Map of the Roman Empire - Pyrenees Mountains

Pyrenees
D-4 on the Map

Ancient Pyrenees Mountains - A 270 mile range of mountains (some 12,000 feet) reaching from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, and creating the boundary between Gaul and Spain.

Pyrenei Mountains, Mountains of Europe, separating Gallia from Hispania, and in various ridges intersecting the northern portion of the latter country; in total extent 294 m. The Pyrenees. - Classical Gazetteer

Pyrene (Πυρήνη) or Pyrenaei Montes (τὰ Πυρηναῖα ὄρη). The Pyrenees; a range of mountains extending from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, and forming the boundary between Gaul and Spain. The length of these mountains is about 270 miles in a straight line; their breadth varies from about 40 miles to 20; their greatest height is between 11,000 and 12,000 feet. The continuation of the mountains along the Maré Cantabricum was called Saltus Vasconum, and still farther west Mons Vindius or Vinnius. - Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898.

The Pyrenees (also spelled Pyrenées, pronounced /ˈpɪərɨniːz/; Spanish: Pirineos or Pirineo; French: Pyrénées, IPA: [piʁene]; Catalan: Pirineus, IPA: [piɾiˈnɛws]; Occitan: Pirenèus; Aragonese: Perinés; Basque: Pirinioak or Auñamendiak) is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain. It separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extends for about 491 km (305 mi) from the Bay of Biscay (Cap Higuer) to the Mediterranean Sea (Cap de Creus). For the most part, the main crest forms a massive divider between France and Spain'

The Name Pyrenees. In classical mythology, Pyrene is a princess who gave her name to the Pyrenees. The Greek historian Herodotus says Pyrene is the name of a town in Celtic Europe.[3] According to Silius Italicus,[4] she was the virginal daughter of Bebryx, a king in Mediterranean Gaul by whom the hero Hercules was given hospitality during his quest to steal the cattle of Geryon[5] during his famous Labors. Hercules, characteristically drunk and lustful, violates the sacred code of hospitality and rapes his host's daughter. Pyrene gives birth to a serpent and runs away to the woods, afraid that her father will be angry. Alone, she pours out her story to the trees, attracting the attention instead of wild beasts who tear her to pieces. After his victory over Geryon, Hercules passes through the kingdom of Bebryx again, finding the girl's lacerated remains. As is often the case in stories of this hero, the sober Hercules responds with heartbroken grief and remorse at the actions of his darker self, and lays Pyrene to rest tenderly, demanding that the surrounding geography join in mourning and preserve her name:[6] "struck by Herculean voice, the mountaintops shudder at the ridges; he kept crying out with a sorrowful noise 'Pyrene!' and all the rock-cliffs and wild-beast haunts echo back 'Pyrene!' … The mountains hold on to the wept-over name through the ages." Pliny the Elder connects the story of Hercules and Pyrene to Lusitania, but rejects it as fabulosa, highly fictional.[7]  - Wikipedia

 

