Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.2.1 Str. 5.2.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.2.5


IN the second place, we shall treat of that portion of Liguria situated in the Apennines, between the Keltica [Note] already described and Tyrrhenia. There is nothing worth mentioning about it, except that the people dwell in villages, ploughing and digging the intractable land, or rather, as Posidonius expresses it, hewing the rocks.

The third division contains the Tyrrhenians, who dwell next the former, and inhabit the plains extending to the Tiber, which river, as far as its outlet, washes the side towards the east, the opposite side being washed by the Tyrrhenian and Sardinian sea. The Tiber flows from the Apennines, and is swelled by many rivers; it flows partly through Tyrrhenia, dividing it in the first instance from Ombrica, [Note] afterwards from the Sabini and the Latini, who are situated next Rome as far as the sea-coast; so that these countries are bounded in their breadth by the river [Tiber] and the Tyrrhenians, and in their length by each other. They extend upwards towards the Apennines which approach the Adriatic. The first [Note] are the Ombrici, after these the Sabini, and finally the inhabitants of Latium. They all commence from the river. The country of the Latini extends on one side along the seacoast from Ostia to the city of Sinuessa, on the other it is bounded by the land of the Sabini, (Ostia is the port of Rome, through which the Tiber passes in its course,) it

-- 326 --

extends in length as far as Campania and the Samnitic moun- tains. The country of the Sabini lies between the Latini and the Ombrici, it likewise extends to the Samnitic mountains, but approaches nearer to the Apennines inhabited by the Vestini, the Peligni, and the Marsi. The Ombrici lie between the country of the Sabini and Tyrrhenia, but extend beyond the mountains as far as Ariminum, [Note] and Ravenna. The Tyrrheni, commencing from their own sea and the Tiber, extend to the circular chain of mountains which stretches from Liguria to the Adriatic. We will now enter into a detailed account, commencing with these. 5.2.2

The Tyrrheni have now received from the Romans the surname of Etrusci and Tusci. The Greeks thus named them from Tyrrhenus the son of Atys, as they say, who sent hither a colony from Lydia. Atys, who was one of the descendants of Hercules and Omphale, and had two sons, in a time of famine and scarcity determined by lot that Lydus should remain in the country, but that Tyrrhenus, with the greater part of the people, should depart. Arriving here, he named the country after himself, Tyrrhenia, and founded twelve cities, having appointed as their governor Tarcon, from whom the city of Tarquinia [received its name], and who, on account of the sagacity which he had displayed from childhood, was feigned to have been born with hoary hair. Placed originally under one authority, they became flourishing; but it seems that in after-times, their confederation being broken up and each city separated, they yielded to the violence of the neighbouring tribes. Otherwise they would never have abandoned a fertile country for a life of piracy on the sea. roving from one ocean to another; since, when united they were able not only to repel those who assailed them, but to act on the offensive, and undertake long campaigns. After the foundation of Rome, Demaratus arrived here, bringing with him people from Corinth. [Note] He was received at Tarquinia, where he had a son, named Lucumo, by a woman of that country. [Note] Lucumo becoming the friend of Ancus Mar-

-- 327 --

cius, king of the Romans, succeeded him on the throne, and assumed the name of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus. Both he and his father did much for the embellishment of Tyrrhenia, the one by means of the numerous artists who had followed him from their native country; the other having the resources of Rome. [Note] It is said that the triumphal costume of the consuls, as well as that of the other magistrates, was introduced from the Tarquinii, with the fasces, axes, trumpets, sacrifices, divination, and music employed by the Romans in their public ceremonies. His son, the second Tarquin, named Su- perbus, who was driven from his throne, was the last king [of Rome]. Porsena, king of Clusium, [Note] a city of Tyrrhenia, endeavoured to replace him on the throne by force of arms, but not being able he made peace [Note] with the Romans, and departed in a friendly way, with honour and loaded with gifts. 5.2.3

Such are the facts concerning the celebrity of the Tyrrheni, to which may be added the exploits of the Cæretani, [Note] who defeated the Galatæ after they had taken Rome. Having attacked them as they were departing through the country of the Sabini, they took from them, much against their will, the ransom which the Romans had willingly paid to them; besides this, they took under their protection those who fled to them out of Rome, the sacred fire and the priestesses of Vesta. [Note] The Romans, influenced by those who then misgoverned the city, seem not to have been properly mindful of this service; for although they conferred on them the rights of citizenship, they did not enrol them amongst the citizens; and further, they inscribed upon the same roll with the Cæretani, others who did not enjoy as great privileges as they did. However,

-- 328 --

amongst the Greeks this city was highly esteemed both for its bravery and rectitude of conduct; for they refrained from piracy, with favourable opportunities for engaging in it, and dedicated at Delphi the treasure, as it was called, of the Agylllæi; for their country was formerly named Agylla, though now Cærea. It is said to have been founded by Pelasgi from Thessaly. The Lydians, who had taken the name of Tyrrheni, having engaged in war against the Agyllæi, one of them, approaching the wall, inquired the name of the city; when one of the Thessalians from the wall, instead of answering the question, saluted him with χαῖρε. [Note] The Tyrrheni received this as an omen, and having taken the city they changed its name. This city, once so flourishing and celebrated, only preserves the traces [of its former greatness]; the neighbouring hot springs, named Cæretana, [Note] being more frequented than it, by the people attracted thither for the sake of their health.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 5.2.1 Str. 5.2.2 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 5.2.5

Powered by PhiloLogic