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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Geography


published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

The text is in the public domain.

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(Vol. II) Strabo

 p263  Book IV Chapter 6

1 (201) After Transalpine Celtica and the tribes which hold this country, I must tell about the Alps themselves and the people who inhabit them, and then about the whole of Italy, keeping the same order in my description as is given me by the nature of the country. The beginning, then, of the Alps is not at the Port of Monoecus, as some have told us, but at the same districts as the beginning of the Apennine mountains, namely, near Genua, the emporium of the Ligures, and what is called Vada (that is, "Shoals") Sabatorum:169 for the Apennines begin at Genua, 202and the Alps have their beginning at Sabata; and the distance, in stadia, between Genua and Sabata is two hundred and sixty; then, after three hundred and seventy stadia from Sabata, comes the town of Albingaunum (its inhabitants are called Ligures Ingauni); and thence, to the Port of Monoecus, four hundred and eighty stadia. Further, in this last  p265 interval there is a city of fair size, Albium Intemelium, and its occupants are called Intemelii. And indeed it is on the strength of these names that writers advance a proof that the Alps begin at Sabata; for things "Alpian" were formerly called "Albian," as also things "Alpionian,"170 and, in fact, writers add that still to‑day the high mountain171 among the Iapodes which almost joins Mount Ocra and the Alps is called "Albius," thus implying that the Alps have stretched as far as that mountain.

2 Since, then, the Ligures were partly Ingauni and partly Intemelii, writers add, it was reasonable for their settlements on the sea to be named, the one, Albium (the equivalent of Alpium) Intemelium, and the other, more concisely, Albingaunum. Polybius,a however, adds to the two aforesaid tribes of the Ligures both that of the Oxybii and that of the Decietae. Speaking generally, this whole coastline, from the Port of Monoecus as far as Tyrrhenia, is not only exposed to the wind but harbourless as well, except for shallow mooring-places and anchorages. And lying above it are the enormous beetling cliffs of the mountains, which leave only a narrow pass next to the sea. This country is occupied by the Ligures, who live on sheep, for the most part, and milk, and a drink made of barley; they pasture their flocks in the districts next to the sea, but mainly in the mountains. They have there in very great quantities timber that is suitable for ship-building, with trees so large that the diameter of their thickness is sometimes found to be eight feet. And many of these trees, even in the variegation of the grain, are not  p267 inferior to the thyine wood172 for the purposes of table-making. These, accordingly, the people bring down to the emporium of Genua, as well as flocks, hides and honey, and receive therefor a return-cargo of olive oil and Italian wine (the little wine they have in their country is mixed with pitch,173 and harsh). And this is the country from which come not only the so‑called "ginni" — both horses and mules,174 — but also the Ligurian tunics and "sagi."175 And they also have in their country excessive quantities of amber,176 which by some is called "electrum."b And although, in their campaigns, they are no good at all as cavalrymen, they are excellent heavy-armed soldiers and skirmishers; and, from the fact that they use bronze shields, some infer that they are Greeks.

3 The Port of Monoecus affords a mooring-place for no large ships, nor yet for a considerable number; and it has a temple of Heracles "Monoecus,"177 as he is called; and it is reasonable to conjecture from the name178 that the coastal voyages of the Massiliotes reach even as far as the Port of Monoecus.179 The distance from the Port of Monoecus to Antipolis is a  p269 little more than two hundred stadia. 203As for the stretch of country which begins at Antipolis and extends as far as Massilia or a little farther, the tribe of the Sallyes inhabits the Alps that lie above the seaboard and also — promiscuously with the Greeks — certain parts of the same seaboard. But though the early writers of the Greeks call the Sallyes "Ligues,"180 and the country which the Massiliotes hold, "Ligustica," later writers name them "Celtoligures," and attach to their territory all the level country as far as Luerio and the Rhodanus, the country from which the inhabitants, divided into ten parts, used to send forth an army, not only of infantry, but of cavalry as well. These were the first of the Transalpine Celti that the Romans conquered, though they did so only after carrying on war with both them and the Ligures for a long time — because the latter had barred all the passes leading to Iberia that ran through the seaboard. And, in fact, they kept making raids both by land and sea, and were so powerful that the road was scarcely practicable even for great armies. And it was not until the eightieth year of the war that the Romans succeeded, though only with difficulty, in opening up the road for a breadth181 of only twelve stadia to those travelling on public business. After this, however, they defeated them all, and, having imposed a tribute upon them, administered the government themselves.

