Philemon Holland, translator (1601): C. Plinius Secundus The Historie of the World. Book V. (Pages 90-???)

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The description of Affrike.

AFfrike the Greekes have called Lybia, even all that tract from whence the Lybian sea before it beginneth, and endeth in the Ægyptian. No part of the earth receiveth fewer gulfes and armes of the sea, in that long compasse of crooked coasts from the West. The names as well of the nations as townes there, be of all others most hard to bee pronounced, unlesse it bee in their owne tongues: and againe, they bee castles and forts for the part that they dwell in.1

Chap. I.


AT the beginning, the lands of Mauritania, untill the time of C. Cæsar [i. Caligula] sonne of Germanicus, were called kingdoms: but by his crueltie devided it was into two provinces.2 The utmost promontorie of the Ocea is named of the Greekes Ampelusia. The townes therin were Lissa and Cotes3 beyond Hercules pillars. Now in it is Tingi, sometime built by Antaus:4 and afterwards by Claudius Cæsar when he made a Colonie of it, called it was Traducta Iulia.5 It is from Belone a town in Bætica, by the next and neerest passage over sea thirtie miles. Five and twentie miles from it in the Ocean coast standeth a Colonie erected by Augustus, now Iulia Constantia, exempt from the dominion and jurisdiction of the kings of Zilis:6 and commanded to goe for law and justice as farre as to Baetica. And two and thirtie miles7 from it, Lixos made a Colonie by Claudius Cæsar, wherof in old time there went many fabulous and lowd lying tales. For, there stood (they say) the roiall palace of Antæus: there was the combate betweene him and Hercules: there also were the gardens and hort-yards of the Hesperides. Now there floweth thereinto out of the sea a certain creeke or arme thereof, and that by a winding channell, wherin men now take it that there were Dragons serving in good steed to keepe and guard the same. It encloseth an Island within it selfe, which (notwithstanding the tact thereby be somewhat higher) is only not overflowed by the sea tides. In it there standeth erected an altar of Hercules: and setting aside certaine wild Olives, nothing els is to be seene of that goodly grove, reported to beare golden apples.8 And in good faith lesse may they make a wonder at the strange lies of Greece, given out of these, and the river Lixus, who would but thinke how of late our countreymen have delivered some fables, as monstrous welneere of the same things: to wit, that this is a most strong and mightie cittie, and bigger than great Carthage: moreover, that it is situate over against it, and an infinite way well neere from Tingi: and other such like, which Cornelius Neposhath beene most eager to beleeve. From Lixus fortie miles in the midland parts of the maine, standeth Babba, another Colonie of Augustus, called by him Iulia in the field or Champain: also a third 75 miles off, called Banasa, but now it hath the addition of Valentia.9 35 miles from it is the towne Volubile, just in the mid way betweene both seas. But in the coast and borders thereof, 50 miles from Lixus, there runneth Subur a goodly plenteous river, and navigable, neere to the Colonie Banasa. As many miles from it is the towne Sala, standing upon a river of the same name, neere now unto the wildernesse, much infested and annoied with whole heards of Elephants, but much more with the nation of the Autololes, through which lieth the way to Atlas the most fabulous mountaine of all Affricke. For writers have given out, that this hill arising out of the very middest of the sea sands, mounteth up to the skie, all rough, illfavoured, and overgrowne on that side that lieth to the shore of the Ocean, unto which it gave the name: and yet the same is shadowie, full of woods, and watered with veines of spouting Springs that way which looketh to Affricke, with fruitfull trees of all sorts, spring of the owne accord, and bearing one under another, in such sort, that at no time a man can want his pleasure and delight to his full contentment. Morover, that none of the inhabitants there are seene all day long: all is still and silent, like the fearefull horror in desert wildernesse: and as men come neerer and neerer unto it, a secret devotion ariseth in their harts: and besides this feare and horror, they are lifted up above the clouds, and even close to the circle of the Moone. Over and besides, that the same hill shineth oftentimes with many flashes of fires, and is haunted with the wanton lascivious Ægipanes and Satyres, whereof it is full, that it resoundeth with noise of haut-boies, pipes, and fifes, and ringeth againe with the sound of tabers, timbrels, and cymbals.10 These bee the reports of great and famous writers, to say nothing of the labours and works both of Hercules and Perses11 there: and to conclude, that the way unto it is exceeding great, and not certainely knowne. Bookes there were besides of Hanno, a great captaine and commander among the Carthaginians, who in the time of the most flourishing state of Carthage, had a charge and commission to discover and survey the whole compasse of Affricke. Him, most of the Greekes as well as our countreymen following, among some other fabulous stories, have written that he also built many citties there: but neither memoriall upon record, nor any token of them at all is left extant. Whiles Scipio Æmylianus warred in Affrick, Polybius the writer of the Annales, received of him a fleet: who having sailed about of purpose to search into that part of the world, hath put thus much downe in writing, That from the said mountaine West, toward the forrests full of wild beasts, which Affricke breedeth, unto