Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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4.1.5

The Massilians live under a well-regulated aristocracy. They have a council composed of 600 persons called timuchi, [Note] who enjoy this dignity for life. Fifteen of these preside over the council, and have the management of current affairs; these fifteen are in their turn presided over by three of their number, in whom rests the principal authority; and these again by one. No one can become a timuchus who has not children, and who has not been a citizen for three generations. [Note] Their laws, which are the same as those of the Ionians, they expound in public. Their country abounds in olives and vines, but on account of its ruggedness the wheat is poor. Consequently they trust more to the resources of the sea than of the land, and avail themselves in preference of their excellent position for commerce. Nevertheless they have been enabled by the power of perseverance to take in some of the surrounding plains, and also to found cities: of this number are the cities they founded in Iberia as a rampart against the Iberians, in which they introduced the worship of Diana of Ephesus, as practised in their father-land, with the Grecian mode of sacrifice. In this number too are Rhoa [Note] [and] Agatha, [Note] [built for defence] against the barbarians dwelling around the river Rhone; also Tauroentium, [Note] Olbia, [Note] Antipolis [Note] and Nicæa, [Note] [built as a rampart] against the nation of the Salyes and the Ligurians who inhabit the Alps. They [Note] possess likewise dry docks and armouries. Formerly they had an abundance of vessels, arms, and machines, both for the purposes of navigation and for besieging towns; by means of which they defended themselves against the bar-

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barians, and likewise obtained the alliance of the Romans, to whom they rendered many important services; the Romans in their turn assisting in their aggrandizement. Sextius, who defeated the Salyes, founded, not far from Marseilles, a city [Note] which was named after him and the hot waters, some of which they say have lost their heat. [Note] Here he established a Roman garrison, and drove from the sea-coast which leads from Marseilles to Italy the barbarians, whom the Massilians were not able to keep back entirely. However, all he accomplished by this was to compel the barbarians to keep at a distance of twelve stadia from those parts of the coast which possessed good harbours, and at a distance of eight stadia where it was rugged. The land which they thus abandoned, he presented to the Massilians. In their city are laid up heaps of booty taken in naval engagements against those who disputed the sea unjustly. Formerly they enjoyed singular good fortune, as well in other matters as also in their amity with the Romans. Of this [amity] we find numerous signs, amongst others the statue of Diana which the Romans dedicated on the Aventine mount, of the same figure as that of the Massilians. Their prosperity has in a great measure decayed since the war of Pompey against Cæsar, in which they sided with the vanquished party. Nevertheless some traces of their ancient industry may still be seen amongst the inhabitants, especially the making of engines of war and ship-building. Still as the surrounding barbarians, now that they are under the dominion of the Romans, become daily more civilized, and leave the occupation of war for the business of towns and agriculture, there is no longer the same attention paid by the inhabitants of Marseilles to these objects. The aspect of the city at the present day is a proof of this. For all those who profess to be men of taste, turn to the study of elocution and philosophy. Thus this city for some little time back has become a school for the barbarians, and has communicated to the Galatæ such a taste for

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Greek literature, that they even draw contracts on the Grecian model. While at the present day it so entices the noblest of the Romans, that those desirous of studying resort thither in preference to Athens. These the Galatæ observing, and being at leisure on account of the peace, readily devote themselves to similar pursuits, and that not merely individuals, but the public generally; professors of the arts and sciences, and likewise of medicine, being employed not only by private persons, but by towns for common instruction. Of the wisdom of the Massilians and the simplicity of their life, the following will not be thought an insignificant proof. The largest dowry amongst them consists of one hundred gold pieces, with five for dress, and five more for golden ornaments. More than this is not lawful. Cæsar and his successors treated with moderation the offences of which they were guilty during the war, in consideration of their former friendship; and have preserved to the state the right of governing according to its ancient laws. So that neither Marseilles nor the cities dependent on it are under submission to the governors sent [into the Narbonnaise]. So much for Marseilles. 4.1.6

The mountains of the Salyes incline gently from west to north in proportion as they retire from the sea. The coast runs west, and extending a short distance, about 100 stadia, from Marseilles, it begins to assume the character of a gulf at a considerable promontory near to certain stone quarries, and extending to the Aphrodisium, the headland which terminates the Pyrenees, [Note] forms the Galatic Gulf, [Note] which is also called the Gulf of Marseilles: it is double, for in its circuit Mount Setium [Note] stands out together with the island of Blascon, [Note] which is situated close to it, and separates the two gulfs. The larger of these is properly designated the Galatic Gulf, into which the Rhone discharges itself; the smaller is on the coast of Narbonne, and extends as far as the Pyrenees. Narbonne is situated above the

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outlets of the Aude [Note] and the lake of Narbonne. [Note] It is the principal commercial city on this coast. On the Rhone is Arelate, [Note] a city and emporium of considerable traffic. The distance between these two cities is nearly equal to that which separates them from the aforesaid promontories, namely, Narbonne from the Aphrodisium, and Arelate from the cape of Marseilles. There are other rivers besides which flow on either side of Narbonne, some from the Cevennes, others from the Pyrenees. Along these rivers are situated cities having but little commerce, and that in small vessels. The rivers which proceed from the Pyrenees, are the Tet [Note] and the Tech; [Note] two cities [Note] are built on them, which bear respectively the same name as the rivers. There is a lake near to Ruscino, [Note] and a little above the sea a marshy district full of salt- springs, which supplies dug mullets, for whoever digs two or three feet and plunges a trident into the muddy water, will be sure to take the fish, which are worthy of consideration on account of their size; they are nourished in the mud like eels. Such are the rivers which flow from the Pyrenees between Narbonne and the promontory on which is built the temple of Venus. On the other side of Narbonne the following rivers descend from the Cevennes into the sea. The Aude, [Note] the Orbe, [Note] and the Rauraris. [Note] On one of these [Note] is situated the strong city of Bætera, [Note] near to Narbonne; on the other Agatha, [Note] founded by the people of Marseilles.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.3 Str. 4.1.6 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.1.8

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