Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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He tells us also, that the Ethiopians are far removed, and bounded by the ocean: far removed,— The Ethiopians, utmost of mankind,
These eastward situate, those toward the west. [Note]
Odyssey i. 23

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Nor was he mistaken in calling them separated into two divisions, as we shall presently show: and next to the ocean,— For to the banks of the Oceanus,
Where Ethiopia holds a feast to Jove,
He journey'd yesterday. [Note]
Iliad i. 423
Speaking of the Bear, he implies that the most northern part of the earth is bounded by the ocean: Only star of these denied
To slake his beams in Ocean's briny baths. [Note]
Iliad xviii. 489; Odyssey v. 275.
Now, by the Bear and the Wain, he means the Arctic Circle; otherwise he would never have said, It alone is deprived of the baths of the ocean, when such an infinity of stars is to be seen continually revolving in that part of the hemisphere. Let no one any longer blame his ignorance for being merely acquainted with one Bear, when there are two. It is probable that the second was not considered a constellation until, on the Phœnicians specially designating it, and employing it in navigation, it became known as one to the Greeks. [Note] Such is the case with the Hair of Berenice, and Canopus, whose names are but of yesterday; and, as Aratus remarks, there are numbers which have not yet received any designation. Crates, therefore, is mistaken when, endeavouring to amend what is correct, he reads the verse thus: οἷος δ' ἄμμορός ἐστι λοετρῶν,
replacing οἴη by οἶς, with a view to make the adjective agree

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with the Arctic Circle, which is masculine; instead of the Arctic Constellation, which is feminine. The expression of Heraclitus is far more preferable and Homeric, who thus figuratively describes the Arctic Circle as the Bear,—The Bear is the limit of the dawn and of the evening, and from the re- gion of the Bear we have fine weather. Now it is not the constellation of the Bear, but the Arctic Circle, which is the limit of the rising and the setting stars.

By the Bear, then, which he elsewhere calls the Wain, and describes as pursuing Orion, Homer means us to under- stand the Arctic Circle; and by the ocean, that horizon into which, and out of which, the stars rise and set. When he says that the Bear turns round and is deprived of the ocean, he was aware that the Arctic Circle [always] extended to the sign opposite the most northern point of the horizon. Adapting the words of the poet to this view, by that part of the earth nearest to the ocean we must understand the horizon, and by the Arctic Circle that which extends to the signs which seem to our senses to touch in succession the most northern point of the horizon. Thus, according to him, this portion of the earth is washed by the ocean. With the nations of the North he was well acquainted, although he does not mention them by name, and indeed at the present day there is no regular title by which they are all distinguished. He informs us of their mode of life, describing them as wanderers, noble milkers of mares, living on cheese, and without wealth. [Note] 1.1.7

In the following speech of Juno, he states that the ocean surrounds the earth. For to the green earth's utmost bounds I go,
To visit there the parent of the gods,
Oceanus. [Note]
Iliad xiv. 200.

Does he not here assert that ocean bounds all its extremities, and does it not surround these extremities? Again, in the

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Hoplopœia, [Note] he places the ocean in a circle round the border of Achilles' shield. Another proof of the extent of his knowledge, is his acquaintance with the ebb and flow of the sea, calling it the ebbing ocean. [Note] Again, Each day she thrice disgorges, and again
Thrice drinks, insatiate, the deluge down. [Note]

Odyss. xii. 105. The assertion of thrice, instead of twice, is either an error of the author, or a blunder of the scribe, but the phenomenon is the same, and the expression soft-flowing, [Note] has reference to the flood-tide, which has a gentle swell, and does not flow with a full rush. Posidonius believes that where Homer describes the rocks as at one time covered with the waves, and at another left bare, and when he compares the ocean to a river, he alludes to the flow of the ocean. The first supposition is correct, but for the second there is no ground; inasmuch as there can be no comparison between the flow, much less the ebb of the sea, and the current of a river. There is more probability in the explanation of Crates, that Homer describes the whole ocean as deep-flowing, ebbing, and also calls it a river, and that he also describes a part of the ocean as a river, and the flow of a river; and that he is speaking of a part, and not the whole, when he thus writes:— When down the smooth Oceanus impell'd
By prosperous gales, my galley, once again,
Cleaving the billows of the spacious deep,
Had reach'd the ææan isle. [Note]
Odyssey xii. l.
He does not, however, mean the whole, but the flow of the river in the ocean, which forms but a part of the ocean. Crates

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says, he speaks of an estuary or gulf, extending from the winter tropic towards the south pole. [Note] Now any one quitting this, might still be in the ocean; but for a person to leave the whole and still to be in the whole, is an impossibility. But Homer says, that leaving the flow of the river, the ship entered on the waves of the sea, which is the same as the ocean. If you take it otherwise you make him say, that departing from the ocean he came to the ocean. But this requires further discussion.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 1.1.1 Str. 1.1.7 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 1.1.10

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