Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

The student's manual of ancient geography online

. (page 70 of 82)
Online LibrarySir William Smith William Latham BevanThe student's manual of ancient geography → online text (page 70 of 82)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Castigatur aquis, compressaque gurgite terras

Enormes cohibet nudsD sub imagine plantce.

Inde Ichnusa prius Gratis memorata colonis,

Mox Libyci Sardus generoso sanguine fidena

Herculis, ex wse mutavit nomina temc.

Affluxere etiom, et sedes poeuere coactas

Dispersi pelago, poet eruta Pergama, Tcucri. Sil. Ital. xii. 855.



Digitized



by Google



Chap. XXVIII. SARDINIA. 607

from N. to S., a portion of which in the N. was named Insini Montes,
from the violent storms which sailors encountered off that part of
the island. There are several plains of considerahle extent in the
S. and W. parts. The rivers are small, but numerous : the chief are
the Thyrfns, Tirto^ and the Baoer Flaviiifl, JR. diPahUlonis, on the W.
coast ; the TermiUt Temo, on the N. ; and the CsBdriiu, Fiume dei
Orosei,* on the E. coast. The climate of Sardinia has been in all
ages unhealthy :■ the soil was fertile,'and yielded large quantities of
com, and among the special productions of the island may he
noticed a poisonous plant of extreme bitterness,^ which, from the
contortions it produced in the countenance, gave rise to the expres-
sion " Sardonicus risus." Wool was abundant, and Sardinia also
possessed mines of silver and iron.

•} 6. ITie population of Sardinia was of a very mixed character :
three native tribes are noticed — the lolai or lolaenses, who (ac-
cording to tradition) were of Trojan origin,* but more probably
were Tyrrhenians ; the Balari, probably of Iberian extraction ; and
the Corsi, from the neighbouring Island of Corsica. The Greeks were
acquainted with the island, and some of the towns have Greek
names, but we have no record of their ever having settled on it.
The Phoenicians, and in later times the Carthaginians, had stations
on it. The Sardinians enjoyed an ill fame for general worthlessness
of character. The towns were but few : the most important were
founded by the Phoenicians, viz. Caralis, Nora, and Sulci, Of the
antiquities of the country we may notice the peculiar towers named
NuragTie, built very massively, and containing one or two vaulted
chambers. The number of these is very great, but both their use
and their origin is unknown.

Car&lis, Cagliari, was situated on the S. coast, and was said to have
been founded by the Carthaginians. From the time of the Second
Punic War, it became the chief naval station of the Romans, and the
residence of the pnetor. There are remains of an amphitheatre and of
an aqueduct. Snloi was situated on a small island in the S.W. comer
of the island. It was undoubtedly founded by the Carthaginians, and
it reached a high degree of prosperity, both under them and under the
Romans. Heapolis, Ndbui^ on the W . coast, would seem, from its name,
to have been founded by the Greeks. Olbia, Terranovat was situated
near the N.E. extremity of the island. Its name also is Greek, and
tradition assigned to it a Greek origin. It was the ordinary place of
communication with Italy, and hence rose to importance under the
Romans. In 259 it was the scene of warlike operations between the

^ Sllius Italicns describes it as—

Tristis otBlo et malta Titiata palude. xii. 371.

' Opimas

SardiniflB segetes forads. Hon. Carm. i. 31, 3.

> Immo ego Sardois ridear tibl amarior herbis. Viro. Ecf. vli. 41.
* See note ' above.



Digitized



by Google



608 CORSICA. Book IV.

Romans under Coraelius and the Carthaginians. We may further
notice as considerable towns — Nora, on a promontory, about 20 miles S.
of Caralis, now named Capo di Pulat where are remains of a theatre,
an aqueduct, and quays— Tharras, on a promontory on the W. coast
now named Capo del Sevo, a Phcenidan settlement— Cotnitt, on the W.-
coast, about 16 miles N. of Tharras, the head-quarters of the revolted
Sardinian tribes in the Second Punic War — Boia, Bosa^ at the mouth of
the Temus— Tunria libynSnis, Porto Torres, a Roman colony on the
N. coast — and nhnla, near the extreme N. point, the port of com-
, munication with Corsica.

