Pliny the Elder.

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

. (page 48 of 57)
Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 48 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


it, and perhaps with more probability, with the city of Carteia, on
Mount Calpe, the Rock of Gibraltar. The whole country west of Gibraltar
was called Tartessis. See B. iii. c. 3.

[3172] Or more properly ‘Agadir,’ or ‘Hagadir.’ It probably received
this name, meaning a ‘hedge,’ or ‘bulwark,’ from the fact of its being
the chief Phœnician colony outside of the Pillars of Hercules.

[3173] Of Erythræa, or Erytheia. The monster Geryon, or Geryones,
fabled to have had three bodies, lived in the fabulous Island of
Erytheia, or the “Red Isle,” so called because it lay under the rays of
the setting sun in the west. It was originally said to be situate off
the coast of Epirus, but was afterwards identified either with Gades
or the Balearic islands, and was at all times believed to be in the
distant west. Geryon was said to have been the son of Chrysaor, the
wealthy king of Iberia.

[3174] Alluding to B. iii. c. 6. From Rhegium to the Alps. But _there_
the reading is 1020.

[3175] Meaning Gessoriacum, the present Boulogne. He probably calls it
_Britannicum_, from the circumstance that the Romans usually embarked
there for the purpose of crossing over to Britain.

[3176] The present Santen in the Duchy of Cleves.

[3177] See end of B. iii.

[3178] See end of B. ii.

[3179] See end of B. iii.

[3180] See end of B. iii.

[3181] See end of B. iii.

[3182] See end of B. ii.

[3183] See end of B. iii.

[3184] See end of B. iii.

[3185] See end of B. iii.

[3186] See end of B. ii.

[3187] See end of B. iii.

[3188] See end of B. iii.

[3189] Ateius, surnamed _Prætextatus_, and also Philologus, which
last name he assumed to indicate his learning, was born at Athens,
and was one of the most celebrated grammarians of Rome, in the latter
part of the first century B.C. He was originally a freedman of the
jurist Ateius Capito, by whom he was described as “a rhetorician among
grammarians, and a grammarian among rhetoricians.” He was on terms of
intimacy with Sallust the historian, and Asinius Pollio. It is supposed
that he assisted Sallust in the compilation of his history; but to what
extent is not known. But few of his numerous commentaries were extant
even in the time of Suetonius.

[3190] A native of Megalopolis in Arcadia, born about B.C. 204. He was
trained probably in political knowledge and the military art under
Philopœmen, and was sent, as a prisoner to Rome, with others, to answer
the charge of not aiding the Romans in their war against Perseus. Here,
by great good fortune, he secured the friendship of Scipio Africanus,
with whom he was present at the destruction of Carthage. His history is
one of the most valuable works that has come down to us from antiquity.

[3191] Of Miletus, one of the earliest and most distinguished Greek
historians and geographers. He lived about the 65th Olympiad, or
B.C. 520. A few fragments, quoted, are all that are left of his
historical and geographical works. There is little doubt that Herodotus
extensively availed himself of this writer’s works, though it is
equally untrue that he has transcribed whole passages from him, as
Porphyrius has ventured to assert.

[3192] Of Mitylene, supposed to have flourished about B.C. 450. He
appears to have written numerous geographical and historical works,
which, with the exception of a considerable number of fragments, are
lost.

[3193] Of Sigæum, a Greek historian, contemporary with Herodotus. He
wrote a history of Greece, and several other works, all of which, with
a few unimportant exceptions, are lost.

[3194] See end of B. ii.

[3195] See end of B. ii.

[3196] A Rhodian by birth. He was admiral of the fleet of Ptolemy
Philadelphus, who reigned from B.C. 285 to 247. He wrote a work “On
Harbours,” in ten books, which was copied by Eratosthenes, and is
frequently quoted by ancient writers. Strabo also says that he composed
poetry.

[3197] See end of B. ii.

