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[2819] We learn from Strabo that the name of this town was Olbia, and
that from being founded by the Milesians, it received the name of
Miletopolis. According to Brotier, the modern Zapurouski occupies its
site, between the mouths of the river Buzuluk.

[2820] This was adjacent to the strip of land called “Dromos
Achilleos,” or the ‘race-course of Achilles.’ It is identified by
geographers with the little island of Zmievoi or Oulan Adassi, the
‘Serpents Island.’ It was said that it was to this spot that Thetis
transported the body of Achilles. By some it was made the abode of the
shades of the blest, where Achilles and other heroes of fable were the
judges of the dead.

[2821] A narrow strip of land N.W. of the Crimea and south of the mouth
of the Dnieper, running nearly due west and east. It is now divided
into two parts called Kosa Tendra and Kosa Djarilgatch. Achilles was
said to have instituted games here.

[2822] According to Hardouin, the Siraci occupied a portion of the
present Podolia and Ukraine, and the Tauri the modern Bessarabia.

[2823] According to Herodotus, this region, called Hylæa, lay to the
east of the Borysthenes. It seems uncertain whether there are now any
traces of this ancient woodland; some of the old maps however give the
name of the “Black Forest” to this district. From the statements of
modern travellers, the woody country does not commence till the river
Don has been reached. The district of Hylæa has been identified by
geographers with the great plain of Janboylouk in the steppe of the

[2824] For Enœchadlæ, Hardouin suggests that we should read _Inde
Hylæi_, “hence the inhabitants are called by the name of Hylæi.”

[2825] The Panticapes is usually identified with the modern Somara, but
perhaps without sufficient grounds. It is more probably the Kouskawoda.

[2826] The Nomades or _wandering_, from the Georgi or _agricultural_

[2827] The Acesinus does not appear to have been identified by modern

[2828] Above called Olbiopolis or Miletopolis.

[2829] The Bog or Boug. Flowing parallel with the Borysthenes or
Dnieper, it discharged itself into the Euxine at the town of Olbia, at
no great distance from the mouth of the Borysthenes.

[2830] Probably meaning the mouth or point at which the river
discharges itself into the sea.

[2831] The modern Gulf of Negropoli or Perekop, on the west side of the
Chersonesus Taurica or Crimea.

[2832] Forming the present isthmus of Perekop, which divides the Sea of
Perekop from the Sea of Azof.

[2833] Called by Herodotus Hypacyris, and by later writers Carcinites.
It is generally supposed to be the same as the small stream now known
as the Kalantchak.

[2834] Hardouin says that the city of Carcine has still retained its
name, but changed its site. More modern geographers however are of
opinion that nothing can be determined with certainty as to its site.
Of the site also of Navarum nothing seems to be known.

[2835] Or Buces or Byce. This is really a gulf, _almost_ enclosed, at
the end of the Sea of Azof. Strabo gives a more full description of it
under the name of the _Sapra Limnè_, “the Putrid Lake,” by which name
it is still called, in Russian, _Sibaché_ or Sivaché Moré. It is a vast
lagoon, covered with water when an east wind blows the water of the Sea
of Azof into it, but at other times a tract of slime and mud, sending
forth pestilential vapours.

[2836] It is rather a ridge of sand, that _almost_ separates it from
the waters of the gulf.

[2837] This river has not been identified by modern geographers.

[2838] According to Herodotus the Gerrhus or Gerrus fell into the
Hypacaris; which must be understood to be, not the Kalantchak, but the
Outlouk. It is probably now represented by the Moloschnijawoda, which
forms a shallow lake or marsh at its mouth.

[2839] It is most probable that the Pacyris, mentioned above, the
Hypacaris, and the Carcinites, were various names for the same river,
generally supposed, as stated above, to be the small stream of

[2840] Now the Crimea.

[2841] It does not appear that the site of any of these cities has been
identified. Charax was a general name for a fortified town.

[2842] Mentioned again by Pliny in B. vi. c. 7. Solinus says that in
order to repel avarice, the Satarchæ prohibited the use of gold and

[2843] On the site of the modern Perekop, more commonly called Orkapi.

[2844] Or Chersonesus of the Heracleans. The town of Kosleve or
Eupatoria is supposed to stand on its site.

[2845] After the conquest of Mithridates, when the whole of these
regions fell into the hands of the Romans.

[2846] The modern Felenk-burun. So called from the Parthenos or Virgin
Diana or Artemis, whose temple stood on its heights, in which human
sacrifices were offered to the goddess.

