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Island if Ictis

Diodorus Siculus, who flourished between about 60 and about 30 BC, is supposed to have relied for his account of the geography of Britain on a lost work of Pytheas, a Greek geographer from Massalia who made a voyage around the coast of Britain near the end of the fourth century BC, searching for the source of amber. The record of the voyage of Pytheas was lost in antiquity but was known to some later writers, including Timaeus, Posidonius and Pliny the Elder. Their work is contradictory, but from it deductions can be made about what was reported by Pytheas. No other sources concerning the tin trade in the ancient world are known.[1]
Diodorus gives an account that is generally supposed to be a description of the working of Cornish tin at about the time of the voyage of Pytheas. He says:
The inhabitants of that part of Britain which is called Belerion are very fond of strangers and from their intercourse with foreign merchants are civilised in their manner of life. They prepare the tin, working very carefully the earth in which it is produced. The ground is rocky but it contains earthy veins, the produce of which is ground down, smelted and purified. They beat the metal into masses shaped like knuckle-bones and carry it off to a certain island off Britain called Iktis. During the ebb of the tide the intervening space is left dry and they carry over to the island the tin in abundance in their wagons ... Here then the merchants buy the tin from the natives and carry it over to Gaul, and after travelling overland for about thirty days, they finally bring their loads on horses to the mouth of the Rhone.[1]

Looe, Cornwall, another island suggested as Ictis
In the Greek text of Diodorus the name appears, in the accusative case, as "Iktin", so that translators have inferred that the nominative form of the name was "Iktis", rendering this into the medieval lingua franca of Latin (which only rarely used the letter 'k') as "Ictis". However, some commentators doubt that "Ictis" is correct and prefer "Iktin".[2]
In Book IV of his Natural History, Pliny quotes Timaeus and refers to "insulam Mictim" (the island of Mictis, or perhaps of Mictim):
There is an island named Mictis lying inwards six days' sail from Britain, where tin is found, and to which the Britons cross in boats of wickerwork covered with stitched hides.[3]
It has been suggested that "insulam Mictim" was a copying error for insulam Ictim, and Diodorus and Pliny probably both relied on the same primary source. However, while it is possible that "Mictim" and "Iktin" are one and the same, it is also possible that they are different places. The word "inwards" can be interpreted as meaning "towards our home", and six days' sail from Britain could take a boat to somewhere on the Atlantic coast of what is now France.[4]
Strabo, a contemporary of Diodorus, stated in his Geography that British tin was shipped from Massalia on the Mediterranean coast of Gaul.[5]
Julius Caesar, in his De Bello Gallico, says of the Veneti: "This last-named people were by far the most powerful on the coast of Armorica: they had a large fleet plying between their own ports and Britain; they knew more about the handling of ships and the science of navigation than anyone else thereabouts."[6]
[edit] Debate
William Camden, the Elizabethan historian, took the view that the name "Ictis" was so similar to "Vectis", the Latin name for the Isle of Wight, that the two were probably the same island. The Cornish antiquary William Borlase (1696–1772) suggested that Ictis must have been near the coast of Cornwall and could have been a general name for a peninsula there.[7]
In 1960, Gavin de Beer concluded that the most likely location of Iktin (the form of the name he preferred) was St Michael's Mount, a tidal island near the town of Marazion in Cornwall. Apart from the effect of the tide being consistent with what is said by Diodorus, de Beer considered the other benefits of St Michael's Mount for the Britons.[2] This identification is supported by the Roman Britain Organization and its website roman-britain.org.[1]
In 1972, I. S. Maxwell weighed up the competing claims of no fewer than twelve possible sites.[8] In 1983, after excavations, the archaeologist Barry W. Cunliffe proposed the Mount Batten peninsula near Plymouth as the site of Ictis.[3] Near the mouth of the River Erme, not far away, a shipwreck site has produced ingots of ancient tin, which indicates a trade along the coast, although dating the site is difficult and it may not belong to the Bronze Age.[9]
The assessment of Miranda Aldhouse-Green in The Celtic World (1996) was that
The two places considered most likely to be Ictis are the island of St Michael's Mount, Cornwall, and the peninsula of Mount Batten in Plymouth Sound (Cunliffe 1983; Hawkes 1984) ... Mount Batten seems archaeologically more likely as there are a number of finds from there which indicate it was prominent in international trade from the fourth century BC until the first century AD (Cunliffe 1988).[10]
Pytheas of Massalia, or Latin Massilia (Ancient Greek Πυθέας ὁ Μασσαλιώτης, 4th century BC), was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony, Massalia (modern day Marseilles). He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe at about 325 BC.
In this voyage he travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain. He is the first person on record to describe the Midnight Sun. The theoretical existence of a Frigid Zone where the nights are very short in summer and the sun does not set at the summer solstice was already known. Similarly reports of a country of perpetual snows and darkness, the country of the Hyperboreans, had been reaching the Mediterranean for some centuries. Pytheas is the first known scientific visitor and reporter of the arctic, polar ice, and the Germanic tribes. He is the one who introduced the idea of distant Thule to the geographic imagination. His account of the tides is the earliest to state that they are caused by the moon.
1 Dates
2 Record
3 Circumstances of the voyage
4 Discovery of Britain
4.1 The "circumnavigation"
4.2 Name and description of the British
4.3 The three corners of Britain: Kantion, Belerion and Orkas
4.4 The tin trade
5 Discovery of Thule
6 Encounter with drift ice
7 Discovery of the Baltic
8 Voyage to the Don
9 Pytheas' measurements of latitude
9.1 Latitude by the altitude of the sun
9.2 Latitude by the elevation of the north pole
9.3 Location of the Arctic Circle
9.4 Latitude by longest day and shortest solar elevation
10 Pytheas on the tides
11 Literary influence
12 See also
13 Notes
14 Bibliography
15 External links
[edit] Dates
Pliny says that Timaeus (born about 350 BC) believed Pytheas' story of the discovery of amber.[1] Strabo says that Dicaearchus (died about 285 BC) did not trust the stories of Pytheas.[2] That is all the information that survives concerning the date of Pytheas' voyage. Presuming that Timaeus would not have written until after he was 20 years old at about 330 BC and Dicaearchus would have needed time to write his most mature work, after 300 BC, there is no reason not to accept Tozer's window of 330 BC – 300 BC for the voyage.[3] Some would give Timaeus an extra 5 years, bringing the voyage down to 325 BC at earliest. There is no further evidence.
If one presumes that Pytheas would not have written prior to being 20 years old, he would have been a contemporary and competitor of Timaeus and Dicaearchus. As they read his writings he must have written toward the earlier years of the window.
[edit] Record

1620 edition of Strabo's Geographica.
Pytheas described his travels in a work that has not survived; only excerpts remain, quoted or paraphrased by later authors, most familiarly in Strabo's Geographica,[4] Pliny's Natural History and passages in Diodorus of Sicily's history. Most of the ancients, including the first two just mentioned, refer to his work by his name: "Pytheas says ..." Two late writers give titles: the astronomical author Geminus of Rhodes mentions τὰ περὶ τοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ (ta peri tou Okeanou), literally "things about the Ocean", sometimes translated as "Description of the Ocean", "On the Ocean" or "Ocean;" Marcianus, the scholiast on Apollonius of Rhodes, mentions a περίοδος γῆς (periodos gēs), a "trip around the earth" or περίπλους (periplous), "sail around."
Scholars of the 19th century tended to interpret these titles as the names of distinct works covering separate voyages; for example, Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology hypothesizes a voyage to Britain and Thule written about in "Ocean" and another from Cadiz to the Don river, written about in "Sail Around."[5] As is common with ancient texts, multiple titles may represent a single source, for example, if a title refers to a section rather than the whole. The mainstream today recognizes periplus as a genre of navigational literature and concedes that there was only one work, "on the Ocean," which was based on a periplus.
Diodorus does not mention Pytheas by name. The connection is made as follows:[6] Pliny reports that "Timaeus says there is an island named Mictis ... where tin is found, and to which the Britains cross."[7] Diodorus says that tin is brought to the island of Ictis, where there is an emporium. The last link is supplied by Strabo, who says that an emporium on the island of Corbulo in the mouth of the Loire was associated with the Britain of Pytheas by Polybius.[8] Assuming that Ictis, Mictis and Corbulo are the same, Diodorus appears to have read Timaeus, who must have read Pytheas, whom Polybius also read.
[edit] Circumstances of the voyage
Further information: Greeks in pre-Roman Gaul
Pytheas was not the first Mediterranean mariner to reach the British Isles. The Massaliote Periplus is a more extensive fragment preserved in paraphrase in the Ora Maritima, a poem of the 4th century AD written by the Roman, Avienus. This periplus of a ship from Marseilles on which the poem relies is uncertain in date, but is believed to be possibly from the 6th century BC, not long after the founding of the city. It primarily describes the coasts of southern Spain and Portugal, but makes brief mention of a visit to "the sacred isle" (Ireland, Ierne) located across from Albion (an early name for Britain).
The start of Pytheas's voyage is unknown. The Carthaginians had closed the Strait of Gibraltar to all ships from other nations. Some historians, mainly of the late 19th century and before, therefore speculated (on no evidence) that he must have traveled overland to the mouth of the Loire or the Garonne. Others believed that, to avoid the Carthaginian blockade, he may have stuck close to land and sailed only at night, or taken advantage of a temporary lapse in the blockade.[9]
An alternate theory holds that by the 4th century BC, the western Greeks, especially the Massaliotes, were on amicable terms with Carthage. In 348 BC, Carthage and Rome came to terms over the Sicilian Wars with a treaty defining their mutual interests. Rome could use Sicilian markets, Carthage could buy and sell goods at Rome, and slaves taken by Carthage from allies of Rome were to be set free. Rome was to stay out of the western Mediterranean, but these terms did not apply to Massalia, which had its own treaty. During the last half of the 4th century BC, the time of Pytheas' voyage, Massaliotes were presumably free to operate as they pleased; there is, at least, no evidence of conflict with Carthage in any of the sources that touch on the voyage.[10]
The early part of Pytheas' voyage is outlined by statements of Eratosthenes that Strabo says are false because taken from Pytheas.[11] Apparently, Pytheas said that tides ended at the "sacred promontory" (Ieron akrōtērion, or Sagres Point), and from there to Gades is said to be 5 days' sail. Strabo complains about this distance, and about Pytheas' portrayal of the exact location of Tartessos. Mention of these places in a journal of the voyage indicates that Pytheas passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and sailed north along the coast of Portugal.
[edit] Discovery of Britain
[edit] The "circumnavigation"

A 1490 Italian reconstruction of the map of Ptolemy. The map is a result of a combination of the lines of roads and of the coasting expeditions during the first century of Roman occupation. One great fault, however, is a lopsided Scotland, which in one hypothesis is the result of Ptolemy using Pytheas' measurements of latitude (see below).[12] Whether Ptolemy would have had Pytheas' real latitudes at that time is a much debated issue.
Strabo reports that Pytheas says he "travelled over the whole of Britain that was accessible."[13] The word epelthein, at root "come upon", does not mean by any specific method, and Pytheas does not elaborate. He does use the word "whole" and he states a perimetron ("perimeter") of more than 40000 stadia. Using Herodotus' standard of 600 feet for one stadium obtains 4545 miles; however, there is no way to tell which standard foot was in effect. The English foot is an approximation. Strabo wants to discredit Pytheas on the grounds that 40000 stadia is outrageously high and cannot be real.
Diodorus Siculus gives a similar number:[14] 42500 stadia, about 4830 miles, and explains that it is the perimeter of a triangle around Britain. The consensus has been that he probably took his information from Pytheas through Timaeaus. Pliny gives the circuitus reported by Pytheas as 4875 Roman miles.[15]
The explorer Fridtjof Nansen explains this apparent fantasy of Pytheas as a mistake of Timaeus.[16] Strabo and Diodorus Siculus) never saw Pytheas' work, says Nansen, but they and others read of him in Timaeus. Pytheas reported only days' sail. Timaeus converted days to stadia at the rate of 1000 per day, a standard figure of the times. However, Pytheas only sailed 560 stadia per day for a total of 23800, which in Nansen's view is consistent with 700 stadia per degree. Nansen goes on to point out that Pytheas must have stopped to obtain astronomical data; presumably, the extra time was spent ashore. Using the stadia of Diodorus Siculus, one obtains 42.5 days for the time that would be spent in circumnavigating Britain. (It may have been a virtual circumnavigation; see under Thule below.)
The ancient perimeter, according to Nansen based on the 23800, was 2375 miles. This number is in the neighborhood of what a triangular perimeter ought to be but it cannot be verified against anything Pytheas may have said, nor is Diodorus Siculus very precise about the locations of the legs. The "perimeter" is often translated as "coastline," but this translation is misleading. The coastline, following all the bays and inlets, is 12,429 kilometres (7,723 mi) (see Geography of the United Kingdom). Pytheas could have travelled any perimeter between that number and Diodorus'. Polybius adds that Pytheas said he traversed the whole of Britain on foot,[17] of which he, Polybius, is skeptical. Despite Strabo's conviction of a lie, the perimeter said to have been given by Pytheas is not evidence of it. The issue of what he did say can never be settled until more fragments of Pytheas turn up.
[edit] Name and description of the British
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For "Britain" Pytheas through Strabo uses Bretannikē as a feminine noun, although its form is that of an adjective: "the Britannic." Pliny uses Britannia, with Britanniae meaning all the islands, "the Britains." Diodorus has Brettanikē nēsos, "the British Island", and Brettanoi, "the British." Ptolemy has Bretania and Bretanikai nēsoi.
On the surface it would appear that Pytheas was the first to use the name, Britannia. Manuscript variants however offer a P- alternating with B-, and there is good reason for thinking that the name learned by Pytheas had P-, as in *Pretania or *Pritannia, etc. The etymology of "Britain" is so convincing that many authors use the P-form, going so far as to quote the Greek or Latin with P-, even though it is predominantly B-; they attribute the B- to replacement by the Romans in the time of Julius Caesar.[18]

