The Library of History

Page 181

Page 181 transported them to the Island before-mention'd, and there landed them and left them: And though they storm'd and rag'd at this Misfortune, yet they were in no capacity to revenge themselves upon the Carthaginians, but at length were all famished to Death: And being that so great a Number (as if they had been Captives of War) perish'd in so small an Island, this strait place was fill'd with the multitude of dead Mens Bones; and for this reason the Island was call'd as aforesaid.

And in this manner these Mercenaries (by the fraud of their own Officers) were brought into these Extremities, and miserably perished for want of Food.

Having now gone through the Aeolides, we shall next view those Islands that lie on both Sides of them.

Southward over against Sicily, lie Three Islands, which have all safe and commodious Harbours, and each of them a City.

The first is Malta, about Eight Hundred Furlongs from Syracuse, furnish'd with very good Harbours; and the Inhabitants are very Rich; for it's full of all sorts of Artificers, amongst whom there are excellent Weavers of fine Linen. Their Houses are very Stately and Beautiful, adorn'd with graceful Eaves, and pargeted with white Plaister. The Inhabitants are a Colony of Phaenicians, who trading as Merchants as far as the Western Ocean, resorted to this Island upon the account of its commodious Ports, and convenient situation for a Sea-Trade; and by the advantage of this Place, the Inhabitants presently became famous both for their Wealth and Merchandize.

The next is Gaulus, furnish'd with several safe Harbours, and first inhabited by the Phaenicians.

Then follows Circina, lying to the Coasts of Africa, in which is a handsom City, and most commodious Ports, wherein may ride not only Merchant Men, but Men of War.

Having spoken of the Southern Islands, we shall return to the rest near to the Lipari, which lye in the Tyrrhenian Sea; for near to Populonium (as it's call'd) a City of Hetruria, lies Aethalia, distant from Lipara, near a Hundred Furlongs, so call'd from the great Mists and Fogs that rise there. This Island abounds with Iron Stone, which they dig and cut out of the Ground to melt, in order for the making of Iron; much of which Mettal is in this sort of Stone. The Workmen imploy'd first, cut the Stone in Pieces, and then melt them in Furnaces, built and prepar'd for the purpose. In these Furnaces, the Stones by the violent heat of the Fire, are melted into several Pieces, in form like to great Spunges, which the Merchants buy by Truck and Exchange of other Wares, and transport them to Dicearchia; and other Mart-Towns.

Some of these Merchants that buy of these Wares, cause 'em to be wrought by the Copper Smiths, who beat and fashion 'em into all sorts of Tools, Instruments and other shapes and Fancies; as some they neatly beat into the shape of Birds, others into Spades, Hooks, and other sorts of Utensils. All which are transported and carry'd about into several parts of the World by the Merchants.

There's another Island, by the Greeks call'd Cyrnon, and by the Romans and Natural Inhabitants Corsica, Three Hundred Furlongs distant from Aethalia. It's an Island of an easy Access, and has a beautiful large Harbour, call'd Syra •usium. There are in it two Cities Calaris and Nicaea.

The Phoceans built Calaris, at the time they were possessors of the Island, but were afterwards ejected by the Tyrrhenians. Nicaea was built by the Hetrurians, when they Lorded it as Masters at Sea, and subdu'd all the Islands that lye near adjoyning to Hetruria.

During the time the Cities of Corsica were subject to them, they exacted a Tribute from the Inhabitants, of Rozen, Wax and Hony, of which great plenty is produc'd in this Island. Corsican Bond-Slaves are naturally of such a Temper and Qualification, that for usefulness they are to be preferr'd before all others whatsoever. The Island is large, a great part of it Mountainous and Woody, and water'd with several small Rivers.

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books