconia, and from the river Maine in the south as far as the sources
of the Elison and the Weser, so that they occupied exactly the modern
country of Hessen, including perhaps a portion of the north-west of
Bavaria. See Gibbon, vol. iii. 99. _Bohn’s Ed._

[2915] The Cherusci were the most celebrated of all the German tribes,
and are mentioned by Cæsar as of the same importance as the Suevi,
from whom they were separated by the Silva Bacensis. There is some
difficulty in stating their exact locality, but it is generally
supposed that their country extended from the Visurgis or Weser in the
west to the Albis or Elbe in the east, and from Melibocus in the north
to the neighbourhood of the Sudeti in the south, so that the Chamavi
and Langobardi were their northern neighbours, the Chatti the western,
the Hermunduri the southern, and the Silingi and Semnones their eastern
neighbours. This tribe, under their chief Arminius or Hermann, forming
a confederation with many smaller tribes in A.D. 9, completely defeated
the Romans in the famous battle of the Teutoburg Forest. In later times
they were conquered by the Chatti, so that Ptolemy speaks of them
only as a small tribe on the south of the Hartz mountain. Their name
afterwards appears, in the beginning of the fourth century, in the
confederation of the Franks.

[2916] The Peucini are mentioned here, as also by Tacitus, as identical
with the Basternæ. As already mentioned, supposing them to be names
for distinct nations, they must be taken as only names of individual
tribes, and not of groups of tribes. It is generally supposed that
their first settlements in Sarmatia were in the highlands between the
Theiss and the March, whence they passed onward to the lower Danube,
as far as its mouth, where a portion of them, settling in the island
of Peuce, obtained the name of Peucini. In the later geographers we
find them settled between the Tyrus or Dniester, and the Borysthenes or
Dnieper, the Peucini remaining at the mouth of the Danube.

[2917] According to Parisot, the Guttalus is the same as the Alle, a
tributary of the Pregel. Cluver thinks that it is the same as the Oder.
Other writers again consider it the same as the Pregel.

[2918] Or Elbe.

[2919] Now the Weser.

[2920] The modern Ems.

[2921] The Meuse.

[2922] The ‘Hercynia Silva,’ Hercynian Forest or Range, is very
differently described by the writers of various ages. The earliest
mention of it is by Aristotle. Judging from the accounts given by
Cæsar, Pomponius Mela, and Strabo, the ‘Hercynia Silva’ appears to
have been a general name for almost all the mountains of Southern
and Central Germany, that is, from the sources of the Danube to
Transylvania, comprising the Schwarzwald, Odenwald, Spessart,
Rhön, Thuringer Wald, the Hartz mountain (which seems in a great
measure to have retained the ancient name), Raube Alp, Steigerwald,
Fichtelgebirge, Erzgebirge, and Riesengebirge. At a later period when
the mountains of Germany had become better known, the name was applied
to the more limited range extending around Bohemia, and through Moravia
into Hungary.

[2923] This island appears to have been formed by the bifurcation of
the Rhine, the northern branch of which enters the sea at Katwyck, a
few miles north of Leyden, by the Waal and the course of the Maas,
after it has received the Waal, and by the sea. The Waal or Vahalis
seems to have undergone considerable changes, and the place of its
junction with the Maas may have varied. Pliny makes the island nearly
100 miles in length, which is about the distance from the fort of
Schenkenschanz, where the first separation of the Rhine takes place,
to the mouth of the Maas. The name of Batavia was no doubt the genuine
name, which is still preserved in Betuwe, the name of a district at
the bifurcation of the Rhine and the Waal. The Canninefates, a people
of the same race as the Batavi, also occupied the island, and as the
Batavi seem to have been in the eastern part, it is supposed that the
Canninefates occupied the western. They were subdued by Tiberius in the
reign of Augustus.

