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Persian Gulf, in which he appears to he correct.

34 Nothing relative to Numenius beyond this fact has been recorded.

35 Hardouin and Ansart think that under this name is meant the
island called in modern times Mazira or Maceira,


famous for being the burial-place of king Ery thras ; 36 it is dis-
tant from the mainland one hundred and twenty miles, being
one hundred and twelve in circumference. No less famous is
another island, called Dioscoridu, 37 and lying in the Azanian.
Sea ; 38 it is distant two hundred and eighty miles from tho
extreme point of the Promontory of Syagrus. 39

The remaining places and nations on the mainland, tying
still to the south, are the Ausaritse, to whose country it is seven
days' journey among the mountains, the nations of the Laren-
daui and the Catabani, and the Gebanitae, who occupy a great
number of towns, the largest of which are Nagia, and Thomna
with sixty -five temples, a number which fully bespeaks its size.
We then come to a promontory, from which to the mainland
of the Troglodyte it is fifty miles, and then the Thoani, the
Actaei, the Chatramotitae, the Tonabei, the Antidalei, the Lex-
ianae, the Agraci, the Cerbani, and the Sabsei, 40 the best known
of all the tribes of Arabia, on account of their frankincense ;
these nations extend from sea to sea. 41 The towns which be-
long to them on the lied Sea are Marane, Marma, Corolia, and
Sabatha ; and in the interior, Nascus, Cardava, Carnus, and
Thomala, from which they bring down their spices for expor-
tation. One portion of this nation is the AtramitaB, 43 whose

36 There seem to have been three mythical personages of this name ;
but it appears impossible to distinguish the one from the other.

3 7 Or '* JDioscoridis Insula," an island of -the Indian Ocean, of con-
siderable importance as an emporium or mart, in ancient times. It lay
between the Syagrus Promontorium, in Arabia, and Aromata Promon-
torium, now Cape Guardafui, on the opposite coast of Africa, somewhat
nearer to the former, according to Arrian, which cannot be the case if it is
rightly identified with Socotorra, 200 miles distant from the Arabian
coast, and 110 from the north-east promontory of Africa.

38 So called from Azania, or Barbaria, now Ajan, south of Somauli, on
the mainland of Africa.

39 Now Cape Fartash, in Arabia.

40 Their country is supposed to have been the Sheba of Scripture, the
queen of which visited king Solomon. It was situate in the south-western
corner of Arabia Felix, the north and centre of the province of Yemen,
though the geographers before Ptolemy seem to give it a still wider
extent, quite to the south of Yemen. The Sabaei most probably spread
originally on both sides of the southern part of the Red Sea, the shores of
Arabia and Africa. Their capital was Saba, in which, according to their
usage, their king was confined a close prisoner.

41 The Persian Gulf to the lied Sea.

43 The modern district of Hadramaut derives its name from this people,


capital, Sabota, has sixty temples within its walls. But the
royal city of all these nations is Mariaba ; 44 it lies upon a bay,
ninety-four miles in extent, and filled with islands that produce
perfumes. Lying in the interior, and joining up to the Atra-
mitse, are the Minaai ; the Elarnitae 45 dwell on the sea-shore, in a
city from which they take their name. Next to these are the
Chaculatae ; then the town of Sibi, by the Greeks called Apate ; 46
the Arsi, the Codani, the Yadei, who dwell in a large town,
the Barasassei, the Lechieni, and the island of Sygaros, 47 into
the interior of which no dogs are admitted, and so being ex-
posed on the sea- shore, they wander about there and are left to
die. We then come to a gulf which runs far into the in-
terior, upon which are situate the Lseenitse, who have given
to it their name ; also their royal city of Agra, 48 and upon
the gulf that of Lseana, or as some call it ^Elana ; 49 indeed,
by some of our writers this has been called the .^Elanitic Gulf,
and by others again, the ^Elenitic ; Artemidorus calls it the
Alenitic, and Juba the Lsenitic. The circumference of Arabia,
measured from Charax to Laeana, is said to be four thousand
six hundred and sixty- six miles, but Juba thinks that it is
somewhat less than four thousand. Its widest part is at the
north, between the cities of Heroopolis and Charax. We will
now mention the remaining places and peoples of the interior
of Arabia.

Up to the Nabataei 50 the ancients joined the Thimanei; at
present they have next to them the Taveni, and then the Suel-
ieni, the Arraceni, 51 and the Areni, 52 whose town is the centre of

who were situate on the coast of the Red Sea to the east of Aden. Sa-
bota., their capital, was a great emporium for their drugs and spices.

