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coast ; it is 240 Miles from the River Oroates to Charax. The
Towns in it are Seleucia and Sositare, situated upon the
Mountain Casyrus. The Coast which lieth before it is, as
we have said before, no less dangerous than the Lesser Syrtes,
because of the Mud and Slime which the Rivers Brixia and
Ortacea bring down; and Elimais itself is so moist that
there is no Way to Persis but by taking a Circuit about
it. It is also much infested with Serpents, which those
Rivers bring down : but that part of it is the least passable
which they call Characene, from the Town (Charax), which
limiteth the Kingdoms of Arabia : of which we will speak
by and by, after we have set down the Opinion ofM.Agrippa;
for he hath written, that Media, Parthia, and Persis, are
bounded on the East by the Indus ; on the West, by the
Tigris ; on the North, by the Taurus and Caucasus ; and on
the South, by the Red Sea : also, that they extend in Length
1320 Miles, and in Breadth 840. Moreover, that Mesopo-
tamia by itself is enclosed eastward by the Tigris, westward by
the Euphrates ; on the North by the Taurus, and on the South
by the Persian Sea; being in Length 800 Miles, and in
Breadth 360. Charax is the inmost Town of the Persian
Gulf, from which Arabia, called Eudaemon (happy) runneth
forth in Length; it is situated upon a Mount artificially
raised between the Confluence of Tigris on the right Hand,
and Eulseus on the left : with an Expansion of three Miles.
It was first founded by Alexander the Great ; who, having
drawn Colonists out of the royal City Durine (which then


146 History of Nature. [BOOK VI.

was ruined), and leaving there behind him those Soldiers
which were not fit for service, ordained that this Town should
be called Alexandria ; and the District about it, Pellseum,
from his native Country : and he peopled it only with Mace-
donians. This Town was destroyed by the Rivers. After-
wards, Antiochus, the fifth of the Kings, rebuilt it, and
named it from himself. But when it was injured again,
Spasines, Son of Sogdonacus, King of the adjoining Arabians,
and not (as Juba reporteth) a Lord (Satrap) under Antiochus,
restored it by Moles opposite each other, and called it after
his own Name. He thus fortified the Site of it three Miles in
Length and little less in Breadth. At the beginning it stood
upon the Sea-coast, being from the Water-side ten Stadia ;
and even from thence it hath false Galleries : but by the
Report of Juba, in his Time, 50 Miles. At this Day the
Arabian Ambassadors, and also our Merchants that come from
thence, affirm it is from the Sea-shore 125 Miles : so that it
cannot be found in any Place that the Earth hath gained
more, or in so short a Time by means of the Mud brought
down by Rivers. And it is the more wonderful, that the
Tide which riseth far beyond this Town doth not carry it
away again. In this very Town I am not ignorant that
Dionysius, the latest of our modern Geographers, was born :
whom Divus Augustus sent before into the East to write a
Description of whatever he found, for the Information of his
elder Son, who was about to proceed into Armenia, in an
Expedition against the Parthians and Arabians. It has not
escaped me, nor is it forgotten, that in my first Entrance into
this Work, I professed to follow those who had written of
their own Countries, as being the most diligent in that be-
half. Nevertheless, in this Place I choose rather to follow
the Roman Officers that have warred there, and King Juba,
in Books written to C. Ccesar (Caligula) concerning the
aame Arabian Expedition.

BOOK VI.] History of Nature. 147


Arabia, Nomades, Nalatcei, and Omani: the Islands Tylos
and Ogyris.

