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In the case of Pagyritai III, V, 10, and Pasyris (*Pakyris), the apocope
was ah-eady found in the prototype, cf. Pliny Pacyris IV, 84. In the
case of Agaros potamos III, V, 4 = Sinus Saggarus IV, 82, it is Pliny
who has erroneously added an initial 5.

Numerous additional cases of apocope occur in the inferior MSS.,
especially H0W, e. g. Auxones = Saxones, ladua = Viadua, Istulas —
Vistulas, Ubanektoi = Subanektoi (Silvanecti), Erusioi = Nerusioi
(Nervii), etc.

The apocope of 5 in Suessiones was most likely due to a misunder-
standing of the system of ethnic signs before the names of tribes. On
the original map used by Marinus or Ptolemy, the ethnic sign before
Suessiones had disappeared, and consequently the initial 5 was regarded
as ethnic sign. The result was the present form d Uessones. Cf. our
article in "The Scott. Geogr. Mag." Febr. 19 14, p. 59.

We have noticed the following cases.

1. Romorinon II, IX, i gen. plur. of Morinoi II, IX, 4

2. Patribatioi II, IX, 4 (Version I & Atribatioi II, IX, 4

Mediol. Ambr.)

3. Lugoi Didunoi II, XI, 10 "town" Lugi-Dunon 11, XI, 13

4. Fabiranon II, XI, 12 F. Abiranon = Foro Adriani Tab.


5. Pasiakes potamos III, V, 4 Axiakes potamos III, V, 14

6. Setuako-ton II, XI, 15 Septemiaci VII on the Tab. Peuting.

7. Teutonoaroi II, IX, 9 *Teutoni-Varini = Teutones

Auarpoi 11, IX, 5

8. Ouisburgioi II, XI, 10 Osi Burii^)

, 9. Exobygitai III, V, 10 Hamaxobioi Skythai III, V, 7

In no. I & 2, the addition most likely was due to a misinterpreted
ethnic sign before the names concerned.

The MS. atlases of Version I write -i- Morinoi, whereas the duplicate
name is written c^ Romorinoi. We suppose that the R originates from

^) See Ludw. Schmidt, "Historische Vierteljahrschrift" 1902, p. 80.


from the sign Y, whereas the following o originates from the point to

the right of this sign.

The ethnic sign of Patribatioi is |-^, which may have been misread
for a Latin P.

In no. 3, Didunoi, the letters di are simply a misreading of the Greek
article 'oi.

No. 6, Pasiakes potamos = Axiakes potamos is = P. Asiakes i. e.
Potamos Axiakes, "the river A."

The addition ton in Setuakoton is caused by the Latin figure VII
added after *Septimiako, cf. Septemiaci VII Tab. Peut.

The remaining four cases are additions of two separate names. Corre-
spondingly, numerous MS. atlases (such as the Urbinas 82) write Pro-
toisidones, originating from the expression of the context "protoi Sidones",
i. e. "first the Sidones"-

All context MSS. except Vatican 191 and the best representatives of
Version II (Laur. Plut., Mediol. Ambros, Constantinop.) write Terakatriai,
originating from 61 re 'Paxargim xal ol Paxdrai, "both the Rakatriai and
the Rakatai".


The distortion prevailing in Ptolemy's barbarian names is in many
cases of merely accidental nature. But in some cases, we observe the
working of a general factor, the tendency towards "amending" the un-
known forms after better known models.

The tendency generally has a centripetal direction, resulting in a so-
called "nostrification". That is to say: the names from the far periphery
are remodelled after those which occur within the Roman Empire,
especially those from Italy or its neighbourhood. But sometimes it also
occurs, that a name from the Empire is remodelled after a barbarian
one from the far north; we might call this a "centrifugal disguise".

It is only the nostrification which plays a practical role. We may
now give a list of the cases observed by us.

