1. Ἔπαινος μὲν χώρας, ὡς ἀνωτάτω διελέσθαι, διττός, ἢ κατὰ φύσιν ἢ κατὰ θέσιν. ἢ γὰρ πῶς κεῖται ἐξετάσαντες ἀξίαν αὐτὴν ἐπαίνου ἀποφαίνομεν, ἢ ὅπως πέφυκε. θέσιν τοίνυν χώρας δοκιμάζομέν τε καὶ κρίνομεν ὅπως κεῖται πρὸς γῆν ἢ πρὸς θάλατταν ἢ πρὸς οὐρανόν· πρὸς μὲν γῆν, εἰ μεσόγειος εἴη καὶ πλέον ἢ ἔλαττον θαλάττης ἀπέχουσα, ἢ ἐπιθαλαττίδιος καὶ ἐπ’ αἰγιαλοῖς· πρὸς δὲ θάλατταν, εἰ νῆσος ἢ νήσῳ ἐοικυῖα· πρὸς δὲ οὐρανόν, εἰ ἐν δυσμαῖς, ἢ ἐν ἀνατολαῖς, ἢ ἐν μεσημβρίᾳ, ἢ ἐν ἄρκτῳ, ἢ ἐν τῷ μέσῳ τούτων. 2. ἤδη δέ τινες καὶ κατ’ αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἀστέρας τὴν θέσιν ὡρίσαντο, ὥσπερ οἱ ποιηταί, ὑπὸ Πλειάδας ἢ Ὑάδας, ἢ ὑπὸ Ἀρκτοῦρον ἀνίσχοντα, ἢ ὑπὸ Ἕσπερον. κατὰ γὰρ τοὺς τρεῖς κανόνας θέσιν χώρας δοκιμάζομεν· ἐν γὰρ τῷ περὶ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τὸ τῶν ὡρῶν συνείληπται.
3. Τὴν δὲ φύσιν τῆς χώρας δοκιμάζομεν ἁπάσης
1. Praise of a country,1 in the most general analysis, has two aspects, nature and location, for we demonstrate its worthiness for praise by examining either its situation or its nature. We assess and evaluate the location of a country by its situation with respect to land, sea, or sky. With respect to the land, whether it is inland and how far distant from the sea, or coastal and situated on the shore. With respect to the sea, whether it is an island or a peninsula. And with respect to the sky, whether it is in the west or east, south or north, or in the middle. 2. Some writers, like the poets, have defined location according to the stars, as being beneath the Pleiades or Hyades,2 or under rising Arcturus,3 or under Hesperus.4 These three5 are the criteria by which we evaluate the location of a country, since the topic of seasons is included in that of the sky.
3. We assess the nature of a country as a whole on the
- 1The word χώρα designates the country, land, territory, or countryside surrounding a city.
- 2Both constellations indicate stormy weather and perhaps a northern location.
- 3The heliacal rising of the Bear (Ursa Major) is mid-September; its geographical reference would be north.
- 4Hesperus, the evening star, rises in the west.
- 5That is, land, sea, and sky.