Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.3.1 Str. 4.3.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.4.1

4.3.3

The first of all the nations dwelling on the Rhine are the Helvetii, amongst whom are the sources of that river in Mount Adula, [Note] which forms part of the Alps. From this mountain, but in an opposite direction, likewise proceeds the Adda, which flows towards Cisalpine Gaul, and fills lake Larius, [Note] near to which stands [the city of] Como; thence it discharges itself into the Po, of which we shall speak afterwards. The Rhine also flows into vast marshes and a great lake, [Note] which borders on the Rhæti and Vindelici, [Note] who dwell partly in the Alps, and partly beyond the Alps. Asinius says that the length of this river is 6000 stadia, but such is not the case, for taken in a straight line it does not much exceed half that length, and 1000 stadia is quite sufficient to allow for its sinuosities. In fact this river is so rapid that it is difficult to throw bridges across it, although after its descent from the mountains it is borne the remainder of the way through level plains; now how could it maintain its rapidity and vehemence, if in addition to this level channel, we suppose it also to have long and frequent tortuosities? Asinius like-

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wise asserts that this river has two mouths, and blames those who say that it has more. [Note] This river and the Seine embrace within their tortuosities a certain extent of country, which however is not considerable. They both flow from south to north. Britain lies opposite to them; but nearest to the Rhine, from which you may see Kent, which is the most easterly part of the island. The Seine is a little further. It was here that divus Cæsar established a dock-yard when he sailed to Britain. The navigable portion of the Seine, commencing from the point where they receive the merchandise from the Saone, is of greater extent than the [navigable portions] of the Loire and Garonne. From Lugdunum [Note] to the Seine is [a distance of] 1000 stadia, and not twice this distance from the outlets of the Rhone to Lugdunum. They say that the Helvetii, [Note] though rich in gold, nevertheless devoted themselves to pillage on beholding the wealth of the Cimbri, [Note] [accumulated by that means;] and that two out of their three tribes perished entirely in their military expeditions. However, the multitude of descendants who sprang from this remainder was proved in their war with divus Cæsar, in which about 400,000 of their number were destroyed; the 8000 who survived the war, being spared by the conqueror, that their country might not be left desert, a prey to the neighbouring Germans. [Note] 4.3.4

After the Helvetii, the Sequani [Note] and Mediornatrici [Note] dwell along the Rhine, amongst whom are the Tribocchi, [Note] a German nation who emigrated from their country hither. Mount Jura, which is in the country of the Sequani, separates that people from the Helvetii. To the west, above the Helvetii and Sequani, dwell the ædui and Lingones; the Leuci and a part of the Lingones dwelling above the Mediomatrici. The nations between the Loire and the Seine, and beyond the Rhone and the Saone, are situated to the north near to the

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Allobroges, [Note] and the parts about Lyons. The most celebrated amongst them are the Arverni and Carnutes, [Note] through both of whose territories the Loire flows before discharging itself into the ocean. The distance from the rivers of Keltica to Britain is 320 stadia; for departing in the evening with the ebb tide, you will arrive on the morrow at the island about the eighth hour. [Note] After the Mediomatrici and Tribocchi, the Treviri [Note] inhabit along the Rhine; in their country the Roman generals now engaged in the German war have constructed a bridge. Opposite this place on the other bank of the river dwelt the Ubii, whom Agrippa with their own consent brought over to this side the Rhine. [Note] The Nervii, [Note] another German nation, are contiguous to the Treviri; and last the Menapii, who inhabit either bank of the river near to its outlets; they dwell amongst marshes and forests, not lofty, but consisting of dense and thorny wood. Near to these dwell the Sicambri, [Note] who are likewise Germans. The country next the whole [eastern] bank is inhabited by the Suevi, who are also named Germans, but are superior both in power and number to the others, whom they drove out, and who have now taken refuge on this side the Rhine. Other tribes have sway in different places; they are successively a prey to the flames of war, the former inhabitants for the most part being destroyed. 4.3.5

The Senones, the Remi, the Atrebates, and the Eburones dwell west of the Treviri and Nervii. [Note] Close to the Menapii and near the sea are the Morini, the Bellovaci, the Ambiani, the Suessiones, and the Caleti, as far as the outlet

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of the river Seine. [Note] The countries of the Morini, the Atre- bates, and the Eburones are similar to that of the Menapii. It consists of a forest filled with low trees; of great extent, but not near so large as writers have described it, viz. 4000 stadia. [Note] It is named Arduenna. [Note] In the event of warlike incursions the inhabitants would interweave the flexible brambly shrubs, thus stopping up the passages [into their country]. They also fixed stakes in various places, and then retreated with their whole families into the recesses of the forest, to small islands surrounded by marshes. During the rainy season these proved secure hiding-places, but in times of drought they were easily taken. However, at the present time all the nations on this side the Rhine [Note] dwell in peace under the dominion of the Romans. The Parisii dwell along the river Seine, and inhabit an island formed by the river; their city is Lucotocia. [Note] The Meldi and Lexovii border on the ocean. The most considerable, however, of all these nations are the Remi. Duricortora, their metropolis, is well populated, and is the residence of the Roman prefects.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 4.3.1 Str. 4.3.4 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 4.4.1

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