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Book IV, Chapter 7

Location of Aethiopia below Egypt
(from the Fourth Map of Libya)

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.

Aethiopia, which is below Egypt, is terminated, as we have indicated, on the north by Libya and Egypt; on the west by a part of Interior Libya along the meridian extending from Darnis to the

southern terminus of Libya, which is located in 51*15 3°10 S

on the south by the line leading from this terminus along the remaining part of the Aethiopian interior to:

the Rhaptum promontory, which is located in 73*50 8°25 S

It is terminated on the east by a part of the Bay of Arabia and the Red Sea, and the Barbarian Sea to the Rhaptum promontory, the description of which is the following:

After the Bazium promontory referred to above:

Prionotus mountains 65*00 22°30
Chersonesus 65*00 22°00
Mnemeum promontory 65*30 21°30
Isius mountains 65*30 21°20
a deep harbor 65*00 21°10
Dioscuror harbor 65*00 21°00
Cereris Speculae promontory 65*20 20°15
Aspis promontory 65*30 19°45
Diogenis promontory 65*40 19°40
Satyron mountains 65*40 19°00
Monodactylus mountains 65*30 18°30
Taurus mountains 65*40 18°00
Harbor Deorum Tutorum 65*30 17°30
Evangelon harbor 65*45 17°00
Ptolemais Venationum 66*00 16°25
Ara Eratonis promontory 66*30 16°00
Sabasticum mouth 67*00 15°00
a large coast 66*00 14°15
Colobon promontory 68*00 13°40
Sabat town 68*00 12°30

and in the Aduliticus Bay,

a mountainous peninsula 68*00 12°10
Adulis 67*00 11°40
Saturni promontory 68*00 11°40
Antiphili Portus 72*00 10°15
Mandaith village 73*15 10°20
Arsinoë 73*45 10°40

After the strait in the Red Sea,

Dire town in the promontory 74*30 11°00

Then in Avalites Bay,

Avalites market place 74*00 8°25
Malao market place 75*00 6°30
Mondu market place 78*00 7°00
Mosylum promontory and market place 79*00 9°00
Cobe market place 80*00 8°00
Elephas mountains 81*00 7°30
Acanna market place 82*00 7°00
Aromata promontory and market place 83*00 6°00

In the Barbarian Bay,

Pano village 82*00 5°00
Opone market place 81*00 4°15
Zingis promontory 81*00 3°30
Phalangis mountains 80*00 3°30
Apocopa 70*00 3°00
Austri Cornu promontory 79*00 1°00
a small coast 78*00 1°00 S
a large coast 76*00 2°00 S
Essina 73*30 3°30 S
Sarapionis station and emporium 74*00 3°00 S
Tonice market place 73*00 4°15 S
mouth of the Rhaptus river 72*30 7°00 S
Rhapta, metropolis of Barbaria, a short distance from the sea 71*00 7°00 S
Rhaptum promontory 73*50 8°25 S

The remaining part of the Nile, after the Great Cataract, is described as follows thru the names of the villages adjacent to it:

After Pselcis and the Lesser Cataract,

the location of which is in 60*30 22°30

on the west bank of the river are the villages

Tasitia 60*30 22°00
Boon 62*00 21°40
Autoba 61*30 21°30
Phthrui 61*15 21°20
Pistre 61*00 20°40
Ptemithis 61*00 20°15
Abuncis 59*30 20°00
Cambysis Aerarium 59*00 18°00
Erchoas 59*30 18°00
Satachtha 60*30 18°00
Moru 61*30 18°40
Nacis 62*00 19°30
Tathis 61*00 17°00

On the east bank of the river are the villages

Pnups 62*00 22°00
Berethis 62*00 21°30
Gerbo 62*00 21°00
Pataeta 61*40 20°30
Pontyris 61*00 20°00
Primis Minor 60*00 19°30
Arbis 60*30 18°30
Napata 63*00 20°15
Sacole 63*00 19°30
Sandace 63*00 18°30
Orbadaru 62*40 18°00
Primis Major 62*00 17°00

Here the Nile River on the west and the Astaboras on the east form the region of the island of Meroë, in which island are the following towns:

Meroë 61*30 16°25
Sacolche 61*40 15°15
Eser 61*40 13°30
Daron village 62*00 12°30
The junction of the river Nile and the river Astapus 61*00 12°00
Then the junction of the river Astaboras and the Astapus 62*30 11°30
Where the Nile river becomes one thru the union of rivers which flow from two lakes 60*00 2°00
Western lake 57*00 6°00 S
Eastern lake 65*00 7°00 S
Lake Coloë, from which flows the Astapus river 69*00 equator

The towns remote from the river in the interior are:

Axume where the king's palace is 65*00 11°00
Coloë town 69*00 4°15
Maste town 65*00 4°15 S

The mountains in this region toward the west of the Nile river, extending along the entire Nile, which are commonly called the Aethiopian mountains, are celebrated;

the position of which is 55*00 23°00
and 55*00 8°30

The mountains to the east of the Nile are called the Garbatum,

the middle of which is in 69*00 6°00
and the Elephas mountains 78*00 5°30
and those near the lake are called the Pylaei mountains 65*00 equator
the Maste mountains 68*00 5°00 S

The land which is near the Arabian Bay and the Avalites gulf, along the sea is called Troglodytica as far as the Elephas mountains, in which region are the Adulitae, and the Avalitae near a bay of this name, and the Mosyli above the promontory with a market place of this name. The entire seacoast to the Rhaptum promontory is called Azania; the interior region is called Barbaria, in which there are many elephants.

The Colobi occupy that part of the region toward the east from the river which is near the Bazium promontory; next to these toward the south are the Tabieni; then the Sirtibes; next to these are the Attiri; then the Babylleni and the Rhizophagi; then the Axumitae and the Sobridae; next the Molibae, the Megabardi, and the Nubae toward the west from the Avalitae; then below the Molibae are the Blemyes; below whom are the Dedacae, and the Pechini between the river Astapus and the Garbatum mountains; from whom toward the west are the Strathophagi Aethiopes; toward the south from the mountain are the Catadrae and the Myrrhifera land stretching up to Lake Coloë, after which are the Mastitae to the lake of the Nile.

To the west, from this part of the Nile river, those occupy the land after the Greater Cataract, who pasture the Triacontaschoenus region between the Aethiopian mountains and the Nile river,a after these toward the south are the Euonymitae; then Aethiopia Media and the Sebridae; these races also inhabit the island of Meroë, and below them are the Gapachi; below these the Ptoemphanae, and below these the Cadupi; next to these are the Elephantophagi Aethiopes; below these the Pesendarae, and beyond the lake the Cinnamon-bearing land; moreover between the Nile and the Astapus river, toward the island of Meroë, are the Memnones and more to the south are the Sapaei. In the remaining parts of the land toward the west from the Aethiopian mountains next to the sandy and dry region dwell the Phazaniae and the Bacalitides races; then the Scenitae and the Tralletae, after these the race of the Daradi; then the Orypaei Venatores next to these the Nygbenitae Aethiopians.

The following islands are near Aethiopia below Egypt in the Arabian Bay:

Astarta island 66*00 22°30
Ara Minervae island 66*10 21°30
Gypsitis island 67*00 19°40
two islands of Gomadean 67*30 19°00
Myronis island 67*00 18°00
Catathra or Chelonitides islands, two in number 68*00 17°30
Orisitides, two islands 67*30 17°00
Magorum island 68*00 16°00
Daphnine island 68*30 15°20
Acanthine island 68*30 15°00
Macaria island 68*30 14°00
Avium island 69*00 14°00
the Bacchi and Antibacchi 69*30 13°15
Panis island 68*40 12°00
Diodori island 70*00 12°30
Isidis island 70*00 11°30

In the Bay of Avalites is

Mondi island 77*00 8°30

Next to Aromata are these islands:

Amici island 85*00 4°00
the two Menae islands 84*00 2°30
Myrice island 83*30 1°00

Then to the east of these islands is the sea called Hippalum near which is the Indian Sea.


Thayer's Note:

a Triacontaschoenus: But see Bevan's opinion (House of Ptolemy, p293).


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Page updated: 10 Sep 09