[2847] Supposed to be the same as the now-famed port of Balaklava.

[2848] The modern Aia-burun, the great southern headland of the Crimea.
According to Plutarch, it was called by the natives Brixaba, which,
like the name Criumetopon, meant the “Ram’s Head.”

[2849] Now Kerempi, a promontory of Paphlagonia in Asia Minor. Strabo
considers this promontory and that of Criumetopon as dividing the
Euxine into two seas.

[2850] According to Strabo, the sea-line of the Tauric Chersonesus,
after leaving the port of the Symboli, extended 125 miles, as far as
Theodosia. Pliny would here seem to make it rather greater.

[2851] The modern Kaffa occupies its site. The sites of many of the
places here mentioned appear not to be known at the present day.

[2852] The modern Kertsch, situate on a hill at the very mouth of the
Cimmerian Bosporus, or Straits of Enikale or Kaffa, opposite the town
of Phanagoria in Asia.

[2853] In C. 24 of the present Book. Clark identifies the town of
Cimmerium with the modern Temruk, Forbiger with Eskikrimm. It is again
mentioned in B. vi. c. 2.

[2854] He alludes here, not to the Strait so called, but to the
Peninsula bordering upon it, upon which the modern town of Kertsch is
situate, and which projects from the larger Peninsula of the Crimea, as
a sort of excrescence on its eastern side.

[2855] Probably Hermes or Mercury was its tutelar divinity: its site
appears to be unknown.

[2856] Probably meaning the Straits or passage connecting the Lake
Mæotis with the Euxine. The fertile district of the Cimmerian Bosporus
was at one time the granary of Greece, especially Athens, which
imported thence annually 400,000 medimni of corn.

[2857] A town so called on the Isthmus of Perekop, from a τάφρος or
trench, which was cut across the isthmus at this point.

[2858] Lomonossov, in his History of Russia, says that these people
were the same as the Sclavoni: but that one meaning of the name
‘Slavane’ being “a boaster,” the Greeks gave them the corresponding
appellation of Auchetæ, from the word αὐχὴ, which signifies “boasting.”

[2859] Of the Geloni, called by Virgil “picti,” or “painted,” nothing
certain seems to be known: they are associated by Herodotus with the
Budini, supposed to belong to the Slavic family by Schafarik. In B. iv.
c. 108, 109, of his History, Herodotus gives a very particular account
of the Budini, who had a city built entirely of wood, the name of which
was Gelonus. The same author also assigns to the Geloni a Greek origin.

[2860] The Agathyrsi are placed by Herodotus near the upper course of
the river Maris, in the S.E. of Dacia or the modern Transylvania. Pliny
however seems here to assign them a different locality.

[2861] Also called “Assedones” and “Issedones.” It has been suggested
by modern geographers that their locality must be assigned to the east
of Ichim, on the steppe of the central horde of the Kirghiz, and that
of the Arimaspi on the northern declivity of the chain of the Altaï.

[2862] Now the Don.

[2863] Most probably these mountains were a western branch of the
Uralian chain.

[2864] From the Greek πτεροφορὸς, “wing-bearing” or “feather-bearing.”

[2865] This legendary race was said to dwell in the regions beyond
Boreas, or the northern wind, which issued from the Riphæan mountains,
the name of which was derived from ῥιπαὶ or “hurricanes” issuing from
a cavern, and which these heights warded off from the Hyperboreans
and sent to more southern nations. Hence they never felt the northern
blasts, and enjoyed a life of supreme happiness and undisturbed repose.
“Here,” says Humboldt, “are the first views of a natural science which
explains the distribution of heat and the difference of climates by
local causes—by the direction of the winds—the proximity of the sun,
and the action of a moist or saline principle.”—_Asie Centrale_, vol. i.

[2866] Pindar says, in the “Pythia,” x. 56, “The Muse is no stranger
to their manners. The dances of girls and the sweet melody of the lyre
and pipe resound on every side, and wreathing their locks with the
glistening bay, they feast joyously. For this sacred race there is
no doom of sickness or of disease; but they live apart from toil and
battles, undisturbed by the exacting Nemesis.”

[2867] Hardouin remarks that Pomponius Mela, who asserts that the sun
rises here at the vernal and sets at the autumnal equinox, is right in
his position, and that Pliny is incorrect in his assertion. The same
commentator thinks that Pliny can have hardly intended to censure Mela,
to whose learning he had been so much indebted for his geographical
information, by applying to him the epithet “imperitus,” ‘ignorant’ or
‘unskilled’; he therefore suggests that the proper reading here is,
“ut non imperiti dixere,” “as some by no means ignorant persons have

[2868] The Attacori are also mentioned in B. vi. c. 20.

