Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.1 Str. 4.1.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.6


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. 4.1.4

Marseilles, founded by the Phocæans, [Note] is built in a stony region. Its harbour lies beneath a rock, which is shaped like a theatre, and looks towards the south. It is well surrounded with walls, as well as the whole city, which is of considerable size. Within the citadel are placed the Ephesium and the temple of the Delphian Apollo. This latter temple is common to all the Ionians; the Ephesium is the temple consecrated to Diana of Ephesus. They say that when the Phocæans were about to quit their country, an oracle commanded them to take from Diana of Ephesus a conductor for their voyage. On arriving at Ephesus they therefore inquired how they might be able to obtain from the goddess what was enjoined them. The goddess appeared in a dream to Aristarcha, one of the most honourable women of the city, and commanded her to accompany the Phocæans, and to take with her a plan of the temple and statues. [Note] These things being performed, and the colony being settled, the Phocæans

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built a temple, and evinced their great respect for Aristarcha by making her priestess. All the colonies [sent out from Marseilles] hold this goddess in peculiar reverence, preserving both the shape of the image [of the goddess], and also every rite observed in the metropolis.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.1 Str. 4.1.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.6

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