Of the Main Veneti – Polybius


Polybius 2.17

“The Etruscans were the oldest inhabitants of this plain at the same period that they possessed also the Phlegraean plain in the neighborhood of Capua and Nola, which, accessible and well known as it is to many, has such a reputation for fertility.  Those therefore who would know something of the dominion of the Etruscans should not look at the country where they now inhabit but at these plains and the resources they drew thence.  The Celts being close neighbors of the Etruscans and associating much with them, cast covetous eyes on their beautiful untry, and on small pretext, suddenly attacked them with a a large army and, expelling them from the plain of the Po, occupied it themselves.  The first settlers at the eastern extremity, near the source of the Po, were the Laevi and Lebecii, after them the Insubres, the largest tribe of all, and next these, on the banks of the river, the Cenomani.  The part of the plain near the Adriatic had never ceased to be in the possession of another very ancient tribe called the Veneti, differing slightly from the Gauls in customs and costume and speaking another language.  About this people the tragic poets tell many marvelous stories.  On the other bank of the Po, by the Apennines, the first settlers beginning from the west were the Anares and next them the Boii.  Next the latter, towards the Adriatic, were the Lingones and lastly, near the sea the Senones.”

On the Adriatic Veneti

We’ve been asked to produce a more complete list of sources regarding the Adriatic Veneti than the few references from Polybius that we gave here.  We oblige (and incorporate the prior posting) by producing, as far as we know, all information that is out there on the Adriatic Veneti.

Most of these come from from Perseus except for (1) Polybius 2,17 which we show in two translations, the Dindorf from Perseus but also the W.R. Paton since that chapter has some specific ethnographic information that is relevant to the question of the language of the Veneti (that is the chapter we have previously shown) so two translations may be a better deal and (2) Strabo where we use Perseus and Horace Leonard Jones (Loeb).  We also provide these two Polybius translations to demonstrate how different these translations, and in fact all translations, may be and how much is left to the eye and mind of the translator.

The Fragments of Greek Historians are from Jacoby (who else?) as given by Brill.  We included the original Latin along with the translations here (but not the Brill commentary which you can look up yourself).

We also include Pliny’s entire discussion of “where does amber come from?” – a topic we previously briefly touched upon here.  That chapter brings together the Veneti (Adriatic), Pannonia, the Germans, “glæsum” and the island (ostrów?) of “Austeravia“.

As a side note, it is interesting how the Veneti along with the Boii and the Senones (from Sienna) appear in this early Roman historiography as Romans’ northern neighbors.  Tribes with similar names we learn of in later Roman history as well, the Sarmatian Veneti, the Boii in Bohemia and the Suevi Semnones.

Finally, note that for Strabo we do include Book 1, Chapter 3 as it talks of the Veneti traveling from Paphlagonia to the Adriatic but we do not include Book 3, chapter 2 as that seems to relate solely to the Paphlagonian Veneti in Paphlagonia – a topic for when we discuss the Paphlagonian Veneti.

In any event, hold on to your horses – this one is a long one.



Histories Book 2 Chapter 17 

(W.R. Paton)

“The Etruscans were the oldest inhabitants of this plain at the same period that they possessed also the Phlegraean plain in the neighborhood of Capua and Nola, which, accessible and well known as it is to many, has such a reputation for fertility.  Those therefore who would know something of the dominion of the Etruscans should not look at the country where they now inhabit but at these plains and the resources they drew thence.  The Celts being close neighbors of the Etruscans and associating much with them, cast covetous eyes on their beautiful untry, and on small pretext, suddenly attacked them with a a large army and, expelling them from the plain of the Po, occupied it themselves.  The first settlers at the eastern extremity, near the source of the Po, were the Laevi and Lebecii, after them the Insubres, the largest tribe of all, and next these, on the banks of the river, the Cenomani.  The part of the plain near the Adriatic had never ceased to be in the possession of another very ancient tribe called the Veneti, differing slightly from the Gauls in customs and costume and speaking another language.  About this people the tragic poets tell many marvelous stories.  On the other bank of the Po, by the Apennines, the first settlers beginning from the west were the Anares and next them the Boii.  Next the latter, towards the Adriatic, were the Lingones and lastly, near the sea the Senones.  These are the names of the principal tribes that settled in the district.”


“They lived in unwalled villages, without any superfluous furniture; for as they slept on beds of leaves and fed on meat and were exclusively occupied with war and agriculture, their lives were very simple, and they had no knowledge whatever of any art or science.  Their possessions of cattle and gold, because these were the only things they could carry about with them everywhere according to circumstances and shift where they chose.   They treated comradeship as of the greatest importance, those among them being the most feared and most powerful who were thought to have the largest number of attendants and associates.”


Histories Book 2 Chapter 17 

(Theodorus Buettner-Wobst edition – after L. Dindorf)

“To continue my description. These plains were anciently inhabited by Etruscans, at the same period as what are called the Phlegraean plains round Capua and Nola; which latter, however, have enjoyed the highest reputation, because they lay in a great many people’s way and so got known. In speaking then of the history of the Etruscan Empire, we should not refer to the district occupied by them at the present time, but to these northern plains, and to what they did when they inhabited them. Their chief intercourse was with the Celts, because they occupied the adjoining districts; who, envying the beauty of their lands, seized some slight pretext to gather a great host and expel the Etruscans from the valley of the Padus, which they at once took possession of themselves. First, the country near the source of the Padus was occupied by the Laevi and Lebecii; after them the Insubres settled in the country, the largest tribe of all; and next them, along the bank of the river, the CenomaniBut the district along the shore of the Adriatic was held by another very ancient tribe called Venĕti, in customs and dress nearly allied to Celts, but using quite a different language, about whom the tragic poets have written a great many wonderful tales. South of the Padus, in the Apennine district, first beginning from the west, the Ananes, and next them the Boii settled. Next them, on the coast of the Adriatic, the Lingones; and south of these, still on the sea-coast, the Senones. These are the most important tribes that took possession of this part of the country.”

“They [all?] lived in open villages, and without any permanent buildings. As they made their beds of straw or leaves, and fed on meat, and followed no pursuits but those of war and agriculture, they lived simple lives without being acquainted with any science or art whatever. Each man’s property, moreover, consisted in cattle and gold; as they were the only things that could be easily carried with them, when they wandered from place to place, and changed their dwelling as their fancy directed. They made a great point, however, of friendship: for the man who had the largest number of clients or companions in his wanderings, was looked upon as the most formidable and powerful member of the tribe.”


Histories Book 2 Chapter 18

(Theodorus Buettner-Wobst edition – after L. Dindorf)

[B.C. 360-330 – Gallic invasion of Italy]

“In the early times of their [Gauls/Celts] settlement they did not merely subdue the territory which they occupied, but rendered also many of the neighbouring peoples subject to them, whom they overawed by their audacity. Some time afterwards they conquered the Romans in battle, and pursuing the flying legions, in three days after the battle occupied Rome itself with the exception of the Capitol.”

“But a circumstance intervened which recalled them home, an invasion, that is to say, of their territory by the Venĕti. [see here 🙂]  Accordingly they made terms with the Romans, handed back the city, and returned to their own land; and subsequently were occupied with domestic wars. Some of the tribes, also, who dwelt on the Alps, comparing their own barren districts with the rich territory occupied by the others, were continually making raids upon them, and collecting their force to attack them.”


“This gave the Romans time to recover their strength, and to come to terms with the people of Latium.  When, thirty years after the capture of the city, the Celts came again as far as Alba, the Romans were taken by surprise; and having had no intelligence of the intended invasion, nor time to collect the forces of the Socii, did not venture to give them battle.”

“But when another invasion in great force took place twelve years later, they did get previous intelligence of it; and, having mustered their allies, sallied forth to meet them with great spirit, being eager to engage them and fight a decisive battle.”

“But the Gauls were dismayed at their approach; and, being besides weakened by internal feuds, retreated homewards as soon as night fell, with all the appearance of a regular flight.”

“After this alarm they kept quiet for thirteen years; at the end of which period, seeing that the power of the Romans was growing formidable, they made a peace and a definite treaty with them.”