Form from a Pictish stone dated to the Middle Ages, but reflecting the custom surviving from the ancient Picts.
"Britain" is most like Welsh Ynys Prydein, "the island of Britain", in which is a P-Celtic allophone of Q-Celtic Cruithne in Irish Cruithen-tuath, "land of the Picts." The base word is Scottish/Irish cruth, Welsh pryd, "form." The British were the "people of forms",[19] referring to their practice of tattooing or warpainting.[20] The Roman word Picti, "the Picts", means "painted."
This etymology if correct suggests that Pytheas never visited Ireland or talked to the Irish, as they used the Q-Celtic, but Pytheas brought back the P-Celtic form.[citation needed] Furthermore, some Welsh ancestral language was spoken over all of Britain and Celtic was already divided.

Reconstruction of a Celtic thatched hut in Wales.
Diodorus based on Pytheas reports that Britain is cold and subject to frosts, being "too much subject to the bear," and not "under the Arctic pole," as some translations say.[21] This report suggests that Pytheas was there in the early Spring, as he encountered frosts but not blizzards, drifts and frozen bodies of water.
The numerous population of natives, he says, live in thatched cottages, store their grain in subterranean caches and bake bread from it.[21] They are "of simple manners" (ēthesin haplous) and are content with plain fare. They are ruled by many kings and princes who live in peace with each other. Their troops fight from chariots, as did the Greeks in the Trojan War.
[edit] The three corners of Britain: Kantion, Belerion and Orkas
Opposite Europe in Diodorus is the promontory (akrōtērion) of Kantion (Kent), 100 stadia, approximately 11.35 miles, from the land, but the text is ambiguous; the land could be either Britain or the continent. Beyond by four days' sail is another promontory, Belerion, which can only be Cornwall, as Diodorus is describing the triangular perimeter and the third point is Orkas, presumably the main island of the Orkney Islands.
[edit] The tin trade
The inhabitants of Cornwall are involved in the manufacture of tin ingots. They mine the ore, smelt it and then work it into pieces the shape of knuckle-bones, after which it is transported to the island of Ictis by wagon, which can be done at low tide. Merchants purchasing it there pack it on horses for 30 days to the Rhone river, where it is carried down to the mouth. Diodorus says that the inhabitants of Cornwall are civilised in manner and especially hospitable to strangers because of their dealings with foreign merchants.
[edit] Discovery of Thule

Grain field in modern Trondheim, Norway.
Strabo relates, taking his text from Polybius, "Pytheas asserts that he explored in person the whole northern region of Europe as far as the ends of the world."[22] Strabo does not believe it but he explains what Pytheas means by the ends of the world.[23] Thoulē, he says (today spelled Thule),[24] is the most northerly of the British Isles. There the circle of the summer tropic is the same as the Arctic Circle (see below on Arctic Circle). Moreover, says Strabo, none of the other authors mention Thule, a fact which he uses to discredit Pytheas, but which to moderns indicates Pytheas was the first explorer to arrive there and tell of it.
Thule is described as an island of six days' sailing north of Britain, near the frozen sea (pepēguia thalatta, "solidified sea").[25] Pliny adds that it has no nights at midsummer when the sun is passing through the sign of the crab (summer solstice),[7] a reaffirmation that it is on the Arctic Circle. He adds that the crossing to Thule starts at the island of Berrice, "the largest of all", which may be Lewis in the outer Hebrides. If Berrice was in the outer Hebrides, the crossing would have brought Pytheas to the vicinity of Trondheim, Norway, explaining how he managed to miss the Skagerrak. If this is his route, in all likelihood he did not actually circumnavigate Britain, but returned along the coast of Germany, accounting for his somewhat larger perimeter.
Concerning the location of Thule, a discrepancy in data caused subsequent geographers some problems, and may be responsible for Ptolemy's distortion of Scotland. Strabo reports that Eratosthenes places Thule at a parallel 11500 stadia (1305 miles, or 16.4°) north of the mouth of the Borysthenes.[25] The parallel running through that mouth also passes through Celtica and is Pytheas' base line. Using 3700 or 3800 stadia (approximately 420–430 miles or 5.3°-5.4°) north of Marseilles for a base line obtains a latitude of 64.8° or 64.9° for Thule, well short of the Arctic Circle. It is in fact the latitude of Trondheim, where Pytheas probably made land.
A statement by Geminus of Rhodes quotes On the Ocean as saying:[26]
... the Barbarians showed us the place where the sun goes to rest. For it was the case that in these parts the nights were very short, in some places two, in others three hours long, so that the sun rose again a short time after it had set.
Nansen points out that according to this statement, Pytheas was there in person and that the 21- and 22-hour days must be the customary statement of latitude by length of longest day. He calculates the latitudes to be 64° 32′ and 65° 31′, supporting Hipparchus' statement of the latitude of Thule. And yet Strabo says:[23]
Pytheas of Massalia tells us that Thule ... is farthest north, and that there the circle of the summer tropic is the same as the Arctic[27] Circle.
Eratosthenes extends the latitudinal distance from Massalia to Celtica to 5000 stadia (7.1°), placing the base line in Normandy. The northernmost location cited in Britain at the Firth of Clyde is now northern Scotland. To get this country south of Britain to conform to Strabo's interpretation of Pytheas, Ptolemy has to rotate Scotland by 90°.
The 5000 stadia must be discounted: it crosses the Borysthenes upriver near Kiev rather than at the mouth.[28] It does place Pytheas on the Arctic Circle, which in Norway is just south of the Lofoten islands. On the surface it appears that Eratosthenes altered the base line to pass through the northern extreme of Celtica. Pytheas, as related by Hipparchus, probably cited the place in Celtica where he first made land. If he used the same practice in Norway, Thule is at least the entire northwest coast of Norway from Trondheim to the Lofoten Islands.
The explorer, Richard Francis Burton, in his study of Thule points out that it has had many definitions over the centuries. Many more authors have written about it than remembered Pytheas. The question of the location of Pytheas' Thule remains. The latitudes given by the ancient authors can be reconciled. The missing datum required to fix the location is longitude: "Manifestly we cannot rely upon the longitude."[29]
Pytheas crossed the waters northward from Berrice, in the north of the British Isles, but whether to starboard, larboard, or straight ahead is not known. From the time of the Roman Empire all the possibilities were suggested repeatedly by each generation of writers: Iceland, Shetland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and later Greenland. A manuscript variant of a name in Pliny has abetted the Iceland theory: Nerigon instead of Berrice, which sounds like Norway. If one sails west from Norway one encounters Iceland. Burton himself espoused this theory.
The standard texts have Berrice today, as well as Bergos for Vergos in the same list of islands. The Scandiae islands are more of a problem, as they could be Scandinavia, but other islands had that name as well. Moreover Procopius says[30] that the earlier name of Scandinavia was Thule and that it was the home of the Goths. The fact that Pytheas returned from the vicinity of the Baltic favors Procopius's view. The fact that Pytheas lived centuries before the colonization of Iceland and Greenland by European agriculturalists makes them less likely candidates, as Thule was populated and its soil was tilled.
Concerning the people of Thule Strabo says of Pytheas, but grudgingly:[31]
... he might possibly seem to have made adequate use of the facts as regards the people who live close to the frozen zone, when he says that, ... the people live on millet and other herbs, and on fruits and roots; and where there are grain and honey, the people get their beverage, also, from them. As for the grain, he says, – since they have no pure sunshine – they pound it out in large storehouses, after first gathering in the ears thither; for the threshing floors become useless because of this lack of sunshine and because of the rains.
What he seems to be describing is an agricultural country that uses barns for threshing grain rather than the Mediterranean outside floor of sun-baked mud and manufactures a drink, possibly mead.[32]
[edit] Encounter with drift ice

Pancake ice in the Baltic in spring near the Swedish coast.
After mentioning the crossing (navigatio) from Berrice to Tyle, Pliny makes a brief statement that:
A Tyle unius diei navigatione mare concretum a nonnullis Cronium appellatur.
"One day's sail from Thule is the frozen ocean, called by some the Cronian Sea."
The mare concretum appears to match Strabo's pepēguia thalatta and is probably the same as the topoi ("places") mentioned in Strabo's apparent description of spring drift ice, which would have stopped his voyage further north and was for him the ultimate limit of the world. Strabo says:[13][33]
Pytheas also speaks of the waters around Thule and of those places where land properly speaking no longer exists, nor sea nor air, but a mixture of these things, like a "marine lung", in which it is said that earth and water and all things are in suspension as if this something was a link between all these elements, on which one can neither walk nor sail.
The term used for "marine lung" (pleumōn thalattios) appears to refer to jellyfish of the type the ancients called sea-lung. The latter are mentioned by Aristotle in On the Parts of Animals as being free-floating and insensate.[34] They are not further identifiable from what Aristotle says but some pulmones appear in Pliny as a class of insensate sea animal;[35] specifically the halipleumon ("salt-water lung").[36] William Ogle, Aristotle's translator and annotator, attributes the name sea-lung to the lung-like expansion and contraction of the Medusae, a kind of Cnidaria, during locomotion.[37] The ice resembled floating circles in the water. The modern term for this phenomenon is pancake ice.
The association of Pytheas' observations with drift ice has long been standard in navigational literature, including Bowditch, which begins Chapter 33, Ice Navigation, with Pytheas.[38] At its edge, sea, slush, and ice mix, surrounded by fog.
[edit] Discovery of the Baltic