4 After the Sallyes come the Albienses and the Albioeci and the Vocontii, who occupy the northerly parts of the mountains. But the Vocontii, stretching  p271 alongside the others, reach as far as the Allobroges; they have glens in the depths of their mountainous country that are of considerable size and not inferior to those which the Allobroges have. Now the Allobroges and the Ligures are ranked as subject to the praetors who come to Narbonitis, but the Vocontii (as I said of the Volcae who live round about Nemausus) are ranked as autonomous.182 Of the Ligures who live between the Varus River and Genua, those who live on the sea are the same as the Italiotes,183 whereas to the mountaineers a praefect of equestrian rank is sent — as is done in the case of other peoples who are perfect barbarians.

5 After the Vocontii come the Iconii and the Tricorii; and after them the Medulli, who hold the loftiest peaks. At any rate, the steepest height of these peaks is said to involve an ascent of a hundred stadia, and an equal number the descent thence to the boundaries of Italy. And up in a certain hollowed-out region stands a large lake, and also two springs which are not far from one another. One of these springs is the source of the Druentia, a torrential river which dashes down towards the Rhodanus, and also of the Durias, which takes the opposite direction, since it first courses down through the country of the Salassi into Cisalpine Celtica and then mingles with the Padus;184 while from the other spring there issues forth, considerably lower than the region  p273 above-mentioned, the Padus itself, large and swift, although as it proceeds it becomes larger and more gentle in its flow; 204for from the time it reaches the plains it is increased from many streams and is thus widened out; and so, because of the spreading out of its waters, the force of its current is dispersed and blunted; then it empties into the Adriatic Sea, becoming the largest of all the rivers in Europe except the Ister. The situation of the Medulli is, to put it in a general way, above the confluence of the Isar and the Rhodanus.

6 Towards the other parts (I mean the parts which slope towards Italy) of the aforesaid mountainous country dwell both the Taurini, a Ligurian tribe, and other Ligures; to these latter belongs what is called the land of Donnus185 and Cottius.186 And after these peoples and the Padus187 come the Salassi; and above them, on the mountain-crests, the Ceutrones, Catoriges, Varagri, Nantuates, Lake Lemenna (through which the Rhodanus courses), and the source of the Rhodanus. And not far from these are also the sources of the Rhenus, and Mount Adula, whence flows not only, towards the north, the Rhenus, but also, in the opposite direction, the Addua, emptying into Lake Larius, which is near Comum. And beyond Comum, which is situated near the base of the Alps, lie, on the one side, with its slope towards the east, the land of the Rhaeti and the Vennones, and, on the other, the land of the Lepontii, Tridentini, Stoni, and several other small  p275 tribes, brigandish and resourceless, which in former times held the upper hand in Italy; but as it is, some of the tribes have been wholly destroyed, while the others have been so completely subdued that the passes which lead through their territory over the mountain, though formerly few and hard to get through, are now numerous, and safe from harm on the part of the people, and easily passable — so far as human device can make them so. For in addition to his putting down the brigands Augustus Caesar built up the roads as much as he possibly could; for it was not everywhere possible to overcome nature by forcing a way through masses of rock and enormous beetling cliffs, which sometimes lay above the road and sometimes fell away beneath it, and consequently, if one made even a slight misstep out of the road, the peril was one from which there was no escape, since the fall reached to chasms abysmal. And at some places the road there is so narrow that it brings dizziness to all who travel it afoot — not only to men, but also to all beasts of burden that are unfamiliar with it; the native beasts, however, carry the burdens with sureness of foot. Accordingly, these places are beyond remedy; and so are the layers of ice that slide down from above — enormous layers, capable of intercepting a whole caravan or of thrusting them all together into the chasms that yawn below; for there are numerous layers resting upon another, because there are congelations upon congelations of snow that have become ice-like, and the congelations that are on the surface are from time to time easily released from those beneath before they are completely dissolved in the rays of the sun.