[2869] Sillig omits the word “non” here, in which case the reading
would be, “Those writers who place them anywhere but, &c.;” it is
difficult to see with what meaning.

[2870] Herodotus, B. iv., states to this effect, and after him,
Pomponius Mela, B. iii. c. 5.

[2871] These islands, or rather rocks, are now known as Fanari, and lie
at the entrance of the Straits of Constantinople.

[2872] From σὺν and πληγὴ, “a striking together.” Tournefort has
explained the ancient story of these islands running together, by
remarking that each of them consists of one craggy island, but that
when the sea is disturbed the water covers the lower parts, so as to
make the different points of each resemble isolated rocks. They are
united to the mainland by a kind of isthmus, and appear as islands only
when it is inundated in stormy weather.

[2873] Upon which the city of Apollonia (now Sizeboli), mentioned in C.
18 of the present Book, was situate.

[2874] So called because it was dedicated by Lucullus in the Capitol.
It was thirty cubits in height.

[2875] In C. 24 of the present Book.

[2876] Mentioned in the last Chapter as the “Island of Achilles.”

[2877] From the Greek μακαρῶν, “(The island) of the Blest.” It was also
called the “Island of the Heroes.”

[2878] Meaning all the inland or Mediterranean seas.

[2879] As the whole of Pliny’s description of the northern shores
of Europe is replete with difficulties and obscurities, we cannot
do better than transcribe the learned remarks of M. Parisot, the
Geographical Editor of Ajasson’s Edition, in reference to this subject.
He says, “Before entering on the discussion of this portion of Pliny’s
geography, let us here observe, once for all, that we shall not remark
as worthy of our notice all those ridiculous hypotheses which could
only take their rise in ignorance, precipitation, or a love of the
marvellous. We shall decline then to recognize the Doffrefelds in
the mountains of Sevo, the North Cape in the Promontory of Rubeas,
and the Sea of Greenland in the Cronian Sea. The absurdity of these
suppositions is proved by—I. The impossibility of the ancients ever
making their way to these distant coasts without the aid of large
vessels, the compass, and others of those appliances, aided by which
European skill finds the greatest difficulty in navigating those
distant seas. II. The immense lacunæ which would be found to exist in
the descriptions of these distant seas and shores: for not a word do
we find about those numerous archipelagos which are found scattered
throughout the North Sea, not a word about Iceland, nor about the
numberless seas and fiords on the coast of Norway. III. The absence of
all remarks upon the local phænomena of these spots. The North Cape
belongs to the second polar climate, the longest day there being two
months and a half. Is it likely that navigators would have omitted to
mention this remarkable phænomenon, well known to the Romans by virtue
of their astronomical theories, but one with which practically they had
never made themselves acquainted?—The only geographers who here merit
our notice are those who are of opinion that in some of the coasts or
islands here mentioned Pliny describes the Scandinavian Peninsula,
and in others the Coast of Finland. The first question then is, to
what point Pliny first carries us? It is evident that from the Black
Sea he transports himself on a sudden to the shores of the Baltic,
thus passing over at a single leap a considerable space filled with
nations and unknown deserts. The question then is, what line has he
followed? Supposing our author had had before his eyes a modern map,
the imaginary line which he would have drawn in making this transition
would have been from Odessa to the Kurisch-Haff. In this direction the
breadth across Europe is contracted to a space, between the two seas,
not more than 268 leagues in length. A very simple mode of reasoning
will conclusively prove that Pliny has deviated little if anything
from this route. If he fails to state in precise terms upon what point
of the shores of the Baltic he alights after leaving the Riphæan
mountains, his enumeration of the rivers which discharge themselves
into that sea, and with which he concludes his account of Germany, will
supply us with the requisite information, at all events in great part.
In following his description of the coast, we find mention made of
the following rivers, the Guttalus, the Vistula, the Elbe, the Weser,
the Ems, the Rhine, and the Meuse. The five last mentioned follow in
their natural order, from east to west, as was to be expected in a
description starting from the east of Europe for its western extremity
and the shores of Cadiz. We have a right to conclude then that the
Guttalus was to the east of the Vistula. As we shall now endeavour to
show, this river was no other than the Alle, a tributary of the Pregel,
which the Romans probably, in advancing from west to east, considered
as the principal stream, from the circumstance that they met with it,
before coming to the larger river. The Pregel after being increased
by the waters of the Alle or Guttalus falls into the Frisch-Haff,
about one degree further west than the Kurisch-Haff. It may however
be here remarked, Why not find a river more to the east, the Niemen,
for instance, or the Duna, to be represented by the Guttalus? The
Niemen in especial would suit in every respect equally well, because
it discharges itself into the Kurisch-Haff. This conjecture however
is incapable of support, when we reflect that the ancients were
undoubtedly acquainted with some points of the coast to the east of
the mouth of the Guttalus, but which, according to the system followed
by our author, would form part of the Continent of Asia. These points
are, 1st. The Cape Lytarmis (mentioned by Pliny, B. vi. c. 4). 2ndly.
The mouth of the river Carambucis (similarly mentioned by him), and
3rdly, a little to the east of Cape Lytarmis, the mouth of the Tanais.
The name of Cape Lytarmis suggests to us Lithuania, and probably
represents Domess-Ness in Courland; the Carambucis can be no other
than the Niemen; while the Tanais, upon which so many authors, ancient
and modern, have exhausted their conjectures, from confounding it with
the Southern Tanais which falls into the Sea of Azof, is evidently the
same as the Dwina or Western Duna. This is established incontrovertibly
both by its geographical position (the mouth of the Dwina being only
fifty leagues to the east of Domess-Ness) and the identity evidently
of the names Dwina and Tanais. Long since, Leibnitz was the first to
remark the presence of the radical _T. n_, or _D. n_, either with or
without a vowel, in the names of the great rivers of Eastern Europe;
Danapris or Dnieper, Danaster or Dniester, Danube (in German Donau, in
Hungarian Duna), Tanais or Don, for example; all which rivers however
discharge themselves into the Black Sea. There can be little doubt then
of the identity of the Duna with the Tanais, it being the only body of
water in these vast countries which bears a name resembling the initial
_Tan_, or _Tn_, and at the same time belongs to the basin of the
Baltic. We are aware, it is true, that the White Sea receives a river
Dwina, which is commonly called the Northern Dwina, but there can be no
real necessity to be at the trouble of combating the opinion that this
river is identical with the Northern Tanais. As the result then of our
investigations, it is at the eastern extremity of the Frisch-Haff and
near the mouth of the Pregel, that we would place the point at which
Pliny sets out. As for the Riphæan mountains, they have never existed
anywhere but in the head of the geographers from whom our author drew
his materials. From the mountains of Ural and Poias, which Pliny could
not possibly have in view, seeing that they lie in a meridian as
eastern as the Caspian Sea, the traveller has to proceed 600 leagues to
the south-west without meeting with any chains of mountains or indeed
considerable elevations.”