T,i. 1 J 1,- The model, after which the t> 1 r

Ptolemy s spelhng t, V j- • , j Real form

^ ^ ^ name has been disguished

I. Samnitai Gaul II, 8, 6 Samnitai Italy III, I, 58 Namnetai II, VII, 8

and island of Samnis
near Britany, Pliny IV,
/ 2. Samnitai Scythia VI, Samnitai Italy III, I, 58 Chainides V, IX, 17
XIV, ao
5. RomandyesGaulII,IX,6 Romani.? Italy Viromandui



Ptolemy's spelling

4. NerusioiBelgiumII,IX,6

5. Virunon Germany II,

XI, 12
Virunoi ibd. II, XI, 10

6. Kalukones Germany II,

XI, 10

7. Lugidunon Germany II,

XI, 13

8. Karrodunon Vindelikia

11, XII, 3

9. Pataouion Pannonia II,

XIV, 4.
0. AlaunoiSarmatialll, V,
7; Scythia

The model, after which the
name has been disguished

Nerusioi Italy III, I, 37
Virunon Noricum II,

Virunon Noricum II,

Kalukones Rhsetia II,

XII, 2
Lugodunon Belgium (Ley-
den) II, IX, I
Lugdunon Gaul (Lyon)

II, XI, 12
Karrodunon Bohemia II,

XI, 14
Pannonia sup. II, XIV, 4
Patauion (Platouion) Italy

(Padova) III, I, 26
Alaunoi Noricum II, XIII,


Real form


Varini Tacitus

^Kauklones, cf. *Kaul-
koi, StraboVII, 291
*Lugoi Dunoi II, XI,

Parrodunum (inscr.)

Poetovio (Pettau)

The centrifugal tendency appears more or less distinctly in the fol-
lowing cases.

Ptolemy's spelling

11. Semnones Italy III, I,

1 2 . Sudinoi Germany II, XI ,

1 1 (Sudenoi ADM^")

Model form

Semnones Germany (re-
nowned tribe) II, XI,
8 & 10
Sudinoi Sarmatialll, V, 9
(tribe in Sudauen where
the Roman merchants
used to buy amber)

Real form

Senones Gaul II,

Sudeta ore, Germany
(mountain) II, XI,
5 & II

It is worth noticing that the nostrification Virunoi instead of Varinoi
occurred already on an original map, used by the Ptol. constructor. It
had been corrected by the addition of the letters *'Vari" above "Viru-".
Cf. § 6.

As the nostrification introduces in most cases forms from Italy or the
Alpine districts, and betrays no corresponding inclination towards Greece,
we may suppose that the Pre-Ptolemaic origin is the general rule. But
the question cannot be settled without an examination of Ptolemy's entire
work which we cannot undertake here.

26 Ptolemy's maps of northern Europe


It is shown above that a contributor to the Ptolemaic atlas, even if
only mechanically, strived to identify barbarian names with well known
ones from the Roman Empire. But it hardly ever occurred to his mind
to take the trouble of examining whether barbarian names re-appearing
on the different original maps signify identical or separate entities.

The phonetic identity of the forms may be noticed by Ptolemy, as
in the case of "Marionis" and "Marionis No. 2" {^^Magmvlg sreQa") II,
XI, 12, but this is a solitary exception.

As soon as the forms are not litterally identical, he registers them
as different names. The mass of such repetitions have already been ob-
served by C. Miiller, Chad wick, and Novotny. But it has not yet
been pointed out how thorough-going the phenomenon is.

In some cases, the arbitrarily repated names seem to appear thrice
or even four times. E. g. :

1. Rakatriai II, XI, 11, Rakatai ibd., Ratakensioi II, VIII, 3.

2. Nauaroi with town Nauaron (Sarmatia Europaea) III, V, 12 & 13,
Sauaroi (Sarm. Eur.) Ill, V, 10, town Nauaris (Sarm. Asiat.) V, IX, 16.

3. Virunoi (Ouirunoi) II, XI, 9, town Virunon (separated from Virunoi)
II, XI, 12, Auarpoi II, XI, 9, Auarinoi III, V, 8.