 p277  7 205Most of the country of the Salassi lies in a deep glen, the district being shut in by both mountains, whereas a certain part of their territory stretches up to the mountain-crests that lie above. Accordingly, the road for all who pass over the mountains from Italy runs through the aforesaid glen. Then the road forks; and one fork runs through what is called Poeninus188 (a road which, for wagons, is impassable near the summits of the Alps), while the other runs more to the west, through the country of the Ceutrones. The country of the Salassi has gold mines also, which in former times, when the Salassi were powerful, they kept possession of, just as they were also masters of the passes. The Durias River was of the greatest aid to them in their mining — I mean in washing the gold; and therefore, in making the water branch off to numerous places, they used to empty the common bed completely. But although this was helpful to the Salassi in their hunt for the gold, it distressed the people who farmed the plains below them, because their country was deprived of irrigation; for, since its bed was on favourable ground higher up, the river could give the country water. And for this reason both tribes were continually at war with each other. But after the Romans got the mastery, the Salassi were thrown out of their gold-works and country too; however, since they still held possession of the mountains, they sold water to the publicans who had contracted to work the gold mines; but on account of the greediness of the publicans189 Salassi were always in disagreement  p279 with them too. And in this way it resulted that those of the Romans who from time to time wished to lead armies and were sent to the regions in question were well provided with pretexts for war. Until quite recently, indeed, although at one time they were being warred upon by the Romans and at another were trying to bring to an end their war against the Romans, they were still powerful, and, in accordance with their custom of brigandage, inflicted much damage upon those who passed through their country over the mountains; at any rate, they exacted even from Decimus Brutus, on his flight from Mutina,190 a toll of a drachma191 per man; and when Messala was wintering near their country, he had to pay for wood, cash down, not only for his fire-wood but also for the elm-wood used for javelins and the wood used for gymnastic purposes.192 And once these men robbed even Caesar of money and threw crags upon his legions under the pretext that they were making roads or bridging rivers. Later on, however, Augustus completely overthrew them, and sold all of them as booty, after carrying them to Eporedia,193 a Roman colony; and although the Romans had colonised this city194 because they wished it to be a garrison against the Salassi, the people there were able to offer only slight opposition until the tribe, as such, was wiped out. Now although the number of the other persons195 captured proved to be thirty-six thousand 206and, of the fighting men, eight thousand, Terentius Varro, the general who overthrew them, sold all  p281 of them under the spear.196 And Caesar sent three thousand Romans and founded the city of Augusta197 in the place where Varro had pitched his camp, and at the present time peace is kept by all the neighbouring country as far as the highest parts of the passes which lead over the mountain.

8 Next, in order, come those parts of the mountains that are towards the east, and those that bend round towards the south: the Rhaeti and the Vindelici occupy them, and their territories join those of the Elvetii and the Boii; for their territories overlook the plains of those peoples. Now the Rhaeti reach down as far as that part of Italy which is above Verona and Comum (moreover, the "Rhaetic" wine, which has the repute of not being inferior to the approved wines of the Italic regions, is made in the foot-hills of the Rhaetic Alps), and also extend as far as the districts through which the Rhenus runs; the Lepontii, also, and Camuni, belong to this stock. But the Vindelici and Norici occupy the greater part of the outer side of the mountain, along with the Breuni and the Genauni, the two peoples last named being Illyrians.198 All these peoples used to overrun, from time to time, the neighbouring parts, not only of Italy, but also of the country of the Elvetii, the Sequani, the Boii and the Germans. The Licattii, the Clautenatii, and the Vennones proved to be the boldest warriors of all the Vindelici, as did the Rucantii and the Cotuantii of all the Rhaeti. The Estiones, also, belong to the Vindelici, and so do the Brigantii, and their cities, Brigantium and Cambodunum, and  p283 also Damasia, the acropolis, as it were, of the Licattii. The stories of the severity of these brigands towards the Italiotes are to this effect: When they capture a village or city, they not only murder all males from youths up but they also go on and kill the male infants, and they do not stop there either, but also kill all the pregnant women who their seers say are pregnant with male children.

