tunity to describe the situation and different countries of the Gauls, lest, among the narration of fiery preparations and the various chances of battles, I should seem, while speaking of matters not understood by every one, to resemble those negligent sailors, who, when tossed about by dangerous waves and storms, begin to repair their sails and ropos which they might have attended to in calmı weather.

2. Ancient writers, pursuing their investigations into the earliest origin of the Gauls, left our knowledge of the truth very imperfect; but at a later period, Timagenes, a thorough Greek both in diligence and language, collected from various writings facts which had been long unknown, and guided by his faithful statements, we, dispelling all obscurity, will now give a plain and intelligible relation of them.

3. Somo persons affirm that the first inhabitants ever seen in these regions were called Celts, after the name of their king, who was very popular among them, and sometimes also Galata, after the name of his mother. For Galatæ is the Greck translation of the Roman term Galli. Others affirm that they are Dorians, who, following a moro ancient Hercules, selected for their home the districts bordering on the ocean.

4. The Druids affirm that a portion of the people was really indigenous to the soil, but that other inhabitants poured in from the islands on the coast, and from tho districts across the Rhine, having been driven from their former abodes by frequent wars, and sometimes by inroads of the tempestuous sea.

5. Some again 'maintain that after the destruction of Troy, a few Trojans fleeing from the Greeks, who wero then scattered over the whole world, occupied these districts, which at that time had no inhabitants at all.

6. But the natives of thero countries affirm this more positivoly than any other fact (and, indeed, wo ourselves havo rond it ongraved on their monuments), that Ilorcules, the son of Amphitryon, hastening to the destruction of those cruel tyrants, Goryon and Tauriscus, one of whom was oppressing the Gauls, and the other Spain, after he had conquered both of them, took to wife some women of noble birth in those countries, and became the father of

many children ; and that his sons called the districts of which they became the kings after their own names.

7. Also an Asiatic tribe coming from Phocæa in order to escape the cruelty of Harpalus, the lieutenant of Cyrus the king, sought to sail to Italy.' And a part of them founded Velia, in Lucania, others settled a colony at Marseilles, in the territory of Vienne; and then, in subsequent ages, these towns increasing in strongth and importance, founded other cities. But wo must avoid a variety of details which are cominonly apt to weary.

8. Throughout these provinces, the people gradually becoming civilized, the study of liberal accomplishments flourisbed, having been first introduced by the Bards, the Eubages,' and the Druids. The Bards were accustomed to employ themselves in celebrating the brave achievements of their illustrious men, in epic verse, accompanied with sweet airs on the lyre. The Eubages investigated the system and sublime secrets of nature, and sought to explain them to their followers. Between theso two came tho Druids, men of loftier genius, bound in brotherhoods according to the precepts and example of Pythagoras; and their minds wero elevated by investigations into secret and sublime matters, and from the contempt which they entertained for human affairs they pronounced the soul immortal.

X. § 1. This country then of the Gauls was by reason of its lofty mountain ranges perpetually covered with terrible snows, almost unknown to the inhabitants of the rest of the world, except where it borders on the ocean; vast fortresses raised by nature, in the place of art, surrounding it on all sidos.

2. On the southern side it is washed by the Etruscan and Gallic sea : where it looks towards the north it is soparated from the tribes of the barbarians by the river Rhine; where it is placed under the western star it is bounded by the ocean, and the lofty chain of the Pyrenees ;

This story of the Phocioenscs is told by Herodotus, i. 166, ani alluded to by Horace, Epod. xv. 10.

· The Eubagos, or ovartis, as Strabo calls thom, appear to have buen a tribe of priestih

[ocr errors]

where it has an eastern aspect it is bounded by the Cottian! Alps. In these mountains King ('ottius, afier the Gauls had been subdued, lying by himself in their defiles, and relying on the rugged and pathless charucter of the country, long maintained his independence; though afterwards he abated his pride, and was admitted to the friendship of the Emperor Octavianus. And subsequently he constructed imniense works to serve as a splendid gift to the emperor, making ronds over them, short, and convenient for travellers, botween other ancient passes of the Alps ; on which subject we will presently set forth what discoveries have been made.

3. In these Cottian Alps, which begin at the town of Susa, one vast ridge rises up, scarcely pass able by any one withont danger.