the river Anatis, are 485 miles. And from thence to Lixus 205. Agrippa saith, That Lixus is distant from the streights of Gades 112 miles. Then, that there is an arme of the sea called Saguti. Also a towne upon the Promontorie, Murelacha. Rivers, Subur and Sala. Moreover, that the haven Rutubis is from Lixus 313 miles. And so forward to the Promontorie of the Sunne. The port or haven Risardir: the Gætulians, Autololes, the river Cosenus, the nation of the Scelatites and Massalians.a The rivers Masatal and Darat, wherin Crocodiles are engendred. Then forward, that there is a gulfe of 516 miles, enclosed within the promontorie or cape of the mountaine Barce, running along into the West, which is called Surrentium. After it, the river Palsus, beyond which are the Æthyopians Perorsi, and at their backe are the Pharusi. Upon whom joine the midlanders, to wit, the Gætuliandars.13 But upon the coast are the Æthyiopian Daratites, the river Bambotus, full of Crocodiles & Hippopotames [i. Water-horses.] From which, he saith, That there is nothing but mountains all the way as farre as to that, which we call Theon-Ochea [The gods chariot.]14 Then, in sailing nine daies and nights to the promontorie Hesperium, he hath placed the mountaine Atlas in the midway thereof, which by all other writers is set downe to bee in the utmost marches of Mauritania. The first time that the Romanes warred in Mauritania, was in the time of prince Claudius Emperour: at what time as Ædemon the freed servant of king Ptolomaus, by C. Cæsar slain, went about to revenge his death. For as the barbarous people retired and fled backe, certaine it is that the Romanes came as far as to the hill Atlas. And not onely such Generals as had been Consuls, and were of Senatours degree and calling, who at that time managed and conducted the warres, but knights also and gentlemen of Rome, who from that time had gouvernment and commaund there, took it for an honour and glorie, that they had pierced and entred into Atlas. [* Five Romane Colonies, as wee have said, be in that province] and by that common fame and report, there may seeme to lie a thorow-fare thither. But that is found for the most part by daily experience, most deceivable of all things else: because persons of high place and great worth, when they are loth to search out narrowly into the truth of matters, sticke not for shame of ignorance, to give out untruths: and never are men more credulous and apter to beleeve and be deceived, than when some grave personage fathereth a lie. And verily I lesse marvell, that they of gentlemens degree, yea, and those now of Senatours calling, have not come to the certaine knowledge of some things there: seeing they set their whole affection and mind upon nothing but excesse and roiot: which how powerfull it is and forcible, is seene by this most of all, when forrests are sought out far and neere for Ivorie and Citron trees: when all the rockes in Getulia are searched for Murices and Purpuræ, [shell-fishes that yeeld the purple crimsen colour.] Howbeit, the naturall inhabitants of that countrey doe write, That in the sea-coast 150 miles from Sala, there is the river Asana, that receiveth salt water into it, but hath in it a goodly faire haven: and not farre from it another fresh river, which they call Fut: from which to Dyris (for that is the name in their language of Atlas, by a generall consent) are 200 miles, with a river comming in betweene, named Vior. And there, the speech so goeth, are to be seene the certaine tokens of a ground sometimes inhabited, to wit, the reliques of vineyards and date tree groves. Suetonius Paulinus (a Consull in our time) who was the first Romane leader, that for certaine miles space went over Atlas, also hath reported verily as touching the heigth thereof, that with the rest: and moreoer, that the foot thereof toward the botome, stand thicke and full of tall woods, with trees therein of an unknowne kind, but the heigth of them is delectable to see to, smooth and even without knots, the leaves and braunches like Cypresse; and besides the strong smell they yeeld, are covered all over with a thin downe, of which (with some helpe of Art) fine cloth may be made, such as the silk-worme doth yeeld. That the top and crest thereof is covered with deep snow even in summer time. Moreover, that he reached up to the pitch of it at the tenth daies end, and went beyond it as farre as a river called Niger,15 through wildernesse ful of blacke dust, where other whiles there stood out certaine cliffes, and craggie rockes, as they were scortched and burnt: and that those places by reason of partching heat were not habitable, albeit a man made triall thereof in the winter season. Furthermore, that the paisants who dwelt in the next forrests, were pestred with Elephants, wild beasts, and serpents of all sorts; and those people were called Canarij: for that they and dogges feed togither with one another, and part among them the bowels of wild beasts.16 For certaine it is knowne, that a nation of the Æthiopians whom they call Peroesi,17 joyneth upon them. Iuba, the father of Ptolomaus, who before-time ruled over both Mauritanes, a man more memorable and renowmed for his studie and love of good letters, than for his kingdom and royall port, hath written the like concerning Atlas: and he saith moreover, that there is an herb growing there called Euphorbia, of his Phisitions name that first found it: the milkie juyce thereof he praiseth wondrous much, for to cleare the eyes, and to be a preservative against all serpents and poisons whatsoever: and thereof hath he written a treatise and made a book by it selfe. Thus much may suffice, if it be not too much, as touching Atlas.

