, a celebrated ancient traveller, was born at Massilia (now Marseilles), a colony of the Phoceans. He was well acquainted with philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and geography and it is supposed, with reason, that his fellow-citizens, being prepossessed in favour of his knowledge and talents, and wishing to extend their trade, sent him to make new discoveries in the North, while they employed Euthymenes, for the same purpose, | in the South. Pytheas explored all the sea-coasts, from Cadiz to the isle of Thule, or Iceland, where he observed that the sun s rose almost as soon as it was set which is the case in Iceland, and the northern parts of Norway, during the summer season. After his return from this first voyage, he travelled by land through all the maritime provinces of Europe lying on the ocean and the Baltic, as far as Tanais, which is supposed to have been the Vistula, where he embarked for Massilia. Polybius and Strabo have treated the account of his travels as fabulous but Gassendi, Sanson, and Rudbeck, join with Hipparchus and Eratosthenes in defending this ancient geographer, whose reputation is completely established by the modern navigators. We are indebted to Pytheas for the discovery of the Isle of Thule, and the distinction of climates, by the different length of the days and nights. Strabo has also preserved to us another observation, which was made by him in his own country, at the time of the solstice. Pytheas must have lived at the same time with Aristotle and Alexander the Great; for Polybius, as quoted by Strabo, asserts, that Dicearchus, Aristotle’s pupil, had read his works. This ingenious Marseillois is the first and most ancient Gaulish author we know. His principal work was entitled, “The Tour of the Earth” but neither this, nor any other of his writings, have come down to us, though some of them were remaining at the end of the fourth century. They were written in Greek, the language then spoken at Marseilles. 1

1 Strabo, -Gen. Dict. —Dict. Hist.