9 Directly after these people come the peoples that dwell near the recess of the Adriatic and the districts round about Aquileia, namely, the Carni as well as certain of the Norici; the Taurisci, also, belong to the Norici. But Tiberius and his brother Drusus stopped all of them from their riotous incursions by means of a single summer-campaign; so that now for thirty-three years they have been in a state of tranquillity and have been paying their tributes regularly. Now throughout the whole of the mountainous country of the Alps there are, indeed, not only hilly districts which admit of good farming, but also glens which have been well built up by settlers; the greater part, however (and, in particular, in the neighbourhood of the mountain-crests, where, as we know, the brigands used to congregate) is wretched and unfruitful, both on account of the frosts and of the ruggedness of the soil. It was because of scarcity, therefore, of both food and other things that they sometimes would spare the people in the plains, in order that they might have people to supply their wants; 207and in exchange they would give resin, pitch, torch-pine, wax, honey, and cheese — for with these things they were well supplied. Above the Carni lies the  p285 Apennine Mountain,199 which has a lake that issues forth into the River Isaras,200 which, after having received another river, the Atagis,201 empties into the Adriatic. But there is also another river, called the Atesinus,202 which flows into the Ister from the same lake. The Ister too, in fact, takes it beginning in these mountains, for they are split into many parts and have many peaks; that is, from Liguria, up to this point, the lofty parts of the Alps run in an unbroken stretch and then break up and diminish in height, and in turn rise again, into more and more parts, and more and more crests. Now the first of these is that ridge, on the far side of the Rhenus and the lake,203 which  p287 leans towards the east — a ridge only moderately high, in which, near the Suevi and the Hercynian Forest,204 are the sources of the Ister. And there are other ridges which bend round towards Illyria and the Adriatic, among which are the Apennine Mountain above-mentioned and also the Tullum and Phligadia, the mountains which lie above the Vindelici, whence flow the Duras and Clanis and several other torrential rivers which join the stream of the Ister.

10 And further, the Iapodes205 (we now come to this mixed tribe of Illyrii and Celti)206 dwell round about these regions; and Mount Ocra207 is near these people. The Iapodes, then, although formerly they were well supplied with strong men and held as their homeland both sides of the mountain208 and by their business of piracy held sway over these regions, have been vanquished and completely outdone by Augustus Caesar. Their cities are: Metulum, Arupini, Monetium, and Vendo. After the Iapodes comes Segestica, a city in the plain, past which flows the River Saüs,209 which empties into the Ister. The situation of the city is naturally well-suited for making war against the Daci. The Ocra is the lowest part of the Alps in that region in which the Alps join the country of the Carni, and through which the merchandise from Aquileia is conveyed in wagons to what is called Nauportus (over a road  p289 of not much more than four hundred stadia); from here, however, it is carried down by the rivers as far as the Ister and the districts in that part of the country; for there is, in fact, a river210 which flows past Nauportus; it runs out of Illyria, is navigable, and empties into the Saüs, so that the merchandise is easily carried down to Segestica and the country of the Pannonii and Taurisci.211 And the Colapis212 too joins the Saüs near the city;213 both are navigable and flow from the Alps. The Alps have both cattle and wild horses. Polybius says that there is also produced in the Alps an animal of special form; 208it is like a deer in shape, except for its neck and growth of hair (in these respects, he says, it resembles a boar), and beneath its chin it has a sac about a span long with hair at the tip, the thickness of a colt's tail.214