Chap. II.

The province Tingitania.

The length of the province Tingitania,18 taketh 170 miles. The nations therein be these: The Mauri, which in times past was the principall, and of whome the province tooke name:19 and those most writers have called Marusij.20 Being by warre weakened and diminished, they came in the end to a few families only. Next to them were the Massæsuli , but in like manner were they consumed. Now is the province inhabited by the Getulians, Bannurri,21 and the Autololes, the most valiant and puissant of all the rest. A member of these were sometime the Vesuni:22 but being divided from them, they became a nation by themselves, and bounded upon the Æthiopians. The province naturally full of moutnaines Eastward, breedeth Elephants. In the hill also Abila, and in those which for their even and equall heigth they call, The seven brethren: and these butt upon Abila, which looketh over into the sea. From these beginneth the coast of the Inward sea.23 The river Tamuda navigable, and a towne sometime of that name. The river Laud, which also receiveth vessels. The towne Rusardie,24 and the haven. The river Malavana navigable. The towne Siga just against Malacha situate in Spaine:25 the royall seat of Syphax, and now the other Mauritania. For a long time they kept the names of KK. so as the utmost was called Bogadania: and likewise Bocchi, which now is Cæsariensis. Next to it is the haven for the largenesse thereof called Magnus, with a towne of Romane citizens. The river Muluca, which is the limit of Bocchi and the Massæsuli. Quiza Xenitana, a towne of Straungers: Arsennaria, a towne of Latines three miles from the sea: Carcenna,26 a Colonie of Augustus, erected for the second legion: Likewise another Colonie of his planted with the Pretorian band, Gunugi:27 and the promontorie of Apollo. And a most famous towne there Cæsarea, usually before-time called Iol, the royall seat of king Iuba: endowed by Claudius the Emperour of happie memorie, with the franchises and right of a Colonie, at whose appointment the old souldiers were there bestowed. A new towne, Tipasa, with the graunt of the liberties of Latium.28 Likewise Icosium,29 endowed by Vespasian the Emperour, with the same donations. The colonie of Augustus Rusconiæ; and Ruscurum, by Claudius honoured with the free burgeoisie of the citie. Rusoezus,30 a colonie of Augustus. Salde,31 a Colonie of the same man. Igelgili32 also, and Turca, a towne seated upon the sea and the river Ampsaga. Within the land, the Colonie Augusta, the same that Succubar; and likewise Tubrisuptus.33 Cities, Timici, Tigavæ. Rivers, Sardabala and Nabar.34 The people Macurebi: the river Usar, and the nation of the Nabades. The river Ampsaga is from Cæsarea 233 miles. The length of Mauritania both the one and the other togither, is 839 miles, the breadth 467.35

Chap. III.


Next to Ampasaga is Numidia, renowmed for the name of Masanissa: called of the Greeks, the land Metagonitis. The Numidian Nomades, so named of chaunging their pasture,36 who carrie their cottages or sheddes (and those are all their dwelling houses) about with them upon waines. Their townes be Cullu and Rusicade, from which 48 miles off within the midland parts, is the colonie Cirta, surnamed of Cirtanes:37 another also within and a free borough towne, named Bulla Regia. but in the utmost coast, Tacatua, Hippo Regius, and the river Armua. The towne Trabacha, of Romane Cittizens: the river Tusca, which boundeth Numidia: and besides the Numidian marble, and great breed of wild beasts, nothing is there els worth the noting.

Chap. IIII.


From Tusca forward, you have the region Zeugitana, and the coutnrey properly called Africa. Three promontories: first, the White;38 then anon that of Apollo over-against Sardinia: and a third of Mercurie opposite to Sicilie; which running into the sea, make two creekes: the one Hipponensis, next to the towne which they call Hippo rased;39 the Greeks name it Diarrhyton, for the little brookes and rilles that water the grounds: upon this, there bordereth Theudalis, an exempt towne from tribute, but somewhat farther from the sea side; then the promontorie of Apollo. And in the other creeke, Utica, a towne of Romane citizens, ennobled for the death of Cato:40 and the river Bagrada. A place called Castra Cornelia: and the colonie Carthago, among the reliques and ruines of great Carthage: and the colonie Maxulla. Townes, Carpi, Misua,41 and the free borough Clupea upon the promontorie of Mercurie. Item, free townes, Curubis and Neapolis. Soone after yee shall meet with another distinction of Affricke indeed. Libyphœnices are they called, who inhabite Byzacium; for so is that region named: containing in circuit 250 myles, exceeding fertile and plenteous, where the ground sowne yeeldeth againe to the husband-man 100 fold encrease. In it are free townes, Leptis, Adrumetum, Ruspina, Thapsus: then, Thenæ, Macomades, Tacape, Sabrata, reaching to the lesse Syrtis: unto which, the length of Numidia and Africa from Amphaga, is 580 miles: the bredth, of so much thereof as is knowne, 200. Now this part which wee have called Africke, is divided into provinces twaine, the old and the new; separated one from the other by a fosse or ditch brought as farre as to Thenæ, within the Africane gulfe, which towne is 217 myles from Carthage: and that trench Scipio Africanus the second, caused to be made, and bare halfe the charges together with the KK.42 The third gulfe is parted into twaine, cursed and horrible places both, for the ebbing and flowing of the sea, and the shelves betweene the two Syrtes. From Carthage to the nearer of them, which is the lesse, is 300 miles by the account of Polybius; who saith also, that the said Syrte is for 100 miles forward daungerous, and 300 about. By land also thither, the way is passeable by observation of the Starres, at one time of the yeere onely, and that lyeth through desert sands and places full of serpents.43 And then you meet with forrests replenished with numbers of wild beasts: and within-forth, wildernesses of Elephants: and soon after, waste deserts even beyond the Garamantes, who from the Augilæ are distant twelve daies journey. Above them was the nation of the Psylli:44 and above them the Lake of Diomedes45 environned with desarts. Those Augylæ themselves are seated well neere in the middle way from Æthyopia, which bendeth Westward, and the countrey lying betweene the two Syrtes, with equall distance betweene of both sides: but the shorte betweene the two Syrtes of 250 miles. There standeth the citie Ocensus,46 the river Cinyps and the countrey.47 Townes, Neapolis, Taphra, Abrotonum, the other Leptis, called also the great.48 Then the greater Syrtis, in compasse 625 miles, and in direct passage 313.49 Next to it, there inhabite the people Cisipades. In the inmost gulfe was the coast of the Lotophagi, whom some have called Alachroas,50 as farre as to the altars of Philæna, and of sand are they.51 Next to them, not farre from the Continent, the vast and wide Meere admitteth into it the river Triton, and taketh the name of him: but Callimachus calleth it Pallantias, and saith it is on this side the lesser Syrtes, but many place it betweene both Syrtes.52 The promontorie that encloseth the bigger, is named Borion. Beyond it is the province Cyrenaica. From the river Ampsaga to this bound, Affricke containeth 26 States,53 who are subject to the Romane Empire: among which are sixe Colonies besides the abovenamed, Uthina and Tuburbis.54 Townes endowed with franchises of Romane cittizens 15. Of which those in the midland parts, worthie to bee named, are Azuritanum, Abutucense, Aboriense, Canopicum, Chilmanense,55 Simittuense, Thunusidense, Tuburnicense, Tynidrumense, Tibgense,56 Ucitana twaine, the greater and the lesse, and Vagense.57 One towne enjoying the liberties of Latium, Usalitanum.58 One tributarie or pensionarie towne neere Castra Cornelia, paieth custome and duties to Rome. Free townes 30, of which there are to bee named within-forth, Arolitanum,59 Acharitanum, Avinense,60 Abziritanum, Canopitanum, Melzitanum, Madaurense,61 Salaphitanum, Tusdritanum, Tiricense Tiphicense,62 Tunicense, Theudense, Tagestense, Tigense, Ulusibritanum, another Vagense, Vigense and Zamense. The rest may well be called not onely citties, but also for the most part, nations, namely, the Natatondes,63 Capisitani, Misulani,64 Sabarbares, Massili, Misives,65 Vamacures, Ethini,66 Massini,67 Marchubij: and Gætulia all and whole, even to the river Nigris, which parteth Affrike and Æthyopia.

