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the ‘Rudens,’ the most picturesque (if we may use the term) of the
plays of Plautus, is laid in the vicinity of Cyrene, and frequent
reference is made in it to the extensive cultivation of silphium;
a head of which plant also appears on the coins of the place. The
philosophers Aristippus and Carneades were born here, as also the poet
Callimachus. Its ruins, at the modern Ghrennah, are very extensive, and
are indicative of its former splendour.

[3422] In C. 1 of the present Book. It was only the poetical fancy
of the Greeks that found the fabled gardens of the Hesperides in the
fertile regions of Cyrenaica. Scylax distinctly mentions the gardens
and the lake of the Hesperides in this vicinity, where we also find
a people called Hesperidæ, or, as Herodotus names them, Euesperidæ.
It was probably in consequence of this similarity of name, in a great
degree, that the gardens of the Hesperides were assigned to this

[3423] Now called Ras-Sem or Ras-El-Kazat. It is situate a little to
the west of Apollonia and N.W. of Cyrene.

[3424] According to Ansart, 264 miles is the real distance between
Capes Ras-Sem and Tænarum or Matapan

[3425] As already mentioned, Apollonia formed the harbour of Cyrene.

[3426] This was called the Chersonesus Magna, being so named in
contradistinction to the Chersonesus Parva, on the coast of Egypt,
about thirty-five miles west of Alexandria. It is now called
Ras-El-Tin, or more commonly Raxatin.

[3427] So called from the peculiar features of the locality, the Greek
word καταβαθμὸς, signifying “a descent.” A deep valley, bounded east
and west by ranges of high hills, runs from this spot to the frontiers
of Egypt. It is again mentioned by Pliny at the end of the present
Chapter. The spot is still known by a similar name, being called Marsa
Sollern, or the “Port of the Ladder.” In earlier times the Egyptian
territory ended at the Gulf of Plinthinethes, now Lago Segio, and did
not extend so far as Catabathmos.

[3428] This name was unknown to Herodotus. As Marcus observes, it was
probably of Phœnician origin, signifying “leading a wandering life,”
like the term “nomad,” derived from the Greek.

[3429] Now called El Bareton or Marsa-Labeit. This city was of
considerable importance, and belonged properly to Marmaria, but was
included politically in the Nomos Libya of Egypt. It stood near the
promontory of Artos or Pythis, now Ras-El-Hazeit.

[3430] So called from the words _Matâ-Ammon_, “the tribe of Ammon,”
according to Bochart. The Nasamones were a powerful but savage people
of Libya, who dwelt originally on the shores of the Greater Syrtis, but
were driven inland by the Greek settlers of Cyrenaica, and afterwards
by the Romans.

[3431] From μεσὸς “the middle,” and ἄμμος “sand.”

[3432] See note [3421] in p. 396.

[3433] Herodotus places this nation to the west of the Nasamones and on
the river Cinyps, now called the Wadi-Quaham.

[3434] In most of the editions they are called ‘Hammanientes.’ It has
been suggested that they were so called from the Greek word ἄμμος

[3435] This story he borrows from Herodotus, B. iv. c. 158.

[3436] From the Greek word τρωγλοδύται, “dwellers in caves.” Pliny has
used the term already (B. iv. c. 25) in reference to the nations on
the banks of the Danube. It was a general name applied by the Greek
geographers to various uncivilized races who had no abodes but caves,
and more especially to the inhabitants of the western coasts of the Red
Sea, along the shores of Upper Egypt and Æthiopia.

[3437] At the beginning of C. 4.

[3438] Which gives name to the modern Fezzan.

[3439] Now called Tanet-Mellulen, or the station of Mellulen, on the
route from Gadamez to Oserona.

[3440] Zaouila or Zala, half way between Augyla and Mourzouk.

[3441] Now Gadamez, which, according to Marcus, is situate almost under
the same meridian as Old Tripoli, the ancient Sabrata.

