Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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TURDETANIA lies above the coast on this side the Guadiana, [Note] and is intersected by the river Guadalquiver. [Note] It is bounded on the west and north by the river Guadiana; on the east by certain of the Carpetani and the Oretani; on the south by those of the Bastetani who inhabit the narrow slip of coast between Calpe and Gadeira, and by the sea beyond as far as the Guadiana. The Bastetani whom I have mentioned, together with the people on the other side the Guadiana, and many of the places adjacent, belong to Turdetania. The size of this country in its length and breadth does not exceed two thousand stadia, still it contains a vast number of towns; two hundred, it is said. Those best known are situated on the rivers, estuaries, and sea; but the two which have acquired the greatest name and importance are, Corduba, founded by Marcellus, [Note] and the city of the Gaditanians. [Note] The latter for its naval importance, and its alliance with the Romans; and the former on account of its fertility and extent, a considerable portion of the Guadalquiver flowing by it; in addition to this it has been from its commencement inhabited by picked men, whether natives or Romans; and it was the first colony planted by the Romans in these parts.

After this city and that of the Gaditanians, Hispalis [Note] is the most noted. This also is a Roman colony. Commerce is still

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carried on here, although at the present moment the city of Bætis [Note] though not so finely built, is outshining it, on account of the honour it has received from the soldiers of Cæsar taking up their quarters there. 3.2.2

After these are Italica, [Note] and Ilipa, [Note] situated on the Guadalquiver; farther on are Astygis, [Note] Carmo, [Note] and Obulco; and besides these Munda, [Note] Ategua, Urso, [Note] Tukkis, [Note] Julia, [Note] and ægua, where the sons of Pompey were defeated. None of these places are far from Corduba. Munda is in some sort regarded as the metropolis of the whole district. This place is distant from Carteia 1400 [Note] stadia, and it was here that Cnæus fled after his defeat, and sailing thence landed on a rocky height overlooking the sea, where he was murdered. His brother Sextus, having escaped from Corduba, after carrying on the war for a short time in Spain, caused a revolt in Sicily. Flying thence into Asia he was seized at Miletus [Note] by the generals [Note] of Antony, and executed. Amongst the Kelts the most famous place is Conistorgis. [Note] Upon the estuaries is Asta, [Note] in which the Gaditani mostly hold their assemblies; it is opposite the sea-port of the island, at a distance of not more than 100 stadia. 3.2.3

A vast number of people dwell along the Guadalquiver; and you may sail up it almost 1200 stadia from the sea to Corduba, and the places a little higher up. The banks and little islets of this river are cultivated with the greatest diligence.

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The eye is also delighted with groves and gardens, which in this district are met with in the highest perfection. As far as Ispalis, which is a distance of not less than 500 stadia, the river is navigable for ships [Note] of considerable size; but for the cities higher up, as far as Ilipas, smaller vessels are employed, and thence to Corduba river-boats. These are now constructed of planks joined together, but they were formerly made out of a single trunk. Above this to Castlon the river is no longer navigable. A chain of mountains, rich in metal, runs parallel to the Guadalquiver, [Note] approaching the river sometimes more, sometimes less, towards the north.

There is much silver found in the parts about Ilipas and Sisapo, both in that which is called the old town and the new. There are copper and gold about the Cotinæ. [Note] These mountains are on the left as you sail up the river; on the right there is a vast and elevated plain, fertile, full of large trees, and containing excellent pasturage. The Guadiana [Note] is likewise navigable, but not for vessels equally large, nor yet so far up. It is also bordered by mountains containing metal, and extends as far as the Tagus. Districts which contain metals must, of necessity, be rugged and poor, [Note] as indeed are those adjoining Carpetania, and still more those next the Kelti- berians. The same is the case with Bæturia, the plains of which, bordering on the Guadiana, are arid. 3.2.4

Turdetania, on the other hand, is marvellously fertile, and abounds in every species of produce. The value of its productions is doubled by means of exportation, the surplus products finding a ready sale amongst the numerous ship-owners. This results from its rivers and estuaries, which, as we have said, resemble rivers, and by which you may sail from the sea to the inland towns, not only in small, but even in large-sized skiffs. For the whole country above the coast, and situated between the Sacred Promontory [Note] and the Pillars, consists of an extended plain. Here in many places are hollows running inland from the sea, which resemble moderately-sized ravines or the beds of rivers, and extend

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for many stadia. These are filled by the approach of the sea at high tide, and may be navigated as easily, or even more so than rivers. They are navigated much the same as rivers the sea, meeting with no obstacle, enters like the flow of a river at flood-tide. The sea comes in here with greater force than in the other places; for being forced from the wide ocean into the narrow strait, [Note] formed by the coast of Maurusia and Iberia, it experiences recoils, and thus is borne full into the retiring parts of the land. Some of these shallows are left dry as the tide ebbs, while others are never destitute of water; others again contain islands, of this kind are the estuaries between the Sacred Promontory [Note] and the Pillars, where the tide comes in with more violence than at other places. Such a tide is of considerable advantage to sailors, since it makes the estuaries both fuller and more spacious, frequently swelling them to a breadth of eight [Note] stadia, so that the whole land, so to speak, is rendered navigable, thus giving wonderful facility both for the export and import of merchandise. Nevertheless there is some inconvenience. For in the navigation of the rivers, the sailors run considerable danger both in ascending and descending, owing to the violence with which the flood-tide encounters the current of the stream as it flows down. The ebb-tides are likewise the cause of much damage in these estuaries, for resulting as they do from the same cause as the flood-tides, they are frequently so rapid as to leave the vessel on dry land; and herds in passing over to the islands that are in these estuaries are sometimes drowned [in the passage] and sometimes surprised in the islands, and endeavouring to cross back again to the continent, are unable, and perish in the attempt. They say that certain of the cattle, having narrowly observed what takes place, wait till the sea has retired, and then cross over to the main-land.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.1.9 Str. 3.2.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.2.6

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