Mediterranean peoples: Pseudo-Skylax (fourth century BCE)

Citation with stable link: Philip A. Harland, 'Mediterranean peoples: Pseudo-Skylax (fourth century BCE),' Ethnic Relations and Migration in the Ancient World, last modified May 29, 2023,

Ancient author: Pseudo-Skylax / anonymous (fourth century BCE), Circumnavigation, or Periplous / Periplus (link to Greek text).

Comments: This is an example of the periplus, a writing presenting itself as though it is a circumnavigation, in this case of the entire Mediterranean world beginning and ending at the pillars of Herakles in Spain. There is only one surviving manuscript of this anonymous work. Hundreds of peoples from all parts of the Mediterranean are mentioned.  The work often comes across as a list, and the author provides very few details regarding these peoples, with some exceptions. Towards the end, the Ethiopians are described with some detail and are portrayed as a superior people. It is notable that (unlike some other ethnographic writings) there are no derogatory statements regarding these peoples, including the Taurians and Scythians.

Source of translation: Brady Kiesling, “Topostext” <>, 2015 (freely available for non-commercial use), based on the 1878 Greek edition of B. Fabricius (link) with comparison to emendations suggested by Graham Shipley, Pseudo-Skylax’s Periplous: The Circumnavigation of the Inhabited World (University of Exeter, Bristol Phoenix Press, 2011). Minor adaptations and corrections by Harland, including translation of ethnos as “people” rather than “nation.” Some of the modern place name equivalents were drawn from Shipley.


[Iberians and Ligurians]

(1) I begin from the pillars of Herakles in Europe until the pillars of Herakles in Libya and until the tall Ethiopians. The pillars of Herakles are opposite each other and a day’s sail apart. Beyond the pillars of Herakles in Europe are many trading posts of the Carthaginians and mud and flood tides and shoals. (2) First in Europe are the Iberians, the people (ethnos) of Iberia, and the river Iber. There are two islands there, named Gadeira [Cádiz]. On one of them is a city a day’s sail away from the pillars of Herakles. Then a trading post, the Greek city named Emporion (literally: Trading-centre). These are colonies of the Massalians. The voyage along the coast of Iberia is seven days and nights. (3) After the Iberians are half-breed Ligurians and Iberians as far as the Rhodanus [Rhone] river. The coastal voyage along the Ligurians’ [territory] from Emporion to the Rhone is two days and a night. (4) After the Rhone are the Ligurians as far as Antion [Antibes]. In this territory is the Greek city of Massalia [Marseille] with a port, and the city of Antion. These are colonists of Massalia. The coastal voyage from the Rhone to Antion is four days and nights. From the pillars of Herakles to Antion the whole territory has good harbours.

[Tyrrhenians, Latins, Samnites, Lucanians, Sikelians, Iapygians]

(5) From Antion there are the Tyrrhenian people [Etruscans] as far as the city of Rome. The coastal voyage along the Tyrrhenian territory is four days and nights. (6) Off the Tyrrhenian coast is the island of Kyrnos (Corsica). From Tyrrhenia the voyage to Kyrnos is a day and a half. There is an inhabited island in the middle of the voyage called Aithalia [Elba], and many other deserted islands. (7) From the island of Kyrnos to the island of Sardo (Sardinia) is the third part of a day, and a desert island lies between. The voyage from Sardo to Libya is a day and a night. From Sikelia [Sicily] to Sardo the voyage is two days and a night.

I return to the mainland, from where I was diverted to Kyrnos. (8) The Latins lie next to the Tyrrhenians as far as Kirkaion. The monument of Elpenor belongs to the Latins. The coastal voyage along the Latins is a day and night. (9) By the Latins are the Olsians [Volsci]. Sailing alongside the Olsians takes one day. (10) Next after the Olsians are the Campanians, and these are the Greek cities in Campania: Kyme, Neapolis. Offshore from them is the island Pithekoussa with a Greek city. The coastal voyage along Campania takes one day. (11) Next after the Campanians are the Samnites (Saunitai), and the coastal voyage alongside the Samnites takes half a day. (12) After the Samnites are the Lucanians as far as Thouria. The voyage alongside Lucania is six days and nights. Lucania is a headland with Greek cities as follows: Poseidonia (Paestum) with Elea, a colony of the Thourians, Pandosia, Klampeteia (?), Terina, Hipponion, Medma, and Rhegion promontory and city. (13) Off Rhegion is Sicily island twelve stadium-lengths away from Europe, from Rhegion to Pelorias. These are the barbarian peoples in Sikelia: Elymians, Sikanians, Sikelians, Phoenicians, and Trojans. These are the barbarians, but Greeks also live here. Pelorias is the promontory of Sicily. These are the Greek cities from Pelorias: Messene with a harbour, Tauromenion, Naxos, Katane, Leontinoi. To Leontinoi is a twenty-stadium-lengths voyage up the Terias river. The Symaithos river, with a city Megaris and harbour Xiphoneios. Next to Megaris is the city of Syracuse, with two harbours, one inside the fortification and the other outside. After this is the city of Heloros, and Pachynos promontory. After Pachynos are the following Greek cities: Camarina, Gela, Akragas, Selinous, Lilybaion promontory. After Lilybaion is the Greek city of Himera and the Greek city of Mylai with a harbour. Across from here is Lipara island, half a day’s voyage from Mylai to Lipara.

And I return again onto the mainland, from which I was diverted. Past Rhegion the cities are as follows: Lokroi, Kaulonia, Kroton; the Lakinian sanctuary of Hera; and Kalypso’s Island, where Odysseus stayed with Kalypso; and the river Krathis; and Sybaris and the city of Thouria. These are the Greeks in Lucania. (14) After Lucania are the Iapygian people as far as Hyrion mountain in the Adrias [Adriatic] gulf. The coastal voyage beside Iapygia is six days and six nights. Greeks live in Iapygia, and the cities are: Herakleion, Metapontion, and Taras with a harbour. Hydrous on the mouth of the Adrias or the Ionios gulf.

[Daunitians, Umbrians, Tyrrhenians, Celts, Venetians, Istrians, Liburnians, Lotus-eaters, Nestians]

