Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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The chorographer indeed gives only 165 miles from Brentesium [Note] to Garganum, but Artemidorus makes then more. [Note] Thence to Ancona, the first says there are 254 miles, whilst Artemidorus has given but 1250 stadia to the Fiumesino, [Note] near to Ancona, which is much shorter. Polybius says that from Iapygia the distance has been laid down in miles, and that there are 562 miles thence to the town of Sila, [Note] thence to Aquileia 178. These geographers do not agree as to the length to be assigned to the line of the sea-coast of Illyria, run from the Ceraunian Mountains [Note] to the head [Note] of the Adriatic, some of them stating it to be above 6000 [stadia], and making it longer than the opposite coast [of Italy], while it is much shorter. [Note] Indeed they all generally differ among themselves in stating distances, as we often have occasion to remark. Wherever it is possible to discriminate we set forth what appears to us to be correct, but where it is impossible to come to any safe conclusion we think it our duty to publish their several assertions. However, when we have no data furnished by them, it must not be wondered at, if we should leave some points untouched in treating of such and so vast a subject as we have undertaken. We would not indeed omit any of the important particulars, but trifling circumstances, even when they are noted, are of little advantage, and when taken no heed of, are not missed, nor does their omission at all impair the whole work, or, if it does, at most not much.

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Immediately beyond the Garganum comes a deep bay. [Note] Those who dwell round it call themselves Apuli, [Note] they speak the same language as the Daunii and Peucetii, and at the present time resemble them in every other particular; however it is likely that they were formerly distinct, since their names completely differ from those of the others. In ancient times the whole of this country was flourishing, but Hannibal and the wars which subsequently occurred have wasted it. Here too was fought the battle of Cannæ, where there was so great a slaughter of the Roman forces and their allies. [Note] Near this gulf there is a lake, [Note] and above the lake in the interior is the Apulian Teanum, [Note] having a like name with that of the Sidicini. [Note] It is between this and the neighbourhood of Dicæ- archia [Note] that the breadth of Italy is so contracted as to form an isthmus of less than 1000 stadia from sea to sea. [Note] Leaving the lake we sail next to Buca, [Note] and the country of the Frentani. There are 200 stadia from the lake both to Buca and to the Garganum. The remainder of the towns in the vicinity of Buca have been before described. [Note]

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So great indeed is Italy, and much as we have described it; we will now advert to the chief of the many things that have been described, which have conduced to raise the Romans to so great a height of prosperity. One point is its insular position, by which it is securely guarded, the seas forming a natural protection around it with the exception of a very inconsiderable frontier, which too is fortified by almost impassable mountains. A second is, that there are but few harbours, and those few capacious and admirably situated. These are of great service both for enterprises against foreign places, and also in case of invasions undertaken against the country, and the reception of abundant merchandise. And a third, that it is situated so as to possess many advantages of atmosphere and temperature of climate, in which both animals and plants, and in fact all things available for sustaining life, may be accommodated with every variety both of mild and severe temperature; its length stretches in a direction north and south. Sicily, which is extensive, may be looked upon as an addition to its length, for we cannot consider it in any other light than as a part of it. The salubrity or severity of the atmosphere of different countries, is estimated by the amount of cold or heat, or the degrees of temperature between those extremes; in this way we shall find that Italy, which is situated in the medium of both the extremes, and having so great a length, largely participates in a salubrious atmosphere, and that in many respects. This advantage is still secured to it in another way, for the chain of the Apennines extending through its whole length, and leaving on each side plains and fruitful hills, there is no district which does not participate in the advantages of the best productions both of hill and plain. We must also enumerate the magnitude and number of its rivers and lakes, and the springs of hot and cold waters supplied by nature in various localities for the restoration of health; and in addition to these, its great wealth in mines of all the metals, abundance of timber, and excellent food both for man and for beasts of all kinds. Italy, likewise, being situated in the very midst of the greatest nations, I allude to Greece and the best provinces of Asia, is naturally in a posi-

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tion to gain the ascendency, since she excels the circumjacent countries both in the valour of her population and in extent of territory, and by being in proximity to them seems to have been ordained to bring them into subjection without difficulty.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 6.3.7 Str. 6.4.1 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 6.4.2

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