Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/144

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

assigned by Arrian, as to render it impossible that that town an d this ancient Odessus can have anything in common. We have here, therefore. an additional instance of the misapplication of ancient geography under the Empress Catherine; which might lead also to confounding this ancient Odessus, mentioned by Arrian alone, with the Odessus mentioned by both ArtJan and Strabo, which is far to the south of the Danube, and in fact the modern Varna. On the afternoon of the 18th of November, the Blonde again left Odessa, and steered for the Jsle of Serpents; still sounding at from ten to tiftecn-fathoms and more, with a bottom of stones and shells; which agrees generally with the depth and bottom marked upon the ?French chart. -As no other island but the Isle of Serpents is now found to exist in this part of the Euxine, at any distance at least from the shore, and it is difficult, in the first instance, to suppose tlmt one which existed in the time of Strabo and Arrian has uow disappeared, it is commonly said that this is the same with the Island Leuce, or Isle of Achilles; the former of which names it obtained, as Arrian says, from its white colour, and, according to Dionysius, fi'om the quantity of white birds by which it was frequented. These birds, the Scholiast npon Pindar, who mentions this island as belonging to Achilles,-- ,a,.' (sc. 1Zu.?N?. iv. 79. when he is interpreting the epithet ?& to be equivalent to ?w?, says wcm ?p?sol, which we commonly translate storks, from whence we have our common genus of plants, the emdium or stork's-bill; but Dr. Clarke, who refe? to this passage, ex- pressly translates the word ?0? into pel?a?--not giving, how- ever, any.authori? for this opinion in ornithology. It is certain that great numbera of pelicans frequent this sea, and perhaps the mouths of the Danube, in company with both sWrks and cranes; bnt although B?hop Heber saw an immense quantity of pelicans on the Asiatic side of the Sea of Azof. upon coming into the Crimea, he remarks, ' I saw no more pelicans after landing in Europe,' though he saw plenty of bustards, cranes? and storks. It may be reasonable to suppose, from putting these authorities ?ogether, that the surface of the island, as I know from my own observation to be the'case in the Fairn Islands, and other pa? of our own coast, was, in and after the breeding se?on especially, �e time when it was commonly seen by the ancient navigators, cove?d with the white dung of the countless flocks of sea-bi?s