(15) After the Iapygians, past Hyrion (?) are the Daunitian people. Among this people the languages are Alphaternian (?), Opikian, Karakonian (?), Boreontinian, and Peuketian, stretching across from the Tyrrhenian sea to the Adriatic. The coastal voyage along Iapygia is six days and nights. Greeks live in Iapygia with the following cities: Herakleion; Metapontion; Taras with a harbour; Hydrous at the mouth of the Adriatic or Ionian Sea. The coastal voyage along the Daunitian territory is two days and a night. (16) After the Daunitians is the Umbrian people, with a city Ankon. This people honors Diomedes, its benefactor, and he has a sanctuary there. The coastal voyage along the Umbrian territory is two days and a night. (17) After Ombria are the Tyrrhenians, and they stretch from the Tyrrhenian sea to the Adriatic gulf. They have the Greek city of Spina with a river. The sail upstream to the city is twenty stadium-lengths. . . . (18) After the Tyrrhenians are the Celtic people, the ones left over from the military campaign, reaching from atop the passes to the Adriatic. Here is the bottom of the Adriatic gulf. (19) After the Celts are the people of the Venetians, with the Eridanos river. The coastal voyage from there is one day. (20) After the Venetians are the people of the Istrians, and the Istros [Danube] river. This river also flows out into the Pontos [Black Sea], as the Nile does in Egypt. The coastal voyage along Istrian territory is one day and night. (21) After the Istrians are the people of the Liburnians. Among this people are the following cities by the sea: Arsias, Dassatika, Senites, Apsyrta, Loupsoi, Ortopeletai, and Hegion [Shipley’s reading of city names]. These people are ruled by women. The wives of free husbands have intercourse with their own slaves and the men of neighboring countries. Off this territory are these islands whose names I can say, even though there are many other nameless ones: Istris island, length 310 stadium-lengths, width 120, Elektrides, Mentorides, which are the large islands. The Kataibates river. The coastal voyage along the territory of Liburnis is two days. (22) After the Liburnians are the people of the Illyrians, and the Illyrians live along the sea as far as Chaonia opposite Kerkyra (Corfu) the island of Alkinoos. There is a Greek city there named Herakleia with a harbour. The barbarians called Lotus-eaters (Lotophagoi) are here, namely the Iaderatenians, Boulinians, and Hyllians. The Hyllians, who share a border with the Boulinians, say they were settled here by Hyllos the son of Herakles, but they are barbarians. They inhabit a peninsula a little smaller than the Peloponnese. From the peninsula stretches an island like a straight ribbon, which the Boulinians inhabit. The Boulinians are an Illyrian people. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Boulinians is one long day up to the Nestos river. (23) Past the Nestos river is a gulf-shaped voyage. All this gulf is called the Manios. The voyage is one day. In this gulf are the islands of Tragyras, Brattia, Olynta. These islands are separed from each other by two stadium-lengths or a little more, by Pharos and Issa. For here is the new Pharos, a Greek island, and Issa island, and these cities are Greek. Before sailing along the Naron river a lot of territory is right beside the sea. There is an island near the shore territory called Melite. Another island near it, called Kerkyra Melaina [Black Corcyra]. This island projects out with one of its promontories away from the shore territory and with the other promontory reaches to the Naron river. From Melite it is eighty stadium-lengths away, and from the shore territory eight stadium-lengths.

[Manians, Illyrians, Amantians, Atintanians, Orikians, Chaonians]

(24) Past the Nestians is the Naron river. The voyage up the Naron is not narrow. Even triremes and ships sail into it up to the trading post eighty stadium-lengths up from the sea. These are the Manians, an Illyrian people. There is a large lagoon inland from the trading post, and the lagoon belongs to the Autariatians, an Illyrian people. There is an island in the lagoon of one hundred and twenty stadium-lengths. This island is extremely fertile. The Naron river flows out from this lake. From the Naron to the Arion river is a day’s sail. From the Arion river to the Rhizous river is half a day’s sail. The stones of Kadmos and Harmonia are here, and a sanctuary not far from the Rhizous river. From the Rhizous river to Bouthoe the voyage is half a day. (25) The next people of the Illyrians is the Encheleians, beside the Rhizous. From Bouthoe to the Greek city of Epidamnos the voyage is a day and night or three days by road. (26) There is the Illyrian people of the Taulantians, in which is Epidamnos, and a river named Palamnos flows by the city. From Epidamnos to the Greek city of Apollonia the road is two days. Apollonia is fifty stadium-lengths from the sea, and the river Aias flows by the city. From Apollonia to Amantia is three hundred and twenty stadium-lengths. . . . Orikos is somewhat further into the Ionian. The Orikian territory along the sea is ninety stadium-lengths, that of Amantia sixty stadium-lengths. Sharing a border witht he Amantians in the interior are the Atintanians above Orikia and Karia as far as Idonia (ms. Dodonia). In the Kastid territory is said to be a plain called Erytheia. Here Geryones is said to live and graze his oxen. By these places are the Keraunian mountains on the mainland and a small island off them, which has the name Sason. From here to the city of Orikos, the coastal voyage is one-third of a day. (27) The Orikians are settled in Amantian territory. These people [Amantians] are Illyrians as far as here, past the Boulinians. The mouth of the Ionian Sea is from the Keraunia mountains as far as the capes of Iapygia. The voyage to the city of Hydrous in Iapygia, from the Keraunian mountains is about five hundred stadium-lengths; this is the mouth of the gulf. What is inside is the Ionian. There are many harbours in the Adriatic, which is the same thing as the Ionian. (28) After the Illyrians are the Chaonians. Chaonia has good harbours; the Chaonians live in villages. The coastal voyage along Chaonia is half a day. (29) Off Chaonia is the island of Korkyra, and a Greek city in it with three harbours by the city, one of which is closed. And Korkyra lies opposite Thesprotia more so than Chaonia.

[Thesprotians, Kassopians, Molottians]

I return again to the mainland, from which I was diverted. (30) After Chaonia is the people of the Thesprotians. These people, too, live in villages: and this territory also has good harbours. Here there is a harbour named Elaia, into which the river Acheron flows, and a lake, Acherousia, out of which the Acheron river flows. The coastal voyage along Thesprotia is half a day. (31) After Thesprotia is Kassopia, a people. These people, too, live in villages. They inhabit the coast up alongside the Anaktoric gulf. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Kassopians is half a day. The Anaktoric gulf is a little less than one hundred and twenty stadium-lengths from its mouth to the inner part. The mouth is four stadium-lengths wide. (32) After Kassopia is the people of the Molottians. These people live in villages, and they inhabit only a small area by the sea, but a large expanse inland. The coastal voyage along the Molottian territory is fourty stadium-lengths.

[Various Greek peoples in Greece]

(33) After Molottia is the Greek city of Ambrakia, eighty stadium-lengths away from the sea. But on the sea there is a fort with an enclosed harbour. From here Greece begins, continuous as far as the Peneios river and the city of Homolion beside the river in Magnesia. The coastal voyage along Ambrakia is one hundred and twenty stadium-lengths. (34) After Ambrakia are the Akarnanians, a people. The first city here is Amphilochian Argos, Euripos, and Thyrrheion . . . [ms is problematic here]. Outside the Ambrakic gulf are the following: Anaktorion with a harbour, Akte, and the city of Leukas with a harbour. This reaches up to Leukatas, a promontory visible from far off at sea. This city was in the past also named Epileukadioi. The Akarnanians, due to civil strife, took one thousand settlers from Corinth. The settlers, having killed the Akarnanians, hold their territory themselves. This is now an island, as a result of digging a trench at the isthmus. After these places is the city of Phara. Offshore is the island of Ithake, with a city and a harbour. After this the island of Kephalenia.

I return again to the mainland, from where I left. After these is the city of Alyzia, and offshore of it the island of Karnos, as well as the city of Astakos with a harbour and the river Acheloos and the city of Oiniadai. To these it is a voyage upstream along the Acheloos. There are also other cities of the Akarnanians in the interior. The coastal voyage along Akarnania is two days. All of Akarnania has good harbours with many islands lying offshore, which the Acheloos river is silting up to make it into mainland. The islands are called Echinades; they are deserted.