[3198] Of Cumæ, or Cymæ, in Ionia. He flourished about B.C. 408. He
studied under Isocrates, and gained considerable fame as a historian.
Though anxious to disclose the truth, he has been accused of sometimes
forcing his authorities to suit his own views. Of his history of
Greece, and his essays on various subjects, a few fragments only
survive.

[3199] A grammarian of Mallus, in Cilicia. He lived in the time of
Ptolemy Philopater, and resided at Pergamus, under the patronage of
Eumenes II. and Attalus II. In his grammatical system he made a strong
distinction between _criticism_ and _grammar_, the latter of which
sciences he regarded as quite subordinate to the former. Of his learned
commentaries on the Iliad and the Odyssey, only a few fragments have
come down to us.

[3200] See end of B. ii.

[3201] Of Cyrene, an Alexandrian grammarian and poet. He flourished at
Alexandria, whither Ptolemy Philadelphus had invited him to a place
in the Museum. Of his Hymns and Epigrams many are still extant. His
Elegies, which were of considerable poetical merit, with the exception
of a few fragments, have all perished. Of his numerous other works in
prose, not one is extant in an entire state.

[3202] See end of B. ii.

[3203] Probably Apollodorus of Artemita, in Mesopotamia. It is probably
to him that a Treatise on Islands and Cities has been ascribed by
Tzetzes, as also a History of the Parthians, and a History of Pontus.

[3204] Probably the author of that name, who wrote the History of
Cyzicus, is the person here referred to. He is called by Athenæus both
a Babylonian and a Cyzican. His work is entirely lost; but it appears
to have been extensively read, and is referred to by Cicero and other
ancient writers.

[3205] Of Neapolis. He wrote a History of Hannibal, and to him has
been ascribed a Description of the Universe, of which a fragment still
survives.

[3206] Of Tauromenium, in Sicily; a celebrated historian, who
flourished about the year B.C. 300. He was banished from Sicily by
Agathocles, and passed his exile at Athens. He composed a History of
Sicily, from the earliest times to the year B.C. 264. The value of his
history has been gravely attacked by Polybius; but there is little
doubt that it possessed very considerable merit. Of this, and other
works of Timæus, only a few fragments survive.

[3207] A Greek historian; a native of Lesbos. When he lived is unknown.
Dionysius, of Halicarnassus, has borrowed from him a portion of his
account of the Pelasgians. He is said to have been the author of the
notion that the Tyrrhenians, in consequence of their wanderings after
they left their original settlement, got the name of πελαργοὶ, or
“storks.” He is supposed to have written a History of Lesbos, as also a
work called “Historical Paradoxes.”

[3208] See end of B. iii.

[3209] See end of B. iii.

[3210] Of this author nothing whatever seems to be known.

[3211] Of Miletus, born B.C. 610. One of the earliest philosophers of
the Ionian school, and said to be a pupil of Thales. Unless Pherecydes
of Scyros be an exception, he was the first author of a philosophical
treatise in Greek prose. Other writings are ascribed to him by Suidas;
but, no doubt, on insufficient grounds. Of his treatise, which seems to
have contained summary statements of his opinions, no remains exist.

[3212] Of this writer nothing whatever is known, beyond the fact that,
from his name, he seems to have been a native of Mallus, in Cilicia.

[3213] It seems impossible to say which, out of the vast number of
the authors who bore this name, is the one here referred to. It is
not improbable that Dionysius of Chalcis, a Greek historian who lived
before the Christian era, is meant. He wrote a work on the Foundation
of Towns, in five books, which is frequently referred to by the
ancients. It is not probable that the author of the Periegesis, or
“Description of the World,” is referred to, as that book bears internal
marks of having been compiled in the third or fourth century of the
Christian era.

[3214] Of Miletus. He was the author of the “Milesiaca,” a romance of
licentious character, which was translated into Latin by L. Cornelius
Sisenna. He is looked upon as the inventor of the Greek romance, and
the title of his work is supposed to have given rise to the term
_Milesian_, as applied to works of fiction.

