Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

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of the relative ])ositions of Kgypt, Cilicia, Sinofie, and the mouth of
the Danube, as being in the same meridian (ii. 34), can only be
regarded as an instance of false symmetry. Lastly, his description
of Scythia as a four-sided figure (iv. 101), has been quite a vexata
qucpstio to his commentators.

§ 6. With regard to his general views as to the form, boundaries,
and divisions of the world, Her<^otus had gained sufficient know-
ledge to lead him to reject the theory of Hecat^eus, that the world
(i.e. the habitable world, the land) was "an exact circle as if
described by a pair of compasses" (iv. 36), the projections of Arabia
and Libya disproving this to his mind. lie had not, however,
sufficient knowledge to enable him to propound any theory of his
own ; the boundaries of Europe, and consequently of the northern,
eastern, and western parts of the world were unknown (iii. 115, iv.
45), and it was therefore ridiculous in his eyes to attempt a defini-
tion of its form. As far as we can gather from his description, he
supposed the world to be oval rather than circular, Greece holding
a central position (iii. 106). He rejected the idea of the ** river" of
. Ocean as a poetical fancy (ii. 23), and doubted whether the world
was surrounded by the Ocean at all (iv. 8, 36, 45) ; though he
does not expressly reject, yet he shows his extreme distrust of the
report of a northern sea, which had evidently been reached (iii. 116).


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He knew that the western shores of Europe and Africa were washed
by the Atlantic ocean (i. 203), which was connected with the
Mediterranean at the Pillars of Hercules (iv. 42) ; and he further
knew that the Atlantic was connected with the great southern
Ocean that surrounded Libya and Asia, which he names the
Erythnean Sea (i. 203, iv. 40). With regard to the division of the
world into continents, he adopts, without approving of, the re-
cogniseti divisions into Europe, Asia, and Libya ; his own view was
that, the earth formed but one continent in reality (^ag tovaji yj,
iv. 45), and he disliked the ordinary division, partly because it was
unsymraetrical, Europe being as large as the other two put together
(iv. 42), and partly because there was no well-defined btiundary
between Asia and Libya, the Nile, which was usually regarded as
the boundary, dividing in its lower course, so that the Delta was
neither in Asia or Africa (ii. 16). Herodotus evidently considered
Africa below the dignity of a continent: it is only a portion of the
great southern projection of Asia (iv. 41), separated from Asia by
Egypt (ii. 17, iv. 41), in short a district and not a continent ; at
the same time he occasionally falls into the usual phraseology, and
ii>e8 Libya as inclusive of Egypt (iv. 42). Herodotus justly notes
the awkwardness of dividing a country like Egypt between the two
continents (ii. 17), and insists that the land of the Egyptians
must be regarded as one : it is singular that he did not see the way
of meeting the difficulty by constituting the Red Sea the boundary.
He regarded Europe as co-extensive with Asia in the east (iv. 42),
and therefore he included northern Asia in it: the boundary
between the two thus ran east and west, and consisted of the
Mediterranean Sea, the Euxine, the Phasis, the Caspian Sea, and the
Araxes (Jaxartes), as we gather from detached notices (iv. 37, 40).
His view of the contour of Europe is defective in the west, for he
supposes the land to stretch out beyond the Pillars of Hercules to
a great extent (ii. 33). His knowledge of this continent did not
go beyond the Danube, except in the neighbourhood of the Euxine
Sea. Asia was known only as far as the Indus eastward : from the
direction which he gives to the course of that river (iv. 44), it
would naturally be inferred that he carried the Ocean round towards
the north before reaching its mouth. The peninsula of Arabia is
duly accounted for in his description, but Asia Minor is disfigured
by the undue contraction of its eastern side, which is represented as
one hundred miles too little (f. 72). Africa was known as far south
as Abyssinia, from which ][)oint Herodotus probably supposed the
sea at once to trend round to the W. The form of the northern
coast is modified by the notice of only one Syrtis (ii. 32).