Chap. V.


The region Cyrenaica, called also Pentapolitana, is famous and renowned for the Oracle of Hammon,68 which is from Cyrenæ 400 miles, for the fountaine of the Sunne,69 and principally for five citties, Berenice, Arsinoe, Ptolemais, Apollonia, and Cyrene it selfe. Berenice standeth upon the utmost winding and nouke of Syrtis, called sometime the cittie of the abovenamed Hesperides, according to the wandering tales of Greece.70 And before the towne, not far off, is the river Lethon, the sacred grove where the hort-yards of these Hesperides are reported to be. From Leptis it is 385 miles.71 From it standeth Arsinoe, usually named Teuchira 43 miles: and from thence 22 miles, Ptoelmais, called in old time Barce.72 And then 250 miles73 off the Promontorie Phycus runneth out along the Creticke sea, distant from Tænarus a cape of Laconia, 350 miles: but from Creet it selfe 125 miles. And after it Cyrene, 11 miles from the sea. From Phycus to Apollonia is 24 miles: to Cherrhonesus 88: and so forth to Catabathnus 216 miles. The inhabitants there bordering, bee the Marmaridæ, stretching out in length almost from Parætonium to the greater Syrtis. After them the Ararauceles:74 and so in the very coast and side of Syrtis, the Nasamones, whome beforetimes the Greekes called Mesammones by reason of the place, for that they were seated in the middest betweene the two quicke sands.75 The Cyrenaicke countrey, for the space of 15 miles from the sea side, is fruitfull for trees: and for the same compasse within th eland, but for corne onely: but then for 30 miles in breadth, and 250 in length, for the gum Laser and nothing else.76 After the Nasamones,77 the Hasbitæ and Masæ doe live.78 Beyond them the Hammanientes, eleven daies journey from the Greater Syrtes to the West, and even they also every way are compassed about with sands: howbeit they find without much ado pits79 almost in cubites deepe, for that the waters there of Mauritania doe overflow. Houses they make themselves of salt, hewed out of their owne hils in manner of stone. From these to the Troglodites, in the Southwest coast is foure daies journey, with whom they chaffer and trafficke onely for a certaine precious stone or gem, which wee call a Carbuncle, brought out of Æthyopia. There commeth betweene, the countrey Phazania, lying toward the wildernesse abovesaid of Affricke, above the lese Syrtis: where we subdued the nation of the Phazanij, together with the cities Alele and Cillaba. In like manner Dydamum80 overagainst Sabrata. Next to whom there is a mountaine, reaching a great way from the East into the West, called by our men Ater, naturally as it were burnt, and like as if it were scorched and set on fire with the reflection of the Sunne. Beyond that mountaine are the deserts: also Matelgæ a towne of the Garamants, and likewise Debris, which castesth forth a spring of waters seething up from noone to midnight exceeing hot: and for as many houres againe into midday most chilling cold: also the most goodly towne Garama, the cheefe head of the Garamantes. All which places the Romanes have conquered by force of armes, and over them Cornelius Balbus triumphed, the onely man of forrainers that was honoured with the triumphant chariot, and endowed besides with the freedome of Romane citizens.81 For why, being borne at Gades, he and his uncle both, Balbus the elder, were made free denizens of Rome. And this is marvell that our writers have recorded, that besides the townes abovenamed by him conquered, himselfe in his triumph carried the titles and pourtraicts not of Cydamus and Garama onely, but also of all other nations and cities, which were raunged in a Roll, and went in this order. The towne Tabidium, the nation Niteris, the towne Negligemela, the nation Bubeium, the towne Vel,82 the nation Enipi, the towne Thuben, the hill named Niger. The townes Nitibrum and Rapsa, the nation Discera,83 the towne Debris, the river Nathabus, and towne Tapsagum, the nation Nannagi, the towne Boin, the towne Pege, the river Dasibari. And againe forward, these towns lying one to another together,84 Baracu, Buluba, Alasi, Bala, Galla, Maxala, and Zizama. The hill Gyri, wherein Titus hath reported that precious stones were engendred.85 Hitherto the way to the Garamants, was intricate and unpassable, by reason of the robbers and theeves of that countrey, who used to dig certaine pits in the way (which to them that know the quarters of the countrey is no hard matter to doe) and then cover them lightly over with sand. But in the last war which the Romanes maintained against the Oenses, under the conduct and fortunate auspices of Vespasian the Emperour, there was found a short and neere way of four daies journey: and this way is called Præter caput Saxi [besides the rockes head.] The frontier towne of Cyrenaica is called Catabathmos, which is a towne and a vale all on a suddain falling with a steepe descent. To this bound, from the lesse Syrtis, Cyrenaica Affrica lieth in length 1060 miles, and in breadth, for so much as it knowne, 800.