44 Still kuown as Mareb, according to Ansart.

^ 45 Ilardouin is doubtful as to this name, and thinks that it ought to be
Elai'tae, or else Laeanitse, the people again mentioned below.

46 A name which looks very much like "fraud," or "cheating," as
Ilardouin observes, from the Greek aTrdrrj.

v Oif the Promontory of Ras-el-Had.

18 Probably in the district now known as Akra. It was situate on the
eastern coast of the Red Sea, at the foot of Mount Hipp us.

49 See B. v. c. 12, where this town is mentioned
Whose chief city Was Petra, previously mentioned.

61 Supposed by some writers to have been the ancestors of the Saracens,
so famous in the earlier part of the middle ages. Some of the MSS., in-
deed, read " Sarraceni."

53 Their town is called Arra by Ptolemy.


all the commerce of these parts. Next come the Hemnatee, *
the Aualitse, the towns of Domata and Hegra, the Tamudsei, 53
with the town of Badanatha, the Carrei, with the town of
Cariati, 54 the Achoali, with the town of Foth, and the Minsei,
who derive their origin, it is supposed, 85 from Minos, king of
Crete, and of whom the Carmaei are a tribe. Next comes a
town, fourteen miles distant, called Marippa, and belonging to
the Palamaces, a place by no means to be overlooked, and then
Carnon. The Rhadamsei also these too are supposed to derive
their origin 56 from Rhadamanthus, the brother of Minos the
Homeritse, 57 with their city of Masala, 58 the Hamirei, the Ged-
ranitae, the Amphyree, the Ilisanitse, the Bachilitae, the Sam-
nsei, the Amitsei, with the towns of Nessa 59 and Cennesseris,
the Zamareni, with the towns of Sagiatta and Canthace, the
Bacascami, the town of Biphearma, the name by which they
call barley, the Autei, the Ethravi, the Cyrei and the Matha-
tsei, the Helmodenes, with the town of Ebode, the Agacturi,
dwelling in the mountains, with a town twenty miles distant,
in which is a fountain called ^Enuscabales, 60 which signifies
" the town of the camels." Ampelome 61 also, a Milesian
colony, the town of Athrida, the Calingii, whose city is called
Mariva, 62 and signifies " the lord of all men ;" the towns of
Palon and Murannimal, near a river by which it is thought that
the Euphrates discharges itself, the nations of the Agrei and
the Ammonii, the town of Athense, the Caunaravi, a name

83 Their district is still called Thamud, according to Ansart.

54 Still called Cariatain, according to Ansart.

55 A ridiculous fancy, probably founded solely on the similarity of the

50 A story as probable, Hardouin observes, as that about the descendants
of Minos.

37 The Arabs of Yemen, known in Oriental history by the name of
Himyari, were called by the Greeks Homeritae.

58 An inland city, called Masthala by Ptolemy.

59 Agatharchides speaks of a town on the sea coast, which was so called
from the multitude of ducks found there. The one here spoken of was in
the interior, and cannot be the same.

60 Hardouin observes, that neither this word, nor the name Riphe-
ai'ma, above mentioned, has either a Hebrew or an Arabian origin.

61 Probably the same place as we find spoken of by Herodotus as Ampe,
and at which Darius settled a colony of Miletians after the capture of
Miletus, B.C. 494.

62 Hardouin remarks that Mariaba, the name found in former editions,
has no such meaning in the modern Arabic.


which signifies " most rich in herds," the Coranitse, the (Esani,
and the Choani. 63 Here were also formerly the Greek towns
of Arethusa, Larisa, and Chalcis, which have heen destroyed
in various wars.

JElius Gallus, 64 a memher of the Equestrian order, is the
sole person who has hitherto carried the Roman arms into these
lands, for Caius Osesar, the son 65 of Augustus, only had a dis-
tant view of Arabia. In his expedition, Gallus destroyed the
following towns, the names of which are not given by the
authors who had written before his time, Negrana, Nestum,
Nesca, Masugum, Caminacum, Labecia, and Mariva 66 above-
mentioned, six miles in circumference, as also Caripeta, the
furthest point of his expedition. He brought back with him
the following discoveries that the Pomades 67 live upon milk
and the flesh of wild beasts, and that the other nations, like
the Indians, extract a sort of wine from the palm-tree, and
oil from sesame. 68 He says that the most numerous of these
tribes are the Homeritae and the Minsei, that their lands are
fruitful in palms and shrubs, and that their chief wealth is
centred in their flocks. We also learn from the same source
that the Cerbani and the Agrsei excel in arms, but more
particularly the Chatramotitae ; 69 that the territories of the
Carrei are the most extensive and most fertile ; but that the
Sabeei are the richest of all in the great abundance of their
spice-bearing groves, their mines of gold, 70 their streams for