4. Kognoi II, XI, 10, Batinoi ibd., Kytnoi II, XIV, 2, Kotensioi (Kon-
tekoi Athos Atlas) III, VIII, 3.

5. Buroi II, XI, 10, (Vis)burgioi II XI, 10, Kuriones II, XI, 11, Bur-
giones III, V, 8.

The phenomenon of the repetitions is of capital importance when we
try to reconstruct Ptolemy's prototypes. We must calculate, therefore,
how far the repetitions may be authentic or arbitrary. ^

In the actually existing nomenclature, repetitions of names are of
course by no means excluded. Ptolemy himself relates several authentic
repetitions, e. g. of Brukteroi, Kauchoi, Sueboi, Lugoi, Kampoi, Koisto-
bokoi, Mediolanion.

The assumable reliability qf Ptolemaic repetitions may moreover be
advocated by the fact, that his predecessor Marinus had been extra-
ordinarily diligent in collecting material, cf. Ptolemy's Book I, ch. VI,
cited in our § 3.

In a series of cases such Ptolemaic details which stand isolated
within the whole of antiquity, are confirmed by mediaeval or modern
evidences, e. g. Galindai = Galinditae, Kalisia — Kalisz, Marnamanis =
Marna, Korkontoi = Krkonosce hory, Rakatai = Rakousy, Budoris =
Biiderich, Vidros = Wetter, Stereontion = Strinz, Amisia = Ems (town),
Tarodunon = Zarten (mediaev. Zartuna).


Such observations must of course warn us against categorically dis-
trusting any non-verified repetitions in Ptolemy's work. Yet they are, on
the other hand, not sufficient to serve as a categoric guarantee.

We ought to remember Chadwick's sound critical warning against
blindly trusting the classical tradition concerning peripheral regions*).
As we have seen above, the distortion of peripheral names is rather the
rule than the exception, and this observation is not limited to Ptolemy
but concerns also other classical geographers such as Strabo and Tacitus.

A "hapax legomenon" from the periphery of the classical horizon is
of very low value, — we might be tempted to say: generally worth
nothing. Concerning such cases, we may set forth the following general
rule : an identification with another name — even if only possible through '
violent emendation — is preferable to the assumption of two separate
'*hapax legomena".

In order to obtain plausible results, we may strive to identify the "
"hapax legomena" with well known names from the regions concerned.
For the exemplified names from the periphery represent as a rule exactly
the most prominent ranks, and therefore it is the due right of the well
known "upper ten" in these regions to claim any neighbouring "hapax
legomena", if the resemblance is only halfway.

So much about the occurrence of repetitions generally. The next
thing is to examine the Ptolemaic cases in particular.

We mentioned above, that Ptolemy has several undoubtedly verified
repetitions. If we examine these more exactly, we observe that they are,
as a rule, designated by differentiating marks ; the Brukteroi and Kauchoi
are divided into the "greater" and "smaller" ; the Sueboi are divided into
the Laggobardoi, Aggeiloi, Semnones; the Lugoi into Omanoi, Dunoi,
Buroi; the Kampoi into Adrabai and Parmai; the Koistobokoi south of
the Carpathian mountains are contrasted with the Koistobokoi *trans-

When the verified repetitions, consequently, are often distinguished
by differentiating marks, most instances without such marks must be-
forehand be suspected. And as soon as two entire "milieus" of dupli-
cates appear in fairly corresponding order, their separate existence in
Ptolemy's geography is evidently due to a cartographer's fancy.

This impression will be supported if we examine the distribution of
details statistically.

It is easy to show that geographic and phonetic unreliability prevails
in certain parts of the atlas.

Any observer who regards the reproduction of the Athos Atlas, or
the reconstructed maps in Miiller's edition or in Erckert's "Wanderungen

^) "The Origin of the English Nation".

28 Ptolemy's maps of northern Europe

und Siedlungen" , will see at the first glance that the distribution of de-
tails — tribes and towns — is roughly speaking homogenous all over
the area of Germany.