Strabo says that Pytheas gave an account of "what is beyond the Rhine as far as Scythia", which he, Strabo, thinks is false.[39] In the geographers of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, such as Ptolemy, Scythia stretches eastward from the mouth of the Vistula; thus Pytheas must have described the Germanic coast of the Baltic sea; if the statement is true, there are no other possibilities. As to whether he explored it in person, he said that he explored the entire north in person (see under Thule above). As the periplus was a sort of ship's log, he probably did reach the Vistula.
According to The Natural History by Pliny the Elder:[1]
Pytheas says that the Gutones, a people of Germany, inhabit the shores of an estuary 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.
The "Gutones" is a simplification of two manuscript variants, Guttonibus and Guionibus, which would be in the nominative case Guttones or Guiones, the Goths in the mainstream view.[40] The second major manuscript variant is either Mentonomon (nominative case) or Metuonidis (genitive case). A number of etymologies have been proposed but none very well accepted. Amber is not actually named. It is called the concreti maris purgamentum, "the leavings of the frozen sea" after the spring melt. Diodorus uses ēlektron, the Greek word for amber, the object that gave its name to electricity through its ability to acquire a charge. Pliny is presenting an archaic view, as in his time amber was a precious stone brought from the Baltic at great expense, but the Germans, he says, use it for firewood, according to Pytheas.
"Mentonomon" is unambiguously stated to be an aestuarium or "estuary" of 6000 stadia, which using the Herodotean standard of 600 feet per stadium is 681 miles. That number happens to be the distance from the mouth of the Skagerrak to the mouth of the Vistula, but no source says explicitly where the figure was taken. Competing views, however, usually have to reinterpret "estuary" to mean something other than an estuary, as the west of the Baltic Sea is the only body of estuarial water of sufficient length in the region.
Earlier Pliny says that a large island of three days' sail from the Scythian coast called Balcia by Xenophon of Lampsacus is called Basilia by Pytheas.[41] It is generally understood to be the same as Abalus. Based on the amber, the island could have been Heligoland, Zealand, the shores of Bay of Gdansk, Sambia or the Curonian Lagoon, which were historically the richest sources of amber in northern Europe. This is the earliest use of Germania.
[edit] Voyage to the Don
Pytheas claimed to have explored the entire north; however, he turned back at the mouth of the Vistula, the border with Scythia. If he had gone on he would have discovered the ancestral Balts. They occupied the lands to the east of the Vistula. In the west they began with the people living around Frisches Haff, Lithuanian Aismarės, "sea of the Aistians," who in that vicinity became the Baltic Prussians.[42] On the east Herodotus called them the Neuri, a name related to Old Prussian narus, "the deep," in the sense of water country. Later Lithuanians would be "the people of the shore." The Vistula was the traditional limit of Greater Germany. Place names featuring *ner- or *nar- are wide-ranging over the vast Proto-Baltic homeland, occupying western Russia before the Slavs.[43]
Herodotus says that the Neuri had Scythian customs, but they were at first not considered Scythian.[44] During the war between the Scythians and the Persian Empire, the Scythians came to dominate the Neuri. Strabo, younger contemporary of Pytheas, denies that any knowledge of the shores of the eastern Baltic existed. He had heard of the Sauromatai, but had no idea where to place them.[45] Herodotus had mentioned these Sauromatai as a distinct people living near the Neuri. Pliny the Elder, however, is much better informed. The island of Baunonia (Bornholm), he says lies a days' sail off Scythia, where amber is collected.[41] To him the limit of Germany is the Vistula. In contrast to Strabo, he knows that the Goths live around the Vistula, but these are definitely Germans.
By the time of Tacitus, the Aestii have emerged.[46] The former Scythia is now entirely Sarmatia. Evidently the Sarmatians have conquered westward to the Vistula. The Goths have moved to the south. That the Balts lived east of the Vistula from remote prehistoric times is unquestioned. The Baltic languages, however, are only known from the 2nd millennium AD. They are known to have developed in tribal contexts, as they were originally tribal. The first mention of any tribes is in Ptolemy's description of European Sarmatia, where the main Prussian tribes are mentioned for the first time.[47] In Tacitus, only the language of the Aestii is mentioned. Strabo distinguishes the Venedi, who were Slavs. From these few references, which are the only surviving evidence apart from place name analysis, it would seem that the Balts Pytheas would have encountered were past the Common Balto-Slavic stage, but still spoke one language, which would have been Proto-Baltic. By turning back at what he thought was the limit of Germany, he not only missed the Balts, but did not discover that more Germans, the Goths, had moved into the Baltic area.
Polybius relates: "... on his return thence (from the north), he traversed the whole of the coast of Europe from Gades to the Tanais."[48] Some authors consider this leg a second voyage, as it does not seem likely he would pass by Marseilles without refitting and refreshing the crew. It is striking that he encountered the border of Scythia, turned around, and went around Europe counter-clockwise until he came to the southern side of Scythia on the Black Sea. It is possible to speculate that he may have hoped to circumnavigate Europe, but the sources do not say. In other, even more speculative interpretations, Pytheas returned north and the Tanais is not the Don but is a northern river, such as the Elbe river.[5]
[edit] Pytheas' measurements of latitude
[edit] Latitude by the altitude of the sun
In discussing the work of Pytheas, Strabo typically uses direct discourse: "Pytheas says ..." In presenting his astronomical observations, he changes to indirect discourse: "Hipparchus says that Pytheas says ..." either because he never read Pytheas' manuscript (because it was not available to him) or in deference to Hipparchus, who appears to have been the first to apply the Babylonian system of representing the sphere of the earth by 360°.[49]
Strabo uses the degrees, based on Hipparchus.[50] Neither say that Pytheas did. Nevertheless Pytheas did obtain latitudes, which, according to Strabo, he expressed in proportions of the gnōmōn ("index"), or trigonometric tangents of angles of elevation to celestial bodies. They were measured on the gnōmōn, the vertical leg of a right triangle, and the flat leg of the triangle. The imaginary hypotenuse looked along the line of sight to the celestial body or marked the edge of a shadow cast by the vertical leg on the horizontal leg.
Pytheas took the altitude of the sun at Massalia at noon on the longest day of the year and found that the tangent was the proportion of 120 (the length of the gnōmōn) to 1/5 less than 42 (the length of the shadow).[51] Hipparchus, relying on the authority of Pytheas (says Strabo[52]), states that the ratio is the same as for Byzantium and that the two therefore are on the same parallel. Nansen and others prefer to give the cotangent 209/600,[53] which is the inverse of the tangent, but the angle is greater than 45° and it is the tangent that Strabo states. His number system did not permit him to express it as a decimal but the tangent is about 2.87.
It is unlikely that any of the geographers could compute the arctangent, or angle of that tangent. Moderns look it up in a table. Hipparchos is said to have had a table of some angles. The altitude, or angle of elevation, is 70° 47’ 50″[53] but that is not the latitude.
At noon on the longest day the plane of longitude passing through Marseilles is exactly on edge to the sun. If the Earth's axis were not tilted toward the sun, a vertical rod at the equator would have no shadow. A rod further north would have a north-south shadow, and as an elevation of 90° would be a zero latitude, the complement of the elevation gives the latitude. The sun is even higher in the sky due to the tilt. The angle added to the elevation by the tilt is known as the obliquity of the ecliptic and at that time was 23° 44′ 40″.[53] The complement of the elevation less the obliquity is 43° 13′, only 5′ in error from Marseilles's latitude, 43° 18′.[54]
[edit] Latitude by the elevation of the north pole
A second method of determining the latitude of the observer measures the angle of elevation of a celestial pole, north in the northern hemisphere. Seen from zero latitude the north pole's elevation is zero; that is, it is a point on the horizon. The declination of the observer's zenith also is zero and therefore so is his latitude.
As the observer's latitude increases (he travels north) so does the declination. The pole rises over the horizon by an angle of the same amount. The elevation at the terrestrial North Pole is 90° (straight up) and the celestial pole has a declination of the same value. The latitude also is 90.[55]
Moderns have Polaris to mark the approximate location of the North celestial pole, which it does nearly exactly, but this position of Polaris was not available in Pytheas' time, due to changes in the positions of the stars. Pytheas reported that the pole was an empty space at the corner of a quadrangle, the other three sides of which were marked by stars.[56] Their identity has not survived but based on calculations these are believed to have been α and κ in Draco and β in Ursa Minor.[57]
Pytheas sailed northward with the intent of locating the Arctic Circle and exploring the "frigid zone" to the north of it at the extreme of the earth. He did not know the latitude of the circle in degrees. All he had to go by was the definition of the frigid zone as the latitudes north of the line where the celestial arctic circle was equal to the celestial Tropic of Cancer, the tropikos kuklos (refer to the next subsection). Strabo's angular report of this line as being at 24° may well be based on a tangent known to Pytheas, but he does not say that. In whatever mathematical form Pytheas knew the location, he could only have determined when he was there by taking periodic readings of the elevation of the pole (eksarma tou polou in Strabo and others).
Today the elevation can be obtained easily on ship with a quadrant. Electronic navigational systems have made even this simple measure unnecessary. Longitude was beyond Pytheas and his peers, but it was not of as great a consequence, because ships seldom strayed out of sight of land. East-west distance was a matter of contention to the geographers; they are one of Strabo's most frequent topics. Because of the gnōmōn north-south distances were accurate often to within a degree.
It is unlikely that any gnōmōn could be read accurately on the pitching deck of a small vessel at night. Pytheas must have made frequent overnight stops to use his gnōmōn and talk to the natives, which would have required interpreters, probably acquired along the way. The few fragments that have survived indicate that this material was a significant part of the periplus, possibly kept as the ship's log. There is little hint of native hostility; the Celts and the Germans appear to have helped him, which suggests that the expedition was put forward as purely scientific. In any case all voyages required stops for food, water and repairs; the treatment of voyagers fell under the special "guest" ethic for visitors.
[edit] Location of the Arctic Circle
The ancient Greek view of the heavenly bodies on which their navigation was based was imported from Babylonia by the Ionian Greeks, who used it to become a seafaring nation of merchants and colonists during the Archaic period in Greece. Massalia was an Ionian colony. The first Ionian philosopher, Thales, was known for his ability to measure the distance of a ship at sea from a cliff by the very method Pytheas used to determine the latitude of Massalia, the trigonometric ratios.
The astronomic model on which ancient Greek navigation was based, which is still in place today, was already extant in the time of Pytheas, the concept of the degrees only being missing. The model[58] divided the universe into a celestial and an earthly sphere pierced by the same poles. Each of the spheres were divided into zones (zonai) by circles (kukloi) in planes at right angles to the poles. The zones of the celestial sphere repeated on a larger scale those of the terrestrial sphere.
The basis for division into zones was the two distinct paths of the heavenly bodies: that of the stars and that of the sun and moon. Astronomers know today that the Earth revolving around the sun is tilted on its axis, bringing each hemisphere now closer to the sun, now further away. The Greeks had the opposite model, that the stars and the sun rotated around the earth. The stars moved in fixed circles around the poles. The sun moved at an oblique angle to the circles, which obliquity brought it now to the north, now to the south. The circle of the sun was the ecliptic. It was the center of a band called the zodiac on which various constellations were located.
The shadow cast by a vertical rod at noon was the basis for defining zonation. The intersection of the northernmost or southernmost points of the ecliptic defined the axial circles passing through those points as the two tropics (tropikoi kukloi, "circles at the turning points") later named for the zodiacal constellations found there, Cancer and Capricorn. During noon of the summer solstice (therinē tropē) rods there cast no shadow.[59] The latitudes between the tropics were called the torrid zone (diakekaumenē, "burned up").
Based on their experience of the Torrid Zone south of Egypt and Libya, the Greek geographers judged it uninhabitable. Symmetry requires that there be an uninhabitable Frigid Zone (katepsugmenē, "frozen") to the north and reports from there since the time of Homer seemed to confirm it. The edge of the Frigid Zone ought to be as far south from the North Pole in latitude as the Summer Tropic is from the Equator. Strabo gives it as 24°, which may be based on a previous tangent of Pytheas, but he does not say. The Arctic Circle would then be at 66°, accurate to within a degree.[60]
Seen from the equator the celestial North Pole (boreios polos) is a point on the horizon. As the observer moves northward the pole rises and the circumpolar stars appear, now unblocked by the Earth. At the Tropic of Cancer the radius of the circumpolar stars reaches 24°. The edge stands on the horizon. The constellation of mikra arktos (Ursa Minor, "little bear") was entirely contained within the circumpolar region. The latitude was therefore called the arktikos kuklos, "circle of the bear." The terrestrial Arctic Circle was regarded as fixed at this latitude. The celestial Arctic Circle was regarded as identical to the circumference of the circumpolar stars and therefore a variable.
When the observer is on the terrestrial Arctic Circle and the radius of the circumpolar stars is 66° the celestial Arctic Circle is identical to the celestial Tropic of Cancer.[61] That is what Pytheas means when he says that Thule is located at the place where the Arctic Circle is identical to the Tropic of Cancer.[23] At that point, on the day of the Summer Solstice, the vertical rod of the gnōmōn casts a shadow extending in theory to the horizon over 360° as the sun does not set. Under the pole the Arctic Circle is identical to the Equator and the sun never sets but rises and falls on the horizon. The shadow of the gnōmōn winds perpetually around it.
[edit] Latitude by longest day and shortest solar elevation
Strabo uses the astronomical cubit (pēchus, the length of the forearm from the elbow to the tip of the little finger) as a measure of the elevation of the sun. The term "cubit" in this context is obscure; it has nothing to do with distance along either a straight line or an arc, does not apply to celestial distances, and has nothing to do with the gnōmōn. Hipparchus borrowed this term from Babylonia, where it meant 2°. They in turn took it from ancient Sumer so long ago that if the connection between cubits and degrees was known in either Babylonia or Ionia it did not survive. Strabo states degrees in either cubits or as a proportion of a great circle. The Greeks also used the length of day at the summer solstice as a measure of latitude. It is stated in equinoctial hours (hōrai isēmerinai), one being 1/12 of the time between sunrise and sunset on an equinox.
Based partly on data taken from Pytheas, Hipparchus correlated cubits of the sun's elevation at noon on the winter solstice, latitudes in hours of a day on the summer solstice, and distances between latitudes in stadia for some locations.[62] Pytheas had proved that Marseilles and Byzantium were on the same parallel (see above). Hipparchus, through Strabo,[63] adds that Byzantium and the mouth of the Borysthenes, today's Dnepr river, were on the same meridian and were separated by 3700 stadia, 5.3° at Strabo's 700 stadia per a degree of meridian arc. As the parallel through the river-mouth also crossed the coast of "Celtica", the distance due north from Marseilles to Celtica was 3700 stadia, a baseline from which Pytheas seems to have calculated latitude and distance.[64]
Strabo says that Ierne (Ireland) is under 5000 stadia (7.1°) north of this line. These figures place Celtica around the mouth of the Loire river, an emporium for the trading of British tin. The part of Ireland referenced is the vicinity of Belfast. Pytheas then would either have crossed the Bay of Biscay from the coast of Spain to the mouth of the Loire, or reached it along the coast, crossed the English channel from the vicinity of Brest, France to Cornwall, and traversed the Irish Sea to reach the Orkney Islands. A statement of Eratosthenes attributed by Strabo to Pytheas, that the north of the Iberian Peninsula was an easier passage to Celtica than across the Ocean,[65] is somewhat ambiguous: apparently he knew or knew of both routes, but he does not say which he took.
At noon on the winter solstice the sun stands at 9 cubits and the longest day on the summer solstice is 16 hours at the baseline through Celtica.[66] At 2500 stadia, approximately 283 miles, or 3.6°, north of Celtica, are a people Hipparchus called Celtic, but whom Strabo thinks are the British, a discrepancy he might not have noted if he had known that the British were also Celtic. The location is Cornwall. The sun stands at 6 cubits and the longest day is 17 hours. At 9100 stadia, approximately 1032 miles, north of Marseilles, 5400 or 7.7° north of Celtica, the elevation is 4 cubits and the longest day is 18 hours. This location is in the vicinity of the Firth of Clyde.