63 Mentioned by Ovid in the Metamorphoses, B. v. 1. 165, et seq.
Sillig, however, reads " Ciani."

64 An intimate friend of the geographer Strabo. He was prefect of
Egypt during part of the reign of Augustus, and in the years B.C. 24 and
25. Many particulars have been given by Strabo of his expedition against
Arabia, in which he completely failed. The heat of the sun, the badness
of the water, and the want of the necessaries of life, destroyed the greater
part of his army.

65 By adoption, as previously stated.

66 The town of the Calingii, mentioned above.

67 Or wandering tribes.

68 Its uses in medicine are stated at length in the last Chapter of B. xxi.

69 Another form of the name of Atramitae previously mentioned, the
ancient inhabitants of the part of Arabia known as Hadramant, and
settled, as is supposed, by the descendants of the Joctanite patriarch

70 Arabia at the present day yields no gold, and very little silver. The
queen of Sheba is mentioned as bringing gold to Solomon, 1 Kings, x. 2,
2 Chron. ix. i. Arteinidorus and Diodorus Siculus make mention, on the


irrigation, and their ample produce of honey and wax. Of
their perfumes we shall have to treat more at large in the
Book devoted to that subject. 71 The Arabs either wear the
mitra, 72 or else go with their hair unshorn, while the beard
is shaved, except upon the upper lip : some tiibes, however,
leave even the beard unshaved. A singular thing too, one half
of these almost innumerable tribes live by the pursuits of com-
merce, the other half by rapine : take them all in all, they are
the richest nations in the world, seeing that such vast wealth
flows in upon them from both the Roman and the Parthian
Empires ; for they sell the produce of the sea or of their forests,
while they purchase nothing whatever in return.


We will now trace the rest of the coast that lies opposite
to that of Arabia. Timosthenes has estimated the length of
the whole gulf at four days' sail, and the breadth at two,
making the Straits 73 to be seven miles and a half in width.
Eratosthenes says that the length of the shore from the mouth
of the gulf is thirteen hundred miles on each side, while Ar-
temidorus states that the length on the Arabian side is seven-
teen hundred and fifty miles, (29.) and that along the Trog-
lodytic coast, to Ptolemais, the distance is eleven hundred
and thirty-seven and a half. Agrippa, however, maintains
that there is no difference whatever in the length of the two
sides, and makes it seventeen hundred and twenty-two miles.
Most writers mention the length as being four hundred and
seventy-five miles, and make the Straits to face the south east,
being twelve miles wide according to some, fifteen according to
others. 9

The localities of this region are as follow : On passing the
^Elanitic Gulf there is another gulf, by the Arabians called

Arabian Gulf, of the Debse, the Alilaei, and the Gasandi, in whose terri-
tories native gold was found. These last people, who did not know its
value, were in the habit of bringing it to their neighbours, the Sabaei, and
exchanging it for articles of iron and copper.
" B. xii.

72 The u raitra," which was a head-dress especially used by the Phry-
gians, was probably of varied shape, and may have been the early form of
the eastern turban.

73 The Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.


Soea, upon which is situate the city of Heroon. 74 The town
of Cambysu 75 also stood here formerly, between the Nell and
the Marchades, Cambyses having established there the in-
valids of his army. We then come to the nation of the Tyri,
and the port of the Danei, from which place an attempt has
been made to form a navigable canal to the river Nile, at the
spot where it enters the Delta previously mentioned, 76 the
distance between the river and the Red Sea being sixt} r -two
miles. This was contemplated first of all by Sesostris, 77 king
of Egypt, afterwards by Darius, king of the Persians, and
still later by Ptolemy II. , T8 who also made a canal, one hundred
feet in width and forty deep, extending a distance of thirty-
seven miles and a half, as far as the Bitter Springs. 79 He was
deterred from proceeding any further with this work by ap-
prehensions of an inundation, upon finding that the Red hea
was three cubits higher than the land in the interior of Egypt.
Some writers, however, do not allege this as the cause, but
say that his reason was, a fear lest, in consequence of intro-
ducing the sea, the water of the Nile might be spoilt, that being
the only source from which the Egyptians obtain water for
drinking. Ee this as it may, the whole of the journey from
the Egyptian Sea is usually performed by land one of the
three following ways : Either from Pelusium across the sands,
in doing which the only method of finding the way is by means
of reeds fixed in the earth, the wind immediately effacing all

74 Or Heroopolis, a city east of the Delta, in Egypt, and situate near
the mouth of the royal canal which connected the Nile with the Red Sea.
It was of considerable consequence as a trading station upon the arm of the
lied Sea, which runs up as far as Arsinoe, the modern Suez, and was
called the " Gulf" or " Bay of the Heroes." The ruins of Heroopolis
are still visible atAbu-Keyscheid.

