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the free town of Bulla Regia[3339]. On the coast are Tacatua[3340],
Hippo Regius[3341], the river Armua[3342], and the town of
Tabraca[3343], with the rights of Roman citizens. The river Tusca[3344]
forms the boundary of Numidia. This country produces nothing remarkable
except its marble[3345] and wild beasts.

CHAP. 3. (4.)—AFRICA.

Beyond the river Tusca begins the region of Zeugitana[3346], and that
part which properly bears the name of Africa[3347]. We here find
three promontories; the White Promontory[3348], the Promontory of
Apollo[3349], facing Sardinia, and that of Mercury[3350], opposite
to Sicily. Projecting into the sea these headlands form two gulfs,
the first of which bears the name of “Hipponensis” from its proximity
to the city called Hippo Dirutus[3351], a corruption of the Greek
name Diarrhytus, which it has received from the channels made for
irrigation. Adjacent to this place, but at a greater distance from
the sea-shore, is Theudalis[3352], a town exempt from tribute. We
then come to the Promontory of Apollo, and upon the second gulf, we
find Utica[3353], a place enjoying the rights of Roman citizens, and
famous for the death of Cato; the river Bagrada[3354], the place called
Castra Cornelia[3355], the colony[3356] of Carthage, founded upon
the remains of Great Carthage[3357], the colony of Maxula[3358], the
towns of Carpi[3359], Misua, and Clypea[3360], the last a free town,
on the Promontory of Mercury; also Curubis, a free town[3361], and

Here commences the second division[3363] of Africa properly so called.
Those who inhabit Byzacium have the name of Libyphœnices[3364].
Byzacium is the name of a district which is 250 miles in circumference,
and is remarkable for its extreme fertility, as the ground returns the
seed sown by the husbandman with interest a hundred-fold[3365]. Here
are the free towns of Leptis[3366], Adrumetum[3367], Ruspina[3368],
and Thapsus[3369]; and then Thenæ[3370], Macomades[3371], Tacape[3372],
and Sabrata[3373] which touches on the Lesser Syrtis; to which spot,
from the Ampsaga, the length of Numidia and Africa is 580 miles, and
the breadth, so far as it has been ascertained, 200. That portion
which we have called Africa is divided into two provinces, the Old and
the New; these are separated by a dyke which was made by order of the
second Scipio Africanus[3374] and the kings[3375], and extended to
Thenæ, which town is distant from Carthage 216 miles.


A third Gulf is divided into two smaller ones, those of the two
Syrtes[3376], which are rendered perilous by the shallows of their
quicksands and the ebb and flow of the sea. Polybius states the
distance from Carthage to the Lesser Syrtis, the one which is nearest
to it, to be 300 miles. The inlet to it he also states to be 100
miles across, and its circumference 300. There is also a way[3377] to
it by land, to find which we must employ the guidance of the stars
and cross deserts which present nothing but sand and serpents. After
passing these we come to forests filled with vast multitudes of wild
beasts and elephants, then desert wastes[3378], and beyond them the
Garamantes[3379], distant twelve days’ journey from the Augylæ[3380].
Above the Garamantes was formerly the nation of the Psylli[3381], and
above them again the Lake of Lycomedes[3382], surrounded with deserts.
The Augylæ themselves are situate almost midway between Æthiopia which
faces the west[3383], and the region which lies between[3384] the two
Syrtes, at an equal distance from both. The distance along the coast
that lies between the two Syrtes is 250 miles. On it are found the city
of Œa[3385], the river Cinyps[3386], and the country of that name, the
towns of Neapolis[3387], Graphara[3388], and Abrotonum[3389], and the
second, surnamed the Greater, Leptis[3390].

We next come to the Greater Syrtis, 625 miles in circumference, and at
the entrance 312 miles in width; next after which dwells the nation
of the Cisippades. At the bottom of this gulf was the coast of the
Lotophagi, whom some writers have called the Alachroæ[3391], extending
as far as the Altars of the Philæni[3392]; these Altars are formed
of heaps of sand. On passing these, not far from the shore there is
a vast swamp[3393] which receives the river Triton[3394] and from it
takes its name: by Callimachus it is called Pallantias[3395], and is
said by him to be on the nearer side of the Lesser Syrtis; many other
writers however place it between the two Syrtes. The promontory which
bounds the Greater Syrtis has the name of Borion[3396]; beyond it is
the province of Cyrene.

