Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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3.4.10

Such is the whole sea-coast from the Pillars to the confines of the Iberians and Kelts. The interior of the country lying above, and included between the mountains of the Pyrenees and the northern side [of Iberia], as far as the Astures, is principally divided by two mountain chains; the one of these is parallel to the Pyrenees, and takes its commencement from the country of the Cantabri, terminating at the Mediterranean. This is called the Idubeda. [Note] The second, springing from the middle [of this first], runs towards the west, inclining however to the south and the sea-coast towards the Pillars. At the commencement it consists of bare hills, but after traversing the Plain of Spartarium, falls in with the forest lying above Carthage, [Note] and the regions round Malaca. [Note] It is named Orospeda. [Note] The river Ebro flows between the Pyrenees and Idubeda, and parallel to both these mountains. It is fed by the rivers and other waters carried down

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from [the mountains]. Situated on the Ebro is the city of Cæsar Augusta, [Note] and the colony of Celsa, [Note] where there is a stone bridge across the river. This country is inhabited by many nations, the best known being that of the Jaccetani. [Note] Commencing at the foot of the Pyrenees, it widens out into the plains, and reaches to the districts around Ilerda [Note] and Osca, [Note] [cities] of the Ilergetes not far distant from the Ebro. It was in these cities, and in Calaguris, [Note] a city of the Gascons, as well as those of Tarraco [Note] and Hemeroscopium, [Note] situated on the coast, that Sertorius sustained the last efforts of the war, after being ejected from the country of the Keltiberians. He died at Osca, and it was near to Ilerda that Afranius and Petreius, Pompey's generals, were afterwards defeated by divus [Note] Cæsar. Ilerda is distant 160 stadia from the Ebro, which is on its west, about 460 from Tarraco, which is on the south, and 540 from Osca, which lies to the north. [Note] Passing through these places from Tarraco to the extremities of the Vascons who dwell by the ocean, near Pompelon [Note] and the city of Œaso [Note] situated on the ocean, the route extends 2400 stadia, to the very frontiers of Aquitaine and Iberia. It was in the country of the Jaccetani that Sertorius fought against Pompey, and here afterwards Sextus, Pompey's son, fought against the generals of Cæsar. The nation of the Vascons, in which is Pompelon, or Pompey's city, lies north of Jaccetania. 3.4.11

The side of the Pyrenees next Iberia is covered with forests containing numerous kinds of trees and evergreens, whilst the side next Keltica is bare: in the midst [the mountains] enclose valleys admirably fitted for the habitation of

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man. These are mainly possessed by the Kerretani, a people of the Iberians. The hams they cure are excellent, fully equal to those of the Cantabrians, [Note] and they realize no inconsiderable profit to the inhabitants. 3.4.12

Immediately after passing Idubeda, you enter on Keltiberia, a large and irregular country. It is for the most part rugged, and watered by rivers, being traversed by the Guadiana, [Note] the Tagus, and many other of the rivers which flow into the western sea, but have their sources in Keltiberia. Of their number is the Douro, which flows by Numantia [Note] and Serguntia. The Guadalquiver [Note] rises in Orospeda, and after passing through Oretania, enters Bætica. The Berones inhabit the districts north of the Keltiberians, and are neighbours of the Conish Cantabrians. They likewise had their origin in the Keltic expedition. Their city is Varia, [Note] situated near to the passage of the Ebro. They are adjacent to the Bardyitæ, now called the Bardyli. [Note] To the west [of the Keltiberians] are certain of the Astures, Gallicians, and Vaccæi, besides Vettones and Carpetani. On the south are the Oretani, and the other inhabitants of Orospeda, both Bastetani and Edetani, [Note] and to the east is Idubeda. 3.4.13

Of the four divisions into which the Keltiberians are separated, the most powerful are the Aruaci, situated to the east and south, near to the Carpetani and the sources of the Tagus. Their most renowned city is Numantia. They showed their valour in the war of twenty years, waged by the Keltiberians against the Romans; for many armies of the Romans, together with their generals, were destroyed; and in the end the Numantians, besieged within their city, endured the famine with constancy, till, reduced to a very small number, they were compelled to surrender the place. The Lusones are also situated to the east, and likewise border on the sources of the Tagus. Segeda and Pallantia [Note] are cities of the Aru-

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aci. Numantia is distant from Cæsar Augusta, [Note] situated as we have said upon the Ebro, about 800 stadia. Near to Segobriga and Bilbilis, [Note] likewise cities of the Keltiberians, was fought the battle between Metellus and Sertorius. Polybius, describing the people and countries of the Vaccæi and Keltiberians, enumerates Segesama [Note] and Intercatia amongst their other cities. Posidonius tells us that Marcus Marcellus exacted of Keltiberia a tribute of 600 talents, which proves that the Keltiberians were a numerous and wealthy people, notwithstanding the little fertility of their country. Polybius narrates that Tiberius Gracchus destroyed 300 cities of the Keltiberians. This Posidonius ridicules, and asserts that to flatter Gracchus, Polybius described as cities the towers such as are exhibited in the triumphal processions. [Note] This is not incredible; for both generals and historians easily fall into this species of deception, by exaggerating their doings. Those who assert that Iberia contained more than a thousand cities, seem to me to have been carried away in a similar manner, and to have denominated as cities what were merely large villages; since, from its very nature, this country is incapable of maintaining so many cities, on account of its sterility, wildness, and its out-of-the-way position. Nor, with the exception of those who dwell along the shores of the Mediterranean, is any such statement confirmed by the mode of life or actions of the inhabitants. The inhabitants of the villages, who constitute the majority of the Iberians, are quite uncivilized. Even the cities cannot very easily refine the manners [of their inhabitants], as the neighbouring woods are full of robbers, waiting only an opportunity to inflict injury on the citizens.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.4.7 Str. 3.4.11 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.4.16

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