11 Among the passes which lead over from Italy to the outer — or northerly — Celtica, is the one that leads through the country of the Salassi, to Lugdunum; it is a double pass, one branch, that through the Ceutrones, being practicable for wagons through the greater part of its length, while the other, that through the Poeninus, is steep and narrow, but a short cut.215 Lugdunum is in the centre of the country — an acropolis, as it were, not only because the rivers meet there, but also because it is near all parts of the country. And it was on this account, also, that Agrippa began at Lugdunum when he cut his roads — that which passes through  p291 the Cemmenus Mountains as far as the Santoni and Aquitania, and that which leads to the Rhenus, and, a third, that which leads to the ocean (the one that runs by the Bellovaci and the Ambiani); and, a fourth, that which leads to Narbonitis and the Massilian seaboard. And there is also, again, in the Poeninus itself (if you leave on your left Lugdunum and the country that lies above it), a bye-road which, after you cross the Rhodanus or Lake Lemenna,216 leads into the plains of the Helvetii;217 and thence there is a pass through the Jura Mountain over to the country of the Sequani and also to that of the Lingones; moreover, the thoroughfares through these countries branch off both ways — both towards the Rhenus and towards the ocean.

12 Polybius further says that in his own time there was found, about opposite Aquileia in the country of the Noric Taurisci,218 a gold mine so well-suited for mining that, if one scraped away the surface-soil for a depth of only two feet, he found forthwith dug-gold,219 and that the diggings were never deeper than fifteen feet; and he goes on to say that part of the gold is immediately pure, in sizes of a bean or a lupine, when only the eighth part is boiled away, and that although the rest needs more smelting, the smelting is very profitable; and that two months after the Italiotes joined them in working the mine, the price of gold suddenly  p293 became a third less throughout the whole of Italy, but when the Taurisci learned this they cast out their fellow-workers and carried on a monopoly. Now, however, all220 the gold mines are under the control of the Romans. And here, too, just as in Iberia,221 in addition to the dug-gold, gold-dust is brought down by the rivers — not, however, in such quantities as there. The same man, in telling about the size and the height of the Alps, contrasts with them the greatest mountains among the Greeks: Taygetus, Lycaeus, Parnassus, Olympus, Pelion, Ossa; 209and in Thrace: Haemus, Rhodope, Dunax; and he says it is possible for people who are unencumbered to ascend any one of them on the same day, whereas one cannot ascend the Alps even in five days; and their length is two thousand two hundred stadia,222 that is, their length at the side, along the plains.223 But he only names four passes over the mountains: the pass through the Ligures (the one that is nearest the Tyrrhenian Sea), then that through the Taurini, which Hannibal crossed,224 then that through the Salassi, and the fourth, that through the Rhaeti, — all of them precipitous passes.c1 And as for lakes, he says that there are several in the mountains, but that only three are large: one of these, Lake Benacus,225 has a length of five hundred stadia and a breadth of thirty,226 from which flows the Mincius227 River; the next, lake  p295 Verbanus,228 four hundred in length, and narrower in breadth than the former, which sends forth the River Addua;229 and, third, Lake Larius,230 in length nearly three hundred stadia, and in breadth thirty,231 which sends forth a large river, the Ticinus;232 and all three rivers flow into the Padus. This, then, is what I have to say about the Alpine Mountains.

The Editor's Notes:

169 Also called Vada Sabatia (now Vado).

170 "Alpionian," is now known only as the name of an Etrurian gens.

171 Mt. Velika. Cp. 7.5.4.

172 Cp. 17.3.4; Revelation, 18.12; Pliny (Nat. Hist. 13.29‑31), who discusses at length wood for tables, and tells of the "mania" of the Romans for large ones of beautiful wood.

173 Dioscuridesº (5.48) gave a formula for the mixture; one or two ounces of pitch to about six gallons of new wine. It is the resinated wine still used in Greece.

174 Aristotle (Hist. An. 6.24) and Pliny (Nat. Hist. 8.69) define the "ginnus" as the stunted foal of a mare by a mule. But here the term is simply colloquial for a stunted animal, whether horse or mule. The Latin word is "hinnus." Cp. English "ginny" and "flying-jenny."

