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Bill Thayer
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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Geography

Claudius Ptolemy

published in English translation by Dover Publications, 1991

The text is in the public domain.

This text has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Book II, Chapter 6

Location of Aquitania Gallia
(from the Third Map of Europe)

Thayer's Note: Stevenson's "translation" of Ptolemy, to which this page belongs, is abysmally bad. It should not be used for any serious purpose. For details and correctives, see my Ptolemy homepage.

My notes on the Map: No information has been added to Ptolemy's text as I have it, although I took the boundaries from other chapters. Thus there is no topographic information, and only 2 rivers are sketched in.

This is not one of Ptolemy's better maps. Inexplicably, this picture of SW Gaul is not as good as his representation of the much remoter Ireland. Only the Loire is clearly recognizable; to a lesser degree, the Garonne and its estuary the Gironde. Relative positions are often way off: Avaricum (Bourges) and Aginnum (Agen) for example are by no means neighbors as shown here; Lugdunum Convenarum is actually on the Garumna, near its source. Ptolemy's own description does not bound the map as it does elsewhere — somewhat excusably since the part of Aquitaine offscreen south is remote mountain and even today has no major towns. Tolosa, an important city in his time, is not shown, unless it lurks under Tasta, in more or less the right place; neither are several large Atlantic islands. Finally, although I suspect manuscript corruption, the non-existent western promontory (not a 1932 mistake, since it appears on the medieval maps) is probably best viewed as an expressionistic psychological statement about the dangerous Bay of Biscay that mariners have always sought to avoid.

Gallia is divided into four provinces, Aquitania, Lugdunensis, Belgica, and Narbonensis, and the places along its coast follow in this order:

after the western promontory, terminating the Pyrénées, which is located a in 15*00 45°50
mouth of the Aturis river 16*45 44°30
mouth of the Sigmatis river 17*00 45°20
Curianum promontory 16*30 46°00
mouth of the Garumna 17*30 46°30
the middle of its course 18*00 45°20
source of the river 19*30 44°15
Santonum harbor 16*30 46°45
Santonum promontory 16*00 47°15
mouth of the Canentelus river 17*15 47°45
Pictonium promontory 17*00 48°00
Sicor harbor 17*30 48°15
mouth of the Liger river 17*40 48°30

On the north it is bounded by that part of Lugdunensis province which is along the river we call the Liger as far as

that locality where it turns southward in 20*00 48°30

The eastern boundary is Lugdunensis province running along the river Liger as far as

its source in 20*00 44°30

The south is bounded in part by the Pyrénées, and extends along Narbonensis from the source of the Liger river to that terminus in the Pyrénées to which we have referred, then along that part of the Pyrénées which extends to the Oeasso promontory.

The Pictones inhabit that part of Aquitania farthest north along the river and the sea, whose towns are

Ratiatum 17*50 48°20
Limonum 18*00 47°50

Below these are the Santones, and the interior town is

Mediolanium 17*40 46°45

Below these are the Bituriges Vibixci whose towns are

Noviomagus 17*40 46°15
Burdigala 18*45 45°30

Below these extending as far as the Pyrénées are the Tarbeli and their town is

Aquae Augustae 17*00 44°40

Inland below the Pictones are the Limovici and the town

Augustoritum 19*40 47°45

Below these are the Cadurci and the town

Dueona 18*00 47°15

Below these are the Petrocori and the town

Vesuna 19*50 46°50

The Bituriges Cubi extend along the eastern border of those we have named and touch the region located across the Liger river whose town is

Avaricum 20*15 46°40

Below the Petrocori are the Nitiobriges and the town

Aginnum 19*30 46°20

Below these are the Vassari and the town

Cossium 18*30 46°00

Below whom are the Gabali and the town

Anderedum 19*45 45°30

Below the Gabali are the Dati and the town

Tasta 19*00 45°15

Below these are the Ausci and the town

Augusta 18*00 45°00

From these toward the east are a part of the Averni among whom is the town

Augustonemetum 20*00 45°00

Below the Ausci are the Velauni whose town is

Ruessium 18*00 44°30

Below these are the Rutani and the town

Segodunum 17*45 44°10

Bordering on the Pyrénées are the Convenae and the town

Lugdunum colonia 17*00 44°00

Thayer's Note:

a In Book II, Chapter 5 (Tarraconensis) the promontory at the west end of the Pyrénées, delimiting Spain from Gaul, is given as Oeasso promontory at the slightly different longitude of 15*10. On the map above, I've shown both. An inactive area of this clickmap. If you click here, you will stay exactly where you are.

Page updated: 31 Jan 10