Histories Book 2 Chapter 23

(Theodorus Buettner-Wobst edition – after L. Dindorf)

[B.C. 225 – invasion of Italy by the Gaesatian Gauls]

The Gaesatae [Gaesatian Gauls], then, having collected their forces, crossed the Alps and descended into the valley of the Padus with a formidable army, furnished with a variety of armour, in the eighth year after the distribution of the lands of Picenum.  The Insubres and Boii remained loyal to the agreement they had made with them: but the Venĕti and Cenomani being induced by embassies from Rome to take the Roman side, the Celtic kings were obliged to leave a portion of their forces behind, to guard against an invasion of their territory by those tribes. They themselves, with their main army, consisting of one hundred and fifty thousand foot, and twenty thousand horse and chariots, struck camp and started on their march, which was to be through Etruria, in high spirits.  As soon as it was known at Rome that the Celts had crossed the Alps, one of the Consuls, Lucius Aemilius Papus, was sent with an army to Ariminum to guard against the passage of the enemy, and one of the Praetors into Etruria: for the other Consul, Gaius Atilius Regulus, happened to be in Sardinia with his legions. There was universal terror in Rome, for the danger threatening them was believed to be great and formidable. And naturally so: for the old fear of the Gauls had never been eradicated from their minds. No one thought of anything else: they were incessantly occupied in mustering the legions, or enrolling new ones, and in ordering up such of the allies as were ready for service. The proper magistrates were ordered to give in lists of all citizens of military age; that it might at once be known to what the total of the available forces amounted. And such stores of corn, and darts, and other military equipments were collected as no one could remember on any former occasion. From every side assistance was eagerly rendered; for the inhabitants of Italy, in their terror at the Gallic invasion, no longer thought of the matter as a question of alliance with Rome, or of the war as undertaken to support Roman supremacy, but each people regarded it as a danger menacing themselves and their own city and territory. The response to the Roman appeal therefore was prompt.”


Histories Book 2 Chapter 24

(Theodorus Buettner-Wobst edition – after L. Dindorf)

[B.C. 225 – invasion of Italy by the Gaesatian Gauls]

“But in order that we may learn from actual facts how great the power was which Hannibal subsequently ventured to attack, and what a mighty empire he faced when he succeeded in inflicting upon the Roman people the most severe disasters, I must now state the amount of the forces they could at that time bring into the field.  The two Consuls had marched out with four legions, each consisting of five thousand two hundred infantry and three hundred cavalry. Besides this there were with each Consul allies to the number of thirty thousand infantry and two thousand cavalry. Of Sabines and Etruscans too, there had come to Rome, for that special occasion, four thousand horse and more than fifty thousand foot. These were formed into an army and sent in advance into Etruria, under the command of one of the Praetors. Moreover, the Umbrians and Sarsinatae, hill tribes of the Apennine district, were collected to the number of twenty thousand; and with them were twenty thousand Venĕti and Cenomani. These were stationed on the frontier of the Gallic territory, that they might divert the attention of the invaders, by making an incursion into the territory of the Boii. These were the forces guarding the frontier. In Rome itself, ready as a reserve in case of the accidents of war, there remained twenty thousand foot and three thousand horse of citizens, and thirty thousand foot and two thousand horse of the allies. Lists of men for service had also been returned, of Latins eighty thousand foot and five thousand horse; of Samnites seventy thousand foot and seven thousand horse; of Iapygians and Messapians together fifty thousand foot and sixteen thousand horse; and of Lucanians thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse; of Marsi, and Marrucini, and Ferentani, and Vestini, twenty thousand foot and four thousand horse. And besides these, there were in reserve in Sicly and Tarentum two legions, each of which consisted of about four thousand two hundred foot, and two hundred horse. Of the Romans and Campanians the total of those put on the roll was two hundred and fifty thousand foot and twenty three thousand horse; so that the grand total of the forces actually defending Rome  was over 150,000 foot, 6000 cavalry: and of the men able to bear arms, Romans and allies, over 700,000 foot and 70,000 horse; while Hannibal, when he invaded Italy had less than twenty thousand to put against this immense force.”

Dio Chrysostom

Discourses (The Eleventh Discourse Maintaining that Troy was not Captured)

“Then Antenor acquired dominion over the Heneti and the very best land about the Adriatic, while Aeneas became master of all Italy and founded the greatest city in the world.”


Geography, Book 1, Chapter 3

“Having remarked that the ancients, whether out on piratical excursions, or for the purposes of commerce, never ventured into the high seas, but crept along the coast, and instancing Jason, who leaving his vessels at Colchis penetrated into Armenia and Media on foot, he [Strabo is talking about Eratosthenes] proceeds to tell us that formerly no one dared to navigate either the Euxine or the seas by Libya, Syria, and Cilicia.  If by formerly he means periods so long past that we possess no record of them, it is of little consequence to us whether they navigated those seas or not, but if [he speaks] of times of which we know any thing, and if we are to place any trust in the accounts which have come down to us, every one will admit that the ancients appear to have made longer journeys both by sea and land than their successors; witness Bacchus, Hercules, nay Jason himself, and again Ulysses and Menelaus, of whom Homer tells us.  It seems most probable that Theseus and Pirithous are indebted to some long voyages for the credit they afterwards obtained of having visited the infernal regions; and in like manner the Dioscuri gained the appellation of guardians of the sea, and the deliverers of sailors.  The sovereignty of the seas exercised by Minos, and the navigation carried on by the Phœnicians, is well known. A little after the period of the Trojan war they had penetrated beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and founded cities as well there as to the midst of the African coast.  Is it not correct to number amongst the ancients Æneas, Antenor, the Heneti, and all the crowd of warriors, who, after the destruction of Troy, wandered over the face of the whole earth? For at the conclusion of the war both the Greeks and Barbarians found themselves deprived, the one of their livelihood at home, the other of the fruits of their expedition; so that when Troy was overthrown, the victors, and still more the vanquished, who had survived the conflict, were compelled by want to a life of piracy; and we learn that they became the founders of many cities along the sea-coast beyond Greece, besides several inland settlements…”


“Those who desire to instil into us that more perfect freedom from [ignorant] wonder, which Democritus and all other philosophers so highly extol, should add the changes which have been produced by the migrations of various tribes: we should thus be inspired with courage, steadiness, and composure. For instance, the Western Iberians, removed to the regions beyond the Euxine and Colchis, being separated from Armenia, according to Apollodorus, by the Araxes, but rather by the Cyrus and Moschican mountains. The expedition of the Egyptians into Ethiopia and Colchis. The migration of the Heneti, who passed from Paphlagonia into the country bordering on the Adriatic Gulf.  Similar emigrations were also undertaken by the nations of Greece, the IoniansDoriansAchaians, and Æolians; and the Ænians, now next neighbours to the Ætolians, formerly dwelt near Dotium and Ossa [remember Gallic Ossismii or the Ossi on the Baltic Sea?] , beyond the Perrhæbi; the Perrhæbi too are but wanderers here themselves.  Our present work furnishes numerous instances of the same kind. Some of these are familiar to most readers, but the migrations of the Carians, the Treres, the Teucrians, and the Galatæ or Gauls, are not so generally known. Nor yet for the most part are the expeditions of their chiefs, for instance, Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus of Trerus, Sesostris and Psammeticus the Egyptians; nor are those of the Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes familiar to every one.  The Kimmerians, or a separate tribe of them, called the Treres, have frequently overrun the countries to the right of the Euxine and those adjacent to them, bursting now into Paphlagonia, now into Phrygia, as they did when, according to report, Midas came to his death by drinking bull’s blood.  Lygdamis led his followers into Lydia, passed through Ionia, took Sardis, but was slain in Cilicia. The Kimmerians and Treres frequently made similar incursions, until at last, as it is reported, these latter, together with [their chief] Cobus, were driven out by Madys, king of the ‘Scythians.  But enough has been said in this place on the general history of the earth, as each country will have a particular account.”


