Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.7 Str. 4.1.10 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.13

4.1.8

As to the mouths of the Rhone, Polybius asserts that there are but two, and blames Timæus [Note] for saying five. Artemidorus says that there are three. Afterwards Marius, observing that the mouth was becoming stopped up and difficult of entrance on account of the deposits of mud, caused a new channel to be dug, which received the greater part of the river into it. [Note] This he gave to the people of Marseilles in recompense for their services in the war against the Ambrones and Toygeni. [Note] This canal became to them a source of much revenue, as they levied a toll from all those who sailed up or down it: notwithstanding, the entrance [to the river] still continues difficult to navigate, on account of its great impetuosity, its deposits, and the [general] flatness of the country, so that in foul weather you cannot clearly discern the land

-- 275 --

even when quite close. On this account the people of Marseilles, who wished by all means to inhabit the country, set up towers as beacons; they have even erected a temple to Diana of Ephesus on a piece of the land, which the mouths of the rivers have formed into an island. Above the outlets of the Rhone is a salt-lake which they call Stomalimnè. [Note] It abounds in shell and other fish. There are some who enumerate this amongst the mouths of the Rhone, especially those who say that it has seven [Note] mouths. But in this they are quite mistaken; for there is a mountain between, which separates the lake from the river. Such then is the disposition and extent of the coast from the Pyrenees to Marseilles. 4.1.9

The [coast] which extends from this [last city] to the river Var, and the Ligurians who dwell near it, contains the Massilian cities of Tauroentium, [Note] Olbia, [Note] Antipolis, [Note] Nicæa, [Note] and the sea-port of Augustus Cæsar, called Forum Julium. [Note] which is situated between Olbia and Antipolis, and distant from Marseilles about 600 stadia. The Var is between Antipolis and Nicæa; distant from the one about 20 stadia, from the other about 60; so that according to the boundary now marked Nicæa belongs to Italy, although it is a city of the people of Marseilles, for they built these cities [as a defence] against the barbarians who dwelt higher up the country, in order to maintain the sea free, as the barbarians possessed the land. For this [region] is mountainous and fortified by nature, leaving however a considerable extent of plain country near Marseilles; but as you proceed towards the east the country is so hemmed in by the mountains, as scarcely to leave a sufficient road for passage by the sea-shore. The former districts are inhabited by the Salyes, [Note] the latter by the Ligurians, who border on Italy, of whom we shall speak afterwards. It should here be mentioned, that although Antipolis is situated in the Narbonnaise, and Nicæa in Italy, this latter is dependent on Marseilles, and forms part of that province; while

-- 276 --

Antipolis is ranked amongst the Italian cities, and freed from the government of the Marseillese by a judgment given against them. 4.1.10

Lying off this narrow pass along the coast, as you commence your journey from Marseilles, are the Stœchades islands. [Note] Three of' these are considerable, and two small. They are cultivated by the people of Marseilles. Anciently they contained a garrison, placed here to defend them from the attacks of pirates, for they have good ports. After the Stœchades come [the islands of] Planasia [Note] and Lero, [Note] both of them in- habited. In Lero, which lies opposite to Antipolis, is a temple erected to the hero Lero. There are other small islands not worth mentioning, some of them before Marseilles, others before the rest of the coast which I have been describing. As to the harbours, those of the seaport [of Forum-Julium] [Note] and Marseilles are considerable, the others are but middling. Of this latter class is the port Oxybius, [Note] so named from the Oxybian Ligurians.—This concludes what we have to say of this coast. 4.1.11

The country above this is bounded principally by the surrounding mountains and rivers. Of these the Rhone is the most remarkable, being both the largest, and capable of being navigated farther than any of the others, and also receiving into it a greater number of tributaries; of these we must speak in order. Commencing at Marseilles, and proceeding to the country between the Alps and the Rhone, to the river Durance, dwell the Salyes for a space of 500 stadia. From thence you proceed in a ferry-boat to the city of Caballio; [Note] beyond this the whole country belongs to the Cavari as far as the junction of the Isère with the Rhone; it is here too that the Cevennes approach the Rhone. From the Durance to this point is a distance of 700 stadia. [Note] The Salyes occupy the plains and mountains above these. The Vocontii, Tricorii, Icomi, and Medylli, lie above the Cavari. [Note] Between the Durance and the Isère there are other rivers which flow

-- 277 --

from the Alps into the Rhone; two of these, after having flowed round the city of the Cavari, discharge themselves by a common outlet into the Rhone. The Sulgas, [Note] which is the third, mixes with the Rhone near the city of Vindalum, [Note] where Cnæus ænobarbus in a decisive engagement routed many myriads of the Kelts. Between these are the cities of Avenio, [Note] Arausio, [Note] and Aëria, [Note] which latter, remarks Artemidorus, is rightly named aërial, being situated in a very lofty position. The whole of this country consists of plains abounding in pasturage, excepting on the route from Aëria to Avenio, where there are narrow defiles and woods to traverse. It was at the point where the river Isère and the Rhone unite near the Cevennes, that Quintus Fabius Maximus æmilianus, [Note] with scarcely 30,000 men, cut to pieces 200,000 Kelts. [Note] Here he erected a white stone as a trophy, and two temples, one to Mars, and the other to Hercules. From the Isère to Vienne, the metropolis of the Allobroges, situated on the Rhone, the distance is 320 stadia. Lugdunum [Note] is a little above Vienne at the confluence of the Saone [Note] and the Rhone. The distance by land [from this latter city] to Lugdunum, passing through the country of the Allobroges, is about 200 stadia, and rather more by water. Formerly the Allobroges engaged in war, their armies consisting of many myriads; they now occupy themselves in cultivating the plains and valleys of the Alps. They dwell generally in villages, the most notable of them inhabiting Vienne, which was merely a village, although called the metropolis of their nation; they have now improved and embellished it as a city; it is situated on the Rhone. So full and rapid is the descent of this river from the Alps, that the flow of its waters through Lake Leman may be distinguished for many stadia. Having descended into the plains of the countries of the Allobroges, and Segusii, it falls into the Saone, near to Lugdunum, a city of the Segusii. [Note] The

-- 278 --

Saone rises in the Alps, [Note] and separates the Sequani, the ædui, and the Lincasii. [Note] It afterwards receives the Doubs, a navi- gable river which rises in the same mountains, [Note] still however preserving its own name, and consisting of the two, mingles with the Rhone. The Rhone in like manner preserves its name, and flows on to Vienne. At their rise these three rivers flow towards the north, then in a westerly direction, afterwards uniting into one they take another turn and flow towards the south, and having received other rivers, they flow in this direction to the sea. Such is the country situated between the Alps and the Rhone.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.7 Str. 4.1.10 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.13

Powered by PhiloLogic