History. — The Carthaginians conquered Sardinia about 500-480 ac,
and it was held by them until 233, when the Romans got pcasesaion of
it. In 215 the natives rose in rebellion, and again a portion of them in
181 and in 114; but on all these ocqasions they were easily put down.
Sardinia, was united with Corsica as a province under a proconsul. It
became a place of exile for political ofifenders under the Empire.

§ 7. Corsloa (the Cynju of the Greeks) lies N. of Sardinia, from
which it is separated only by a narrow strait. Its size was unduly
magnified by the ancients : its length is really 126 miles, and its
greatest breadtli about 51. Almost the whole of it is occupied by
lofty and rugged mountains, whose sides were clothed with the
finest timber. The central mass was named Aureus Mons. now
Monte Botondo. The principal rivers are the Bhotanus, Tavignano^
and the Tudla, Gdo^ which enter the sea on the E. coast. Honey
and wax' are noted among the productions of the island, but the
former had a very bitter flavour,* from the number of yew trees
on the island. The earliest inhabitants were probably Ligurians :
Greeks settled at Alalia, in B.C. 564 ; and subsequently Tyrrhenians
and Garth agmians. The Corsi were reputed a wild and barbarous
race ; they lived chiefly on the produce of their herds. The most
important towns were Mariana and Aleria.

Ifaritoa stood on the E. coaist, and was founded by and named after
C. Marius : it probably occupied the site of an earlier town Nicsea,
whose name bespeaks a Greek origin. Aleria (the Alalia of the
Greeks) also stood on the E. coast, near the mouth of the Rhotanus.
It was founded by Phocsans, in 564, but was abandoned by them about
540, in consequence of a severe defeat they sustained from the Tyrrhe>
nians and Carthaginians. It was captured by the Romans under
L. Scipio, in 259, and subsequently received a colony under Sulla.

History. — Corsica, like Sanlinia, was under the power of Carthage at
the time of the First Punic War. The capture of Aleria was followed
by the nominal subjection of the island to Rome. It was not, however,
until the time of Sulla that it was really brought into a state of peace-
able submission. It was made a place of banishment by the Romans,
and, among others, Seneca spent some time there.



* Ite hinc difflcilest ftmebria ligna, tabellro :

Tuqno negaturis cera referta notis.
Qoam, puto, de longee coUectam flore «icut»
Melle sub infomi Corsica misit apis. Ox. Am. i. 12, 7.

* Sic tua Cymcas fUgiant examina taxos. Viao. Eel. Ix. 30.



Digitized



by Google



Bemains of the Great Theatre, Sagimtum, Spain.



CHAPTER XXIX.

HISPANIA.

§ 1. Boundaries. § 2. MountaiDfi. § 3. Riven. § 4. Bays and Pro-
montories. § 5. Climate and Productions. § 6. Inhabitants. § 7.
Divisions. I. Bi^TiCA. § 8. Boundaries, &c. § 9. Inhabitants, Towns,
&c. II. LusiTANiA. § 10. Boundaries; Rivers. § 11. Inhabitants;
Towns, in. Tarragonensis. § 12. Boundaiies ; Rivers. § 13.
Tribes and Towns on the Mediterranean. § 14. Tribes and Towns
near the Pyrenees. § 15. Tribes on the N. Coast. § 16. Tribes and
Towns of the Interior f Islands ; History.

§ 1. Hiipaaia, Spain, h^e been already noticed as the mont
westerly of the three southern peninsulas of the continent of
Europe. It is bounded on the E. and S.E. by the Mare Internum,
on the S.W. and W. by that portion of the Atlantic Ocean which
was called Oceanus GadiUlnus, and on the N. by the Mare Can-
tabricum. Bay of Biscay^ and the Pyrenaei Montes, which stretch
across the greater portion of the isthmus, connecting it with the
continent. Its form is neither a quadrangle, as Strabo supposed,
nor yet a triangle, as others describe it, but a trapezium. It lies
between 36° 1' and 43° 45' N. lat., and between 3^ 20' E. and
yo 21' W. long., its greatest length from N. to S. being about 460

2 D 3



Digitized



by Google



610 HISPANIA. Book IV.

miles, ita greatest breadth from E. to W. about 570, and its area,
including the Balearic Isles, about 171,300 square miles. The
greater part of the peninsula is an elevated table-land, sustained by
lofty mountain ranges, sloping down gradually to the W. coast, and
terminated ^stwards by the ranges which bound the ^'alley of the
Iberus.

