The New International Encyclopædia/Hercynian Forest

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HERCYN'IAN FOREST (Lat. hercynia silva). A name variously applied by the ancient writers to portions of the central mountain system of Europe. Aristotle makes the Ister (or Danube) and the other great northern rivers take their rise in the Hercynian Forest. Cæsar, who estimates it at nine days' journey in breadth and sixty in length. comprehends under this name a great part of the mountain ranges in Germany north of the Danube; while some identify it with the Bohemian Forest, and others with the Thuringian Forest. Some geographers apply the term to the complex of mountain ranges, mountain groups, and plateaus which stretch from Westphalia across Middle Germany and along the northern borders of Austria to the Carpathians.