This scheme no doubt gives a beautiful impression of all-embracing
knowledge. But the impression — alas! — is false. Ptolemy's scheme
of distributing details must, as a matter of fact, be characterized as more
or less artificial. The Roman ideas of Germany were far from being com-
plete or accurate. Great parts of the country — especially north-east of
the Elbe — were almost completely unknown. It is mainly at such
places that Ptolemy fills out the lacunae by means of duplicates and
misread Latin words.

But even the more well-known regions did not escape this sort of
"making geography".

In south-western and middle Germany, for example, we find numerous
tribes with most extraordinary names, never heard of anywhere else:
Karitnoi, Intuergoi, Nertereanai, Dandutoi, etc. We cannot regard this
material as a piece of trustworthy local geography, drawn from the
archives of Roman governors or municipalities. We must suppose that
the monstrous forms are duplicates of well-known names, — only so
cruelly distorted that we can scarcely recognize them.

Thus, taking it as a whole, the abundance of Ptolemaic details must
be greatly reduced; in the majority of his Germanic and N. W. Sarmatian
regions the existence of duplicates must be regarded as almost normal,
so far as tribes are concerned, and there are also numbers of town du-
plicates. It must only be noticed that the alter-ego of a doubled name
is sometimes not to be found within the map concerned of the atlas,
but on a preceding or following one, sometimes in quite distant regions.
After eliminating the presumably arbitrary duplicates, there still remain
a considerable number of town-names, peculiar to Ptolemy. But, as con-
cerns names of tribes, the reduction of his "individual abundance" is in
many regions practically annihilating.

It may be convenient to register what remains of Ptolemy's individual
tribe-names from Germany, Scandia, and the Cimbric Peninsula, when
the unreliable ones are subtracted. (In the following synopsis, those
marked with a + re-appear in Latin or Greek literature after Ptolemy's
I. Germany south of the mountains. Adrabai Kampoi, Parmai Kampoi,

Rakatai, Korkontoi, Turonoi+ = Teuriochaimai.
II. North-western Germany. (None).

III. North-eastern Germany. Siliggai+.

IV. Scandia. Chaideinoi, Firaisoi-}-, Leuonoi, Goutai-f, Daukiones-f.

V. Cimbric Chersonese. Saxones-j-, Sigulones, Sabaliggioi, Kobandoi,


At the same time, we may add some few supplementary "hapax
legomena" from other classical authors.

Tacitus (''Germania"). F^osi (N. W. Germany), Lemovii (N. E. Germ.),
Sitones (Scandia), Reudigni, Auiones, Uithones (Cimbr. Chersonese?).
Notitia Dignitatum. Brisigavi (S.W. Germ.), Falchovarii (N.W.Germ.).
Ammianus Marcellinus. Bucinobantes (S. W. Germ.).

Almost all of these tribes have left some trace of their existence, be
it in mediaeval tradition, be it in modern place-names. Only the fol-
lowing have not yet been identified: Adrabai, Parmai, Chaloi, Kobandoi,
Leuonoi, Sitones. The Sigulones, Reudigni, Auiones re-appear in Widsith;
the Chaideinoi are the later well-known Heinir in Hedemarken; the Fal-
chovarii and Brisigavi are inhabitants of Veluwe^), resp. Breisgau, etc.

Within Gothonic territory, the island of Scandia and the Cimbric
Chersonese contain the highest number of individual Ptolemaic tribe-
names, viz. together some lO, against 6 or 7 known from other autho-
rities. On the other hand, the same regions contribute the smallest share
to the series of arbitrary duplicates, viz. 2 against 1 5 non-doubled names.
The duplicates concerned are: Finnoi, with an alter-ego in Sarmatia, and
Charudes = Farodinoi in Germany. As the alter-egos do not enter the
Scandian or Cimbric ground, the two districts are completely free from

The lowest number of individual Ptolemaic tribe-names appears within
North Germany (apart from the Nordalbingian region, which is regarded
by Ptolemy as belonging to the Cimbric Chersonese). Along the Ger-
man coast east and west of Holstein, Ptolemy does not add a single
tribe-name to the number known from previous or contemporary autho-

In Sarmatia Europa^a, two thirds of the names along the northern coast
are transplanted thither from southern regions.

