Re: [tied] More Pliny's "Guthalvs"

From: george knysh
Message: 15875
Date: 2002-10-02

--- x99lynx@... wrote:
> Piotr also wrote:
> <<I'm not defending Pliny's general credibility but
> just this particular
> piece of geography. His sources seem to have been
> quite reliable here. By
> "clari" he meant "distinguished", i.e. major
> rivers.�As for such rivers,
> the�only surprising omission between the Vistula and
> the Rhine seems to be t
> he Oder, but if George is right and Guthalus IS the
> Oder, then the list is
> complete. No other name is garbled, so why should
> Guthalus be an exception?>>
> What is actually odd about Guthalvs is that nobody
> else mentions it. If
> Guthalvs was such a famous river, why did no one
> else mention it?

*****GK: Rivers were sometimes known by different
names at different times (or by different names at
different points of their flow). ******
> Pliny couldn't have garbled the Rhine or the Elbe,
> because those rivers were
> all in Latin writing well before his time. And it
> is very possible that
> Pliny is the source of the name of the Vistula --
> did any one give the name
> before him?

*****GK: Pomponius Mela in his "De Chorographia" ,
III.28 (ca. 40 AD)

So maybe, even if he did garble it, it
> became the name of the
> river.
> The real problem here is why Guthalvs did not become
> the name of a river.
> There are many possibilities, but here are two.
> Ptolemy did not use the name
> so it was trash canned (except by Solinus) or later
> writers and redacting
> scribes just did not know where to locate it and it
> was trash canned.
> Pliny is not talking about whole rivers but about
> their emptying into the
> "Ocean". Since I didn't get any kind of coherent
> answer to my suggestion
> that Pliny's list is a mariner's list,

******GK: I suggest you read Pliny at 37,30ff of the
NH esp. at 37,45. There you will find the story of a
gentleman (still living when Pliny was writing) who
was sent by one of Nero's bureaucrats to explore the
northern portion of the Amber Road. He did so, all the
way to the Baltic, whose shores he explored, bringing
back much of the valuable stuff. From Pannonian
Carnuntum (a distance of nearly 900 kilometers). So
forget your mariner's list and your Swedish river.
Here's a link to a map:
Click on map 5. Notice what river is crossed before
the Vistula. This may be another explanation as to why
"Guthalus" appears before Vistula in Pliny's list. The
name quickly disappears, to be replaced by three names
in Ptolemy (the latest interpretation by K. Goldmann
is that these three names refer to the three mouths of
the old Oder), one of which eventually won out as the
main name of the river.*****

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