Various locations KYRINAIKI (Ancient country) LIBYA - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Various locations (12)

Ancient place-names

Lathon

EVESPERIDES (Ancient city) KYRINAIKI
  Lathon (Lathon, Strab. xvii. p. 836, where the vulgar reading is Ladon; comp. xiv. p. 647, where he calls it Lethaios; Ptol. iv. 4. § 4; Lethon, Ptol. Euerg. ap Ath. ii. p. 71; Fluvius Lethon, Plin. v. 5; Solin. 27; Lethes Amnis, Lucan ix.355), a river of the Hesperidae or Hesperitae, in Cyrenaica. It rose in the Herculis Arenae, and fell into the sea a little N. of the city of Hesperides or Berenice: Strabo connects it with the harbour of the city (limen Hesperidon: that there is not the slightest reason for altering the reading, as Groskurd and others do, into limne, will presently appear); and Scylax (p. 110, Gronov.) mentions the river, which he calls Ecceius (Ekkeios), as in close proximity with the city and habour of Hesperides. Pliny expressly states that the river was not far from the city, and places on or near it a sacred grove, which was supposed to represent the Gardens of the Hesperides (Plin. v. 5: nec procul ante oppidum fluvius Lethon, lucus sacer, ubi Hesperidum horti memorantur). Athenaeus quotes from a work of Ptolemy Euergetes praises of its fine pike and eels, somewhat inconsistent, especially in the mouth of a luxurious king of Egypt, with the mythical sound of the name. That name is, in fact, plain Doric Greek, descriptive of the character of the river, like our English Mole. So well does it deserve the name, that it escaped the notice of commentators and geographers, till it was discovered by Beechey, as it still flows concealed from such scholars as depend on vague guesses in place of an accurate knowledge of the localities. Thus the laborious, but often most inaccurate, compiler Forbiger, while taking on himself to correct Strabo's exact account, tells us that the river and lake (Strabo's harbour) have now entirely vanished ; and yet, a few lines down, he refers to a passage of Beechey's work within a very few pages of the place where the river itself is actually described! (Forbiger, Handbuch der alten Geographie, vol. ii. p. 828, note.)
  The researches made in Beechey's expedition give the following results: - East of the headland on which stands the ruins of Hesperides or Berenice (now Bengazi) is a small lake, which communicates with the harbour of the city, and has its water of course salt. The water of the lake varies greatly in quantity, according to the season of the year; and is nearly dried up in summer. There are strong grounds to believe that its waters were more abundant, and its communication with the harbour more perfect, in ancient times than at present. On the margin of the lake is a spot of rising ground, nearly insulated in winter, on which are the remains of ancient buildings. East of this lake again, and only a few yards from its margin, there gushes forth an abundant spring of fresh water, which empties itfelf into the lake, running along a channel of inconsiderable breadth, bordered with reeds and rushes, and might be mistaken by a common observer for an inroad of the lake into the sandy soil which bounds it. Moreover, this is the only stream which empties itself into the lake; and indeed the only one found on that part of the coast of Cyrenaica. Now, even without searching further, it is evident how well all this answers to the description of Strabo (xvii. p. 836) : - There is a promontory called Pseudopenias, on which Berenice is situated, beside a certain Lake of Tritonis (para limnen tina Tritoniada), in which there is generally (malista) a little island, and a temple of Aphrodite upon it: but there is (or it is) also the Harbour of Hesperides, and the river Lathon falls into it. It is now evident how much the sense of the description would be impaired by reading limne for limen in the last clause; and it matters but little whether Strabo speaks of the river as falling into the harbour because it fell into the lake which communicated with the harbour, or whether he means that the lake, which he calls that of Tritonis, was actually the harbour (that is, an inner harbour) of the city. But the little stream which falls into the lake is not the only representative of the river Lathon. Further to the east, in one of the subterranean caves which abound in the neighbourhood of Bengazi, Beechy found a large body of fresh water, losing itself in the bowels of tile earth; and the Bey of Bengazi affirmed that he had tracked its subterraneous course till he doubted the safety of proceeding further, and that he had found it as much as 30 feet deep. That the stream thus lost in the earth is the same which reappears in the spring on the margin of the lake, is extremely probable; but whether it be so in fact, or not, we can hardly doubt that the ancient Greeks would imagine the connection to exist. (Beechey, Proceedings, &c. pp. 326, foll.; Barth, Wanderungen, &c. 387.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Pentapolis

KYRINAIKI (Ancient country) LIBYA
Pentapolis came to be used of the five cities Apollonia, Cyrene, Ptolemais, Taucheira, and Berenice