Here Strabo launches another quibble. Hipparchus, relying on Pytheas, according to Strabo, places this area south of Britain, but he, Strabo, calculates that it is north of Ierne. Pytheas, however, rightly knows what is now Scotland as part of Britain, land of the Picts, even though north of Ierne. North of southern Scotland the longest day is 19 hours. Strabo, based on theory alone, states that Ierne is so cold[23] that any lands north of it must be uninhabited. In the hindsight given to moderns Pytheas, in relying on observation in the field, appears more scientific than Strabo, who discounted the findings of others merely because of their to him strangeness. The ultimate cause of his skepticism is simply that he did not believe Scandinavia could exist. This disbelief may also be the cause of alteration of Pytheas' data.
[edit] Pytheas on the tides
Pliny reports that "Pytheas of Massalia informs us, that in Britain the tide rises 80 cubits."[67] The passage does not give enough information to determine which cubit Pliny meant; however, any cubit gives the same general result. If he was reading an early source, the cubit may have been the Cyrenaic cubit, an early Greek cubit, of 463.1 mm, in which case the distance was 37 metres (121 ft). This number far exceeds any modern known tides. The National Oceanography Centre, which records tides at tidal gauges placed in about 55 ports of the UK Tide Gauge Network on an ongoing basis, records the highest mean tidal change between 1987 and 2007 at Avonmouth in the Severn Estuary of 6.955 m (22.82 ft).[68] The highest predicted spring tide between 2008 and 2026 at that location will be 14.64 m (48.0 ft) on 29 September 2015.[69] Even allowing for geologic and climate change, Pytheas' 80 cubits far exceeds any known tides around Britain. One well-circulated but unevidenced answer to the paradox is that Pytheas is referring to a storm surge.[3]
Matching fragments of Aëtius in pseudo-Plutarch and Stobaeus[70] attribute the flood tides (πλήμμυραι plēmmurai) to the "filling of the moon" (πλήρωσις τῆς σελήνης plērōsis tēs sēlēnēs) and the ebb tides (ἀμπώτιδες ampōtides) to the "lessening" (μείωσις meiōsis). The words are too ambiguous to make an exact determination of Pytheas' meaning, whether diurnal or spring and neap tides are meant, or whether full and new moons or the half-cycles in which they occur. Different translators take different views.
That daily tides should be caused by full moons and new moons is manifestly wrong, which would be a surprising view in a Greek astronomer and mathematician of the times. He could have meant that spring and neap tides were caused by new and full moons, which is partially correct in that spring tides occur at those times. A gravitational theory (objects fall to the center) existed at the time but Pytheas appears to have meant that the phases themselves were the causes (αἰτίαι aitiai). However imperfect or imperfectly related the viewpoint, Pytheas was the first to associate the tides to the phases of the moon.
[edit] Literary influence
Pytheas was a central source of information to later periods, and possibly the only source.[71]
Strabo, citing Polybius, accuses Pytheas of promulgating a fictitious journey he could never have funded, as he was a private individual (idiōtēs) and a poor man (penēs).[22] Markham proposes a possible answer to the funding question:[72] seeing that Pytheas was known as a professional geographer and that north Europe was as yet a question mark to Massalian merchants, he suggests that "the enterprise was a government expedition of which Pytheas was placed in command." In another suggestion the merchants of Marseilles sent him out to find northern markets. These theories are speculative but perhaps less so than Strabo's contention that Pytheas was a charlatan just because a professional geographer doubted him.[73]
Strabo does explain his reasons for doubting Pytheas' veracity. Citing numerous instances of Pytheas apparently being far off the mark on details concening known regions, he says: "however, any man who has told such great falsehoods about the known regions would hardly, I imagine, be able to tell the truth about places that are not known to anybody."[39] As an example he mentions that Pytheas says Kent is several days' sail from Celtica when it is visible from Gaul across the channel. If Pytheas had visited the place he should have verified it personally.
The objection although partially true is itself flawed. Strabo interjects his own view of the location of Celtica, that it was opposite to Britain, end to end.[39] Pytheas, however, places it further south, around the mouth of the Loire (see above), from which it might justifiably be several days' sail.[74] The people across from Britain in Caesar's time are the Germani in the north and the Belgae in the south. Still, some of the Celtic lands were on the channel and were visible from it, which Pytheas should have mentioned but Strabo implies he did not.
Strabo's other objections are similarly flawed or else completely wrong. He simply did not believe the earth was inhabited north of Ierne. Pytheas however could not then answer for himself, or protect his own work from loss or alteration, so most of the questions concerning his voyage remain unresolved, to be worked over by every generation. To some he is a daring adventurer and discoverer;[75] to others, a semi-legendary blunderer or prevaricator.
The logical outcome of this tendency is the historical novel with Pytheas as the main character and the celebration of Pytheas in poetry beginning as far back as Virgil. The process continues into modern times; for example, Pytheas is a key theme in Charles Olson's Maximus Poems. Details of Pytheas’ voyage also serve as the backdrop for Chapter I of Poul Anderson’s science fiction novel, The Boat of a Million Years.
[edit] See also
Britain (name)
Mining in Cornwall
[edit] Notes
^ a b Natural History, Book 37, Chapter 11.
^ Geographica Book II.4.2 (elsewhere paragraph 104).
^ a b Tozer 1897, p. xxi.
^ Book I.4.2-4 covers the astronomical calculations of Pytheas and calls him a prevaricator. Book II.3.5 excuses his prevarication on the grounds of his being a professional. Book III.2.11 and 4.4, Book IV.2.1 criticise him again, Book IV.4.1 mentions his reference to the Celtic Ostimi. Book IV.5.5 describes Thule. Book VII.3.1 accuses him of using his science to cover up lies.
^ a b Smith 1880, Pytheas.
^ Holmes, T. Rice (1907). Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 499–500. http://books.google.com/books?id=5khnAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ancient+Britain+and+the+Invasions+of+Julius+Caesar&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=GjMQSZmmMJLKM6H6pOoP.
^ a b Natural History Book IV Chapter 30 (16.104).
^ Geographica IV.2.1.
^ Whitaker, Ian (December 1981 - January 1982). "The Problem of Pytheas' Thule". The Classical Journal 77 (2): 148–164. JSTOR 3296920.
^ Ebel, Charles (1976). Transalpine Gaul: The Emergence of a Roman Province. Leiden: Brill Archive. pp. 9–15. ISBN 90-04-04384-5, ISBN 978-90-04-04384-8.
^ Geographica III.2.11.
^ James J. Tierney; Ptolemy's Map of Scotland; The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 79, (1959), pp. 132-148
^ a b Geographica Book II.4.1.
^ Book V chapter 21.
^ Natural History Book IV Chapter 30 (16.102).
^ Nansen 1911, p. 51.
^ Book XXXIV chapter 5, which survives as a fragment in Geographica Book II.4.1.
^ Rhys, John (July and October 1891). "Certain National Names of the Aborigines of the British Isles: Sixth Rhind Lecture". The Scottish Review XVIII: 120–143. http://books.google.com/books?id=_g0LAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA99&dq=Certain+National+Names+of+the+Aborigines+of+the+British+Isles&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=yYgQSffVBoyGM8LQnIoH#PPP5,M1.
^ Thomas, Charles (1997). Celtic Britain. London: Thames and Hudson. p. 82. "If we seek a meaning, the favoured view is that it arises from an older word implying 'people of the forms, shapes or depictions' (*kwrt-en-o-)."
^ Allen, Stephen (2007). Lords of Battle: The World of the Celtic Warrior. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 174. "Pretani is generally believed to mean "painted" or rather "tatooed", very likely referring to the use by the Britons of the blue dye extracted from woad. ... it is more likely to be a nickname given them by outsiders ... It may be compared with the word Picti ... which was used by the Romans in the 3rd century AD."
^ a b Siculi, Diodori; Peter Wesseling (Editor); L. Rhodoman; G. Heyn; N. Eyring (1798). "Book V, Sections 21-22" (in Ancient Greek, Latin). Bibliothecae Historicae Libri Qui Supersunt: Nova Editio. Argentorati: Societas Bipontina. pp. 292–297. http://books.google.com/books?id=YtkPAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Bibliothecae+Historicae+Libri+Qui+Supersunt&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=cokQSfClN5SmM7zbkT0#PPA3,M1. The section numeration differs somewhat in different translations; the material is to be found near the end of Book V.
^ a b Geographica II.4.2.
^ a b c d Geographica II.5.8.
^ Pliny uses Tyle. Vergil references ultima Thule in Georgic I, Line 30, where the ultima refer to the ends of the world. Burton 1875, p. 2.
^ a b Geographica I.4.2.
^ Nansen 1911, p. 53; Geminus, Introduction to the Phenomena, vi.9.
^ Page 54.
^ The mouth was further north than it is today; even so, 48.4° is up near Dnepropetrovsk. The Greeks must be allowed some inaccuracy for their measurements. In any case damming has changed the river a great deal and a few thousand years has been enough to change the courses of many rivers.
^ Burton 1875, p. 10.
^ De Bello Gothico, Chapter 15.
^ Geographica IV.5.5.
^ Nelson points out that this passage in Strabo contains "ambiguity": he could mean either one drink made from grain and honey, in which case it would have to be mead unless one classified it as a combination of mead and beer, or two drinks, mead and beer. Strabo uses the singular pōma for "beverage" but the neuter singular does not exclude a type of which there are two specifics. Some mead also is and was made with hops and is strained briefly through grain (see mead) The issue remains. See Nelson, Max (2005). The Barbarian's Beverage: A History of Beer in Ancient Europe. Routledge. p. 64. ISBN 0-415-31121-7, 9780415311212.
^ Translation from Chevallier 1984.
^ IV.5.
^ Natural History IX.71.
^ Natural History XXXII.32.
^ Aristotle; William Ogle (1882). On the Parts of Animals. London: Kegan, Paul, French & Co. p. 226. http://books.google.com/books?id=YvwYAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=On+the+Parts+of+Animals&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=c-YQSfC9EoyGM8LQnIoH.
^ Bowditch, Nathaniel (2002) (pdf). The American Practical Navigator: an Epitome of Navigation (Bicentennial ed.). National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/NAV_PUBS/APN/Chapt-34.pdf. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
^ a b c Geographica I.4.3.
^ Lehmann, Winfred P.; Helen-Jo J. Hewitt (1986). A Gothic Etymological Dictionary. Leiden: E.J. Brill. p. 164. ISBN 90-04-08176-3, 9789004081765.
^ a b Natural History IV.27.13 or IV.13.95 in the Loeb edition.
^ Gimbutas 1967, p. 22.
^ Gimbutas 1967, p. 101.
^ Herodotus IV.105.
^ 7.2.4.
^ Germania, 45.
^ III.5.
^ Polybius XXXIV.5.
^ Lewis, Michael Jonathan Taunton (2001). Surveying Instruments of Greece and Rome. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 26–27. ISBN 0-521-79297-5, 9780521792974.
^ Geographica II.5.34: "If, then, we cut the greatest circle of the Earth into three hundred and sixty sections, each of these sections will have seven hundred stadia."
^ Geographica II.5.41.
^ II.1.12 and again in II.5.8.
^ a b c Nansen 1911, p. 46.
^ Most students of Pytheas presume that his differences from modern calculations represent error due to primitive instrumentation. Rawlins assumes the opposite, that Pytheas observed the sun correctly, but his observatory was a few miles south of west-facing Marseilles. Working backward from the discrepancy, he arrives at Maire Island or Cape Croisette, which Pytheas would have selected for better viewing over the south horizon. To date there is no archaeological or other evidence to support the presence of such an observatory; however, the deficit of antiquities does not prove non-existence. Rawlins, Dennis (December 2009). "Pytheas' Solstice Observation Locates Him". DIO & the Journal for Hysterical Astronomy 16: 11–17. http://www.dioi.org/vols/wg0.pdf.
^ Bowditch, Nathaniel (2002) (pdf). The American Practical Navigator: an Epitome of Navigation (Bicentennial ed.). National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. p. 243. http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/StaticFiles/NAV_PUBS/APN/Chapt-15.pdf. Retrieved 7 June 2012. "That is, the altitude of the elevated pole is equal to the declination of the zenith, which is equal to the latitude"
^ The report survives in the Commentary on the Phainomena of Aratos and Eudoxos, 1.4.1, fragments of which are preserved in Hipparchos.
^ Rihll, T.E.. "Greek and Roman Science and Technology, V3; Specific subjects; Astronomy". Note 14: Swansea University. http://www.swan.ac.uk/grst/Home%20Page%20G&RS&T.htm. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
^ Geographica II.5.3.
^ Geographica II.5.7.
^ Strabo's extensive presentation of the geographic model including the theory of the Arctic is to be found in Book II Chapter 5.
^ Nansen 1911, p. 53.
^ Nansen 1911, p. 52.
^ Strabo II.1.12,13.
^ However, Srabo II.1.18 implies 3800, still attributed to Hipparchus. Eratosthenes has quite a different view. See under Thule.
^ Strabo III.2.11.
^ Strabo II.1.18. The notes of the Loeb Strabo summarize and explain this information.
^ Natural History Book II Chapter 99
^ "Harmonic Constants". National Oceanography Centre. 3 July 2012. http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/constants2.php.
^ "Highest & lowest predicted tides". National Oceanography Centre. 3 July 2012. http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/hilo.php?port=avonmouth.
^ Diels, Hermann (Editor) (1879) (in ancient Greek). Doxographi Graeci. Berlin: G. Reimer. pp. 383. Downloadable Google Books. Diels includes two matching fragments of Aëtius' Placita, one from Pseudo-Plutarch Epitome Book III Chapter 17 often included in Moralia and the other from Stobaeus' Extracta Book I Chapter 38 [33].
^ The only ancient authors we know by name who saw Pytheas' text were Dicaearchus, Timaeus, Eratosthenes, Crates of Mallus, Hipparchus, Polybius, Artemidorus and Posidonius, as Lionel Pearson remarked in reviewing Hans Joachim Mette, Pytheas von Massalia (Berlin: Gruyter) 1952, in Classical Philology 49.3 (July 1954), pp. 212-214.
^ Markham 1893, p. 510.
^ Geographica II.3.5.
^ Graham, Thomas H.B. (July to December 1893). "Thule and the Tin Islands". The Gentlemen's Magazine CCLXXV: 179. http://books.google.com/books?id=7eIIAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA191&dq=Thule+and+the+Tin+Islands&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=iCsQSbK7BY3IMuGU-Qw#PPP7,M1.
^ Sarton, Georg (1993). Ancient Science Through the Golden Age of Greece. New York: Courier Dover Publications. pp. 524–525. ISBN 0-486-27495-0, ISBN 978-0-486-27495-9. "His fate was comparable to that of Marco Polo in later times; some of the things that they told were so extraordinary, so contrary to common experience, that wise and prudent men could not believe them and concluded they were fables"
[edit] Bibliography
Burton, Richard F. (1875). Ultima Thule; or, A Summer in Iceland. London and Edinburgh: William P. Nimmo. http://books.google.com/books?id=sF0eAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Ultima+Thule%3B+or,+A+Summer+in+Iceland&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=yDAQSc6_I4vuMsmdsboH#PPR3,M1.
Chevallier, R. (December, 1984). "The Greco-Roman Conception of the North from Pytheas to Tacitus". Arctic 37 (4): 341–346.
Cunliffe, Barry (2002). The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek: The Man Who Discovered Britain (Revised ed.). Walker & Co, Penguin. ISBN 0-8027-1393-9, ISBN 0-14-200254-2.
Frye, John; Harriet Frye (1985). North to Thule: an imagined narrative of the famous "lost" sea voyage of Pytheas of Massalia in the fourth century B.C. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 0-912697-20-2, ISBN 978-0-912697-20-8.
Gimbutas, Marija (1967). Daniel, Glyn. ed. The Balts. Ancient Peoples and Places. New York: Frederick A. Praeger.
Hawkes, C.F.C. (1977). Pytheas: Europe and the Greek Explorers. Oxford: Blackwell, Classics Department for the Board of Management of the Myres Memorial Fund. 090356307X.
Markham, Clements R. (June 1893). "Pytheas, The Discoverer of Britain". The Geographical Journal (London: The Royal Geographical Society) 1 (6): 504-524. http://books.google.com/books?id=L1gMAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA519&dq=Pytheas,+The+Discoverer+of+Britain&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=NTAQSZ2mKKX2McyGsSI#PPR1,M1.
Nansen, Fridtjof; Arthur G. Chater, Translator (1911). In Northern Mists: Arctic Exploration in Early Times. Volume I. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co.. http://books.google.com/books?id=01IQwNVWzoYC&pg=PR5&dq=In+Northern+Mists:+Arctic+Exploration+in+Early+Times&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=WzsQSY6aDomUMtTt5aUP.
Roller, Duane W. (2006). Through the Pillars of Herakles: Greco-Roman Exploration of the Atlantic. London, New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-37287-9, 9780415372879.
Roseman, Christina Horst (1994). Pytheas of Massalia: On the ocean: Text, translation and commentary. Ares Publishing. ISBN 0-89005-545-9.
Smith, William (1880). "Pytheas". A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. III. London: J. Murray. http://books.google.com/books?id=f-5WAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA628&dq=Pytheas+William+Smith&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hi_wT-GTBaPJ6wGnq7GtBg&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false.
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur (1940). Ultima Thule: further mysteries of the Arctic. New York: Macmillan Co.
Tozer, Henry Fanshawe (1897). History of Ancient Geography. Cambridge: University Press. http://books.google.com/books?id=cnYRAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=History+of+Ancient+Geography&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=1y8QSZTuPIqiM7efpY8M.

