Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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The first city between the windings of the Ebro and the extremities of the Pyrenees, near to where the Trophies of Pompey are erected, is Tarraco; [Note] it has no harbour, but is situated on a bay, and possessed of many other advantages. At the present day it is as well peopled as Carthage; [Note] for it is admirably suited for the stay of the prefects, [Note] and is as it were the metropolis, not only of [the country lying] on this side the Ebro, but also of a great part of what lies beyond. The near vicinity of the Gymnesian Islands, [Note] and Ebusus, [Note] which are all of considerable importance, are sufficient to inform one of the felicitous position of the city. Eratosthenes tells us that it has a road-stead, but Artemidorus contradicts this, and affirms that it scarcely possesses an anchorage. 3.4.8

The whole coast from the Pillars up to this place wants harbours, but all the way from here to Emporium, [Note] the countries of the Leëtani, the Lartolæetæ, and others, are both furnished with excellent harbours and fertile. Emporium was founded by the people of Marseilles, and is about 4000 [Note] stadia

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distant from the Pyrenees, and the confines of Iberia and Keltica. This is a very fine region, and possesses good ports. Here also is Rhodope, [Note] a small town of the Emporitæ, but some say it was founded by the Rhodians. Both here and in Emporium they reverence the Ephesian Diana. The cause of this we will explain when we come to speak of Massalia. [Note] in former times the Emporitæ dwelt on a small island opposite, now called the old city, but at the present day they inhabit the mainland. The city is double, being divided by a wall, for in past times some of the Indiceti dwelt close by, who, although they had a separate polity to themselves, desired, for the sake of safety, to be shut in by a common enclosure with the Grecians; but at the same time that this enclosure should be two-fold, being divided through its middle by a wall. In time, however, they came to have but one government, a mixture of Barbarian and Grecian laws; a result which has taken place in many other [states]. 3.4.9

A river [Note] flows near to it, which has its sources in the Pyrenees; its outlet forms a port for the Emporitæ, who are skilful workers in flax. Of the interior of their country some parts are fertile, others covered with spartum, a rush which flourishes in marshes, and is entirely useless: they call this the June Plain. There are some who inhabit the Pyrenean mountains as far as the Trophies of Pompey, on the route which leads from Italy into Ulterior Iberia, [Note] and particularly into Bætica. This road runs sometimes close to the sea, sometimes at a distance therefrom, particularly in the western parts. From the Trophies of Pompey it leads to Tarraco, [Note] through the June Plain, the Betteres, [Note] and the plain called in the Latin tongue [the plain] of Marathon, on account

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of the quantity of fennel growing there. From Tarraco [the road runs] towards the passage of the Ebro at the city of Dertossa; [Note] from thence having traversed the city of Saguntum, [Note] and Setabis, [Note] it follows a course more and more distant from the sea, till it approaches the Plain of Spartarium, which signifies the Plain of Rushes. This is a vast arid plain, producing the species of rush from which cords are made, and which are exported to all parts, but particularly to Italy. [Note] Formerly the road passed on through the midst of the plain, and [the city of] Egelastæ, [Note] which was both difficult and long, but they have now constructed a new road close to the sea, which merely touches upon the Plain of Rushes, and leads to the same places as the former, [viz.] Castlon, [Note] and Obulco, [Note] through which runs the road to Corduba and Gades, [Note] the two greatest emporia [of Iberia]. Obulco is distant about 300 stadia from Corduba. Historians report that Cæsar came from Rome to Obulco, and to his army there, within the space of twenty-seven days, when about to fight the battle of Munda. [Note] 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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.4.4 Str. 3.4.9 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 3.4.13

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