Chap. VI.

Libya Maræotis.

The countrey following is named Mareotis Libya, and boundeth upon Ægypt, inhabited by the Marmaridæ, Adyrmachidæ, and so forward with the Mareotæ. The measure of it from Catabathmost to Paretonium, is 86 miles. In that tract there lieth in the way between the village Apis, a place renowned for the religious rites of Ægypt.86 From it to Parætonium are 12 miles.87 From thence to Alexandria 200 miles: the breadth thereof is 169 miles. Eratosthenes hath delivered in writing, That from Cyrenæ to Alexandria by land is 525 miles. Agrippa saith, that the length of all Affricke from the Atlanticke sea, together with the inferiour part of Ægypt containeth 3040 miles. Polybius and Eratosthenes reputed to have been most exact and curious in this kind, set downe, from the Ocean to great Carthage 1600 miles. From thence to Canopicum the neerest mouth of Nilus, they make 1630 miles.88 Isidorus reckoneth from Tingi to Canopus 3599 miles. And Artemidorus fortie lesse then Isiodorus.

Chap. VII.

Islands about Affricke, and overagainst Affricke.

These seas have not very many Islands within them. The fairest of them all is Meninx, 35 miles long, and 25 broad,89 called by Eratosthenes Lotophagitis. Two townes it hath, Meninx on Affricke side, and Thoar on the other:90 it selfe is situate from the right hand promontorie of the lesse Syrtis ** 200 paces. A hundred miles from it against the left hand is Cercina, with a free towne of the same name, in length it is 25 miles, and halfe as much in breadth where it is most: but toward the end not above five miles over. To it there lieth a prettie little one toward Carthage, called Cercinitis, & joineth by a bridge unto it. From these almost 50 miles, lieth Lopadusa sixe miles long. Then, Gaulos and Galata: the earth whereof killeth the Scorpion, a fell creature, and noisome to Affricke. Men say also that they will die in Clupea, overagainst which lieth Corsyra, with a towne. But against the gulfe of Carthage be the two Ægineti,91 rockes more like than Islands, lying most betweene Sicilie and Sardinia. There bee that write how these sometime were inhabited, but afterwards sunke downe and were covered.

Chap. VIII.

The Æthyopians.

But within the inner compasse and hollow of Affricke toward the South, and above the Gætulians, where the desarts come betweene, the first people that inhabite those parts, bee the Libij Ægyptij, and then the Leucæthiopes.92 Above them are the Æthyopian nations, to wit the Nigritæ, of whom the river tooke name: The Gymnetes,93 Pharusi, and those which now reach to the Ocean, whome wee spake of in the marches of Mauritania, namely, the Perorsi. From all these, it is nothing but a wildernesse Eastward, till you come to the Garamantes, Augylæ, and Troglodites, according to the most true opinion of them, who place two Æthyiopiaes above the deserts of Affricke: and especially of Homer, who saith, that the Æthyopians are divided two waies, namely, East and West.94 The river Nyger is of the same nature that Nilus. It bringeth forth Reed and Papyr, breedeeth the same living creatures, and riseth or swelleth at the same season. It springeth betweene the Tareleia Æthyopians and the Oecalicæ. The towne Mavin95 belonging to this people, some have set upon the wildernesse: as also, neere unto them, the Atlantes, the Ægipanes, halfe wild beasts, the Blemmyi, the Gamphasants, Satyres, & Himantapodes. Those Atlantes, if we will beleeve it, degenerate from the rites and manners of all other men: for neither call they one another by any name: and they looke wistly upon the sunne, rising and setting, with most dreadfull curses, as being pernicious to them and their fields: neither dreame they in their sleepe, as other men. The Troglodites dig hollow caves, and these serve them for dwelling houses: they feed upon the flesh of serpents. They make a gnashing noise,96 rather than utter any voice, so little use have they of speech one to another. The Garamants live out of wedlocke, and converse with their women in common. The Augylæ do no worship but to the devils beneath.97 The Gamphasantes be all naked, and know no warres, and sort themselves with no forrainer. The Blemmyi, by report, have no heads, but mouth and eies both in their breast. The Satyres besides their shape onely, have no properties nor fashions of men. The Ægipanes are shaped, as you see them commonly painted.98 The Himantopodes bee some of them limberlegged and tender, who naturally goe creeping by the ground.99 The Pharusi, sometime Persæ, are said to have been the companions of Hercules, as he went to the Hesperides. More of Affricke the noting, I have not to say.

Chap. IX.

Of Asia.