Darbyshire, Adrian (8 April 2008). "Pytheas visited the Isle of Man in 300 BC - claim". Isle of Man Today. http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/pytheas-visited-the-isle-of-man-in-300bc-claim-1-1772539. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
Engels, Andre. "Pytheas". Discoverer's Web. Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. http://www.win.tue.nl/~engels/discovery/pytheas.html. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
"Pytheas". The 1911 Classic Encyclopedia. 1911 Classic Encyclopedia project. 1911. http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Pytheas. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
"The Northern Lights Route: The Voyage of Pytheas to Thule". University Library of Tromsø. 1999. http://www.ub.uit.no/northernlights/eng/pytheas.htm. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
St. Michael's Mount was widely known as a port and trading market from very early times. Prehistoric traders passing between the western parts of Britain and the Continent would not have wished to risk the rough and dangerous voyage around Land's End, and so sent their cargoes across the narrowest and most level part of Cornwall from the Hayle estuary to St. Michael's Mount. Ireland was rich in gold and copper, and the Irish traders would have found transport by sea much simpler than the journey along the tracks through the almost impassable forests and swamps of England and Wales. Dr. H. O'Neil Hencken in his book Archaeology of Cornwall and Scilly, published in 1932, suggested that by the Iron Age the island of St. Michael's Mount would have become a highly important port.St. Michael's Mount was also at one time probably the island of "Ictis" from which Cornish tin was exported to the Greek trading communities in the Mediterranean. Towards the end of the fourth century B.C., shortly after the death of Alexander the Great, Pytheas, a Greek geographer from Marseilles, had made a voyage of exploration round the coast of Britain looking for the source of amber in the Baltic. Unfortunately, the records of his voyage were lost but they were known to later classical writers such as Timaeus, Posidonius and Pliny. The evidence of these writings is vague and conflicting but represents all that was known about the tin trade in the ancient classical world. In particular, Diodorus, a Sicilian Greek historian, writing in the first quarter of the first century A. D., gives an account which is probably a description of the working of Cornish tin (by streaming from the rocks) about the time of the voyage of Pytheas, and how it was carried over to St. Michael's Mount."The inhabitants of that part of Britain which is called Belerion [that is to say Land's End]," Diodorus says, "are very fond of strangers and from their intercourse with foreign merchants are civilised in their manner of life. They prepare the tin, working very carefully the earth in which it is produced. The ground is rocky but it contains earthy veins, the produce of which is ground down, smelted and purified. They beat the metal into masses shaped like astralgi [knuckle-bones] and carry it off to a certain island off Britain called Ictis. During the ebb of the tide the intervening space is left dry and they carry over to the island the tin in abundance in their wagons." In a later passage in the same context ~Diodorus says, "Here then the merchants buy the tin from the natives and carry it over to Gaul, and after travelling overland for about thirty days, they finally bring their loads on horses to the mouth of the Rhone." Diodorus mentioned both Marseilles and Narbonne by name as places to which Cornish tin was sent on the Mediterranean coast."St. Michael's Mount, the trading station of the ancients," Dr. Hencken wrote, "rises from Mount's Bay in full view of the early tin streamers' forts and villages." However, he pointed out that it must be admitted that not many signs of the rather advanced civilisation of the foreign merchants have come down to us. One of the main difficulties of identifying St. Michael's Mount with the island of Ictis was the legend that St. Michael's Mount was within historic memory five or six miles inland from the sea in the middle of a dense forest. When William of Worcester visited the Mount in 1478 he recorded that it was formerly called "the Hore-Rock in the wood". Also the old Cornish name for the Mount meant "the grey rock in the forest". However, Sir Gavin de Beer, F.R.S., a former Director of the Natural History Museum, wrote in his book Reflections of A Darwinian, published in 1962, that scientific methods of analysing the traces of old tree trunks still found in Mount's Bay had indicated that the forest was submerged by the sea at least 1, 500 years before Pytheas came there on his voyage of exploration in about 325 B.C. The most likely alternative to St. Michael's Mount as the island of Ictis was the Isle of Wight, the Roman name of which was Vectis, but Sir Gavin de Beer suggested that it had not been possible to cross to the Isle of Wight by foot from the mainland since the days of neolithic man. Also it is most unlikely that Cornish tin should have been carried so far to the port of embarkation. Canon Taylor in his History of St. Michael's Mount suggests that William of Worcester may have confused the English St. Michael's Mount with Mont St. Michel on the coast of Normandy and that the "Hore-Rock in the wood", referred to the French and not to the English Mount.It is improbable that the merchants who bought the tin at St. Michaels Mount were Phoenicians or Carthaginians. Probably the tin was shipped to Gaul by the Veneti, a powerful sea-faring people who inhabited Southern Brittany. The Veneti had close linguistic and cultural contacts with Cornwall. Their ships were described by Julius Caesar who fought a naval battle with them in 56 B.C. They were built solidly of oak with high prows and leather brown sails. Julius Caesar was the last classical writer to mention Cornish tin, probably because the tin trade was ended by the defeat of the Veneti and the Romans had discovered the other sources of tin in Spain.In 1995 an archaeological watching brief of a sewer trench found Later Iron Age pottery, of the Ictis period, and its distribution drew attention to a group of six possible round house platforms - perhaps the site of Ictis itself - on the south-eastern slopes of the Mount. A Neolithic flint arrowhead (circa 3500 B.C.) was also found, adding some support to the suggestion that somewhere as dramatic as the Mount, whether rising from sea or forest, would have been from earliest times a central place of authority similar to Carn Brea, the Neolithic hill-top enclosure near Redruth.