Geography, Book 1, Chapter 3 (alternate translation)

(Jones (Loeb))

“Not only might one disapprove of Eratosthenes for telling such a story, but also for this reason: after admitting that the exact details about the seas were not yet known even in his own time, and although he bids us not to be too ready to accept the authority of people at haphazard, and although he gives at length the reasons why we should believe no one who writes mythical tales about the regions along the Euxine and the Adriatic, yet he himself accepted the authority of people at haphazard.  So, for example, he believed that the Gulf of Issus is the most easterly point of the Mediterranean; whereas the point at Dioscurias in the extreme corner of the Euxine Sea is farther east by almost three thousand stadia, even according to Eratosthenes himself, if we follow the reckoning by stadia which he gives.  And when he describes the northernmost and extreme parts of the Adriatic Sea there is nothing fabulous about them from which he holds aloof.  And he has also given credence to many fables about the regions beyond the Pillars of Heracles, mentioning an island named Cerne and other countries which are nowhere pointed out today — matters about which I shall speak later on.  And although Eratosthenes has said that the earliest Greeks made voyages for the sake of piracy or of commerce, not, indeed, in the open sea, but along the coast — as did Jason, who actually abandoned his ships and, starting from the Colchians, penetrated as far as Armenia and Media — he says later on that in ancient times no one had the courage to sail on the Euxine Sea, or along Libya, Syria, or Cilicia.  Now if by “the ancients” he means those who lived in the times of which we of to‑day have no records, then I am in no wise concerned to speak about them, as to whether they made voyages or not.  But if he means men who are mentioned in history, then one would not hesitate to affirm that the ancients will be shown to have made longer journeys, both by land and by sea, than have men of a later time, if we are to heed what tradition tells us: for instance, Dionysus, and Heracles, and Jason himself; and, again, Odysseus and Menelaus, whose stories are narrated by the poet.  And again, it is doubtless because Theseus and Pirithous had the hardihood to make such long journeys as they made that they left behind them the reputation of having gone down to Hades, and that the Dioscuri were called “guardians of the sea” and “saviours of sailors.”  Again, the maritime supremacy of Minos is far-famed, and so are the voyages of the Phoenicians, who, a short time after the Trojan War, explored the regions beyond the Pillars of Heracles and founded cities both there and in the central parts of the Libyan sea-board.  As to Aeneas, Antenor, and the Enetians, and, in a word, the survivors of the Trojan War that wandered forth into the whole inhabited world — is it proper not to reckon them among the men of ancient times?  For it came about that, on account of the length of the campaign, the Greeks of that time, and the barbarians as well, lost both what they had at home and what they had acquired by the campaign; and so, after the destruction of Troy, not only did the victors turn to piracy because of their poverty, the still more the vanquished who survived the war.  And, indeed, it is said that a great many cities were founded by them along the whole sea-coast outside of Greece, and in some places in the interior too…”

“…Writers also add the changes resulting from the migrations of peoples, wishing to develop in us, to a still greater extent, that virtue of not marvelling at things (a virtue which is lauded by Democritus and all the other philosophers; for they put it in a class with freedom from dread and from perturbability and from terror).  For instance: the migration of Western Iberians to the regions beyond the Pontus and Colchis (regions which are separated from Armenia by the Araxes according to Apollodorus, but rather by the River Cyrus and the Moschican Mountains); and the migration of Egyptians to Ethiopia and Colchis; and that of Enetians from Paphlagonia to the Adriatic.  This is what took place in the case of the Greek tribes also — Ionians, Dorians, Achaeans, and Aeolians; and the Aenianians that are now neighbours of the Aetolians used to live about Dotium and Mt. Ossa among the Perrhaebians; and, too, the Perrhaebians themselves are emigrants.  And the present treatise is full of such instances.  A number of them, to be sure, are matters even of ready knowledge to most people, but the emigrations of the Carians, Trerans, Teucrians, and Galatians, and likewise also the expeditions of the princes to lands far remote (I refer to Madys the Scythian, Tearko the Ethiopian, Cobus the Treran, Sesostris and Psammitichus the Egyptians, and to Persians from Cyrus to Xerxes) are not likewise matters of off-hand knowledge to everybody.  And those Cimmerians whom they also call Trerans (or some tribe or other of the Cimmerians) often overran the countries on the right of the Pontus and those adjacent to them, at one time having invaded Paphlagonia, and at another time Phrygia even, at which time Midas drank bull’s blood, they say, and thus went to his doom.  Lygdamis, however, at the head of his own soldiers, marched as far as Lydia and Ionia and captured Sardes, but lost his life in Cilicia.  Oftentimes both Cimmerians and Trerans made such invasions as these; but they say that the Trerans and Cobus were finally driven out by Madys, the king of the Scythians.  Let these illustrations be given here, inasmuch as they involve matters of fact which have a bearing upon the entire compass of the world in general.”


Geography, Book 5, Chapter 1

(Jones (Loeb))

“After the foothills of the Alps comes the beginning of what is now Italy. For the ancients used to call only Oenotria Italy, although it extended from the Strait of Sicily only as far as the Gulfs of Tarentum and Poseidonia, but the name of Italy prevailed and advanced even as far as the foothills of the Alps, and also took in, not only those parts of Ligustica which extend from the boundaries of Tyrrhenia as far as the Varus River and the sea there, but also those parts of Istria which extend as far as Pola.  One might guess that it was because of their prosperity that the people who were the first to be named Italians imparted the name to the neighbouring peoples, and then received further increments in this way until the time of the Roman conquest.  At some late time or other after the Romans had shared with the Italiotes the equality of civil rights, they decided to allow the same honour both to the Cisalpine Galatae and to the Heneti, and to call all of them Italiotes as well as Romans, and, further, to send forth many colonies amongst them, some earlier and some later, than which it is not easy to call any other set of colonies better…”

“…Taking the parts severally, however, we can speak as follows: as for the Alps, their base is curved and gulf-like, with the cavities turned towards Italy; the central gulf are near the Salassi, while the extremities take a turn, the one as far as Ocra and the recess of the Adriatic, the other to the Ligurian seaboard as far as Genua (the emporium of the Ligures), where the Apennine Mountains join the Alps.  But immediately at the base of the Alps there lies a considerable plain, with its length and its breadth about equal, namely, two thousand one hundred stadia; its southern side is shut in both by the seaboard of the Heneti and by those Apennine Mountains which reach down to the neighbourhood of Ariminum and Ancona; for these mountains, after beginning in Liguria, enter Tyrrhenia, leaving only a narrow seaboard, and then, withdrawing into the interior little by little, when they come to be opposite the territory of Pisa, bend towards the east and towards the Adriatic until they reach the regions round about Ariminum and Ancona, there joining in a straight line the seaboard of the Heneti. Cisalpine Celtica, accordingly, is shut in by these boundaries; and although the length of the seaboard, together with that of the mountains, is as much as six thousand three hundred stadia, the breadth is slightly less than one thousand.  The remainder of Italy, however, is narrow and elongated, terminating in two heads, one at the Sicilian Strait and the other at Iapygia; and it is pinched in on both sides, on one by the Adriatic and on the other by the Tyrrhenian Sea.  The shape and the size of the Adriatic are like that part of Italy which is marked off by the Apennine Mountains and by both seas as far as Iapygia and that isthmus which is between the Gulfs of Tarentum and Poseidonia; for the maximum breadth of each is about one thousand three hundred stadia, and the length not much less than six thousand.  The remainder of Italy, however, is all the country occupied by the Brettii and certain of the Leucani.  Polybius says that, if you go by foot, the seaboard from Iapygia to the strait is as much as three thousand stadia, and that it is washed by the Sicilian Sea, but that, if you go by sea, it is as much as five hundred stadia short of that. The Apennine Mountains, after joining the regions round about Ariminum and Ancona, that is, after marking off the breadth of Italy there from sea to sea, again take a turn, and cut the whole country lengthwise.  As far, then, as the territory of the Peucetii and that of the Leucani they do not recede much from the Adriatic, but after joining the territory of the Leucani they bend off more towards the other sea and then, for the rest of the way, passing throughout the centre of the territory of the Leucani and Brettii, end at what is called Leucopetra in the district of Rhegium.  Thus much, then, I have said about what is now Italy, as a whole, in a merely rough-outline way, but I shall now go back and try to tell about the several parts in detail; and first about the parts at the base of the Alps.”