75 This place, as here implied, took its name from Carabyses, the son of

76 In c. 9 of the preceding Book. " Dictum," however, may only mean,
" called" the Delta.

77 Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and Tzetzes, mention this, not with re-
ference to Sesostris, but Necho, the grandson of Sesostris.

Ptolemy Philadelphus, son of Ptolemy Soter, or Lagides.
79 Now known by the name of Scheib. 'They derived their name from
the saline flavour and deposition of their waters. These springs were
strongly impregnated with alkaline salts, and with muriate of lime washed
from the rocks which separated the Delta from the Red Sea. The salt
which they produced being greatly valued, they were on that account re-
garded as the private property of the kings.


traces of footsteps : by the route which begins two mites be-
yond Mount Casius, and at a distance of sixty miles enters the
road from Pelusium, adjoining to which road the Arabian
tribe of the Autei dwell ; or else by a third route, which
leads from Gerrum, and which they call Adipsos, 80 passing
through the same Arabians, and shorter by nearly sixty miles,
but running over rugged mountains and through a district
destitute of water. All these roads lead to Arsinoe, 81 a city
founded in honour of his sister's name, upon the Gulf of Ca-
randra, by Ptolemy Philadelphus, who was the first to explore
Troglodytice, and called the river which flows before Arsinoe
by the name of Ptolemseus. After this comes the little town
of Enum, by some writers mentioned as Philotera ; next to
which are the Abassei, a nation sprung from intermarriages
with the Troglody tse, then some wild Arabian tribes, the islands
of Sapirine and Scytala, and after these, deserts as far as
Myoshormon, where we find the fountain of Tatnos, Mount
JEas, the island of lambe, and numerous harbours. Berenice
also, is here situate, so called after the name of the mother of
Philadelphus, and to which there is a road from Coptos, as we
have previously stated ; 82 then the Arabian Autei, and the Ze-


Troglodytice comes next, by the ancients called Midoe, and
by some Michoe ; here is Mount Pentedactj T los, some islands
called StenaB Deirse, 83 the Halonnesi, 84 a group of islands
not less in number, Cardamine, and Topazos, 85 which last has
given its name to the precious stone so called. The gulf is
full of islands ; those known as Mareu are supplied with
fresh water, those called Erenos, are without it ; these were
ruled by governors 86 appointed by the kings. In the interior

80 The "not thirsty" route, so called by way of aiitiphrasis.

81 See B. v. c. 9.

32 In c. 26 of the present Book.

?3 o r "narrow necks," apparently, from the Greek ffrrjval dtipai. If
this be the correct reading, they were probably so called from the narrow
strait which ran between them.

84 An island called Halonnesus has been already mentioned in B, iv.
c. 23. None of these islands appear to have been identified.

85 See B. xxxvii. c. 32.

86 This seems to be the meaning, though, literally translated, it would
be, " These were the prefects of kings,"


are the Candei, also called Ophiophagi, a people in the habit
of eating serpents ; there is no region in existence more pro-
ductive of them.

Juba, who appears to have investigated all these matters
with the greatest diligence, has omitted, in his description of
these regions unless, indeed, it be an error in the copying-
another place called Berenice and surnamed Panchrysos, 87 as
also a third surnamed Epidires, 88 and remarkable for the
peculiarity of its site ; for it lies on a long projecting neck of
land, at the spot where the Straits at the mouth of the Red
Sea separate the coast of Africa from Arabia by a distance
of seven miles only : here too is the island of Cytis, 89 which
also produces the topaz.

Beyond this are forests, in which is Ptolemais, 90 built by
Philadelphus for the chase of the elephant, and thence called
Epitheras, 91 situate near Lake Monoleus. This is the same region
that has been already mentioned by us in the Second Book, 92
and in which, during forty-five days before the summer solstice
and for as many after, there is no shadow at the sixth hour, and
during the other hours of the day it falls to the south ; while at
other times it falls to the north; whereas at the Berenice of
which we first 93 made mention, on the day of the summer solstice
the shadow totally disappears at the sixth hour, but no other
unusual phenomenon is observed. That place is situate at a
distance of six hundred and two miles from Ptolemais, which

87 It obtained this title of TrdvxpvaoQ, or " all golden," from its vi-
cinity to the gold mines of Jebel Allaki, or Ollaki, from which the ancient
Egyptians drew their principal supply of that metal, and in the working
of which they employed criminals and prisoners of war.