[3442] According to Marcus this range still bears the name of
Gibel-Assoud, which in the Arabic language means the “Black Mountain.”

[3443] In a southerly direction. He alludes probably to the Desert of

[3444] This spring is also mentioned by Pliny in B. ii. c. 106. Marcus
suggests that the Debris of Pliny is the same as the Bedir of Ptolemy.
He also remarks that the English traveller Oudney discovered caverns
hewn out of the sides of the hills, evidently for the purposes of
habitation, but of which the use is not known by the present people.
These he considers to have been the abodes of the ancient Troglodytæ or
“cave-dwellers.” In the Tibesti range of mountains, however, we find a
race called the Rock Tibboos, from the circumstance of their dwelling
in caves.

[3445] Cornelius Balbus Gaditanus the Younger, who, upon his victories
over the Garamantes, obtained a triumph in the year B.C. 19.

[3446] L. Cornelius Balbus the Elder, also a native of Gades. He
obtained the consulship in B.C. 40, the first instance, as we find
mentioned by Pliny, B. vii. c. 44, in which this honour had been
conferred upon one who was not a Roman citizen.

[3447] On the occasion of a triumph by a Roman general, boards were
carried aloft on “fercula,” on which were painted in large letters
the names of vanquished nations and countries. Here too models were
exhibited in ivory or wood of the cities and forts captured, and
pictures of the mountains, rivers, and other great natural features
of the subjugated region, with appropriate inscriptions. Marcus is of
opinion that the names of the places here mentioned do not succeed
in any geographical order, but solely according to their presumed
importance as forming part of the conquest of Balbus. He also thinks
that Balbus did not penetrate beyond the fifteenth degree of north
latitude, and that his conquests did not extend so far south as the
banks of Lake Tchad.

[3448] The site of Garama still bears the name of ‘Gherma,’ and
presents very considerable remains of antiquity. It is four days’
journey north of Mourzouk, the capital of Fezzan.

[3449] Now Tibesti, according to Marcus.

[3450] Marcus suggests that this is probably the Febabo of modern
geographers, to the N.E. of Belma and Tibesti.

[3451] Discera was the Im-Zerah of modern travellers, on the road from
Sockna to Mourzouk, according to Marcus, who is of opinion that the
places which follow were situate at the east and north-east of Thuben
and the Black Mountain.

[3452] Om-El-Abid, to the N.W. of Garama or Gherma, according to
Marcus, and Oudney the traveller.

[3453] The same, Marcus thinks, as the modern Tessava in Fezzan.

[3454] Marcus suggests that this may be the modern Sana.

[3455] The town of Winega mentioned by Oudney, was probably the ancient
Pega, according to Marcus.

[3456] The modern Missolat, according to Marcus, on the route from
Tripoli to Murmuck.

[3457] According to Marcus, this was the Mount Goriano of the English
travellers Denham, Clapperton, and Oudney, where, confirming the
statement here made by Pliny, they found quartz, jasper, onyx, agates,
and cornelians.

[3458] Mentioned by Tacitus, B. iv. c. 50. The town of Œa has been
alluded to by Pliny in C. 4.

[3459] “Past the head of the rock.” Marcus suggests that this is the
Gibel-Gelat or Rock of Gelat spoken of by the English travellers
Denham, Clapperton, and Oudney, forming a portion of the chain of
Guriano or Gyr. He says, that at the foot of this mountain travellers
have to pass from Old and New Tripoli on their road to Missolat, the
Maxala of Pliny, and thence to Gerama or Gherma, the ancient capital of

[3460] As Marcus observes, this would not make it to extend so far
south as the sixteenth degree of north latitude.

[3461] The Mareotis of the time of the Ptolemies extended from
Alexandria to the Gulf of Plinthinethes; and Libya was properly that
portion of territory which extended from that Gulf to Catabathmos.
Pliny is in error here in confounding the two appellations, or rather,
blending them into one. It includes the eastern portion of the modern
Barca, and the western division of Lower Egypt. It most probably
received its name from the Lake Mareotis, and not the lake from it.