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[The appropriate section numbers, and links to the online citations have kindly been provided by Bill Thayer, the modern icon for Classical Rome, and pioneer of the Online Texts Movement. — Elf.Ed.]

From an untitled pamphlet bound with the article preceding it, taken from the Memoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, Second Series, Volume VII, London: John Weale, Agricultural Library, High Holborn, 1846; pp. 287-324.

The Ictis
Diodorus Siculus.


(Read January 23rd, 1844.)

In the “Bibliotheca Historica” of Diodorus Siculus,1 who flourished towards the middle of the first century, occurs the following passage, relating to the locality in which the tin trade was carried on, between the natives of Cornwall and those who visited the British coast, for the purposes of traffic.
“Concerning their institutions, and other peculiarities, we will treat separately, when we come 288 to Cæsar’s expedition into Britain. But we will now speak of the tin produced there. Those who dwell near the promontory of Britain, called Belerium, are remarkably hospitable; and, from their intercourse with foreign merchants, civilized in their mode of life. These prepare the tin, skilfully working the ground which produces it, and which, though rocky, has fissures containing earth; and having worked out what these fissures supply, they wash and purify it, and when they have cast it into regular blocks, they carry it to a certain island, situated opposite to Britain, and called Ictis. For at the ebbings of the tide, the intervening space being left dry, they convey to it in wagons large quantities of tin. Now a remarkable circumstance happens with regard to the neighbouring islands, which lie between Europe and Britain: for at high water, the intermediate space being filled up, they appear islands; but at low water, the sea retiring, and leaving a large extent of dry ground, they are seen to be peninsulas. Hence the merchants buy the tin from the natives, and carry it over into Gaul; and at length, travelling through Gaul on foot about a thirty days’ journey, they bring their burdens on horses to the mouth of the river Rhone.”
Some have contended, that the island, to which Diodorus here gives the name of “Ictis,” is the Isle of Wight, on account of the partial resemblance, which the Greek Ικτὶς bears to the Latin Vectis. But as Diodorus spent a considerable time at Rome, for the purpose of collecting materials for his work, it seems in the highest degree improbable, that he should have remained unacquainted with the true mode of spelling the Latin name Vectis.
In proper names beginning with V, Greek writers are accustomed to express this letter either by the consonant B, or by the diphthong Ου. Thus, for the Latin Varro, the Greeks wrote indifferently Βάῤῥων, or Ουάῤῥων; for Valerius, Βαλέριος, or Οὐαλέριος; for Virgilius, Βιργίλιος, or Οὐιργίλιος; and for Nervii, Νέρβιοι, or Νερουίοι.2 Numerous instances of the substitution of Ου for the Latin V, in the proper names of places, might be adduced from Ptolemy and Strabo. Thus, to go no further than the name Vectis, Ptolemy writes it with an Ου, clearly showing that he did not disregard the initial letter V.3 In Strabo 290 there is no mention of this island. But that writer has plainly indicated, by his mode of spelling other proper names beginning with a V, that he was not insensible to the force of this letter; and that, if he had been led to make mention of the Isle of Wight, he would as soon have thought of calling it Ictis, as we should of leaving out the initial W, and calling it the Isle of Ight. The same remark will apply to Diodorus, who calls the Volsci, a people of Latium, Ουόλσκοι ;4 and Vesuvius, the celebrated volcanic mountain in Campania, Οὐεσούβιος.5 It is contrary to all analogy, indeed, to suppose that a proper name, commencing with an I in Greek, should be the representative of one commencing with a V in Latin;6 and for 291 this simple reason, if there were no other, we should be justified in concluding, that the Ictis of Diodorus is not the Vectis of Cæsar, Pliny, and Suetonius.
But the orthographical difficulty is not the only one, which lies in the way of the supposition, that the Ictis of Diodorus is the Isle of Wight. There are geographical difficulties, which render this supposition altogether improbable; and incontestably prove, either that Diodorus was grossly ignorant of the isle of Wight, or that his commentators have been mistaken in supposing, that it was his intention to describe that island, under the name Ictis. But as the description is remarkably circumstantial, and as this ancient writer could scarcely have erred in so plain a matter, the probability is, that the error rests with his commentators; and when the nature and extent of that error are considered, it is strange that it should ever have been committed by persons, possessing the slightest knowledge of the Isle of Wight, and its position relatively to the tin mines of Cornwall.
Ictis is described as “a certain island opposite to Britain.” But Diodorus speaks also of “the 292 neighbouring islands, which lie between Europe and Britain,” and says that “at high water, the intermediate space being filled up, they appear islands, but at low water, the sea retiring, and leaving a large extent of dry ground, they are seen to be peninsulas;” — a description which can be applied, in no sense whatever, to the Isle of Wight.
Again, Diodorus not only says that the space between the main land and the island of Ictis was dry at low water, but that the natives “conveyed to it wagons large quantities of tin.” This, on the supposition that Ictis is the Isle of Wight, is a statement obviously at variance with probability. Cornwall, in which the tin was raised, is a long and narrow district; and there is scarcely a spot in the whole county, which is more than fifteen miles distant from some convenient point on the coast, from which the tin might have been shipped. Is it credible, then, that this metal, cast into ingots, should have been carried in wagons through the whole length of Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorsetshire, and a considerable part of Hampshire, much of which must then have been thickly wooded, and the whole destitute of those facilities for transit which exist in our own times; when it might have been conveyed to the 293 trading vessels, on almost any part of the coast of Cornwall, at a twentieth part of the trouble and expense? Even so recently as the former half of the last century, the roads in this country were almost impassable for wagons, and nearly the whole of the traffic was carried on by means of pack-horses. Can we suppose, then, that the ingots of tin, in the times of the ancient Britons, were carted through so long a tract of country, before they were conveyed to a port of embarkation?
But suppose the difficulty of this long and tedious overland journey to be surmounted, and the tin to be conveyed to some convenient place on the present Hampshire coast: how shall we contrive a passage for it, by land, to any part of the Isle of Wight? We are told, that the passage may have been along the shingle bank, which probably once connected Hurst Castle with the Isle of Wight; and of which traces, even in the present day, are far from being obliterated. But though, as Mr. Lyell states, the entrance of the channel, called the Solent, is crossed for more than half its width by such a shingle-bank,7 294 that eminent geologist has nowhere hazarded the conjecture, that the Isle of Wight, at low water, was ever connected with the main land, during the historical period; nor has the slightest portion of direct proof ever been adduced, in support of such a supposition. On the contrary, there is a long and unbroken chain of evidence to show, that the Isle of Wight has been separated from the main land, as far back as any written record of it extends.
For these reasons, then, we seem warranted in rejecting, as wholly untenable, the supposition that the Ictis of Diodorus was the Isle of Wight.
Impressed with the difficulty attending this supposition, several literary and scientific men of eminence, among whom are Sir C. Hawkins, Dr. Maton, Dr. Barham, and Mr. Hawkins, have thought that St. Michael’s Mount was the island, which forms the subject of the present investigation. This hypothesis is represented as “extremely probable” by Sir Henry T. De la Beche, in his “Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon, and West Somerset;” and he remarks, that, “as far as the geographical description 295 extends, there is no other place on the Cornish coast which will answer to it.”8 In defence of this opinion, it has been asserted, and with perfect truth, that St. Michael’s Mount, at high water, is an island; and that, at low water, it is connected, by a narrow isthmus, with the main land. Still there are difficulties of no trifling magnitude to be overcome, before we can give our assent to this hypothesis.
Diodorus speaks of “the neighbouring islands:” but St. Michael’s Mount is only a single mass of rock, rising abruptly, in solitary grandeur, from the bosom of the waves; and attracting the eye of the observer, in a peculiar manner, by its very abruptness.
Diodorus also says of these “islands,” (still using the plural,) that “they appear islands” only at “high water;” and that, when the tide is out, the intervening space is left dry, and “they are seen to be peninsulas.” This he mentions as something peculiarly deserving of his reader’s attention: but his commentators have overlooked the important fact, that there were other islands, in the vicinity of the one which he 296 called Ictis; and seem not to have been aware, that it was the circumstance of there being several tracts of land in the same locality, appearing to be islands at high water, and peninsulas at low water, which constituted the peculiarity mentioned by him, and dwelt upon as singularly worthy of notice.
Diodorus further says, that “at low water,” the sea retires, and leaves dry “a large portion of ground,” (πολὺν τόπον). But if the island of Ictis and St. Michael’s Mount be one and the same, this “large extent of ground” does not exceed, at furthest, 300 or 400 yards long, by 30 or 40 broad. This isthmus probably served as passage for the votaries to the shrine of St. Michael, which was much frequented by pilgrims; as the one at Landisfarn, described by Sir Walter Scott, in his “Marmion,” did to that of St. Cuthbert.
“The tide did now the flood-mark gain,
And girdles in the Saint’s domain:
For, with the flow and ebb, its style
Varies from continent to isle;
Dryshod, o’er sands, twice every day,
The pilgrims to the shrine find way;
Twice every day the waves efface
Of staves and sandall’d feet the trace.”
Nor is it denied, that tin might have been conveyed in wagons along such an isthmus as this, in the time of Diodorus. But how that writer could describe a neck of land of such narrow dimensions, uniting a single peninsula to the main land, as a large extent of ground, forming a number of isthmuses to several distinct peninsulas, we must leave it to the ingenuity of those who advocate this hypothesis to explain.
But the hypothesis has a still more formidable difficulty to contend with, in the fact, that St. Michael’s Mount was formerly neither island, nor peninsula; but a portion of the main land, situated at some distance from the sea. It appears from tradition, confirmed by observation, that this mount once stood in a forest, and was called “The hoar rock in the wood.” In the charter of the Confessor, it is described as “St. Michael near the sea.”9 Its exact distance from the coast is not mentioned in that document: but Florence of Worcester says, that it was originally enclosed within a very thick wood, distant from the sea six miles, affording the finest shelter for wild beasts. The sea, however, has made great encroachments on this part of the coast, within the 298 historical period. It is stated in Dr. Paris’s “Guide to Mount’s Bay and the Land’s End,” that the grandfather of the incumbent of Madron was known to have received tithes from land under the cliff of Penzance; and that, in the memory of many persons living when that book was written, the cricket-payers were unable to throw a ball across the Western Green, between Penzance and Newlyn, which is now not many feet in breadth.10 Dr. Borlase likewise informs us, that “on the strand of Mount’s Bay, midway between the piers of St. Michael’s Mount and Penzance, in the 19th of January, 1757, the remains of a wood, which, according to tradition, covered a large tract of ground in Mount’s Bay, appeared.”11 These remains consisted of hazel and alder, with some forest trees, including the elm and the oak. The hazel-nuts were abundant; and even fragments of insects, particularly the elytra and mandibles of the beetle tribe, still displaying the most beautiful, shining colours, but crumbling into dust on exposure to the air, were found amid the vegetable mass.12 The exact time 299 of the catastrophe, to which the submersion of this wood is to be referred, cannot now be determined with certainty. But, from the fact of ripe nuts being found, and the trees not being destitute of leaves, it may be inferred that the irruption took place in the autumn; and it is a circumstance deserving of notice, that in the reign of William Rufus, on the 11th of November, 1099, such an invasion of the ocean did occur, and is thus noticed in the Saxon Chronicle. “In this year (MXCIX) also, on the festival of St. Martin, the waves of the sea made great inroads, and occasioned more loss than any one had ever known them to do before.”13 Simeon of Durham alludes to the same inroad of the sea, as having taken place “on the third of the nones of November,” (which corresponds with the 11th of that month;) and entombing “towns and men in great numbers, and oxen and sheep innumerable.”14
There seems, then, as little ground for supposing, that the Ictis of Diodorus is the small rocky island, from which St. Michael’s Mount rises, as that it is the Isle of Wight; and if the accuracy of the Greek historian’s description is to be tested, solely by the present outline of the Cornish coast, the attempt to reconcile that description with existing appearances must be abandoned as hopeless. But no one, who has visited Cornwall with the eye of a geologist, can be a stranger to the fact, that the sea, which washes its coast, presents, in various directions, evidences of recent changes, which have produced an amazing influence on his hydrographical character: and who will venture dogmatically to assert, that, among these changes, none can be found, which shall tend to establish the credibility of Diodorus’s narrative? It has appeared to me, while engaged in considering this subject, that the difficulties, presented by the language of Diodorus, are not to be surmounted, by taking into consideration merely the present outlines of the Cornish coast; but by tracing back those changes, which history has recorded, or which present appearances render probable, or of which tradition at east has preserved some notice, among a population remarkably tenacious of the memory 301 of the past. Any one of these modes of solution is preferable to that reckless charge of ignorance, or want of historical accuracy, of which many are so ready to avail themselves, when their efforts to throw light upon the records of antiquity are baffled, and they find themselves unable to interpret the written memorials of former times, or to admit the credibility of facts, to which nothing similar, or analogous, has occurred, within the range of their own limited experience. It is well know that such was once the fate of certain narratives in the history of Herodotus, the accuracy of which has been abundantly confirmed by subsequent investigation; and if this result has been attained in regard to a writer, who is known occasionally to have mingled fable with history, candour requires that we should pause, before we reject as incredible a statement of Diodorus, which not only involves nothing of the nature of a physical impossibility, but bears impressed upon it the strongest internal marks of having been committed to writing, on the testimony of eye witnesses.
Assuming the correctness, therefore, of the geographical description now under consideration, and discarding, as improbable, the supposition, 302 that the Ictis of Diodorus is either the Isle of Wight, or St. Michael’s Mount, let us proceed to inquire, to what causes of change the coast of Cornwall has been exposed, and what has been the actual, or the probable effect of these causes, operating through a long series of ages.
The effects of oceanic agency, in bringing about geological changes, are of two kinds. Sometimes the ocean forms accumulations of detritus, which act as barriers against its own encroachments. At other times, it obliterates all traces of what once was solid land; either gradually and slowly undermining it, or battering it down by a succession of attacks, or sweeping it away by a single mighty and resistless effort. As Diodorus, therefore, mentions a certain island, which he calls Ictis, situated near a certain promontory, which he calls Belerium; and as Ictis, and the neighbouring islands, were such only at high water, and presented the appearance of peninsulas at the ebbing of the tide; it may be worth our while to inquire, whether they have lost their insular character, by an accumulation of detritus, or whether they are wholly, or in part, submerged, and their communication with the main land, or with each other, broken off by the inroads of the sea.
The most striking evidences of the accumulation of detritus have been observed on some parts of the Cornish coast. In the Carnon stream-works, to the north of Falmouth, a few years ago, two human skulls were found, embedded, with other animal remains, in a mass of vegetable matter, at the extraordinary depth of more than fifty feet below the level of the river, and covered by several successive deposits of silt, shells and sand;15 and the district around Hayle, extending nearly without interruption from St. Ives to Padstow, is little more than one continued desert of sand, which, in many places, has accumulated to the height of sixty feet, and beneath which, human bones and the remains of ancient buildings have been found. There is no local tradition, relating either to the time or manner, in which these monuments of human existence were entombed: but it has been inferred, from certain ancient records of the Arundel family, that the catastrophe took place about the twelfth century;16 and in examining the old Chronicles, for notices of 304 the more remarkable inundations, with which the shores of England have been visited, I have found, in Radulfus’s “Ymagines Historiarum,” a description of one, which was particularly destructive at St. Ives, towards the end of the reign of king John. “A sudden and unexpected inundation of waters,” says that writer, “took place in many parts of England, whence many men were drowned, and houses overturned, especially at Exeter and St. Ives.”17
The author of the “Guide to Mount’s Bay and the Land’s End”18 thus describes the district around Hayle. “The river Hayle takes its rise near Crowan, and falls into St. Ives’ Bay, although it arrives at the level of the seas three miles before it reaches the northern coast, and winds its way through an area of sand, nearly half a mile wide, and more than two miles long; this sand, at high water, is generally submerged, so that the traveller who wishes to cross is obliged to take a 305 circuitous route over the bridge at Saint Erth; but upon the ebbing of the tide, it soon becomes fordable, and may be passed over even by foot passengers. It is a curious circumstance that at twelve o’clock at noon, and at midnight, it is always fordable this apparent paradox is solved by knowing, that at Spring tides it is always low water at these hours, and that the Neap tides never rise sufficiently high to impede the passage.”
