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Geographia classica, or, The application of antient geography to the classics online

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tient civilized world. ./Egypt was governed from time
immemorial by kings, the earliest of whom recorded in
Scripture had the general name of Pharaoh. It is called
in Scripture Misraim (traces of which are still clearly to
be found in its modern Turkish appellation of Misr)
from its first king, one of the sons of Ham, B.C. 2188:
it was conquered by Cambyses, B.C. 525, afterwards
subject to its native kings, and again to the Persians till
after the death of Alexander, it was refounded into a
kingdom by Ptolemy, one of his generals, B.C. 332, and
continued under the government of the Ptolemies till, af-
ter the battle of Actium and the death of the celebrated
Cleopatra, it was reduced by Augustus into a Roman
province, B.C. 31, A.U.C. 723. The original natives
are called Copts, to distinguish them from the Arabs and
Turks, and in the proper modification of this word,
Kypt, we can plainly discover the elements of the antient
classical term JEgyptus.

Except on the coast, there are few positions but those
on the bank of the Nile, whose annual inundations fer-
tilize the adjacent country, and are the source of its

JEgypt is divided into .ZEgyptus Inferior, or
towards the sea, and JEgyptus Superior, or Upper
JEgypt, being more inland, called also the Thebais, from
the great city Thebes in this district. Between ^Egyp-
tus Inferior and ^Egyptus Superior was a small district


called Heptanomis, as containing seven of those Nomes,
or Prefectures, into fifty-three of which the whole coun-
try was divided.

^Egyptus Inferior extends along the sea from the Si-
nus Plinthinetes, or Arabs Gulf, to the Sirbonis Palus,
or Sirbonian Bog, and even somewhat beyond it. The
celebrated city of Alexandria, built by Alexander the
Great, B.C. 332, the capital of Egyptus Inferior, stood
on the Western side of the Delta, or large triangular
island formed by the Nile, which comprised almost the
whole of Egyptus Inferior. Here was the celebrated
library, consisting of 700,000 volumes, which is said,
but without any very positive proof, to have been de-
stroyed by the Saracens, at the command of the caliph
Omar. Alexandria, before the discovery of the passage
round Africa by the Cape of Good Hope, was the great
mart for all the merchandise between Europe and the
East Indies, which was transported from thence to Ar-
sinoe, or Suez, at the top of the Red Sea, and so to In-
dia. The island of Pharos, which had a celebrated light-
house, was joined to the continent by a dike, or cause-
way, called from its length the Heptastadium. On the
South-eastern side of the city was the lake Mareotis *, or
Mariout. At the Western mouth of the Nile, a little
beyond Alexandria, was Canopust whence that branch

* The wine made in its vicinity was celebrated.
Mentemque lymphatam Mareotico.

Hor. Od. I. 37. 14

f Hence Canopus, from its vicinity to Alexandria, was called

Nam qua Pellsei gens fortunata Canopi
Accolit eflfuso stagnantem gurgite Nilum.

Virg. Gcorg. IV. 28r,


is called the Canopic, now Maadi. Near to it was a
city called Nicopolis, built in commemoration of a victo-
ry obtained by Augustus over Antony: but the modern
victory of $boufcir, gained by Lord Nelson over the
navy of France, Aug. 1. 1799, will render the same spot
infinitely more celebrated among succeeding generations.
The next mouth of the Nile is called Bolbitinum Osti-
um, where is now Raschid, or, as the Europeans call it,
Eosetta. In the interior of the Delta, nearly below Ro-
setta, was Sais, now Sa, antiently the capital of Lower
JEgypt. The Sebennytic mouth of the Nile, now lost,
was so called from the city of Sebennytus, an inland
city, now Semenud. Next to it was the Phatniticum
Ostium, one of the principal mouths of the Nile, near the
city of Tamiathis, or Damiata. The Mendesian mouth
was so called from Mendes, now Jishmur- Tar ah ; the
Tanitic from Tanis, the Zoan of the Scriptures, now
San. The Eastern branch of the Nile was called the
Pelusiotic, from the strong city of Pelusium, now Tireh,
one of the keys of .ZEgypt at its mouth. These three
last mouths of the Nile are now hardly traceable, and are
principally lost in the lake Menzaleh. East of Pelusi-
um is Mount Casius, and East of it the Palus Sirbonis,
or Sirbonian Bog, now called Sebakcl Bardoil. Here
Typhon, the murderer of Osiris, is fabled to have perish-
ed; and the country being covered with deep and moving
sands, is called Jll-Giofar, and has always rendered the
approach to JEgypt on this side very difficult and dan-
gerous to an invading en6my *. North-east of the Sir-

