Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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3.5.9

Posidonius tells us that Seleucus, a native of the country next the Erythræan Sea, [Note] states that the regularity and irregularity of the ebb and flow of the sea follow the different positions of the moon in the zodiac; that when she is in the equinoctial signs the tides are regular, but that when she is in the signs next the tropics, the tides are irregular both in their height and force; and that for the remaining signs the irregularity is greater or less, according as they are more or less removed from the signs before mentioned. Posidonius adds, that during the summer solstice and whilst the moon was full, he himself passed many days in the temple of Hercules at Gades, but could not observe any thing of these annual irregularities. However, about the new moon of the same month he observed at Ilipa [Note] a great change in the reflux of the water of the Guadalquiver, as compared with previous flood-tides, in which the water did not rise half as high as the banks, and that then the water poured in so copiously, that the soldiers there dipped their supply without difficulty, although Ilipa is about 700 stadia from the sea. He says, that the plains next the sea were covered by the tides to a distance of 30 [Note] stadia, and to such a depth as to form islands, while the basement of the temple in the enclosure dedicated to Hercules, and the top of the mole in front of the harbour of Gades, were not covered higher than 10 cubits, as observed by actual soundings; but if any one should add the double of that for the occasional risings of the tide which occur, [neither] thus would he be able to estimate the violence with which the full force of the high tide rushes over the plains. Posidonius informs us that this violence [of the tide] is common to all the coasts of Spain on the Atlantic, [Note] but what he

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relates concerning the Ebro is unusual and peculiar to itself, for he says that it sometimes overflows after continued north winds, although there may have been neither rains nor snows. The cause of this [he supposes] to be the lake through which the Ebro flows, its waters being driven by the winds into the current of the river. [Note] 3.5.10

The same writer mentions a tree at Gades, which had boughs reaching to the ground; its sword-shaped leaves often measuring a cubit long, and four fingers broad. Also that about Carthagena there was a tree whose thorns produced a bark from which most beautiful stuffs were woven. As for the tree [he saw] at Gades, we ourselves have observed a similar in Egypt, so far as the inclination of the boughs is concerned, but with a differently shaped leaf, and producing no fruit, which according to him the other did. In Cappadocia there are stuffs made from thorns, but it is not a tree which produces the thorn from which the bark is taken, but a low plant; he also tells us of a tree at Gades, from which if a branch be broken off a milk will flow, and if the root be cut a red fluid runs. Thus much for Gades. 3.5.11

The Cassiterides are ten in number, and lie near each other in the ocean towards the north from the haven of the Artabri. One of them is desert, but the others are inhabited by men in black cloaks, clad in tunics reaching to the feet, girt about the breast, and walking with staves, thus resembling the Furies we see in tragic representations. [Note] They subsist by their cattle, leading for the most part a wandering life. Of the metals they have tin and lead; which with skins they barter with the merchants for earthenware, salt, and brazen vessels. Formerly the Phœnicians alone carried on this traffic from Gades, concealing the passage from every one; and when the Romans followed a certain

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ship-master, that they also might find the market, the shipmaster of jealousy purposely ran his vessel upon a shoal, leading on those who followed him into the same destructive disaster; he himself escaped by means of a fragment of the ship, and received from the state the value of the cargo he had lost. The Romans nevertheless by frequent efforts discovered the passage, and as soon as Publius Crassus, passing over to them, perceived that the metals were dug out at a little depth, and that the men were peaceably disposed, he declared it to those who already wished to traffic in this sea for profit, although the passage was longer than that to Britain. [Note] Thus far concerning Iberia and the adjacent islands.

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Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.5.8 Str. 3.5.10 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.1

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