If half of Ptolemy's Germanic details are proved to be duplicates or
triplicates, it will of course be a severe disillusionment to those who be-
lieved in his "abundance". But, on the other hand, it is exactly these
arbitrary repetitions which make it possible to reconstruct his lost pro-
totypes. Thus, the gain will be greater than the loss.


At the same time as the Ptol, constructor creates two or three names
out of the single ones, he wrongly identifies numerous separate geogra-
phical details. Sometimes, the identification is due to the presence of

') O. Bremer, Ethnographie.



identically sounding names, but it is not always the case. The misplace-
ments of prototypes are to a great extent due to this sort of misinterpre-
tation, as we shall see later on. Whereas we shall comment upon the
cases of false identification separately, when describing the single proto-
types, we may here provisionally undertake a classification according
to the geographical categories concerned.

Categories of exchanged

district & district




















Explanation of the mistake. (The letters in brackets
signify the prototypes concerned)

district Germania in Belgium (C) mistaken for
the Germania Megale i. e. Germany (Aa). § 24.

-^ town Kondate near the inferior Loire, now
Rennes (C) mist, for Kondate on the middle
Loire (A). § 24.

towns Flenio & Matilone {C = Tab. Peuting.),
mist, for Fleum & Marionis (A). § 24.

town F(oro) Adriani {C
for Fabaria (A). § 24.

Tab. Peuting.), mist.

river Amisias, an afflux of the Lahn {Ad), mist,
for the Amisias, debouching into the North Sea
(Aa). The modern name of both rivers is Ems.
$ 21.

fortification & river

tribe Tungroi in Belgium (C = A), mist, for the
Tenk(t)eroi in Germany (Aa). § 24.

the north-western part of the Limes Trans-
rhenanus (Ad), mistaken for the river Vidros =
I. Wied & 2. Wetter (Ad), which is again mis-
taken for the river Ijssel or Vechte (^^). § 21.

fortification & mountain the northern part of the Limes, and the Miimling

line (Ad), mistaken for the mountain Abnoba (A).
§ 21.

fortification & mountain the eastern part of Limes (Ad), mistaken for the
. mountain Sudeta (^ or ^i). § 21.



river & mountain

the middle & upper course of the Neckar (Ad),
identified with the western outlines of the moun-
tains Abnoba & Albia (A), § 21.

river Rhine (C), mistaken for the mountain Ab-
noba (A). § 24.


Categories of exchanged

river & mountain

frontier & mountain

frontier & river

road & river

mountain & tribe

mountain & town

town & mountain

coast & mountam

coast & river

Explanation of the mistake. (The letters in brackets
signify the prototypes concerned)

the inferior course of the Danube, with affluents
{Ae), mistaken for the Transsylvanian mountains

(Ac). § 22.

the north-western frontier of Raetia (Al^), mis-
taken for the south-eastern outhne of the moun-
tain Albia (A). § 21.

the western frontier of the Belgian Germania [C),
mistaken for the river Rhine (Aa) =. the western
frontier of Germania megale. § 24.

the route connecting the upper and inferior
Vistula (Bi), mistaken for the Vistula itself (A).
§ 23.

the mountain Sudeta (^i), changed into the tribe
Sudenoi (B2). § 23.

the mountain Asbikurgion (^i), changed into
the town Bikurgion {B2). § 23.

the town *Arlaunon (C, now Arlon) localised near
the mountain Taunus (A). § 21.

the coast of the Maeotian Sea (£), mistaken for
the mountains of interior Sarmatia (F). § 26.

the coast of the Venedikos kolpos, i. e. the
Baltic (B), mistaken for the river Vistulas {A &
F). § 26.