§ 6. The most important physical features in the world of
fierodotns are the seas, rivers, and mountains, the last being but


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inadequately noticed as compared with the two fonner. The seas
are the Mediterranean, Euxine, Caspian, and Red Sea. The rivers
are the Nile, Danube, Halys, Tigris, Euphrates, Indus, Tyras,
Borysthenes, Araxes, and several other Scythian rivers. The
mountains are Caucasus, the Matienian mountains. Atlas, Hsemus,
and several of the ranges in Greece. Of these objects a more
particular account is given in the following paragraphs.





Geography of Ilerodotits — Physicai Featmeg, (1.) 5<r<M.— The Medi-
terranean was the only sea to which Herodotus applies the term
Bdfianrva : he describes it as " our" sea (lf«f ^ BdKwrva, L 1, 185, iv.


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4t), and the '^ northern" sea in reference to Africa (ii. 11, 32, 158, iv.
42)— a name which it still retains among the Arabs : it was divided
into the following subordinate seas, to which he applied the terms
kSkifos, ir6vros, and ir4\ayof — ^the Adriatic {& 'ABpliis, i. 163) ; the Ionian
Oulf, which is another term for the Adriatic (vi. 127, vii. 20), at all
eyents for the eastern coast of the Adriatic ; the i£gsean, of which he
notices the width (xdfffut ir^xdytos, iv. 85) ; the loarian (vi. 95), off the
coast of Caria; the Sardinian (i. 166) ; the Egyptian (ii. 113); and the
parts about the islands Carp&thus (iii. 45), and Rhodes (i. 174). The
Euxiue is named ** Pontus," as being the largest inland sea with which
the Greeks of that day were acquainted : in reference to Asia it is the
"northern** sea (iv. 37), in reference to Scythia, the "southern'* (iv.
13). Herodotus exaggerates its size (iv. 85) ; its length, between the
points which he incorrectly regards as extreme, being 630 miles,
instead of 1280, and its breadth 270, instead of 380 : its greatest length
in reality is through the middle of the sea, and the greatest width
between the mouths of the Teiegul and Sakkariyth, The Palus Mssotis
{Sea of Azori) Herodotus describes as nearly as large as the Euxine (iy.
86) ; in this he exaggerates ; it is highly probable, however, that it
extended eastward along the course of the Manytch for a considerable
distance, as he implies (iv. 116), and, from the present rate of its
decrease, we may well suppose it to have been four or five times as large
as it is now. Great changes have undoubtedly taken place in the levels
of the land north of the Euxine, by which some of the rivers have
altered their courses, and others have altogether disappeared : Hero-
dotus' description of the Crimea as an acte (projecting tract of land)
similar to Attica (iv. 99), would lead us to suppose that the Putrid Sea
had come into existence since his time. The Bosporus, Propontis,
and Hellespont, are described with tolerable acciuaoy (iv. 85). The
Caspian is more accurately described by Herodotus than by many of
his successors: he knew it to be a distinct sea (i. 203), whereas it was
generally believed after his time to be connected with the northern
Ocean: the proportions which he assigns to its length and width (750
and 400 ; i. 203) are very nearly correct ; nor is there any reason to
infer that he reversed the position of the lake as is occasionally repre-
sented in Herodotean maps. The Sea of Aral is not noticed : it has been
conjectured, by many eminent geographers, that the Caspian extended
very much to the eastward so as to include Aral, and the appearance
of the country favours this idea. Geologists, however, have come to
the conclusion that the elevation, whidb separates these two seas,
occurred at a period anterior to the creatipn of man, and even before
the separation of the Caspian from the Euxine by the elevation of
Caucasus. The Caspian has, nevertheless, undergone great changes
even in historical times; not improbably the Ouifof KuU Derya, on
its eastern coaut, extended tar over the alluvial flats to the eastward,
receiving the Oxus {Jyhun) by a course which may still be traced.
The Red Sea is described ns the Arabian Gulf (ii. 11) ; Herodotus
probably supposed that the breadth which he had seen at the Ouifof
Suez (about twenty-five miles) continued through its whole course ;
for he gives it as half a day's journey in a row-boat, whereas it is in
reality 175 miles.