This description, as far as regards the extent of land, alternately flooded and left dry, approaches more nearly to that of Diodorus, than any which has yet come under our observation; for here we have an area of sand half a mile wide, and more than two miles long, which, at high water, is generally submerged, but at the ebbing of the tide becomes fordable, and may be crossed even by foot passengers: whereas, the extent of the isthmus of loose stones and pebbles, which, at low water, connects St. Michael’s Mount with the main land, is trifling in comparison, and ill corresponds with the “large space” of which Diodorus speaks. Was the peninsula west of St. Erth, then, the Ictis of that writer? There is one remarkable circumstance, connected with the trading visits of the Phœnicians to the Cornish 306 coast, which may at first view appear to confer upon this supposition some degree of probability: — I mean, the fact of their taking great pains to conceal from the captains of the Roman vessels the part of the coast on which they landed, and to which the tin was brought by the natives, for the purposes of sale and exportation. Strabo tells us, that the master of a Phœnician trading vessel, on its voyage to the Cassiterides for tin, being followed by the captain of a Roman vessel, whose vigilance he was unable to elude, purposely steered into the shallows, and thus caused the destruction of the two vessels; but that, his own life being preserved, he was rewarded by his countrymen for this act of self-devotedness, and patriotism.19 It might, therefore, be inferred, if all other circumstances were favourable, that the Phœnicians, for the purpose of keeping in their own hands a monopoly of the trade in tin, instead of sailing directly to some point on the southern part of the Cornish coast, passed the Land’s End, and Cape Cornwall, entered the mouth of the Bristol Channel, and landed somewhere on the western coast of the Bay of St. Ives; that either intentionally, or through ignorance, they 307 represented the granitic district in the western part of Cornwall as an island; and that this supposed, or pretended island is the Ictis of Diodorus Siculus.
Ortelius, under the article Cassiterides, alludes to the opinion of Camden, that these were the Scilly Islands; but adds, “I am almost inclined to believe, that the British Islands themselves are described by the most ancient writers under the name Cassiterides: if I am deceived, I would say, with Herodotus, that I am not acquainted with the Cassiterides.”20 Mr. Carne too has conjectured, that the metalliferous district of St. Just constituted the principal portion of what was formerly known under the name of Cassiterides:21 and it is a fact worthy of notice, that Pliny, who says, in one place,22 “opposite to Celtiberia there are many islands, called by the Greeks Cassiterides, from the quantity of lead which they yield,” in another place seems to distinguish 308 one of these from the rest, under the name of Cassiteris; for he says, in the latter place, “Midacritus was the first, who carried away lead from the island Cassiteris.”23 Now it seems not improbable, that this supposed island, to which Pliny applies the name Cassiteris, was the western part of Cornwall. At a cursory glance, therefore, it might be thought, that the island Cassiteris is no other than the Ictis of Diodorus; but Pliny represents Timæus, the historian, as speaking of the island Mictis, (an evident mistake of some copyist for Ictis;) so that Pliny probably made a distinction between Cassiteris and Ictis. His words are “INSULAM MICTIM,”24 which might easily have arisen, by an error of transcription, from “INSULAM ICTIM.” Wesseling accordingly regards the “Mictis” of Pliny as the “Ictis” of Diodorus under another form;25 and Borlase, in his observations on the Scilly Islands, says “this ICTIS of Diodorus 309 Siculus is probably the same island, which Pliny, from Timæus, calls MICTIS.”26
The produce of this island, according to Pliny, was “candidum plumbum,” corresponding with the “plumbum album” of Cæsar,27 whose editors explain these words by the Latin “stannum,” and the Greek κασσίτερος, both signifying tin.28 But Timæus, as quoted by Pliny, also says, that this Mictis or Ictis, “was six days’ sail inwards from Britain;” which led Hardouin, the editor of Pliny, to remark, that its situation could not be certainly determined.29 Wesseling was also of opinion, that Timæus might have been led into an error as to the distance, by following an uncertain tradition of the common people.”30 On this subject, Borlase says, “the distance here 310 laid down is no objection to Mictis being one of the Scilly isles, for when the ancients reckoned this place six days’ sail, they did not mean from the nearest part of Britain, but from the place most known, and frequented by them, (that is, by the Romans and Gauls,) which was that part of Britain nearest to, and in sight of Gaul, from which to the Scilly Islands the distance was indeed six days’ usual sail, in the early times of navigation; therefore I am apt to think, that, by Mictis here, Pliny meant the largest of the Scilly isles, as I do not at all doubt but Diodorus Siculus did, in the passage mentioned above.”31
But wherever we may finally determine Ictis to have been, it is probable, from what has now been said, and from the additional fact, that Dionysius Periegetes, a writer, who flourished in the Augustan age, and wrote a geographical treatise in Greek hexameters, expressly distinguishes the Cassiterides from the British Isles, that it formed no part of the present main land; and that Diodorus was correct, in representing it as an island, at high water. Nor is it possible to reconcile what he says about its vicinity to the promontory called Belerium, with the supposition, 311 that it was the district between the Land’s End and the Hayle Sands.
Among the elements essential to a determination of the point in question, must be reckoned the fact of Ictis, and the neighbouring islands, being situated near this promontory. If we could determine, with absolute certainty, to what promontory Diodorus alluded, under the name Βελέριον, the chief preliminary difficulty in the present inquiry would be overcome. But this still remains a matter of doubt, some thinking that it is the Land’s End, others Cape Cornwall, and others Tol Pedn Penwith. Nor will this difference of opinion be deemed surprising, when it is considered, that Cornwall was originally called Kernaw, probably from the Phœnician, קרן (Keren,) or the ancient British Kern, signifying a horn, on account if its numerous promontories. Ptolemy writes the name of this headland, Βολέριον. But he also calls it Ἀντιουέσταιον.32 Now the proper names of places, compounded with the preposition ἀντὶ, are generally derived from the names of other places, to which they stand opposite: thus Antilibanus is the mountain opposite to Libanus; 312 and Antiparos an island opposite to Paros. It is reasonable to presume, therefore, that Ἀντιουέσταιον was the name of some promontory, or headland, on the British coast, looking towards some other promontory, or headland, on the opposite coast of Gaul, bearing the same, or a similar name, but without the preposition. If then we take away the ἀντὶ, we have Ουέσταιον, (Ouessant, or Ushant,) the furthest headland of France to the west, distant about twelve miles from the continent, and on the south side of the English Channel, immediately opposite to the Land’s End, which was probably the Βελέριον of Diodorus. Volaterranus says, that this promontory was once called Helenum,33 but this is evidently nothing more than a various reading of Belerium; B having been converted into H, and RI into N, thus:
Near, this promontory, then, was the island of Ictis, to which, at low water, the natives conveyed the tin in wagons, for the purpose of selling it to the foreign merchants. But all which now remains, to mark the locality, is a small archipelago 313 of barren rocks, called The Longships. These are situated about two miles west of the Land’s End; and in the time of Diodorus were probably connected together, so as to form one island, which, at low water, was joined by an isthmus to the main land. Nor is this mere conjecture. “The inhabitants,” says Camden,34 “are of opinion that this promontory did once reach further to he west; which the seamen positively conclude from the rubbish they draw up.”
It is well known, that there has been a considerable subsidence of the land on this coast. Of this, the animal and vegetable remains found at the Carnon stream-works, the submarine forest near St. Michael’s Mount, and the disappearance of tithable land from beneath the cliffs of Penzance, afford ample proof; and if, as Sir Henry T. De la Beche has well remarked,35 the present bed of the sea were raised thirty feet, in the direction of the ten-fathom line, numerous small portions of dry level country would be produced in some situations, while in others large 314 tracts of land would appear. The same writer says,36 “if true proportional sections be constructed, and many miles from the land be included in them, the plain-like character of the floor of the sea adjoining such coasts as those of this district becomes very striking.” The line of forty fathoms includes the whole of the Scilly Islands, and the line of thirty fathoms approaches within about six or seven miles of the Land’s End; but between the latter and the main land the depth diminishes more rapidly, so as to render navigation exceedingly dangerous. The passage to the Longships’ lighthouse is attended with so much hazard, that the men who have the charge of it are frequently unable to communicate with the land for two or three months together. Here then, in all probability, lay the island of Ictis.
Tradition says, moreover, that a considerable tract of country formerly existed, between the Cornish coast and the Scilly Islands, containing not fewer than a hundred and forty parish churches. Gibson, alluding to this tradition says,37 “about the middle way between the Land’s-end and Scilly, there are rocks called, 315 in Cornish, Lethas; by the English Seven-stones; and the Cornish call that place within the stones Tregva, i. e. a dwelling; where it has been reported that windows, and other stuff, have been taken up with hooks, (for that is the best place of fishing.)”
It would seem, that most of the islands on this coast received their names from some fancied resemblance, which they bore to different animals. Thus Lethas (or Lethowstow) mentioned by Gibson in the passage just quoted, denotes The Lioness. A few miles south-west of the Land’s-End there is still a rocky island, called The Wolf, which doubtless owes its preservation to the circumstance of its being composed of limestone, a species of rock better adapted to resist atmospherical changes than many kinds of granite; and near the Lizard, which probably derives its name from the elongated form which it exhibits, resembling that of a lizard, there is a cluster, known by the name of The Stags. Ictis itself, which may have been a translation from some old British word, is the Greek for An Otter;38 and 316 it requires no great stretch of imagination, to trace an analogy, between the amphibious habits of this animal, and the mutable character of the Ictis of Diodorus.
The names of The Lioness and The Wolf may have been given, either from the roaring of the waves, and the howling of the storms, which have been known to produce such terrific effects in this sea; or from the danger incurred by the daring, or inexperienced mariner, on too near an approach to them.
“Hinc exaudiri gemitus, iræque leonum,
Vincla recusantum, et sera sub nocte rudentum,
Sætigerique sues, atque in præsepibus ursi
Sævire, ac formæ magnorum ululare Iuporum.”
VIRG. ÆN. VII. 15-19.
Allusion has already been made to inroads of the sea on the English coast, in the reigns of William Rufus, and John; and there are records of similar inundations in the times immediately 317 preceding the conquest. Simeon of Durham, in his account of the reign of Ethelred II., says, that, in the year 1014, such an encroachment of the sea took place on the 3rd of the calends of October, when a great many towns, and an innumerable multitude of human beings were submerged;39 and John Bromton, in his history of the reign of Canute, (A. D. 1017-1039), says, “at that time the Lord also added to the ordinary calamities an extraordinary one, for the sea, rising above its usual level, overwhelmed several towns, with people innumerable.”40 It is probably this latter encroachment of the sea, a traditional account of which has reached us in the well known historical myth, respecting this monarch and his courtiers. They would fain have persuaded him, we are told, that the sea was obedient to his will; and he is represented as having rebuked 318 their flattery, by commanding the sea to retire, and waiting the result, as though he expected that it would obey his mandate. But the tide advancing, and compelling him to withdraw, he is said to have taken occasion, from this circumstance, to let his base flatterers know that the titles of LORD and MASTER, belong only to Him, whom the land and the sea obey. It is also reported that, from this time, Canute never wore his crown again; but ordered it to be put upon the head of the crucifix in Winchester Cathedral. It is far more probable, however, that this act of humility was occasioned by the loss, which his kingdom had sustained, from the unprecedented encroachments of the sea, than by the mere circumstance of the tide, in its usual course, having presumed to wet his royal person. Bromton mentions another instance, in which the sea burst its boundaries; and did not return within its customary limits, till after a lapse of about two days.41 This occurred in the reign of Henry II., A. D. 1176; so that, including the two cases mentioned in a 319 former part of this paper, we have no fewer than five recorded inroads of the sea upon the English coast, within the space of two centuries.
Of the causes, which led to the disappearance of the Ictis of Diodorus, history has preserved no trace. Whether it was the effect of a gradual subsidence of the land, or of the continued action of the waves and tides on a coast unusually exposed, we have no positive means of determining. Each of these may have contributed its share towards the final result. A depression of the land may have taken place in the first instance, and the inroads of the sea may have done the rest. It is well known, that the winds, which blow from the Atlantic on the Cornish coast, frequently bring with them storms of most destructive violence. The effects of these storms, combined with the disintegration of the softer beds of granite, from the ordinarily atmospherical influences, are strongly exemplified in the caverns and hollows along this coast. There is something particularly striking in the Funnel Hole, at Tol Pedn Penwith. This hole resembles the hopper of a mill, being in shape like an inverted cone, from ten to fifteen fathoms deep, with an opening into a cavern below, 320 communicating with a small creek, or bay, called Chair-ladder Cove; and is supposed to have been formed by the decomposition of a portion of the rock. On various parts of the cliffs, too, patches of disintegrated granite are found, which have a sandy, or gravelly appearance, from which it may be inferred, that the ocean has made great inroads, in the lapse of ages, upon the rocks lying along this coast. Nor must it be forgotten, that the granite of the Scilly Islands is peculiarly liable to decomposition; that portions of these islands are rapidly disappearing from this cause alone; and that the surface of water which they displace is constantly diminishing, although their number is increasing, in consequence of their being broken up into smaller islets, by the abrading power of the ocean.
If, as is generally supposed, the Cassiterides of the Greeks were the Scilly islands, their number in the time of Strabo was only ten.42 It is now, probably, as many as a hundred and fifty; and it is a singular fact, that they take their name of the Scilly Islands from one of their number, which, in its present attenuated state, is nearly 321 the smallest in the cluster, its whole surface being not more than an acre. On this subject, the following extract, from Borlase’s “Observation on the ancient and present state of the islands of Scilly,”43 will be found deserving of particular attention. The writer has just been describing a certain eminence which he visited. He then goes on to say, “From this hill I observed the Guêl Hill of Brehar, and the isle of Guêl, stretch away towards the little isle of Scilly, and with it making a curve, of which Scilly is the headland; and from the furthermost hill of Brehar a promontory shoots, at the extreme point of which a vast rocky turret, called the castle of Brehar, on every side many rocks show themselves above water, and intimate their former connexion with Brehar, and their being reduced to their present nakedness by the fury of the ocean. From this disposition, therefore, of the rocks and islets on this side, we may answer a question which would otherwise be extremely difficult to solve, viz: — How came all these islands to have their general name from so small and inconsiderable a spot as the Isle of Scilly, whose cliffs barely anything but birds can mount, and whose barrenness would 322 never suffer anything but sea birds to inhabit there? A due consideration of the shores will answer this question very satisfactorily, and convince us that what is now a bare rock about a furlong over, and separated from the islands of Guêl and Brehar about half a mile, was formerly joined to them by low necks of land, and that Trescaw, St. Martin’s, Brehar, Samson, and the rocks and islets adjoining, made formerly but one island; nay to these, I believe, I may safely add the eastern islands, and St. Mary’s too, there being great flats reaching from St. Martin’s almost to both, all uncovered at low water, and having but four feet water in the deepest part. This (at that time) great island had several creeks, such as New and Old Grynsey, and others, by the sea’s encroachments, or by the dipping of the islands, since extended into harbours. It had several headlands, of which that now called Scilly was the highest, outermost, and consequently most conspicuous.” Portions of the island of St. Mary’s, too, which is now the largest in the whole group, covering a space of nearly two thousand acres, and which is one of the nearest to the main land, exhibit signs of rapid and certain decay; and it is calculated, that at no distant 323 period, unless measures are taken to form an artificial barrier against the incursions of the ocean, a channel will be formed, which will divide it into two smaller islands.
Facts like this go far to prove that the Cassiterides of the ancients were no other than the Scilly Islands of our own time; and that the difference between these islands, in their past, and in their present state, is attributable to subsidence, and to atmospherical and oceanic agency. The process by which so extraordinary a change has been effected, is precisely similar to that which has been in operation along the Cornish coast, and to which the disappearance of the Ictis of Diodorus may not unreasonably be attributed.
We arrive, then, at the conclusion, that such an island once actually existed; that it was neither the Isle of Wight, nor St. Michael’s Mount, nor a portion of the present main land; but that the small group of rocky islands, called the Longships, are probably the summits of its more elevated parts, the rest being either submerged, or swept away; and that “the neighbouring islands,” to which the same peculiarity attached as to 324 “Ictis,” of being islands at high water, and peninsulas at low water, were no other than the Cassiterides, which have undergone a corresponding increase in number, an diminution in superficial contents, and now form two distinct archipelagos, the near and smaller one bearing the name of the Seven Stones, and the larger and more remote that of the Scilly Islands.


