Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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7.5.9

The mouth is common to both; but this difference is to be observed, that the name Ionian [Note] is applied to the first part of the gulf only, and Adriatic to the interior sea up to the farthest end, but the name Adriatic is now applied to the whole

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sea. According to Theopompus, the name Ionian was de- rived from a chief (Ionius) of that country, a native of Issa; and the name Adriatic from a river, Adrias. [Note]

From the Liburni to the Ceraunian mountains is a distance of a little more than 2000 stadia. But Theopompus says, that it is six days' sail from the farthest recess of the bay, but a journey of thirty days by land along the length of Ilyria. This appears to me an exaggeration, but he makes many incredible statements. Among other instances, he pretends that there is a subterraneous passage between the Adriatic and the ægæan Seas, grounding his opinion on the discovery of Chian and Thasian pottery in the river Naron. [Note] The two seas, he says, may be seen from some pretended mountain. He describes the Liburnian islands as occupying a position so extensive as to form a circle of 500 stadia. According to him, the Danube discharges itself by one of its mouths into the Adriatic. [Note] Similar mistakes are to be found in Eratosthenes, which Polybius, when speaking of him and other writers, describes as having their origin in vulgar error. [Note] 7.5.10

On the coast of Illyria, along its whole extent, and in the neighbouring islands, there are numerous excellent harbours, contrary to what occurs on the opposite Italian coast, where there are none. As in Italy, however, the climate is warm, and the soil productive of fruits; olives also and vines grow readily, except in some few excessively rugged places. Although Illyria possesses these advantages, it was formerly neglected, through ignorance, perhaps, of its fertility; but it was principally avoided on account of the savage manners of the inhabitants, and their piratical habits.

The region situated above the sea-coast is mountainous, cold, and at times covered with snow. The northern part is still colder, so that vines are rarely to be met with either in the hills or in the plains lower down. These mountain-plains are in the possession of the Pannonians, and extend towards the south as far as the Dalmatians and Ardiæi. They terminate towards the north at the Ister, and approach towards

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the east close to the Scordisci, who live near the Macedonian and Thracian mountains. 7.5.11

The Autariatæ were the most populous and the bravest tribe of the Illyrians. Formerly, there were continual disputes between them and the Ardiæi respecting the salt which was spontaneously formed on the confines of their respective territories, in the spring season, from water which flows through a valley. The salt concreted five days after the water was drawn and deposited in reservoirs. The right of collecting salt was, by agreement, to be exercised alternately by each party, but the compact was broken and war was the consequence. After the Autariatæ had subdued the Triballi, a people whose territory extended a journey of fifteen days, from the Agrianæ to the Danube, they became masters of the Thracians and Illyrians. The Autariatæ were first conquered by the Scordisci, and afterwards by the Romans, who overpowered the Scordisci, for a long time a powerful nation. 7.5.12

This people inhabited the country on the banks of the Danube, and were divided into two tribes, the Great and the Little Scordisci. [Note] The former occupied the space between two rivers, which empty themselves into the Danube, the Noarus, [Note] which runs beside Segestica, and the Margus, or, as some call it, Bargus. The Little Scordisci lived beyond this river close to the Triballi and Mysi. [Note] The Scordisci possessed some of the islands also. They increased so much in strength and numbers as to advance even to the Illyrian, Pæonian, and Thracian confines. Most of the islands on the Danube fell into their hands, and they possessed the cities Heorta and Capedunum. [Note]

Next to the territory of the Scordisci, lying along the banks of the Danube, is the country of the Triballi and Mysi, whom we have before mentioned; we have also spoken of the

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marshes [Note] of the Lesser Scythia on this side the Danube. This nation, and the Crobyzi, and the nation called Troglodytæ, live above the districts in which are situated Callatis, Tomis, and Ister. [Note] Next are the people about the Mount Hæmus, and those who live at its foot, extending as far as the Pontus, Coralli, and Bessi, and some tribes of Mædi and of Dantheletæ. All these nations are very much addicted to robbery. The Bessi possess far the greatest part of Mount Hæmus, and are called Robbers from their mode of life as free-booters. Some of them live in huts and lead a life of hardship. They extend close to Rhodope, the Pæeones, and to the Illyrian nations; to the Autariatæ also, and the Dardanians. Between these and the Ardiæi are the Dasaretii, Hybrianes, and other obscure nations, whose numbers the Scordisci were continually reducing, until they had made the country a desert, full of impassable forests, which extended several days' journey.



Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.6 Str. 7.5.11 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.6.1

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