[3462] This was a seaport town on the northern coast of Africa,
probably about eleven or twelve miles west of Parætonium, sometimes
spoken of as belonging to Egypt, sometimes to Marmorica. Scylax places
it at the western boundary of Egypt, on the frontier of the Marmaridæ.
Ptolemy, like Pliny, speaks of it as being in the Libyan Nomos. The
distances given in the MSS. of Pliny of this place from Parætonium are
seventy-two, sixty-two, and twelve miles; the latter is probably the
correct reading, as Strabo, B. xvii., makes the distance 100 stadia. It
is extremely doubtful whether the Apis mentioned by Herodotus, B. ii.
c. 18, can be the same place: but there is little doubt, from the words
of Pliny here, that it was dedicated to the worship of the Egyptian god
Apis, who was represented under the form of a bull.

[3463] Now called Zerbi and Jerba, derived from the name of Girba,
which even in the time of Aurelius Victor, had supplanted that of
Meninx. It is situate in the Gulf of Cabes. According to Solinus, C.
Marius lay in concealment here for some time. It was famous for its
purple. See B. ix. c. 60.

[3464] Now called Kerkéni, Karkenah, or Ramlah.

[3465] Now Gherba. It was reckoned as a mere appendage to Cercina, to
which it was joined by a mole, and which is found often mentioned in

[3466] Still called Lampedusa, off the coast of Tunis. This island,
with Gaulos and Galata, has been already mentioned among the islands
off Sicily; see B. iii. c. 14.

[3467] Now Pantellaria. See B. iii. c. 14.

[3468] A lofty island surrounded by dangerous cliffs, now called
Zowamour or Zembra.

[3469] In the former editions the word “Aræ” is taken to refer to the
Ægimuri, as meaning the same islands. Sillig is however of opinion that
totally distinct groups are meant, and punctuates accordingly. The
“Aræ” were probably mere rocks lying out at sea, which received their
name from their fancied resemblance to altars. They are mentioned by
Virgil in the Æneid, B. i. l. 113, upon which lines Servius says, that
they were so called because there the Romans and the people of Africa
on one occasion made a treaty.

[3470] The greater portion of this Chapter is extracted almost
verbatim from the account given by Mela. Ptolemy seems to place the
Liby-Egyptians to the south of the Greater and Lesser Oasis, on the
route thence to Darfour.

[3471] Or “White Æthiopians,” men though of dark complexion, not
negroes. Marcus is of opinion that the words “intervenientibus
desertis” refer to the tract of desert country lying between the
Leucæthiopians and the Liby-Egyptians, and not to that between the
Gætulians on the one hand and the Liby-Egyptians and the Leucæthiopians
on the other.

[3472] Meaning to the south and the south-east of these three nations,
according to Marcus. Rennel takes the Leucæthiopians to be the present
Mandingos of higher Senegambia: Marcus however thinks that they are the
Azanaghis, who dwell on the edge of the Great Desert, and are not of so
black a complexion as the Mandingos.

[3473] Probably the people of the present Nigritia or Soudan.

[3474] Marcus is of opinion that Pliny does not here refer to the
Joliba of Park and other travellers, as other commentators have
supposed; but that he speaks of the river called Zis by the modern
geographers, and which Jackson speaks of as flowing from the south-east
towards north-west. The whole subject of the Niger is however enwrapped
in almost impenetrable obscurity, and as the most recent inquirers have
not come to any conclusion on the subject, it would be little more than
a waste of time and space to enter upon an investigation of the notions
which Pliny and Mela entertained on the subject.

[3475] From γυμνὸς, “naked.”

[3476] Mentioned in C. 1 of the present Book.