1 Lib. V. Cap. xxii. (Ed. Wesseling, 1746. Vol. I. p. 347.)
2 Jos. Scaligeri. Animadv. in Euseb. Chronicon; p. 112, a. — Dawesii Misc. Crit. Sect. iv.
3 In the present text we have Οὐΐκτησις, but Wesseling supposes this to be an error of transcription of Οὐήκτις, because the ancient Latin interpreter has rendered it by Vectis. Vide Antonini Augusti Itinerarium; p. 509.
4 Vol. I. p. 652; Ed. Wesseling.
5 Vol. I. p. 267. In the printed text it is Οὐεσούσιος, which is a manifest error for Οὐεσούβιος; and so it is regarded by Diodorus’s learned editor.
6 There are instances, in which digammated words, whose initial letter is I, on passing into the Latin, have retained the digamma, which is commonly expressed by the letter V, (as vis, from ἰς, but Greek authors of the age of Diodorus, when writing a Latin word in Greek characters, pay as much regard to V as any other letter, and usually express it in the way pointed out above.
7 Lyell’s Principles of Geology Book 2. Chap. vi. Vol. I. pp. 425, 426. Ed. 5th.
8 Chap. xv. p. 524.
9 Sanctum Michaëlem qui est juxta mare.
10 Guide to Mount’s Bay; pp. 15, 16. (2nd Ed.)
11 Athenæum, No. 761, (May 28th, 1842,) p. 484.
12 De la Beche’s Report on the Geology of Cornwall, Devon, and West Somerset; Chap. xiii. pp. 417, 418.
13 Hoc item anno, in Sancti Martini festo, tantum aucti sunt maris fluctus, tantumque damni maritimis dederunt, quantum nullus meminerit eos unquam antea dedisse. (Gibsoni Chronicum Saxonicum, A.D. MXCIX. P. 207.)
14 Tertio Non. Novembris mare littus egreditur, et villas et homines quamplures, boves et oves innumeras demersit. (Simeonis Monachi Dunelmensis Historia de Gestis Regum Anglorum, apud Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. edente Rogero Twysden; 1652, Fol. Anno Domini 1099. p. 224.)
15 Transactions of the Geological Society of Cornwall, Vol. IV. p. 58; quoted by Sir Henry T. De la Beche, in his Report on the Geology of Cornwall, &c. Chap. xiii. p. 404. Bakewell’s Introd. to Geologey, Chap. i. p. 22. (5th Ed.)
16 Guide to Mount’s Bay, &c. pp. 161, 162.
17 Subita et improvisa aquarum inundatio pluribus in locis per Angliam facta est, unde plures homines submersi sunt, et domus eversæ, maxime apud Excestre, et sanctum Ivonem. — Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X, edente Rogero Twysden; 1652, Fol. p. 710.)
18 Pp. 158, 159.
19 Strabonis Res Geographicæ Lib. iii. Tom. I. pp. 239, 240. (Oxon. 1807. Fol.)
20 Abr. Ortelii Antverpiani Thesaurus Geographicus Recognitus et Autus; Art. Cassiterides. — Herodoti Hist. Lib. iii. c. 115.
21 Guide to Mount’s Bay; p. 141.
22 Nat. Hist.; Lib. iv. c. 22. Ex adverso Celtiberiæ complures sunt insulæ, Cassiterides dictæ Græcis, a fertilitate plumbi.
23 Plumbum ex Cassiteride insula primus apportavit Midacritus. Lib. vii. cap. 57.
24 Timæus historicus a Britannia introrsus sex dierum navigatione abesse dicit insulam Mictim, in qua candidum plumbum proveniat. Lib. iv. cap. 16. vol. I. p. 233. Ed. Hardouin. Paris, 1723.
Bill Thayer adds in an e-mail to me on January 1, 2009: “... and notice the different reading in Mayhoff's version: Mayhoff has emended it along the lines of the argument of your author (and doubtless many other writers).”
25 Refingens Ictim. Diod. Sic. . Lib. v. cap. 22. vol. I. p. 347. Not. in l. 60.
26 Observations on the Ancient and Present State of the Islands of Scilly. p. 77.
27 Nascitur ibi plumbum album in mediterraneis regionibus. Cæs. De Bello Gall.. Lib. v. c. 12.
28 Ibid. Ed. Oudendorp. p. 225.
29 Quæ sit hæc Timæi Mictis in Gemanico Mari sex dierum navigatione a Britannia dissita, stanti certo non potest. Plinii Op. vol. I. p. 223.
30 Fieri tamen potest, ut Timæus, incertum vulgi rumorem secutus, in eo spatio aberraverit. Diod. Sic. Bibl. Hist.. vol. I. p. 347.
31 Observations on the Islands of Scilly, &c. pp. 77, 78.
32 Ptolem. Geogr., Opera P. Bertii; Lib. ii. cap. 3. p. 35. Qu. Ἀντιουέσσαιον. ?
33 Gibson’s Ed. of Camden’s Britannia; vol. I. p. 148. Lond. 1772.
34 Gibson’s Ed. of Camden’s Britannia; vol. I. p. 148. Lond. 1772.
35 Report on the Geology of Cornwall, &c.; chap. xiii. p 421.
36 Chap. i. p. 24.
37 Camden’s Britannia; Ubi supra.
38 The meaning assigned by Scapula to the word Ικτὶς, is “mustela sylvestris.” He adds, “Sunt qui viverram interpr.” But Aristophanes, according to Brunck, uses it neither for a weasel, nor a ferret but an otter. “ἰκτίδας, ἐνύδριας, ἐγχέλεις Κωπαΐδας. (Acharn. 880.) Certo certius est de animali quodam aquatico Bœotum hic loqui. Bene igitur vertit Brunckius ‘lutras.’ Anglice, otters.” — Lexicon Græco-Prosodiacum. Auctore T. Morell, S. T. P. Edit. Alter. Londin. 1824. Art. Ικτὶς ; p. 412.
39 Mare littus egreditur III. Kal. Octobris, et in Anglia villas quamplurimas, innumerabilemque populi multitudinem summersit. — Simeon. Dunelm. Hist. de Gestis Regum Anglorum, apud “Rogeri Twysden Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X;” p. 171.
40 Eo tempore eciam addidit Dominus malis solitis malum insolitum, mare namque insolito superius ascendens, villas in Anglia nonnullas cum populo innumero submersit. — Johannis Bromton Chronicon, ubi supra; p. 892.
41 Eodem anno mare extra fines in Anglia erumpens multos in Holandia homines et pecora absorbuit, et quasi post biduum furore sedato in semet ipsum rediit. — Chronicon, ut sup. A. D. 1176; p. 1117.

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