[3215] A Greek author, of whom nothing is known, except that Pliny, and
after him Solinus, refer to him as the authority for the statement that
Eubœa was originally called Chalcis, from the fact of (χαλκὸς) copper
being first discovered there.

[3216] Probably Menæchmus of Sicyon, who wrote a book on Actors, a
History of Alexander the Great, and a book on Sicyon. Suidas says that
he flourished in the time of the successors of Alexander.

[3217] When he flourished is unknown. He is said by Hyginus to have
written a History of the Island of Naxos.

[3218] He lived after the time of Alexander the Great; but his age is
unknown. He wrote a book, περὶ νόστων, on the returns of the Greeks
from their various expeditions, an account of Delos, a History of
Alexander the Great, and other works, all of which have perished.

[3219] Of Heraclæa, in Pontus. He was a pupil of Plato, and, after him,
of Aristotle. His works upon philosophy, history, mathematics, and
other subjects, were very numerous; but, unfortunately, they are nearly
all of them lost. He wrote a Treatise upon Islands, and another upon
the Origin of Cities.

[3220] A geographical writer, of whom nothing further is known.

[3221] The Greek historian, the disciple of Socrates, deservedly
styled the “Attic Bee.” His principal works are the Anabasis, or the
History of the Expedition of the younger Cyrus and the Retreat of the
Ten Thousand; the Hellenica, or History of Greece, from the time when
that of Thucydides ends to the battle of Mantinea, B.C. 362; and the
Cyropædia, or Education of Cyrus. The greater portion of his works is
now lost.

[3222] See end of B. ii.

[3223] See end of B. ii.

[3224] There were two physicians of this name, one of Catana, in
Sicily, the other of Dyrrhachium, in Illyricum, who, like his namesake,
was the author of numerous works. It is doubtful, however, whether
Pliny here refers to either of those authors.

[3225] A Greek historian, quoted by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. If
the same person as the father of the historian Nymphis, he must have
lived in the early part of the second century B.C. He wrote a work on
Islands, and another entitled Χρόνοι, or Chronicles.

[3226] A Greek geographer, who seems to have written an account of
Cyprus.

[3227] He is quoted by Strabo, Athenæus, and the Scholiasts; but all
that is known of him is, that he wrote a work on Thessaly, Æolia,
Attica, and Arcadia.

[3228] He wrote a work relative to Miletus; but nothing further is
known of him.

[3229] See end of B. ii.

[3230] Probably a writer on geography, of whom no particulars are known.

[3231] See end of B. ii.

[3232] Not reckoning under that appellation the country of Egypt,
which was more generally looked upon as forming part of Asia. Josephus
informs us that Africa received its name from Ophir, great-grandson of
Abraham and his second wife, Keturah.

[3233] ‘Castella,’ fortified places, erected for the purpose of
defence; not towns formed for the reception of social communities.

[3234] The Emperor Caligula, who, in the year 41 A.D., reduced the two
Mauritanias to Roman provinces, and had King Ptolemy, the son of Juba,
put to death.

[3235] Now Cape Spartel. By Scylax it is called Hermæum, and by Ptolemy
and Strabo Cote, or Coteis. Pliny means “extreme,” with reference to
the sea-line of the Mediterranean, in a direction due west.

[3236] Mentioned again by Pliny in B. xxxii. c. 6. Lissa was so called,
according to Bochart, from the Hebrew or Phœnician word _liss_, ‘a
lion.’ At the present day there is in this vicinity a headland called
the ‘Cape of the Lion.’ Bochart thinks that the name ‘Cotta,’ or
‘Cotte,’ was derived from the Hebrew _quothef_, a ‘vine-dresser.’