ARABIA cometh behind none of the Nations for its great
Length and Extent ; for it beginneth at the Descent of the
Mountain Amanus, overagainst Cilicia and Comagen, as we
have before said ; where it is peopled with many Nations of
them, brought by Tigranes the Great to inhabit that Quarter;
and in old Time it descended naturally as far as to our Sea
and the Egyptian Coast, as we have shewn : yea, and it
extendeth into the midland Parts of Syria to the Mountain
Libanus, where the Hills reach to the very Clouds : to
which are joined the Ramasi ; then the Taranei, and after
them the Patami. The Peninsula itself of Arabia runneth
out between two Seas, the Red and the Persian, by a
certain Workmanship of Nature, resembling Italy in Form
and Magnitude, with its Sea-coasts also in the manner of
Italy. It also regardeth the same Quarter of the Heaven
without any Difference. This Tract, for the rich Seat it
hath, is named Felix (happy). The Nations therein dwell-
ing, from our Sea to the Deserts of Palmyra, we have treated
of already, therefore we pass them by. The Nomades, and
those Robbers that trouble the Chaldseans, the People
called Scenitse, border on it as we have before said ; they also
are Wanderers, but are so called from their Tabernacles,
which they make of Hair-cloths, and they encamp under
them as they please. Being past them you find the Nabatsei,
who inhabit a Town named Petra, in the Valley, little less
than two Miles large ; environed with very steep Mountains,
and having a River running through the midst of it. It
is distant from Gaza (a Town of our Coast) 600 Miles ; and
from the Persian Gulf, 122. And here meet both the High-
ways, that is, the one which Passengers travel to Palmyra in
Syria, and the other wherein they come from Gaza. Beyond
Petra the Omani inhabit as far as to Carax, in the celebrated
Towns built by Semiramis, namely, Abesamis and Soractia.
But now all is a Wilderness, Then come you to a Town

148 History of Nature. [BooK VI.

named Forath, situated upon the Bank of the Pasitigris, and
subject to the King of the Caraceni : to which they resort
from Petra; and from thence to Charax they sail with a
favourable Tide for the Space of twelve Miles. But they
that come by Water out of the Parthian Kingdom, meet with
a Village called Teredon, below the Place where Euphrates
and Tigris meet. The Chaldaeans inhabit the left Bank of
the River, and the Nomades called Scenitse, the right. Some
affirm, that as you sail on the Tigris, you pass by two other
Towns, distant from each other : the one called formerly
Barbatia, and afterwards Thumata, which our Merchants
report to be ten Days' Sail from Petra, and to be subject to
the King of the Characeni : and the other named Apamia,
situated in the Place where the Overflowing of Euphrates
joineth with the Tigris ; and therefore they prevent the In-
vasion of the Parthians, by breaking up the Banks and so
procure an Inundation of the Waters. Now being past Cha-
rax, we will discourse of the Coast first explored by Epi-
phanes. The Place where the Mouth of the Euphrates was.
A River of Salt Water ; the Promontory Chaldone, where the
Sea is more like a Whirlpool than a Sea, for 50 Miles. The
River Achana ; Deserts for 100 Miles, until you come to the
Island Ichara : the Bay Capeus, which the Gaulopes and
Chateni inhabit : the Bay Gerraicus, and the Town Gerra,
five Miles in extent ; and fortified with Towers made of square
Masses of Salt. Fifty Miles from the Sea-side is the Region
Attene : and overagainst it the Island Tylos, as many Miles
from the Shore, with a Town bearing the Name of the Island,
much celebrated for Abundance of Pearls : and not far from
it is another somewhat less, twelve Miles from the Cape of
the aforesaid Tylos. Beyond these there are discovered by
Report some great Islands ; but they have not been visited
by our Merchants. This last Island is 112 Miles and a half
in Circuit, and is far from Persis ; and Access to it is only
by one narrow Channel. The Island Asgilia ; the Nations
Nocheti, Zurachi, Borgodi, Catarsei, and Nomades : the
River Cynos. Beyond that, Juba saith, there is no more
Navigation discovered on that Side, by reason of the Rocks.
He hath made no mention of the Town Batrasabe of the

