Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.13 Str. 4.2.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.2.3


Toulouse is situated upon the narrowest part of the isthmus which separates the ocean from the sea of Narbonne; the breadth of the [isthmus], according to Posidonius, being less than 3000 stadia. The perfect similarity maintained throughout this country both in respect to its rivers, and to the exterior and interior sea, [Note] appears to us worthy of especial notice, as we have said before. This, on reflection, will prove to be one main cause of the excellence of this country, since the inhabitants are enabled mutually to communicate, and to procure from each other the necessaries of life; this is peculiarly the case at the present time, when on account of their leisure from war they are devoting themselves to agriculture and the pursuits of social life. In this we are persuaded that we behold the work of Providence; such a disposition of these regions not resulting from chance, but from the thought of some [intelligence]. The Rhone, for instance, is navigable to a considerable distance for vessels of heavy burden, which it is capable of transmitting through various districts of the country by means of other rivers which fall into it, and are likewise fitted for the navigation of large vessels. To the Rhone succeeds the Saone, [Note] and into this latter river falls the Doubs; thence the merchandise is carried by land to the river Seine; whence it is transported to the ocean and the [countries of the] Lexovii and Caleti, [Note] the distance thence to Britain being less than a day's journey. The navigation of the Rhone being difficult on account of the rapidity of its current, the merchants prefer to transport in waggons certain of their wares, which are destined for the Arverni, [Note] and the river Loire, [Note] notwith- standing the vicinity of the Rhone in some places, but the road being level and the distance not far, (about 800 stadia,) they do not make use of water carriage on account of the

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facility of the transport by land, from thence the merchandise is easily conveyed by the Loire. This river flows from the Cevennes into the ocean. From Narbonne the voyage to the Aude [Note] is short, but the journey by land to the river Garonne longer, being as much as 700 or 800 stadia. The Garonne likewise flows into the ocean. Such is what we have to say concerning the inhabitants of the Narbonnaise, who were formerly named Kelts. In my opinion the celebrity of the Kelts induced the Grecians to confer that name on the whole of the Galatæ; the vicinity of the Massilians may also have had something to do with it. [Note]


WE must now speak of the Aquitani and the fourteen Galatic nations pertaining to them, situated between the Garonne and the Loire, some of which extend to the river Rhone and the plains of the Narbonnaise. Generally speaking, the Aquitani may be said to differ from the Galatic race, both as to form of body and language, resembling more nearly the Iberians. They are bounded by the Garonne, and dwell between this river and the Pyrenees. There are above twenty nations which bear the name of Aquitani, small and obscure, the major part of them dwelling by the ocean, and the remainder in the interior and by the extremities of the Cevennes, as far as the Tectosages. This district, however, being too small, they added to it the territory between the Garonne and the Loire. These rivers are nearly parallel with the Pyrenees, and form with them two parallelograms, bounded on the remaining sides by the ocean and the mountains of the Cevennes. [Note] Both of these rivers are navigable for a distance

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of about 2000 stadia. [Note] The Garonne, after being augmented by three other rivers, [Note] discharges itself into the [ocean] between the [country] of the Bituriges, surnamed the Vivisci, [Note] and that of the Santoni; [Note] both of them Gallic nations.

The Bituriges are the only foreign people who dwell among the Aquitani without forming a part of them. Their emporium is Burdegala, [Note] situated on a creek formed by the outlets of the river. The Loire discharges itself between the Pictones and the Namnetæ. [Note] Formerly there was an emporium on this river named Corbilon, mentioned by Polybius when speaking of the fictions of Pytheas. The Marseillese, [says he,] when interrogated by Scipio [Note] at their meeting, had nothing to tell about Britain worth mentioning, nor yet had the people of the Narbonnaise, nor those of Corbilon; notwithstanding these were the two principal cities of the district, Pytheas alone dared to forge so many lies [concerning that island]. Mediolanium [Note] is the capital of the Santoni. The part of Aquitaine next the ocean is for the most part sandy and meagre, producing millet, but barren of all other fruits. Here is the gulf which, with that on the coast of Narbonne, forms the isthmus. Both these gulfs [Note] go by the name of the Galatic gulf. The former gulf belongs to the Tarbelli. [Note] These people possess the richest gold mines; masses of gold as big as the fist can contain, and requiring hardly any purifying,

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being found in diggings scarcely beneath the surface of the earth, the remainder consisting of dust and lumps, which likewise require but little working. In the interior and mountainous parts [of Aquitaine] the soil is superior; for instance, in the district near the Pyrenees belonging to the Convenæ, [Note] which name signifies people assembled from different countries to dwell in one place. Here is the city of Lugdunum, [Note] and the hot springs of the Onesii, [Note] which are most excellent for drinking. The country of the Auscii [Note] likewise is fine.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.1.13 Str. 4.2.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.2.3

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