“This country is a plain that is very rich in soil and diversified by fruitful hills.  The plain is divided almost at its very centre by the Padus; and its parts are called, the one Cispadana, the other Transpadana.  Cispadana is all the part that lies next to the Apennine Mountains and Liguria, while Transpadana is the rest.  The latter is inhabited by the Ligurian and the Celtic tribes, who live partly in the mountains, partly in the plains, whereas the former is inhabited by the Celti and Heneti.  Now these Celti are indeed of the same race as the Transalpine Celti, but concerning the Heneti there are two different accounts: Some say that the Heneti too are colonists of those Celti of like name who live on the ocean-coast; while others say that certain of the Heneti of Paphlagonia escaped hither with Antenor from the Trojan war, and, as testimony in this, adduce their devotion to the breeding of horses — a devotion which now, indeed, has wholly disappeared, although formerly it was prized among them, from the fact of their ancient rivalry in the matter of producing mares for mule-breeding.  Homer, too, recalls this fact: “From the land of the Heneti, whence the breed of the wild mules.”  Again, Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, collected his stud of prize-horses from here, and consequently not only did the fame of the Henetian foal-breeding reach the Greeks but the breed itself was held in high esteem by them for a long time.”

“Now this whole country is filled with rivers and marshes, but particularly the part that belongs to the Heneti.  And this part, furthermore, is also affected by the behaviour of the sea; for here are almost the only parts of Our Sea that behave like the ocean, and both the ebb-tides and the flood-tides produced here are similar to those of the ocean, since by them the greater part of the plain is made full of lagoons.  But, like what is called Lower Egypt, it has been intersected by channels and dikes; and while some parts have been relieved by drainage and are being tilled, others afford voyages across their waters.  Of the cities here, some are wholly island, while others are only partly surrounded by water.  As for all the cities that are situated above the marshes in the interior, the inland voyages afforded thereto by the rivers are wonderful, but particularly by the Padus; for not only is it the largest of these rivers but it is oftentimes filled by both the rains and the snow, although, as the result of separating into many streams near the outlets, the mouth is choked with mud and hard to enter. But even the greatest difficulties are overcome by experience…”

“… But Opitergium, Concordia, Atria, Vicetia, and other small towns like them are less hemmed in by the marshes, though they are connected with the sea by small waterways.  It is said that Atria was once an illustrious city, and that the Adriatic Gulf got its name therefrom, with only a slight change in the spelling.  Aquileia, which is nearest of all to the recess of the Gulf, was founded by the Romans as a fortress against the barbarians who were situated above it; and there is an inland voyage thither for merchant-vessels, by way of the River Natiso, for a distance of more than sixty stadia.  Aquileia has been given over as an emporium for those tribes of the Illyrians that live near the Ister; the latter load on wagons and carry inland the products of the sea, and wine stored in wooden jars, and also olive-oil, whereas the former get in exchange slaves, cattle, and hides.  But Aquileia is outside the boundaries of the Heneti.  The boundary between the two peoples is marked by a river flowing from the Alps, which affords an inland voyage of as much as twelve hundred stadia to the city of Noreia, near which Gnaeus Carbo clashed to no effect with the Cimbri.  This region has places that are naturally well-suited to gold-washing, and has also iron-works.  And in the very recess of the Adriatic there is also a temple of Diomedes that is worth recording, “the Timavum“; for it has a harbour, and a magnificent precinct, and seven fountains of potable waters which immediately empty into the sea in one broad, deep river.  According to Polybius, all the fountains except one are of salt water, and what is more, the natives call the place the source and mother of the sea.  But Poseidonius says that a river, the Timavus, runs out of the mountains, falls down into a chasm, and then, after running underground about a hundred and thirty stadia, makes its exit near the sea.”

“As for the dominion of Diomedes in the neighbourhood of this sea, not only the “Islands of Diomedes” bear witness thereto, but also the historical accounts of the Daunii and Argos Hippium, which I shall relate insofar as they may be historically useful; but I must disregard most of the mythical or false stories, as, for example, the stories of Phaethon, and of the Heliades that were changed into poplar-trees near the Eridanus (the Eridanus that exists nowhere on earth, although it is spoken of as near the Padus), and of the Electrides Islands that lie off the Padus, and of the guinea-fowls on them; for not one of these things is in that region, either.  It is an historical fact, however, that among the Heneti certain honours have been decreed to Diomedes; and, indeed, a white horse is still sacrificed to him, and two precincts are still to be seen — one of them sacred to the Argive Hera and the other to the Aetolian Artemis.  But some mythical elements, of course, have been added: namely, that in these sacred precincts the wild animals become tame, and deer herd with wolves, and they allow the people to approach and caress them, and any that are being pursued by dogs are no longer pursued when they have taken refuge here.  And it is said that one of the prominent men, who was known for his fondness for giving bail for people and was twitted for this, fell in with some hunters who had a wolf in their nets, and, upon their saying in jest that if he would give bail for the wolf, and agree to settle all the damage the wolf should do, they would set the wolf free from the toils, he agreed to the proposal; and the wolf, when set free, drove off a considerable herd of unbranded horses and brought them to the steading of the man who was fond of giving bail; and the man who received the favour not only branded all the mares with a wolf, but also called them the “wolf-breed” — mares exceptional for speed rather than beauty; and his successors kept not only the brand but also the name for the breed of the horses, and made it a custom not to sell a mare to outsiders, in order that the genuine breed might remain in their family alone, since horses of that breed had become famous.  But, at the present time, as I was saying, the practice of horse-breeding has wholly disappeared.  After the Timavum comes the seaboard of the Istrii as far as Pola, which belongs to Italy.  Between the Timavum and Pola lies the stronghold of Tergeste, at a distance of one hundred and eighty stadia from Aquileia.  As for Pola, it is situated in a harbour-like gulf which has isles with good mooring-places and with fruitful soil; it was founded in early times by those Colchians who were sent forth in quest of Medea, but failed in their undertaking and thus condemned themselves to exile: “which a Greek would call ‘the city of the exiles,’ ” as Callimachus has said, “but their tongue hath named it Polae.”  The Transpadane districts, then, are occupied both by the Heneti and by the peoples who extend as far as Pola; and, above the Heneti, by the Carni, the Cenomani, the Medoaci, and the Symbri; of these peoples, some were once enemies of the Romans, but the Cenomani and the Heneti used to help the Romans in their battles, not only before the campaign of Hannibal (I mean when the Romans were making war upon the Boii and the Symbri), but thereafter as well.”

“But the Cispadane peoples occupy all that country which is encircled by the Apennine Mountains towards the Alps as far as Genua and Sabata.  The greater part of the country used to be occupied by the Boii, Ligures, Senones, and Gaezatae; but since the Boii have been driven out, and since both the Gaezatae and the Senones have been annihilated, only the Ligurian tribes and the Roman colonies are left.  The Romans, however, have been intermingled with the stock of the Ombrici and also, in some places, with that of the Tyrrheni; for both these tribes, before the general aggrandizement of the Romans, carried on a sort of competition with one another for the primacy, and since they had only the River Tiber between them could easily cross over against one another.  And if, as I suppose, one of the two peoples went forth on a campaign against a third people, the other of the two conceived a contentious desire not to fail to make an expedition to the same places; and so, too, when the Tyrrheni had sent forth an army into the midst of the barbarians round about the Padus and had fared well, and then on account of their luxurious living were quickly cast out again, the other of the two made an expedition against those who had cast them out; and then, in turns, disputing over the places, the two, in the case of many of the settlements, made some Tyrrhenian and some Ombrican — the greater number, however, Ombrican, for the Ombrici were nearer.  But the Romans, upon taking control and sending settlers to many places, helped to preserve also the stocks of the earlier settlers.  And at the present time, although they are all Romans, they are none the less called, some “Ombri,” and some “Tyrrheni,” as is the case with the Heneti, the Ligures, and the Insubri.”


