Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.1.1 Str. 7.1.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.1.5


WE have described Spain and the Keltic nations, together with Italy and the islands adjacent, and must now speak of the remaining portions of Europe, dividing it in the best way we can. That which remains is, on the east, all the country beyond the Rhine, as far as the Don and the mouth of the Sea of Azof; and, on the south, that which the Danube bounds, lying between the Adriatic and the left shores of the Euxine, as far as Greece and the Sea of Marmora, for the Danube, which is the largest of the rivers of Europe, divides the whole territory of which we have spoken, into two portions. This river from its commencement flows southwards, then, making a sudden turn, continues its course from west to east, which [terminates] in the Euxine Sea. It takes its rise in the western confines of Germany, not far from the head of the Adriatic, being distant from it about 1000 stadia, [Note] and falls into the Euxine near the mouths of the Dniester [Note] and the Dnieper, [Note] inclining a little towards the north. Thus the countries beyond the Rhine and Keltica are situated to the north of the Danube, and are occupied by the

-- 443 --

Galatic and German tribes, as far as the territory of the Bastarnæ, [Note] the Tyregetæ, [Note] and the river Dnieper; so also is the country situated between the Dnieper, the Don, and the mouth of the Sea of Azof, which on one side stretches back as far as the [Northern] Ocean, [Note] and on another is washed by the Euxine. To the south of the Danube are situated the people of Illyria and Thrace, and mixed with them certain tribes of Kelts and other races, extending as far as Greece.

We will first speak of those nations to the north of the Danube, for their history is less involved than that of the tribes situated on the other side of the river. 7.1.2

Next after the Keltic nations come the Germans who inhabit the country to the east beyond the Rhine; and these differ but little from the Keltic race, except in their being more fierce, of a larger stature, and more ruddy in countenance; but in every other respect, their figure, their customs and manners of life, are such as we have related of the Kelts. [Note] The Romans therefore, I think, have very appositely applied to them the name Germani, as signifying genuine; for in the Latin language Germani signifies genuine. [Note] 7.1.3

The first division of this country is the land extending along the Rhine from its source to its embouchure. Indeed, the valley of that river extends nearly as far as the whole breadth of Germany on the west. Of the people who occupied this country, some have been transplanted by the Romans into Keltica, the others have retired to the interior, as the Marsi; [Note] there are but few remaining, and some portion of them

-- 444 --

are Sicambri; [Note] next to the inhabitants of this valley succeeds the tribe dwelling between the Rhine and the river Elbe, [Note] which river flows towards the ocean in a direction nearly parallel with the Rhine, and traversing a country of no less extent. There are also between these other navigable rivers, such as the Ems, [Note] on which Drusus defeated the Bructeri [Note] in a naval engagement; all likewise flowing from south to north, and falling into the ocean; for the whole country rises towards the south, and forms a ridge of mountains near the Alps, which extends eastward as though it were a continuation of the Alps; [Note] and some have even so described it, as well on account of its position as because it produces the same system of vegetation; nevertheless, the altitude of this ridge in no part equals that of the Alps. Here is situated the Hercynian Wood, [Note] and the tribes of the Suevi, [Note] some of whom inhabit the forest, as do likewise some of the Quadi. [Note] Among these latter people is situated Bujemum, the royal city of Marobodus, whither he has assembled many strangers and many of the Marcomanni, a kindred nation with his own. This Marobodus, from a private station, raised himself to the administration of affairs after his return from Rome. For he went to that city while a youth, and was patronized by Augustus. After he came home, he acquired the sovereignty of his country, and added to the people I have enumerated, the Luji, [Note] a powerful nation, and the Zumi, [Note] and the Gutones [Note]

-- 445 --

and Mugilones and Sibini, besides the Semnones, another con- siderable tribe of the Suevi. As I have previously stated, a portion of the Suevi dwells within the Forest, while another portion occupies the territory beyond, on the frontiers of the Getæ; wherefore the nation of the Suevi is the most considerable, as it extends from the Rhine as far as the Elbe, and even a part of them, as the Hermonduri and the Langobardi, inhabit the country beyond the Elbe; but at the present time these tribes, having been defeated, have retired entirely beyond the Elbe. All these nations easily change their abode, on account of the scantiness of provisions, and because they neither cultivate the lands nor accumulate wealth, but dwell in miserable huts, and satisfy their wants from day to day, the most part of their food being supplied by the herd, as amongst the nomade races, and in imitation of them they transfer their households in waggons, wandering with their cattle to any place which may appear most advantageous. There are many other smaller German tribes, as the Cherusci, Chatti, Gamabrivi, [Note] Chattuarii, and next the ocean the Sicambri, Chaubi, [Note] Bructeri, [Note] Cimbri, Cauci, Caulci, Campsiani, [Note] and many others.

In the same direction with the Ems, [Note] the Weser [Note] and the river Lippe [Note] take their course, the latter, distant about 600 stadia from the Rhine, flows through the territory of the Lesser Bructeri. And there is also the river Sala, [Note] between which and the Rhine Drusus Germanicus died, whilst in the midst of his victories. He not only subdued the greater part of the German tribes, but also the islands on the coast he passed along, one amongst which is Byrchanis, [Note] which he took by siege.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.1.1 Str. 7.1.3 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.1.5

Powered by PhiloLogic