Tritonis Lake

Augila oasis

   Augila (ta Augila: Eth. Augilitai, Steph. B.; Augilai, Ptol.; Augilae or Augylae, Mela and Plin.: Aujelah), an oasis in the desert of Barca, in the region of Cyrenaica, in N. Africa, about 3 1/2° S. of Cyrene. Herodotus mentions it as one of the oases formed by salt hills (olonoi halos), which he places at intervals of 10 days' journey along the ridge of sand which he supposes to form the N. margin of the Great Desert. His distance of 10 days' W. of the oasis of Ammon is confirmed by Hornemann, who made the journey with great speed in 9 days; but the time usually taken by the caravans is 13 days. In the time of Herodotus the oasis belonged to the Nasamones who then dwelt along the shore from Egypt to the Great Syrtis; and who, in the summer time, left their flocks on the coast, and migrated to Augila to gather the dates with which it abounded. (Herod. iv. 172. 182: in the latter passage some MSS. have Aigila.) It was not, however, uninhabited at other seasons, for Herodotus expressly says, kai anthropoi peri auton oikeousi. Mela and Pliny, in abridging the statement of Herodotus, have transferred to the Augilae (by a carelessness which is evident on comparison) what he says of the Nasamones. (Mela, i. 4, 8; Plin. v. 4, 8.) They place them next to the Garamantes, at a distance of 12 days' journey. (Plin.) Ptolemy (iv. 5. § 30) mentions the Augilae and the Nasamones together, in such a manner as to lead to the inference that the Nasamones, when driven back from the coast by the Greek colonists, had made the oasis of Augila their chief abode. Stephanus Byzantinus calls Augila a city.
  The oasis, which still retains its ancient name, forms one of the chief stations on the caravan route from Cairo to Fezzan. It is placed by Rennell in 30° 3' N. lat. and 22° 46' E. long., 180 miles SE. of Barca, 180 W. by N. of Siwah (the Ammonium), and 426 E. by N. of Mourzouk. Later authorities place Aujilah (the village) in 29° 15' N. lat. and 21° 55' E. long. It consists of three oases, that of Aujilah, properly so called, and those of Jalloo (Pacho: Mojabra, Hornemann) and Leshkerrehi, a little E. and NE. of the former, containing several villages, the chief of which is called Aujilah, and supporting a population of 9000 or 10,000. Each of these oases is a small hill (the kolonos of Herodotus), covered with a forest of palm-trees, and rising out of an unbroken plain of red sand, at the S. foot of the mountain range on the S. of Cyrenaica. The sands around the oasis are impregnated with salts of soda. They are connected with the N. coast by a series of smaller oases. Augila is still famous for the palm-trees mentioned by Herodotus and by the Arabian geographer Abulfeda. An interesting parallel to Herodotus's story of the gathering of the date harvest by the Nasamones occurs in the case of a similar oasis further to the E., the dates of which are gathered by the people of Derna on the coast.
  According to Procopius (Aedif. vi. 1), there were temples in the oasis, which Justinian converted into Christian churches. There are still some traces of ruins to be seen.
(Rennell, Geography of Herodotus, vol. ii. pp. 209, 212, 213, 271; Hornemann, Journal of Travels from Cairo to Mourzouk; Heeren, Researches, &c., African Nations, vol. i. p. 213; Pacho, Voyage dans la Marmarique, p. 272.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Automala

  Automala (Automala, Strab. ii. p. 123; Automalax, Ptol. iv. 4. § 3; Automalaka, Steph. B., Eth. Automalakites and Automalakeus; Automalai, Diod. Sic. xx. 41), a border fortress of Cyrenaica, on the extreme W. frontier, at the very bottom of the Great Syrtis, E. of the Altars of the Philaeni; very probably the Anabucis of the Antonine Itinerary, 25 M. P. E. of Banadedari (the Arae Philaenorum, p. 65). Modern travellers have discovered no vestige of the place. It is mentioned by Diodorus, in connection with the difficult march of Ophellas, to support Agathocles in the Carthaginian territory; and in its neighbourhood was a cave, said to have been the abode of the child-murdering queen Lamia. (Diod. l. c.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Velpi Montes

(ta Ouelpa ore, Ptol. iv. 4. § 8), a range of mountains on the W. borders of Cyrenaica, in which were the sources of the river Lathon.

Giglius mountain

  Giglius (to Giglion oros, vulgo GigioW), a mountain in the interior of Cyrenaica. (Ptol. iv. 3. § 20.)