[3477] He refers to the words in the Odyssey, B. i. l. 23, 24.—

Αἰθίοπας τοὶ δίχθα δεδαιάται, ἔσχατοι ἄνδρων·
Οἱ μὲν δυσομένου Ὑπερίονος, οἱ δ’ ἀνιόντος.

“The Æthiopians, the most remote of mankind, are divided into two
parts, the one at the setting of Hyperion, the other at his rising.”

[3478] A tribe of Æthiopia, whose position varied considerably at
different epochs of history. Their predatory and savage habits caused
the most extraordinary reports to be spread of their appearance and
ferocity. The more ancient geographers bring them as far westward as
the region beyond the Libyan Desert, and into the vicinity of the
Oases. In the time however of the Antonines, when Ptolemy was composing
his description of Africa, they appear to the south and east of Egypt,
in the wide and almost unknown tract which lay between the rivers
Astapus and Astobores.

[3479] Mela speaks of this race as situate farthest to the west. The
description of them here given is from Herodotus, B. iv. c. 183-185,
who speaks of them under the name of “Atarantes.”

[3480] The people who are visited by no dreams, are called Atlantes by
Herodotus, the same name by which Pliny calls them. He says that their
territory is ten days’ journey from that of the Atarantes.

[3481] This also is borrowed from Herodotus. As some confirmation of
this account, it is worthy of remark, that the Rock Tibboos of the
present day, who, like the ancient Troglodytæ, dwell in caves, have so
peculiar a kind of speech, that it is compared by the people of Aujelah
to nothing but the whistling of birds. The Troglodytæ of Fezzan are
here referred to, not those of the coasts of the Red Sea.

[3482] Mela says that they look upon the Manes or spirits of the
departed as their only deities.

[3483] This is said, in almost the same words, of the Garamantes,
by Herodotus. The mistake was probably made by Mela in copying from
Herodotus, and continued by Pliny when borrowing from him.

[3484] So called from their supposed resemblance in form to the Satyrs
of the ancient mythology, who were represented as little hairy men with
horns, long ears, and tails. They were probably monkeys, which had been
mistaken for men.

[3485] Half goat, half man. See the Note [3254] relative to Ægipan, in C. 1 of
the present Book, p. 378.

[3486] Evidently intended to be derived from the Greek ἱμὰς “a thong,”
and πόδες “the feet.” It is most probable that the name of a savage
people in the interior bore a fancied resemblance to this word, upon
which the marvellous story here stated was coined for the purpose
of tallying with the name. From a statement in the Æthiopica of
Heliodorus, B. x., Marcus suggests that the story as to the Blemmyæ
having no heads arose from the circumstance, that on the invasion of
the Persians they were in the habit of falling on one knee and bowing
the head to the breast, by which means, without injury to themselves,
they afforded a passage to the horses of the enemy.

[3487] It must be remembered, as already mentioned, that the ancients
looked upon Egypt as forming part of Asia, not of Africa. It seems
impossible to say how this supposition arose, when the Red Sea and the
Isthmus of Suez form so natural and so palpable a frontier between Asia
and Africa.

[3488] It is not improbable that these numbers are incorrectly stated
in the MSS. of our author.

[3489] Parisot remarks that Pliny is in error in this statement. A
considerable part of Lower Egypt lay both on the right and left of
the Delta or island formed by the branches of the Nile. It must be
remembered, however, that our author has already included a portion of
what was strictly Egypt, in his description of Libya Mareotis.

[3490] By reason of its triangular form, Δ.

[3491] The Ombite nome worshipped the crocodile as the emblem of Sebak.
Its capital was Ombos.

[3492] This nome destroyed the crocodile and worshipped the sun. Its
capital was Apollinopolis Magna.

[3493] It worshipped Osiris and his son Orus. The chief town was

[3494] Probably the original kingdom of Menes of This, the founder of
the Egyptian monarchy. It worshipped Osiris. Its capital was This,
afterwards called Abydos.