* A gulf profound as that Sirbonian bog
'Twixt Damiata and Mount Casius old,

Where armies whole have sunk.

Par, Lost, Book II.


bonis Palus is Rhinocorura *, now El-Jlrish, the remo-
test Eastern limit of Egypt and of Africa. At about an
equal distance between Pelusium, the apex of the Delta,
and the Western branch of the Sinus Arabicus is Hero-
opolis, now perhaps Mookesheyd, which gave to that
branch the name of the Sinus Heroopolites; it was the
residence of the antient shepherd kings of ^Egypt.
South-west of it the Jews had a city called Onion, and a
temple which continued from the time of Onias, who
built and called it after his own name, to that of Vespa-
sian. Onias was nephew to Menelaus, and the rightful
successor to the priesthood of Jerusalem, but being re-
jected by Antiochus Eupator, who made Alcimus high
priest, he fled to Egypt, and persuaded Ptolemy Philo-
metor to let him build this temple there, about 173 years
B.C. which subsisted 243 years. At the very apex of
(he Delta was Heliopolis, or On, the city of the sun, and
a little below it was the ^Egyptian Babylon, probably
built during the time of the Persian p'ower in .ZEgypt: it
occupied the site of Old Cairo. On the Western bank
of the Nile fifteen miles South of the Delta, was the re-
nowned city of Memphis, the antient metropolis of all
./Egypt. Near it are those stupendous and immortal
works, the Pyramids: the largest of these is, at the low-
est, 481 feet in perpendicular height, and covers eleven
acres of ground; it is built of hewn stones, the smallest
being not less than thirty feet in length. The pyramids
are thought to. have been intended for royal sepulchres:
they are of so remote antiquity that their foundation is

* Or rather Rhinocolura, the noses of the inhabitants having
been cut off by the /Ethiopians for their bad faith.

Strab. XVI. p. 759.


utterly unknown. There is a room which contains a
sarcophagus in the greatest pyramid*. South-west of
Memphis is Arsinoe, or Crocodilopolis, now Feium,
near the lake Mceris, at the South end of which was the
celebrated labyrinth, which contained 3000 chambers,
1500 above and as many below, in which the kings and
sacred crocodiles were buried: it contained twelve prin-
cipal halls, built by as many kings, and its ruins are still
very magnificent. Another Moeris was a canal now call-
ed JBathen, running North and South below that already
described, and was excavated by human industry, being
900 stadia in length, and four in breadth. Proceeding
Southwards, along the Nile, we find Hermopolis Magna,
now Jtshmuneim, the last city of Heptanomis. We
then proceed to JEgyptus Superior, in which we may
notice Ptolemais Hermii, antiently a powerful city, now
an inconsiderable village called Girge. South of it was
the great city of Abydos, the palace of Memnon, now a
ruin called Madfune. West of it was a fertile spot, in
the midst of the desert, called the Oasis Magna, now El-
wah. South of Abydos was Tentyra, now Dendera, a
city at variance with Ombos, the former killing, the lat-
ter adoring the crocodile: a horrible instance of religious
fury which took place in consequer :e of this quarrel, is
the subject of the 15th satire of Juvenal. A little South
of Tentyra, on the other side of the Nile, is Coptos, or
Kypt, from which a road was made by Ptolemy Phila-
delphus 258 miles in length, across the desert to the port
of Berenice on the Sinus Arabicus, by which the mer-