Unto it joineth Asia, which from the mouth of Canopus unto the mouth of Pontus, after Timosthenes 2639 miles. From the coast ofPontus to that of Mæotis, Eratosthenes saith, is 1545 miles. The whole, together with Ægypt unto Tanais, by Artemidorus and isidorus, taketh 8800 miles.100 Many seas there bee in it, taking their names of the borderers: and therefore they shall be declared together with them. The nether part of the river Nilus, divided on the right hand and the left, by his clasping doth bound and limit, with the mouth of Canopus from Affricke, with the Pelusiake from Asia, and carrieth a space betweene of 170 miles. Whereupon, considering that Nilus doth so part it selfe, some have reckoned Ægypt among the Islands, so as it maketh a triangle figure of the land. And here it is that many have called Ægypt by the name of the Greek letter Dela, Δ. The measure of it from the channell where it is but one, and from whence it beginneth first to part into skirts and sides, unto the mouth of Canopus, is 146 miles: and to the Pelusiake 256.101 The upmost part thereof bounding upon Æthyopia, is called Thebais. Divided it is into towneships with severall jurisdictions, which they cal Nomos, to wit, Ombites, Phatuites, Apollopolites, Hermonthites, Thinites, Phanturites, Capitites, Tentyrites, Diospalites, Antæopolites, Aphroditopolites, and Lycopolites. The countrey about Pelusium, these towneships with their severall jurisdictions, Pharbœtites, Bubastites, Sethroites, and Tanites. The rest have these following, the Arabicke, the Hammoniacke which extendeth to the Oracle of Iupiter Hammon, Oxyrinchites, Leontopolites, Atarrhabites, Cynopolites, Hermopolites, Xoites, mendesins, Sebennites, Capastites, Latopolites, Helicopolites, Prosopites, Panopolites, Busirites, Onuphites, Sorites, Ptenethu, Pthemphu, Naucratites, Nitrites,102 Gynæcopolites, Menelaites, in the country of Alexandria. In like manner of Libya Mareotis. Heracleopolites is in the Island of Nilus, fiftie miles long, wherein also is that which they call Hercules his towne. Two Arsinoites there bee, they and Memphites reach as farre as to the head of Delta. Upon it there doe bound out of Affrica the two Oasitæ.103 There be that change some names of these, and set downe form them other jurisdictions, to wit, Heroopolites, and Crocodilopolites. Betweene Arsinoites and Memphites there was a lake 250 miles about, or as Mutianus saith, 450, fiftie paces deepe, [i. 150 foot,], & the same made by mans hand, called the Lake Mæridis, of a king who made it. 72 miles from thence is Memphis, the castle in old time of the Ægyptian kings. From which to the Oracle of Hammon is twelve daies journey, and so to the devision of Nilus, which is called Delta, fifteene miles. The river Nilus arising from unknowne springs, passeth through desarts and hote burning countries: and going thus a mightie way in length, is knowne by fame onely, without armes, without warres which have discovered and found out all other lands. It hath his beginning, so farre forth as Iuba was able to search and find out, in a hill of the lower Mauritania, not far from the Ocean, where a lake presently is seene to stand with water, which they call Nilides. In it are found these fishes, called Alabetæ, Coracini, Siluri, and the Crocodile. Upon this argument and presumption Nilus is thought to spring from hence, for that the pourtraict of this source is consecrated by the said prince at Cæsarea, in Iseum, and is there at this day seene.104 Moreover, observed it is, that as the snow or raine doe satisfie the countrey in Mauritania, so Nilus doth encrease. When it is run out of this lake, it scornth to run through the sandie and overgrown places, and hideth himselfe for certaine daies journey. And then soone after out of a greater lake, it breaketh forth in the countrey of the Massæsyli, with Mauritania Cæsariensis,105 and looketh about viewing mens companie, carrying the same argument still of living creatures bred within it. Then, once againe being received within the sands, it is hidden a second time for twentie daies journey, in the desarts as farre as to the next Æthyopes: and so soone as hee hath once againe espied a man, forth hee starteth (as it should seeme) out of that Spring, which they called Nigris. And then deviding Affricke from Æthyopia, being acquainted, if not presently with people, yet with the frequent companie of wild and savage beasts, and making shade of woods as he goeth, he cutteth through the middest of the Æthyopians: there surnamed Astapus, which in thelanguage of those nations signifieth a water flowing out of darknesse. Thus dasheth hee upon such an infinite number of Islands, and some ofthem so mightie great, that albeit he beareth a swift streame, yet is he not able to passe beyond them in lesse space than five daies. About the goodliest and fairest of them all Meroe, the channell going on the left hand is call Astabores, that is to say, the branch of a water comming forth of darkenesse: but that on the right hand Astusapes, which is as much as, Lying hid, to the former signification. And never taketh the name of Nilus, before his waters meet againe and accord all whole together. And even so was he aforetime named Siris,106 for many miles space: and of Homer altogether Ægyptis;107 and of others, Triton:108 here and there, and ever and anon hitting upon Islands, and stirred as it were with so many provocations: and at the last enclosed and shut within mountaines, and in no place carrieth he a rougher and swifter streame, whiles the water that he beareth, hasteneth to a place of the Æthyopians called Catadupi, where in the last fall amongst the rockes that stand in his way, hee is supposed not to runne, but to rush downe with a mightie noise. But afterwards he becommeth more mild and gentle, as the course of his streame is broken, and his violence tamed and abated, yea, and partly wearied with his long way: and so through many moths of his, he dischargeth himselfe into the Ægyptian sea. Howbeit, at certaine set daies he swelleth to a great heigth: and when he hath travailed