Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.10 Str. 4.1.12 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.14


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. 4.1.12

The main part of the country on the other side of the Rhone is inhabited by the Volcæ, surnamed Arecomisci. Their naval station is Narbonne, which may justly be called the emporium of all Gaul, as it far surpasses every other in the multitude of those who resort [Note] to it. The Volcæ border on tile Rhone, the Salyes and Cavari being opposite to them on tile other side of the river. However, the name of the Cavari has so obtained, that all the barbarians inhabiting near now go by that designation; nay, even those who are no longer barbarians, but follow the Roman customs, both in their speech and mode of life, and some of those even who have adopted the Roman polity. Between the Arecomisci and the Pyrenees there are some other small and insignificant nations. Nemausus [Note] is the metropolis of the Arecomisci; though far inferior to Narbonne both as to its commerce, and the number of foreigners attracted thither, it surpasses that city in the number of its citizens; for it has under its dominion four and twenty different villages all well inhabited, and by the same people, who pay tribute; it likewise enjoys the rights of the Latin towns, so that in Nemausus you meet with Roman citizens who have obtained the honours of the ædile and quæstorship, wherefore this nation is not subject to the orders issued by the prætors from Rome. The city is situated on

-- 279 --

the road from Iberia to Italy; this road is very good in the summer, but muddy and overflowed by the rivers during winter and spring. Some of these streams are crossed in ferry-boats, and others by means of bridges constructed either of wood or stone. The inundations which destroy the roads are caused by the winter torrents, which sometimes pour down from the Alps even in summer-time after the melting of the snows. To perform the route before mentioned, the shortest way is, as we have said, across the territory of the Vocontii direct to the Alps; the other, along the coast of Marseilles and Liguria, is longer, although it offers an easier passage into Italy, as the mountains are lower. Nemausus is about 100 stadia distant from the Rhone, situated opposite to the small town of Tarascon, and about 720 stadia from Narbonne. The Tectosages, [Note] and certain others whom we shall mention afterwards, border on the range of the Cevennes, and inhabit its southern side as far as the promontory of the Volcæ. Respecting all the others we will speak hereafter.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.10 Str. 4.1.12 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.14

Powered by PhiloLogic