[3237] The modern Tangier occupies its site. It was said to have
derived its name from Tinge, the wife of Antæus, the giant, who was
slain by Hercules. His tomb, which formed a hill, in the shape of a man
stretched out at full length, was shown near the town of Tingis to a
late period. It was also believed, that whenever a portion of the earth
covering the body was taken away, it rained until the hole was filled
up again. Sertorius is said to have dug away a portion of the hill;
but, on discovering a skeleton sixty cubits in length, he was struck
with horror, and had it immediately covered again. Procopius says, that
the fortress of this place was built by the Canaanites, who were driven
by the Jews out of Palestine.

[3238] It has been supposed by Salmasius and others of the learned,
that Pliny by mistake here attributes to Claudius the formation of a
colony which was really established by either Julius Cæsar or Augustus.
It is more probable, however, that Claudius, at a later period, ordered
it to be called “Traducta Julia,” or “the removed Colony of Julia,” in
remembrance of a colony having proceeded thence to Spain in the time of
Julius Cæsar. Claudius himself, as stated in the text, established a
colony here.

[3239] Its ruins are to be seen at Belonia, or Bolonia, three Spanish
miles west of the modern Tarifa.

[3240] At this point Pliny begins his description of the western side
of Africa.

[3241] Now Arzilla, in the territory of Fez. Ptolemy places it at the
mouth of the river Zileia. It is also mentioned by Strabo and Antoninus.

[3242] Now El Araiche, or Larache, on the river Lucos.

[3243] Mentioned again in B. ix. c. 4 and c. 5 of the present Book,
where Pliny speaks of them as situate elsewhere. The story of Antæus is
further enlarged upon by Solinus, B. xxiv.; Lucan, B. iv. l. 589, _et
seq._; and Martianus Capella, B. vi.

[3244] Now the Lucos.

[3245] Hardouin is of opinion, that he here has a hit at Gabinius, a
Roman author, who, in his Annals of Mauritania, as we learn from Strabo
(B. xvii.), inserted numerous marvellous and incredible stories.

[3246] When we find Pliny accusing other writers of credulity, we are
strongly reminded of the proverb, ‘Clodius accusat mœchos.’

[3247] Or the “Julian Colony on the Plains.” Marcus suggests that
the word _Babba_ may possibly have been derived from the Hebrew
or Phœnician word _beab_ or _beaba_, “situate in a thick forest.”
Poinsinet takes Babba to be the Beni-Tuedi of modern times. D’Anville
thinks that it is Naranja.

[3248] There is considerable difficulty about the site of Banasa.
Moletius thinks that it is the modern Fanfara, or Pefenfia as Marmol
calls it. D’Anville suggests that it may be Old Mahmora, on the coast;
but, on the other hand, Ptolemy places it among the _inland_ cities,
assigning to it a longitude at some distance from the sea. Pliny
also appears to make it inland, and makes its distance from Lixos
seventy-five miles, while he makes the mouth of the Subur to be fifty
miles from the same place.

[3249] From both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. According to
Poinsinet, Volubilis was the synonym of the African name _Fez_,
signifying a ‘band,’ or ‘swathe.’ Mannert conjectures that it is the
same as the modern Walili, or Qualili. D’Anville calls it Guulili, and
says that there are some remains of antiquity there.

[3250] The modern Subu, or Sebou. D’Anville is of opinion that this
river has changed a part of its course since the time of Pliny.

[3251] Most probably the modern Sallee stands on its site.

[3252] Not in reference to the fact of its existence, but the wonderful
stories which were told respecting it.

[3253] Like others of the ancient writers, Pliny falls into the error
of considering Atlas, not as an extensive chain of mountains, but as an
isolated mountain, surrounded by sands. With reference to its height,
the whole range declines considerably from west to east; the highest
summits in Morocco reaching near 13,000 feet, in Tunis not 5000.

[3254] Or “Goat-Pans;” probably another name for the Fauni, or Fauns.
More usually, there is but one Ægipan mentioned,—the son, according to
Hyginus, of Zeus or Jupiter, and a goat,—or of Zeus and Æga, the wife
of Pan. As a foundation for one part of the stories here mentioned,
Brotier suggests the fact, that as the Kabyles, or mountain tribes,
are in the habit of retiring to their dwellings and reposing during
the heat of the day, it would not, consequently, be improbable that
they would devote the night to their amusements, lighting up fires, and
dancing to the music of drums and cymbals.