The reader will perhaps at the first sight ask incredulously, how we
are able to guess at the different sorts of topographic misconceptions pre-
vailing in the Ptol. constructor's method of working, — they may often
seem quite impossible to trace. Here again we must answer that the
entire milieu is the key to the correct interpretation. In order to discover
the original position of misplaced Ptolemaic details, we must direct our
attention towards those marked physical features which happen to be in
the neighbourhood, — either coasts, mountains, or rivers. If a fairly
correct localisation is effected, when we give the line concerned a new
name, we may take it for granted that we have discovered the design of
the original prototype. E. g., we may consider the tribes Ombrones,
Auarinoi, Frugundiones, Sulones, Finnoi along the river Vistula in south-


western Sarmatia. These tribes are absolutely unknown in any historical
or geographical records of the region concerned, and it is at first sight
clear that the Finns can not possibly be placed south of the Wends on
the frontier of Prussia and Poland ! But as soon as we replace the Vistula
by the coast of the Baltic, we obtain a quite correct list of localisations
which is to be rewritten thus: Ambrones, Ouarinoi, Burgundiones, Gutones,
Finnoi. Another illustrative case is the Ptolemaic localisation of Me-
diolanion, Teuderion, Nouaision, Vargiones east of the Rhine; this absurd
piece of topography will be amended in a satisfactory manner, as soon
as the mountain Abnoba is replaced by the Rhine.


In addition to the list of errors, we may make some observations con-
cerning Ptolemaic features which belong to the category of theoretical
arrangements. Some of them are arbitrary or directly wrong, whereas
others may be better founded, but they at any rate point towards a
collective editorial scheme, and some of them may be referred directly to
Ptolemy himself

A collective feature of the atlas is its tendency in favour of schematic
divisions, and the preference given to the number 3.

Three classes of regions are distinguished: I indicating the pertinence
of the towns to the various tribal districts; II with towns, but no ethnic
classification; III without towns. The distribution of the classes is more
or less arbitrary. All large islands, except Great Britain, are excluded
from class I, even if they belong to the very best known radius, such
as Corsica and Sardinia. The entire Germany is placed within class II,
although no towns were really known by the Romans between the middle
Elbe and the Oder. On the other hand, the Cimbric Chersonese is
placed in class III, although it was decidedly better known that the last-
mentioned German region. We suppose that the classification is due to
Ptolemy himself.

Three classes of towns are distinguished: I with towers, and with a
a cross as astronomic mark^); II with battlements; III without towers or
battlements; the astronomic mark in II and III is a point. Class I con-
tains the towns which are used by Ptolemy as bases of observations
concerning the length of the midsummerday. Such an astronomic point
of view certainly betrays Ptolemy as author.

Three times three islets appear, symmetrically arranged round the
Cimbric Chersonese: 3 western, 3 northern, 3 eastern. The two versions

^) Observed by J, Fischer, "Die handschriftliche Ueberlieferung", p. 227.


of the atlas differ in the arrangement, as I has m ''' m, whereas II has
= ^=^)- This artistic arrangement can not possibly have occurred on
the local map from which the design was originally drawn: for a map,
designed directly on the basis of the Roman marine discoveries in the
year 5 A. D. would certainly not have indulged in such fancy schemes
of merely ornamental nature.

A conspicuous feature of the Ptolemaic atlas is the strong inclination
of several northern coast-lines towards the north-east, appearing especially
on the British islands and the Cimbric Chersonese. It may originate
from the Ptol. constructor, but it may also have occurred on an original
map, used by him, as it is traditional in Greek geographical literature.

A third arbitrary arrangement within the Ptolemaic atlas is the limi-
tation of Germany. The country is represented roughly speaking in a
square form. It includes the corner between the middle Rhine and upper
Danube, — a district which had at Ptolemy's times been a Roman do-
minion for about a century — although one of Ptolemy's sources was a
special map which represented the Roman frontier wall in the most con-
spicuous manner. On the other hand, the Cimbric Chersonese and the
"island of Scandia" are placed apart, within a different statistical class,
as we have mentioned above; besides, the name "Kimbrike Chersonesos"

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