[2924] The Frisii or Frisones were one of the great tribes of
north-western Germany, properly belonging to the group of the
Ingævones. They inhabited the country about Lake Flevo and other lakes,
between the Rhine and the Ems, so as to be bounded on the south by the
Bructeri, and on the east by the Chauci. Tacitus distinguishes between
the Frisii Majores and Minores, and it is supposed that the latter
dwelt on the east of the canal of Drusus in the north of Holland,
and the former between the rivers Flevus and Amisia, that is, in the
country which still bears the name of Friesland. The Chauci have been
previously mentioned.

[2925] The Frisiabones or Frisævones are again mentioned in C. 31 of
the present Book as a people of Gaul. In what locality they dwelt has
not been ascertained by historians.

[2926] The Sturii are supposed to have inhabited the modern South
Holland, while the Marsacii probably inhabited the island which the
Meuse forms at its junction with the Rhine, at the modern Dortrecht in
Zealand.

[2927] Supposed to be the site of the modern fortress of Briel, situate
at the mouth of the Meuse.

[2928] Probably the same as the modern Vlieland (thus partly retaining
its ancient name), an island north of the Texel. The more ancient
writers speak of two main arms, into which the Rhine was divided on
entering the territory of the Batavi, of which the one on the east
continued to bear the name of Rhenus, while that on the west into which
the Masa, Maas or Meuse, flowed, was called Vahalis or Waal. After
Drusus, B.C. 12, had connected the Flevo Lacus or Zuyder-Zee with
the Rhine by means of a canal, in forming which he probably made use
of the bed of the Yssel, we find mention made of three mouths of the
Rhine. Of these the names, as given by Pliny, are, on the west, Helium
(the Vahalis of other writers), in the centre Rhenus, and at the north
Flevum; but at a later period we again find mention made of only two
mouths.

[2929] Britain was spoken of by some of the Greek writers as superior
to all other islands in the world. Dionysius, in his Periegesis, says,
“that no other islands whatsoever can claim equality with those of
Britain.”

[2930] Said to have been so called from the whiteness of its cliffs
opposite the coast of Gaul.

[2931] Afterwards called Bononia, the modern Boulogne. As D’Anville
remarks, the distance here given by Pliny is far too great, whether
we measure to Dover or to Hythe; our author’s measurement however is
probably made to Rutupiæ (the modern Richborough), near Sandwich, where
the Romans had a fortified post, which was their landing-place when
crossing over from Gaul. This would make the distance given by Pliny
nearer the truth, though still too much.

[2932] Probably the Grampian range is here referred to.

[2933] The people of South Wales.

[2934] The Orkney islands were included under this name. Pomponius Mela
and Ptolemy make them but thirty in number, while Solinus fixes their
number at three only.

[2935] Also called Æmodæ or Hæmodæ, most probably the islands now known
as the Shetlands. Camden however and the older antiquarians refer the
Hæmodæ to the Baltic sea, considering them different from the Acmodæ
here mentioned, while Salmasius on the other hand considers the Acmodæ
or Hæmodæ and the Hebrides as identical. Parisot remarks that off the
West Cape of the Isle of Skye and the Isle of North Uist, the nearest
of the Hebrides to the Shetland islands, there is a vast gulf filled
with islands, which still bears the name of Mamaddy or Maddy, from
which the Greeks may have easily derived the words Αἱ Μαδδαὶ, whence
the Latin Hæmodæ.

[2936] The Isle of Anglesea.

[2937] Most probably the Isle of Man.

[2938] Camden and Gosselin (_Rech. sur la Géogr. des Anciens_) consider
that under this name is meant the island of Racklin, situate near the
north-eastern extremity of Ireland. A Ricina is spoken of by Ptolemy,
but that island is one of the Hebrides.

[2939] This Vectis is considered by Gosselin to be the same as the
small island of White-Horn, situate at the entrance of the Bay of
Wigtown in Scotland. It must not be confounded with the more southern
Vectis, or Isle of Wight.

[2940] According to Gosselin this is the island of Dalkey, at the
entrance of Dublin Bay.