175 The sagus was a kind of coarse cloak. Cp. 4.4.3.

Thayer's Note: Usually sagum, but Strabo does have σάγοι. For details, see the article Sagum in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

176 Literally, "lingurium" (cp. page 259, footnote 1).

177 "Monoecus" (of which the "Monaco" of to‑day is a corruption) means "the Solitary." The epithet was given to Heracles, according to Servius (note on Aeneid 6.829), either because Heracles drove out the inhabitants of Liguria and remained sole possessor of the land, or because it was not the custom to associate other divinities with him in the temples dedicated to him; but according to Prof. Freeman's suggestion to Tozer (Selections from Strabo, p138), the epithet probably refers to the solitary position of the place, as being the last of the Greek cities on this coast.

178 The name is Greek.

179 Strabo means that the Port of Monoecus probably came under the influence of Massilia. He has already said that Nicaea, which is only a few miles west of Monoecus, belongs to Massilia (4.1.9).

180 The Latin form is "Ligures."

181 Not from the coastline; we should say that the Romans secured a "right of way."

182 See 4.1.12, and cp. 4.2.2 and footnote 3.

183 i.e., are autonomous with "Latin right" (see 3.2.15, 4.1.9, 5.1.1).

184 There were two Durias Rivers, namely, the Durias Major (now Dora Baltea) and Durias Minor (now Dora Riparia), both of which emptied into the Padus (Po). The Durias Major passed through the country of the Salassi, who lived round about Augusta Praetoria Salassorum (now Aosta), while the Durias Minor rose near the Druentia (Durance) and emptied into the Padus at what is now Turin, some twenty miles west of the mouth of the Durias Major. Strabo, it appears, confuses the two rivers, for he is obviously talking about the Durias Minor.

185 The father of Cottius.

186 Cp. 4.1.3.

187 The words "and the Padus" have perplexed some of the commentators. They are added, apparently, for the purpose of definitely placing all the Salassi north of the Padus; the Taurini lived on both sides of the river.

188 That is, through the Pennine Alps, by Mt. Great Bernard.

189 Cp. the greed of the New Testament publicans (e.g. Luke 3.13).

190 43 B.C.

191 About sixteen American cents, with far greater purchasing power.

192 Perhaps for "wooden swords" and the like, used in "sham battles," as described by Polybius 10.20.

193 Now Ivrea.

194 Thus making it a "Roman colony." This was done in 100 B.C. by order of the Sibylline Books (Pliny 3.21).

195 The non-combatants.

196 The Greek is a translation of the Latin sub hasta.

Thayer's Note: And the explanation of that little bit of Latin can be found in Smith's Dictionary, s.v. Auctio.

197 Augusta Praetoria, about 24 B.C.

198 The Breuni and Genauni were defeated by Drusus in 17 B.C. Cp. Horace Carmina 4.14.10 ff.

199 By "the Apennine Mountain" (both here and a few lines below) Strabo cannot mean the Apennine Range. Whatever the mountain may be, it must lie above both the Carni and the Vindelici; and, except in a very loose sense, no one mountain can fulfil both conditions. To emend to "Poeninus" (the Pennine Alps; see 4.6.7), as do Casaubon, Corais, and others, does not help matters at all. In fact, the context seems to show that Strabo has in mind the Carnic (Julian) Alps. But both this and the names of rivers, as the MSS. stand, are almost helplessly inconsistent.

200 But the "Isaras" (Isar) empties into the Ister (Danube), not the Adrias (Adriatic); and it is in no sense connected with the Atagis. It is altogether probable that Strabo wrote "Isarkas" (or "Isargas") — that is, the Latin "Isarcus" (or "Isargus") — which is now the "Eisach."

201 By "Atagis" (the Greek for the "Adige" of to‑day) Strabo must refer to one or the other of the two source-rivers — the Etsch (or Adige) and Eisach — which meet at Botzen, and from there on constitute what is also called the Etsch (or Adige), the Eisach losing its identity. But if Strabo wrote "Isarkas" (Eisach) instead of "Isaras," he made the other source-river its tributary; hence, since it is the "Atagis," and not the Eisach, that traverses the lake (or rather, to‑day, three lakes — Reschen See, Mitter See, and Heider See), we may assume that the copyists have exchanged the positions of "Isarkas" and "Atagis" in the Greek text (Groskurd and others read accordingly), or else, what is more likely, Strabo himself confused the two, just as he confused the Durias Major and Durias Minor in 4.6.5 (see also footnote).

