Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.10 Str. 4.1.13 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.2.1


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

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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. 4.1.13

But the Tectosages dwell near to the Pyrenees, bordering for a small space the northern side of the Cevennes; [Note] the land they inhabit is rich in gold. It appears that formerly they were so powerful and numerous, that dissensions having arisen amongst them, they drove a vast multitude of their number from their homes; and that these men associating with others of different nations took possession of Phrygia, next to Cappadocia, and the Paphlagonians. Of this those who are now called the Tectosages afford us proof, for [Phrygia contains] three nations, one of them dwelling near to the city of Ancyra, [Note] being called the Tectosages; the remaining two, the Trocmi and Tolistobogii. [Note] The resemblance these nations bear to the Tectosages is evidence of their having immigrated from Keltica, though we are unable to say from which district they came, as there does not appear to be any people at the present time bearing the name of Trocmi or Tolistobogii, who in-

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habit either beyond the Alps, the Alps themselves, or on this side the Alps. It would seem that continual emigration has drained them completely from their native country, a circumstance which has occurred to many other nations, as some say that the Brennus, who led an expedition to Delphi, [Note] was a leader of the Prausi; but we are unable to say where the Prausi formerly inhabited. It is said that the Tectosages took part in the expedition to Delphi, and that the treasures found in the city of Toulouse by the Roman general Cæpio formed a portion of the booty gained there, which was afterwards increased by offerings which the citizens made from their own property, and consecrated in order to conciliate the god. [Note] And that it was for daring to touch these that Cæpio terminated so miserably his existence, being driven from his country as a plunderer of the temples of the gods, and leaving behind him his daughters, who, as Timagenes informs us, having been wickedly violated, perished miserably. However, the account given by Posidonius is the more credible. He tells us that the wealth found in Toulouse amounted to somewhere about 15,000 talents, a part of which was hidden in the chapels, and the remainder in the sacred lakes, and that it was not coined [money], but gold and silver in bullion. But at this time the temple of Delphi was emptied of these treasures, having been pillaged by the Phocæans at the period of the Sacred war and supposing any to have been left, it would have been distributed amongst many. Nor is it probable that the Tectosages returned home, since they came off miserably after leaving Delphi, and owing to their dissensions were scattered here and there throughout the country; there is much more likelihood in the statement made by Posidonius and many others, that the country abounding in gold, and the inhabitants being superstitious, and not living expensively, they hid their treasures in many different places, the lakes in particular affording them a hiding- place for depositing their gold and silver bullion. When the Romans obtained possession of the country they put up these lakes to public sale, and many of the purchasers found therein

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solid masses of silver. In Toulouse there was a sacred temple, held in great reverence by the inhabitants of the surrounding country, and on this account loaded with riches, inasmuch as there were many who offered gifts, and no one dared to touch them.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.10 Str. 4.1.13 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.2.1

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