Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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Those who desire to instil into us that more perfect freedom from [ignorant] wonder, which Democritus and all other philosophers so highly extol, should add the changes which have been produced by the migrations of various tribes: we should thus be inspired with courage, steadiness, and composure. For instance, the Western Iberians, [Note] removed to the regions beyond the Euxine and Colchis, being separated from Arme-

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nia, according to Apollodorus, by the Araxes, [Note] but rather by the Cyrus [Note] and Moschican mountains. [Note] The expedition of the Egyptians into Ethiopia [Note] and Colchis. The migration of the Heneti, [Note] who passed from Paphlagonia into the country bordering on the Adriatic Gulf. Similar emigrations were also undertaken by the nations of Greece, the Ionians, Dorians, Achaians, and æolians; and the ænians, [Note] now next neighbours to the ætolians, formerly dwelt near Dotium [Note] and Ossa, beyond the Perrhæbi; [Note] the Perrhæbi too are but wanderers here themselves. Our present work furnishes numerous instances of the same kind. Some of these are familiar to most readers, but the migrations of the Carians, the Treres, the Teucrians, and the Galatæ or Gauls, [Note] are not so generally known. Nor yet for the most part are the expeditions of their chiefs, for instance, Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus of Trerus, Sesostris and Psammeticus the Egyptians; nor are those of the Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes familiar to every one. The Kimmerians, or a separate tribe of them, called the Treres, have frequently overrun the countries to the right of the Euxine and those adjacent to them, bursting now into Paphlagonia, now into Phrygia, as they did when, according to report, Midas [Note] came to his death by drinking bull's blood. Lygdamis led his followers into Lydia, passed through Ionia, took Sardis, but was slain in Cilicia. The Kimmerians and Treres frequently made similar incursions, until at last, as it is reported, these latter, together with [their chief] Cobus, were

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driven out by Madys, king of the Scythians. [Note] But enough has been said in this place on the general history of the earth, as each country will have a particular account. 1.3.22

We must now return to the point whence we digressed. Herodotus having observed that there could be no such people as Hyperborean, inasmuch as there were no Hypernotii, [Note] Eratosthenes calls this argument ridiculous, and compares it to the sophism, that there are no epichærekaki, [Note] inasmuch as there are no epichæragathi; [Note] [adding] perhaps there are Hypernotii; since at all events in Ethiopia Notus does not blow, although lower down it does.

It would indeed be strange, since winds blow under every latitude, and especially the southern wind called Notus, if any region could be found where this latter was not felt. On the contrary, not only does Ethiopia experience our Notus, but also the whole country which lies above as far as the equator. [Note]

If Herodotus must be blamed at all, it is for supposing that the Hyperboreans were so named in consequence of Boreas, or the north wind, not blowing upon them. The poets are allowed much licence in their modes of expression; but their commentators, who endeavour always to give us the correct view, tell us that the people who dwelt in the extreme north, were styled Hyperboreans. The pole is the boundary of the northern

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winds, and the equator of the southern; these winds have no other limit. 1.3.23

Eratosthenes next finds fault with the writers who fill their narrative with stories evidently feigned and impossible; some as mere fable, but others as history, which did not deserve mention. In the discussion of a subject like his, he should not have wasted his time about such trifles. Such is the way in which this writer completes the First Book of his Memoirs.


IN his Second Book Eratosthenes endeavours to correct some errors in geography, and offers his own views on the subject, any mistakes in which we shall endeavour in our turn to set right. He is correct in saying that the inductions of mathematics and natural philosophy should be employed, and that if the earth is spheroidal like the universe, it is inhabited in all parts; together with some other things of this nature. Later writers do not agree with him as to the size of the earth, [Note] nor admit his measurement. However Hipparchus, when noting the celestial appearances for each particular locality, adopts his admeasurements, saying that those taken for the meridian of Meroe, [Note] Alexandria, and the Dnieper, differ but very slightly from the truth. Eratosthenes then enters into a long discussion concerning the figure of the globe, proving that the form of the earth together with the water is spheroidal, as also the heavens. This however we imagine was foreign to his purpose, and should have been disposed of in the compass of a few words.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 1.3.19 Str. 1.3.23 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 1.4.4

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