Ure yldran calne thysne ymbhwyrft thyses middangeardes, cwaeth Orosius, swa swa Oceanus ymbligeth utan, wone man garsecg hatath, on threo todaeldon.
Our elders have divided all of this middle-earth, quoth Orosius, which Oceanus surrounds, which men calleth garsecg into three deals.
Geography of Alfred.
Sec. 1. According to Orosius, our ancestors divided the whole world which is surrounded by the ocean, which we call garsecg, into three parts, and they named these divisions Asia, Europe, and Africa; though some authors only admit of two parts, Asia and Europe. Asia is bounded to the southward, northward, and eastward by the ocean, and thus divides all our part of this earth from that which is to the east. On the north, Europe and Asia are separated by the Tanais or Don; and in the south, after passing the Mediterranean sea, Asia and Africa join to the westward of Alexandria.
Sec. 2. Europe begins, as I have said before, at the Tanais, which has its source in the northern parts of the Riphean mountains, which are near the Sarmatic ocean; and this river then runs directly south, on the west side of Alexander’s temples, to the nation of the Russians, where it runs into the fen called Maeotis, and thence it issues eastwards with a great stream, near the town called Theodosia, into the Euxine. Then becoming narrow for a considerable track, it passes by Constantinople, and thence into the Wendel sea, or Mediterranean. The south-west end of Europe is in Ispania or Spain, where it is bounded by the ocean; but the Mediterranean almost closes at the islands called Gades, where stand the pillars of Hercules. To the westward of this same Mediterranean is Scotland.
Sec. 3. Asia and Africa are divided by Alexandria, a city of Egypt; and that country is bounded on the west by the river Nile, and then by Ethiopia to the south, which reaches quite to the southern ocean. The northern boundary of Africa is the Mediterranean sea all the way westwards, to where it is divided from the ocean by the pillars of Hercules; and the true western boundaries of Africa are the mountains called Atlas and the Fortunate Islands. Having thus shortly mentioned the three divisions of this earth, I shall now state how those are bounded by land and water.
Sec. 4. Opposite to the middle of the eastern part of Asia, the river Ganges empties itself into the sea, whilst the Indian ocean is to the southwards, in which is the port of Caligardamana. To the south-east of that port is the island of Deprobane. To the north of the mouths of the Ganges, where mount Caucasus ends, is the port of Samera; and to the north of this port are the mouths of the river called Corogorre, in the ocean called Sericus. Now, these are the boundaries of India: Mount Caucasus is to the