(2.) Rivers,— In Europe the Ister {D<muhe) was the largest river
known to Herodotus : he placed its sources very much too far west-
ward near Pyr§ne, a city of the Celts beyond the Pillars of Hercules
(ii. 3;>), and supposed it thus to intersect Europe in its whole length


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Its tributaries are described at length (iv. 49), but cannot be whoHy
identified : on the right bank, the Alpis and Carpis must represent
streams that rise on the Alps, either the Save and Drave, or the Saiza
and Inn ; the Angcus, which flows through the Triballian plain, may
be the Ibar ; it was a tributary of the Brongus, Morava ; the Scius is
probably the Isker ; the other six which be enumerates are unim-
portant streams between the Isker and the sea ; Herodotus is mistaken
in describing them as large : on the left bank of the Ister, the Maris is
the Marosch, which falls not immediately into the Danube but into
the Theiss ; the Tiarantus is the Schylf the AriLrus the Aluta, the Nap&ris
the Ardisch, the Ordessus the Sereth, and the Por&ta the Pruth. The
lower course of the later is awkwardly described : it is said to discharge
itself into the Euxine in the same meridian as the Nile, opposite Sinope
(ii. 84), and near Istria (ii. 83): neither of these statements can be re-
conciled with the facts : Istria was sixty miles from the present mouth
of the river, ground of considerable elevation intervening ; and in what
sense Herodotus supposed the Danube to be opposite Sinope is a mystery :
we may perhaps attribute his remarks to his love of ^nnmetry. Of
the other rivei-s of Europe he notices— in Scythia, the Tyras, Dnieatr;
the Hyp&uis, Boiuj ; the Borysthenes, Dnicpr ; the Panticapes, which
cannot be identified, flowing into the Borysthenes, and having its course
in a more easterly direction; the Hypac^s, which is described as
reaching the sea near Kalantchak, after having received a branch of the
Borysthenes, named the Qerrhus; and the Tanais, Don (iv. 51-57) :
beyond Scythia, the Hyrgis (iv. 57) or Syrgis (iv. 123), perhaps the
DonetZf a tributary of the Don ; the Oarus, perhaps the Volga, which,
however, is described as flowing into the Palus Meeotis (iv. 123) ; and
the Lycus: lastly the Phanis in (Colchis (1. 2), which formed the
boundary between Europe and Asia. The Erid&nus is noticed as
.flowing (according to report) into the Northern Ocean : Herodotus
discredited the report (iii. 115) ; but without doubt the shores of the
Baltic were visited for the sake of procuring amber, and the name
^Iridanus may still survive in the Rhodanne which flows by Dantzic.

Of the rivers in Asia Herodotus notices the Halys as rising in the
mountains of Armenia (i. 72) and flowing (in its lower course) in a
northerly direction between Syria (i. e, Cappadoda) and Paphlagonia
(i. 6) : the ThermOdon and the Parthenius, about which the Syrians
(Oappadocians) lived (ii. 104); the latter is probably not the Bartan,
but some other river of the same name east of the Halys: the
Euphrates, as dividing Cilicia and Armenia (v. 52), and flowing bv
Babylon (i. 185) ; tha Tigris, as flowing into the Erythrssan Sea (i.
189), after having received two rivers having the same name (the two
Zabs), and the Gyndes, probably the Diala (v. 52) : the story of the
division of the latter into 360 channels (i. 189), may be founded upon
the extensive hydraulic works for irrigation which were carried out on
that river : the Choaspes, Kerkhah^ on the banks of which Susa stood
(i. 188 ; V. 49, 52); the river is now 1^ mile from the site of the
city, but not improbably it formerly bifurcated and sent a branch
by the town : the Aces, which is described as splitting into five
channels (iii. 117), perhaps in reference to the waters of the fferi-rudf
which admits of being carried through the Elhurt% range in the manner
described ; the Indus, to which Herodotus assigns an easterly course
(iv. 44), perhaps under the impression that the Onbul was the main
stream; and the Corys, in Arabia, represented as a large river (iii. 9),
but probably identical with the small torrent of Core, The Araxes


