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date: 04 December 2022


, 'Tin Islands'


, 'Tin Islands'
  • Eric Herbert Warmington
  •  and Martin Millett


A name applied generically to all the north Atlantic tin lands, and often associated with Cornwall and the Scillies. They were said to have been known first by the *Phoenicians or Carthaginians (see carthage) from Gades. A Greek named Midacritus (c.600 bce ? ) is recorded to have imported tin from Cassiteris island (Plin. HN 7. 197). The Carthaginians kept their tin-routes secret; hence Herodotus (3. 115) doubted the existence of the Cassiterides. *Pytheas visited the miners of Belerium (Land's End) and their tin depot at Ictis; but it was left to a Roman, probably P. *Licinius Crassus (1), governor in Spain c.95 bce, to make the tin-routes generally known. *Strabo, who enumerates ten Cassiterides, describes the tin- and lead-mines and the black cloaks and long tunics of the natives.The unambiguous evidence about the location of the Cassiterides in the classical sources suggests that it was a partly mythologized generic name for the sources of *tin beyond the Mediterranean world and not a single place.


  • Ancient Economy

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