Africa, from the river Ampsaga to this limit, includes 516 peoples, who
are subject to the Roman sway, of which six are colonies; among them
Uthina[3397] and Tuburbi[3398], besides those already mentioned. The
towns enjoying the rights of Roman citizens are fifteen in number, of
which I shall mention, as lying in the interior, those of Assuræ[3399],
Abutucum, Aborium, Canopicum[3400], Cilma[3401], Simithium,
Thunusidium, Tuburnicum, Tynidrumum, Tibiga, the two towns called
Ucita, the Greater and the Lesser, and Vaga. There is also one town
with Latin rights, Uzalita by name, and one town of tributaries, Castra
Cornelia[3402]. The free towns are thirty in number, among which we
may mention, in the interior, those of Acholla[3403], Aggarita, Avina,
Abzirita, Canopita, Melizita, Matera, Salaphita, Tusdrita[3404],
Tiphica, Tunica[3405], Theuda, Tagasta[3406], Tiga[3407], Ulusubrita,
a second Vaga, Visa, and Zama[3408]. Of the remaining number, most of
them should be called, in strictness, not only cities, but nations
even; such for instance as the Natabudes, the Capsitani[3409],
the Musulami, the Sabarbares, the Massyli[3410], the Nisives, the
Vamacures, the Cinithi, the Musuni, the Marchubii[3411], and the whole
of Gætulia[3412], as far as the river Nigris[3413], which separates
Africa proper from Æthiopia.


The region of Cyrenaica, also called Pentapolis[3414], is rendered
famous by the oracle of Hammon[3415], which is distant 400 miles
from the city of Cyrene; also by the Fountain of the Sun[3416]
there, and five cities in especial, those of Berenice[3417],
Arsinoë[3418], Ptolemais[3419], Apollonia[3420], and Cyrene[3421]
itself. Berenice is situate upon the outer promontory that bounds the
Syrtis; it was formerly called the city of the Hesperides (previously
mentioned[3422]), according to the fables of the Greeks, which very
often change their localities. Not far from the city, and running
before it, is the river Lethon, and with it a sacred grove, where
the gardens of the Hesperides are said to have formerly stood; this
city is distant from Leptis 375 miles. From Berenice to Arsinoë,
commonly called Teuchira, is forty-three miles; after which, at a
distance of twenty-two, we come to Ptolemais, the ancient name of
which was Barce; and at a distance of forty miles from this last the
Promontory of Phycus[3423], which extends far away into the Cretan
Sea, being 350 miles distant from Tænarum[3424], the promontory of
Laconia, and from Crete 225. After passing this promontory we come to
Cyrene, which stands at a distance of eleven miles from the sea. From
Phycus to Apollonia[3425] is twenty-four miles, and from thence to
the Chersonesus[3426] eighty-eight; from which to Catabathmos[3427]
is a distance of 216 miles. The Marmaridæ[3428] inhabit this coast,
extending from almost the region of Parætonium[3429] to the Greater
Syrtis; after them the Ararauceles, and then, upon the coasts of
the Syrtis, the Nasamones[3430], whom the Greeks formerly called
Mesammones, from the circumstance of their being located in the very
midst of sands[3431]. The territory of Cyrene, to a distance of fifteen
miles from the shore, is said to abound in trees, while for the same
distance beyond that district it is only suitable for the cultivation
of corn: after which, a tract of land, thirty miles in breadth and 250
in length, is productive of nothing but laser [or silphium[3432]].