[3495] The nome of Thebes, which was its chief town.

[3496] Its capital was Coptos.

[3497] Its chief town was Tentyra. This nome worshipped Athor or Venus,
Isis, and Typhon. It destroyed the crocodile.

[3498] Perhaps the same as the Panopolite or Chemmite nome, which had
for its chief town Chemmis or Panopolis. It paid divine honours to a
deified hero.

[3499] It probably worshipped Typhon. Its capital was Antæopolis.

[3500] Probably an offshoot from a nome in the Heptanomis of similar

[3501] Dedicated to the worship of the wolf. Its chief town was
Lycopolis. It should be remarked that these names do not appear to be
given by Pliny in their proper geographical order.

[3502] Some of these nomes were inconsiderable and of little
importance. The Bubastite nome worshipped Bubastis, Artemis, or Diana,
of whom it contained a fine temple.

[3503] Its chief town was Tanis. In this nome, according to tradition,
Moses was born.

[3504] Its capital was Athribis, where the shrew-mouse and crocodile
were worshipped.

[3505] The seat of the worship of the dog-headed deity Anubis.
Its capital was Cynopolis; which is to be distinguished from the
Deltic city and other places of that name, as this was a nome of the
Heptanomis or Middle Egypt, to which also the Hammonian nome belonged.

[3506] The border nome of Upper and Middle Egypt.

[3507] Its capital was Pachnamunis. It worshipped a goddess
corresponding to the Greek Leto, or the Latona of the Romans.

[3508] Its capital was Busiris. It worshipped Isis, and at one period
was said to have sacrificed the nomad tribes of Syria and Arabia.

[3509] Its chief town was Onuphis.

[3510] Its chief city was Sais, and it worshipped Neith or Athene, and
contained the tomb and a sanctuary of Osiris.

[3511] Its capital was Tava.

[3512] Its chief town was Naucratis on the coast, the birth-place of
Athenæus, the Deipnosophist. By some authors it is made part of the
Saitic nome. The names given by Pliny vary very considerably from those
found in others of the ancient writers.

[3513] The capital of this nome was Heracleopolis, ‘The city of
Hercules,’ as Pliny calls it, situate, as he says, on an island, at the
entrance of the nome of Arsinoïtes, formed by the Nile and a canal.
After Memphis and Heliopolis, it was probably the most important city
south of the Thebaid. Its ruins are inconsiderable; a portion of them
are to be seen at the modern hamlet of Amasieh.

[3514] He probably means Arsinoë or Arsinoïtis, the chief town of the
nome of that name, and the city so called at the northern extremity
of the Heroöpolite Gulf in the Red Sea. The former is denoted by the
modern district of El-Fayoom, the most fertile of ancient Egypt. At
this place the crocodile was worshipped. The Labyrinth and Lake Mœris
were in this nome. Extensive ruins at Medinet-el-Fayoom, or El-Fares,
represent its site. The modern Ardscherud, a village near Suez,
corresponds to Arsinoë on the Red Sea. There is some little doubt
however whether this last Arsinoë is the one here meant by Pliny.

[3515] Memphis was the chief city of this nome, which was situate
in Middle Egypt, and was the capital of the whole country, and the
residence of the Pharaohs, who succeeded Psammetichus, B.C. 616. This
nome rose in importance on the decline of the kingdom of Thebais,
but was afterwards eclipsed by the progress of Alexandria under the
successors of Alexander the Great.

[3516] At which Middle Egypt terminates.

[3517] They are more generally looked upon as forming one nome only,
and included under the name of Hammonium.

[3518] Its chief town was Heroöpolis, a principal seat of the worship
of Typhon, the evil or destroying genius.

[3519] The same as the nome of Arsinoïtes, the capital of which,
Arsinoë, was originally called Crocodilopolis.

