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Alpes, ĭum (rare in sing., Alpis, is, = ἡ Ἄλπις; cf. Rudd. I. p. 157, n. 78), f., = αἱ Ἄλπεις [v. albus], High mountains; and κατ’ ἐξοχήν, the high mountains of Switzerland, the Alps, unknown to the Romans, in their whole extent, until the time of Augustus. The three principal ranges, running S.W. and N.E., are,
- I. The western division between Italy and France.
- A. Alpes Maritimae, the Maritime Alps, extending from the sources of the Var, in a S.E. direction, to the sea, between the present Nice and Piedmont. North of these are,
- B. Alpes Cottiae (so called from Cottius, a prefect in that region under Augustus), the Cottian Alps, west of Augusta Taurinorum, whose highest peak was Alpis Cottia, now Mont Genevre. Next to these, on the north.
- C. Alpes Graiae (Graiae, a Celtic word of uncertain signif., sometimes falsely referred to Hercules Graius, Nep. Hann. 3, 4), the Graian Alps, extending to Mont Blanc (Alpis Graia is the Little St. Bernard).
- II. East of these, the middle division, as the northern boundary of Italy.
- A. Alpes Penninae (so called from the deity Penninus, worshipped there; acc. to some, with the orthog. Poeninae, erroneously, with reference to Hannibal), the Pennine or Vallisian Alps, between Vallais and Upper Italy, whose highest peak, Mons Penninus, the Great St. Bernard, seems to have been out little known even in the time of Cæsar; v. Caes. B. G. 3, 1.
Connected with these on the N.E. are,
- B. Alpes Lepontinae, the Lepontine Alps, the eastern continuation of which are,
- C. Alpes Rhaeticae, the Rhœtian or Tyrolese Alps, extending to the Great Glockner.
- III. The eastern division.
- A. Alpes Noricae, the Noric or Salzburg Alps.
- B. Alpes Carnicae, the Carnic Alps.
- C. Alpes Juliae (prob. so callea from the Forum Julii, situated near), the Julian Alps, extending to the Adriatic Sea and Illyria.
Cf. Mann Ital. I. p. 31 sq.; I p. 263; I. p. 271; I. p. 192; I. p. 189; id. Germ. p. 546: Alpes aëriae, Verg. G. 3, 474: hibernae, Hor. S. 2, 5, 41: gelidae. Luc. 1, 183: saevae Juv. 10, 166 al.
In sing.: quot in Alpe ferae. Ov. A. A. 3, 150: Alpis nubiferae colles. Luc. 1, 688: opposuit natura Alpemque nivemque. Juv 10, 152: emissus ab Alpe, Claud. B. Gild. 82; id. Cons. Stil. 3, 285.
- IV. Appel. for any high mountain (only poet.): gemmae Alpes, the Alps and Pyrenees, Sil. 2, 833; Sid. Apol. 5, 593; Prud. στεφ. 3, 538.
Of Athos, Sid. Apol. 2, 510; 9, 43.