[2880] It is pretty clear that he refers to the numerous islands
scattered over the face of the Baltic Sea, such as Dago, Oesel,
Gothland, and Aland.

[2881] The old reading here was Bannomanna, which Dupinet would
translate by the modern Bornholm. Parisot considers that the modern
Runa, a calcareous rock covered with vegetable earth, in the vicinity
of Domess-Ness, is the place indicated.

[2882] It has been suggested by Brotier that Pliny here refers to the
Icy Sea, but it is more probable that he refers to the north-eastern
part of the Baltic, which was looked upon by the ancients us forming
part of the open sea.

[2883] With reference to these divisions of land and sea, a subject
which is involved in the greatest obscurity, Parisot states it as his
opinion that the Amalchian or Icy Sea is that portion of the Baltic
which extends from Cape Rutt to Cape Grinea, while on the other hand
the Cronian Sea comprehends all the gulfs which lie to the east of
Cape Rutt, such as the Haff, the gulfs of Stettin and Danzic, the
Frisch-Haff, and the Kurisch-Haff. He also thinks that the name of
‘Cronian’ originally belonged only to that portion of the Baltic which
washes the coast of Courland, but that travellers gradually applied
the term to the whole of the sea. He is also of opinion that the word
“Cronium” owes its origin to the Teutonic and Danish adjective _groen_
or “green.” The extreme verdure which characterizes the islands of the
Danish archipelago has given to the piece of water which separates
the islands of Falster and Moen the name of Groensund, and it is far
from improbable that the same epithet was given to the Pomeranian and
Prussian Seas, which the Romans would be not unlikely to call ‘Gronium’
or ‘Cronium fretum,’ or ‘Cronium mare.’ In the name ‘Parapanisus’ he
also discovers a resemblance to that of modern Pomerania.