all over Ægypt, hee overfloweth the land, to the great fertilitie and plentie thereof. Many and divers causes of this rising and increase of his, men have given: but those which carrie the most probabilitie, are either the rebouding of the water, driven backe by the winds of Etesiæ, at that time blowing against it, and driving the sea withall upon the mouths of Nilus: or else the Summer raine in Æthyopia, by reason that the same Etesiæ bring clodus thither from other parts of the world. Timæus the Mathematician, alledged an hidden reason thereof, to wit, that the head and source of Nilus is named Phiala, and the river it selfe is hidden, as it were drowned within certaine secret trenches within the ground, breathing forth vapours out of reeking rockes, where it thus lieth in secret. But so soone as the Sunne during those daies, commeth neere, drawne up it is by force of heat, and so all the while he hangeth aloft, overfloweth: and then againe for feare he should bee wholly devoured and consumed, putteth in his head againe, and lieth hid. And this happeneth from the rising of the Dog starre Sicinus,109 in the sunnes entrance into Leo, while the Planet standeth plumbe over the fountaine aforesaid: for as much as in that climate there are no shadowes to be seene. Many againe were of a different opinion, that a river floweth more abundantly, when the Sunne is departed toward the North pole, which happeneth in Cancer and Leo: and therefore at that time is not so easily dried: but when he is returend once againe backe toward Capricorn and the South pole, it is drunke up, and therefore floweth more sparily. But if according to Timæus a man would thinke it possible that the water should be drawne up, the want of shaddowes during those daies, and in those quarters, continueth still without end. For the river beginneth to rise and swell at the next change of the Moone after the Sunnesteed, by little and little gently, so long as he passeth through the signe Cancer, but most abundantly when he is in Leo. And when he is in Virgo, he falleth and settleth low againe, in the same measure as he rose before. And is cleane brought within his bankes in Libra,110 which is, as Herodotus thinketh, by the hundreth day. All the whiles it riseth, it hath beene thought unlawfull for kings or governours to saile or passe in any vessell upon it, and they make conscience to do so. How high it riseth, is knowne by markes and measures taken of certaine pits. The ordinarie heigth of it is sixteene cubites. Under that gage the waters overflow not all. Above that stint, there are a let and hinderance, by reason that the later it is ere they bee fallen, and downe againe. By these, the seed time is much of it spent, for that the earth is too wet. By the other there is none at all, by reason that the ground is drie and thirstie. The province taketh good keepe and reckoning of both, the one as well as the other. For when it is no higher than 12 cubites, it findeth extreame famine: yea, and at 13 it feeleth hunger still, 14 cubites comforts their hearts, 15 bids them take no care, but 16 affoordeth them plentie and delicious dainties. The greatest floud that ever was knowne untill these daies, was 18 cubites, in the time of prince Claudius Emperor: and the least, in the Pharsalian warre against the death of Pompey:111 as if the very river by that prodigious token abhorred to see the same. When at any time the waters seeme to stand and cover the ground still, they are let out at certaine sluces or floud-gates drawne up and set open. And so soone as any part of the land is freed from the water, streight waies it is sowed. This is the onely river of all others that breatheth out no wind from it. The Seignorie and dominion of Ægypt beginneth at Syene, the frontier town of Æthyopia. For that is the name of a demie Island a hundred miles in compasse, wherin are the Cerastæ upon the side of Arabia: and overagainst it the foure Islands Philæ,112 600 miles from the partition of Nilus, where it began to be called Delta, as we have said. This space of ground hath Artemidorus delivered, and withall, that within it were 250 townes. Iuba setteth down 400 miles. Aristocreon saith, That from Elephantis to the sea is 750 miles. This Elephantis being an Island, is inhabited beneath the lowest cataract or fall of water three miles, and above Syene 16:113 and it is the utmost point that the Ægyptians saile unto and is from Alexandria 586 miles. See how farre the authors above written, have erred and gone out of the way: there meet the Æthyopian ships, for they are made to fold up together, and carrie them upon their shoulders, so often as they come to those cataracts or downefals aforesaid. Ægypt, over and above all other their boast and glorie of antiquitie, brags that in the reigne of king Amasis, there were inhabited in it and peopled twentie thousand cities. And even at this day full it is of them, such as they be, and of base account. Howbeit, that of Apollo is much renowned, as also neere unto it another of Leucathea, and *** Diospolis the great, the very same that Thebes, famous for the hundred gates in it. Also, Captos,114 a great mart towne next to Nilus, much frequented for merchandise & commodities out of India & Arabia. Moreover, the towne of Venus, and another of Iupiter,115 and Tentyris, beneath which standeth Abydus, the roiall seat of Memnon, and Osiris renowmed for the temple there, seven miles and an halfe distant from the river, toward Lybia. Then Ptoelmais, Panopolis, and another yet of Venus. Also in the Lybian coast, Lycon, where the hill[s] doe bound Thebais. Soone after, these townes of Mercurie, Alabastron, Canum, and that of Hercules spoken of before.116 After these, Arsinoe, and the abovesaid Memphis, betweene which and the diocese Arsinoetis, in the Lybian coast,117 the towres called Pyramides, the Labyrinth built up in the lake of Mœris without any jote of timber to it,118 and the towne Crialon.119 One more besides, standing within-forth and bounding upon Arabia, called The towne of the Sunne, of great account and importance.120