[3520] Now known as Birket-el-Keroum. This was a vast lake on the
western side of the Nile in Middle Egypt, used for the reception and
subsequent distribution of a part of the overflow of the Nile. The
supposition that it was formed by artificial means is now pretty
generally exploded, and it is regarded as of natural formation. It was
situate in the nome of Arsinoïtes or Crocodilopolites. Its length seems
to be overstated by our author, as at the present day it is only thirty
miles in length and five in breadth at the widest part.

[3521] And it is generally supposed that they are so up to the present
day. The ethnographer Jablonski is of opinion that this river derives
its name from the Coptish word _tneialei_ “to rise at stated times.”
Servius, the commentator on Virgil, says that it is derived from the
two Greek words νέα ἰλὺς “fresh mud,” in allusion to the fresh mud
or slime which it leaves after each inundation. Singularly enough,
Champollion prefers this silly etymology to that suggested by Jablonski.

[3522] An interesting disquisition on the probable sources of the Nile,
as viewed by the ancients, is to be found in the Ninth Book of Lucan’s
Pharsalia. The Indian word “_nilas_,” “black,” has also been suggested
as its possible origin.

[3523] What spot is meant under this name, if indeed it is anything
more than the creation of fancy, it is impossible to ascertain with
any degree of precision. It is possible however that the ancients may
have had some knowledge of Lake Tchad, and the Mountains of the Moon,
or Djebel-Kumri, though at the same time it is more than doubtful that
the Nile has its source in either of those localities, the former

[3524] Perhaps a kind of river lamprey. As to the Coracinus, see B.
ix. c. 24, 32, and B. xxxii. c. 19, 24, 34, 44, and 53; and as to the
Silurus, B. ix. c. 17, 25, and B. xxxii. c. 31, 36, 40, 43, 44, &c.

[3525] The modern Vacur in Northern Africa.

[3526] A district which in reality was at least 1200 or 1500 miles
distant from any part of the Nile, and probably near 3000 from its real

[3527] “Spargit.” It is doubtful whether this word means here “waters,”
or “divides.” Probably however the latter is its meaning.

[3528] This is the third or eastern branch of the river, now known as
the Tacazze. It rises in the highlands of Abyssinia, in about 11° 40′
north lat. and 39° 40′ east long., and joins the main stream of the
Nile, formed by the union of the Abiad and the Azrek, in 17° 45′ north
lat. and about 34° 5′ east long.; the point of junction being the apex
of the island of Meroë, here mentioned by Pliny.

[3529] Possibly by this name he designates the Bahr-el-Abied, or White
River, the main stream of the Nile, the sources of which have not
been hitherto satisfactorily ascertained. The Astapus is supposed to
have been really the name of the Bahr-el-Azrek, or Blue River, the
third branch of the Nile, the sources of which are in the highlands of
Abyssinia, in about 11° 40′ north lat. and 39° 40′ east long.

[3530] Or “side of the water that issues from the shades.” As Hardouin
says, this does not appear to be a very satisfactory explanation.

[3531] Said by Tzetzes to have been derived from the Greek τρίτος,
“the third,” because it had three times changed its name: having been
called, first, the Ocean; secondly, Aëtus, or the Eagle; and thirdly,

[3532] Or the “Cataracts,” for which it is the Greek name. The most
northerly of these cataracts, called the First Cataract, is, and always
has been, the southern boundary of Egypt. According to the most recent
accounts, these Cataracts are devoid of any stupendous features, such
as characterize the Falls of Niagara.

[3533] The one now called the First Cataract.

[3534] Seven mouths in ancient times, which have now dwindled down to
two of any importance, the Damietta mouth on the east, and the Rosetta
on the west.

[3535] The Etesians are periodical winds, which blow steadily from one
quarter for forty days each year, during the season of the Dog-days.
The opinion here stated was that promulgated by Thales the philosopher.
Seneca refutes it in B. iv. c. 2. of his Quæst. Nat.

[3536] This was the opinion of Democritus of Abdera, and of

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