[2884] Upon this Parisot remarks that on leaving Cape Rutt, at a
distance of about twenty-five leagues in a straight line, we come
to the island of Funen or Fyen, commonly called Fionia, the most
considerable of the Danish archipelago next to Zealand, and which lying
between the two Belts, the Greater and the Smaller, may very probably
from that circumstance have obtained the name of Baltia. Brotier takes
Baltia to be no other than Nova Zembla—so conflicting are the opinions
of commentators!

[2885] Parisot suggests that under this name may possibly lie concealed
that of the modern island of Zealand or Seeland, and that it may have
borne on the side of it next to the Belt the name of Baltseeland,
easily corrupted by the Greeks into Basilia.

[2886] Brotier takes these to be the islands of Aloo, and Bieloi or
Ostrow, at the mouth of the river Paropanisus, which he considers to
be the same as the Obi. Parisot on the other hand is of opinion that
islands of the Baltic are here referred to; that from the resemblance
of the name Oönæ to the Greek ὠὸν, “an egg,” the story that the natives
subsisted on the eggs of birds was formed; that not improbably the
group of the Hippopodes resembled the shape of a horse-shoe, from which
the story mentioned by Pliny took its rise; and that the Fanesii (or,
as the reading here has it, the Panotii, “all-ears”) wore their hair
very short, from which circumstance their ears appeared to be of a
larger size than usual.

[2887] Tacitus speaks of three great groups of the German tribes, the
Ingævones forming the first thereof, and consisting of those which
dwelt on the margin of the ocean, the Hermiones in the interior, and
the Istævones in the east and south of Germany. We shall presently find
that Pliny adds two groups, the Vandili as the fourth, and the Peucini
and Basternæ as the fifth. This classification however is thought to
originate in a mistake, for Zeuss has satisfactorily shown that the
Vandili belonged to the Hermiones, and that Peucini and Basternæ are
only names of individual tribes and not of groups of tribes.

[2888] Brotier and other geographers are of opinion that by this name
the chain of the Doffrefeld mountains is meant; but this cannot be the
case if we suppose with Parisot that Pliny here returns south from the
Scandinavian islands and takes his departure from Cape Rutt in the
territory of the Ingævones. Still, it is quite impossible to say what
mountains he would designate under the name of Sevo. Parisot suggests
that it is a form of the compound word “seevohner,” “inhabitants of the
sea,” and that it is a general name for the elevated lands along the
margin of the sea-shore.

[2889] Parisot supposes that under this name the isle of Funen is
meant, but it is more generally thought that Norway and Sweden are thus
designated, as that peninsula was generally looked upon as an island by
the ancients. The Codanian Gulf was the sea to the east of the Cimbrian
Chersonesus or Jutland, filled with the islands which belong to the
modern kingdom of Denmark. It was therefore the southern part of the

[2890] By Eningia Hardouin thinks that the country of modern Finland
is meant. Poinsinet thinks that under the name are included Ingria,
Livonia, and Courland; while Parisot seems inclined to be of opinion
that under this name the island of Zealand is meant, a village of
which, about three-fourths of a league from the western coast,
according to him, still bears the name of Heinïnge.

[2891] Parisot is of opinion that the Venedi, also called Vinidæ and
Vindili, were of Sclavish origin, and situate on the shores of the
Baltic. He remarks that this people, in the fifth century, founded
in Pomerania, when quitted by the Goths, a kingdom, the chiefs of
which styled themselves the Konjucs of Vinland. Their name is also
to be found in Venden, a Russian town in the government of Riga, in
Windenburg in Courland, and in Wenden in the circle of the Grand Duchy
of Mecklenburg Schwerin.

[2892] Parisot remarks that these two peoples were probably only tribes
of the Venedi.

[2893] Parisot feels convinced that Pliny is speaking here of the
Gulf of Travemunde, the island of Femeren, and then of the gulf
which extends from that island to Kiel, where the Eider separates
Holstein from Jutland. On the other hand, Hardouin thinks that by the
Gulf of Cylipenus the Gulf of Riga is meant, and that Latris is the
modern island of Oësel. But, as Parisot justly remarks, to put this
construction on Pliny’s language is to invert the order in which he has
hitherto proceeded, evidently from east to west.

[2894] The modern Cape of Skagen on the north of Jutland.

[2895] When Drusus held the command in Germany, as we learn from

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