[3255] Under his name we still possess a “Periplus,” or account of
a voyage round a part of Libya. The work was originally written in
Punic, but what has come down to us is a Greek translation. We fail,
however, to discover any means by which to identify him with any one of
the many Carthaginians of the same name. Some writers call him king,
and others _dux_, or _imperator_ of the Carthaginians; from which we
may infer, that he held the office of _suffetes_. This expedition has
by some been placed as far back as the time of the Trojan war, or of
Hesiod, while others again place it as late as the reign of Agathocles.
Falconer, Bougainville, and Gail, place the time of Hanno at about B.C.
570, while other critics identify him with Hanno, the father or son of
Hamilcar, who was killed at Himera, B.C. 480. Pliny often makes mention
of him; more particularly see B. viii. c. 21.

[3256] M. Gosselin thinks that the spot here indicated was at the
south-western extremity of the Atlas range, and upon the northern
frontier of the Desert of Zahara.

[3257] Supposed by some geographers to be the same as that now called
the Ommirabih, or the Om-Rabya. This is also thought by some to have
been the same river as is called by Pliny, in p. 381, by the name of
Asana; but the distances do not agree.

[3258] Supposed by Gosselin to be the present bay of Al-cazar, on the
African coast, in the Straits of Cadiz; though Hardouin takes it to be
the κόλπος ἐμπορικὸς, or “Gulf of Commerce,” of Strabo and Ptolemy.
By first quoting from one, and then at a tangent from another, Pliny
involves this subject in almost inextricable confusion.

[3259] Probably the place called Thymiaterion in the Periplus of Hanno.

[3260] The present Subu, and the river probably of Sallce, previously
mentioned.

[3261] The modern Mazagan, according to Gosselin.

[3262] Cape Cantin, according to Gosselin; Cape Blanco, according to
Marcus.

[3263] Probably the Safi, Asafi, or Saffee of the present day.

[3264] The river Tensift, which runs close to the city of Morocco, in
the interior.

[3265] The river Mogador of the present day.

[3266] The modern river Sus, or Sous.

[3267] The learned Gosselin has aptly remarked, that this cannot be
other than an error, and that “ninety-six” is the correct reading, the
Gulf of Sainte-Croix being evidently the one here referred to.

[3268] Mount Barce seems to be here a name for the Atlas, or Daran
chain.

[3269] Supposed by Gosselin to be the present Cape Ger.

[3270] The river Assa, according to Gosselin. There is also a river
Suse placed here in the maps.

[3271] These two tribes probably dwelt between the modern Capes Ger and
Non.

[3272] Marcus believes these to have been the ancestors of the present
race of the Touaricks, while the Melanogætuli were the progenitors of
the Tibbos, of a darker complexion, and more nearly resembling the
negroes in bodily conformation.

[3273] Supposed by Gosselin to be the present river Nun, or Non.
According to Bochart, this river received its name from the Hebrew or
Phœnician word _behemoth_ or _bamoth_, the name by which Job (xl. 15)
calls the crocodile [or rather the hippopotamus]. Bochart, however,
with Mannert, Bougainville, De Rennet, and De Heeren, is of opinion,
that by this name the modern river Senegal is meant. Marcus is of
opinion that it is either the Non or the modern Sobi.

[3274] Marcus here observes, that from Cape Alfach, below Cape Non,
there are no mountains, but continual wastes of sand, bordering on the
sea-shore. Indeed there is no headland, of any considerable height,
between Cape Sobi and Cape Bajador.

[3275] “The Chariot of the Gods.” Marcus is of opinion that it is the
modern Cape Verde; while, on the other hand, Gosselin takes it to be
Cape Non. Brotier calls it Cape Ledo.