Names. — The name "Hispania" came into use when the Komans
became connected with the country: its original form was Span, or
Sapan, supposed to be derived m)m a Phoenician root signifying
** rabbit," in reference to the nmnber of those animals in the country :
it has also been derived from the Basque Ezpana, ** margin," in reference
to its position on the shores of the ocean. The Greeks termed it
** Iberia," from the river Iberus, and '' Hesperia," as the most westerly
portion of the known world, to which the Latins added the epithet
*' Ultima." The interior of the country was occasionally termed
"Celtica'' from its Celtic population; and the S. portion, outside the
straits, ''Tartessis," the same as the scriptural Tarshish. The ethnic
forms were "Iber," and in the plural "Iberes," or **Iberi,*' and
"Hispanus," or "Spanus:" the adjective forms were "Ibcaicus,**
"Iberus," or "Iberiacus," and " HispaDiensis."

§ 2. Tlie chief mountain range is the FyrenflBi llontat, already
described as crossing the isthmus between the Mediterranean Sea
and the Bay of Biscay, The great table-land of Spain is bounded
on the N. by the continuations of the Pyrenean range, under the
names of Vaiodmim Baltni and "Wndiua ICs. ; on the E. by a range
wliich strikes oflf from the eastern extremity of the latter towards
the S.E. and S., under the names of IdubMa, Sierras de Oca and
de Lorenzo, and OrotpMa or OrtofpSda, Sierra Molina ; on the S.
by the ICaiiSaus Ks., Sierra Morena ; while towards the W. it sinks
down gradually towards the Atlantic. The table-land itself is crossed
by two chains which spring out of Idubeda, and nm towards the
S. W., neither of which received specific names in ancient geography,
with the exception of the W. portion of the northerly one, whidi
was called Hennixduf, Sierra de Estrella, An important range, now
Sierra Nevada^ runs parallel to the Mediterranean Sea, portions of
which were named Sdoriufl and Ilipttla. This was connected with
Ortospeda by cross ranges, named Caatoloneniis Saltns and Aigmt-
tarim, which closed in the head of the valley of the Brotis.

§ 3. The great rivers of Spain have their basins clearly defined by
the chains jast described — the Ib§nii, Ebro, draining the large tri-
angukr space enclosed by the Pyrenees on the N. and Idubeda on
the W., and opening out to the Mediterranean Sea on the S.E. ; the
BastU, Guadalquiinr, between the ranges of Ilipula and Marianua ;
the Anat, Ouadiana^ between Marianus and the southerly of the two
ranges that cross the table-land ; the Tagof, between the two central
ranges and the Duxina, Douro, between the northern one and Ms.



Digitized



by Google



Chap. XXIX. PHYSICAL FEATURES — INHABITANTS. 611

Vindius. Of these rivers the three last helong mainly to the central
table-land, the two first to the surrounding district. The valleys of
the Iberus and Bastis, together with the intervening maritime dis-
trict, were the most important portions of the peninsula in ancient
times, that of the Iberus lying conveniently open to the Mediter-
ranean, and that of the Baetis being so enclosed with mountain ranges
as to be almost a distinct country.

§ 4. The line of coast presents the following promontories and
bays :— Pyr&wi or Veneris Prom., (7. Creus, the E. extremity of the
Pyrenean range ; Dianium, C. 8t. Martin, which forms the S. ex-
tremity of the Sneronensis Sinvf, G. of Valencia ; Satnxid Prom., C. de
Falos, which encloses on the S., as Dianium on the N., the niidtftniifl
Sinus, B. of Alicante ; Chaiid6mi Prom., C. de Gata, between which
and Saturni lies the XassiSnTis Sinus; Oalpe, Gibraltar, at the £.
end of the Fretnm Gaditftnum, Straits of Gibraltar ; Jundnii Prom.,
V. Trafalgar, outside the W. entrance of the Straits ; Cnnens, C, de
Santa Maria, and near it Saemm Prom., C, St, Vincent, at the S.W.
extremity of the peninsula ; Barbarium Prom., C, Esjpichel, and
Magnum Prom., (7. da Boca, respectively S. and N. of the estuary
of the Tagus; Coltlcnm or Herinm Prom., C, de Finisterre, at the
N.W. extremity; and Com or .Trilonoum Prom., C, Ortegal, at
the extreme N.