After the Nasamones we come to the dwellings of the Asbystæ and the
Macæ[3433], and beyond them, at eleven days’ journey to the west of the
Greater Syrtis, the Amantes[3434], a people also surrounded by sands
in every direction. They find water however without any difficulty at
a depth mostly of about two cubits, as their district receives the
overflow of the waters of Mauritania. They build houses with blocks of
salt[3435], which they cut out of their mountains just as we do stone.
From this nation to the Troglodytæ[3436] the distance is seven days’
journey in a south-westerly direction, a people with whom our only
intercourse is for the purpose of procuring from them the precious
stone which we call the carbuncle, and which is brought from the
interior of Æthiopia. Upon the road to this last people, but turning
off towards the deserts of Africa, of which we have previously[3437]
made mention as lying beyond the Lesser Syrtis, is the region of
Phazania[3438]; the nation of Phazanii, belonging to which, as well
as the cities of Alele[3439] and Cilliba[3440], we have subdued by
force of arms, as also Cydamus[3441], which lies over against Sabrata.
After passing these places a range of mountains extends in a prolonged
chain from east to west: these have received from our people the name
of the Black Mountains[3442], either from the appearance which they
naturally bear of having been exposed to the action of fire, or else
from the fact that they have been scorched by the reflection of the
sun’s rays. Beyond it[3443] is the desert, and then Talgæ, a city of
the Garamantes, and Debris, at which place there is a spring[3444],
the waters of which, from noon to midnight, are at boiling heat, and
then freeze for as many hours until the following noon; Garama too,
that most famous capital of the Garamantes; all which places have been
subdued by the Roman arms. It was on this occasion that Cornelius
Balbus[3445] was honoured with a triumph, the only foreigner indeed
that was ever honoured with the triumphal chariot, and presented
with the rights of a Roman citizen; for, although by birth a native
of Gades, the Roman citizenship was granted to him as well as to the
elder Balbus[3446], his uncle by the father’s side. There is also this
remarkable circumstance, that our writers have handed down to us the
names of the cities above-mentioned as having been taken by Balbus, and
have informed us that on the occasion of his triumph[3447], besides
Cydamus and Garama[3448], there were carried in the procession the
names and models of all the other nations and cities, in the following
order: the town of Tabudium[3449], the nation of Niteris, the town
of Nigligemella, the nation or town of Bubeium[3450], the nation of
Enipi, the town of Thuben, the mountain known as the Black Mountain,
Nitibrum, the towns called Rapsa, the nation of Discera[3451], the town
of Debris[3452], the river Nathabur[3453], the town of Thapsagum[3454],
the nation of Nannagi, the town of Boin, the town of Pege[3455],
the river Dasibari; and then the towns, in the following order, of
Baracum, Buluba, Alasit, Galia, Balla, Maxalla[3456], Zizama, and Mount
Gyri[3457], which was preceded by an inscription stating that this was
the place where precious stones were produced.

Up to the present time it has been found impracticable to keep open
the road that leads to the country of the Garamantes, as the predatory
bands of that nation have filled up the wells with sand, which do not
require to be dug for to any great depth, if you only have a knowledge
of the locality. In the late war[3458] however, which, at the beginning
of the reign of the Emperor Vespasian, the Romans carried on with the
people of Œa, a short cut of only four days’ journey was discovered;
this road is known as the “Præter Caput Saxi[3459].” The last place in
the territory of Cyrenaica is Catabathmos, consisting of a town, and a
valley with a sudden and steep descent. The length of Cyrenean Africa,
up to this boundary from the Lesser Syrtis, is 1060 miles; and, so far
as has been ascertained, it is 800[3460] in breadth.


The region that follows is called Libya Mareotis[3461], and borders
upon Egypt. It is held by the Marmaridæ, the Adyrmachidæ, and, after
them, the Mareotæ. The distance from Catabathmos to Parætonium is
eighty-six miles. In this district is Apis[3462], a place rendered
famous by the religious belief of Egypt. From this town Parætonium is
distant sixty-two miles, and from thence to Alexandria the distance is
200 miles, the breadth of the district being 169. Eratosthenes says
that it is 525 miles by land from Cyrene to Alexandria; while Agrippa
gives the length of the whole of Africa from the Atlantic Sea, and
including Lower Egypt, as 3040 miles. Polybius and Eratosthenes, who
are generally considered as remarkable for their extreme correctness,
state the length to be, from the ocean to Great Carthage 1100 miles,
and from Carthage to Canopus, the nearest mouth of the Nile, 1628
miles; while Isidorus speaks of the distance from Tingi to Canopus as
being 3599 miles. Artemidorus makes this last distance forty miles less
than Isidorus.


These seas contain not so very many islands. The most famous among
them is Meninx[3463], twenty-five miles in length and twenty-two in
breadth: by Eratosthenes it is called Lotophagitis. This island has
two towns, Meninx on the side which faces Africa, and Troas on the
other; it is situate off the promontory which lies on the right-hand
side of the Lesser Syrtis, at a distance of a mile and a half. One
hundred miles from this island, and opposite the promontory that lies
on the left, is the free island of Cercina[3464], with a city of the
same name. It is twenty-five miles long, and half that breadth at the
place where it is the widest, but not more than five miles across at
the extremity: the diminutive island of Cercinitis[3465], which looks
towards Carthage, is united to it by a bridge. At a distance of nearly
fifty miles from these is the island of Lopadusa[3466], six miles in
length; and beyond it Gaulos and Galata, the soil of which kills the
scorpion, that noxious reptile of Africa. It is also said that the
scorpion will not live at Clypea; opposite to which place lies the
island of Cosyra[3467], with a town of the same name. Opposite to the
Gulf of Carthage are the two islands known as the Ægimuri[3468]; the
Altars[3469], which are rather rocks than islands, lie more between
Sicily and Sardinia. There are some authors who state that these rocks
were once inhabited, but that they have gradually subsided in the sea.