* Many rooms and interesting particulars have been recently
discovered in the pyramids by the enterprising sagacity of Mr-


chandise of India was transported to the Nile. South of
Coptos was the magnificent city of Thebes, called by the
Greeks Diospolis, from the worship of Jupiter there, and
distinguished by the epithet of Hecatompylos, or the
Hundred-gated, from the city of Boeotia, which had
seven gates. The ruins of this astonishing city occupy
a space of twenty-seven miles in circumference on either
side of the Nile, containing several villages, the chief of
which are Karnak and Luxor. That part on the West-
ern side of the Nile, which was called Memnonium,
now Habou, contains many stupendous monuments. In
the adjacent Lybian mountains are hewn sepulchres of
the Egyptian kings. Near Thebes was the celebrated
statue of Memnon, which was said to utter a sound when
struck by the first beams of the sun. It still exists*
though broken, and is covered with the names of many
illustrious antient writers and monarchs, or generals,
who have thus recorded with their own hands, their at-
testation to the fact of having heard the sound t. Some
idea of the strength of this antient city may be obtained
from the account given us by Herodotus, who tells us,
that it could send out from each of its hundred gates
20,000 footmen and 200 chariots to oppose an enemy J:
it was ruined by Cambyses the Persian. Considerably
below Thebes is Ombos, already mentioned, and below
it was Syene, or Assouan, the extreme town of Upper
, where was a celebrated well, the bottom of

* A smaller Memnon has been brought to London in 1818.

f Hence Juvenal

Dimidio magicze resonant ubi Memnone chordz
Atque vetus Thebe centem jacet obruta portis.

Juv. Sat. XV.

X See also Homer, Iliad IX. 383,


which at the time of the summer solstice was exactly
illuminated, the sun being perpendicular over it. Juve-
nal was sent into a kind of honourable exile to this
place. Near it is the Mons Basanites, or mountain ot
touchstone, from which the ^Egyptians used to make or-
namental vases and household utensils. Opposite to Sy-
ene, on the Sinus Arabicus, was Berenice, already men-
tioned. At the extreme Northern point of the Sinus
Heroopolites was Arsinoe, called afterwards by the cele-
brated Cleopatra after her own name; it is now Suez.
Midway on the coast, between Arsinoe and Berenice,
which were so called from the names of two of the
queens of ^Egypt, is Myoshormus. About a mile South
of Syene were the smaller cataracts of the Nile; the
greater cataracts were more to the South, in Ethiopia.

It is not necessary to take more than a very rapid
view of the remainder of Africa. The natives living
along the Southern part of the Red Sea (PI. I.) were cal-
led Troglodyte, and inhabited caves in the earth. On
this coast was Adulis, or Jlrkiko, and westwards the
city of Auxume, which is still Jiuxum^ in Abyssinia:
North-westwards, on the Western or true branch of the
Nile, was Meroe. The river Astapus, or JH>awi, which
flows through Nubia to a place called Coloe Palus, or
JBahr Dembect, was known to the antients, and was mis-
taken by Mr. Bruce for the Nile: the real Nile or Bahr
el Jlbiadj flows far to the South-west of this, and its
sources are still unknown, but are placed in a chain of
mountains called the Mountains of the Moon, South of
the Nubae. Mem nones; and by the Arabian geographers,
our only authority, the Niger or Gir of the antients, call-
ed by them the Nile of the Negroes, empties itself into


an immense lake in which the Nile rises*. Under the
names of Agyzymba and Azania the antients seem to
have known the coasts of Zanguebar and Jljan-, nor
ought we to omit mentioning that the Ophir of Solomon

* The Niger lias been ascertained to flow from West to East,
and in the interior of Africa to form a very considerable river. In
order to enable it to form a junction with the Nile in some great
lake in the interior, we must suppose some practicable passage by
which the Niger may descend regularly from West to East, and
by the continuance of which the Nile may also descend from West
to North-east till it takes its Northern direction through Egypt,
where it flows nearly from South to North, In other words, no
chain of Mountains must be so situated between the Niger and the
Nile as to prevent their meeting, by breaking the level. This
was asserted to be the case by the antient geographers, but being
contrary to general experience on such an extent of the earth's
surface, was contradicted by the most intelligent of the later geo-
graphers; yet it appears from the late discoveries of Mr. Park,
that the Niger undoubtedly flows from West to East, and I there-
fore hope I may be allowed, with becoming diffidence, to express
an opinion of the possiblity of a fact which has nothing but pre-
sumptive evidence to contradict it, and which has some, though
certainly weak authority, in its favour. I merely mean to say,
that it is not impossible; and that as the Apurimac flows from the
Western side of South America to the North-eastern, the Niger
may flow from the Western side of Africa to the Eastern, till
stopped by the mountains of Abyssinia and ./Ethiopia, when it
would naturally form an immense lake, from which its course
may be continued under the name of the Nile; and the increase
of that lake and its tributary waters by periodical rains may cause
the periodical innundations of the Nile; and the latest discoveries
tend to confirm this opinion.