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PYRENAEI MONTES
PYRENAEI MONTES (τὰ Πυρηναῖα ὄρη, Ptol. 1.15.2, 8.4.2; Strab. ii. p.71, iii. p. 161, &c.; Plb. 3.34), called also Pyrenaeus Mons (Mela, 2.5; Plin. Nat. 3.3. s. 4, &c.), Pyrenaeus Saltus (Liv. 21.23, &c.; Plin. Nat. 4.19. s. 33), Pyrenaeum Jugum (Mela, 3.1), and M. Pyrene (Πυρήνη, Strab. ii. p.160, &c.; Sil. Ital. 3.417; Aus. Ep. 25.51), the lofty chain of mountains which divides Spain from Gaul. It was fabled to derive its name from the Greek word πῦρ, fire, from a great conflagration which, through the neglect of some shepherds, destroyed its woods, and melted the ore of its mines, so that the brooks ran with molten silver. (Strab. iii. p.147; Diod. 5.25; Arist. Mir. Ausc. 88; Sen. Q. N. 1.) Silius Italicus (l.c.) derives its name from Pyrene, a daughter of the king of the Bebryces; but its true etymology is probably from the Celtic word byrin or bryn, signifying a mountain. (Cf. Astruc. Mém. de l'Hist. Nat. de Languedoc, 3.2.) Herodotus seems to have had some obscure intelligence respecting the Pyrenees, as he mentions (2.33), a place called Pyrene, near which the Ister had its source. Strabo (iii. pp. 137, 161) erroneously describes the chain as running from S. to N.; but its true direction, namely, from SE. to NW., is given by Pliny (4.20. s. 34), and Marcian (Heracl. p. 38). According to Diodorus (5.35) it is 3000 stadia in length; according to Justin (44.1) 600 Roman miles. After the Alps, and the mountains of Sarmatia, the Pyrenees were esteemed the highest mountains in Europe (Agathem. 2.9, p. 47; Eustath. ad Dionys. 338; Diod. l.c.), whence they are sometimes described by the poets as covered with eternal snow. (Lucan 4.84, seq.) On the side of Gaul they are steep, rugged, and bare; whilst on the Spanish side they descend gradually to the plain, are thickly wooded, and intersected with delicious valleys. (Strab. iii. p.161.) Their western prolongation along the Mare Cantabricum, was called “Saltus Vasconum,” which derived its name from the Vascones, who dwelt there. (Plin. Nat. 4.20. s. 34.) This portion now bears the names of Sierra de Orcamo, S. de Augana and S. Sejos. Still farther W. was Mons Vinnius or Vindius (Οὐίνδιον ὄρος, Ptol. 7.1.21; Flor. 4.12), which formed the boundary between the Cantabri and Astures. The Pyrenees form several promontories, both in the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean. (Strab. ii. p.120, iii. p. 160, iv. p. 176, &c.; Mela, 2.5; Sil. It. 3.417, seq.) They were rich in mines of gold, silver, iron and lead (Strab. iii. p.146; Plin. l.c.), and contained extensive forests, as well as the sources of the Garumna, the Iberus, and a number of smaller rivers. (Strab. l.c., and iv. p 182.) Only three roads over them were known to the Romans; the most westerly, by Carasae (now Garis), not far from the coast of the Cantabrian sea, and which doubtless was the still practicable route over the Bidasoa by Fuenterabia; the most easterly, which was also the most frequented, and is still used, near the coast of the Mediterranean by Juncaria (now Junquera); and one which lay between these two, leading from Caesaraugusta to Benearnum (now Barege). (Itin. Ant. pp. 390, 452, 455; Strab. iii. p.160; Liv. 21.23, &c.) Respecting the present condition of the Pyrenees, the reader may consult Miñano, Diccionario, vii. p. 38, seq.; Huber, Skizzen aus Spanien, Gött. 1833; and Ford, Handbook of Spain, p. 579, seq. From the last authority, it will be perceived, that the character of the Gallic and Spanish sides has been somewhat reversed since the days of Strabo; and that, while “the French slope is full of summer watering-places and sensual, the Spanish side is rude, savage, and Iberian, the lair of the smuggler and wild bird and beast.”  - Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.

Geography of the Pyrenees.

The Spanish Pyrenees are part of the following provinces, from east to west: Girona, Barcelona, Lleida, Huesca, Navarra, and Guipúzcoa.

The French Pyrenees are also part of the following départements, from east to west: Pyrénées-Orientales, Aude, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Hautes-Pyrénées, and Pyrénées-Atlantiques (the latter two of which include Pyrenees National Park).

The independent principality of Andorra is sandwiched in the eastern portion of the mountain range between the Spanish Pyrenees and French Pyrenees.

Physiograpically, the Pyrenees are typically divided into three sections: the Atlantic (or Western), the Central, and the Eastern Pyrenees. Together, they form a distinct physiographic province of the larger Alpine System division.

The Central Pyrenees extend westward from the Aran Valley to the Somport pass, and they include the highest summits of this range:

Pico d'Aneto or Pic de Néthou 3,404 metres (11,168 ft) in the Maladeta ridge,
Posets peak 3,375 metres (11,073 ft),
Mont Perdu or Monte Perdido 3,355 metres (11,007 ft).

In the Western Pyrenees, the average elevation gradually increases from the west to the east, from the Basque mountains near the Bay of Biscay of the Atlantic Ocean. In the Eastern Pyrenees, with the exception of one break at the eastern extremity of the Pyrénées ariégeoises, the mean elevation is remarkably uniform until a sudden decline occurs in the easternmost portion of the chain known as the Albères. - Wikipedia

 

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The Roman Empire During the First Century AD

Maps are essential for any serious study, they help students of Roman history understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in historical sources.

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