If we pass through the interior of Africa in a southerly direction,
beyond the Gætuli, after having traversed the intervening deserts,
we shall find, first of all the Liby-Egyptians[3470], and then
the country where the Leucæthiopians[3471] dwell. Beyond[3472]
these are the Nigritæ[3473], nations of Æthiopia, so called from
the river Nigris[3474], which has been previously mentioned, the
Gymnetes[3475], surnamed Pharusii, and, on the very margin of the
ocean, the Perorsi[3476], whom we have already spoken of as lying on
the boundaries of Mauritania. After passing all these peoples, there
are vast deserts towards the east until we come to the Garamantes, the
Augylæ, and the Troglodytæ; the opinion of those being exceedingly
well founded who place two Æthiopias beyond the deserts of Africa, and
more particularly that expressed by Homer[3477], who tells us that the
Æthiopians are divided into two nations, those of the east and those of
the west. The river Nigris has the same characteristics as the Nile;
it produces the calamus, the papyrus, and just the same animals, and
it rises at the same seasons of the year. Its source is between the
Tarrælian Æthiopians and the Œcalicæ. Magium, the city of the latter
people, has been placed by some writers amid the deserts, and, next
to them the Atlantes; then the Ægipani, half men, half beasts, the
Blemmyæ[3478], the Gamphasantes, the Satyri, and the Himantopodes.

The Atlantes[3479], if we believe what is said, have lost all
characteristics of humanity; for there is no mode of distinguishing
each other among them by names, and as they look upon the rising and
the setting sun, they give utterance to direful imprecations against
it, as being deadly to themselves and their lands; nor are they
visited with dreams[3480], like the rest of mortals. The Troglodytæ
make excavations in the earth, which serve them for dwellings; the
flesh of serpents is their food; they have no articulate voice, but
only utter a kind of squeaking noise[3481]; and thus are they utterly
destitute of all means of communication by language. The Garamantes
have no institution of marriage among them, and live in promiscuous
concubinage with their women. The Augylæ worship no deities[3482] but
the gods of the infernal regions. The Gamphasantes, who go naked, and
are unacquainted with war[3483], hold no intercourse whatever with
strangers. The Blemmyæ are said to have no heads, their mouths and
eyes being seated in their breasts. The Satyri[3484], beyond their
figure, have nothing in common with the manners of the human race,
and the form of the Ægipani[3485] is such as is commonly represented
in paintings. The Himantopodes[3486] are a race of people with feet
resembling thongs, upon which they move along by nature with a
serpentine, crawling kind of gait. The Pharusii, descended from the
ancient Persians, are said to have been the companions of Hercules when
on his expedition to the Hesperides. Beyond the above, I have met with
nothing relative to Africa[3487] worthy of mention.


Joining on to Africa is Asia, the extent of which, according to
Timosthenes, from the Canopic mouth of the Nile to the mouth of the
Euxine, is 2639 miles. From the mouth of the Euxine to that of Lake
Mæotis is, according to Eratosthenes, 1545 miles. The whole distance to
the Tanais, including Egypt, is, according to Artemidorus and Isidorus,
6375[3488] miles. The seas of Egypt, which are several in number, have
received their names from those who dwell upon their shores, for which
reason they will be mentioned together.

Egypt is the country which lies next to Africa; in the interior it runs
in a southerly direction, as far as the territory of the Æthiopians,
who lie extended at the back of it. The river Nile, dividing itself,
forms on the right and left the boundary of its lower part, which it
embraces on every side[3489]. By the Canopic mouth of that river it is
separated from Africa, and by the Pelusiac from Asia, there being a
distance between the two of 170 miles. For this reason it is that some
persons have reckoned Egypt among the islands, the Nile so dividing
itself as to give a triangular form to the land which it encloses: from
which circumstance also many persons have named Egypt the Delta[3490],
after that of the Greek letter so called. The distance from the spot
where the channel of the river first divides into branches, to the
Canopic mouth, is 146 miles, and to the Pelusiac, 166.

