A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 6 - By Robert Kerr













































































































 -  The Nile is still known by its ancient
name, being called Nil by the Abyssinians, Egyptians, Arabians, and
Indians. The - Page 490
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The Nile Is Still Known By Its Ancient Name, Being Called Nil By The Abyssinians, Egyptians, Arabians, And Indians.

The springs and lakes of this river are on the confines which separate the land of the Abyssinians from

The Cafres that inhabit the continent behind Melinda and Mozambique, as I was informed by some great lords and other persons of Abyssinia, whence it appears that the ancients had little knowledge respecting the origin of this river. Inquiring from these people, if it were true that this river did sink in many places into the earth, and came out again at the distance of many days journey, I was assured there was no such thing, but that during its whole course it was seen on the surface, having great breadth and depth, notwithstanding of what we read in the fifth book of the Natural History of Pliny. I made many inquiries respecting the causes of increase and overflowings of this river, which has been so much disputed by all the ancient philosophers, and received the most satisfactory solution of this question never before determined. Thus almost jestingly, and by means of very simple questions, I came to learn that which the greatest philosophers of antiquity were ignorant of.

[Footnote 280: That is Ethiopia below Egypt, or more properly to the south of Egypt. The expression below seems ridiculous, as Abyssinia or Ethiopia containing the sources of the Nile must be higher than Egypt at its mouth. But among Greek and Roman geographers, above and below meant respectively to the north and to the south.

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