§ 5. The climate of Spain varies with the varying altitude of the
districts. In the central table-land the cold is very severe for a con-
siderable portion of the year ; the southern maritime districts have
an almost tropical heat. Equally various are the soil and produc
tions : while large portions of the centre are barren, and others only
adapted for hardy productions, such as wheat, the valleys of Baetica
are suited to the growth of the palm-tree and other tropical plants.
The latter region was therefore most attractive for early coloni-
zation : it produced com, wine, oil, and figs, in abundance. Lusi-
tania was famed for its fine-wooled sheep ; Celtiberia for its asses ;
the fields of Carthago Nova and other plains for its spartum, out of
which cordage was made ; and Cantabria for its pigs. The most
valuable productions, however, were minerals : silver was abundant,
and one of the mountains we have noticed, Argentarius, was .named
after its valuable mines of this metal ; tin was found in Lusitania,
Gallsecia, and BsBtica ; lead in Saltus Castulonensis ; iron and copper
in many places, the latter especially at Cotinae.

§ 6. The population of Spain consisted mainly of Iberians, tlie
progenitors of the modem Basques ; another very important, thougli
less numerous element was supplied by the Celts. These two
coalesced to a certain extent, and formed a mixed race named Celt-
iberian, which occupied the centre of the country as well as parts of
Lusitania and of the N, coast. In other parts they lived distinct —



Digitized



by Google



612 HISPANIA. Book IV.

the Iberians in the Pyrenees and along the ooast-distiricU, the Celts
on both sides of the Anas and in the extreme N.W. of the peninsula
about Prom. Nerium. Lastly, there was a large admixture of Phce*
nicians in Baetica ; colonies were established on the S.E. coast by
the Carthaginians, and by various Greek states ; and at a later period
there was also a large influx of Romans. ITie tribes were very
numerous, and differed materially in character and acquirements.
The Cantabrians and the peoples of the N. coast were the wildest
and rudest ; the Celtiberians had a higher character, but were hardly
more civilized ; the Vaccaei were (imder the Romanis at least) highly
civilized ; while the Turdetani cultivated science, and had a litera-
ture of their own. In some respects the Iberians * contrasted favour-
ably with the civilized nations of antiquity, particularly in the
higher position assigned to women in their social system ; but on the
other hand they were cunning, mischievous, and dishonest. Under
the Romans the country was thoroughly civilized : many very con-
siderable colonies were planted, and were adorned with magnificent
productions of Roman architecture, some of which remain to this
day, while vast numbers have been barbarously demolished for the
sake of the materials alone. Roads were constructed through every
part of the country, and so completely was the Roman influence in-
fused into it, that in Boetica the natives had forgotten even their
own language. The degree of culture may to a certain extent be
inferred by the numerous illustrious men who were bom in Spain —
the f^mperors Trajan and Hadrian ; the poets Silius Italicus, Lucan,
Martial, Prudentius, and Columella ; , the two Senecas ; the geo-
grapher Pomponius Mela ; the rhetorician Quinctilian ; and many
others.

§ 7. The earliest political division of Spain dates from the time
when the Romans gained a footing in the country. In b.o. 205 it
was divided into two parts — Citerior and TTltarior, respectively E.
and W. of the river Iberus, which formed the original line of de-
marcation between the Roman and Carthaginian possessions. Other
designations were occasionally employed, as Celtibflcla for the E. and
Iberia for the W. by Poly bins. As the Roman conquests advanced
into the country, Citerior advanced with them until it embraced
the whole country as far as the borders of the later Bffitica. A new
arrangement was introduced by Augustus by the division of Ulterior
into two provinces, named Bsetioa ahd Lnsitaiiia, and the alteration
of the name Citerior into Ttmraooneniif. He further subdivided the



» The general bearing of the ancient Iberian was strikingly similar to that of
the modern Spaniard; he was temperate and sober, indolfnt and yet spiritod,
snccessful In guerilla warfare, and stubborn to the last degree in the defence of
townis but deficient in the higher military qualities requisite for pitched battles
or other operations in the field.