[3276] In B. vi. c. 36, Pliny speaks of this promontory as the
“Hesperian Horn,” and says that it is but four days’ sail from the
Theon Ochema. Brotier identifies this promontory with the modern Cape
Roxo. Marcus is of opinion that it was the same as Cape Non; but there
is considerable difficulty in determining its identity.

[3277] Alluding to Polybius; though, according to the reading which
Sillig has adopted a few lines previously, Agrippa is the last author
mentioned. Pliny has here mistaken the meaning of Polybius, who has
placed Atlas midway between Carthage, from which he had set out, and
the Promontory of Theon Ochema, which he reached.

[3278] Ptolemy the son of Juba II. and Cleopatra, was summoned to Rome
in the year A.D. 40, by Caligula, and shortly after put to death by
him, his riches having excited the emperor’s cupidity. Previously to
this, he had been on terms of strict alliance with the Roman people,
who had decreed him a _toga picta_ and a sceptre, as a mark of their
friendship.

[3279] Ivory and citron-wood, or cedar, were used for the making and
inlaying of the tables used by the Roman nobility. See B. xiii. c. 23.

[3280] Supposed by some geographers to be the modern Wadi-Tensift. It
has been also confounded with the Anatis (see note [3171], p. 369);
while others again identify it with the Anidus. It is more commonly
spelt ‘Asama.’

[3281] Or Phuth. It does not appear to have been identified.

[3282] The range is still called by the name of Daran.

[3283] The same general who afterwards conquered the Britons under
Boadicea or Bonduca. While Proprætor in Mauritania under the Emperor
Claudius, in the year A.D. 42, he defeated the Mauri who had risen in
revolt, and advanced, as Pliny here states, as far as Mount Atlas. It
is not known from what point Paulinus made his advance towards the
Atlas range. Mannert and Marcus are of opinion that he set out from
Sala, the modern Sallee, while Latreille, Malte Brun, and Walkenaer
think that his point of departure was the mouth of the river Lixos.
Sala was the most southerly town on the western coast of Africa that in
the time of Pliny had submitted to the Roman arms.

[3284] Some of the editions read ‘Niger’ here. Marcus suggests that
that river may have been called ‘Niger’ by the Phœnician or Punic
colonists of the western Mauritania, and ‘Ger’ or ‘Gar’ in another
quarter. The same writer also suggests that the Sigilmessa was the
river to which Paulinus penetrated on his march beyond Atlas.

[3285] The Sigilmessa, according to Marmol, flows between several
mountains which appear to be of a blackish hue.

[3286] Bocchus however, the kinsman of Massinissa, had previously for
some time reigned over both the Mauritanias, consisting of Mauritania
Tingitana and Mauritania Cæsariana.

[3287] See B. xxv. c. 7. 12, and B. xxvi. c. 8.

[3288] Extending from the sea to the river Moluga, now called the
Molucha and Molochath, or Malva and Malvana.

[3289] From whom the Moors of the present day take their name. Marcus
observes here, that though Pliny distinguishes the Mauri from the
Gætuli, they essentially belonged to the same race and spoke the same
language, the so-called Berber, and its dialects, the Schellou and the
Schoviah.

[3290] ‘Maurusii’ was the Greek name, ‘Mauri’ the Latin, for this
people. Marcus suggests that Mauri was a synonym only for the Greek
word _nomades_, ‘wanderers.’

[3291] As Marcus observes, Pliny is here greatly in error. On the
inroads of Paulinus, the Mauri had retreated into the interior and
taken refuge in the deserts of Zahara, whence they had again emerged in
the time of the geographer Ptolemy.

[3292] From the time of the second Punic War this people had remained
in undisputed possession of the country situate between the rivers
Molochath or Moluga and Ampsaga, which formed the Cæsarian Mauritania.
Ptolemy speaks of finding some remains of them at Siga, a town situate



Online LibraryPliny the ElderThe Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1 (of 6) → online text (page 48 of 57)