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XVII. Topographical Notes Index
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The Red Sea. (1091. 1092).

For a long time the water of the Mediterranean flowed out through the Red Sea, which is 100 miles wide and 1500 long, and full of reefs; and it has worn away the sides of Mount Sinai, a fact which testifies, not to an inundation from the Indian sea beating on these coasts, but to a deluge of water which carried with it all the rivers which abound round the Mediterranean, and besides this there is the reflux of the sea; and then, a cutting being made to the West 3000 miles away from this place, Gibraltar was separated from Ceuta, which had been joined to it. And this passage was cut very low down, in the plains between Gibraltar and the ocean at the foot of the mountain, in the low part, aided by the hollowing out of some valleys made by certain rivers, which might have flowed here. Hercules  605 came to open the sea to the westward and then the sea waters began to pour into the Western Ocean; and in consequence of this great fall, the Red Sea remained the higher; whence the water, abandoning its course here, ever after poured away through the Straits of Spain.


262:605 9: Leonardo seems here to mention Hercules half jestingly and only in order to suggest to the reader an allusion to the legend of the pillars of Hercules.

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