Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.3.1 Str. 3.3.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.3.6


STARTING again from the Sacred Promontory, [Note] and continuing along the other side of the coast, we come to the gulf near the Tagus, afterwards Cape Barbarium, [Note] and near to this the outlets of the Tagus, which may be reached by sailing in a straight course for a distance of 10 stadia. [Note] Here are estuaries, one of them more than 400 stadia from the said tower, on a part of which Laccæa is situated. [Note] The breadth of the mouth of the Tagus is about 20 stadia, its depth is so great as to be capable of navigation by vessels of the greatest burden. At the flood-tide the Tagus forms two estuaries in the

-- 228 --

plains which lie above it, so that the plain is inundated and rendered navigable for a distance of 150 stadia. In the upper estuary an island is formed about 30 stadia in length, and nearly equal in breadth, which is fertile, and has excellent vines. The island lies near to Moro, [Note] a city happily situated on a mountain close to the river, and about 500 stadia from the sea. The country surrounding it is very fine, and the ascent [of the Tagus] for a considerable way practicable for vessels of a large size, the remainder is performed in riverboats. Above Moro it is navigable for a yet longer distance. Brutus, surnamed the Gallician, made use of this city as a military station, when fighting against the Lusitanians, whom he subdued. On the sides of the river he fortified Olysipo, in order that the passage up the river and the carriage of necessaries might be preserved unimpeded. These therefore are the finest cities near the Tagus. The river contains much fish, and is full of oysters. It takes its rise amongst the Keltiberians, and flows through the [country of the] Vettones, Carpetani, and Lusitani, towards the west; [Note] to a certain distance it runs parallel with the Guadiana [Note] and Guadalquiver, [Note] but parts from them as they decline towards the southern coast. 3.3.2

Of those who dwell above the aforesaid mountains, the Oretani are the most southern, extending in part as far as the sea-coast on this side the Pillars. Next these towards the north are the Carpetani, then the Vettones and Vaccæi, through whose [country] the Douro [Note] flows as it passes Acontia, [Note] a city of the Vaccæi. The Gallicians are the last, and inhabit for the most part a mountainous country: on this account they were the most difficult to subdue, and furnished his surname to the conqueror of the Lusitanians; in fact, at the present day the greater part of the Lusitanians are beginning to call themselves Gallicians. The finest cities of Oretania are Castulo [Note] and Oria. [Note] 3.3.3

North of the Tagus is Lusitania, the principal of the nations of Iberia, and the one which has most frequently encountered the arms of the Romans. On the southern side

-- 229 --

this country is bounded by the Tagus, on the west and north by the ocean, on the east by the well-known nations of the Carpetani, the Vettones, the Vaccæi, the Gallicians, and by others not worthy to be mentioned on account of their insignificance and obscurity. On the other hand, certain historians of the present day give the name of Lusitanians to all of these nations.

To the east the Gallicians border on the nation of the Asturians and Keltiberians, the others [border] on the Keltiberians. In length Lusitania is 3000 [Note] stadia; its breadth, which is comprised between the eastern side and the opposite seacoast, is much less. The eastern part is mountainous and rugged, while the country beyond, as far as the sea, consists entirely of plains, with the exception of a few inconsiderable mountains. On this account Posidonius remarks that Aristotle was not correct in supposing that the ebb and flow of the tide was occasioned by the sea-coast of Iberia and Maurusia. [Note] For Aristotle asserted that the tides of the sea were caused by the extremities of the land being mountainous and rugged, and therefore both receiving the wave violently and also casting it back. Whereas Posidonius truly remarks that they are for the most part low and sandy. 3.3.4

The country which we are describing is fertile, and irrigated by rivers both large and small, all of which flow from the eastern parts parallel with the Tagus: most of them are navigable and full of gold dust. After the Tagus, the most noted rivers are the Mondego [Note] and the Vouga, [Note] which are navigable but for a short distance. After these is the Douro, [Note] which flows from afar by Numantia, [Note] and many other colonies of the Keltiberians and Vaccæi; it is capable of being navigated in large vessels for a distance of nearly 800 stadia. Besides these there are other rivers, after which is the [river] of Lethe, which some call the Limæa, [Note] others the Belio, [Note] it likewise rises amongst the Keltiberians and Vaccæi. After

-- 230 --

this is the Bænis, (some call it the Minius, [Note]) by far the largest river of Lusitania, [Note] being navigable for a distance of 800 stadia. Posidonius says this too rises amongst the Cantabrians. [Note] An island [Note] lies before its outlet, and two moles affording anchorage for vessels. A natural advantage [of this country] well deserving of commendation is, that the banks of the rivers are so lofty as to be capable of containing the entire of the water raised by the high tides of the sea, without either being overfilled, or overflowing the plains. This was the limit of Brutus's expedition. Beyond there are many other rivers parallel to those I have named.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.3.1 Str. 3.3.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.3.6

Powered by PhiloLogic