BOOK VI.] History of Nature. 1 49

Omani, nor of Omana, which former Geographers have
held to be a Harbour of great Importance in Carmania.
Also, Omne and Athanae, which our Merchants report to be
at this Day two very famous Towns, frequented from the
Persian Gulf. Beyond the River Canis, as King Juba
writeth, there is a Hill which seemeth all scorched. The
Nations of the Epimaranitae : and soon after the Ichthyo-
phagi : a desert Island ; the Nations Bathymi. The Moun-
tains Eblitaei ; the Island Omcenus ; the Port Machorbae, the
Islands Etaxalos, Onchobrice, the Nation Chadaei. Many
Islands without a Name : but of Importance, Isura, Rhinnea ;
and another very near, wherein are Pillars of Stone inscribed
with unknown Characters. The Port of Goboea; and the
desert Islands Bragae. The Nation of the Thaludsei : the
Region Dabanegoris : the Mountain Orsa, with a Port :
the Bay Duatus, and many Islands. The Mountain Tricory-
phus : the Region Cardalena, the Islands Solanidae, Capina.
Also the Islands of the Ichthyophagi : and after them the
Glari. The Shore called Hamruaeum, where are Gold Mines.
The Region Canauna. The Nations Apitami and Gasani.
The Island Deuadae; the Fountain Goralus; theGarpheti;
the Islands Aleu and Amnamethu. The Nation called
Darrae, the Islands Chelonitis, and many of the Ichthyo-
phagi. The Isle Eodanda, which is Desert, and Basage ;
many others of the Sabaei. The Rivers Thamar and Amnon ;
the Islands Dolicae ; the Fountains Daulotes and Dora ; the
Islands, Pteros, Labanis, Coboris, Sambracate, with a Town
so named on the Continent. On the South side are many
Islands, but the greatest of them is Camari. The River
Mysecros ; the Port Leupas, and the Sabaeans, called Sce-
nitae. Many other Islands ; their Chief Town of Merchandise
is Acila, where the Merchants embark for their Voyage to
India. The Region Amithoscuta, and Damnia. The Mizi,
the Greater and Less : the Drimati and Macae. The Promon-
tory of these People is overagainst Carmania, and distant
from it 50 Miles. A wonderful thing is reported there : that
Numenius, Chief Commander under King Antiochus, over
Mesena, conquered the Navy of the Persians in a Sea-fight,

150 History of Nature. [BOOK VI.

and on the same Day, with the return of the Tide, sub-
dued their Horsemen : in memorial of which he erected in
the same Place two Trophies, one in honour of Jupiter,
and the other of Neptune. Far out at Sea there lieth an
Island called Ogyris, distant from the Continent 125 Miles,
and containing in Circuit 112; much renowned for the
Sepulchre of King Erythra, who was buried there. Another
there is no less famous, called Dioscoridu, in the Sea Aza-
nium ; and it is from Syagrum, the extremest Cape, 280
Miles. There remain yet not spoken of, the Autarides,
toward the South, in the Mountains, which continue for
seven Days' journey : the Nations Larendani, Catabani, and
Gebanitse, who have many Towns, but the greatest are Nagia
and Tarnna, with 65 Temples within it, which is a mark how
great it is. A Promontory, from which to the Continent of
the Trogloditse is 50 Miles. The Toani, Acchitee, Chatra-
motitse, Tomabei, Antidalei, Lexianse, Agrei, Cerbani ; and
Sabaei, of all the Arabians most famous for their Frankin-
cense ; their Nations reaching from Sea to Sea. Their Towns
on the Coast of the Red Sea are Marane, Marma, Corolla,
and Sabatra ; within-land are the Towns Nascus, Cardava,
Carnus, and Tomala, whence they convey their Commodities
of Aromatics. One part of them are the Atramitse, whose
Capital City, Sobotale, had within its Walls Sixty Temples.
But the Royal City of the whole is Nariaba, situated on a
Gulf that reacheth into the Land ninety-four Miles, full of
Islands, having Odoriferous Trees. Upon the Atramitse,
within the Mainland, are joined the Minaei : but the Ela-
mitae inhabit the Sea (Coast), where standeth a City also called
Elamitum. To them are joined the Cagulatae ; and their
Town is Siby, which the Greeks name A pate. Then the
Arsicodani, and Vadei, with a great Town : and the Barasei :
Lichenia, and the Island Sygaros, which Dogs will not enter ;
and if any be put there, they wander about the Shore until
they die. A Deep Bay, in which are the Leanitae, who gave
name to it. Their Royal City is Agra : but Leana, or, as
others have it, ^lana, is in the Bay. And hence our
Writers have called that Bay jElaniticum, which others