[2941] Camden thinks that this is the same as Bardsey Island, at the
south of the island of Anglesea, while Mannert and Gosselin think that
it is the island of Lambay.

[2942] According to Brotier these islands belong to the coast of
Britanny, being the modern isles of Sian and Ushant.

[2943] As already mentioned, he probably speaks of the islands of Œland
and Gothland, and Ameland, called Austeravia or Actania, in which
_glæsum_ or amber was found by the Roman soldiers. See p. 344.

[2944] The opinions as to the identity of ancient Thule have been
numerous in the extreme. We may here mention six:—1. The common,
and apparently the best founded opinion, that Thule is the island
of Iceland. 2. That it is either the Ferroe group, or one of those
islands. 3. The notion of Ortelius, Farnaby, and Schœnning, that it is
identical with Thylemark in Norway. 4. The opinion of Malte Brun, that
the continental portion of Denmark is meant thereby, a part of which
is to the present day called Thy or Thyland. 5. The opinion of Rudbeck
and of Calstron, borrowed originally from Procopius, that this is a
general name for the whole of Scandinavia. 6. That of Gosselin, who
thinks that under this name Mainland, the principal of the Shetland
Islands, is meant. It is by no means impossible that under the name of
Thule two or more of these localities may have been meant, by different
authors writing at distant periods and under different states of
geographical knowledge. It is also pretty generally acknowledged, as
Parisot remarks, that the Thule mentioned by Ptolemy is identical with
Thylemark in Norway.

[2945] B. ii. c. 77.

[2946] Brotier thinks that under this name a part of Cornwall is meant,
and that it was erroneously supposed to be an island. Parisot is of
opinion that the copyists, or more probably Pliny himself, has made an
error in transcribing Mictis for Vectis, the name of the Isle of Wight.
It is not improbable however that the island of Mictis had only an
imaginary existence.

[2947] “White lead”: not, however, the metallic substance which we
understand by that name, but tin.

[2948] Commonly known as “coracles,” and used by the Welch in modern
times. See B. vii. c. 57 of this work, and the Note.

[2949] Brotier, with many other writers, takes these names to refer to
various parts of the coast of Norway. Scandia he considers to be the
same as Scania, Bergos the modern Bergen, and Nerigos the northern part
of Norway. On the other hand, Gosselin is of opinion that under the
name of Bergos the Scottish island of Barra is meant, and under that
of Nerigos, the island of Lewis, the northern promontory of which is
in the old maps designated by the name of Nary or Nery. Ptolemy makes
mention of an island called Doumna in the vicinity of the Orcades.

[2950] Transalpine Gaul, with the exception of that part of it called
Narbonensis, was called Gallia Comata, from the custom of the people
allowing their hair to grow to a great length.

[2951] From the Scheldt to the Seine.

[2952] From the Seine to the Garonne.

[2953] Lyonese Gaul, from Lugdunum, the ancient name of the city of
Lyons.

[2954] Said by Camden to be derived from the Celtic words _Ar - mor_,
“by the Sea.”

[2955] The provinces of Antwerp and North Brabant.

[2956] Inhabiting Western Flanders.

[2957] So called, it is supposed, from the Celtic word _Mor_, which
means “the sea.” Térouane and Boulogne are supposed to occupy the site
of their towns, situate in the modern Pas de Calais.

[2958] D’Anville places them between Calais and Gravellines, in the Pas
de Calais, and on the spot now known as the Terre de Marck or Merk.

[2959] Boulogne, previously mentioned.

[2960] Cluver thinks that “Brianni” would be the correct reading here;
but D’Anville places the Britanni on the southern bank of the stream
called La Canche in the Pas de Calais.

[2961] According to Parisot and Ansart they occupied the department of
the Somme, with places on the site of Amiens (derived from their name)
and Abbeville for their chief towns.

[2962] They dwelt in the modern department of the Oise, with Beauvais
(which still retains their name) for their chief town.