(35) After Akarnania is Aitolia, a people, with the following cities: Kalydon, Halikyrna, Molykreia. There is also the Delphic gulf, whose mouth is ten stadium-lengths. On it is a sanctuary and the city of Naupaktos. Adjacent to it the Aitolians have many other cities in the interior. The coastal voyage along Aitolia is one day. Aitolia stretches alongside the whole of Lokris inland as far as the Ainianians. (36) After the Aitolians are the people of the Lokrians, among whom are the so-called Ozolians. There are the following cities: Euanthis and Amphissa. They also have cities in the interior. The coastal voyage along the Lokrians’s territory is half of a day. (37) After the Lokrians are the people of the Phokians, by the Kirrhaian plain. Here there is the sanctuary of Apollo, as well as the city of Delphi and the city of Antikyra, where the best hellebore treatments take place. The coastal voyage along the Phokians’ territory is half a day. (38) The Phokians are the Boiotians, a people, and the following cities: Korsiai, Siphai with a harbour, and Eutresis (Kreusis; sic) with a fort of the Boiotians. The coastal voyage along Boiotia is less than half a day. (39) After the Boiotians are the Megarians, a people, with the following cities: Aigosthena; Pegai, a fort; Geraneia; and Aigeiros. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Megarians is one hundred stadium-lengths. (40) After the Megarians are the city of Corinth, with a sanctuary of Hera, Lechaion, and the Isthmus. From here the Peloponnesos already begins. From the sea the road to the sea on our side, across the isthmus, is forty stadium-lengths. These places are all deeply recessed. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Corinthians is half a day. (41) After Corinth is the city of Sikyon, with a coastal voyage of one hundred and twenty stadium-lengths. (42) After Sikyon are the Achaians, a people with cities as follows: Pellene, Aigeira, Aigai, Aigion, Rhypes and, outside Rhion, Patrai and Dyme. The coastal voyage along the Achaian territory is seven hundred stadium-lengths. (43) After the Achaians is Elis, a people, with the following cities: Kyllene with a harbour and the river Alpheios and there is also another union of cities, Elis, inland. Off this territory is the island of Zakynthos, with a city and a harbour. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Eleians up to that of the Lepreatans is seven hundred stadium-lengths. (44) After Elis is Arkadia, a people. Arkadia reaches the sea at Lepreon from inland. These are their large (?) cities in the interior: Megale Polis (?), Tegea, Mantineia, Heraia, Orchomenos, and Stymphalos. There are also other cities. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Lepreatans is one hundred stadium-lengths. (45) After Arkadia is the Messenian people with the following cities: first Messene with a harbour, Kyparissos, located seven stadium-lengths away from the sea; Prote, an island with a harbour (?); Ithome is inland, eighty stadium-lengths away from the sea. The coastal voyage along the Messenian territory is three hundred stadium-lengths. (46) After Messene (?) there is Lakedaimon [Spartans], a people, with the following cities: Asine; Mothone; Psamathous harbour, and Achilleios harbour back to back with it, in between these two, projecting into the sea, is a sanctuary of Poseidon, Tainaros; and Las city and harbour; Gytheion, in which is a shipyard and a fortress; the river Eurotas; and the city of Boia; and Malea, a cape. Off this lies Kythera island, with a city and harbour. Off this is Crete island. After this previously mentioned cape Malea are the city of Side with a harbour; the city of Epidauros with a harbour; the city of Prasia with a harbour; the city of Methana with a harbour. There are many other cities of the Lakedemonians. In the interior is Sparta, and many others. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Lakedemonians is three days. (47) Off Lakedemon lies the island of Crete: for Lakedemon is the nearest point of Europe. The voyage from Lakedemon to the promontory of Crete with the city of Phalasarna is a day’s course. Beyond Phalasarna is Kriou Metopon [Ram’s forehead] promontory. Towards the south is the voyage to Libya, up to the Azirides (?) of Chersonesos, which belongs to the Cyrenaeans, a day and a night. Crete is two thousand, five hundred stadium-lengths long, and narrow, and stretches west to east. Greeks live in Crete, some of them colonists of the Lakedemonians, others of the Argives, others of the Athenians, others from whatever other part of Greece it might be. Some of them are indigenous (autochthones). Crete has many cities. After Korykos (?) promontory the first city to the west is the previously mentioned Phalasarna with a closed harbour. Next Polyrrhenia, stretching across Crete from north to south. Diktynnaion, a sanctuary of Artemis, to the north, belonging to the territory of Pergamia. To the south Hyrtakina. Kydonia with a closed harbour towards the north. Inland is the city of Elyros. Towards the south is the city of Lissa and harbour beside Kriou Metopon. Towards the north is the Apteraian territory. Then Lampaia, stretching the width of the island, with the river Mesapos. After this is Mount Ida (?), with Eleuthernai towards the north. Towards the south Sybrita with a harbour. To the south there is, Phaistos, to the north are Oaxos and Knossos. To the south is Gortyna. Rhaukos and inland Lyktos stretch the width of the island. Then to the north Mount Kadistos with a harbour Olous, and (?) . . . Praisos stretches the width of the island. Itanos (?), the promontory of Crete towards the rising sun. There are other cities in Crete as well: it is called hundred-citied. (48) These are the Kyklades inhabited from the Lakedemonian territory: Melos with a harbour, and off it Kimolos, and off this Oliaros, off this Sikinos, also a city. Off this Thera, and off this Anaphe, and off this Astypalaia.

And I return to the mainland, from which I was diverted. (49) After Lakedaimon is the city of Argos, and in it the city of Nauplia with a harbour. Inland are Kleonai, Mykenae and Tiryns. The coastal voyage along Argive territory in a circle, for it is a gulf, the so-called Argolic, is one hundred and fifty stadium-lengths. (50) After Argos is the Epidaurian territory, which reaches down along this gulf for thirty stadium-lengths. After the Epidaurian territory is the Halia [territory of the Halieians]] with a harbour. This is at the mouth of the Argolic gulf. The voyage round this is one hundred stadium-lengths. (51) After this is the city of Hermion with a harbour. The voyage round it is eighty stadium-lengths. After Hermion is Skyllaion, the promontory of the gulf towards the Isthmus; Skyllaion belongs to Troizenia. Directly opposite it is Sounion, the promontory of the territory of the Athenians. Off this island is the city of Belbina. From this mouth of the gulf in toward the Isthmus, is seven hundred and forty stadium-lengths. This gulf is very straight at the mouth. (52) After Hermion is the city of Troizen with a harbour. The coastal voyage along it is thirty stadium-lengths. Off these places is the island of the city of Kalauria with a harbour. The coastal voyage along it is three hundred stadium-lengths. (53) Off this is the island and city of Aigina with two harbours.

And I return again onto the mainland, from which I was diverted. (54) After Troizenia is the city of Epidauros with a harbour. The coastal voyage along the Epidaurian territory: one hundred and thirty stadium-lengths. (55) After Epidauros is the territory of the Corinthians toward the east, and the fort of the Kenchreians, and the Isthmus, with a sanctuary of Poseidon. Here the Peloponnesos ends. The Corinthians also have territory outside the Isthmus and a fort, Sidous, and another fort, Kremmyon. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Corinthians as far as the borders of the Megarians is three hundred stadium-lengths. (56) After the territory of the Corinthians is the city of Megara with a harbour, and Nisaia, a fortress. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Megarians as far as Iapis, for this is the border of the territory of the Athenians, is 140 stadium-lengths. (57) After the Megarians are cities of the Athenians. First in Attica is Eleusis, where there is the sanctuary of Demeter and a fort. Off this is Salamis, an island with a city and harbour. Next the Peiraieus and the Legs [Long Walls] and Athens. Peiraieus has three harbours. Then there are Anaphlystos, a fort with a harbour; Sounion, a promontory with a fort; a sanctuary of Poseidon; Thorikos, a fort with two harbours; and, Rhamnous, a fort. There are also many other harbours in Attica. The voyage around the territory of the Athenians is one thousand, one hundred and forty stadium-lengths. From the territory of Iapis to Sounion: four hundred and ninety stadium-lengths. From Sounion to the border of the Boiotians is six hundred and fifty stadium-lengths. (58) Off Attica are the islands called Kyklades, with the following cities in the islands: Keos, which is four-citied; the city of Poieessa (?) with a harbour; Koressia, Ioulis, and Karthaia-Helene; Kythnos island, with a city; Seriphos island, with a city and a harbour; Siphnos; Paros with two harbours, one closed; Naxos; Delos; Rhene; Syros; Mykonos which is two-citied; Tenos with a harbour; and, Andros with a harbour. Now these are the Kyklades islands. But below these are the following other islands to the south: Ios with a harbour, where Homer is buried; Amorgos which is three-citied with a harbour; and, Ikaros, with two cities. After Andros is Euboia island with four cities. It has Karystos, Eretria with a harbour, Chalkis with a harbour, Hestiaia with a harbour. Euboia from Kenaion, the sanctuary of Zeus to Geraistos, the sanctuary of Poseidon, has one thousand, three hundred and fifty stadium-lengths. The width of Euboia is narrow. In the Aegean sea are the following islands: off Eretria, Skyros, with a city; Ikos, two-citied; Peparethos with three cities and a harbour; Skiathos, this one is two-citied with a harbour.