Digitized



by Google



Chap. XXIX. B^TICA. 613

whole country into 14 conventus juridici, Constantine divided
Spain, with its islands and part of Mauretania, into 7 provinces.
We shall adopt the division of Augustus in the following pi^es.

I. BJsnoA.

§ 8. B»tioa was bounded on the N. and W. by the river Anas,
on the E. by a line drawn from the upper valley of the Anas across
tliat of the Bffitis to the sea near Prom. Charidemi, and on the S. by
the sea : it thus corresponds to the modem Andalusia, It derived
its name from the chief river in th6 district, the B»tii,2 Ouadal-
quivir, which rises in Mt. Argentarius near Castulo, and flows to-
wards the S.W., reaching the sea a little W. of Gades ; it receives
only one important tributary, the SingtUii, XenU, which rises jn
Ilipula, and flows towards the K.W., joining it in its mid-course.
The Baetis was navigable for small boats as far as Corduba, and for
light vessels as far as Hispalis. Baetica was the portion of Spain
which, from its fertility and its contiguity to the Straits of Gibraltar,
became first known to the commercial nations of antiquity. The
Phoenicians carried on an extensive trade with TarteMiifl,^ the
Tarshish of Scripture, which appears to have been the name both
of a town and of a district W. of the Columns of Hercules abput the
mouth of the Baetis ; they planted the colonies of Gades and Carteia
there. It was visited by Samians about B.C. 650, and by Phocseans
in 630 ; and at this period its trade extended to Britain and Africa.

§ 9. The principal tribes were— the Baitttli on the S. coast, from
Calpe on the W. to the E. border ; the Tnrdttii and Turdetani, two
tribes closely connected together, occupying the lower valley of the
Baetis ; and a tribe of Celtioi in the district of Bttturia, which lay
between Ms. Marianus and the Anas. B»tica possessed some of the
finest towns of Spain : Cordtlba, on the right bank of the Baetis,
ranked as its capital, being the residence of the Roman governor,



2 The indigenous name was Certis or Perces ; the early Greeks described it as
the TartesRus : the modem Arabic name signifies the <* Great River." The name
was used by the poets as equivalent to the country which it watered : —
Beetis olivifera crinem redimite corona ;

Aurea qui nitidis vellera tlngis aquis. Makt. xii. 100.

An Tartessiacus stabuli nutritor Iberi

Bfetis in Hesperia te quoque larit aqua! Id. viii. 28.

* Tartessus became a synonymous term for the West among the Latin
poets, e, g. : —

Presserat occiduus Tartessia Uttora Pbcsbus. Ov. Met. xiv. 416.

Armat Tartessos, stabuliuiti conscia Phoebo. Sil. Ital. iii. 899.

And sometimes for Spain : —

meoque subibat
Germano devexa jugum Tartessia tcllus. In. xiil. 673.



Digitized



by Google



614 HISPANIA. — BiETICA. Book IV.

and the seat of a conventus. Three other towns were the seats of
conventus, viz. Gbdes on the sea-coast, Astlgi on the Singulis, and
HisfAlis on the left bank of the Bsetis. The whole number of towns
under the Romans was 176, of which 9 were cohnice, 8 municipia,
29 endowed with the Latin franchise, 6 free, 3 allied, and 120 sti-
pendiaria,