[2963] D’Anville is of opinion that the place called Haiz or Hez in
the diocese of Beauvais, received its name from this people, of whom
nothing else is known. The name is omitted in several of the editions.

[2964] D’Anville is of opinion that their chief town was situate at the
modern Chaours, at the passage of the river Serre, not far from Vervins
in the department of the Aisne.

[2965] According to Ptolemy their chief town would be on the site of
the modern Orchies in the department du Nord, but Cæsar makes it to be
Nemetacum, the modern Arras, the capital of the department of the Pas
de Calais.

[2966] According to Ansart their chief town was Bavai, in the
department du Nord. They are called “Liberi,” or free, because they
were left at liberty to enjoy their own laws and institutions.

[2967] Their capital was Augusta Veromanduorum, and it has been
suggested that the place called Vermand, in the department de l’Aisne,
denotes its site; but according to Bellay and D’Anville the city of St.
Quentin, which was formerly called Aouste, marks the spot.

[2968] Nothing whatever is known of them, and it is suggested by
the commentators that this is a corrupted form of the name of the
Suessiones, which follows.

[2969] They gave name to Soissons in the southern part of the
department de l’Aisne.

[2970] It has been suggested that these are the same as the
Silvanectes, the inhabitants of Senlis in the department de l’Oise.

[2971] The people of Tongres, in the provinces of Namur, Liège, and
Limbourg.

[2972] They are supposed to have dwelt in the eastern part of the
province of Limbourg.

[2973] They probably dwelt between the Sunuci and the Betasi.

[2974] They are supposed to have dwelt in the western part of the
province of Limbourg, on the confines of that province and South
Brabant, in the vicinity probably of the place which still bears the
name of Beetz, upon the river Gette, between Leau and Haclen, seven
miles to the east of Louvain.

[2975] According to Ptolemy the Leuci dwelt on the sites of Toul in the
department of the Meurthe, and of Nais or Nays in that of the Meuse.

[2976] From them Trèves or Trier, in the Grand Duchy of the Lower
Rhine, takes its name.

[2977] Their chief town was on the site of Langres, in the department
of the Haute Marne.

[2978] They gave name to the city of Rheims in the department of the
Marne.

[2979] Their chief town stood on the site of the modern Metz, in the
department of the Moselle.

[2980] Besançon stands on the site of their chief town, in the
department of the Doubs, extending as far as Bâle.

[2981] The inhabitants of the district called the Haut Rhin or Higher
Rhine.

[2982] The inhabitants of the west of Switzerland.

[2983] Or the “Equestrian Colony,” probably founded by the Roman
Equites. It is not known where this colony was situate, but it is
suggested by Cluver and Monetus that it may have been on the lake of
Geneva, in the vicinity of the modern town of Nyon.

[2984] Littré, in a note, remarks that Rauriaca is a barbarism, and
that the reading properly is “Raurica.”

[2985] Spire was their chief city, in the province of the Rhine.

[2986] They are supposed to have occupied Strasbourg, and the greater
part of the department of the Lower Rhine.

[2987] They dwelt in the modern Grand Duchy of Hesse Darmstadt; Worms
was their chief city.

[2988] That is, nearer the mouths of the Rhine.

[2989] They originally dwelt on the right bank of the Rhine, but were
transported across the river by Agrippa in B.C. 37, at their own
request, from a wish to escape the attacks of the Suevi.

[2990] Now known as the city of Cologne. It took its name from
Agrippina, the wife of Claudius and the mother of Nero, who was born
there, and who, as Tacitus says, to show off her power to the allied
nations, planted a colony of veteran soldiers in her native city, and
gave to it her own name.

[2991] Their district was in the modern circle of Clèves, in the
province of Juliers-Berg-Clèves.

[2992] Dwelling in the Insula Batavorum, mentioned in C. 29 of the
present Book.

[2993] He first speaks of the nations on the coast, and then of those
more in the interior.

[2994] Dwelling in the west of the department of Calvados, and the east



Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 46 of 57)