After these places I return to the mainland, from where I was diverted. (59) After Athens are the Boiotians, a people: for they extend as far as this sea. In it is a sanctuary, Delion; Aulis, a sanctuary; Euripos, a fort; Anthedon, a fort; Thebes; Thespiai; and, Orchomenos in the interior. There are other cities. The coastal voyage along the Boiotian territory from Delion to the border of the Lokrians is two hundred and fifty stadium-lengths. (60) After the Boiotians are the Lokrians, a people. By Euboia they have the following cities: Larymna, Kynos, Opous, and Alope. The Lokrians also have many others. The coastal voyage along their territory is two hundred stadium-lengths. (61) After the Lokrians are the Phokians: for these people, too, extend to this sea. They have the following cities: Thronion, Knemis, Elateia, Panopeus. They have other cities inland as well. The coastal voyage along the territory of the Phokians is two hundred stadium-lengths. (62) After the Phokians are the Melians and the Meliac gulf. In this gulf are the people called Limodorians, and these cities: Erineos, Boion, and Kytinion. Then are Thermopylai, Trachis, Oite, Herakleia, the Spercheios river. After the Melians are the Malians (?), a people. The Malians have as their first city Lamia, and as the last Echinos. The Malians also have other cities, as far as the gulf touches. From the heights inland the Ainianians are settling in the territory of the Malians. The Spercheios river flows through them. (63) Outside the Maliac gulf are the Phthiotic Achaians, a people; they are also in the Pagasetic gulf, on the left as you sail in, about halfway into the gulf. The cities of the Achaians are the following: Antrones, Larissa, Meliteia, Demetrion, and Thebai. The Achaians also have other cities in the interior. (64) After the Achaians is Thessaly, which comes down to the sea from the interior by a narrow way to the Pagasetic gulf, thirty stadium-lengths. These are the Thessalian cities on the sea: Amphanai and Pagasai. Inland are Pherai, Larissa, Pharsalos, Kierion, Pelinnaion, Skotoussa, and Krannon. There are other cities of the Thessalians inland as well. Thessaly stretches inland beyond the Ainianians, Dolopians, Malians, Achaians and Magnetes, as far as Tempe. The length of the Pagasetic gulf from the mouth to the inner recess of Pagasai takes until lunch-time. The mouth is five stadium-lengths. In the Pagasetic gulf is the island of Kikynethos, with a city. (65) After Thettalia (?) is the people of the Magnesians on the seacoast, with the following cities: Iolkos, Methone, Korakai, Spaladra, and Olizon, with a harbour (or Tisai, a harbour). Outside the gulf of Pagasai are Meliboia, Rhizous, Eurymenai, and Amyros. The Perrhaibians, a people, Greeks, are settled inland. As far as here Greece is continuous from Ambrakia. More or less all the coastal part is similarly in Greece.

[Macedonians and Thracians]

(66) Beyond the Peneios river are the Macedonians, a people, and the Thermaic gulf. The first city of Macedonia is Herakleion; then Dion; the Greek city of Pydna; the Greek city of Methone and the Haliakmon river; the city of Aloros and the river Loudias; the city of Pella with a palace in it, an upstream voyage up the Loudias; the Axios river, the Echedoros river; the city of Therme; and, Aineia, Greek, Pallene, a long cape reaching into the sea. These are the Greek cities in Pallene: Potidaia in the middle, blocking the isthmus, Mende, Aphytis, Thrambeis, Skione, Kanastraion the sacred promontory of Pallene. Outside the isthmus are these cities: Olynthos, Greek; Mekyberna, Greek. Sermylia, Greek, with the Sermylic gulf; the Greek city of Torone with a harbour. Dion, Greek; Thyssos, Greek; Kleonai, Greek; Athos Mountain; Akrothooi, Greek; Charadrous, Greek; Olophyxis, Greek; Akanthos, Greek; Alapta, Greek. Arethousa, Greek; Bolbe Lake; and Apollonia, Greek. There are also many others belonging to Macedonia in the interior. It is indented: the coastal sail around the gulfs takes four days and nights. After Macedonia is the Strymon river, which divides Macedonia and Thrace. (67) Thrace extends from the Strymon river as far as the Istros river, the one in the Euxeinos Pontos [Black Sea]. In Thrace are the following Greek cities: Amphipolis, Phagres, Galepsos, Oisyme, and other trading-posts of the Thasians. Off these places is Thasos island with a city and two harbours, one of them closed.

I return to the mainland from where I diverted. Neapolis; by it the Greek city of Daton, which Kallistratos of Athens founded; and the river Nestos; the city of Abdera; the Koudetos river; and, the cities Dikaia and Maroneia. Off them is Samothrace island with a harbour. Opposite it on the mainland are the trading-towns of Drys, Zone, and Douriskos. The river Hebros has a fort upon it at the city Ainos with a harbour. The Ainians’ forts in Thrace; the Melas gulf; the Melas river, Deris, a trading-post; Kobrys, a trading-post of the Kardianoi, and another one, Kypasis. Off the Melas gulf is Imbros island, with a city; and Lemnos island, with a harbour.

I return to the mainland, from where I was diverted. After the Melas gulf is the Thracian Chersonesos, with the following cities: Kardia, Ide, Paion, Alopekonnesos, Araplous, Elaious, Madytos, and Sestos at the mouth of the Propontis, which is six stadium-lengths (wide). Inside are Aigos Potamoi, Kressa, Krithote, and Paktye. The Thracian Chersonesos reaches to here. From Paktye to Kardia across the neck on foot is forty stadium-lengths from sea to sea, with a city in the middle named Agora. The length of the Chersonesos from Kardia to Elaious where it is longest is four hundred stadium-lengths. After the Chersonesos are Thracian forts as follows: first Leuke Akte, Teiristasis, Herakleia, Ganos, Ganiai, and Neon Teichos. Perinthos, a city with a harbour, Daminon Teichos; and, the city of Selymbria with a harbour. From here to the mouth of the Pontos is five hundred stadium-lengths. The area along the Bosporos is called Anaplous (Voyage-Upstream) until you come to Hieron (the Sanctuary).

