Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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Of these facts, notwithstanding, there are better proofs. For instance, the expeditions of Hercules and the Phoenicians to this country were evidence to him of the wealth and luxury of the people. They fell so entirely under the dominion of the Phoenicians, that at the present day almost the whole of the cities of Turdetania and the neighbouring places are inhabited by them. It also seems to me that the expedition of Ulysses hither, as it took place and was recorded, was the foundation both of his Odyssey and Iliad, which he framed upon facts collected into a poem, and embellished as usual with poetical mythology. It is not only in Italy, Sicily, and a few other places that vestiges of these [events] occur; even in Iberia a city is shown named Ulyssea, [Note] also a temple of Minerva, and a myriad other traces both of the wandering of Ulysses and also of other survivors of the Trojan war, which was equally fatal to the vanquished and those who took Troy. These latter in fact gained a Cadmean victory, [Note] for their homes were destroyed, and the portion of booty which fell to each was exceedingly minute. Consequently not only those who had survived the perils [of their country], but the Greeks as well, betook themselves to piracy, the former because they

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had been pillaged of every thing; the latter, on account of the shame which each one anticipated to himself: The shame
That must attend us, after absence long
Returning unsuccessful, who can bear? [Note]
Iliad ii. 298.
In the same way is related the wandering of æneas, of Antenor, and of the Heneti; likewise of Diomedes, of Menelaus, of Ulysses, [Note] and of many others. Hence the poet, knowing of similar expeditions to the extremities of Iberia, and having heard of its wealth and other excellencies, (which the Phœnicians had made known,) feigned this to be the region of the Blessed, and the Plain of Elysium, where Proteus informs Menelaus that he is to depart to: But far hence the gods
Will send thee to Elysium, and the earth's
Extremest bounds; there Rhadamanthus dwells,
The golden-haired, and there the human kind
Enjoy the easiest life; no snow is there,
No biting winter, and no drenching shower,
But zephyr always gently from the sea
Breathes on them to refresh the happy race. [Note]
Odyssey iv. 563.
Now the purity of the air, and the gentle breathing of the zephyr, are both applicable to this country, as well as the softness of the climate, its position in the west, and its place at the extremities of the earth, where, as we have said, he feigned that Hades was. By coupling Rhadamanthus with it, he signifies that the place was near to Minos, of whom he says, There saw I Minos, offspring famed of Jove;
His golden sceptre in his hand, he sat
Judge of the dead. [Note]
Odyssey xi. 567. Bohn's edition.
Similar to these are the fables related by later poets; such, for instance, as the expeditions after the oxen of Geryon, and the

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golden apples of the Hesperides, the Islands of the Blessed [Note] they speak of, which we know are still pointed out to us not far distant from the extremities of Maurusia, and opposite to Gades. 3.2.14

I repeat that the Phœnicians were the discoverers [of these countries], for they possessed the better part of Iberia and Libya before the time of Homer, and continued masters of those places until their empire was overthrown by the Romans. This also is an evidence of the wealth of Iberia: in the expedition of the Carthaginians under Barcas, [Note] they found, according to historians, that the people of Turdetania used silver goblets [Note] and casks. One might guess too that it was on account of this great opulence that the men of the country, and their chiefs in particular, were styled long-lived. Wherefore Anacreon thus sings, Neither would I desire the horn of Amalthea, nor to reign over Tartessus one hundred and fifty years. Herodotus too has preserved the name of the king, whom he calls Arganthonius. [Note] The passage of Anacreon must therefore either be understood [of this king], or some other like him; or else more generally thus, nor to reign for a length- ened period in Tartessus. Some writers [Note] are of opinion that Tartessus is the present Carteia. 3.2.15

The Turdetani not only enjoy a salubrious climate, but their manners are polished and urbane, as also are those of the people of Keltica, by reason of their vicinity [to the Turdetani], or, according to Polybius, on account of their

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being of the same stock, but not to so great a degree, for they live for the most part scattered in villages. The Turdetani, on the other hand, especially those who dwell about the Guadalquiver, [Note] have so entirely adopted the Roman mode of life, as even to have forgotten their own language. They have for the most part become Latins, [Note] and received Roman colonists; so that a short time only is wanted before they will be all Romans. The very names of many of the towns at present, such as Pax Augusta [Note] amongst the Keltici, Augusta-Eme- rita [Note] amongst the Turduli, Cæsar-Augusta [Note] amongst the Keltiberians and certain other colonies, are proof of the change of manners I have spoken of. Those of the Iberians who adopt these new modes of life are styled togati. Amongst their number are the Keltiberians, who formerly were regarded as the most uncivilized of them all. So much for these.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.2.12 Str. 3.2.14 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.3.1

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