Chap. X.


But right worthy of praise is Alexandria, standing upon the coast of the Ægyptian sea, built by Alexander the Great on Africke side, 12 myles from the mouth of Canopus, neare to the lake Mareotis: which was before-time called  Arapotes. Dinochares the Architect, (a man renowmed for his singular wit many waies) laid the modell and platforme thereof by a subtill and wittie devise: for having taken up a circuit of 15 miles for the cittie, hee made it round like to a Macedonian cloke, full in the skirts, bearing out into angles and corners, as well on the left hand as the right, so as it seemed to lye in folds and plaits; and yet even then he set out one fift part of all this plot for the kings pallace. The lake Mareotis from the South side, meeteth with an arme of the river Nilus, brought from out of the mouth of the said river called Canopicus: for the more commodious trafficke and commerce out of the firme ground and inland Continent. This lake containeth within it sundry Ilands,121 and (according to Claudius Cæsar) it is thirtie miles over.122 Others say, that it lyeth in length fortie Schœni, and so, wheras every Schœne is 30 stadia, it commeth by that account to be 150 myles long, and as many broad. Over and besides, there be many goodly faire townes of great importance, standing upon the river Nilus where he runneth, and those especially which have given name to the mouthes of the river, and yet not to all those neither (for there be 11123 of them in all, over and besides foure more, which they themselves call bastard mouthes124) but to 7 of the principall: to wit, upon that of Canopus, next to Alexandria, then Bolbitinum, and so forth to Sebenniticum, Phatuiticum,125 Mendesium, Taniticum, and last of all Pelusiacum. Other cities there be besides, to wit, Buros,126 Pharboœtus, Leontopolis, Achribis,127 Isis towne, Busiris, Cynophis, Aphrodites, Saïs, Naucratis, of which some thinke the mouth Naucraticum tooke the name, which they be that call Heracleoticum, preferring it before Canopicum, next unto which it standeth.

Chap. XI.

Arabia [the Desert or Petræa.]

Being once past that arme of the river Nilus, which entreth into the sea at Pelusium, you come into Arabia, confining upon the red Sea: and that other Arabia, so rich and odoriferous, and therefore renowmed with the surname of Happie. As for this Desert Arabia, possessed it is by the Catabanes, Esbonites, and Scenite128 Arabians: all barren and fruitlesse, save whereas it meeteth with the confines of Syria, and setting aside the mountaine Casius, nothing memorable. This region confronteth the Arabians Canchlei on the East side, and the Cedræi Southward, and they both confine together afterwards upon the Nabathæes. Moreover, two Baies there be, the one called, The gulfe of Heroopolis,129 and the other of Elani:130 both in the red sea on the coast of Ægypt, 150 miles distant, betweene two townes, Elana131 and Gaza, which is in our [Mediterranean] sea. Agrippa counteth from Pelusium to Arsinoe, a towne situate upon the red sea, an hundred and twentie miles.132 See how small a way lyeth between two Climates so different in nature.

Chap. XII.

Syria, Palestine, Phœnice.

Upon the coast of the said Arabia, confineth Syria; a Region in times past, the chiefe and most renowmed upon earth: and the same distinguished by sundrie names. For where it confineth upon the Arabians, called it was Palæstina, Iurie, Cœle Syria,a33 and afterward, Phœnice: But goe farther within the firme land, Damascene. Turne more still Southwards, it is named Babylonia. And the same betweene the rivers Euphrates and Tygris, carrieth the name of Mesopotamia. Beyong the mountaine Taurus, it is Sophene: but on this side the hill, they call Comagene. The countrey beyond Armenia, is Adiabenæ, named before time Assyria:134 but the marches of Syria which confront Ciclicia, is knowne by the name of Antiochia. The whole length of Syria, from the frontiers of Cilicia to Arabia, containeth 470 miles: the bredth betweene Seleucia Pieria, to Zeugma135 a towne seated upon Euphrates, taketh 175 miles. They that make a more subtill and particular division, would have Phœnice to be environed with Syria. And first, as you come from Arabia, is the sea-coast of Syria, which compriseth in it Idumæa and Iudæa: then, you enter into Phœnicia, and so into Syria again, when you are past Phœnicia. And within-forth farther into the countrey, Phœnice is enclosed with Syria Damascena. All that sea yet, which beateth upon that coast, beareth the name of the Phœnician sea. As for that nation it selfe of the Phœnicians, have been highly reputed for their Science and learning, and namely, for the first invention of letters,136 for their knowledge in Astrologie,137 navigation, and martiall skill. Being past Pelusium, you come to a citie called Chabriæ Castra, to the mountain Casius, and the temple of Iupiter Casius: also the tombe of Pompeius Magnus; and last of all to the citie Ostracium. To conclude, from Pelusium to the frontiers of Arabia the Desert [along the coast of Syria] are 65 miles.

Chap. XIII.

Idumæa, Syria, Palestina, Samaria.

Soon after, beginneth Idumæa & Palestina, even from the rising up of the lake Sirbon, which some have repored to carie a circuit of 150 miles. Herodotus saith, it is hard under the foot of the hill Casius: but at this day it is but a small lake. As for the townes there, they be Rhinocolura,138 and more within the land, Rhaphæa: also Gaza a port towne, and farther within, Anthedon, and the mountain Angoris.139 From thence you discend to the coasts of Samaria, the free citie Ascalon, and Azotus: the two Iamnes, whereof the one is well within land; and o forward to Ioppe, a towne in Phœnicia, which by report, is more auncient than the deluge.140 Situate it is upon an hill, with a rocke before it, wherein are to be seene the tokens and reliques of ladie Andromedaes prison where she was bound.141 Within a chappell there, the Siren Decreto,a142aa whereof the Poets tell such tales, is worshipped. Being past Ioppe, you meet with Apollonia: the towne of Strato, called also Cæsarea, founded by king Herode: it beareth now the name of Prima Flavia, a colonie there planted and endowed with priviledges by Vespasian the Emperor. The bounds of Palæstina be 180a143aa miles from teh confines of Arabia: and there entreth Phœnice. Withinforth in the countrey, are the townes of Samaria, and Neapolis, which beforetime was named Mamortha [or Maxbora].a144aa Pliny Adobe 79 middle right French (5-6), 63 Mayhoff 382 Frog 287 next erratum page 115