The upper part of Egypt, which borders on Æthiopia, is known as
Thebais. This district is divided into prefectures of towns, which
are generally designated as “Nomes.” These are Ombites[3491],
Apollopolites[3492], Hermonthites[3493], Thinites[3494],
Phaturites[3495], Coptites[3496], Tentyrites[3497], Diopolites[3498],
Antæopolites[3499], Aphroditopolites[3500], and Lycopolites[3501]. The
district which lies in the vicinity of Pelusium contains the following
Nomes, Pharbæthites, Bubastites[3502], Sethroites, and Tanites[3503].
The remaining Nomes are those called the Arabian; the Hammonian,
which lies on the road to the oracle of Jupiter Hammon; and those
known by the names of Oxyrynchites, Leontopolites, Athribites[3504],
Cynopolites[3505], Hermopolites[3506], Xoites, Mendesium,
Sebennytes[3507], Cabasites, Latopolites, Heliopolites, Prosopites,
Panopolites, Busirites[3508], Onuphites[3509], Saïtes[3510], Ptenethu,
Phthemphu[3511], Naucratites[3512], Metelites, Gynæcopolites,
Menelaites,—all in the region of Alexandria, besides Mareotis in Libya.

Heracleopolites[3513] is a Nome on an island[3513] of the Nile,
fifty miles in length, upon which there is a city, called the ‘City
of Hercules.’ There are two places called Arsinoïtes[3514]: these
and Memphites[3515] extend to the apex[3516] of the Delta; adjoining
to which, on the side of Africa, are the two Nomes of Oasites[3517].
Some writers vary in some of these names and substitute for them other
Nomes, such as Heroöpolites[3518] and Crocodilopolites[3519]. Between
Arsinoïtes and Memphites, a lake[3520], 250 miles, or, according to
what Mucianus says, 450 miles in circumference and fifty paces deep,
has been formed by artificial means: after the king by whose orders it
was made, it is called by the name of Mœris. The distance from thence
to Memphis is nearly sixty-two miles, a place which was formerly the
citadel of the kings of Egypt; from thence to the oracle of Hammon
it is twelve days’ journey. Memphis is fifteen miles from the spot
where the river Nile divides into the different channels which we have
mentioned as forming the Delta.


The sources of the Nile[3521] are unascertained, and, travelling as
it does for an immense distance through deserts and burning sands, it
is only known to us by common report, having neither experienced the
vicissitudes of warfare, nor been visited by those arms which have
so effectually explored all other regions. It rises, so far indeed
as King Juba was enabled to ascertain, in a mountain[3522] of Lower
Mauritania, not far from the ocean; immediately after which it forms
a lake of standing water, which bears the name of Nilides[3523]. In
this lake are found the several kinds of fish known by the names of
alabeta[3524], coracinus, and silurus; a crocodile also was brought
thence as a proof that this really is the Nile, and was consecrated
by Juba himself in the temple of Isis at Cæsarea[3525], where it may
be seen at the present day. In addition to these facts, it has been
observed that the waters of the Nile rise in the same proportion in
which the snows and rains of Mauritania increase. Pouring forth from
this lake, the river disdains to flow through arid and sandy deserts,
and for a distance of several days’ journey conceals itself; after
which it bursts forth at another lake of greater magnitude in the
country of the Massæsyli[3526], a people of Mauritania Cæsariensis,
and thence casts a glance around, as it were, upon the communities
of men in its vicinity, giving proofs of its identity in the same
peculiarities of the animals which it produces. It then buries itself
once again in the sands of the desert, and remains concealed for a
distance of twenty days’ journey, till it has reached the confines of
Æthiopia. Here, when it has once more become sensible of the presence
of man, it again emerges, at the same source, in all probability, to
which writers have given the name of Niger, or Black. After this,
forming the boundary-line between Africa and Æthiopia, its banks,
though not immediately peopled by man, are the resort of numbers of
wild beasts and animals of various kinds. Giving birth in its course
to dense forests of trees, it travels through the middle of Æthiopia,
under the name of Astapus, a word which signifies, in the language of
the nations who dwell in those regions, “water issuing from the shades
below.” Proceeding onwards, it divides[3527] innumerable islands in
its course, and some of them of such vast magnitude, that although its
tide runs with the greatest rapidity, it is not less than five days
in passing them. When making the circuit of Meroë, the most famous of
these islands, the left branch of the river is called Astobores[3528],
or, in other words, “an arm of the water that issues from the shades,”
while the right arm has the name of Astosapes[3529], which adds to its
original signification the meaning of “side[3530].” It does not obtain
the name of “Nile” until its waters have again met and are united in a
single stream; and even then, for some miles both above and below the
point of confluence, it has the name of Siris. Homer has given to the

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