Geography, Book 6, Chapter 3

(Jones (Loeb))

“From Barium to the Aufidus River, on which is the Emporium of the Canusitae is four hundred stadia and the voyage inland to Emporium is ninety. Near by is also Salapia, the seaport of the Argyrippini.  For not far above the sea (in the plain, at all events) are situated two cities, Canusium and Argyrippa, which in earlier times were the largest of the Italiote cities, as is clear from the circuits of their walls.  Now, however, Argyrippa is smaller; it was called Argos Hippium at first, then Argyrippa, and then by the present name Arpi.  Both are said to have been founded by Diomedes.  And as signs of the dominion of Diomedes in these regions are to be seen the Plain of Diomedes and many other things, among which are the old votive offerings in the temple of Athene at Luceria — a place which likewise was in ancient times a city of the Daunii, but is now reduced — and, in the sea near by, two islands that are called the Islands of Diomedes, of which one is inhabited, while the other, it is said, is desert; on the latter, according to certain narrators of myths, Diomedes was caused to disappear, and his companions were changed to birds, and to this day, in fact, remain tame and live a sort of human life, not only in their orderly ways but also in their tameness towards honorable men and in their flight from wicked and knavish men.  But I have already mentioned the stories constantly told among the Heneti about this hero and the rites which are observed in his honour.  It is thought that Sipus also was founded by Diomedes, which is about one hundred and forty stadia distant from Salapia; at any rate it was named “Sepius” in Greek after the “sepia” that are cast ashore by the waves.  Between Salapia and Sinus is a navigable river, and also a large lake that opens into the sea; and the merchandise from Sipus, particularly grain, is brought down on both.  In Daunia, on a hill by the name of Drium, are to be seen two hero-temples: one, to Calchas, on the very summit, where those who consult the oracle sacrifice to his shade a black ram and sleep in the hide, and the other, to Podaleirius, down near the base of the hill, this temple being about one hundred stadia distant from the sea; and from it flows a stream which is a cure-all for diseases of animals.  In front of this gulf is a promontory, Garganum, which extends towards the east for a distance of three hundred stadia into the high sea; doubling the headland, one comes to a small town, Urium, and off the headland are to be seen the Islands of Diomedes.  This whole country produces everything in great quantity, and is excellent for horses and sheep; but though the wool is softer than the Tarantine, it is not so glossy.  And the country is well sheltered, because the plains lie in hollows.  According to some, Diomedes even tried to cut a canal as far as the sea, but left behind both this and the rest of his undertakings only half-finished, because he was summoned home and there ended his life.  This is one account of him; but there is also a second, that he stayed here till the end of his life; and a third, the aforesaid mythical account, which tells of his disappearance in the island; and as a fourth one might set down the account of the Heneti, for they too tell a mythical story of how he in some way came to his end in their country, and they call it his apotheosis.”

Pomponius Mela

Description of the World (De situ orbis libri III) – 1.58, 1.59 & 1.61

“…Italy as a whole is narrow, and in some places much narrower than where it had begun.”

“Various peoples cultivate its interior.  The Carni and Veneti cultivate the left part up to Gallia Togata; the some Italic peoples – Picentines, Frentani, Dauni, Apulians, Calabri, and Sallentines.  To the right at the foot of the Alps are the Ligurians; at the foot of the Apennines, Etruria; after that, Latium, the Volsci, Campania, and, below Lucania, the Brutti.  Of the cities that are inhabited far from the sea, the wealthiest are, too the left side, Antenor’s Patavium, Mutina, and Bononia, colonies of the Romans; to the right, Capua, founded by the Tuscans, and Rome, long ago founded by shepherds, now a second book in itself if there is to be discussion on the topic.”

“On the shores, by contrast, Concordia is next after Tergeste.  Between them flows the Timavus, which rises from nine herds but debouches through a single mouth.  Then, not far from the sea, the Natiso River runs beside rich Aquileia…”

Titus Livius (Livy) 

The History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita Libri) (Book 1, Chapter 1)

“To begin with, it is generally admitted that after the capture of Troy, whilst the rest of the Trojans were massacred, against two of them —Aeneas and Antenor —the Achivi refused to exercise the rights of war, partly owing to old ties of hospitality, and partly because these men had always been in favour of making peace and surrendering Helen.  Their subsequent fortunes were different. Antenor sailed into the furthest part of the Adriatic, accompanied by a number of Enetians who had been driven from Paphlagonia by a revolution and after losing their king Pylaemenes before Troy were looking for a settlement and a leader.  The combined force of Enetians and Trojans defeated the Euganei, who dwelt between the sea and the Alps and occupied their land.  The place where they disembarked was called Troy, and the name was extended to the surrounding district; the whole nation were called Veneti. Similar misfortunes led to Aeneas becoming a wanderer but the Fates were preparing a higher destiny for him. He first visited Macedonia, then was carried down to Sicily in quest of a settlement; from Sicily he directed his course to the Laurentian territory.  Here, too, the name of Troy is found, and here the Trojans disembarked, and as their almost infinite wanderings had left them nothing but their arms and their ships, they began to plunder the neighbourhood. The Aborigines, who occupied the country, with their king Latinus at their head came hastily together from the city and the country districts to repel the inroads of the strangers by force of arms.”

“From this point there is a twofold tradition. According to the one, Latinus was defeated in battle, and made peace with Aeneas, and subsequently a family alliance.  According to the other, whilst the two armies were standing ready to engage and waiting for the signal, Latinus advanced in front of his lines and invited the leader of the strangers to a conference.  He inquired of him what manner of men they were, whence they came, what had happened to make them leave their homes, what were they in quest of when they landed in Latinus’ territory.  When he heard that the men were Trojans, that their leader was Aeneas, the son of Anchises and Venus, that their city had been burnt, and that the homeless exiles were now looking for a place to settle in and build a city, he was so struck with the noble bearing of the men and their leader, and their readiness to accept alike either peace or war, that he gave his right hand as a solemn pledge of friendship for the future.  A formal treaty was made between the leaders and mutual greetings exchanged between the armies. Latinus received Aeneas as a guest in his house, and there, in the presence of his tutelary deities, completed the political alliance by a domestic one, and gave his daughter in marriage to Aeneas. This incident confirmed the Trojans in the hope that they had reached the term of their wanderings and won a permanent home.  They built a town, which Aeneas called Lavinium after his wife. In a short time a boy was born of the new marriage, to whom his parents gave the name of Ascanius.”

Titus Livius (Livy) 

The History of Rome (Book 5, Chapter 33)

“After the expulsion of that citizen whose presence, if there is anything certain in human affairs, would have made the capture of Rome impossible, the doom of the fated City swiftly approached. Ambassadors came from Clusium begging for assistance against the Gauls.”


“The tradition is that this nation, attracted by the report of the delicious fruits and especially of the wine —a novel pleasure to them —crossed the Alps and occupied the lands formerly cultivated by the Etruscans, and that Arruns of Clusium imported wine into Gaul in order to allure them into Italy. His wife had been seduced by a Lucumo, to whom he was guardian, and from whom, being a young man of considerable influence, it was impossible to get redress without getting help from abroad.  In revenge, Arruns led the Gauls across the Alps and prompted them to attack Clusium.”


“I would not deny that the Gauls were conducted to Clusium by Arruns or some one else living there, but it is quite clear that those who attacked that city were not the first who crossed the Alps.  As a matter of fact, Gauls crossed into Italy two centuries before they attacked Clusium and took Rome.  Nor were the Clusines the first Etruscans with whom the Gaulish armies came into conflict; long before that they had fought many battles with the Etruscans who dwelt between the Apennines and the Alps.  Before the Roman supremacy, the power of the Tuscans was widely extended both by sea and land.  How far it extended over the two seas by which Italy is surrounded like an island is proved by the names, for the nations of Italy call the one the ‘Tuscan Sea,’ from the general designation of the people, and the other the ‘Atriatic,’ from Atriaa Tuscan colony. The Greeks also call them the ‘Tyrrhene’ and the ‘Adriatic.’  The districts stretching towards either sea were inhabited by them. They first settled on this side the Apennines by the western sea in twelve cities, afterwards they founded twelve colonies beyond the Apennines, corresponding to the number of the mother cities.  These [Etruscan] colonies held the whole of the country beyond the Po as far as the Alps, with the exception of the corner inhabited by the Veneti, who dwelt round an arm of the sea.  The Alpine tribes are undoubtedly of the same stock, especially the Raetii, who had through the nature of their country become so uncivilised that they retained no trace of their original condition except their language, and even this was not free from corruption.”