4. For to travellers who reach it from the side of Gaul it descends with a steepness almost precipitous, being terrible to behold, in consequence of the bulk of its overhanging rocks. In the spring, when the ice is molting, and tho snow beginning to give way from tho warm spring breczes, if any one seeks to descend along the mountain, men and beasts and wagons all fall together through the fissures and clefts in the rocks, which yawn in every direction, though previously hidden by the frost. And the only remedy ever found to ward off entire destruction is to have many vehicles bound together with enormous ropes, with men or oxen hanging on behind, to hold them back with great efforts; and so with a crouching step they get down with some degree of safety. And this, as I have said, is what happens in the spring:

5. But in winter, the ground being covered over with a smooth crust of ice, and therefore slippery under foot, the traveller is often plunged headlong; and the valleys, which seem to open here and there into wide plains, which are merely a covering of treacherous icē, somotimes swallow up those who try to pass over them. On account of which danger those who aro acquainted with the country fix projecting wooden piles over the safest spots, in order that a series of them may conduct tho

The Cottian Alps are Mont Genevre. It is unnecessary to point out how Ammianus mistakes the true bearing of these frontiers of Gaul.

travoller unhurt to his destination; though if these piles get covered with snow and hidilen, or thrown down by molting torrents descending from the mountains, then it is difficult for any one to pass, even if natives of the district

lead the way.

6. But on the summit of this Italian mountain there is a plain, seven miles ju extent, reaching as far as the station known by the name of Mars; and after that comes another ridge, still more steep, and scarcely possible to be climbed, which stretches on to the summit of Mons Matrona, named ko from an ovent which happoned to a noble lady.

7. From this point a path, stoop indood, but easily passable, leads to iho fortress of Virgantia.' Tho sepulchro of this petty prince whom wo have spoken of as the makor of thoso roads is at Susa, close to tho walls; and his remains are honoured with religious veneration for two reasons: first of all, because he governed hie people with equitable moderation; and secondly, bocause, by becoming an ally of the Roman republic, he procured lasting tranquillity for his subjects.

8. And although this road which I have been speaking of runs through tho centre of the district, and is shortor and moro frequented now than any othur, yet othor roads also wero mado at much earlier periods, on different occasions.

9. The first of them, near the maritime alps, was mado by the Theban Horculos, when ho was proceeding in a leisurely manner to destroy Geryon and Tauriscus, as bas already been mentioned; and ho it was who gave to these alps the name of the Grecian Alps.' In the same way he consecrated the citadel and port of Monæcus to keep alive tho recollection of his namo for over.

And tbis was the reason why, many ages aftorwards, those alps were called the Perine Alpe.'

10. Publius Cornelius Scipio, the father of the elder Africanus, when about to go to the Assistance of the citizens

1 Briançon.

• Tho Graia Alps are the Little St. Bernard ; and it was over them that Hannibal really passed, as has been conclusively proved by Dr. J. a. Cramer.

• From the god Pon, or Peninan Liv. xxi. 88. The Alpon Penince are tho Great sl. Bernard.

of Saguntum-celebrated for the distresses which they endured, and for their loyalty to Rome, at the time when they were besieged with great resolution by the Carthaginians- led to the Spanish coast a fleet having on board a numerous army. But after the city had been destroyed by the valour of the Carthaginians, he, being unable to overtako Hannibal, who had crossed the Khone, and had obtained three days' start of him in the march towards Italy, crossed the sea, which at that point was not wide, making a rapid voyage; and taking his station near Genoa, a town of the Ligures, awaited his descent from the moun. tains, so that, if chance should afford him an oppor. tunity, he might attack him in the plain while still fatigued with the ruggedness of the way by which he had come.

11. But still, baving regard to the interests of the republic, he ordered Cnæus Scipio, his brother, to go into Spain, to prevent Hasdrubal from making a similar expedition from that country. But Hannibal, having receivea information of their design by some desertere, being also a man of great shrewdness and readiness of resources, obtained some guides from the Taurini who inhabited those districts, and passing through thia Tricastini and through the district of the Vocontii, he thus reached the defiles of the Tricorii. Then starting from this poi'at, he made another march over a line previously impassable. And having cut through a rock of immense height, which he melted by means of mighty fires, and pouring over it a quantity of vinegar, he proceeded along tho Druentia, a river full of danger from its eddies and currents, until ho reached the district of Etruria. This is enough to say of the Alps ; now let us return to our original subject.


$ 1. IN former times, when these provinces were little known, as being barbarous, they were considered to be divided into three races :" namely, the Celtæ, the same

i Compare Livy's account of Hannibal's march, from which, wholly pironeous as it is, this description seems to hare been taken; not that even Lívy has mado such a gross mistake about the Druentia, or Durance, which falls into the Rhone.

Cæsar's acoount of his expedition begins with the statement that " Gaul is divided into three provinccs."

« ForrigeFortsett »