[Pontic peoples in Europe]

From Hieron the mouth of the Pontos is seven stadium-lengths in width. The coastal voyage along Thrace from the Strymon river to Sestos is two days and nights. From Sestos to the mouth of the Pontos is two days and nights. From the mouth to the Istros river is three days and nights. The total voyage around, from Thrace and the river Strymon to the Istros river is eight days and nights. (68) After Thrace are the Scythians, a people, and among them the following Greek cities: Tyris and a river; the city of Nikonion; and, the city of Ophiousa. The Taurians, a people, settle in Skythike, a promontory of the mainland that extends out to sea. In the Taurian territory live Greeks with the following cities: Chersonesos, a trading-town. Kriou Metopon, a promontory of the Taurike. After these places are the Skythians again, and the following Greek cities: Theudosia, Kytaia with Nymphaion, Pantikapaion, and Myrmekion. Coastal voyage direct from Istros to Kriou Metopon is three days and nights; that beside the land is double, for it is a gulf. In this gulf there is an island, which is deserted and is called Leuke, sacred to Achilles. From Kriou Metopon the voyage to Pantikapaion is a day and a night; from Pantikapaion to the mouth of the lake Maiotis [Sea of Azov] is twenty stadium-lengths. Lake Maiotis is said to be half of Pontos [Black Sea]. As one sails directly into lake Maiotis are Scythians on the left. For there come down out of the outside sea, beyond the Taurian territory, to lake Maiotis, the Syrmatians, a people. The river Tanais [Don] is the boundary of Asia and Europe.

(69) From the Pillars of Herakles in Europe, as one sails around the gulfs beside land — if, for so many nights as have been written above, one reckons days in place of these; and, where stadium-lengths are written, in place of the five hundred stadium-lengths a day of a man sailing — the coastal voyage of Europe becomes one hundred and fifty-three. The greatest rivers in Europe are the Tanais [Don], the Istros [Danube], and the Rhodanos [Rhône].

[Pontic peoples beyond the Tanais river in Asia]

(70) From the Tanais river Asia begins. The first people in it is the Sauromatians in Pontos. The people of Sauromatians is ruled by women. (71) Next to them are the Maiotians. (72) After the Maiotians the Sindians, a people. For they extend also outside the lake. Among them there are the following Greek cities: Phanagoreia city, Kepoi, Sindikos harbour, Patous. (73) After Sindikos harbour the people of the Kerketians. (74) After the Kerketians the Toretian people and the Greek city of Torikos with a harbour. (75) After the Toretians the [Pontic] Achaian people. (76) After the Achaains are the Heniochian people. (77) After the Heniochians are the Koraxian people. (78) After the Koraxians are the Kolikian people. (79) After the Kolikian the Melanchlainian [Black-cloaks] people, and a river Metasoris and the Aigipios river. (80) After the Melanchlainians, the Gelonians. (81) After these the Kolchian people, Dioskourias city, the Greek city of Gyenos (?), the Gyenos river, the Xerobios river, the Chobos river, the Charieis river, the Phasis [Rioni] river, and the Greek city of Phasis. The voyage upriver is one hundred and eighty stadium-lengths to Aia (?), a large barbarian city, where Medeia came from. Here is the Ris river, the Isis river, the Leston [Pirate] river, and the Apsaros river. (82) After the Kolchians are the Byzerian people and Archabon river and Arion river. (83) After the Byzerians are the Ekecheirian people, the river Pordanis the Arabis river, the city of Limne, and the Greek city of Adienos. (84) After the Ekecheirians are the Becheirian people, the Becheirikos harbour, and the Greek city of Becheirias. (85) After the Becheirians are the Makrokephalians [Long-headed] people, Psoron harbour, and the Greek city of Trapezous. (86) After the Makrokephalians are the Mossynoikian people, Zephyrios harbour, the Greek city of Choirades, the island of Ares. This people inhabits the mountains. (87) After the Mossynoikians are the people of the Tibarenians. (88) After the Tibarenians are the Chalybian people, Genesintis, an enclosed harbour, the Greek city of Stameneia, and the Greek acropolis of Iasonia. (89) After the Chalybians is Assyria, a people, the river Thermodon [Terme], the Greek city of Themiskyra, the Lykastos river and Greek city, the Halys river, the Greek city of Karoussa, the Greek city of Sinope, the Greek city of Kerasous with the Ocherainos river, the Greek city of Armene with a harbour, and the Greek city of Tetrakis. (90) After Assyria is Paphlagonia, a people. In it is Stephane harbour, the Greek city of Koloussa, the Greek city of Kinolis, the Greek city of Karambis, the Greek city of Kytoros, the Greek city of Sesamos and the Parthenios river, the Greek city of Tieion and Psylla harbour and Kallichoros river. (91) After Paphlagonia is the people of the Mariandynians. Here is the Greek city of Herakleia and river Lykos and another river Hypios. (92) After the Mariandynians are Bithynian Thracians, a people, the Sangarios river, another river Artanes, the island Thynias which is inhabited by the Herakleiotians, and the river Rhebas. Then straight to the Bosporos and the previously mentioned sanctuary (Hieron) at the mouth of Pontos. After it the city of Chalkedon outside the crossing of Thrace, after which there is the Olbian gulf. The coastal voyage from the Mariandynians to the inmost recess of the Olbian gulf is three days, because Bithynian Thrace is so large. From the mouth of Pontos to the mouth of lake Maiotis the voyage is about the same as that beside Europe and Asia.

[Mysians, Phrygians, Aiolians]

(93) After Thrace is Mysia, a people. It is on the left side of the Olbian gulf as one sails out into the Kian gulf as far as Kios. Mysia is a headland. The Greek cities in it are as follows: Olbia with a harbour, Kallipolis with a harbour; the promontory of the Kian gulf; and, on the left the city of Kios and the Kios river. The coastal voyage along Mysia to Kios is one day. (94) After Mysia is Phrygia, a people, and the following Greek cities: Myrleia with the Rhyndakos river, and by it Besbikos island, and the city of Plakia. and Kyzikos on the isthmus, forming a barrier across the isthmus, and beyond the isthmus Artake. Off this is the island and city of Prokonnesos, and a second island, with good harbours, Elaphonnesos: the Prokonnesians farm it. On the mainland is the city of Priapos. Next are Parion, Lampsakos, Perkote, and Abydos. Here is the mouth of the Propontis by Sestos. (95) From here the Troad begins, with Greek cities as follows: Dardanos, Rhoiteion, Ilion twenty-five stadium-lengths away from the sea, with the river Skamandros. An island lies offshore, Tenedos, with a harbour, where Kleostratos the astronomer is from. On the mainland Sige, Achilleion. Krateres Achaion, Kolonai, Larissa, Hamaxitos and a sanctuary of Apollo, where Chryses served as priest. (96) From here it is called the Aiolian territory. The Aiolian cities in it, upon the sea, are as follows: . . . Assos (?), Gargara (?), and Antandros. And those in the interior are as follows (?): . . . Kebren, Skepsis, Neandreia, and Pityeia. The coastal voyage of Phrygia from Mysia as far as Antandros is . . . [missing text]. (97) By these places is an Aiolian island, Lesbos, with five cities as follows: Methymna, Antissa, Eresos, Pyrrha with a harbour, and Mytilene which has two harbours. Off it is an island with a city, and the name that this has is Pordoselene.

