Letter 2092

John Conduitt to Hans Sloane – June 27, 1716

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Date: June 27, 1716
Author: John Conduitt
Recipient: Hans Sloane

Library: British Library, London
Manuscript: Sloane MS 4044
Folio: ff. 183-184

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[fol. 183] Gibraltar. 27. June. 1716. Sir I had done my self the honour of writing to you sooner, if I had not been uncertain of my stay here allmost ever since my arrivall, & hoped to meet with some farther curiosities that might the better excuse my giving you the trouble of a letter. I have pick’d up between six & seven hundred medals, & procur’d some Roman inscriptions on marble. A great many of the medals are coarse & few of them are so beautiful as those I saw in Italy. I here enclose the copy of one w’ch by the letters on the reverse I took att first to be an Otho, but am afraid it is ane Augustus, & that those letters relate to M. Salvius Otho Grandfather to the Emperor of that name who is mention’d in Suetonius & I presume was one of the Triumviri Monetales who during the reigns of Julius Cæsar & Augustus had their names stampt on the reverse of the coins of their Emperours. I have bought the greatest part of my medals in parcells, some I have met with amongst the brass mony that is current here, I have near a hundred that were found by plowmen about a league from hence amongst some ruins, wc’h, by the inscriptions on the medals found there, & several other concurring circumstances, I take to be the remains of the famous Carteia, w’ch is so particularly describ’d by Livy in the 30th chapter of the 28th book, & has very much puzzl’d the modern Geographers, who give it a situation inconsistent with that passage in Livy, & not very agreeable to the accounts of the antient authors. The distance of those ruins from this rock agrees so well with the situation of that city w’ch Strabo in his 3d book places 40 stadia from hence, that I very readily give into the alteration Casaubon has made in that passage of Carteia for [fol. 184] Calpe, I am entirely of the opinion of Bochart that Heraclea, w’ch Mariana & others supposed to have stood on this mountain, was only another name of Carteia. The many weighty reasons w’ch embolden me to make an assertion contrary to Cellarius & all the other modern geographers would swell this letter to too great a bulk, & I am too destitute of books here to sett that matter in a full & clear light, but I have already desir’d leave to go to England for two or three months, where I shall have an opportunity of consulting what authours I please, & shall do my self the pleasure of communicating to you, the remains of antiquity. I have procur’d in these parts, & therefore observations the little leisure I have from my business has given me time to make. Wherever I am I shall always be with a very sincere respect. Sir yre most obedient humble servant John Conduitt

John Conduitt (1688-1737) attended Trinity College, Cambridge and served as judge-advocate to the British forces in Portugal. He later become captain in a regiment of dragoons serving in Portugal (Philip Carter, Conduitt, John (16881737), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/6061, accessed 29 June 2011]).

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