Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.1.1 Str. 3.1.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.2.2


The sea-coast next the Sacred Promontory forms on one side the commencement of the western coast of Spain as far as the outlet of the river Tagus; and on the other forms the southern coast as far as the outlet of another river, named the Guadiana. [Note] Both of these rivers descend from the eastern parts [of Spain]; but the former, which is much larger than the other, pursues a straight course towards the west, while the Guadiana bends its course towards the south. [Note] They enclose an extent of country peopled for the most part by Kelts and

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certain Lusitanians, [Note] whom the Romans caused to settle here from the opposite side of the Tagus. Higher up, the country is inhabited by the Carpetani, [Note] the Oretani, [Note] and a large number of Vettones. [Note] This district is moderately fertile, but that which is beyond it to the east and south, does not give place in superiority to any part of the habitable earth with which it may be compared, in the excellence of its productions both of land and sea. This is the country through which the river Guadalquiver [Note] flows. This river takes its rise from the same parts as the Guadiana [Note] and the Tagus, and is between these two in size. [Note] Like the Guadiana, the commencement of its course flows towards the west, but it afterwards turns to the south, and discharges itself at the same side of the coast as that river.

From this river [Note] the country has received the name of Bætica; it is called Turdetania by the inhabitants, who are themselves denominated Turdetani, and Turduli. Some think these two names refer to one nation, while others believe that they designate two distinct people. Of this latter opinion is Polybius, who imagines that the Turduli dwell more to the north than the Turdetani. At the present day however there does not appear to be any distinction between them. These people are esteemed to be the most intelligent of all the Iberians; they have an alphabet, and possess ancient writings, poems, and metrical laws six thousand years old, as they say. The other Iberians are likewise furnished with an alphabet, although not of the same form, nor do they speak the same language. Their country, [Note] which is on this side the

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Guadiana, extends eastward as far as Oretania, [Note] and southward along the sea-coast from the outlets of the Guadiana to the Pillars [of Hercules]. But it is necessary that I should enter into further particulars concerning this and the neighbouring places, in order to illustrate their excellence and fertility. 3.1.7

Between this coast, where the Guadalquiver and Guadiana discharge themselves, and the extremities of Maurusia, the Atlantic Ocean forms the strait at the Pillars [of Hercules] by which it is connected with the Mediterranean. Here is situated Calpe, [Note] the mountain of the Iberians who are denominated Bastetani, by others Bastuli. Its circumference is not large, but it is so high and steep as to resemble an island in the distance. Sailing from the Mediterranean into the Atlantic, it is left on the right hand. At a distance of 40 stadia from this [mountain] is the considerable and ancient city of Carteia, formerly a marine arsenal of the Iberians. Some assert that it was founded by Hercules; of this number is Timosthenes, [Note] who tells us it was anciently called Heraclæa, and that vast walls and ship-sheds are still shown. 3.1.8

Next to these is Mellaria, [Note] where they make salted provisions. After this the city and river [Note] of Belo. Here the merchandise and salted provisions for Tingis in Maurusia are principally shipped. There was a city named Zelis [Note] near to Tingis, but the Romans transferred it to the opposite coast [of Spain], and having placed there in addition some of the inhabitants of Tingis, and sent over also some of their own people, they then gave to the city the name of Julia Joza. [Note] Beyond this is Gadeira, [Note] an island separated from Turdetania by a narrow strait, and distant from Calpe about 750 stadia, or, as others say, 800. This island has nothing to distinguish it above others, but owing to the boldness of its people in

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their expeditions by sea, and their friendship with the Ro- mans, has attained to that pitch of good fortune, that although situated at the farthest extremities of the earth, it possesses a greater celebrity than any other island. But we will describe it when we come to speak of the other islands. 3.1.9

Next after [Cadiz] is the port of Menestheus, [Note] and the estuary near to Asta and Nebrissa. [Note] These estuaries are valleys filled by the sea during its flood-tides, up which you may sail into the interior, and to the cities built on them, in the same way as you sail up a river. Immediately after are the two outlets of the Guadalquiver. [Note] The island embraced by these mouths has a coast of a hundred stadia, or rather more according to others. Hereabouts is the Oracle of Menestheus, [Note] and the tower of Cæpio, [Note] built upon a rock and washed on all sides by the sea. This is an admirable work, resembling the Pharos, and constructed for the safety of vessels. For the mud carried out by the river forms shallows, and sunken rocks are also scattered before it, so that a beacon was greatly needed. Thence sailing up the river is the city of Ebura [Note] and the temple of Phosphorus, [Note]

which they call Lux Dubia. [Note] You then pass up the other estuaries; and after these the river Guadiana, which has also two mouths, [Note] up either of which you may sail. Lastly, beyond is the Sacred Promontory, [Note] distant from Gadeira [Note] less than 2000 stadia. Some say that from the Sacred Promontory to the mouth of the Guadiana there are 60 miles; thence to the mouth of the Guadalquiver 100; and from this latter place to Gadeira 70.

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Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.1.1 Str. 3.1.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.2.2

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