Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.8 Str. 7.5.12 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.1


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.


OF the country situated between the Danube and the mountains on each side of Pæonia, there remains to be described the Pontic coast, which reaches from the Sacred mouth of the Danube to the mountainous district about Hæ- mus, and to the mouth of the Pontus at Byzantium. As in describing the Illyrian coast we had proceeded as far as the Ceraunian mountains, which, although they stretch beyond the mountainous district of Illyria, yet constitute a sort of proper boundary, we determined by means of these mountains the limits of the nations in the inland parts, considering, that such separating lines would be better marks both for our present and future use; so here also the coast, although it may fall beyond the mountainous line, will still end at a proper kind of limit, the mouth of the Pontus, which will be useful both for our present and our future descriptions.

If we set out from the Sacred mouth of the Danube, having on the right hand the continuous line of coast, we find at the

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distance of 500 stadia, Ister, [Note] a small town founded by Mile- sians; then Tomis, [Note] another small town, at the distance of 250 stadia; then Callatis, [Note] a city, a colony of the Heracleotæ, at 280 stadia; then, at 1300 stadia, Apollonia, [Note] a colony of Milesians, having the greater part of the buildings upon a small island, where is a temple of Apollo, whence Marcus Lucullus took the Colossus of Apollo, the work of Calamides, and dedicated it as a sacred offering in the Capitol. In the intermediate distance between Callatis and Apollonia, is Bizone, a great part of which was swallowed up by an earthquake; Cruni; [Note] Odessus, [Note] a colony of Milesians; and Naulochus, a small town of the Mesembriani. Next follows the mountain Hæmus, [Note] extending to the sea in this quarter; then Mesembria, [Note] a colony of the Megarenses, formerly called Menabria, or city of Mena, Menas being the name of the founder, and bria, [Note] signifying in the Thracian tongue, city. Thus the city of Selys is called Selybria, and ænus once had the name of Poltyobria. Then follows Anchiale, [Note] a small town of the Apolloniat$aa, and Apollonia itself.

On this coast is the promontory Tirizis, a place naturally strong, which Lysimachus formerly used as a treasury. Again, from Apollonia to the Cyanetæ are about 1500 stadia. In this interval are Thynias, a tract belonging to the Apolloniatæ, Phinopolis, and Andriace, [Note] which are contiguous to Salmydessus. This coast is without inhabitants and rocky, without harbours, stretching far towards the north, and extending as far as the Cyaneæ, about 700 stadia. Those who are wrecked on this coast are plundered by the Asti, a Thracian tribe who live above it.

The Cyaneæ [Note] are two small islands at the mouth of the Pontus, one lying near Europe, the other near Asia, and are separated by a channel of about 20 stadia. This is the mea-

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sure of the distance between the temple of the Byzantines and the temple of the Chalcedonians, where is the narrowest part of the mouth of the Euxine Sea. For proceeding onwards 10 stadia there is a promontory, which reduces the strait to 5 stadia; the strait afterwards opens to a greater width, and begins to form the Propontis.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.8 Str. 7.5.12 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.7.1

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