202 The "Atesinus" certainly cannot be identified with the "Atesis" (Hülsen so identifies it, Pauly-Wissowa, p1924) if it empties into the Ister. According to C. Müller (whom A. Jacob follows, Revue de Philologie 36, p167), the "Atesinus" is the "Aenus" (the Inn); in this case, says Jacob, the "Stille Bach," which has its source very near the lakes traversed by the Etsch, was formerly taken for the source-stream of the Inn.

203 This ridge is that which traverses Suabia from south to north, east of, and parallel to, the Rhine; "the lake" appears to be Lake Constance.

204 The Black Forest.

205 Also spelled "Iapydes."

206 Cp. 7.5.2.

207 Cp. 4.6.1.

208 Strabo is not clear here. He means (1) by "mountain," not "Ocra," but "Albius," and (2) by "both sides" (of the Albius, on which the Iapodes lived), (a) the side towards the Pannonii and the Danube, and (b) the side towards the Adriatic (see 4.6.1 and specially 7.5.4).

209 The Save.

210 The Corcoras (Gurk); see 7.5.2.

211 "Taurisci" is probably an error of copyists for "Scordisci" (see 7.5.2).

212 The Kulpa.

213 Segestica.

214 Polybius seems to refer to the European elk (cervus alces), which is no longer to be found in the Alps; or possibly to the Alpine ibex (capra ibex), which is almost extinct.

215 Cp. 4.6.7.

216 The Lake of Geneva, which is traversed by the Rhone.

217 Strabo's brevity is again confusing. He suddenly shifts his standpoint from Lugdunum to the Poeninus. He has in mind two roads: (1) The road which ran through the Poeninus to the Rhodanus (at the eastern end of Lake Geneva), crossed the river, circled round the lake, crossed again at the other end and then followed the Rhodanus to Lugdunum; and (2) a road that branched off from the same at some point north of the lake into the plains of the Helvetii.

218 Cp. § 9 above.

219 Strabo here, as elsewhere (e.g. 3.2.8‑10), carefully distinguishes between (1) metals that have to be dug up from beneath the surface-soil, (2) those in the surface-soil itself, and (3) those washed down by the rivers.

220 Cp. 3.2.10.

221 See 3.2.8.

222 Polybius 2.14.

223 The plains of Italy (as Polybius says).

224 Polybius (3.56) does not say where Hannibal crossed the Alps, although he says that Hannibal, after crossing the Alps, "entered the valley of the Padus and the territory of the Insubres." Both the ancient writers and modern scholars differ as to where Hannibal crossed. The reader is referred to the article in Encyc. Brit. s.v. "Hannibal," by Caspari, who inclines to the Mt. Genèvre Pass; and to that in Pauly-Wissowa Real-Encyc. s.v. "Hannibal," by Lenschau, who thinks "probability decidedly favours the Little St. Bernard."

Thayer's Note: A question endlessly discussed and never resolved; see also, for example, my note below.(c2)

225 Lago di Garda.

226 Some MSS. read "fifty."

227 The Mincio.

228 Lago Maggiore.

229 The Adda.

230 Polybius, if correctly quoted, has made the mistake of exchanging the positions of "Larius" and "Verbanus." Certainly Strabo himself knew that it was from Larius (Lago di Como) that the Addua (Adda) flowed (4.3.3, 4.6.6, and 5.1.6), and he also knew the course of the Ticinus (5.1.11). Yet Strabo himself (4.3.3) blundered greatly in making the Addua flow from Mt. Adula.

231 Some MSS. read "fifty."

232 The Ticino.

Thayer's Notes:

a III.9.

b See the article Electrum in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

c1 c2 For identification of these passes and a discussion, especially with respect to Hannibal's crossing of the Alps, see W. H. Hall, The Romans on the Riviera and the Rhone, pp30‑32.

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