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cannot be identified with any single rirer : the name was probably an
appellative for a riTer, and was applied, like our Acon^ to several
streams, which Herodotus supposed to be identical : the Araxes which
he describes as rising in the Matienian mountains (L 202), is the river
usually so called, flowing into the Cyrus ; the Araxes which separated
the ICassagetse from Cyrus's* empire is either the Oxus or the Jaxartes
(i. 201) ; the Araxes which the Scythians crossed into Cimmeria is
probably the Volga (iv. 11).

In Anica the Nile is described as of about the same length as the
Danube (ii. 33) ; its sources were entirely unknown (ii. 28, 34), nor
does Herodotus notice the division iuto the Blue and White Nile,
but the easterly course described in ii. 31, and the supposed course
as described in caps. 32 and 33, would apply (if at all) to the latter
of the two branches. The periodical lise of ihe Nile is attributed
to the unequal force of the sun's attraction (ii. 25). The cataracts
{Katadupi) are noticed (iL 17, 29): the windings of the river below the
23rd par. of lat. are transferred to the district near Elephantine
(ii. 29). The division of the main stream at the head of the Delta
into three large and four smaller channels is noticed (ii. 17). The
other rivers noticed in Africa are the Triton (iv. 178) described as a
large river flowing into Lake Tritonis : no large river, however, exists
in the district referred to : the lake probably includes the Shibk-el-
knodeah and the Lesser Syrtis, the Triton being one of the streams
flowing into the lake: the Cin'yps (iv. 175), neai* Leptis, was a mere
torrent not easily identified. The Niger is probably the river which
the Nasamonians reached (ii. 32).

(3.) Mouaidain Chains. — Herodotus is peculiarly defective in his
notices of mountains. Caucasus is con-ectly described as the loftiest
chain known in his day (i. 203): Atlas is described, not as a chain, but
a peaked mountain, somewhere in south-eastern Algeria (iv. 184): the
great range of Taurus is not noticed at all : the mountains of Armenia
are generally noticed (i. 72) ; the Matienian mountains, which con-
tained the sources both of the Araxes, Aras^ and the Gyndes, Diala (i.
189, 202), answer to the Abus range and the northern part of Zagrus;
the nantes alone of the European ranges were known to him, but were
transferred to other objects, Pyrene (the Pyrenees) to a town vii. -^3),
Alpis and Carpis (the Alps and Carpathians) to rivers (iv. 49): the Ural
range is referred to in the account of the iEgip6des, and as forming
the boundary between the Issedonians and Argippceans (iv. 23, 25),
and the gold mines of the Altai are probably referred to in iv. 27. Of
the ranges nearer Greece he notices Hccmus (iv. 49), Rhodope (iv. 49),
Pangscum (vii. 112), and Orbelus (v. 16) in Thrace.

§ 7. The political and topographical notices are very unequally
distributed over the map of the world as Herodotus would have
delineated it. In the west of Europe, we have not nearly so many
notices as Hecataeus gives us. Scythia, on the other hand, is very
fully described ; so also is the sea-coast of Thrace, in connexion
with the Persian expeditions : the notices of spots in Greece are, of
course, very numerous. In Asia, the political divisions are fully
and correctly given, according to the system of satrapies established
in the Persian empire f the topographical notices of the western
coast of Asia Minor are numerous, as might be expected : in other



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quarters they are scanty. In Africa, Egypt is fully described ; so
also is the sea-coast as far as 'Carthage westward, and the tribes
occupying the interior at a short distance from the coast. We sub-
join a brief review of each continent.