[Lydians, Carians, Lycians, Pamphylians, Cilicians, and Cypriots]

And I return again to the mainland, from where I was diverted to the islands. (98) Past Antandros and downwards from Aiolis, this territory too was previously Mysia as far as Teuthrania, but is now Lydia; the Mysians shifted to the mainland above. There are the following Greek cities in it and in Lydia: Astyra, where there is the sanctuary of Artemis (?), and Adramytteion. Next the territory of Lesbos. Beyond this is the territory of the Chians and the city of Atarneus, and below these places upon the sea are the city (?) and harbour of Pitane with the river Kaikos. After Pitane are Elaia, Gryneion, and Achaion Limen. Here the Achaians are said to have taken counsel whether to march against Telephos or to depart. Here is the city of Myrina with a harbour and Kyme with a harbour. Beyond Kyme in the interior is the Greek city of Aigai and Leukai with harbours; Smyrna, where Homer was from; Phokaia with a harbour and the Hermos river; Klazomenai with a harbour; and, Erythrai with a harbour. Off them is the island of Chios with a harbour.

I return to the mainland. There are the city of Airai (?) with a harbour; the city of Teos with a harbour; Lebedos; Kolophon in the interior; Notion with a harbour; the sanctuary of Apollo Klarios; the Kaystros river; Ephesos with a harbour; Marathesion with, back on the mainland, the Greek city of Magnesia; Anaia, Panionion, Erasistratios, Charadrous, Phokaia, Akadamis, Mykale; these places are in the territory of the Samians. In front of Mykale is Samos island, with a city and a closed harbour. This island is no smaller than Chios.

And I return to the mainland, from where I was diverted. On Mykale is the city of Priene, with two harbours, of which one closed: then the river Maiandros. The coastal voyage along Mysia and Lydia, from Astyra as far as the Maiandros river: two days and one night. (99) After Lydia is Caria, a people, and in it the following Greek cities: Herakleia; then Miletos; then Myndos with a harbour; Halikarnassos with a closed harbour and another harbour around the island, as well as a river; Kalymna island; Karyanda island, with a city and harbour (these people are Carians); the island of Kos, with a city and closed harbour. Off these places is the Kerameia gulf of Caria, and the island of Nisyros, with a harbour. I return again to the mainland. The Triopion sacred promontory; the Greek city of Knidos, and the Rhodians’ territory on the mainland; Kaunos, a Carian city with a closed harbour; and, Kragos, a promontory. Off this is Rhodes island and city, with an ancient tripolis, and the following cities: Ialysos, Lindos, and Kameiros. By Rhodes the following islands are inhabited: Chalkeia, Telos, Kasos, and Karpathos, which has three cities. The coastal voyage along Caria, from the Maiander river up to Kragos (?), which is the promontory of Caria, is two days.

I return to the mainland, from where I was diverted. (100) Past Caria is Lycia, a people. The Lycians have the following cities: Telmessos with a harbour and the river Xanthos, with a voyage upstream to the city of Xanthos (?); the city of Patera with a harbour; the city of Phellos with a harbour. Off these places is an island of the Rhodians, Megiste and the city of Limyra, to which the voyage is up the river. Then the city of Gagaia; then the Chelidoniai, a promontory with two islands; Dionysias island; and, the promontory and harbour of Siderous. Beyond this is a sanctuary of Hephaistos in the mountain, and much spontaneous fire burns from the ground and never goes out. If you proceed upward from the sea there is the city of Phaselis with a harbour, and this is a gulf; the city of Idyros; the island of Lyrnateia; Olbia; Magydos with the river Katarraktes; and, the city of Perge with a sanctuary of Artemis. The direct coastal voyage along Lycia from Caria is a day and a night. Because it is indented, the way along the land is double this. (101) After Lycia is Pamphylia, a people with the following cities: the city of Aspendos, with the voyage upstream to it along the river Eurymedon; then the city of Sylleion; another city, Side, a colony of the Kymaians with a harbour. The coastal voyage along Pamphylia from Perge is a half of a day. There are also other cities of Pamphylia: Kibyra, then Korakesion. (102) After Pamphylia is Cilicia, a people with the following cities: Selinous; the city of Charadrous with a harbour; Anemourion, a cape with a city; the city of Nagidos with an island. Towards Setos are the harbours Poseideion; Salon; Myous; the city of Kelenderis with the harbour of Aphrodisios and another harbour; the Greek city of Holmoi which has a harbour (?); Sarpedon, a deserted city and a river; the Greek city of Soloi; the city of Zephyrion; the river Pyramos and the city of Mallos, to which the voyage upstream is along the river; the trading-town of Adane with a harbour; Myriandos Phoinikon; and, Thapsakos, a river. The coastal voyage along Cilikia from the border of Pamphylia as far as the Thapsakos river is three days and two nights. From Sinope in the Pontos across the mainland and Cilicia to Soloi, the road from sea to sea is five days. (103) Off Cilicia is the island of Cyprus with the following cities: Salamis, Greek, having an enclosed winter harbour; Karpaseia; Keryneia; Lepethis of the Phoenicians; Soloi, which also has a winter harbour; Marion, Greek; and Amathous, autochthonous; all these have deserted (?) harbours. There are also other barbarian cities in the interior. And I return again onto the mainland, from where I was diverted.

[Syrians, Phoenicians, and Arabians]

(104) After Cilicia are the Syrians, a people. In Syria the Phoenician people inhabits the areas by the sea on a narrow strip less than forty stadium-lengths from the sea. In some places the width is not even ten stadium-lengths. From the Thapsakos river is Arados island and harbour, a palace of Tyre, eight stadium-lengths from shore. On the peninsula is the city of Tripolis, from Arados, Tyre, and Sidon. In it are three cities and each has its own wall circuit. There are also: a mountain, Theouprosopon (Face of God); Teros city and harbour; Berytos city and harbour; Leonton city; Porphyreion city; Sidon city with a closed harbour; and, Ornithon, a city of the Sidonians. From Leonton city to Ornithon city . . . then the city of Sarapta of the Tyrians, and the city of Tyre itself with a harbour inside the fortifications. This island, the capital of the Tyrian kingdom, is three stadium-lengths away from the mainland. Old Tyre city and a river, which flows through the middle, and a city of the Ekdippoi, and a river and Ake city, are there. Next is Belos, a city of the Tyrians, and Mount Carmel, a sanctuary of Zeus. Arados city of the Sidonians, Sykaminon city and river of the Tyrians; and, Dor, a city of the Sidonians are there. Ioppe where they say Andromeda was exposed to the sea monster; and Askalon city and palace of the Tyrians are there. Here is the border of Koile Syria. The coastal voyage along Koile Syria from the river Thapsakos to Askalon is two thousand and seven hundred. (105) After Syria are the Arabs, a people that are nomads on horseback with flocks of all kinds, including sheep, goats, cows, mules, and of course horses and camels. They have incense and fragrant myrrh and many other fragrances which are traded to merchants. Off Egypt stretches the so-called Petraian Arabia which has the gulf of Ailanites. . . [fragmentary and missing section].