88 Or i-n-l eiiprjs, " upon the neck." It was situate on the western side
of the Red Sea, near the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.

89 Ansart suggests that the modern island of Mehun is here meant,
dosselin is of opinion that Pliny is in error in mentioning two islands in
the Red Sea as producing the topaz.

90 Called Theron, as well as Epitheras. It was an emporium on the
coast of the Red Sea for the trade with India and Arabia. It was chiefly
remarkable for its position in mathematical geography, as, the sun having
been observed to be directly over it forty-five days before and after the
summer solstice, the place was taken as one of the points for determining
the length of a degree of a great circle on the earth's surface.

n From the Greek i-rri Of)pa. "for hunting."

92 In B. ii. c. 75.

93 In the same Chapter.


has thus become the subject of a remarkable theory, and has
promoted the exercise of a spirit of the most profound investi-
gation ; for it was at this spot that the extent of the earth was
first ascertained, it being the fact that Erastosthenes, beginning
at this place by the accurate calculation of tbe length of the
shadow, was enabled to determine with exactness the dimen-
sions of the earth.

After passing this place we come to the Azanian w Sea, a
promontory by some writers called Hispalus, Lake Mandalum,
and the island of Colocasitis, with many others lying out in
the main sea, upon which multitudes of turtles are found.
We then come to the town of Suche, the island of Daphnidis, 95
and the town of the Adulitse, 96 a place founded by Egyptian
runaway slaves. This is the principal mart for the Troglodytae, '
as also for the people of ^Ethiopia : it is distant from Ptolemais
five days' sail. To this place they bring ivory in large quan-
tities, horns of the rhinoceros, hides of the hippopotamus, tor-
toise-shell, sphingise, 97 and slaves. Beyond the ^Ethiopian Aro-
terae are the islands known by the name of Aliaeu, 98 as also those
of Bacchias, Antibacchias, and Stratioton. After passing these,
on the coast of ^Ethiopia, there is a gulf which remains unex-
plored still ; a circumstance the more to be wondered at, seeing
that merchants have pursued their investigations to a greater
distance than this. We then come to a promontory, upon
which there is a spring called Cucios," much resorted to by

94 So called from Azania, the adjoining coast of Africa, now known as
that of Ajan. It was inhabited by a race of Ethiopians, who were en-
gaged in catching and taming elephants, and supplying the markets of the
Red Sea coast with hides and ivory.

95 Now called Seyrman, according to Gosselin.

96 Its name was Adule, being the chief haven of the Adulitae, of mixed
origin, in the Troglodytic region, situate on a bay of the Red Sea, called
Aduliticus Sinus. It is generally supposed that the modern Thulla or
Zulla, still pronounced Azoole, occupies its site, being situate in lat. 15
35' N. Ruins are said to exist there. D'Anville, however, in his map
of the Red Sea, places Adule at Arkeeko, on the same coast, and considerably
to the north of Thulla. According to Cosmas, Adule was about two
miles in the interior.

97 Pliny gives a further description of this ape in B. viii. c. 21., and B. x.
c. 72. They were much valued by the Roman ladies for pets, and very
high prices were given for them.

98 Now called Dahal- Alley, according to Gosselin.

99 Hardouin, from Strabo, suggests that the reading ought to be Co-


mariners. Beyond it is the Port of Isis, distant ten days'
rowing from the town of the Adulitee : myrrh is brought to this
port by the Troglodytse. The two islands before the harbour
are called Pseudepylse, 1 and those in it, the same in number,
are known as Pylse ; 2 upon one of these there are some stone
columns inscribed with unknown characters. Beyond these is
the Gulf of Abalites, the island of Diodorus, 3 and other de-
sert islands ; also, on the mainland, a succession of deserts, and
then the town of Gaza, and the promontory and port of Mos-
sylum, 4 to the latter of which cinnamon is brought for ex-
portation : it was thus far that Sesostris led 5 his army.

Some writers place even beyond this, upon the shore, one
town of ^Ethiopia, called Baricaza. Juba will have it that at
the Promontory of Mossylum 6 the Atlantic Sea begins, and that
with a north-west wind 7 we may sail past his native country, the
Mauritanias, and arrive at Gades. We ought not on this occa-

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