Since this note was first written in 1812, an immense, lake cal-
led Tsad y has been found in Bornou, inlo which a great river,
called the Shary, flows; and although the identity of this river


has been thought to be the modern Sofala. The Gara-
mantes have been already mentioned, and it merely re-
mains to notice their western neighbours, the Nigritiae,
in Negroland, or Nigritia, and the Hesperii JEthiopes,
in Guinea.

On the Western coast of the Atlantic the Fortunate
Insulae, or Canary Islands, were known to the an-
tients, and were thought to be the residence of the bless-
ed after death *. Below them were the Hesperidum In-
sulas, either the Cape Verde Islands, or, if these are
thought too far from the coast, possibly some small islands
called the Bissagos lying a little above Sierra Leone.
Here was the famous garden of the Hesperides, and the
Golden Apples, the attainment of which was one of the
labours of Hercules, who carried them off, having slain
the watchful dragon that guarded the fruit.

with the Niger is questionable, and also the existence of any out-
let from the lake which may form the Nile, I cannot consider th
negative as distinctly proved, and the very existence jof this lake
at least gives a colour to the hypothesis above mentioned.

* Ereptum Stygiis fluctibus ^acum
Virtus, et favor, et lingua potentium
Vatum, divitibus consecrat insulis. Hor. Od. IV. 8. 25.

Arva, beata
Petamus arva, divites et insulas.
Reddit ubi Cererem tellus inarata quot annis
Et imputata floret usque vinea, Hor. Efiod, XVI. 4,1 .


ABOUKIR, victory of

Abraham, the inherit-
ance of his seed

Abraham and his family,
burial place of

Abu Obeidah


Achaia, states of, where

Achilles sent to the court
of LycomedeS".

Acro-ceraunian moun-
tains, dreaded by ma-

Acropolis of Athens.**.

Actium, battle of

Admetus, king of Pherae

Adonis, a fabulous in-
cident attending his

./Egates Insulse, battle of

jEgialus king of ^Egialea

JEgos Potamos, battle of

.flLneas, the conductress
of the trumpe-
ter of

burial place of
the nurse of


^Eolus, supposed dwell-
ing of

jEsculapius., by whom

^tna, its eruptions de-

JEtolians, their alliance
with the Romans

Africa, account of

peopled with














Agamemnon, beacons of
royal city of








182 '



1st and 2d wall of

Ajax, birth-place of***.
Aiosoluc, a corruption of

Alesia, famous siege of
Alexander gives battle
to Porus"
weeps that he
can advance
no further*
visits the
mouth of
the Indus
perilous situa-
tion of the
army of**.
his narrow es-

his capture of

scene of his

hardships of
and Darius, 3d
and decisive
battle be-

founder of
Alexandria, the great
mart for Eastern mer-
chandize before the
discovery of the Cape



Alexandrian library 201
Alpis Cottia, or Cottian

Alps, why so called* 74

Alcinous king 131

Amaltheum, the country-
seat of Atticus 116

Amathusia, a name of

Venus -133

Amazons 141

Amphiaraus Ill

Amphilochus ibid.

Amyclae, why called Ta-

citse 94

Amyclas, founder of

Amyclx ibid.

Anacreon, birth-place of 146
Anastasius, emperor*..* 123
Anaxagoras, birth-place

of. 146


sacus 142

birth-place of 149
Antient world described 25
Greeks and Ro-
mans, their
knowledge of

confined ibid.