BOOK VI.] History of Nature. 151

have termed JSlenaticum ; Artemidorus, Aleniticum ; and
Juba, Lseniticum. Arabia is reported to take in Circuit from
Charax to Leana, 4870 Miles ; but Juba thinketh it some-
what less than 4000. It is widest in the North Parts, be-
tween the Towns Herons and Charace. Now it remaineth
that we speak of other Parts within the Midland thereof.
The Ancients joined the Nabataei to the Thimanei ; but at
this Day there are the Tavern, Suelleni, and Sarraceni : the
Town is Arra, wherein all Business is assembled. The He-
rnuatse and Analitae ; the Towns Domada and Erag ; the
Thamusians, with their Town Badanatha; the Carrei, and
their Town Chariati ; the Achoali, and their Town Phoda.
Furthermore, the Minaei, descended, as some think, from
Minos, King of Crete ; whose Town Charmaei is 14 Miles (in
Compass) ; Mariaba, Baramalacum, a Town not to be de-
spised; likewise Carnon, and the Rhamei, who are thought
to spring from Rhadamanthus, the Brother of Minos. The
Homeritae, with the Town Massala ; the Hamirci, Gedra-
nitae, Anaprae, Ilisanitae, Bochilitae, Sammei, and Amathei ;
with the Towns, Nessa and Cennesseri. The Zamareni, with
the Towns Saiace, Scantate, and Bacascani ; the Town Rhi-
phearma, which in the Arabian Tongue signifieth Barley ;
also the Autei, Raui, Gyrei, and Marhatsei ; the Helmodones,
with the Town Ebode ; the Agacturi in the Mountains, hav-
ing a Town 20 Miles in Circuit, wherein is a Fountain called
Emischabales, which signifies the Camel's Town ; Ampelone,
a Colony of the Milesii ; the Town Actrida ; the Calingii,
whose Town is named Mariaba, which signifies Lords of all.
Towns Pallon and Murannimal, near a River, by which they
think that the Euphrates springeth forth. The Nations
Agrei and Ammonii ; the Town Athenas ; the Caurarani,
which signifieth very rich in Cattle. The Caranitae, Caesani,
and Choani. There were also Towns in Arabia, held by
Greeks, as Arethusa, Larissa, and Chalcis, which were
destroyed in various Wars. The only Roman until this day
that carried our Arms into those Parts was jElius Gallus, of
the Knightly Order. For Gains Ccesar, the Son of Augustus,
did but look only into Arabia ; but Gallus destroyed Towns,
not named by Authors that wrote before : Egra, Annestum,

152 History of Nature. [BOOK VI.

Esca, Magusum, Tammacum, Labecia, and the above-named
Marieba, in Circuit Six Miles : likewise Caripeta, the furthest
that he went to. The other matters he made report of were,
that the Nomades live on Milk and Wild Animals ; the rest
express Wine, as the Indians do, out of Dates ; and Oil of
Sesama. That the Homerites are the most Populous ; the
Minasi have Fruitful Fields, full of Palm-trees and Vine-
yards, but their Riches is in Cattle. The Cembani and
Arii excel in Arras, but chiefly the Chatramotitse. The
Carseans have the largest Territories and most Fertile
Fields. The Sabsei are Richest in the Fertility of their
Woods, that bring forth Aromatic Gums : also in Mines of
Gold ; having Water to refresh their Lands, and plenty of
Honey and Wax. Of the Spices that come from thence we
will speak in a Book by itself. The Arabians wear Mitres, 1
or go with their Hair long ; their Beards they shave, except
on the upper Lip ; and yet some there are that suffer their
Beards to grow long. But one thing is surprising, that out
of such a very great number of People, the one-half live by
Robbery, and the other by Merchandise. On the whole
they are exceedingly rich ; for with them the Romans and
Parthians leave very large Sums, for the Commodities out
of their Woods and Seas which they sell them ; and them-
selves buy nothing of them in return. Now will we speak of
the other Coast opposite to Arabia. Timosthenes hath set
down, that the whole Gulf was from one End to the other
Four Days' Sailing : and from Side to Side, Two Days' ; the
Breadth of the Straits being Seven Miles over. Eratosthenes
saith, that taking the Measure at the very Mouth, it is every
way 1300 Miles.


