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Bill Thayer
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Book III, Chapter 4

Location of Sicily island
(from the Seventh 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.

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A schematic map of Sicily in Roman times.
			]

Constrained by the height of most screens, I had to crowd the map a bit, so I've shown the more important towns in red. No other information has been added to Ptolemy's text as I have it, so there is almost no topographic data; the courses of the rivers also remain unmapped.

Notice that Ptolemy has Sicily rotated counterclockwise by about 35°. This probably shows that he established the coördinates from mariners' reports rather than from astronomical data.

Sicily is surrounded on the west and the north by the Tyrrhenian sea, on the south by the African sea, on the east by the Adriatic sea. The seacoast of this island is thus described:

the central part of the north side, which, terminating in a point, and more toward the north, is called Pelorus promontory 39*40 38°35

A description of the west side on the Tyrrhenian sea:

Phalacrum promontory 39*10 38°30
Mylae 39*00 38°30 a
mouth of the Helicon river 38*50 38°25
Tyndarium 38*30 38°20
mouth of the Thymethus river 39*20 38°20
Agathyrnum 38*00 38°15
Alontium 37*50 38°10
mouth of the Chyda river 37*45 38°05
Calacta 37*40 37°55
Alaesa 37*40 37°45
mouth of the Monalus 37*30 37°45
Cephaloedis 37*20 37°40
mouth of the Himera river 37*15 37°20
town of Therma Himera 37*05 37°15
Solus town 37*00 37°20
mouth of the Eleutherus 37*00 37°05
Panormus 37*00 37°00
Cetaria 37*00 36°45
mouth of the Bathis river 37*00 36°40
Emporium Segestanum 37*00 36°30
Drepanum 36*55 36°30
Aegitharsus promontory 36*50 36°15

Description of the southern side toward the African sea

Lilybaeum city and promontory 37*00 36°00
mouth of the Acithius river 37*10 36°05
Mazaras 37*20 36°15
Selinuntis 37*30 b 36°15
Pintia 37*40 36°20
Sossius 37*50 36°20
Isburus 38*05 36°25
Heraclea 38*20 36°25
Hypsa 38*30 36°25
Agrigentinum Emporium 38*50 36°25
Himera 39*00 36°20
Hipparus 39*15 36°20
Bruca promontory 39*20 36°20
Caucana harbor 39*30 36°15
Motycanus 39*40 36°20
Ulixia promontory 39*50 36°15

Description of the eastern shorte on the Adriatic sea

Pachynus promontory 40*00 36°20
Phoenicus harbor 39*45 36°30
Erinous 39*45 36°40
Longum promontory 39*50 36°45
Chersonesus 39*40 36°55
Syracusa colonia 39*30 37°30
Alabus 39*25 37°20
Taurus promontory 39*30 37°30
Pantacius 39*25 37°35
Symaethus 39*35 37°40
Catana colonia 39*30 37°45
Argennum promontory 39*30 37°50
Tauromenium colonia 39*30 38°10
Messena in the strait 39*30 38°30

The mountains in the island, which are well known, are

Aetna 39*00 38°00
Cratos 37*40 36°40

The Messeni occupy the northern part of this island, the Herbitae and Catanei the middle, and the southern part the Segestani and Syracusi inhabit.

The inland towns of Sicily are:

Capytium 38*20 38°15
Abacaena 39*00 38°15
Imachara 38*30 38°00
Tissa 38*50 38°00
Aleta 37*50 37°50
Centuripa 38*30 37°50
Dymethus 38*50 37°50
Aetna 39*25 37°45
Agurium 38*15 37°40
Herbita 37*40 37°30
Sergentium (Ergetium) 38*30 37°30
Hydia 38*45 37°30
Leontium 39*00 37°30
Erbessus 37*50 37°20
Neetum 38*20 37°25
Menae 38*50 37°25
Paciorus 37*20 37°10
Assorus 37*40 37°20
Enna 38*05 37°15
Megara 39*15 37°15
Petra 38*40 37°05
Hybla 38*20 37°00
Engyum 39*00 37°00
Cotyrga 38*20 36°50
Macyrum 38*40 36°50
Acrae 39*15 36°40
Macella 37*15 36°40
Schera 37*30 36°50
Triocala 38*00 36°45
Agrigentum 38*30 36°40
Motyca 39*25 36°40
Segesta 37*05 36°30
Letum 37*30 36°30
Entella 37*45 36°30
Ancrina 38*10 36°35
Phthinthia 38*40 36°30
Gela 39*00 36°30
Camarina 39*20 36°25
Elorus 39*40 36°30
Ina 39*30 36°25
Helcethium 37*15 36°15

And the islands located around Sicily and near it are:

Didyme island 39*00 39°00
Hicesia island 39*30 39°00
Ericodes island 38*20 38°45
Phoenicodes island 38*30 38°50
Vulcani island 38*50 38°35
Lipara island and town 39*00 38°45
Euonymos island 39*10 38°45
Strongyle island 39*30 38°45
Ustica island and town 37*30 38°45
Osteodes island 36*15 37°00
Phorbantia island 36*00 36°20
Aegusa island 36*15 36°05
Hiera island 36*00 36°00
Paconia island 36*30 35°50
Aeoli island 37*00 39°00


Thayer's Notes:

a 27*30 in the 1932 edition is a modern typo; probably for 37*30 as above, or possibly 37*20

b 26*30 in the 1932 edition, a modern typo. 
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Page updated: 31 Jan 10