Titus Livius (Livy) 

The History of Rome (Ab Urbe Condita Libri) (Book 10, Chapter 2)

[303/302 BC – Greeks invade Italy]

“During the year a fleet of Greek ships under the command of the Lacedaemonian Cleonymus sailed to the shores of Italy and captured the city of Thuriae in the Sallentine country. The consul, Aemilius, was sent to meet this enemy, and in one battle he routed him and drove him to his ships.  Thuriae was restored to its former inhabitants, and peace was established in the Sallentine territory.  In some annalists I find it stated that the Dictator, Junius Bubulcus, was sent into that country, and that Cleonymus left Italy to avoid a conflict with the Romans.  He sailed round the promontory of Brundisium, and was carried up the Adriatic, where he had on his left the harbourless shores of Italy and on his right the countries occupied by the Illyrians, the Liburnians, and the Histrians, savage tribes chiefly notorious for their acts of piracy. He dreaded the possibility of falling in with these, and consequently directed his course inland until he reached the coasts of the Veneti.  Here he landed a small party to explore the neighbourhood.  The information they brought back was to the effect that there was a narrow beach, and on crossing it they found lagoons which were affected by the tide; beyond these level cultivated country was visible, and in the further distance hills could be seen.  At no great distance was the mouth of a river deep enough to allow of ships being brought up and safely anchored —this was the Meduacus.  On hearing this he ordered the fleet to make for that river and sail up-stream. As the river channel did not admit the passage of his largest ships, the bulk of his troops went up in the lighter vessels and came to a populous district belonging to the maritime villages of the Patavii, who inhabit that coast.  After leaving a few to guard the ships they landed, seized the villages, burnt the houses, and carried off the men and cattle as booty.  Their eagerness for plunder led them too far from their ships.  The people of Patavium were obliged to be always under arms owing to their neighbours, the Gauls, and when they heard what was going on, they divided their forces into two armies.  One of these was to proceed to the district where the invaders were reported to be carrying on their depredations; the other was to go by a different route, to avoid meeting any of the plunderers, to where the ships were anchored, about fourteen miles from the town.  The latter attacked the ships, and after killing those who resisted them, they compelled the terrified sailors to take their vessels over to the opposite bank.  The other army had been equally successful against the plunderers, who in their flight to their ships were intercepted by the Veneti, and, hemmed in between the two armies, were cut to pieces.   Some of the prisoners informed their captors that King Cleonymus, with his fleet, was only three miles distant. The prisoners were sent to the nearest village for safe-keeping, and some of the defenders got into their river boats, which were flatbottomed to allow of their passing over the shallows in the lagoons, whilst others manned the vessels they had captured and sailed down the river.  When they reached the Greek fleet they surrounded the large ships, which were afraid to stir and dreaded unknown waters more than the enemy, and pursued them to the mouth of the river. Some which in the confused fighting had run aground were captured and burnt.”

“After this victory they returned.  Failing to effect a successful landing in any part of the Adriatic, Cleonymus sailed away with barely a fifth part of his fleet undamaged.  There are many still living who have seen the beaks of the ships and the spoils of the Lacedaemonians hung up in the old temple of Juno in Patavium, and the anniversary of that battle is celebrated by a sham fight of ships on the river which flows through the town.”

Pliny the Elder 

Natural History – Book 3, Chapter 6

(Of Italy)

“Next comes Italy, and we begin with the Ligures, after whom we have EtruriaUmbriaLatium, where the mouths of the Tiber are situated, and Rome, the Capital of the world, sixteen miles distant from the sea. We then come to the coasts of the Volsci and of Campania, and the districts of Picenum, of Lucania, and of Bruttium, where Italy extends the farthest in a southerly direction, and projects into the [two] seas with the chain of the Alps which there forms pretty nearly the shape of a crescent. Leaving Bruttium we come to the coast of [Magna] Græcia, then the Salentini, the Pediculi, the Apuli, the Peligni, the Frentani, the Marrucini, the Vestini, the Sabini, the Picentes, the Galli, the Umbri, the Tusci, the Veneti, the Carni, the Iapydes, the Histri, and the Liburni.“

Pliny the Elder

Natural History – Book 3, Chapter 22

(The Tenth Region of Italy)

“We now come to the tenth region of Italy, situated on the Adriatic Sea.  In this district are Venetia, the river Silis, rising in the Tarvisanian mountains, the town of Altinum, the river Liquentia rising in the mountains of Opitergium, and a port with the same name, the colony of Concordia the rivers and harbours of Romatinum, the greater and less Tiliaventum, the Anaxum, into which the Varamus flows, the Alsa, and the Natiso with the Turrus, which flow past the colony of Aquileia at a distance of fifteen miles from the sea. This is the country of the Carni, and adjoining to it is that of the lapydes, the river Timavus, the fortress of Pucinum, famous for its wines, the Gulf of Tergeste [Triest – apparently it means “targ jest” or “market place”], and the colony of that name, thirty-three miles from Aquileia.  Six miles beyond this place lies the river Formio, 189 miles distant from Ravenna, the ancient boundary of enlarged Italy, and now the frontier of Istria. That this region takes its name from the river Ister which flows from the Danube, also called the Ister, into the Adriatic opposite the mouth of the Padus, and that the sea which lies between them is rendered fresh by their waters running from opposite directions, has been erroneously asserted by many, and among them by Nepos even, who dwelt upon the banks of the Padus.  For it is the fact that no river which runs from the Danube discharges itself into the Adriatic.  They have been misled, I think, by the circumstance that the ship Argo came down some river into the Adriatic sea, not far from Tergeste; but what river that was is now unknown.  The most careful writers say that the ship was carried across the Alps on men’s shoulders, having passed along the Ister, then along the Savus, and so from Nauportus, which place, lying between Æmona and the Alps, from that circumstance derives its name.”

Pliny the Elder

Natural History – Book 3, Chapter 23

(Istria, its People and Locality)

Istria projects in the form of a peninsula. Some writers have stated its length to be forty miles, and its circumference 125; and the same as to Liburnia which adjoins it, and the Flanatic Gulf, while others make it 225; others again make the circumference of Liburnia 180 miles. Some persons too extend Iapydia, at the back of Istria, as far as the Flanatic Gulf, a distance of 130 miles, thus making Liburnia but 150 miles. Tuditanus, who subdued the Istri, had this inscription on his statue which was erected there: “From Aquileia to the river Titus is a distance of 1000 stadia.”


“The towns of Istria with the rights of Roman citizens are ÆgidaParentium, and the colony of Pola, now Pietas Julia, formerly founded by the Colchians, and distant from Tergeste [again, Triest – apparently it means “targ jest” or “market place”; but then what is Ateste below?] 100 miles: after which we come to the town of Nesactium, and the river Arsia, now the boundary of Italy. The distance across from Ancona to Pola is 120 miles.  In the interior of the tenth region are the colonies of CremonaBrixia in the territory of the CenomanniAteste belonging to the Veneti, and the towns of AcelumPataviumOpitergiumBelunum, and Vicetia; with Mantua, the only city of the Tuscans now left beyond the Padus.  Cato* informs us that the Veneti are descendants of the Trojans, and that the Cenomanni dwelt among the Volcæ in the vicinity of Massilia.  There are also the towns of the Fertini, the Tridentini, and the Beruenses, belonging to the RhætiVerona, belonging to the Rhæti and the Euganei, and Julienses to the Carni. We then have the following peoples, whom there is no necessity to particularize with any degree of exactness, the Alutrenses, the Asseriates, the Flamonienses with those surnamed Vanienses, and the others called Culici, the Forojulienses surnamed Transpadani, the Foretani, the Nedinates, the Quarqueni, the Taurisani, the Togienses, and the Varvari.  In this district there have disappeared—upon the coast—IramenePellaon, and PalsatiumAtina and Cælina belonging to the VenetiSegeste and Ocra [Ukra?] to the Carni, and Noreia to the Taurisci.  L. Piso also informs us that although the senate disapproved of his so doing, M. Claudius Marcellus razed to the ground a tower situate at the twelfth mile-stone from Aquileia.”

