The Library of History

Page 106

Page 106 roof'd over with craggy Rocks of a stupendious height; and at the foot, are many sharp Shelves which lye under water; and behind them, many winding Hollows, worn wide by the raging Waves dashing one upon another; and the Sea being very deep, when a Storm beats upon them, and the Water rebounds, they make a noise like a mighty Thunder; and part of the Waves dashing against those huge Rocks, mount up in a Curl, and foam to admiration; and part being swallow'd up within these Caverns, cause such a terrible Whirlpool, that they that are driven (against their wills) near to these Places, are ready to dye for Fear. The Arabians call'd Thamudenians inhabit this Coast.

Next adjoining to this Perilous Sea, is a mighty great Gulf, which washes many Islands disper'd in it here and there to the view, not much unlike to the Echinades.

All along this Coast which is very long and broad, lye high Heaps of black Sand.

Thence sailing forward, is presented to the view, a Peninsula, where there is the most famous Port of any mention'd by Historians call'd Carmutha. For it lies under a large Key, where the Gulf as it inclines to the West, is not only wonderfully pleasant to the view, but far more commodious than any other.

A Woody Mountain hangs over it a Hundred Furlongs in compass. The Mouth of the Haven is Two Hundred Foot broad, affording a very calm and safe Harbour, where Two Thousand Sail may ride: The Water moreover is exceeding good and sweet, a large River emptying itself into it. In the middle of it lies an Island full of good Water, and fit for gardening. To conclude, it's in every respect like to the Port at Carthage, call'd Cothon, the Commodiousness of which we shall speak of in its proper place. By reason of the quietness and sweetness of the Water, abundance of Fish come into it out of the Ocean.

Sailing forward, appear Five exceeding high Mountains, spiring up like the Pyramids of Egypt, so close as if they all united into one at the Point: Thence the Gulf appears in a round Form, surrounded with large and high Promontories: In the very middle of which rises a Hill, in form of a Table, upon which stand three Temples of a wonderful Height, dedicated to Gods unknown indeed to the Greeks, but in great honour and veneration with the Inhabitants. Hence the Coast shoots out forward a long way, abounding with Fountains and fresh Water. On this Coast is the Mountain Chabnus, cover'd over with divers shady Woods. The Country lying at the Foot of the Mountain, is inhabited by Arabians, call'd Debae, who imploy themselves in feeding Herds of Camels, which they make use of in their most weighty Concerns: For they ride upon these when they charge their Enemy; carry upon them their Victuals, and use them upon every speedy dispatch; they drink their Milk, and feed upon their Flesh; and with their Dromedary Camels, they presently run over all the Country. There runs a River through the Country, which carries along with it such abundance of Golden Sand, that at the Mouth of it where it falls into the Sea, the Soil seems to shine and glister like Gold; but the making and refining of Gold is altogether unknown to the Inhabitants. They entertain not all sorts of Strangers, but only the Beotians and the Peloponesians, by reason of the ancient familiarity of Hercules with this Nation, as they have fabulously receiv'd it from their Ancestors.

The Region next adjoining to this, is inhabited by the Alilaeans and Gasandians, another People of Arabia, which is not so burning hot as those near unto it, but often cover'd with thick Clouds, whence fall Snow, and seasonable Showers, which moderate the Heat of the Air. The Land there is rich, and capable of bringing forth any kind of Grain or Fruit whatsoever, but through the unskilfulness of the Inhabitants who addict themselves chiefly to Fishing, the Ground is not till'd and improv'd as it ought. Abundance of Gold is got there out of several Hollows in the Earth, not refin'd by melting of little Pieces, but growing there pure naturally, which from the nature of it is call'd Apyros. The least Piece of it is as big as an ordinary Nut-Kernel, the greatest not much bigger than a large Nut. The Inhabitants wear them about their Arms and Necks, interlac'd with several bright sparkling Stones. But as they abound in Gold, so they are as much wanting in Iron and Brass, and therefore they exchange Gold with the Merchants, for the like weight in Iron and Brass.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books