Ptolemy, as we have just seen, rejected this idea, and following the opinion of Hipparchus, that the earth was not surrounded by the ocean, but that the ocean was divided into large basins, separated from each other by intervening land, maintained, that while the eastern coast of Africa at Cape Prasum united with the coast of Asia at the bay of the Golden Chersonesus, the western coast of Africa, after forming a great gulf, which he named Hespericus, extended between the east and south till it joined India.

Beyond that coast of the gold mines, and nine degrees to the south of the winter tropic, they came to a great promontory called the Cape of Good Hope, which is almost 5000 miles distant from our country. From thence they came to the cape anciently called Prasum, which was considered by Ptolemy as the extremity of the southern regions, all beyond being unknown to the ancients.

So far, therefore, the knowlege of the ancients, in the time of Marinus, respecting the east coast of Africa extended; but, as neither he nor Ptolemy mentions a single place between Rhapta and Prasum, it is probable that the latter was not frequently or regularly visited for the purposes of trade, but that commercial voyages were still confined to the limit of Rhapta.

Within this range the boats or almadias of the country ply backwards and forwards in great safety, in the intervening channel. At all events, Prasum cannot be farther south than Cape Corientes, or farther north than Quiloa or the Zanguebar islands. The harbour of Mozambique has seldom less than eight or ten fathom water, which is so clear, that every bank, rock, or shallow can be easily seen.

Of the whole of the west of Europe they were well informed, with the exception of the general figure, and some part of the British isles. With respect to Africa, the Romans seem to have been acquainted with one-third of it. The promontory of Prasum was the limit of their knowledge on the east coast: its limits on the western coast it is not so easy to fix.

The author of the Periplus, who seems to have been a merchant personally acquainted with most of the places he describes, had heard of, but not visited the promontory Prasum: he represents the ocean beyond Rhapta as entirely unknown, but as believed to continue its western direction, and after having washed the south coast of Ethiopia, to join the Western Ocean.

It will be recollected that the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea did not trace the African coast lower down than Rhapta; but Marinus mentions Prasum, which, according to that hypothesis, which fixes it in the lowest southern latitude, must have been seven degrees to the south of Rhapta.

Beyond this, he asserts that the earth is utterly unknown, and that the land bends from this to the west, till it joins the promontory of Prasum in Africa, at which place this quarter of the world terminated to the south.

The promontory of Prasum was undoubtedly the limit of Ptolemy's knowledge of the east coast of Africa: the limit of his knowledge of the west coast is not so easily fixed: some suppose that it did not reach beyond the river Nun; while others, with more reason, extend it to the Gulf of St.

The name is sub judice. Cape Verde, the Prasum Promontorium of West Africa, is the 'Trafalgar, the westernmost projection, of the Dark Continent 'fiery yet gloomy; measuring 17 deg. 3' from the meridian of Greenwich. The coast is exceedingly dangerous; consequently shipwrecks are rare. The owners, as their national wont is, have done their best to make it safe.