* Cato, i.e., Cato the Elder (234 BC – 149 BC), born Marcus Porcius Cato


“In this region also and the eleventh there are some celebrated lakes, and several rivers that either take their rise in them or else are fed by their waters, in those cases in which they again emerge from them. These are the Addua [remember Viadua?], fed by the Lake Larius, the Ticinus by Lake Verbannus, the Mincius by Lake Benacus, the Ollius by Lake Sebinnus, and the Lambrus by Lake Eupilis—all of them flowing into the Padus.”

“Cælius states that the length of the Alps from the Upper Sea to the Lower is 1000 miles, a distance which Timagenes shortens by twenty-two. Cornelius Nepos assigns to them a breadth of 100 miles, and T. Livius of 3000 stadia; but then in different places. For in some localities they exceed 100 miles; where they divide Germany, for instance, from Italy; while in other parts they do not reach seventy, being thus narrowed by the providential dispensation of nature as it were. The breadth of Italy, taken from the river Var at the foot of these mountains, and passing along by the Vada Sabatia, the Taurini, Comum, Brixia, Verona, Vicetia, Opitergium, Aquileia, Tergeste, Pola, and Arsia, is 745 miles.

Pompeius Trogus

Lost Historiae Philippicae‘s Table of Contents Regarding Volume 20

“The twentieth volume describes the accomplishments of Dionysios I of Sicily. How he undertook wars in Italy once the Carthaginians had been defeated. Here are found the origins of the Veneti and the Greeks and the Gauls who inhabit Italy.”

(vicensimo volumine continentur res gestae Dionysii Siculi patris. ut pulsis Poenis Italica bella sit molitus. inde repetitae origines Venetorum et Craecorum et Gallorum, qui Italiam incolunt.)

Justinus, Epitome 20.1.4-12

“[Dionysios] made all the Greeks of Italy his enemies.  These peoples occupied almost all of Italy at the time.  Indeed, many cities still show traces of Greek custom after such a great length of time.  For the Etruscans, who possess the coast of the lower sea, came from Lydia;  and Troy, having been captured and destroyed, sent the Veneti, who dwell near the upper sea, under the leadership of Antenor.  Adria also … is a Greek city;  Diomedes founded … Arpi.  Among the LiguriansPisa has Greek founders, and among the Etruscans Tarquinii was founded by Thesallians, also Spina among the Umbrians; the Perugians, too, take their origin from Achaeans.  And what am I to say of Caere? What of the Latin peoples, who are known to have been established by Aeneas?”

(omnesque Graeci nominis Italiam possidentes hostes sibi destinat, quae gentes … universam ferme Italiam ea tempestate occupaverant.  denique multae urbes adhuc post tantam vetustatem vestigia Graeci moris ostentant.  namque Tuscorum populi, qui oram Inferi maris possident, a Lydia venerunt, et Venetos, quos incolas Superi maris videmus, capta et expugnata Troia Antenore duce misit.  Adria quoque … Graeca urbs est;  Arpos Diomedes … condidit.  sed et Pisae in Liguribus Graecos auctores habent, et in Tuscis Tar- quinii a Thessalis et Spina in Umbris; Perusini quoque originem ab Achaeis ducunt. quid Caeren urbem dicam? quid Latinos populos, qui ab Aenea conditi videntur?)

Pliny the Elder Natural History – Book 26, Chapter 26

(Halus or Cotonea: Five Remedies)

“The plant halus, by the people of Gaul called “sil,” and by the Veneti “cotonea,” is curative of pains in the side, affections of the kidneys, ruptures, and convulsions. It resembles cunila bubula in appearance, and the tops of it are like those of thyme. It is of a sweet flavour, and allays thirst; the roots of it are sometimes white, sometimes black.”

[not clear whether this means Adriatic, Gallic or some other Veneti – but we include it here for the sake of completeness]

Pliny the Elder Natural History – Book 37, Chapter 11

(Amber: the Many Falsehoods That Have Been Told About It)

“Next in rank among the objects of luxury, we have amber; an article which, for the present, however, is in request among women only. All these three last-mentioned substances hold the same rank, no doubt, as precious stones; the two former for certain fair reasons; crystal, because it is adapted for taking cool drinks, and murrhine vessels, for taking drinks that are either hot or cold.  But as for amber, luxury has not been able, as yet, to devise any justification for the use of it.  This is a subject which affords us an excellent opportunity of exposing some of the frivolities and falsehoods of the Greeks; and I beg that my readers will only have patience with me while I do so, it being really worth while, for our own practical improvement, to become acquainted with the marvellous stories which they have promulgated respecting amber.”

“After Phaëthon had been struck by lightning, his sisters, they tell us, became changed into poplars, which every year shed their tears upon the banks of the Eridanus, a river known to us as the “Padus.” To these tears was given the name of “electrum,” from the circumstance that the Sun was usually called “elector.”  Such is the story, at all events, that is told by many of the poets, the first of whom were, in my opinion, ÆschylusPhiloxenusEuripidesSatyrus, and Nicander; and the falsity of which is abundantly proved upon the testimony of Italy itself.  Those among the Greeks who have devoted more attention to the subject, have spoken of certain islands in the Adriatic Sea, known as the “Electrides,” and to which the Padus, they say, carries down electrum.  It is the fact, however, that there never were any islands there so called, nor, indeed, any islands so situate as to allow of the Padus carrying down anything in its course to their shores. As to Æschylus placing the Eridanus in Iberia, or, in other words, in Spain, and giving it the name of Rhodanus; and as to Euripides and Apollonius representing the Rhodanus and the Padus as discharging themselves by one common mouth on the shores of the Adriatic; we can forgive them all the more readily for knowing nothing about amber when they betray such monstrous ignorance of geography.”

“Other writers, again, who are more guarded in their assertions, have told us, though with an equal degree of untruthfulness, that, at the extremity of the Adriatic Gulf, upon certain inaccessible rocks there, there are certain trees which shed their gum at the rising of the Dog-Star.  Theophrastus has stated that amber is extracted from the earth in LiguriaChares, that Phaëthon died in the territory of Hammon, in Æthiopia, where there is a temple of his and an oracle, and where amberis produced; Philemon, that it is a fossil substance, and that it is found in two different localities in Scythia, in one of which it is of a white and waxen colour, and is known as “electrum;” while in the other it is red, and is called “sualiternicum.”  Demostratus calls amber “lyncurion,” and he says that it originates in the urine of the wild beast known as the “lynx;” that voided by the male producing a red and fiery substance, and that by the female an amber of a white and less pronounced colour: he also informs us that by some persons it is called “langurium,” and that in Italy, there are certain wild beasts known as “languri.” Zenothemis, however, calls these wild beasts “langæ,” and gives the banks of the river Padus as their locality.  Sudines says, that it is a tree in reality, that produces amber, and that, in Etruria, this tree is known by the name of “lynx;” an opinion which is also adopted by Metrodorus.  Sotacus expresses a belief that amber exudes from certain stones in Britannia, to which he gives the name of “electrides.”  Pytheas says that the Gutones, a people of Germany, inhabit the shores of an æstuary of the Ocean called Mentonomon, their territory extending a distance of six thousand stadia; that, at one day’s sail from this territory, is the Isle of Abalus, upon the shores of which, amber is thrown up by the waves in spring, it being an excretion of the sea in a concrete form; as, also, that the inhabitants use this amber by way of fuel, and sell it to their neighbours, the Teutones. Timæus, too, is of the same belief, but he has given to the island the name of Basilia.