The Gulf of the Red Sea : likewise of the Trogloditic and
^Ethiopian Seas.

ARTEMIDORUS saith, that the Red Sea toward the side of
Arabia is 1450 Miles : but on the Coast of the Trogloditse 1 1 82,

1 It is a question whether these are not rather turbans, as at present
extensively worn through Asia. Wern, Club.

BOOK VI.] History of Nature. 153

until you come to Ptolemais : but Agrippa 1322, without any
distinction of the Sides. Most Geographers have set down
the Breadth to be 462 Miles : and the Mouth of it against
the Sun-rising in Winter, (i. e. South-west) some say, is 7
Miles Broad ; and others 12. The Situation of it is this :
Beyond the Bay called JElaniticus there is another Bay
which the Arabians call jEant, on which standeth the Town
Heroon. There was also Cambisu, between the Neli and
Marchandae, into which the sick Soldiers were conveyed.
The Nation of Tyra ; the Port Daneon, from which Sesostris,
King of Egypt, was the first that imagined to conduct a
Navigable Channel into the Nile, in that part where it
runneth to the Place called Delta, for the Space of 62
Miles ; which is between the River and the Red Sea. This
Enterprise was followed by Darius, King of the Persians :
and afterwards by Ptolomceus, who also made a Channel
100 Feet in Breadth, and 30 Deep, for Thirty-Seven Miles
and a Half in Length, even to the Bitter Fountains. But
this Design went no farther, through fear of an Inundation :
the Red Sea being found to lie Three Cubits above the Land
of Egypt. Some allege that this was not the true cause,
but that if the Sea were let into the Nile the Water thereof
(of which only they drink) would be corrupted. Never-
theless the Way is well frequented from the Egyptian Sea ;
and there are Three ordinary Ways there : one from Pelu-
sium over the Sands, where, unless Reeds be set up in the
Ground for direction, no Path would be found, because the
Wind bloweth the Sand over the Tracts of the Feet. A
second beginneth Two Miles beyond the Mountain Casius,
which after sixty Miles returneth into the Pelusiac Way.
Here the Arabians called Autei inhabit. The Third begin-
neth at Gereum, which they call Adipson, and passeth
through these same Arabians, being Sixty Miles nearer, but
full of craggy Hills, and altogether destitute of Water. All
these Ways lead to Arsinoe, which was built upon the Gulf
Charandra by Ptolemceus Philadelphus, and bearing his
Sister's Name : and he was the first that searched narrowly
into the Region Trogloditicum ; and the River that passeth

154 History of Nature. [BooK VI.

by Arsinoe he called Ptolemseus. Within a little of this
Place there is a small Town named Aennum, for which
some write Philotera. Beyond them are the Azarei : wild
Arabians from Marriages of the Trogloditee. The Islands
Sapyren and Scytala : and within a little, Deserts, unto
Myros-hormos, where is the Fountain called Tadnos ; the
Mountain Eos ; the Island Larnbe, many Harbours ; and
Berenice, a Town bearing the Name of the Mother of Phila-
delphus ; to which there is a Way lying from Coptos, as we
have said : the Arabians called Autei, and Gnebadei. Tro-
gloditice, which the Ancients called Michoe, and others
Midoe : the Mountain Pentedactylos. Certain Islands called
Stenae-de'irse ; and others no fewer in number, named Halon-
nesi : Cardamine, and Topazos, which gave the Name to the
precious Stone. A Bay full of Islands, of which that which
is called Mareu is well supplied with Water : another, called
Eratonos, is altogether Dry. There were Governors there
under the King. Within-land inhabit the Candei, whom
they call Ophiophagi, because they are accustomed to feed
on Serpents; and in truth there is no other Region that
breeds them more than this. Juba, who seemeth to have
very diligently searched into these things, hath omitted in
this Tract (unless there be some fault in his Original), to
speak of a second Berenice, which is denominated Pan-
chrysos ; as also of a third called Epidires, renowned for its
Situation ; for it stands upon a Neck of Land running a long
way, where the Mouth of the Red Sea is not above Four
Miles and a Half from Arabia. There is the Island Cytis,
itself producing Topazes. Beyond this are Woods, where
Ptolemceus, surnamed Philadelphia, built a City for Hunt-
ing the Elephant, near the Lake Monoleus, and named it
Epitheras. This is the Region mentioned by me in the
Second Book; wherein for Forty-five Days before Mid-
Summer, and as many after, at the Sixth Hour of the Day,
no Shadows are to be seen : which being past, all the Day
after they fall into the South ; and on other Days they fall
to the North ; whereas, in Berenice, which we mentioned
first, on the very Day of the Solstice, at the Sixth Hour, the