(106) After Arabia is the people of Egypt, with the following cities: the city of Pelousion with a harbour and palace. This is where the first mouth of the Nile river is, the Pelousiac mouth, marking the border with Arabia. Second is the Tanitic mouth, where there is a royal city. Third is the Mendesian mouth and the city of Mendes. Fourth is the Phatnitic mouth. Fifth is the Sebennytic mouth and the city of Sebennytos and the lake Boutos, where there is a city and palace. Sixth the Bolbitic mouth and the royal city. Seventh is the Kanopic mouth and Thonis city with a harbour. After this a lake called Mareotis (?) . . . the Pelousiac. And again it splits in two; the Sebennytic partly to the Mendesian, partly to the sea. From the Mendesian to the Phatnitic mouth; from the Pelousiac to the Tanitic mouth; from the Kanopic to the Sebennytic lake; and, the Bolbitinic flows from the lake. There are many lakes and swamps by the sea of Egypt. Egypt is similar in form to an axe, for it is wide by the sea, narrower inland, narrowest by Memphis. Then it gets wider going inland from Memphis, and widest up above. The part of Egypt above Memphis is three times the size of the part along the sea. The Kanopic mouth divides Asia from Libya. The coastal voyage along Egypt from the Pelousiac mouth is one thousand, three hundred stadium-lengths. The circumnavigation of Asia, for it has a closed perimeter, calculating in the same way as is written for Europe, is eighty-seven days. At the Kanopic mouth is a desert island named Kanopos and a point in it of Menelaus, the memorial of his helmsman from Troy, whose name was Kanopos. The Egyptians and the locals of these places both say that Pelousion reaches to Kasion and Kanopos reaches to the island where the helmsman’s memorial is.


(107) Libya begins at the Kanopic mouth of the Nile. The Adyrmachidians are a people of the Libyans. From Thonis the sail to Pharos desert island is one hundred and fifty stadium-lengths. There are many harbours in it, and it is watered with water from the Mareia lake, which is drinkable. It is a brief sail upstream to the lake from Pharos. There is also Cherronesos with a harbour. The coastal voyage is two hundred stadium-lengths. After Cherronesos is the Plinthinic gulf. The mouth of the Plinthinic gulf to Leuke Akte is a day and a night’s sail. Into the furthest recess of the Plinthinic gulf is twice that. It is settled round about. From Leuke Akte to Laodamanteion harbour is half a day’s sail. From Laodamantion harbour to Paraitonion harbour is half a day’s sail. The city of Apis is next. Until this point the Egyptians rule. (108) After Apis is a people of the Libyans, the Marmaridians, until Hesperides. From Apis to the Tyndarian lookouts is a day’s sail. And from the Tyndarian lookouts to Plynon harbour is a day’s sail. From Plynon to large Petras is half a day’s sail. From Petras to Menelaon a day’s sail. From Menelaon to Kyrthaneion a day’s sail. From Kyrthaneion to Antipyrgos harbour half a day’s sail. From Antipyrgos to small Petras, a harbour, half a day’s sail. On from small Petras is the Azirides Cherronesoi, a harbour, which belongs to the territory of the Kyrenaians, a day’s sail. Between Petras and Cherronesoi are the islands Aedonia and Plateiaia, which have anchorages beneath them. From here on the silphion [silphium or laserwort] begins to grow in fields. They produce it from Cherronesoi across the interior to Hesperides a full one thousand and five hundred stadium-lengths along the shore. Aphrodisios island, an anchorage and Naustathmos a harbour are here. The voyage from Cherronesoi is one day. From Naustathmos to the harbour of Kyrene one hundred stadium-lengths. From the harbour to Kyrene eighty stadium-lengths. Kyrene is inland. These are the fully protected harbours. There are other refuge places under islets and anchorages and many beaches in the territory in between. From the harbour of Kyrene to the harbour by Barka is five hundred stadium-lengths. The city of the Barkaians is one hundred stadium-lengths away from the sea. From the harbour by Barka to Hesperides is six hundred and twenty stadium-lengths. From Kyrene are harbours and the following places split from Hesperides: the gulf of Phykos and inland here is the garden of the Hesperides. This place is eighteen fathoms deep, steep all around and with no descent. It is not less than two stadium-lengths on all sides, width and length. This is shadowed by trees entangled in each other, as thickly as possible. The trees are lotus, fruit-trees of all kinds including apple, pomegranate, pear, strawberry trees, mulberry, vine, myrtle, bay-trees, ivy, olive-trees, wild olive-trees, almond-trees, and chestnut-trees. Among the places which have not been mentioned are: near the garden, Ampelos; Apis, which is about thirty stadium-lengths; Cherronesos with many gardens; Zenertis; Taucheira; Bakalou (?) village; the city of Hesperides with a harbour and the Enchelos (?) river by the city. These are the villages from Cherronesoi of the Azirides, some of the Kyrenaians, some of the Barkaians, as far as Hesperides. (109) After Hesperides is a large gulf named Syrtis, reckoning roughly 5000 stadium-lengths. Here the width from Hesperides to Neapolis sailing across is three days and nights. The Nasamonians live around here, a Libyan people, as far as the inmost part on the left. Next to them are the Makians, a Libyan people, besides Syrtis until the mouth of Syrtis. Sailing into Syrtis from Hesperides are the Herakleia Thines. Next to them is Drepanon, the three Pontiai islands and the so-called Leukai. In the deepest part of Syrtis are the altars of the Philainoi, a port, the grove of Ammon. From here are the Makians who live by Syrtis and winter on the sea. They pen in their flocks then, leaving the water in summer, they drive their flocks up into the interior with them. After Syrtis is a fair locality and city called Kinyps. It is deserted. It is eighty stadium-lengths away from Neapolis into the Syrtis. Beneath it are the river Kinyps and an island toward the river. The depth of Syrtis is three days and nights sail in from Hesperides to the altars of the Philainoi in the inmost part of the gulf, and the width from Kinyps river to the Leukai islands a sail of four days and nights. (110) The parts outside Syrtis are inhabited by the Libyan Lotophagias [Lotus-eaters], a people, up to the mouth of the other Syrtis. They use the lotus for food and drink. From Neapolis of the Carthaginian territory to Gaphara city it is a day’s sail from Neapolis. From Gaphara to the city of Abrotonon with a harbour, a one day sail. From Abrotonon to the city of Taricheia with a harbour is a one day sail. After these is an island named Taricheia, three hundred stadium-lengths long, a little less in width, and about three stadium-lengths away from the mainland. On this island a lotus grows which they eat and another lotus grows from which they make wine. The fruit of the lotus is the size of a mimaikylos [fruit of the strawberry tree, 1-2 cm]. They also make much oil from wild olive. The island bears much fruit, wheat and barley; the island has good soil. The voyage from Taricheia to the island is one day. After the island is the city of Gichthis; from the island to Gichthis is a half-day’s sail. From Gichthis to Makomas is a day’s sail; there is a desert island beside it. After this is Kerkinitis island and city and off it Thapsos. The voyage from here to Thapsos is a day and a half. From Thapsos to Leptis Minor and from Leptis to Adrymeton. From Thapsos and Leptis Minor and Adrymeton is a large gulf in which is the small Syrtis, called Kerkinitis, much more difficult and harder to navigate than the other Syrtis, with a circumference of two thousand stadium-lengths. In this Syrtis was the island and lake called Tritonis and the river Triton, hence the sanctuary of Athena Tritonis. The lake has a small mouth with an island against it, and when the tide is low sometimes the lake seems not to have an entry. This lake is large with a circumference of about one thousand stadium-lengths. The Gyzantian Libyans live around it, a people with a city to the west. For these Gyzantian Libyans are said to be all blond and handsome. And this territory is the best and most fertile, with huge flocks. After this Syrtis comes Neapolis. The coastal voyage from Adrumeton to Neapolis is one day. After Neapolis is the Hermaian promontory and city. The coastal voyage from Neapolis to Hermaia is a day and a half. From Neapolis is an isthmus of one hundred and eighty stadium-lengths by foot to the other sea, the one toward Carthage. There is a headland across which is the isthmus. The coastal voyage from the river there to Carthage is half a day. The territory of the Carthaginians is in a gulf.