(1.) Toums along the Coati from W. to ^.— OnSba OSstuaria stood
near the mouth of the Luxia and near an island named Herculis Insula,
SdUes : it had a mint. There are a few Roman remains of it, particu-
larly an aqueduct, at Hudva, Asia * stood on an estuary of the GmX/o/
Cadiz, about 12 luiles from Gades: it was the ancient seat of congrem
for the people of that neighbourhood, and, under the Romans, be^me
a colony: its rums are called Mesa de Asia, Cktdes,* Cadiz, one of the
most famous cities of Spain, was situated on a small island now named
Ida de Leon^ separated from .the mainland by a narrow strait, the
River of 8t. Peter, over which a bridge was thrown. It was founded
by the Phoenicians at a very early period. Originally the town, which
was very small, stood on the W. side of the island : under the Romans
it was enlarged by the building of the " New City,** and, even then,
it did not exceed 2^ miles in circumference, as the more wealthy
citizens had their villas outside the town, either on the mainland or
on the isle of Trocadero. The territory of the city was but small, it©
great wealth and power being wholly derived from it§ commerce. It
entered into alliance with Rome in B.C. 212, and this alliance was
confirmed in 78: it was visited by Julius Csesar in 49, when the
civitas of Rome was conferred upon its citizens. Under Augustus it
became a municiptum. Gades possessed famous temples of the Phooni-
oian Saturn and Hercules, the latter of which stood on 8t. Peter's Isle,
and had an oracle. The wealth of G^es induced habits of luxury
and immorality.' Belon stood at the mouth of the river Barhate, W.
of Tarifa, and was the usual place of embarkation for Tingis on the
opposite side of the straits : its ruins are at Belonia. Carte!£a ^ was an



4 The rdot Ajtt, which appears In this and yarions other Spanish names, is sap.
poeed to mean " hill-fortress."

* The Phoenician form of the name was Gadir, or, with the article, Hagadir,
which is the usual Inscription on the coins. The Greekir called it Gadeira. Its
meaning is thus explained by Avienos : —

Gaddir hie est oppidum :
Nam Panioorum lingua conscptimi loenm

Gaddir voeabat. Ora Uarit. 267.

The Greeks and Romans regarded it as the extreme W. point of the world ; —
Omnibns in terris quae snnt a Gadibus usque
Auroram et Gangem. Juv. x. 1.

« Forsitan exspeetes, ut Gaditana canoro

Inctpiat prurlre choro. In. xi. 162.

Gaudent jocosfls Canio suo Gades :

Emerita Deciano me«). Mast. i. 62.

Neo de Gadibus improbis puell®

Vlbrabunt. In. v. 78.

' CarteTa is probably identical with Catpe, which was one of the Grcdc form* of
the name^ the others being Oarpia, Carp^ia, Calpia ; it may also be. identical with
Tartessus , which was sometimes described as Gupeasus. The same root lies at



Digitized



by Google



Chap. XXIX. TOWNS. 615

ancient Phoenician town, situated on the Bay of Gibraltar, at BooadtUo,
about half way between Algeairas and Gibraltar , where the remains of
an amphitheatre still exist. In the Punic War it was an important
naval station, and the scene of a sea-fight in which Lselius defeated
Adherbal, in b.c. 206: in 171 it became a colony, and was peopled with
the ofBspring of Roman soldiers and Spanish women. On. Pompeiua.
took renige there after his defeat at Munda. Mal&ca, Malaga, was an
important town, situated on a river of the same name, now the Guadcd-
medina, E. of Calpe : it was probably of Phoenician origin : under the
Romans it became a /cederata civitas aild had extensive establishments
for salting fish.

(2.) Towns in the Interior. — ^niitargis was situated on a steep rock
on the N. side of the Bsetis, near Andujar, In the Second Punic War
it joined the Romans, and was twice besieged by the Carthaginians : it
afterwards revolted, and was stormed and destroyed by Publius Scipio
in B.C. 206, and again in 196. Under the Roman empire it was a
considerable town with the surname of Forum Julium. Munda pro-
bably stood, not on the site of the present Monda, but near Martoe to
the S.E. of Corduba, where are the remains of an ancient town: it
was the scene of two great battles, the first in b.c. 216, when Cn.
Scipio defeated the Cai*thaginians,^ the second in 45, when Julius Csesar
defeated the sons of Pompey. Astigi, Ec\ja, stood on the plain S. of
the Bsotis. Though a considerable town, it possesses no historical asso-
ciations. ffispSlifl,' Seville, stood on the left bank of the Bcetis, and



Online LibrarySir William Smith William Latham BevanThe student's manual of ancient geography → online text (page 70 of 82)