BOOK VI.] History of Nature. 155

Shadows are wholly lost; and otherwise there is nothing
new to be observed for the space of 600 Miles about Ptole-
mais : a thing worthy of observation, and a place of great
Curiosity, that gave great Light to the World ; for Erato-
sthenes, upon this undoubted argument of the Shadows, took
in hand to deduce the Measure of the Earth. Beyond this
is the Sea Azanium, and the Promontory which some have
written by the name of Hispalus ; also the Lake Mandalum ;
the Island Colocasitis, and in the deep Sea many, wherein
are numerous Tortoises. The Town Suchse ; the Island
Daphnis, and the Town Aduliton, built by Egyptian Slaves
who escaped from their Masters. This is the greatest Town
of Traffic of the Trogloditse, as well as of the Egyptians : and
it is (from Ptolemais) Five Days' Sailing. Thither are brought
very much Ivory and Horns of the Rhinoceros, Skins of the
Hippopotamus, Tortoise Shells, Monkeys, and Slaves. Above
are the Ethiopians, called Aroteres : also the Islands named
Aliseu : and Islands named Bacchias, Antibacchias, and
Strathonis; beyond them there is a Gulf in the Coast of
Ethiopia, as yet not known, a thing to be wondered at, con-
sidering that Merchants search into remoter Parts. Also a
Promontory, wherein is a Fountain named Cucios, much
desired by Sailors. Beyond it is the Port of Isis, distant
from the Town of the Adulitse ten Days rowing with Oars :
and thither is Myrrh collected by the Trogloditse. Before
this Harbour are two Islands, named Pseudopylse ; and as
many further within, called Pylse ; in one of them are some
Pillars of Stone, engraved with unknown Characters. Be-
yond this is the Bay Abalites : the Island Diodori, and others
lying Desert. Also along the Continent there is much Wil-
derness ; the Town Gaza ; the Promontory and Port Mossy-
lites, unto which Cinnamon is brought. Thus far marched
Sesostris with his Army. Some Writers place one Town of
Ethiopia beyond this, on the Sea-side, called Baradaza.
Juba would have the Atlantic Sea to begin at the Promon-
tory Mossylites : on which Sea a Man may Sail with a north-
west Wind, by the Coasts of his Kingdoms of Mauritania to
Gades : and the whole of his Opinion cannot be contradicted

156 History of Nature. [BooK VI.

on this point. From a Promontory of the Indians called
Lepteacra, and by others Drepanum, to the Isle of Malchu,
he layeth it down that by a straight Course it is 1500
Miles, beside those Parts that are burnt up. From thence
to a place called Sceneos is 225 Miles : and from it to the
Island Sadanum, 150 Miles : and thus it is made to the open
Sea 1885 Miles. But all other Writers have been of opinion
that there could not be any Sailing on it, for the exceeding
Heat of the Sun. Moreover, the Arabians named Ascitse do
much harm from the Islands to the Trade : for these Ara-
bians join Bottles made of Ox Leather, two and two toge-
ther, as if they were a Bridge, and exercise Piracy by
shooting their Poisoned Arrows. The same Juba writeth,
that there are Nations of the Trogloditae, named Thero-
thoes, from their huntings, of wonderful Swiftness : as
the Ichthyophagi from Swimming, as if they were Water
Creatures. He nameth also the Bargeni, Zagerae, Chalybse,
Saxinse, Syrecae, Daremae, and Domazanes. Also he affirmeth,
that the People inhabiting along the Sides of the Nile, from
Syene to Meroe, are not ^Ethiopians, but Arabians, who for
the sake of Fresh Water approached the Nile, and there

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