[Carthaginians and other peoples in northern Africa]

(111) After the isthmus, Carthage is a city of the Phoenicians with a harbour. The coastal voyage from Hermaia to Carthage is half a day. There are islands off the Hermaian promontory, Pontia and Kosyros, and it is a day’s sail from Hermaia to Kosyros. East of the Hermaian promontory are three small islands settled by the Carthaginians, the city of Melite with a harbour, Gaulos with a city, and Lampas, which has two or three towers. From Kosyros to Cape Lilybaion of Sicily is a day’s sail. After Carthage is Ityke city and harbour. The coastal voyage from Carthage to Ityke is one day. From Ityke the promontory of Hippo and city of Hippoi is there, and a lake by it and island in the lake, and the following cities around the lake: Psegas city; off it the many Naxikai islands; Pithekousai with a harbour; and across from them an island with a city Euboia on the island; the city of Thapsa with a harbour; Kaukakis city with a harbour; Sida city; Iol promontory, city, and harbour; Ebdomos city with harbour; Akion island, city with a harbour by it; and, Psamathos island, city, harbour, and gulf. In the gulf is Bartas island with a harbour; Chalka city in the river; Arulon city; Mes city and harbour; Sige city in the river and before the river the island Akra, a large city with a harbour; Akros the city and the gulf in it; a desert island named Drinaupa; the Pillar of Herakles in Libya; the Abilyke headland; and, a city in the river and opposite it the Gadeira islands. From Carthage with the best sailing the coastal voyage to here is seven days and nights. These are islands on the way toward Europe, and one of them has a city. The Pillars of Herakles are near them, the Libyan one low, the European one high. These are promontories opposite one another, a day’s sail apart. The coastal voyage along Libya from the Canopic mouth in Egypt to the Pillars of Herakles, using the same calculation as has been written for Asia and Europe, sailing a curved course following the gulfs is seventy-four days. All the towns or trading posts listed, in Libya from the Syrtis by the Hesperides to the Pillar of Herakles in Libya, are Carthaginian.


(112) After the Pillars of Herakles sailing outwards with Libya on the left, there is a large gulf until the Hermaian promontory. For there is a Hermaian promontory here as well. At the middle of the gulf is the place of the Pontians and a city. Around the city lies a large lake, and in this lake are many islands. Around the lake grow reed and marsh grass and tufted reed and rushes. The Meleagrid birds are here and nowhere else, unless someone exports them. The name of the lake is Kephesias, and of the gulf Kotes. It is between the Pillars of Herakles and the Hermaian promontory. From the Hermaian promontory large shoals stretch indeed from Libya to Europe, not protruding from the sea; in some places it washes over them. The shoal reaches to the other promontory of Europe opposite, namely the Sacred Promontory. After the Hermaian promontory is the river Anides, which flows out into a large lake. After Anides is another large river, Lixos, and a Phoenician city Lixos, and another city of the Libyans beyond the river, with a harbour. After Lixos, Krathis river and harbour and a city of the Phoenicians named Thymiateria. After Thymiateria is the voyage to the Soloeis promontory, which extends far out to sea. Of all Libya this is the most famous and holiest territory. At the tip of the promontory is a grand altar of Poseidon. Carved on the altar are men, women, lions, dolphins. They say Daidalos made it. From Soloeis promontory is a river named Lixos. Around this river dwell the sacred Ethiopians. Off here is an island named Kerne. The coastal voyage from the Pillars of Herakles to the Hermaian promontory is two days. From the Hermaian promontory to Soloeis promontory is three days. From Soloeis to Kerne is seven days. All this coastal voyage then from the Pillars of Herakles to Kerne island is twelve days. Beyond Kerne it is no longer navigable because of shallow seas and clay and seaweed. The seaweed is a hand’s width and sharp above, so it pricks. The merchants are Phoenicians; when they come to Kerne island they anchor their merchant ships offshore and make shelters for themselves on Kerne. Unloading the cargo they bring it to the mainland in small boats. The Ethiopians are on the mainland and it is the Ethiopians for whom the goods are disposed. They sell in exchange for skins of deer and lion and leopard and elephant skin and teeth and tame flocks. The Ethiopians used mottled hides for ornament and ivory cups and goblets, and their women wear ivory bracelets as ornaments, and they use ivory ornaments on their horses.

These Ethiopians are the tallest of all people we know, taller than four cubits (185 cm) and some of them are five cubits (230 cm), bearded, long-haired and the most handsomee of all people. They are ruled by whichever of them is the tallest. They are horse-drivers and javelin-throwers and bowmen who use fire-hardened arrows. The Phoenician merchants import to them myrrh, Egyptian stone, other mined stones, Attic pottery and earth. For figurines are the main merchandise at the Pitcher festival. These Ethiopians are meat-eaters and milk-drinkers. They drink a lot of wine from vineyards, which the Phoenicians bring. They have a large city to which the Phoenician merchants sail. Some say that these Ethiopians are settled continuously from there to Egypt and this sea is continuous, and Libya is its coast.

[Final comparative measurements]

(113) Transect across the sea from Europe to Asia, more or less direct in a straight line. The transect begins from Euripos off Chalkis, and to Geraistos it is 850 stadium-lengths. From Geraistos to the Paionion on Andros, 80 stadium-lengths. From Andros to the Aulon, 280 stadium-lengths. Across the Aulon to Tenos, 12 stadium-lengths. From this island to the promontory off Rhenaia, 150 stadium-lengths. The voyage across to Rhenaia, 40 stadium-lengths. Rhenaia itself and the crossing to Mykonos, 60 stadium-lengths. From Mykonos the crossing to the Melantian Skopeloi, a little less than a before-lunch sail, 40 stadium-lengths. Mykonos itself 100 stadium-lengths. From the Melantian Rocks, the crossing to Ikaros before lunchtime. Ikaros itself is 300 stadium-lengths long, and from Ikaros, the voyage to Samos takes to lunchtime; Samos itself is 200 stadium-lengths. From Samos to Mykale, the crossing is 17 stadium-lengths. The whole, if they sail out of Samos before breakfast, 2,370 stadium-lengths, not counting the voyage . . . [some words are missing]. Another transect, straight and direct. From Malea (?) to Kythera, 130 stadium-lengths. The length of Kythera itself, 200 stadium-lengths. To Aigila, a voyage before lunchtime. Length of Aigila itself, 50 stadium-lengths. From Aigila to Crete, a voyage before lunchtime. Length of Crete, 2,500 stadium-lengths. From Crete to Karpathos, 1100 stadium-lengths. Length of Karpathos, 100 stadium-lengths. To Rhodes from Karpathos, a voyage of 100 stadium-lengths. Length of Rhodes, 600 stadium-lengths. Prom Rhodes to Asia, 100 stadium-lengths. The transect of the voyage across is 4,100 stadium-lengths. (114) Size of islands: biggest is Sardinia, second Sicily, third Crete, fourth Cyprus, fifth Euboia, sixth Kyrnos, seventh Lesbos, eight Rhodes, ninth Chios, tenth Samos, eleventh Kerkyra, twelfth Kasos, thirteenth Kephalenia, fourteenth Naxos, fifteenth Kos, sixteenth Zakynthos, seventeenth Lemnos, eighteenth Aigina, nineteenth Imbros, twentieth Thasos.

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