“Philemon says that electrum does not yield a flame.  Nicias, again, will have it, that it is a liquid produced by the rays of the sun; and that these rays, at the moment of the sun’s setting, striking with the greatest force upon the surface of the soil, leave upon it an unctuous sweat, which is carried off by the tides of the Ocean, and thrown up upon the shores of Germany.  He states, also, that in Egypt it is similarly produced, and is there called “sacal;” that it is found in India, too, where it is held as a preferable substitute for frankincense; and that in Syria the women make the whirls of their spindles of this substance, and give it the name of “harpax,” from the circumstance that it attracts leaves towards it, chaff, and the light fringe of tissues. According to Theochrestus, amber is thrown up by the tides of the Ocean, at the foot of the Pyrenæan range; an opinion adopted also by Xenocrates.  Asarubas, who has written the most recently upon these subjects, and is still living, informs us, that near the shores of the Atlantic is Lake Cephisis, known to the Mauri by the name of “Electrum;” and that when this lake is dried up by the sun, the slime of it produces amber, which floats upon the surface.  Mnaseas speaks of a locality in Africa called Sicyon, and of a river Crathis there, which discharges itself from a lake into the Ocean, the banks of which are frequented by birds which he calls “meleagrides” and “penelopes:” it is here that, according to him, electrum is produced, in manner above mentioned.  Theomenes says that near the Greater Syrtis are the Gardens of the Hesperides, and Lake Electrum: on the banks, he says, are poplars, from the summits of which amber falls into the water below, where it is gathered by the maidens of the Hesperides.”

Ctesias asserts that there is in India a river called Hypobarus, a word which signifies “bearer of all good things;” that this river flows from the north into the Eastern Ocean, where it discharges itself near a mountain covered with trees which produce electrum; and that these trees are called “siptachoræ,” the meaning of which is “intense sweetness.”  Mithridates says, that off the shores of Germany there is an island called “Serita,” covered with a kind of cedar, from which amber falls upon the rocks.  According to Xenocrates, this substance is called, in Italy, not only “succinum,” but “thieum” as well, the Scythian name of it, for there also it is to be found, being “sacrium:” others, he says, are of opinion that it is a product of Numidia.  But the one that has surpassed them all is Sophocles, the tragic poet; a thing that indeed surprises me, when I only consider the surpassing gravity of his lofty style, the high repute that he enjoyed in life, his elevated position by birth at Athens, his various exploits, and his high military command.  According to him, amber is produced in the countries beyond India, from the tears that are shed for Meleager, by the birds called “meleagrides!”  Who can be otherwise than surprised that he should have believed such a thing as this, or have hoped to persuade others to believe it?  What child, too, could possibly be found in such a state of ignorance as to believe that birds weep once a year, that their tears are so prolific as this, or that they go all the way from Greece, where Meleager died, to India to weep?  “But then,” it will be said, “do not the poets tell many other stories that are quite as fabulous?”  Such is the fact, no doubt, but for a person seriously to advance such an absurdity with reference to a thing so common as amber, which is imported every day and so easily proves the mendacity of this assertion, is neither more nor less than to evince a supreme contempt for the opinions of mankind, and to assert with impunity an intolerable falsehood.”


“There can be no doubt that amber is a product of the islands of the Northern Ocean, and that it is the substance by the Germans called “glæsum;” for which reason the Romans, when Germanicus Cæsar [Pliny means Germanicus, the father of Caligula – see Paterculus] commanded the fleet in those parts, gave to one of these islands the name of Glæsaria, which by the barbarians was known as Austeravia.  Amber is produced from a marrow discharged by trees belonging to the pine genus, like gum from the cherry, and resin from the ordinary pine. It is a liquid at first, which issues forth in considerable quantities, and is gradually hardened by heat or cold, or else by the action of the sea, when the rise of the tide carries off the fragments from the shores of these islands. At all events, it is thrown up upon the coasts, in so light and voluble a form that in the shallows it has all the appearance of hanging suspended in the water. Our forefathers, too, were of opinion that it is the juice of a tree, and for this reason gave it the name of “succinum:” and one great proof that it is the produce of a tree of the pine genus, is the fact that it emits a pine-like smell when rubbed, and that it burns, when ignited, with the odour and appearance of torch-pine wood.”

Amber is imported by the Germans into Pannonia, more particularly; from whence the Veneti, by the Greeks called Eneti, first brought it into general notice, a people in the vicinity of Pannonia, and dwelling on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.  From this it is evident how the story which connects it with the Padus first originated;  and at the present day we see the female peasantry in the countries that lie beyond that river wearing necklaces of amber, principally as an ornament, no doubt, but on account of its remedial virtues as well; for amber, it is generally believed, is good for affections of the tonsillary glands and fauces, the various kinds of water in the vicinity of the Alps being apt to produce disease in the human throat.”

“From Carnuntum in Pannonia, to the coasts of Germany from which the amber is brought, is a distance of about six hundred miles, a fact which has been only very recently ascertained; and there is still living a member of the equestrian order, who was sent thither by Julianus, the manager of the gladiatorial exhibitions for the Emperor Nero, to procure a supply of this article. T raversing the coasts of that country and visiting the various markets there, he brought back amber, in such vast quantities, as to admit of the nets, which are used for protecting the podium against the wild beasts, being studded with amber.”

“The arms too, the litters, and all the other apparatus, were, on one day, decorated with nothing but amber, a different kind of display being made each day that these spectacles were exhibited. The largest piece of amber that this personage brought to Rome was thirteen pounds in weight.”

“That amber is found in India too, is a fact well ascertained.  Archelaüs, who reigned over Cappadocia, says that it is brought from that country in the rough state, and with the fine bark still adhering to it, it being the custom there to polish it by boiling it in the grease of a sucking-pig. One great proof that amber must have been originally in a liquid state, is the fact that, owing to its transparency, certain objects are to be seen within, ants for example, gnats, and lizards. These, no doubt, must have first adhered to it while liquid, and then, upon its hardening, have remained enclosed within.”

Vergil Aeneid, Volume 1 

[Contains the sentence: “Hic tanem ille urbem Patavia, sedesque locavit Teucrorum, et genti nomen debit, Armaque fixit Troia nunc placid composts pace quiescent” (Yet even there he built the city of Padua and established a Trojan settlement and gave the Nation [those Trojans who settled there] a new name).  According to John Connington, that name was probably Veneti, which was identified with Heneti.  James Henry disagrees]

Tacitus Annals Book 11, Chapter 23

“In the consulship of Aulus Vitellius and Lucius Vipstanus the question of filling up the Senate was discussed, and the chief men of Gallia Comata, as it was called, who had long possessed the rights of allies and of Roman citizens, sought the privilege of obtaining public offices at Rome. There was much talk of every kind on the subject, and it was argued before the emperor with vehement opposition. “Italy,” it was asserted, “is not so feeble as to be unable to furnish its own capital with a senate.  Once our native-born citizens sufficed for peoples of our own kin, and we are by no means dissatisfied with the Rome of the past.  To this day we cite examples, which under our old customs the Roman character exhibited as to valour and renown.  Is it a small thing that Veneti and Insubres have already burst into the Senate-house, unless a mob of foreigners, a troop of captives, so to say, is now forced upon us?  What distinctions will be left for the remnants of our noble houses, or for any impoverished senators from Latium?  Every place will be crowded with these millionaires, whose ancestors of the second and third generations at the head of hostile tribes destroyed our armies with fire and sword, and actually besieged the divine Julius at Alesia. These are recent memories. What if there were to rise up the remembrance of those who fell in Rome‘s citadel and at her altar by the hands of these same barbarians! Let them enjoy indeed the title of citizens, but let them not vulgarise the distinctions of the Senate and the honours of office.”

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Tijuana Hobo , Hebrew Hobo Railroad Rabbi, The Truth Teller Tell True Truth Truthfully. If the Truth is Repugnant to you, You are a Reagan Cultist. Ronald Reagan was Taught by L. Ron Hubbard, Reagan & Hubbard FOUNDED THE SCIENCE FICTION MIND FUCKING GAME- SCIENTOLOGY- then REAGAN USED NERO LINGUIST PROGRAMMING as PRESIDENT to MURDER THE MINDS of AMERICANS!
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