Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
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Later writers call the Ardiæi, Vard$sei. [Note] The Romans drove them into the interior from the sea-coast, which

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was infested by their piracies, and compelled them to cultivate the ground; but as the country was rugged and barren, and not adapted to husbandry, the nation was entirely ruined and nearly extinguished. The same happened to other neighbouring nations. People formerly very powerful are extinct, or were reduced to the lowest condition, as the Boii and Scordisci among the Galatæ; the Autariatæ, Ardiæi, and Dardanii, among the Illyrians; and the Triballi among the Thracians. They first declined in consequence of disputes amongst themselves, but were finally prostrated by wars with the Macedonians and Romans. 7.5.7

After the termination of the coast of the Ardiæi and Pleræi is the bay of the Rhizæi, a city Rhizon, [Note] other small towns, and the river Drilon, [Note] which may be navigated up its stream towards the east as far as Dardanica. This country is situated close to the Macedonian and Pæonian nations, towards the south, as also the Autariatæ and the Dasaretii are in parts contiguous to one another [and to the Autariatæ]. [Note] To the Dardaniatae belong the Galabrii, [Note] in whose territory is an ancient city; and the Thunatæ, who approach on the east close to the Mædi, [Note] a Thracian tribe.

The Dardanii are entirely a savage people, so much so that they dig caves beneath dungheaps, in which they dwell; yet they are fond of music, and are much occupied in playing upon pipes and on stringed instruments. They inhabit the inland parts of the country, and we shall mention them again in another place. 7.5.8

After the bay of Rhizon [Note] is Lissus, [Note] a city, Acrolissus, [Note] and Epidamnus, the present Dyrrhachium, [Note] founded by Corcyræans, and bearing the name of the peninsula on which it

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is situated. Then follow the rivers Apsus [Note] and the Aous, [Note] on the banks of which is situated Apollonia, [Note] a city governed by excellent laws. It was founded by Corinthians and Corcyræans, and is distant from the river 10, and from the sea 60, stadia. Hecatæus calls the Aous, Aias, and says that from the same place, or rather from the same sources about Lacmus, [Note] the Inachus flows southward, to Argos, [Note] and the Aias westward, into the Adriatic.

In the territory of the Apolloniatæ there is what is called a Nymphæum. It is a rock which emits fire. Below it are springs flowing with hot water and asphaltus. The earth containing the asphaltus is probably in a state of combustion. The asphaltus is dug out of a neighbouring hill; the parts excavated are replaced by fresh earth, which after a time are converted into asphaltus. This account is given by Posidonius, who says also, that the ampelitis, an asphaltic earth found in the Pierian Seleucia, [Note] is a remedy for the lice which infest the vine. If the vine is smeared with this earth mixed with oil, the insects are killed before they ascend from the root to the branches. This earth, but it required for use a larger quantity of oil, he says was found at Rhodes also, while he held there the office of Prytanes.

Next to Apollonia is Bylliace (Bullis) and Oricum, [Note] with its naval arsenal, Panormus, and the Ceraunian mountains, which form the commencement of the entrance of the Ionian and Adriatic Gulfs. 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.

Strabo, Geography (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Str.].
<<Str. 7.5.3 Str. 7.5.8 (Greek English(2)) >>Str. 7.5.12

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