Andalusia, whence de-
rived 69


of 144

Andromeda 168

Antenor 29

Antigonus 156

Antioch, our Lord's dis-
ciples fi rstcalledChris-

tians there 161

Antiochian Daphne..-. 161. 163
Antiochus Eupator 103
Antiochus, king of Sy-
ria 85.144.148

Antipater, besieged by

the Athenians 113
escape of ibid.

Antoninus, wall of 61

Antony 30

Apelles, birth-place of. 1 32
Apellicon of Teios, pur-
chaser of Aristotle's

writings 144

Apion, last of the Ptole-
mies 198


Apis, king of Apia 92

Apollo 110

temple of 54.111

where worship-
ped 94

abode of 107

birth-place of 128

Sminthian 144

residence of .... 127

Apollonius Rhodius*... 124

place of 157

Apuleius, birth-place of 195

Arabs, their origin 173

Arcadia, the celebrated
pastoral coun-
try of the poets 97
whence it derives

its name (N.) 98

Archemorus 93

Archipelago, a corrup-
tion, whence derived 134
Archon, court of the

chief 103

Areopagus, court of.... 102

Arginusse, battle of 145

Argo, the famous ship. -113.124 .
Argonautic expedition- 114.179

Ariadne 129

Aristotle, birth-place of 119
library and

writings of 144
Ark of Noah, where said

to have rested 179

Arminius, a commander

of the Cherusci 82

Artemisia,queenofCaria 150
Asdrubal, defeated by
Liv. Salinator and

Claudius Nero 35

Asia Minor, description

of 136

twelve of its ci-
ties destroyed by

an earthquake. 149

Asian water-fowl 147

Atalanta, native place of 98

Atarneus 145

Atergatis, the Syrian

goddess 163

Athenians, defeat of, in

Sicilly -52

Athens, topography of* 101




Athos, monasteries of. .119.134
cut through by

Xerxes 119

its shadow 126

Atropates 182

Attalus leaves the king-
dom of Pergamus to

the Romans 145

Attala 41

Aventine Hill, why of ill

omen 38

Augustin, St 191

birth-place of 195
Augustus, celebrated li-
brary of. 33

residence of ibid.
restores the
kingdom of
Numidia to

Juba 191

rebuilds Car-
thage 194

Aurelian, the emperor* 164

Ausonia, whence derived 27

Babylon, description of. 174

walls of ibid.

taken by Cyrus 175
Babylonians, addicted to

astrology 176

Bacchus 102

temple of ibid.

where worshipped 128
founder of the
temple of Jupi-
ter Ammon* 198
Baise, palaces of Roman

nobles at 39

Bajazet, his defeat of the
Christian army,

&c. 89

conquered by Ti-

mour the Great 140

Balbec,' ruins of 162

Battle of Aboukir 202

Actium Ill

Arbela 182

Beneventum** 42

Cannx 44

Caudium 42

Cunaxa 177

Guagamela 182


Battle of Granicus 142

Ipsus 156

Issus 155

Leuctra 105

Marathon 104

Methone 118

near the river Me-

taurus 35

of Munda 69

Pavia 32

Pharsalia .... 115

Philippi 121

Placentia 30

Platrea 105

Salamis 101

Saltus Teuto-

bergiensis 82

Thapsus 191.194

Thermopylae 109

Ticinus 193

Trasymenus ibid.

Trebia 30.193

Zama 193.195

Pattus,founder of Cyrene 198

Belisarius 192

Bellerophon 151

sent against

the Solymi 152

Bellona, of the Eastern

nations, the

goddess of

Love 141

temple of, plun-
dered by An-
tony 157

Bells, where invented*. 40

Belus 174

temple of 162

Bias, birth-place of.... 148
Boadicea, defeated by

Suetonius Paulinus. ... 59

Bocchus 189.191

Breeches whence de-
rived (N.) 73

Brennus 139

Bridges, the longest in

Europe 88

Briseis 145

Britain, peopled from

Gaul 57

divided into pro-
vinces 59




Browne, Mr. an English
traveller 199

Bruce, Mr. mistook the
Astapus for the Nile 106

Brutus, where besieged 30
rescued ibid.

