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

SUMMARY.

The Fourth Book contains a description of the regions about Gaul, Spain, and the Alps on this side, towards Italy. Likewise of Britain, and of certain islands in the ocean which are habitable, together with the country of the barbarians, and the nations dwelling beyond the Danube.

CHAPTER I. 4.1.1

NEXT in order [after Iberia] comes Keltica beyond the Alps, [Note] the configuration and size of which has been already mentioned in a general manner; we are now to describe it more particularly. Some divide it into the three nations of the Aquitani, Belge, and Kelte. [Note] Of these the Aquitani differ completely from the other nations, not only in their language but in their figure, which resembles more that of the Iberians than the Galatæ. The others are Galatæ in countenance, although they do not all speak the same language, but some make a slight difference in their speech; neither is their polity and mode of life exactly the same. These writers give the name of Aquitani and Keltæ to the dwellers near the Pyrenees, which are bounded by the Cevennes. For it has been stated that this Keltica is bounded on the west by the mountains of the Pyrenees, which extend to either sea, both the Mediterranean and the ocean; on the east by the Rhine, which is parallel to the Pyrenees; on the north by the ocean, from the northern extremities of the Pyrenees to the mouths

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of the Rhine; on the south by the sea of Marseilles, and Narbonne, and by the Alps from Liguria to the sources of the Rhine. The Cevennes lie at right angles to the Pyrenees, and traverse the plains for about 2000 stadia, terminating in the middle near Lugdunum. [Note] They call those people Aquitani who inhabit the northern portions of the Pyrenees, and the Cevennes extending as far as the ocean, and bounded by the river Garonne; and Keltæ, those who dwell on the other side of the Garonne, towards the sea of Marseilles and Narbonne, and touching a portion of the Alpine chain. This is the division adopted by divus Cæsar in his Commentaries. [Note] But Augustus Cæsar, when dividing the country into four parts, united the Keltæ to the Narbonnaise; the Aquitani he preserved the same as Julius Cæsar, but added thereto fourteen other nations of those who dwelt between the Garonne and the river Loire, [Note] and dividing the rest into two parts, the one extending to the upper districts of the Rhine he made dependent upon Lugdunum, the other [he assigned]

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to the Belgæ. However, it is the duty of the Geographer to describe the physical divisions of each country, and those which result from diversity of nations, when they seem worthy of notice; as to the limits which princes, induced by a policy which circumstances dictate, have variously imposed, it will be sufficient for him to notice them summarily, leaving others to furnish particular details. 4.1.2

The whole of this country is irrigated by rivers descending from the Alps, the Cevennes, and the Pyrenees, some of which discharge themselves into the ocean, others into the Mediterranean. The districts through which they flow are mostly plains interspersed with hills, and having navigable streams. The course of these rivers is so happily disposed in relation to each other, that you may traffic from one sea to the other, [Note] carrying the merchandise only a small distance, and that easily, across the plains; but for the most part by the rivers, ascending some, and descending others. The Rhone is pre-eminent in this respect, both because it communicates with many other rivers, and also because it flows into the Mediterranean, which, as we have said, is superior to the ocean, [Note] and likewise passes through the richest provinces of Gaul. The whole of the Narbonnaise produces the same fruits as Italy. As we advance towards the north, and the mountains of the Cevennes, the plantations of the olive and fig disappear, but the others remain. Likewise the vine, as you proceed northward, does not easily mature its fruit. The entire of the remaining country produces in abundance corn, millet, acorns, and mast of all kinds. No part of it lies waste except that which is taken up in marshes and woods, and even this is inhabited. The cause of this, however, is rather a dense population than the industry of the inhabitants. For the women there are both very prolific and excellent nurses, while the men devote themselves rather to war than husbandry. However, their arms being now laid aside, they are compelled to engage in agriculture. These remarks apply generally to the whole of Transalpine Keltica. We must now describe particularly each of the four divisions,

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which hitherto we have only mentioned in a summary manner. And, first, of the Narbonnaise. 4.1.3

The configuration of this country resembles a parallelogram, the western side of which is traced by the Pyrenees, the north by the Cevennes; as for the other two sides, the south is bounded by the sea between the Pyrenees and Marseilles, and the east partly by the Alps, [Note] and partly by a line drawn perpendicularly from these mountains to the foot of the Cevennes, which extend towards the Rhone, and form a right angle with the aforesaid perpendicular drawn from the Alps. To the southern side of this parallelogram we must add the sea-coast inhabited by the Massilienses [Note] and Salyes, [Note] as far as the country of the Ligurians, the confines of Italy, and the river Var. This river, as we have said before, [Note] is the boundary of the Narbonnaise and Italy. It is but small in summer, but in winter swells to a breadth of seven stadia. From thence the coast extends to the temple of the Pyrenæan Venus, [Note] which is the boundary between this province and Iberia. Some, however, assert that the spot where the Trophies of Pompey stand is the boundary between Iberia and Keltica. From thence to Narbonne is 63 miles; from Narbonne to Nemausus, [Note] 88; from Nemausus through Ugernum [Note] and Tarusco, to the hot waters called Sextiæ [Note] near Marseilles, 53; [Note] from thence to Antipolis and the river Var, 73; making in the total 277 miles. Some set down the distance from the temple of Venus to the Var at 2600 stadia; while others increase this number by 200 stadia; for there are different opinions as to these distances. As for the other road, which traverses the [coun-

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tries of the] Vocontii [Note] and Cottius, [Note] from Nemausus [Note] to Ugernum and Tarusco, the route is common; from thence [it branches off in two directions], one through Druentia and Caballio, [Note] to the frontiers of the Vocontii and the commencement of the ascent of the Alps, which is 63 miles; the other is reckoned at 99 miles from the same point to the other extremity of the Vocontii, bordering on the state of Cottius, as far as the village of Ebrodunum. [Note] The distance is said to be the same by the route through the village of Brigantium, [Note] Scingomagus, [Note] and the passage of the Alps to Ocelum, [Note] which is the limit of the country of Cottius. However, it is considered to be Italy from Scingomagus. And Ocelum is 28 miles beyond this.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 3.5.10 Str. 4.1.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.5

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