Triton river

SYRTIKE (Ancient area) LIBYA
  Triton (ho Triton potamos, Ptol. iv. 3. § 19, &c.), a river of Libya, forming, according to Ptolemy, the boundary of the Regio Syrtica towards the W. It rose in Mount Vasalaetus, and, flowing in a northerly direction, passed through three lakes, the Libya Palus, the lake Pallas, and the lake Tritonitis (he Tritonitis limne, Ib.); after which it fell into the sea in the innermost part of the Syrtis Minor between Macmada and Tacape, but nearer to the latter.
  The lake Tritonitis of Ptolemy is called, however, by other writers Tritonis (he Tritonis limne, Herod. iv. 179). Herodotus seems to confound it with the Lesser Syrtis itself; but Scylax (p. 49), who gives it a circumference of 1000 stadia, describes it as connected with the Syrtis by a narrow opening, and as surrounding a small island,--that called by Herodotus (Ib. 178) Phla (Phlha), which is also mentioned by Strabo (xvii. p. 836), as containing a temple of Aphrodite, and by Dionysius. (Perieg. 267.) This lake Tritonis is undoubtedly the. present Schibkah-el-Lovdjah, of which, according to Shaw (Travels, i. p. 237), the other two lakes are merely parts; whilst the river Triton is the present El-Hammah. This river, indeed, is no longer connected with the lake (Shaw, Ib.); a circumstance, however, which affords no essential ground for doubting the identity of the two streams; since in those regions even larger rivers are sometimes compelled by the quicksands to alter their course. (Cf. Ritter, Erdkunde, i. p. 1017). Scylax (l. c.) mentions also.another island called Tritonos (Tritonos) in the Syrtis Minor, which last itself is, according to him, only part of a large Sinus Tritonites (Tritonites kolpos).
  Some writers confound the lake Tritonis with the lake of the Hesperides, and seek it in other districts of Libya; sometimes in Mauretania, in the neighbourhood of Mount Atlas and the Atlantic Ocean, sometimes in Cyrenaica near Berenice and the river Lathon or Lethon. The latter hypothesis is adopted by Lucan (ix. 346, seq.), the former by Diodorus Siculus (iii. 53), who also attributes to it an island inhabited by the Amazons.. But Strabo (l. c.) especially distinguishes the lake of the Hesperides from the lake Tritonis.
  With this lake is connected the question of the epithet Tritogeneia, applied to Pallas as early as the days of Homer and Hesiod. But though the Libyan river and lake were much renowned in ancient times (cf. Aeschyl. Eum. 293; Eurip. Ion, 872, seq.; Pind. Pyth. iv.. 36, &c.), and the application of the name of Pallas to the lake connected with the Tritonis seems to point to these African waters as having given origin to the epithet, it is nevertheless most probable that the brook Triton near Alalcomenae in Boeotia has the best pretensions to that distinction. (Cf. Pausan. ix. 33. § 5; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 109,. iv. 1315; Muller, Orchomenos, p. 355; Leake, Northern Greece vol. ii. p. 136, seq.; Kruse, Hellas, vol. ii. pt. 1 p. 475.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Capes

Boreum

KYRINAIKI (Ancient country) LIBYA
  Boreum, Borion (Boreion akron), (Ras Teyonas), a promontory on the W. coast of Cyrenaica, forming the E. headland of the Greater Syrtis, and the W. boundary of the Cyrenaic Pentapolis, being a little SW. of Hesperides or Berenice. (Strab. xvii. p. 836; Plin. v. 4.; Ptol. iv. 4. § 3; Stadiasm. p. 447, where the error of 700 for 70 is obvious; Barth, Wanderungen, &c. p. 365). Adjacent to the promontory was a small port; but there was a much more considerable sea-port town of the same name, further S., which was inhabited by a great number of Jews, who are said to have ascribed their temple in this place to Solomon. Justinian converted the temple into a Christian church, compelled the Jews to embrace Christianity, and fortified the place, as an important post against the attacks of the barbarians (Itin. Ant. p. 66; Tab. Peut.; Stadiasm. l. c.; Procop. Aedif. vi. 2). The exact position of this southern Boreum is difficult to determine. (Barth, l. c. Syrtes.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Zeitha

SYRTIKE (Ancient area) LIBYA

Trierum

Trierum (Trieron or Trieron akron, Ptol. iv. 3. § 13), a headland of the Regio Syrtica in Africa, Propria. Ritter (Erdk. i. p. 928) identifies it with the promontory of Cephalae mentioned by Strabo p. 836), the present Cape Cefalo or Mesurata. Ptolemy indeed mentions this as a separate and adjoining promontory; but as Cefalo still exhibits three points, it is possible that the ancient names may be connected, and refer only to this one cape. (See Blaquiere, Letters from the Mediterranean, i. p. 18; Della Cella, Viaggio, p. 61.)

Historical place-names

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