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Bill Thayer
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Book IV, Chapter 8

Location of Interior Aethiopia
(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 this land and all of Libya, is terminated toward the north by the indicated southern boundary lines of the land which we have treated, which extends from the Great Bay of the Outer Sea to Rhaptum promontory as we have said,

and is located in 73*50 8°25 S

then by a part of the Western Ocean which is near the Great Bay; by the unknown land toward the west and the south; toward the east by the Barbarian Bay, which near the shallow sea is called Breve, from the Rhaptum promontory even to the Prasum promontory and the unknown land.

Prasum promontory moreover is located in 80*00 15° S
Near this is an island toward the east, the name of which is Menuthias; it is located 85*00 12°30 S

Around this bay the Aethiopian Anthropophagi dwell, and from these toward the west are the Mountains of the Moon, from which the lakes of the Nile receive snow water; they are located at

the extreme limits of the Mountains of the Moon. 57*00 12°30 S
and 67*00 12°30 S

Moreover, above these are the Rhapsi Aethiopians: the Aethiopian Ichthyophagi dwell in the Great Bay toward the Western Ocean, and toward the south of this to the unknown land are those who are commonly called the Western Aethiopians; toward the east are the Athaca Aethiopians; and more toward the east, adjoining the entire Libyan country is much Aethiopian land in which elephants are born entirely white, and rhinoceroses and tigers; next to the unknown land of Aethiopia is a region of wide expanse called Agisymba.

This region has many high mountains near the unknown land, the majority of which are without name, but those which bear names are:

Dauchis mountains, the middle of which is in 15*00 13°00 S
Ion mountains, the middle of which is in 10*00 8°25 S
Zipha mountains, the middle of which is in 25*00 8°25 S
Mesche mountains, the middle of which is in 25*00 13°00 S
Barditus mountains, the middle of which is in 45*00 6°00 S

(Southwards from the inhabited land to the south pole, the geography is unknown over an expanse of 73°35 or a full 74°.)a

Thayer's Note:

a This sentence is my retranslation from Karl Müller's Greek and Latin texts. The 1932 edition has gobbledygook: "(Toward the south from the inhabited land to the south pole the degrees are not definitely known 73°35 or a full 74°.)"

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Page updated: 10 Sep 09