Geography of HerodoUu — Political Divisiom, (I). Europe, —
CommeDciag from the W., we have notice of Iberia (Spain) (i. 163),
with the towns Tartessus (iv. 152) and Gadeira, Cadiz (iv. 8), and
the island Erytheia (iv. 8), either I^ocadero or an island which
has been absorbed into the mainland by the deposits of the
Ouadalquiver, Beyond the Pillars of IJercides, in the extreme W.,
were the Cynesions (ii. 33), or Cynetea (iv. 49), a people but seldom
afterwards noticed. Next to these came the Celts, with the town
Pyrene and the sources of the Danube (ii. 33, iv. 49). In Gaul we
have notice of the Ligyans (Ligurians) as living above Massalia, Mar-
seilles (v. 9), and of the Elisyci (vii. 165). In Italy — a name which first
appears in Herodotus (i. 24, iv. 15), as applicable, however, only to the
southern district of Magna Graecia— we have notice of Tyrrhenia
(i. 94, 163) on the western coast, the Ombrid (iv. 49), or Umbrians,
lapygia (iv. 99) at the heet (Enotria to the S.W., and various well-
known towns, of which we need only observe that Vela and Posidonia
(i. 167) are the same as Elea and Psestum. Of the islands off the
coast of Italy, we hear of Sard o, /Sard/nt a, ^^hich he correctly describes
as the largest in the then known world (i. 170, v. 106, vi. 2) ; Cymus,
Corsica^ with the Phocaean colony of Alalia (i. 165, vii. 165); and
Sicily (vii. 170), in which he notices the majority of the Greek
colonies, Messana appearing under the name Zaucle (vi. 22). The name
"Hellas'' appears as an ethnological title applying to any country
where Hellenes were settled, and thus including spots in Italy, Asia
Minor, and Africa (i. 92, ii. 182, iii. 39, vH. 156). The country of
Greece receives no general title; but the southern peninsula is described
as Peloponnesus (viii. 73), and the land of Pelops (vii, 8). The notices
of places and peoples are very numerous, but coutain little that is
peculiar; the omission of the name Epirus may be noticed. The name
Macedonia applies in Herodotus onl)r to the district south of the
Haliacmon, the remainder being described according to the names of
the separate tribes. In Illyria, the EnCti, Venetians (i. 196), and the
Encheleaus (v. 61, ix. 43) on the coast above Epidamnus, are noticed;
the Triballian plain is probably Servia (iv. 49), and the Sigynnee
(v. 9), north of^the Danube, may be placed in Hungary and the ad-
jacent countries; beyond this the country was deemed uninhabitable
from the bees (probably the mosquitoes) about the river (v. 10). The
Thracians are noticed as a very powerful race, divided into a great
number of tribes, of which the Oetse (of Dacia) were the most power-
ful (v. 3, iv. 93) ; there is little of special interest in his ntjtices of
the other tribes. The northern coast of the JSgtean, together with
the towns upon it, is described at length, and in a manner that
does not call for observation; the eastern district is also noticed in de-
scribing the Thracian expedition of Darius (iv. 89-93) ; the route that
he followed is not clearly marked out; he struck into the interior to
the western side of the Little Balkan, passing by the sources of the
Te&rus, Simerdere. whose 38 foimtains can- still be numbered, a
tributary of the Contadesdus, Karishiiran^ and this of the Agrianes,
Erkene, which joins the Hebrus; then he met with the Artiscus, gene*