Bucephalus, the famous

horse of Alexander- 186

Buonaparte defeated by

Sir Sidney Simlh*..* 169

Cabiri, the 125

Cadmus, founder of

Thebes.-. 106
the Phoenician 164
Cxsar lands in Britain-. 58
resisted at Ilerda

or Lerida 67
from what place
of Gaul he em-
barked to in-
vade Britain-.. 58.79
his landing-place

in Britain 58

his concise ac-
count of his vic-
tory over Phar-

naces 141

his victoiy over
Metellus Scipio

in Africa 195

passes the Rubi-
con 33

Calais and Zethus 130

Calisto, story of (N.) 98

Calvary, Mount 167

Calydonian boar- hunt* 210

CambyseSjhis armyover-

whelmed by

the sands in

the deserts of

Africa 200

destroys Thebet 205

Cannae, battle of 44

Capitol 38

Cappadocians refused

their liberty 157

Caractacus defeated by

Ostorius Scapula.... 159
Carian, a name for slaves 149
Carthage, a colony of

Tynans..- 192


Carthage,called Cartha-
da by its foun-
ders and Car-
chedon by the

Greeks 193

destroyed by
Scipio Afri-
canus Minor 194
Carthaginian brothers,
two buried alive ...... 197

Carthaginians, defeated
by the Romans off the

Agates Insulx 53

Cartismandua, queen of

the Brigantes 59

Cassander 118

Castalides, a name of the

Muses 107

Castor and Pollux,birth-

placeof 94

Cato, death of 192

the elder 194

his march along
the Syrtes in-
fested by ser-
pents 19-7

Catullus, birth-place of 29

Caucasian passes 180

Caudmm,whycelebrated 42

Ceramicus 103

Cerberus, dragged from

hell by Hercules-... 138
Chxronea, battles of 106
Chares,pupilofLysippus 132
Cherries brought from
Pontus into Italy by

Lucullus 141

Chian wine 131

Chimera, the fabulous

monster 151

China, whether known

to the antients 185

Choaspes, its waters
drank by the Persian

kings 180

Christ, the scene of his
birth, suffer-
ings, and death 165
his appearance to
the two disci-
ples going to
Emmaus 167




Christian forces,defeated
by the Saracens, under

AbuObeidah 171

Chryses, father of Chry-

seis 144

Chrysostom, St. , place of

his banishment 157

Churches, Seven, men-
tioned by St. John .in
the Revelation 145. 147, 148
Cicero, birth-place of 37, 38
celebrated villa

of y 38

proconsul of Ci-

licia 155.162

his pretensions to

a triumph"- 155
Cimbri defeated by Ma-

rius 29

Claudia, the Roman ves-
tal (N.) 139

Claudius,em peror,f ound-

er of Archelais 157

Cleopatra, account of
her visit to Antony 154

Clodius, death of 49

Colonis, hill of 103

Colophon, in printing ex-
plained 147

Colossus of Rhodes 133

Constantinople, Roman

empire transferred to 123
Constantinople taken by

the Turks ibid.

Copts 200

Corey ra, sedition of 130

Corinth, destroyed by
Memmius the Roman

general 96

Coronea, battle of 106

Corsica, by whom colo-
nized"* 55

by whom peo-
pled ibid.

by whom taken ibid.
why celebrated ibid.

Corey cian Cave 108

Cottian Alps 74

Council of Trent 86

Countries North of the
Baltic, thought by


the antients to consist
of a number of islands

(N.) 83

Crassus, Roman tri-
umvir, scene of his

death 176

Cretans, skilled in arch-
ery 129

Croesus, residence of- 148
captivity of ibid.
oracle given to 138
Cumxan Sibyl, residence

of 146

Curetes, or Idaei Dac-

tyli, worship of 129

Cybele, worship of ... 129. 139

imageof 140

Cyclades, why so called 129
Cyllenius, a name given

to Mercury 99

Cynetheans, their rus-
ticity, how accounted

for ibid.

Cynosarges 102

Cyrene, bequeathed to

theRomans 198

Cyrus, his expedition

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