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rally identified with the Arda, but more probably the Tekedereh more
to the £. ; be crossed the Balkan in the neighbourhood of Burghcu,
and thence followed the defiles that skirt the sea coast. Scytbia and the
countries adjacent to it are described at considerable length in Book iv.
(17-20, 99*1 17); his account of the shape of the country in cap. 101 has
been variously understood, but may be most simply explained in the
following manner: Herodotus regarded the coast n'om the mouth of
the Danube to that of the Tanais as a straight line, the interruption
caused by the Crimea being overlooked; this line formed one side of
his quadrilateral figure, which thus touched two seas, the Euxine and
the Palus Mssotid. The position of the other sides was regulated by
this : the western boundiiry joined the sea at the mouth of the later,
which thus touched Scythia obliquely (cap. 49) without forming the
boundary throughout its course; the eastern boundary was in great
measure formed by the Tanais; and the northern was an imaginary
line drawn from the upper course of the Tanais at the distance
of 4000 stades from its mouth to the upper course of the Tyras, at a
similar distance. The inhabitants of this distinct wei'e partly Soy th-
ized Greeks, but mainly Scythians; the tribes on the northern and
eastern frontiers were not Scythians, but still resembled the Scythians
in many respects. The position of the various tribes referred to
may be described thus: the Call ipida) and the AlaisOnes between the
Hypanis and Tyras, the former on the sea-coast, in the modem Kher-
son j the Agathyrsi in Transylvania; the agricultural Scythians be-
tween the Hypanis and the Panticapes, which was probably somewhat
eastward of the Borysthenes, in Ekatermoslav ; the Neuri in VoUiynia
and Lithuania ; the Androph&gi (" cannibals") in Kounk and Tchemigov ;
the nomad Scythians, eastward of the Panticapes in the eastern parts
of Ekaierinodav and in Kharkov ; the Royal Scythians in Taurida and
the steppes of the Don Cossacks; the Budini and GelOni in part of
Tambov ; the Melanchlteni (** black-coats*') between the Tanais and the
Desna in Orlov and Toula ; and the Saurom&tse on the steppe between
the Don and the Volga, The positions of the other tribes can only
be conjectured; the ThyssagStse, W. of the VcAgat about Simhirsk;
the lyrcse on the opposite bank of that river ; the Revolted Scythians
on the left biuik of the Kaama ; the Ai-gippeei on the western slopes
of the Ural range, about the sources of the river just noticed; the
Issed^nes on the opposite side of Ural; and the Arimaspi perhaps about
the western ranges of tJie Altai. Within the limits of Herodotus's
Europe, we must also include the MassagStce, who occupied the steppes
of thi> Kirghiz Tartars between the Volga and the Sirr, the latter being
probably the Araxes intended by Herodotus (i. 201). The only places
noticed in this wido district are — Olbia or Borysthenes (iv. 18), at the
mouth of the Hypauis ; Prom. Hippolaus, on the opposite, i.e. the left
b«mk of that river ; the Course of Achilles, the Cosa Tendra, and Cosa-
marilgatch; Carcinltis, probably Kalantchak (5o); aud Cremni on the
northern coast of the Masotis (20). The Crimea is described under the
name Taurica, the eastern part being named the "Rugged Cher-
sonese" (99), which was separated from the rest of the country by
the slaves' dyke (20). With regard to the northern districts of Europe
Herodotus appears to have heard a rumour of the large lakes oi Ladoga
and Onega, as he describes the Tanais as rising in a large lake (57),
The more, western districts he supposed to be utterly unknown, and
therefore rejects the reports of the amber brought from the coasts of
the Baltic and the tin from the Cassiterides (iii. 115).




(2), Asia, — Asia Minor waa occupied, accordiDg to Herodotua, by 15
raceSf arranged thus: foiur on the southern coast from E. to W., the
Cilicians, Pamphylians, Lycians, and Caunians; four on the western
coast from S. to N., the Carians, Lydians, Mysians, and Greeks ; four
on the shores of the Euxine, the Thraoians, MariEmdynians, Paphla-
gonians, and Cappadocians; and three on the central plateau, the
Phrygians, Chalybes, and Matieni. The divisions occupied by these

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